Sunday, 15 March 2020

Allscott Heath - Allscott Heath Sports & Social Club


Allscott Heath FC
Allscott Heath Sports & Social Club
Shawbirch Road
Allscott
Shropshire
TF16 5EQ

Official Website
Twitter







Ground Number: 911
Saturday 14th March 2020
Allscott Heath 0-2 Bromyard Town
West Midlands (Regional) D1









ALLSCOTT HEATH FC - A BRIEF HISTORY

The club was established in 2011 and immediately joined the Shropshire County Football League. Starting in Division 1 (which is at step 10 of the non-league pyramid, or step 14 of the league system overall). They were champions in their debut season but the league folded and Allscott were transferred to the West Mercian Regional Premier which was a step higher than where they were). They'd spend four seasons here, finishing as runners-up to FC Oswestry Town in 2016. This earned them promotion to the West Midlands (Regional) League Division 2 where they finished 3rd behind Telford Juniors and West Bromwich United to win promotion to Division 1 in 2017. They've been there ever since and are set for their best season ever this year following two 9th place finishes in their first two seasons.



MY VISIT

To say the start of my holiday had been a disappointment would be an understatement. Back in September, I’d booked on the Eurostar and was looking forward to spending the weekend away there. But the spread of Coronavirus across Europe was quickening and so, understandably, my main game at PSV Eindhoven was called off on Tuesday. Sensing that others would quickly follow suit, I bailed out of the trip altogether and managed to get my money back on everything but the Eurostar train. The weather had also been up to its usual tricks and so after playing havoc with my midweek in Manchester, it also ruined my plans for Friday at AFC Totton. I was pleased when fellow hopper Anwar said he’d join me for Saturday, following the cancellation of the Football League games, understandable given the large and tightly packed crowds. What was disappointing was to see so many lower leagues follow like sheep when crowds rarely exceed a few hundred and you’d be in more danger with a visit to a shop or pub. Our treble in Wales at Cambrian & Clydach, Pontyclun and Cardiff Met Uni had bitten the dust after Wales called everything off.  Luckily, there were some carrying on and so Friday afternoon was spent trying to keep up with leagues decisions on whether to play or not after the FA had left it up to them to decide. There were just under 40 options available and so after consulting with my fellow hopper, we decided upon a double. The Midland League still had U21 games on and there was a reasonable ground with a railed pitch at Barlestone St Giles for our morning game between NKF Burbage and Milton Keynes College as well as backups should we need them. As part of a double today, I needed a second game. Fellow hopper Anwar was had been keen on going to AFC Telford for a long time, but with me having already visited in recent times, this was never really considered as an option on my part. However, with choice severely restricted on this day, I looked at what else was nearby and was pleased to see that Allscott Heath were at home. I'd spotted them on a fellow hopper Gareth's blog a couple of weeks ago and fancied a visit as it looked pretty decent for the level.




On the day of the game, I woke at my usual work time around 4 am, my body clock still not figuring out I was on my time off. With the decision being left so late, I'd not had time to research club history and form so I used the time to do just this. I ran out of time in the end, getting my things together and leaving just before 8. I was with Anwar by 8.20 and he was there waiting for me, so we got on our way. It was a decent journey up and we were at the Barlestone St Giles FC by 10.10. Sadly the referee decided to call it off around five minutes later, much to the annoyance of the MK College team from whom it was a 100-mile round trip and both teams were happy to play. Luckily, we had a backup in place, so after getting some pictures of the ground we made the ten-mile dash to Quorn, a revisit for me but a new ground for Anwar. Opponents Beaumont Park were already 1-0 up when we arrived ten minutes into the game in what was a decent contest on a 3G surface. Both teams played some decent football and there were plenty of saves made by both keepers. The visitors got a second from a tight angle around twenty minutes from time and probably deserved their win. We left at 12.20 and it was another easy journey across to Shropshire. We'd been hoping to find a takeaway en-route but saw nothing obvious and so after dropping Anwar at 1.40 I looked on my phone and found a chippy. As I was getting near, I spotted a Morrisons and decided to go there instead as I needed a drink as well. I got myself some chicken for lunch as well as a few other bits before carrying on to the ground. I arrived at 2.30 and went straight in, paying £3 for entry and a basic programme. I had a brief chat with Gareth whose blog inspired my visit whilst I was walking around the ground taking photos before settling on a spot near the halfway line for the game.




Hosts Allscott Heath were in 2nd place going into today's game but were in indifferent form with one win (3-2 at FC Darlaston), two draws (1-1 against Wrens Nest & 2-2 at Willenhall Town) and one defeat (2-3 at Sikh Hunters since the start of February. Bromyard had played a game in this period but had won one (5-3 against Wellington Amateurs) drawn two (1-1 at Wrens Nest and 3-3 against Wyrley) and two defeats (0-4 against Westfields and 1-2 against Droitwich Spa). The start of the game was delayed slightly after the referee ordered someone to apply some tape to the goal nets as they were coming away from the post. Allscott started brightly and the Bromyard keeper made a couple of smart saves to keep the scores level. Generally, though, real chances were at a premium in what was a physical game with robust challenges from both sides. I thought I was going to see a dull 0-0 but on 65 minutes the scoring was opened in strange circumstances. I didn't have the best view as I was up the other end but a home defender appeared to slot the ball past his own keeper with the glovesman well out of his goal. Two minutes later the score was doubled, this time a short backpass left the keeper with little time to make a proper clearance with Lewis Page charging the ball down and deflecting the ball into the net. To compound Allscott's misery they had Armando Wood sent off and missed a good chance to pull a goal back near the end.



I left the ground at 4.55 and turned on BBC Radio Shropshire to listen to the footy. Anwar had seen Telford beat Kettering 3-1 and that was the main talk with all the football league games off. I reached him by 5.10 and we made our way home. The radio was dull without football phone-ins so I listened to a few podcasts instead. After stopping for petrol at Tesco, I dropped Anwar off at 7.20 and made my way home. There was a road closure with a couple of miles diversion, so it was 7.50 before I got in. I spent the evening typing some of this blog and catching up on things, although with no Match Of The Day, it was a rare sober Saturday for me with no Match Of The Day which was probably for the best as I'd had a fair few drinks in the previous few days. It's sad to think that this could be my last football match for some time, but I'll just have to wait and see what decisions are made in the coming days with regards to postponing leagues schedules.




THE GROUND

ALLSCOTT SPORTS & SOCIAL CLUB is a decent setup for step 7. The pitch is fully railed and has hard standing on two sides. There's a small area of cover for around 20 standing and a few sitting on a bench. There is a basic clubhouse selling cold beer and cider, hot and soft drinks as well as snacks. There are a couple of pubs nearby and a reasonable amount of parking but no public transport. The nearest train station is Wellington, over three miles away and getting to the ground involves a walk along roads without pavements.


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