Webbs Wood Stadium
Ground Number: 223
Wednesday 17th October 2012
Swindon Supermarine 0-1 Shortwood United
Red Insure Cup 1st Round
I had previously been to see Swindon Supermarine play at Witney Town in pre season, and had a really great night, thanks mainly to their fans. In particular one lady who had baked some nice bread pudding and rice crispy cakes and was handing them out to all the Supermarine supporters that I was standing with. And they were delicious. They say the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach, which might be foolhardy advice for a surgeon, but was true in my case as I made a mental note to visit Swindon Supermarine this season. The opportunity arose to do so in a midweek, so me and my mate Anwar decided to go. It would mean a short detour through Aylesbury, but it would be worth it as I would get help with petrol. On the day I had Dentist at 4pm, but sadly they were running late. I didn't get to go in till 4.25PM and they faffed around for ages meaning it was 5 o'clock by the time I'd finished, and that was the time I'd arranged to meet my mate in Aylesbury. A quick text informed him of the revised plan. It could have spelt trouble had the traffic been bad, but thankfully it was fairly clear apart from a few slow cars on single carriageways (how dare they obey the speed limit!) and I was picking Anwar up at 5.40. We drove to Swindon via Oxford and the A420 and arrived at Supermarine bang on 7 o'clock as I had hoped for.
We parked up and as I was taking pictures a man approached us and asked us if we were groundhoppers. When I said yes, he said he might be able to get us a discount. In the end, we both ended up paying a fiver, nice in comparison bearing in mind it was a couple of quid more at Aylesbury United a few weeks previous. It turned out that my mate Sean had told them we were coming. So we got a really friendly welcome and I saw some of the people that I had seen previously at the Witney Town v Swindon Supermarine game in August. The infamous cake lady was there, but sadly she wasn't distributing her wares. So I had to make do with going to the tea bar. Not that it was bad, in fact the chips were very nice, especially at £1 a portion or £1.50 with Curry Sauce. After trying both varieties through the night, I was impressed. A far cry from their local team, nicknamed Swindle Town by many, as they were charging £21 entry as far back as 2002 for League 1/2 footy - 10 years later and most clubs still haven't caught up with that. Supermarine offered good common sense value and everyone was so friendly too. After chatting to Sean briefly as he was doing the tannoy for the evening, and taking some pictures of the ground, we settled down in the stand ready for the game.
Shortwood started the better side for around the first 15-20 minutes, forcing some good saves out of home keeper Kent Kauppinen. But from then on Swindon Supermarine dominated pretty much throughout. The Shortwood keeper Tom King was in inspired form against his old club, pulling off several good saves to stop the home side at bay. With all this going on, you had the feeling that there was a twist in the tale and so it proved to be the case. On a rare attack Shortwood's number 8 Jamie Martin finished past the keeper to give the visitors the lead on 72 minutes. This was shortly after Supermarine's keeper Kauppinen had been down injured for 10 minutes and was obviously feeling the effects of the knock as he went off to be replaced by Jon Beeden straight after the goal. From then on the game petered out and sadly the home side never looked a serious threat from then on in. I was disappointed that they were unable to make it through to the next round of the Cup as I fancied seeing them at another ground, but for the time being that will not be happening. After saying our goodbyes, we were on our way and driving back home through the now torrential rain. After dropping Anwar off at 11 I was back home by 11.30, getting to bed around an hour later after watching some TV. Not the best preparation when you are up at 5am really!
The WEBB'S WOOD STADIUM or COPSE HUNT as it is traditionally known is a smart non league ground in pleasant surroundings. Instead of a mind boggling roundabout and a pub named after their rivals as you would get at the local league 1 team, the ground is surrounded by pleasant woodland. All the seating is on the side where you come in. There are 2 stands, firstly the older main stand that was OK for Hellenic League level. But following Supermarine's rise up the pyramid, they needed more seats, so a second, more modern, metal stand was added. Behind the goal to the left is an area of cover which I was told was actually built by the fans themselves. It's certainly of a decent size and looks to hold a fair few people. There is a small area of cover opposite but apart from that it is open standing.
There is the bar which is nice inside but does a fairly standard range of drinks. As mentioned the tea bar is good value and tasty. There is also a club shop selling a fairly decent range of souvenirs and old programmes, especially for this level. The ground seems miles from anywhere, but with nice clubs like this, I don't mind eating and drinking at the ground. I'd certainly recommend visiting Supermarine, you will be assured of a good welcome and they have everything you need to ensure a nice day out.