No.32 - Sat 21st February 2015; North West Norfolk League Division Two Cup Group Stage;                  2pm at Methwold Recreation Ground, Globe Street; Methwold; Norfolk; IP26 4NR 

 

Matchday images (55) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/MethwoldUnitedFC

Methwold United (0) 0  Snettisham Maroons (0) 4

'A Walk into the Park for Snetty''

'Iím heading for Methwold (meaning "Middle forest"), a civil parish on the edge of the Norfolk Fens and Breckland. Its economy is based on agriculture with a little light industry. The village is situated about 20 miles from King's Lynn and 15 miles north west of Thetford (its postal town).

 

In fact it was a bit of a first for me today. On arriving at the ground, located off the main street in the centre of the village, I was surprised to find (30 minutes before kick-off) that there was no activity at the QEII recreation ground. What's more I couldn't see either a club pavilion or changing facilities for players and officials on site. Had I come to the right place I asked myself? Help!

 

After doing a quick U-turn I drove back towards the Methwold Social Club on the opposite side of the road to find out a bit more. As I pulled up outside I noticed some of the players leaving the committee room armed with goal nets, corner flags, a green medical bag and a cage of drinking bottles - thankfully they were making their way to the playing field back down the road. It's a good 500 yards (5 minutes walk at least) between the two. Never mind it was game on. Phew!

 

My chosen match is the North West Norfolk League Division Two Cup Group Stage tie, a rather long winded title to say the least isn't it? Donít you just love the names of these minor cups?! The competition is in fact open to all clubs in this division. Organised into two groups, fixtures are played both home and away with the top two sides in each section going into semi-finals with the eventual group winners contesting a final. Hope you are clear about all of this? I thought so! The nice thing is that matches at the group stage can end in a draw meaning neither extra time or penalties are needed. A bit like a mini Champions League if you like, well sort of.

 

Having such a cup competition is important to little clubs like Methwold United. Playing in such a small league like the NWNFL (where there few clubs) gives them extra games over the course of season and adds a bit of interest at the same time. The only downside is that they can face the same opposition quite frequently. In fact the sides today had met each other twice already (both games in January): once in the league and once in the cup with the visitors from Hunstanton prevailing on each occasion. The reverse cup game actually ended in a terrific high-scoring 6-4 win at Snettisham only three weeks ago. Other teams in this section include Watlington, Bishop Lynn and Ingoldisthorpe Reserves to make up five teams and provide eight group matches for each.

 

Current form is often a good way to predict results. A quick glimpse at the league table before setting off from Racing HQ revealed that Methwold had not picked up a single point all season and remained unsurprisingly rooted to the foot of the table. Snetty in comparison had fared much better having lost only twice to give then a credible third place in the nine team division.       

 

However it was not all one way traffic as the score-line may at first suggest. A superb end to end tie ensued with the visitors from north Norfolk taking the spoils with a 4-0 victory, all goals coming in the second half. It was incredible to think that a reserve official took the whistle just before the kick-off when the appointed referee failed to turn up. The game played in mainly dull conditions on a very bumpy, sloping surface was attended by twelve spectators.

 

During the game I had a chat with current Reserves team manager Michael Cowlishaw who told me a bit more about the club. Formed as recently as 2010 the team initially competed in the Central & South Norfolk League before moving across to the NWNFL at the start of this season. It works well and means that he can draw upon more players from around Brandon catchment area with less travelling and lower petrol costs involved. He feels that the standard of football is also technically better perhaps borne out by the fact that both Kings Lynn based sides Springwood and The Woottons (also in this division) will represent the NWNL in next weekendís Norfolk Primary Cup Semi-Finals.  

 

The playing field incorporating plenty of playground equipment is fully enclosed on all sides being bordered by fencing with outlying fields and housing backing onto the site. Hoppers (with cameras) who delight in stunning backdrops might be interested to learn that St Georges church, a Grade 1 listed building, stands next to the field and its beautiful form fills the photographers frame very nicely indeed.

 

Although none of the sides in the league do programmes the village benefits from having a social club with bar as well as a few local shops including a cracking chippie. Although quite expensive I did enjoy a tasty but gut wrenching large pre-match cod and chips from the Rumbles Fish Bar located next to the social club.  

The club has its own website and new twitter account which it hopes to develop in the near future. Hoppers will be given a warm welcome at this friendly little club and should consider a game there one day. Travellers wanting to find out more information about the league and its cups can also go to the site link shown below. The joys of minor cup group hopping in the sticks continue. Have fun wherever you go!!'.     

FGIF Match Stats

                Scorers: (H) N/A and (A) Lloyd (pen 53), Deadman (73, 86), Cheale (88)  

Attendance: 12; Admission: None; Programme: None; Match rating: 3/5; Ground rating: 3/5.

Links

http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/methwoldunitedfootballclub/224250/Home

http://www.nwnfl.co.uk/

 

edited on 22/02/15