Saturday October 12th 2013, KO 15:00 at the Wincanton Sports Ground, Moor Lane.
Western League Division One.
Wincanton Town (Yellow/Black) 3-1 Cribbs (Red/Red).
Admission five pounds, programme 1 pound, coffee 1 pound.
We should have been in North Derbyshire, Ros at Chatsworth house viewing the sculpture trail in the gardens, and me at the oldest football club in the world, namely Sheffield FC who play in Dronfield. However the forecast for ‘two drops’ of rain in that part of the world had us on Saturday morning frantically reviewing other regional forecasts and the ‘football traveller’ being scrutinised for another fixture to attend.
The weather forecast seemed to predict sunny weather right across the South, so a decision was made to change our plans and head for Wincanton as Ros was happy to revisit Stourhead Gardens, which is only 9 Miles East.
Wincanton is situated on the north of Blackmore Vale just off the A303, 15 miles north-east of Yeovil on the extreme southeast of Somerset close to the borders of Dorset and Wiltshire, and has a population of less than 5,000. You pass by Stonehenge on the way, and as usual it was popular with tourists.
Wincanton is also unique in the fact that it was twinned in 2002 with a town which can only be found in fiction. As well as Gennes / Les Rosiers in France and Lahnau in Germany, Wincanton is twinned with Ankh-Morpork, a fictional city state near the Circle Sea on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. In 2009, a number of roads were retitled with names taken from Ankh-Morpork, such as Peach Pie Street and Treacle Mine Road after a short-list was voted upon by fans.
There is a shop in High Street called The Cunning Artificer, which sells collectors items relating to the Discworld. Other shops have followed with Discworld-related goods.
So based on that either the council are big sci-fi fans with a sense of humour or there is a plentiful supply of illegal drugs in that corner of Somerset! A racecourse is also nearby, although not in the town itself it is known as Wincanton racecourse.
As for WTFC, their rise has been pretty impressive, just ten years ago playing in the Yeovil and District league, they now find themselves just five levels from the Conference, after winning promotion from the Dorset Premier League last season. Having said that, their history is long, having been founded in 1890. I found a very neat and tidy setup, with football foundation money no doubt responsible for the impressive changing room/clubhouse and bar/canteen complex.
The football pitch is a fifty yard walk from the bar, and is pleasantly lined by greenery, with a small 100 seater stand on the opposite half way line, NOT an atcost stand, one with its own little character, and all the better for it.
Visitors Cribbs, 2nd in the table, a Bristol based ‘works’ Insurance co club, and also a new addition to the Western League scored the quickest goal I’d witnessed this season, as after only about 45 seconds, Jordan Yeo swept in from about eight/ten yards after their first cross into the WT box.
Frankly, this was about as good as it got for them. Although the early exchanges were end to end, On fifteen minutes full back Danny Golden had made a foray into their box and equalised, the game then drifted away from Cribbs as WT got a grip of it, but that dominance did not correlate into goals until the second 45.
Just before HT I fell into conversation with club photographer and first team blog writer Dave Edge of ‘winkys11’, see his URL below, who’s programme photos I’d admired pre-match. He was also able to tip me off on who the secretary was (Mike Hatcher) to obtain the team lineups.
The second half continued in the same mode, with WT attacking at speed, and looking sharp, some good approach play from Cribbs being let down by some sluggish play from their front two Gilroy and Forward (good name 🙂 ). The opposite could be said of the WT strikers Chant and Gale, who combined very well, and will be a handful for any team in this league IMHO.
If anything, the only thing you could level at WT on the day, was the time it took them to kill off the game, as it was 69 mins on the clock before Mike Taylor tapped home after a long throw was badly defended. And then 84 was on the clock when Matt Peters made it 3-1, and all connected with WT could relax.
All in all a lovely little club, with great friendly people. Please visit them!
As a footote the new floodlights were turned on the following Tuesday (L 0-8) against big local neighbours Yeovil Town and the club were rewarded with a gate of 420, well deserved IMO.