No.17 - Sat 7th November 2015; Central & South Norfolk League Mervyn Lambert PHP League Cup Rd 2;   2pm at Iceni Academy; Stoke Road; Methwold; Norfolk; IP26 4PE


Matchday images (37)

Northwold (1) 3  Longham United (5) 6

'Every cloud has a silver lining...'

'After the deluge of incessant rain falling on Racing HQ for most of Friday and into Saturday morning I certainly wasn't that optimistic of finding a game that hadn't fallen victim to the rotten weather. With back-up FA Cup matches at Dagenham & Redbridge and even Cambridge United already pencilled in on the hopping drawing board I was pleasantly surprised when helpful club secretary Katie Johnson confirmed at midday that the C&SNL cup game between Northwold and Longham United was definitely going ahead this afternoon'. 


This season Northwold Football Club are playing home matches at the Iceni Academy (a large school catering for pupils aged between 4-19 years) which is found in the neighbouring village of Methwold on the edge of the Norfolk Fens. The school is easy to reach from the A11 by joining the A1065 at Barton Mills and continuing into Brandon. Turn left immediately after the railway crossing onto the B1112 (signposted Weeting) and stay on this road for about five miles before arriving in Methwold. The school entrance and large car park can be found on the left hand side of the road.


The players change in a modern all purpose facility and walk over to the playing field which is located around the back of the school buildings. The main pitch is marked out on the middle of the field with a couple of mini pitches and cricket nets on the near side and a rugby pitch running parallel beyond. As you would expect there are no spectator facilities on site although a very tall hedge behind the goal offers a bit of protection from the elements as well as stopping the errant ball or two from going onto the main road. 


Today's game saw the visit of Longham United to Stoke Road for this rather long-winded and quaintly entitled Mervyn Lambert Plant Hire Pease League Cup Second Round tie. By coincidence both teams had played each other in a league game at the Longham village hall only seven days ago when a close game (by all accounts) was won 2-1 by the Dereham-based outfit. After my earlier apprehension about the effects of the heavy rain I can honestly say that the pitch looked immaculate and laying on a clay base had obviously drained exceptionally well under the circumstances. Before player a minute's silence was observed in memory of those who had lost their lives in conflict.


The match was an absolute cracker and a great advert for the league. In keeping with the elements the contest was awash with goals and it was the visitors who eventually booked their place in the next round with a decisive 6-3 win. Despite trailing by four goals at half-time Northwold dominated play in the second half and the game was much closer than the final score suggested. The pick of the goals came inside the first ten minutes when Northwold's Chris Shipton fired home from a clear forty yards out after noticing the keeper had not made it back into his area after making a risky clearance moments earlier.


Played on a decent surface under leaden skies accompanied by strong cross winds for the most part the cup game attracted only eight spectators. I was joined pitch side by chatty, hardworking committee members Katie Johnson (also taking to the field on a number of occasions as the physio) and Dave Snow (Snowy) who kept me up to date with the main events on the pitch. They also explained how the club had been forced to move from Northwold when the social club had closed down last season. They miss the club but are happy playing here with seemingly less work for everyone concerned. Whilst taking photos during the game I noticed the lovely St Georges Methwold church with its spire visible beyond the school buildings.


On a day when I hadn't expected to get in a game of my choice I was well chuffed to visit Northwold Football Club for this cup tie. I would certainly recommend a hop here particularly when the weather is not at its best. More details can be found on the excellent league website regularly updated by the ever reliable John Turner. The joys of getting to a game against all the odds continues. Have fun wherever you go!   



FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) Shipton (6); Steggles (68, 79) and (A) Fell (5); Pearson (8, 42); Chapman (14); Silverwood (og 29); Clarke (90+2)   

Attendance: 8; Admission and Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 2/5.



edited on 08/11/15