No.17 - Sat 8th November 2014; Cambridgeshire County League William Coad Intermediate Cup; 1.45pm at Doddington Recreation Ground; Benwick Road; Doddington; March; Cambs; PE15 0TG
Matchday images (56) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/DoddingtonUnitedFC
Doddington United (1) 4 Milton (2) 5
'It's raining goals'
'The little known William Coad Cup is a competition organised by the Cambridgeshire County Football League for clubs taking part in the Senior A and B Divisions. The knock-out trophy itself is sponsored by long serving member Wiliiam Coad who still works on the county FA management committee to the present day. The current holders are Sawston Rovers who beat Gamlingay United 2-1 in the final held at Soham Town Rangers FC last April.
Today Iím on my way through the Fens heading towards March for the Second round tie at Doddington United Football Club who are entertaining Milton at the local village recreation ground. The hosts promoted to the Senior B Division at the end of last season have made a great start to the new campaign currently sitting in third place in the table having won seven and drawn two of their first ten games. Visitors Milton travel up from Cambridge on the back of five wins and a draw in their start to the Senior A Division. Equally impressive. So based on this current form I hope that a close contest is in prospect.
As the players take to the field a strong swirling end to end wind is already blowing across the pitch and it becomes apparent from the start of play that this will have a big effect on the outcome of the match today. However they adapt well and the game turns out to be real a cracker with play switching quickly from end to end. After taking an early lead Doddington soon find themselves behind and go into the break 2-1 down. As storm clouds start to loom and skies darken Milton go on to add a third goal and look sure to book their place in the next round.
But with just ten minutes left and against the run of play the hosts fight back strongly and score twice in the mire to make it 3-3 and take the game into extra time. By now the rain is absolutely hammering it down as I retreat into the away dug out for another thirty minutes of action. A rousing team talk by manager Fraser Confrey seems to work as Milton soon restore their two goal advantage, netting twice in close succession during the first period, to make it 3-5. To add to the excitement thereís still time for Doddington to pull one back after the break but itís not quite enough as the visitors hold on to secure a place in the quarter-final. Phew what excitement! A word of thanks must also go to experienced (Football Conference) match official Paul Norman from Isleham who refereed the game expertly throughout.
The game played on a superb, flat and well grassed pitch is a credit to grounds man and secretary Kevin Casbon who spends well over an hour each home game marking the lines and preparing the surface. Being exceptionally wide makes the playing area perfect for playing wide attacking football and I reckon itís dimensions must be pushing the maximum allowed. A crowd of just nine spectators is in attendance today. As expected there are no programmes (the club does not issue) or refreshments on hand.
The site off Benwick Road is clearly visible as you turn into the large car park. There is a sprawling feel about the place being surrounded by open fields and woods on all sides. A number of large wind turbines fill the immediate landscape to enhance the view. A large welcome sign just inside the entrance lists the many users (including the local cricket and bowls club) who share the main facilities here. The brick built pavilion (with veranda and wooden picnic tables) hosts changing rooms for both players and officials but it's position (beyond the cricket square) is some distance from the pitch. A couple of sturdy dug outs (with complementary advertising boards) are positioned next to fence close to the half-way line. Whilst sitting alongside me during the latter stages of the game Kevin reminded me that his effort in building the dug outs many years ago had come in handy on rainy windswept days like this! With a stream running behind the top goal a large section of netting fixed to poles has been erected to prevent stray balls from getting lost in the mud and weeds below.
The ground itself is very easy to find. Travellers coming by car can approach from either March or Chatteris (both about five miles away) by taking the main A141 (Isle of Ely Way) and turning into Doddington along the B1093. Follow Doddington Road (which becomes Wimblington Road and then the High Street) before turning right into Benwick Road. The ground is about 300 yards from here on the left just past the turning for the village hospital.
A visit to Doddington United FC comes highly recommended. For more information about the club and the league in general you can log onto the informative websites shown at the foot of the page. Have fun wherever you go and donít forget your anorak just in case it rains!
FGIF Match Stats
Scorers: (H) Goodger (18), Rowell (84), Brown (pen 88, 116) and (A) Smith (23), Traynor (pen 39), Hall (70, 105), Lunn (94)
Attendance: 9; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.
edited on 10/11/14