No.15 - Sat 27th October 2014; North East Norfolk Football League Division One;                        2pm at Erpingham Village Hall; The Street; Erpingham; Aylsham; Norfolk; NR11 7QB 


Matchday images (49)

Erpingham (0) 0  Plumstead Rangers (4) 7

Rangers in seventh heaven...

'With the sun shining brightly it provided the perfect ‘hoppertunity for me to head a bit further afield from racing HQ for my footy fix. After dropping Fran and the girls off in Norwich for some retail therapy, I continued my journey around the city ring road before heading out towards Cromer for my chosen game. My destination today was the delightful if somewhat remote outpost of Erpingham where the first team welcomed Plumstead Rangers to their village hall ground for a North East Norfolk First Division game.


The village itself is situated a few miles from the larger market town of Aylsham which is about ten miles from the coast. To reach Erpingham come off the main A140 Cromer Road at the second signposted turn and follow the narrow winding Cromer Road before turning right into Eagle Road and continuing for a couple of miles. At the next junction turn right at the Erpingham Arms pub into The Street and the ground is found on the left behind the village hall.


A slightly raised driveway leads up to the hall (which has a large sign marked: Erpingham with Calthorpe). A small car park provides a few spaces for visitors with more space found on the grassed area around the back if required. At the end of the hall are some changing rooms and an old wooden equipment storage shed. Players reach the pitch by walking along a path running between the side of the hall and an impressive brand new floodlit caged MUGA built recently to provide local community sports facilities.


The main (and only) pitch slopes heavily from side to side. It is hemmed in on three of its sides by hedges and overhanging trees with space behind the touchlines at a premium. A steep grass embankment running along the far side offers an elevated view of the action – well, for the more athletic fan willing to climb up the side (where there is a gap between the trees!) that is. There is no spectator cover or dug outs at pitch side. It’s a pretty basic but homely setting none the less.        


Having followed this competition more closely over the last couple of seasons (mainly for Norfolk Junior and Primary Cup games) I was quite surprised to find that I had already ticked off the majority of clubs in the eleven team division in my travels. Yes it’s only a small league competition and like the neighbouring North West Norfolk League has many supplementary cup games thrown in to add a bit of variety.


Today’s game featured the two sides who had gained promotion at the end of last season and it would be interesting as a neutral to see how they were faring in their new division. In fact Plumstead Rangers (champions of division two) had already made an impressive start to the campaign winning four of their opening five matches and were currently lying in second place behind Gimingham (usually the title favourites who coincidently won when both teams met exactly a week ago). By contrast the hosts were having a torrid time of it picking up only three points from their first five games leaving them back in eighth place. Both sides had already met just over a month ago when Rangers prevailed winning by 4-2.  


Apart from a fairly even first opening ten minutes when play switched from end to end visitors from Norwich as expected soon took control of the game and were well on top by half-time having scored four goals without reply. They added another three after the break to make it 7-0 (it could have been more to be honest!) to take all three points and consolidate their position in second place in the league. It seems a shame as Erpingham who have struggled to find players in recent weeks were not as bad as the score-line suggests - having said that they got hammered here 11-0 to Runton last week. It seems that a difficult season lies ahead!  


The match played in sunny and sometimes breezy conditions on a flat well grassed pitch attracted only eight spectators (not my lowest this season – a total of seven turned up on my trip to Flitcham back in September!).  The club, like all the others in this league, doesn’t issue programmes or provide refreshments (apart from Horning) for their games.


To find out more information about this and other clubs; contact details and ground addresses; fixtures; results and tables log on to the regularly updated NENFL website (see address below). It's terrific. As the league motto states: 'The little league with the big reputation' sums up this competition up perfectly. What more are you waiting for?         

FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) N/A and (A) Taylor (8), Moore (21, 29, 47), Young (31), Smith (53), Queen (75) 

Attendance: 8; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.



edited on 28/10/14