No.41 - Tues 14th April 2015; Cambs County League Division 4B;                               6.15pm at the Sportsman Playing Field, Fairway, Chatteris, Cambs, PE16 6ST 


Matchday images (45)

Chatteris Fen Tigers (2) 2  Upwell Town (1) 1

'Tigers sharpen their claws'

'The silly season is upon us once again and as always itís a great hopping time of year to take advantage of some local games with early evening kick-offs. Tonight Iím heading up to the Fens for the eagerly awaited Cambs County League Division 4B fixture at Chatteris Fen Tigers who are taking on rivals Upwell Town. Blimey, itís the second time in a week Iím watching a team in black and amber! 

The ground is based at the popular Sportsman Club, a busy community facility tucked away inside an expansive residential area of new houses on the outskirts of Chatteris. It is accessed on Fairway where a narrow entrance leads down past a patio area to a rough unmade car park (with additional space on the adjoining grass) beyond. A vibrant bar with social club and function room caters for a wide range of public activities. Amusingly a menu affixed to the gentlemenís toilet wall reads: ĎFull English Breakfast Served Here Every Sundayí.


The players and officials change in a small purpose built pavilion located at the end of this building which backs onto the playing field. The one and only un-roped pitch on site is bordered by the remains of a broken post and rail fence behind the nearest goal with a long ditch and a belt of tall trees on the opposite side. Incidentally ECL side Chatteris Town FC is only a stoneís throw from here along West Road which runs parallel. As you would expect there are no dug outs or spectator cover on site. A large pole with union jack flag hoisted at full mast from one of the neighbouring gardens dominates proceedings.


Upon arrival itís nice to see the players from both sides already out on the field warming up ahead the scheduled 6.15pm start. Tonightís fixture suggests (on paper at least) that a close game is on the cards with both sides currently occupying a mid table position with the visitors one place and two points ahead in the rankings. The form book is turned upside down though as the Tigers win 2-1 (all goals coming in the first half) in a bad tempered game. How no one is sent off (particularly in the second half) is beyond belief. The match played on a bumpy well grassed surface in bright sunny conditions attracts just over fifty spectators.


Although I had enjoyed my evening out it was somewhat spoiled by an incident which occurred during the half-time break. Whilst berating his players, the outraged captain of the home side stopped mid rant, looked towards me and publicly (with others standing close-by) asked what I was doing. In an angry tone he suggested (using words I canít repeat here) that I put my camera somewhere else and clear off! Taken aback I was momentarily quite shaken but replied that I had in fact already sought permission from a committee member to take some pictures before the game. Noticing my reaction a couple of home players and the manager came over to apologize for his outburst and reassured me that I should stay and watch the second half.


Having attended many games over the years I cannot recall this sort of thing ever happening before. I have found that itís always important when taking photos at a game to introduce yourself first, explain what youíre doing (I do have an official FGIF ID card) and ask if itís ok to take pictures during the game. Normally itís not a problem and clubs are more than happy for you to do this (often requesting a link to the albums if possible) but itís still always best to check beforehand. Phew! I only hope that fellow snappers donít find themselves in a similar situation on their travels. Crazy isn't it that you can turn up to a Premier League game only days before without any hassle...

Hoppers wishing to make a visit here can find out more details about fixtures from the clubís regularly updated Twitter account and the excellent FA Full-Time Cambs County League website (both links shown below). The joys of Fenland hopping are not diminished (honest)...have fun wherever you go'.     

FGIF Match Stats

                Scorers: (H) Heading (26), A Ashley (42) and (A) Marshall (27)  

Attendance: 54; Admission and Programme: None; Match rating: 3/5; Ground rating: 3/5.


edited on 15/04/15