No.35 - Sat 14th March 2015; North West Norfolk League Division Two Cup Group Stage;               2pm at the Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Recreation Ground; Kings Lynn Road; Hunstanton; Norfolk; PE36 6DZ 


Matchday images (75)

Hunstanton (2) 2  The Wootons (0) 2

'Unlucky Hunny stunned!'

'This was almost a case of dťjŗ vue. After only a couple of weeks Iím re-tracing my steps around the Kings Lynn bypass as I make my way to the popular seaside town of Hunstanton. Today Iím watching the hosts take on The Woottons in a North West Norfolk League Second Division Cup tie. If you thought that was a long winded title I can top that by telling you the game is being played at the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Hunstanton Recreation Ground! Cheers to Rob Campion the well regarded FGIF contributor and Leicester-based hopper for pointing that one out to me!


As many people know Hunstanton is a traditional family resort. Summer crowds tend to be smaller now than in the 1980s although the popularity of the town as a tourist destination for day-trippers and holidaymakers has endured, weathering the decline of the British seaside holiday. During the 1990s, businesses in villages south of Hunstanton (Dersingham, Ingoldisthorpe and Snettisham) complained of a loss in trade after being bypassed by the A149, which carries heavy Hunstanton-bound traffic. Although this is an east coast town it actually faces west and is one of the few places on the east coast in England where the sun can be seen to set over the sea.


Hunstanton attracts thousands of people, some from long distances away, during mid August, for the ITA Hunstanton Lawn Tennis tournament (the biggest in England after Wimbledon) inaugurated in 1920. All ages can play from the young (Under 8 Round Robin) to the senior veterans. Hunstanton Golf Club was founded in 1891 by Hamon Le Strange and is an 18 hole championship links laid out along the sandy coast of Old Hunstanton. Hunstanton links is a classic 'out and back' design, on either side of a central spine or dune ridge. The 12th, 13th and 14th holes play across this ridge. The town has also hosted several international sporting events including the 2005 World Water Ski Racing Championships.


So onto the game. Unbelievably itís the third time Iíd seen The Woottons play this season (coincidentally all in Norfolk FA Primary Cup games); most recently it was only a fortnight ago when I attended the Norfolk PC Semi-Final where they won with an impressive 3-0 victory over Lyng FC at Wooton Park to book their place in the final. Iím sure some of their players and fans must think Iím stalking them especially when I get the camera out! Hmm.


By contrast the NWNL League Cup competition works a bit like a mini Champions League group stage where clubs play each other home and away before the leading teams eventually qualify for the knock-out phase. There are two groups divided on a east-west basis. Today Hunstanton Football Club is looking to gain revenge on their opponents after losing 2-1 in the reverse cup fixture played last month in Kings Lynn.


So far itís been a difficult season all round for Hunstanton who not only sit next to bottom of Division Two (above Methwold United who have yet to register a single point) but have suffered some heavy defeats including an unwanted 18-0 mauling in this cup competition at Springwood back in January. Despite being a 'neutral' you really do have to feel sorry them - it can't be much fun. So you can imagine their disbelief when after taking a deserved 2-0 lead with only twenty five minutes gone they were pegged back to 2-1 by half-time and just when it looked as though they would hang on to pick up a rare win succumbed when Sari Rhama headed home from a corner to bring the scores level with the last (honest) touch of the game in second-half stoppage time! They say when your luck is down then it is down no matter what! The result meant the visitors had won a place in the knock-out semi-final to be played at Watlington Sports in early April.


The ground itself is basic but homely. Fronted by some ornate gates itís easily found on the left hand side of the main Kings Lynn Road (A149) leading into the town. Hemmed in on three sides by a boundary wall, belt of tall trees and a smart bowling green, the site benefits from having a spacious changing pavilion with veranda on the far side of the field. Although some distance from the sea front it really is a cold place to watch football. Even with warm Spring sunshine in the air I still needed a thick quilted winter coat to combat the strong cross winds swirling throughout. Travellers intending to watch a game here should therefore come suitably attired in a thick anorak of their choice!


As expected you wonít get a programme or refreshments here. However there are plenty of local shops in the vicinity to satiate your gastronomic needs. A visit to the lovely seaside town and its football club come highly recommended. All the essential details about the NWNL can be found on the league and Full-Time websites by clicking on the links below. And donít forget to pack your bucket and spade. The joys of hopping continue...have fun wherever you go'.     

FGIF Match Stats

                Scorers: (H) Eastwood (8), King (26) and (A) Tucker (42), Rahma (90)  

Attendance: 14; Admission and Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.


edited on 15/03/15