Saturday September 7th 2013 KO 15:00 at St Georges Park, Newport. Wessex League Premier Division. Newport IOW (Yellow/Blue) 7-0 Downton (Red/White), att 150. Admission 6 pounds, programme 1.30, badge 3 pounds.
Tuesday September 10th 2013 KO 19:15 at Beatrice Avenue, East Cowes. Hampshire Senior Cup 1st Round. East Cowes Victoria Athletic (RedNWhite Stripes/Black) 1-2 (after extra time) Petersfield Town (All Blue), att 25 (Head Count). Admission 5 pounds, programme 50p.
Saturday September 14th 2013 KO 15:00 at Westwood Park, Cowes. Wessex League Division One.Cowes Sports (Blue/White Stripes/Black) 1-2 Team Solent (All Red), att 80. Admission 5 pounds, programme 1 pound, badge 3 pounds.
It had been bugging me for a few seasons now that I still hadn’t got round to visiting the IOW Wessex league clubs. Perhaps the large dollop of water in the Solent, and the need to take the ferry across it had pushed the grounds down my mental pecking order list when ‘closer to home’ venues have been available.
Anyway, we deciced to take our UK holiday a little earlier this Autumn, and I was happy to see that I could bag all three whilst we were based in Niton on the Island for seven days. Apart from a couple of trips to IOW Speedway in Ryde over the last fifteen years or so I’d not visited the Island for any sort of tourist trip since I was still in short trousers, a long time ago!
Rather than blog on each game, rather tedious. I decided to write an overall synopsis of my impressions.
Best Ground – I liked St Georges and Westwood Park equally. A cracking old wooden stand at Westwood Park, but St Georges has cover on all four sides.
Best Game – The Hampshire Cup tie at Beatrice Avenue became a real end to end entertaining slogfest. Neither team had their shooting boots on, but because of the need for Petersfield to try and get the 10pm ferry (the next one was 1am!), both teams gave it their all to complete the tie in 90 mins. SO, having said that it was probably nailed on, that it went to extra time, finishing at 21:39, won with only seconds to go by Petersfield. No way they would have made it on the 10pm ferry, did they?
Best Team Performance – Newport were on fire, against, admittedly a very poor looking Downton side. But if it hadn’t been for excellent keeper Charlie Aldridge it could have been ten or twelve. Incidentally I saw Downton lose 10-0 at Wimborne in April 2008.
Best Individual Performance – Newport striker Tom McInnes helped himself to four goals, as is the modern day way he was subbed in the second half, otherwise he could have had more.
Best Goal – Phillip Midson, Team Solent, a cracking twenty yarder from out on the right, fizzed across the keeper into the other corner, to win it for them in the 85th minute, a sucker punch!
Best Programme – Easily Newports, a very well presented and interesting programme with plenty to read.
Local Support – Good strong turnout and very apparent interest at the Newport and Cowes games, perhaps the live on TV England match may have affected the turnout at the East Cowes game?
Welcome to visitors – Again Newport and Cowes Sports seemed to tick all the boxes. Raffles, club merchandise, golden goal etc, board with team lineups.
But at East Cowes, when enquiring in the bar about an enamel badge, the young lady said “No, we don’t have that sort of thing here!”
My new fact – That East Cowes used the name ‘Victoria’ because the ground was built within the grounds of Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s IOW residence.
Missed Opportunity – Niton reserves had a Wed evening game against West Wight reserves in the IOW combination league at their ground ‘Springhead’. The ground being only about 400 yards or so from our cottage. Sadly the Wed evening weather was foul, with heavy rain, and with no cover at the ground (and exposed), I decided to leave this venue for a first team fixture in the future on hopefully a bright afternoon or evening!
Enjoyed meeting– Sitting next to and chatting to the secretary of Petersfield, “I’ve been involved for thirty years with the club”. Who instantly advised me it had been 3-1 at Deal in a Vase replay I’d been at in the early 2000s versus Petersfield. And sensing his anxiety as the 10pm ferry seemed to be dissapearing over the water, without them!
Comment at the games – A middle aged wag, who after a couple of minutes of predictable ref and lino baiting from the animated home fans behind him at Cowes Sports shouted “Come on, where’s the respect?” Good point I thought.
Overall impression – As befits an Island only a few miles from the mainland, there seems to be an extremly healthy appetite for all things football. And having seen a number of attractive IOW league grounds, it struck me, that with the short travelling distances involved between clubs that this league is crying out for a ground hop weeekend. I should imagine a ferry trip would be appealing to many hoppers, and with good weather a lovely location to watch footy.