Moreton Rangers FC
Ground Number: 856
Sunday 21st April 2019
Moreton Rangers 0-1 Adderbury Park
Hellenic League 2 West
MORETON RANGERS - A BRIEF HISTORY
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.