No.47 - Tues 5th May 2015; Anglian Combination League Mummery Cup Final 2015;                     7.15pm at the Football Development Centre; Bowthorpe Park; Clover Hill Road; Norwich; Norfolk; NR5 9ED 


Matchday images (47)

Bradenham Wanderers (0) 0  Spixworth (2) 5

'Spixworth second time cup winners'

'Norfolk County FA acquired the leasehold of the football venue (Powerleague) now known as the FDC (Football Development Centre) in July 2009, with a vision to turn the centre into a hub of both regulated and recreational activity for the football community of Norwich and Norfolk.


Working in conjunction with Norwich City Council, Norfolk FA has refurbished the old Powerleague centre, making it one of the most sought after football facilities in the county. The FDC now boasts 8 small sided 5 a side football pitches and a larger floodlit training arena, all with new state of the art 3G surfaces. In addition the facility offers accompanying changing facilities, a function room and a fully stocked and licensed bar.


Securing its own Football Development Centre was a significant moment for the Association, given that such an acquisition had been identified within Norfolk FA's four-year strategy. This makes it an exciting time for grassroots football in Norfolk, with the FDC offering fantastic opportunities to the local and wider communities to utilise a purpose build football facility.


Ever since esteemed FGIF contributor and hopper extraordinaire Leon Gladwell’s visit here back in December 2012 to watch the Norwich City U21 side play Dereham Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup (2-1), I have been intending to tick this ground off for some time. I had originally pencilled in a visit to watch the Norfolk FA Junior Cup Final last season but a family function took priority. My next opportunity came a few weeks back to watch the Norfolk FA Primary Cup Final between The Woottons and Dereham Taverners but again couldn’t make it. Resigning myself to leaving this one until next season, I was really chuffed to read in the Fixtures Section of the Non League Paper of all things that the Anglian Combination League Mummery Cup Final between Bradenham Wanderers and Spixworth was being held here.


Thankfully it was third time lucky that my trip went according to plan and it was with great anticipation that I arrived early before this well regarded cup final which is organised for all Premier and First Division clubs competing in the ACL. To reach the final Wanderers won 3-1 at Norwich CEYMS whilst Spixworth overcame Scole United 4-0 at home both played in February.


For the record it was Premier Division Spixworth (fifth in the Premier Division) who beat their opponents (sixth in the First Division) winning by a convincing 5-0 score line. The course of the game significantly changed ten minutes before the break when Wanderers went down to ten players after defender Luke Dagg was sent off for using his hand to block a goal bound header  following a corner. The resultant penalty kick was converted by Kane Taylor and from there on in Wanderers chased the game.


This was the second time that Spixworth had won this competition after prevailing over Acle United, winning 6-5 on penalties back in 2010-11. They were runners-up once under the Norwich Union name in 2003-2004. Incidentally the first ever winners of the Mummery Cup were Great Yarmouth Town Reserves who beat Norwich Electricity 3-2 in the 1965-66 cup final.


The match played on a well manicured pitch in sunny conditions attracted a superb crowd of 323 spectators including fellow hoppers Gyles Basey-Fisher and Andy Smith. A smart 24 page programme with colour cover courtesy of Barnes Print Ltd was made freely available to all at the turnstiles (accessed via the clubhouse and located behind the five-a-side pitches). It was a decent read with content comprising of welcome, history and pen pictures for both teams, team line ups, ACL tables and news. Travellers may be interested to note that both the CS Morley (Hingham Athletic v Watton, 2-0) and Cyril Ballyn (Bungay Town v Wells Town, 3-2) Cup Finals had already being held here a couple of weeks ago. A wide range of hot and cold food and drinks could be purchased from a tea hut at pitch side throughout the evening.


I will allow the album photos to serve as a more useful ground description. Personally I enjoyed my visit here and was impressed by all the facilities at the venue. Despite the three-sided nature of the ground (no access to the far side), it does get full marks for providing seated cover and a refreshment bar. Murals showing crowds of spectators affixed to the perimeter walls at each end help to create a decent atmosphere. I was slightly annoyed by the pompous official match photographer who told me to put my camera away as he was the only one allowed to cover the game. When I asked to see an ACL committee member he soon backed down!


To reach the FDC, based in the Bowthorpe area of the city (to the west), I came off the A47 ring road (towards Swaffham) at the A1074 Longwater Retail Park junction turning heading for Norwich. Follow this (Dereham Road) for about a mile and a half before turning right at the roundabout into Wendene. Turn left into Clover Hill Road where the entrance to the Bowthorpe Park is marked by a welcome sign (complete with a large football on top!), visible on the left. A large car park with overflow spaces is available for all visitors.


This was a cracking evening out and a trip to the FDC 'Field Of Dreams' comes with my warmest recommendation. For more information hoppers should access the excellent Norfolk County FA website and click on the separate link for the FDC (see below). The joys of watching local cup finals continue...have fun wherever you go!'.     

FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (BW) N/A and (SU) Taylor (pen 35), Brown (38, 77), Gould (80, 87) 

Attendance: 323; Admission: £2; Programme: Free; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 4/5.



edited on 06/05/15