Wimborne Town FC
Ground Number: 857
Saturday 27th April 2019
Wimborne Town 0-0 Chesham United
Southern Premier South
WIMBORNE TOWN - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was established in 1878 and initially catered for both football and rugby. The football side stayed in local leagues such as the Dorset League, right up until 1881 when they joined the Western League. Remaining in Division 1 for the entirety of their stay, their best finish came in 1985 when they finished 3rd. In 1987, the club joined the Wessex League, winning it three times and finishing as runners-up on a further three occasions. The latter of those occasions, after finishing behind Poole Town in 2010, they earned promotion to the Southern League Division 1 South & West. Despite struggling for much of their time here, they managed to finish in 3rd place last season and after overcoming Didcot Town, they lost out to Swindon Supermarine on penalties. Despite this defeat, a vacancy at step 3 arose and they have grabbed the opportunity with both hands. They sat in 15th at the time of my visit, only a catastrophic set of results on Saturday would see them go back down.
Wimborne Town's best progress in the FA Cup came in 1982-83 when they beat Bridport, Famlount Town, St Blazey, Bath City & Merthyr Tydfil prior to a 4-0 defeat at Football League side Aldershot in the 1st Round. The FA Vase was won in 1992 - after defeating Mangotsfield United, Chard Town, Horsham, Hastings Town, Newcastle Town, Diss Town and Bamber Bridge prior to an entertaining 5-3 win over Guiseley at Wembley Stadium. The FA Trophy 1st Round was reached in 2014 before a 3-0 home defeat to Oxford City. Local cup wins include the Dorset Senior Cup (three times), Wessex League Cup (five times), Dorset Senior Amateur Cup (twice) and Dorset Minor Cup (1913). Well known former players include England International Luther Blissett, former Bournemouth players David Town and Mark Ovendale, as well as the current manager Matty Holmes who played for West Ham United in the early 90s. The area of Wimborne Minster has a population of 7,000 or 15,500 if you count the wider area. Famous people to come from Wimborne include the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee and footballer Jimmy Glass - the goalkeeper who scored a famous goal to keep Carlisle United in the Football League.
A visit to Wimborne Town had long been on my 'to do' list as it was one of the grounds, along with the new grounds at Spurs and Scarborough Athletic, that I needed to do to complete down to step 3 of the Non-League pyramid. My preferred method of transport was always to get a lift, so I was pleased when it was announced that Chesham United would be going there on the date of a Wycombe away game. I'd learned from Chesham fan and mate Giles that I'd be able to travel on the Chesham team coach for £20 and that beat driving, especially as it worked out cheaper, also, there were a few pubs in town that looked nice. The only drawback was the hour or so wait after the game, but I'd still be back in time for the Saturday night ritual of Match Of The Day, so it was no problem. I had an early night on Friday and woke at 7 am after a 9 hour sleep. After having breakfast and a bath, I left home at 9.15, stopping at the garage near Chesham’s ground for a paper. The coach left promptly at 10, and it was good to catch up with Giles on the journey down to Dorset. The coach journey went fairly quickly and there was amusement when the coach driver got the hump because one of the players was playing music with a siren in it and she kept thinking the emergency services were behind her.
We got to the ground at 12.30 and as I was peckish, I headed to Wetherspoons, The Man In The Wall where two new ciders from local brewery Purbeck were available. I had a pint of Joe’s Farmhouse Dry to start with, although I was disappointed to see that the Vindaloo special for £2.99 had sold out. Instead, I went back to my table and after looking at the menu ordered Jack Daniels Southern Fried Chicken Strips with chips for £6.35. From there I headed to the Butchers Dog Micropub where I had a retry, a Copse House Sandley Dry which was good. I got to the ground around 2.30, paying £10 to get in. I also got some chips for £2. The game was not the greatest, Wimborne having a man sent off for something said to the referee. Chesham nearly won it near the end, former Wycombe youth team player Dave Pearce heading narrowly over. Talking of Wycombe, they had fallen to their customary defeat to AFC Wimbledon, but appear to be safe, save for a heavy defeat for us and a big win for Plymouth next week. I even joined in with the Wimborne fans chants of ‘We Are Staying Up’ as I waited for the team to get ready. The coach left at 5.45 and we were back in Chesham at 8. I stopped at Amersham Tesco on the way home, having had a good day. It was the customary Saturday night of watching Match Of The Day with a couple of bottles before going to bed at midnight.
THE CUTHBURY is a decent non-league ground. Completely covered on two sides, there is space for 275 seated and 150 covered according to Wikipedia. The rest of the ground is uncovered with a capacity of 2,800 or 3,250 depending on what figure you believe. It's a nice old venue, with no metal stands to be seen and is set in amongst nice countryside despite being fairly close to the town. Food and drink facilities are pretty decent and there is a club shop too. The town is close by, around 10 minutes. There are a wide range of pubs, the pick of which for me was a Wetherspoons, The Man In The Wall. There weren't as many takeaways that I could see, at least not on the route I walked.