Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Calne Town 3 v 2 Corsham Town

Saturday 8th October 2016
Western League Division One
Bremhill View, Calne
Admission: £5.00
Programme: £1.00
Attendance: 257
Match Rating: 4

This was the one game that I was not certain of taking in on the hop today, as I was prepared to make my way home following my game at Westbury if tiredness had set in too much after three games, the very early start and the three hour drive home. However, as I still felt quite energetic, I joined the masses making the 20 mile trip north eastwards for the 7.45 kick off for what was a local derby.

Bremhill View is located in the north part of the town of Calne, and spectators enter via an entrance in one corner of the ground. All of the spectator facilities are along the far length from the corner, with a fairly long seated stand straddling the half way line, a fairly tall and interesting looking white building housing the changing rooms, inside tea bar as well as a separate refreshments window to the front. A green portakabin houses a hospitality area. Installations presumably just for this evening were a barbecue, a gazebo in one corner offering club merchandise and a further gazebo offering programmes and raffle tickets. Tall conifer trees tightly line one end of the ground, and this is a neat, slightly quirky ground. Similar to all other programmes purchased today, Calne's 24 page issue had all of the essential stats as well as some interesting reading material to offer a good preview of the match.

This game was between teams struggling towards the wrong end of the table, with Calne Town in 18th place in the 22 team division, with five wins and eight defeats from their 13 league games, whilst Corsham Town were one place and one point below them, with four wins and two draws from their 13 league games.

With night falling and bringing with it chilly temperatures, this was an entertaining, competitive game between two local rivals. The visitors took the lead on 12 minutes. A ball down the right drew the keeper towards the edge of the area, and the Horsham forward fired towards goal but the ball was drifting wide of the far post, before Ben Pring tapped the ball in despite the close attention of a defender. On 21 minutes, Calne were awarded a penalty for a trip in the box, and Mark Dolman struck the ball firmly to the left side of the net, sending the keeper the wrong way. Within a minute, they almost took the lead, when a close range flicked shot drew a reflex save from the keeper. They did take the lead on 29 minutes though, following a long throw in after which the ball bobbled around in the box before Neurin Jones stabbed the ball home. Despite plenty of bright play from both sides, no further goals were scored before the break.

The game continued at a similar tempo after the break, but on the hour mark Calne opened up a two goal advantage. After the ball was tipped over following a powerful drive from outside the area, from the resulting corner Ollie Webb guided the ball home at the near post. While the game remained entertaining, that goal did seem to seal the win as Corsham did not look likely to score . They did, but not until virtually the last kick of the match with what was the goal of the match. Despite a foul in midfield, Pring kept running with the ball before lobbing the keeper with an excellent finish.

This was a most enjoyable match to round off an extremely enjoyable day of groundhopping as I headed for the M4 and the long drive home. My impressions following my first taste of Western League Football were entirely positive – friendly, welcoming clubs who were well organised to cater for the much larger than usual crowds, plus the football was, for the most part, entertaining to watch. Hopefully I will have a similarly enjoyable experience when I attend the Eastern Counties League hop later in the month.

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