Bishop's Lydeard AFC
Ground Number: 733
Sunday 8th October 2017
Bishops Lydeard 2-3 Cheddar
Western League D1
BISHOPS LYDEARD AFC - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was founded in 1912 and have spent the vast majority of their history in local football. In 2003, they joined the Somerset County League, progressing up its league system and becoming Premier Division champions in 2016. Last season was their first season in the Western League and they finished a very credible 6th in Division 1. This season saw another first as Bishops Lydeard made their bow in the FA Vase although it was not a happy debut with them crashing out with a 9-1 defeat at AFC St Austell. There have been a number of local cup wins including the Taunton & District League Cup on five occasions, the Seward Memorial Cup twice and the Rowbarton Charity Cup.
It was another long journey on the minibus to get to our next game, although we were at least heading back towards Weston Super Mare. We passed some nice sights on the way, including Glastonbury Tor. The roads were pretty slow though and we didn't get there until 1.50. I used the time to look through the Non-League Paper and plan my week's groundhopping, which will depend on other hoppers but will likely include games on Tuesday and Friday nights. Even though I'm an old git myself, at 38, it was nice to note that I was comfortably the youngest on the bus, with the possible exception of Robyn.
We arrived at the ground and went straight in. First stop was the merchandise stall, easily the best club effort on the hop, where I bought a pen for £1.50. Also exceptional was the catering, An excellent Thai Green Curry for a fiver. I sat down and enjoyed it, the hot sunshine and view of the hills behind giving a nice backdrop to proceedings. They had real ales, but no real cider, only Thatchers in cans, so I decided to give it a miss until I got home later. It seemed pretty busy, probably due to the fact that the ground was closed off at the far end.
Cheddar by far the brightest, kicking up the slight slope. They took the lead when Chris Coombs scored with a diagonal shot from just inside the area. The hosts had to weather the storm a bit and Cheddar missed several chances including an open goal with the goalkeeper out of position. Bishops Lydeard equalised on 39 minutes, the ball hitting the bar and bouncing just behind the line with the goal credited to Jake Quick. Just before halftime, the hosts took the lead, this time a corner was scrambled home by Ben Hedbitch. Around 5 minutes before halftime, Bishops Lydeard were given the chance to put some daylight between themselves and Cheddar but the penalty was tipped onto the post by visiting keeper Liam Kingston. It proved to be a real turning point, as the visitors seized back control. They'd already had a header ruled out for offside before the equaliser on 67 minutes. It had a real touch of quality about it as Adam Jones fizzed a volley into the roof of the net. The winner came on 74 minutes when a ball was played forward. The home defence failed to intercept and Ricky Bennett nipped in with a low shot from just inside the area. Bishops Lydeard keeper Sam Carreau was clear man of the match, making several good saves to keep his team in the game, with Cheddar deserving of a bigger margin of victory.
It had been a good end to a great weekend, but now it was home time. It was a fairly quick minibus ride back to Weston Super Mare train station with us getting there just after 5. After saying goodbye to my fellow hoppers, it as a ten-minute walk to my car. I listened to the England game on the way home, also hoping that Scotland could do the business and get through. England laboured to a 1-0 victory, but to expect any more from a distinctly footballing nation is pure fantasy. Sadly, Scotland weren't able to do the business despite a spirited 2-2 draw in Slovenia and went out on goal difference. I got in at 7.45, having a couple of ciders that I'd bought on Friday as well as catching up online, listing a couple of things on eBay and starting to clear the backlog on my blogs. With me being up for work at 4am the following morning, I was in bed at 9.30, watching TV before going to sleep.
As with most grounds that have recently come up to step 6. the main seating comes in the form of a metal stand. It is at least a bit different to the usual ones, being narrow and high with a capacity of 100. It's supplemented by an area of covered standing for around 50. The rest of the ground is open and is restricted to three sides, with the far end being closed off. It's set in wonderful scenery with rolling hills all around. The wooden fence also adds to the nice feeling around the ground. The bar is quite basic and although I didn't check out their usual food offering, they were doing a fantastic curry when I visited. There was also a well-stocked merchandise stall, with a wide range of souvenirs for the level.