Friday, 22 July 2011

Bedfont Town - The Orchard

Bedfont Town FC
The Orchard
Hatton Road
TW14 9QT

0208 890 7264

Matchday Number: 166
Thursday 21st July 2010
Bedfont Town 1-1 AFC Wimbledon (AFC Wimbledon won on Penalties)
John Morris Memorial Trophy

I first visited the original Bedfont club on the way back from giving my parents a lift to Heathrow on a non matchday. As I was taking a photograph of the outside of the ground a bloke pulled into the car park and asked "What the f**k are you doing"

This was pretty much the limit of his vocabulary for the whole conversation, with me explaining that all I wanted was a few photos for my own personal collection, not to be used on any site or for commercial purposes.

Peppered with bad language he told me he was going to take down my number plate and report me to the police. "Fine" was all I could muster, such was my utter bemusement at how a human being could act like that with 2 young kids in the back of the car. That was in July 2004.

So when the original Bedfont club went bust in 2010, I didn't shed too many tears after this experience. Luckily, there was a tennant to move into The Orchard, namely Bedfont Town FC. The ground is also home to Feltham FC after their eviction from their own ground. Their roots were in Sunday football and it is only in recent times that they have really pushed on. After making a rapid climb through the Combined Counties Leagues, they were promoted to the Southern League, South and West Division in time for the 2009-10 season.

Following a league reshuffle, they are currently in the Southern League, Central Division where they finished 10th. They are managed by former AFC Wimbledon legend Kevin Cooper who once scored nearly 70 goals in a season for the Dons. The game was in memory of John Morris who served both clubs well in the past and died in 2009. A game is now played for annually in his memory. After a 1-1 draw the game came down to the lottery of a penalty shoot out in which the Dons prevailed. Overall it was a decent evenings entertainment, though I felt the price of £8 admission was a tiny bit too much for a friendly at this level. You can see a video of the penalty shoot out above.

THE ORCHARD is a fairly basic ground but is well maintained and tidy. There are 2 small seated stands along each side, the newest of which, The John Morris Stand, opened on the night I went to see this game. There are also covered areas behind each goal, but the majority of the ground is open as you would expect at this level. They also have a decent sized bar at the ground, which must raise valuable revenue.

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