Odd Down (Bath) FC
Lew Hill Memorial Ground
Combe Hay Lane
Ground Number: 730
Saturday 7th October 2017
Odd Down 2-2 Bitton
ODD DOWN FC - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was formed in 1901 and spent their formative years playing in local leagues such as the Bath & District, Mid Somerset and Somerset Premier. They joined the Western League in 1977 and have remained members ever since. Starting in Division 1, they had to wait until 1993 for promotion, when they finished top. A 15 season spell followed in the Premier Division, the highlight being two 9th placed finishes in 2003 and 2004. Odd Down would endure a disappointing couple of seasons between 2007-2009, finishing bottom of the Western Premier and then second-bottom of Division 1 in consecutive seasons. They soon recovered, however, and in 2010 they finished as runners-up to Wells City, regaining their Premier Division status. They've been there ever since and enjoyed their best ever season in 2016 when they were Western League Champions, though chose not to take the promotion to the Southern League.
In the FA Cup, Odd Down's best ever progress came during the 1993-94 season when they reached the 2nd Qualifying Round. That season they beat Ilfracombe Town (after 2 replays) and Forest Green Rovers (after a replay) only to lose 2-0 at home to Moreton Town. In the FA Vase, the club had a great run in 1981-82, beating Avon Bradford, Backwell United, Chipping Norton Town and Paulton Rovers before a 3-1 defeat at Forest Green Rovers in the 4th Round. Locally Odd Down have won the Somerset Premier Cup in 1991-92 as well as being Somerset Premier Cup finalists twice.
After the borefest at Radstock, it was a 15-minute journey to Odd Down. It seemed really busy when we got there although most were in the bar rather than the ground. I went in myself, but with nothing special on the cider front, I gave it a miss. Instead, I had a sausage roll and some fruit cake. I went into the ground to get some pictures, whilst keeping an eye on the Wycombe game. News from Cambridge was mixed - Nathan Tyson had been stretched off with a bad injury, but we were leading 2-0. I was happy to see them win 3-1 in the end.
Back at my own game, it started as the previous one had ended. Chances were rare, at least clear cut ones. Odd Down took the lead on the half-hour with Kane Simon bundling home from close range after his initial shot was saved. The game was getting pretty physical, with some heavy tackles going in by either side with Odd Down having their number 6 sent off for a high tackle. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts continued to press and could have extended their lead before half time. Bitton started the second half well but they had their number 2 booked for diving in the penalty area and as it was his second offence, he was sent off, making it ten a side. Both sides continued to have chances and it was Bitton who took theirs, equalising with a low shot from just inside the area by Tom Knighton on 68 minutes. The visitors took the lead on 76 minutes. Just as it appeared that the ball wouldn't go in following a pinball session in the area, the ball broke to a McLellan who blasted it home from the edge of the area. Late on the hosts were awarded a late penalty for a foul in the area. Ben White stepped up and converted the spot-kick. It was probably a fair result and although it had taken a while to get going, it was a good game, especially in the second half.
THE LEW HILL RECREATION GROUND is a classic non-league ground. There's a stand along the side that holds around 200 under cover. There's also some covered standing behind the goal with around a 300 capacity. The rest of the ground is open. Food and drink is served in the bar outside the ground, and this offers the usual range.