No.38 - Sat 19th March 2016; Bedfordshire County Football League Division Two;                           2.30pm at Kempston Hammers Sports & Social Club; 134 High Street; Kempston; Beds; MK42 7BN    



Matchday images (60)



Kempston Hammers Sports (1) 4  Lea Sports PSG (1) 3


'Hammers nail seven goal thriller'


Kempston is a found about three miles to the west of Bedford town centre and fifteen miles away from the ever growing town of Milton Keynes. Historical records show that the place name in its old form is 'kemestun' meaning 'the enclosed settlement on the bend', relating to the River Great Ouse noted for its sharp bends upstream of Bedford. It is just possible that 'cambita' (the curved one) was the name given to this stretch of the river by the Celtic speaking population. Locally the village name is pronounced 'Kemstun'.


This is in fact my third visit to watch a game in the town having previously attended matches at Rovers and Town, both located at the Hillgrounds complex (about a mile away). My journey from Racing HQ is a relatively easy one today taking just over an hour on virtually traffic free roads (for a change). After coming off the fast moving MK bound A421 at the A6 turning I travel the last mile or so to the town where the Kempston Hammers Sports and Social Club is easy to find off the main high street (listed as number 134!) close to the junction with Cemetery Road (A5134).


Surrounded by many new builds and some open land the venue is well supported by local sports clubs sharing its facilities primarily with cricket and rugby. Travellers may also be interested to know that tenants Kempston Athletic Football Club (coincidentally playing in the same division of the BCFL) also share the ground playing its games on alternate weekends.


A number of sign posts affixed to the perimeter wall lead the visitor around to the main entrance which is fronted by wrought iron gates and then down a rough driveway complete with speed humps to the car park beyond. The Hammers Club, situated at the far end, houses a number of recently refurbished function rooms including a bar, with the changing rooms further along in a separate block. From here the players have to walk across the field in order to reach the main football pitch which is marked out beyond the cricket square (fenced off by orange plastic netting and parallel to a rugby pitch to the right. To be brutal the playing area is not one of the best as it is affected by a moderate side to side slope as well as a number of bumps and dips which randomly appear over its surface. As expected there are no pitch-side facilities for players and spectators at this level.


Like many clubs playing grass roots football Kempston Hammers FC rely on the good will and hard work of a few committed hard-working volunteers. Before the game started Gerry Bennett (manager) and Ian Tysoe (secretary) explained how the club grew out of the ashes of a works team playing home games in Ampthill. About seven years ago when the company was sold off a decision was made to re-form and the team made a successful application to join the BCFL playing under the banner of Kempston Hammers FC. The club has now become an established side in the league gaining promotion up to Division Two last season.


Todayís game is only my second ever tick to watch a game in this division of the competition - I had been to the neighbouring Clapham Sports Club just a couple of weeks back when the hosts beat Lea Sports PSG by a remarkable 6-3 score-line. By sheer coincidence they provide the opposition again today at the Hammers Club. Before play both sides sit in mid table with only three points separating them suggesting a close game is on the cards in what is now the run in to the end of the seasonís fixtures.


True to form the game is an absolute thriller with plenty of incident and numerous goal scoring chances at both ends. The Hammers prevail coming from behind twice to win an exciting contest winning 4-3 with the result in doubt right up until the last few minutes making it a superb advert for the league. Only nine spectators are in attendance (compared to nearly fifty patrons watching the rugby match being played alongside). Refreshments are available from the bar in the Hammers Club throughout the afternoon.


Further details about the club and league can be found on the excellent league website. Managed by Stevenage FC fan Peter Francis this provides a most valuable hopping resource with regularly updated news as well as links to fixtures, results and tables on the popular Full-Time site. The joys of Beds hopping continue...have fun wherever you go...


FGIF Match Stats


Scorers: (H) Gay (26), Havil (47, 77), Winconek (85) and (A) Tyler (18), Yearwood (72), Darby (pen 74)

Attendance: 9; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.



edited on 20/03/16