Sunday 28 April 2019

Wimborne Town - The Cuthbury

Wimborne Town FC
The Cuthbury
Cowgrove Road
BH21 4EL

01202 884821
Official Website

Ground Number: 857
Saturday 27th April 2019
Wimborne Town 0-0 Chesham United
Southern Premier South


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. 

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Moreton Rangers - London Road

Moreton Rangers FC
London Road
GL56 0DH

07880 886232

Ground Number: 856
Sunday 21st April 2019
Moreton Rangers 0-1 Adderbury Park
Hellenic League 2 West


The current club was established in 1997, three years after the original Moreton Town went bust part way through the 1994/95 season. They started out as an under 8's youth team but progressed on to have a number of young sides. The year of 2004 saw an adult side established for the first time with them starting out in the Cheltenham League Division 2. By the 2009/10 season, they were 20 points clear at the top of the Cheltenham League Division 1, but disaster struck when the club were victims of an arson attack on their clubhouse. They quickly fundraised £72,000, giving them the facilities to enter the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League. A 4th place finish in Division 2 in their debut season was a good start. They finished as runners-up to FC Barometics in 2014, earning promotion to Division 1 where they followed 9th the following season. The club then joined the Hellenic League Division 2 West for the 2016/16 season. A 3rd place finish was a great start, a feat they matched last season, only losing once all season. This year has seen them confirmed as champions, the club has applied to the FA for promotion to step 6.


Moreton Rangers was a ground that I'd seen pictures of the past and one that I was always going to visit, regardless of whether it was on a hop or not. I was, therefore, glad when it came up on the Hellenic Easter Groundhop, even more so when It was off work for the game. From my previous game at Bourton, it was a cross country drive to Moreton, with me arriving at 1.30. After getting some pictures of outside, I paid to go in, the £2 was half the price of the previous game. I also bought a Hot Dog for £2.50 which was pretty decent. It was good to meet Scott Struthers, a groundhopper from Scotland who had been on our WhatsApp groundhopping group for some time. It was also cause for celebration for another hopper and Manchester City fan Tony who would be doing his 1000th ground for this game. Given that he's out and about most days, I thought he would be on more than that, but it's an impressive landmark nonetheless.

Moreton Rangers were presented with the Championship trophy before the game and were given a guard of honour onto the pitch by 6th placed Adderbury Park, a team my research told me was based near Banbury. The visitors enjoyed a bright start and just after the half hour had a shot tipped onto the bar by Moreton keeper Ollie Currill. The game entered a bit of a lull in the second half, but the hosts were still offering very little going forward on the pitch. The winner was scored for Adderbury Park on 64 minutes, Josh Northam finishing into the bottom left-hand corner from just inside the area. The rest of the game fizzled out with Moreton Rangers rarely looking like getting back into the game. It hadn't been the best of games for the 384 in attendance as we all left just before 4. There were plenty more slow drivers on the way home, but the Five Live phone-in kept me company on the way home, the main topic being Everton's 4-0 spanking of Manchester United. I got home at 5.30, having a nice dinner before spending the evening having a few drinks and trying to catch up with some of my blogs over this busy weekend.


LONDON ROAD is a good venue for Hellenic Division 2 level. There's just the one covered area, this is mainly standing but you can get a seat from the adjacent bar if you wish. Plans are afoot to add some permanent seats in the near future, but the best of the ground is open. It's all very well kept with food being provided by a BBQ, a reasonable range of drinks in the bar and badges, scarves and old shirts available in the way of merchandise. The town with pubs and takeaways is a short walk away.