North Leigh FC
Ground Number: 263
Thursday 4th April 2013
North Leigh 4-2 Didcot Town
Southern League Division 1 - South & West
I had been to a game on the Monday of this week and was actually planning to go to a name every night of the week if I could, But with being tired, and an upcoming walk from Wycombe to Oxford this Friday night to raise funds for the club, I thought better of it. But there was still time to squeeze in a game on Thursday evening, the relatively short trip to Witney, to see Southern League side, North Leigh. The game would be against local rivals Didcot Town. I had already had 2 failed attempts on a Friday evening and a Tuesday evening, both ruined by waterlogged pitches. With the weather still being freezing well into April, I would be keeping a close eye on Twitter to avoid another wasted journey. Both sides had little to play for, ensconced in mid table mediocrity, facing no danger of relegation, but no chance of the playoffs either. Local pride would be at stake though, and I'd imagine that North Leigh, a couple of places higher than their rivals would be happiest with their season so far.
I wanted to get this game done as quickly as possible, so left it as late as possible to leave, having my dinner pretty early and leaving at 6. By 6.30 I was in Aylesbury to meet Anwar, and we were soon on our way. It was a nice easy journey, better in fact than going from via Wycombe and we were there at 7.25. After paying to get in and getting a programme, we went in the bar for a bit to keep warm. I then went to the tea bar and got what turned out to be excellent chips for £1.50. A generous portion and cooked to perfection. We found a place along the side to watch the game from. It was rather one-sided, North Leigh playing some great football and taking a 2-0 lead through former Oxford United and Oxford City striker Connor McDonagh. They were then awarded a penalty which was saved by the keeper but followed up by former Wycombe youth teamer, Stuart Hole. McDonagh then completed his hat trick to make it 4-0. Didcot then rallied, getting a goal back when Alex Stanley headed in. And arrears were further reduced when Elliot Osbourne-Ricketts netted from the spot, to give the scoreline a more respectable look. It had been another good night out, to a nice club. It was mainly Didcot fans there, and I had a good chat to a few. On the way home I missed my turning off the A40 and had to go nearly 10 miles out my way via Watlington, but even that couldn't mess up an enjoyable evening.
EYNSHAM PARK is a ground set in the pleasant surroundings of woodland. Not that I would have noticed it at tonight's game, but I had already been on the way to a Hereford v Wycombe game one year. It's pretty basic, though more than enough for this level of football and essentially is a very nice place to watch football, though a mild warm Autumn afternoon would be far more suitable than the freezing evening I went to see the game on. Whilst the ground is mainly open standing, there are 2 areas of cover. Behind the goal there is some cover, holding around 300, whilst the main stand holds around 150 - more than enough for everyone to keep dry, going by their average attendances.
The clubhouse is small but nicely furnished, with plasma TV and a decent range of drinks. The tea bar is also excellent, the chips and Bovril I had were perfect and as good as I had anywhere. There was no shop that I could see, but that's not too much of a shock given the small crowds that they get. It's a shame as they deserve more and it's a decent place to watch football at.