Friday 13 September 2019

Shefford Town & Campton - Shefford Sports Club

Shefford Town & Campton FC
Shefford Sports Club
Hitchin Road
SG17 5JD

Official Website

Ground Number: 878
Friday 13th September 2019
Shefford Town & Campton 0-6 Riseley Sports
Beds County Premier


The club was established in 1910 as Shefford Town and they would spend the first 40 or so years of their history playing local football. In 1952, they had a three-year spell in the South Midlands League, winning it twice and finishing as runners up once. A few years were spent in the Parthenon League where Shefford Town finished as runners-up in 1956. A four-season spell in the United Counties League followed more success with the team winning the league in 1961. In 1962, the club moved back to the South Midland League, winning the Premier Division in 1982 and 1983. They were relegated to the second tier in 1990 and left the league altogether in 1994, folding a few weeks later. It wouldn't be until 2009 when the club reformed, as a youth team at first, then entering the Bedfordshire County League. The following year, they merged with local side Campton and this bought about immediate dividends with the club winning the Bedfordshire County League Premier Division in 2012, 2018 and 2019. The latter of these coincided with them improving facilities and so for this season they took a place in the Spartan South Midlands League for the first time in 25 years. Their reserve side took the first team's place in the Bedfordshire County League Premier Division, but have yet to win, sitting 12th out of 16 teams.

Little success has been enjoyed in the FA Cup, with a couple of 1st Qualifying Round appearances in the 1950s. Likewise in the FA Vase, the club has lost every single of the five ties that they have played so far. There's been some success in local cups, the Bedfordshire Senior Cup in 1950, 1953 and 1955, the Brittania Cup in 2011 and 2014 and the East Bedfordshire Charity Cup in 2015. The town of Shefford has a population of just 5,800 but has it's own brewery, Banks & Taylor as well as a decent amount of other facilities.


With me having one of my 'drinking nights' with the England game on Tuesday, the plan was always to have a sober Friday and thankfully, a football match was available to fill the void of a few cans. Originally, it was due to be a revisit to Harefield United for the local derby between Broadfields United and Hanworth Villa. But looking at my blog, I'd already written a fair bit about my last visit there. Therefore, I was glad to see another option come up, slightly further away at Shefford Town & Campton but with the bonus that fellow hopper Anwar would be joining me. The day of the game was the usual hard slog at work, with my usual seven-hour shift. I spent the afternoon at home, finding out, that thanks to a poll on Twitter, I'd be off to AFC Mansfield v Rainworth Miners Welfare tomorrow. I was a bit late leaving, but thankfully traffic was good and I met Anwar and his son Hitcham as planned at 6.10. It took us an hour to get to Shefford as we had to use lots of small roads due to the remote location. I relaxed in the bar whilst waiting for kickoff and all in all it seemed a tidy setup. It gave me time to catch up on Twitter and get some pictures before the game started. I realised I'd left my drink at home, so got myself a pint of Magners Dark Fruits for £3.80 form the bar, slightly breaking my plans of not drinking.

The hosts were sitting in 12th, yet to win a game, having drawn 2-2 with Queens Park Crescents and losing 4-1 to Stevington and 1-0 to Flitwick. Riseley were doing a lot better, sitting in 5th. They'd won both their away games - 6-4 at AFC Kempston and 3-0 at Bedford Albion but losing 7-2 at home to AFC Oakley. The floodlights came on pretty late, just a few minutes before kickoffs, but the hosts never really switched on. The Riseley Sports #9 missed an open goal following an excellent attack down the left but it wouldn't be long before his side got on the scoresheet. The opening goal came after 25 minutes, a neat finish from just inside the area that took a slight deflection on the way in. Ten minutes later, the lead was doubled, this time a penalty awarded for handball was neatly tucked away by #10. On 37 minutes, the game was all but over, a well-worked move leading to a close-range finish. The visitors went on to have another goal disallowed before the break for a foul and just before half time, the one chance that Shefford created was blasted over the bar. Riseley Sports has another disallowed goal after the break, a player rounding the keeper but his effort was ruled out for offside. Just before the hour break, it was the goal of the game, the ball was played to #18 out on the left and he curled a great shot into the top corner. Ten minutes from time, it was 5-0, this time a half volley from inside the area which clipped the post on the way in. Shefford had their best chance just before the end, but the visiting keeper was on hand to make a good save. The visitors made it 6-0 with the last kick of the game, a lob over the keeper which compounded the home side's miserable night. We made a quick getaway and although the route was even more random than the one on the way there, thanks to road closures, we were back in Aylesbury by 10.40. We were all peckish, so stopped at the Jade Garden Chinese where I had salt and chilli chips. After dropping the lads off, I was back home by 11.20, watching Corrie before going to bed.


Shefford Sports club is a basic but smart and tidy venue for the level. The ground is fully open aside from a small area of standing cover, holding around 50. It looks as if a similar-sized seated unit will be added in the future, as the foundations are there. The bar is smart and of a fair size and drinks choices include Magners, Magners Dark Fruit, Coors, Fosters and Estrella on draught as well as bottles. There didn't appear to be any food tonight, but there is a tea bar that may open for first-team games. The centre was a fairly short way and although I didn't go, the Woolpack looks a good bet for a pre-match drink. 

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