No.7 - Sat 30th August 2014; Bedfordshire County Football League Premier Division;                  2.30pm at Sharnbrook Upper School; Odell Road; Sharnbrook; Bedford; Beds; MK44 1JL 

 

Matchday images (46) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/EastcottsAFC

Eastcotts AFC (0) 2  Marston Shelton Rovers (2) 3

A new learning curve...

You often hear football journalists and fans referring to certain matches as 'a game of two halves' donít you? It describes the type of contest where one side dominates for forty-five minutes before the other one gets back into the match and pretty much takes control of the second half. You canít really explain it. It just happens. Well this summed up my footy fix perfectly on Saturday as I took in the Bedfordshire County League fixture at Eastcotts AFC who were entertaining Marston Shelton Rovers in a Premier Division fixture.

 

After gaining promotion from the First Division in impressive style last season the hosts had strengthened their side over the summer months in preparation for the new campaign. As expected they have found the going pretty tough already having lost 3-1 here to Sharnbrook only three days earlier. Despite changing their line up today Eastcotts were once again in trouble after going down in the first ten minutes to a sloppy goal scored inside the six yard box. Rovers soon took total control of the game and created loads of chances before adding a second just before the break. To be honest I was amazed that they didnít score more as the new boys huffed and puffed throughout looking nervous, disorganised and lacking in skill!

 

Some well chosen words from the manager provided much needed inspiration at half-time. Sadly for them and on the counter attack Rovers added a third goal moments after the re-start. But rather than collapse Eastcotts began to rally, pass more accurately and play some entertaining, attacking football. Their patience paid off and the break-through came with just over ten minutes to go when Callum Wilson lobbed the keeper from 30 yards out. Now looking dangerous they added a second when a low drive by Olly Watson found the net to give them a glimmer of hope. With just seconds to go they hit the post and bar but couldnít find an equaliser. It was a gallant effort which will no doubt give the young squad confidence in the coming weeks. Phew!

 

The game played in cloudy but sunny conditions on a decent well grassed pitch was attended by seventeen spectators. The club does not issue programmes or offer refreshments but chocolate, sweets and drinks can be purchased from vending machines in the sports centre foyer.

 

The club formed as recently as 2008 has spent six years in the county league. Their playing record is exemplary having gained four consecutive promotions to reach the Premier Division. After four years the club has moved from Weston Park in Wootton to their new home at the expansive Sharnbrook Upper School some ten miles away.

 

The playing fields are not immediately visible from the main approach driveway and ample car park but can be accessed along a steep path running alongside the school sports centre and PE changing rooms. The main pitch is marked out on a plateau of land close to the school buildings and an adjacent floodlit 3G facility (the club has asked for permission from the Beds FA to use this in bad weather but it might not be possible as the pitch dimensions may not be quite big enough). Beyond and on a second plateau are two rugby pitches running parallel to the far touch-line Ė this provides an excellent elevated view of the action below. A couple of bench seats behind and offset to the left hand goal allow for a bit spectator seating.

 

To reach the ground in Sharnbrook travellers should turn off the A6 (from either Bedford or Kettering) and head towards the village before following signs for the school located in Odell Road. A long driveway leads to the sports centre and car parks opposite.

 

To find out more information about the club as well as  fixture and contact details hoppers can log on to both the superb Beds County Football League website (edited by Pete Francis) and the generic  FA Full-Time site shown at the addresses highlighted below.

 

FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) C Wilson (77); O Watton (87) and (A) L Dudley (9); H Murray (40); J Weedon (47) 

Attendance: 17; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 3/5; Ground rating: 3/5.

Links

http://www.bedfordshirefootballleague.co.uk/

http://full-time.thefa.com/Index.do?league=7195521

 

edited on 31/08/14