Ground Number: 1004
Tuesday 5th October 2021
Littleton 1-0 Newent Town
Tuesday 5th October 2021
Littleton 1-0 Newent Town
LITTLETON FC - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was established in 1890 but little is known about their early history, at least as far as the internet is concerned. They played in local leagues up until 1979 when they joined the Midland Combination Division 3. The club would spend three seasons here, finishing a credible 5th in 1981 and 1982. Following this, they would join the Worcester & District League, where they were Division 1 champions in 1994. They were later Premier Division champions in 2000 and 2001. After the latter of these titles, they rejoined the Midland Combination, winning Division 3 at the first attempt. The following year, Littleton were promoted again, this time as runners-up to Barnt Green Spartak in Division 2. A 3rd place finish was a good start to life in Division 1 in 2004 but they would remain here until 2011 when they earned promotion to the Premier Division as runners-up to Blackwood. This was at step 6 of non-league but Littleton managed another-runners-up spot, this time behind Walsall Wood. This remains their best finish to date and the club has been at step 6 ever since with them calling the Midland League D1, the West Midlands (Regional) Premier and the Hellenic D1 home since.
Littleton have yet to play in the FA Cup and their best progress in the FA Vase has been unremarkable with five 2nd Qualifying Round seasons. In terms of local honours, the club won the Worcester & District League Baylis Cup in 2001. The tiny civil parish of North & Middle Littleton (comprising two smaller villages) has a population of just 900 and is located in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire.
I was glad to have Anwar back with me for this Tuesday, although the choice of games was not great and combined with the wet weather, it led to us having slim pickings. The favourite for us was the nearest - Littleton v Newent Town although I was also willing to do Blidworth Welfare, Cribbs, Gillingham Town, Thornbury Town - and at a push, Wimborne Town within Anwar's suggested budget. Since my last blog - an update to my Arsenal entry on Friday, there was been one game - and what a game it was. Saturday saw me donning the waterproofs to keep up my lucky ritual. It may seem daft, but we have remained unbeaten whilst doing this - playing 20, winning 17 and drawing 3. It involves walking down town (75 minutes) - a couple of pints at the Rose & Crown, meeting up with Anwar before walking to the ground. On our walk (45 minutes) we stop at a takeaway called Piri Piri Grillbox and then a corner shop where I'll get a cider drink and an energy drink. OK, so not always the last one, but certainly every game this season. The one time we lost (1-0 to Fleetwood) I definitely didn't, so I'm not taking any chances. The three times when I've not been able to visit the pub or takeaway due to varying reasons, we lost all three. On Saturday, it looked as if my charmed pre-match ritual was dead in the water with us 2-0 down to Morecambe at halftime and playing terribly. However, we roared back in the second half to win 4-3 in what was an epic game. If you could bottle the feeling that it gave me, then I reckon you could sell it for big money and best of all, it was time spent with great people who mean the world to me.
Of course, the other day of the weekend was a complete contrast, with my least favourite day of the week being as unpleasant as ever. Monday was not much better with both days being crowded and busy. So I was glad when Tuesday came and I was able to enjoy a day off. I started planning my weekend in Newcastle, with the main aim being a revisit to St James Park for Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. It was not a cheap ticket at £41 but there is precious little else on a Sunday and I hope to get a five-game weekend in with one game on Friday night, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. A coach was booked for the super-cheap price of £27 return but the hotel was a bit trickier. With Newcastle being a popular destination and the fairly short notice, I had to settle for a B&B in South Shields at £35 per night. The location was far from ideal but the place looked nice and the centrally placed ones were either hostels or very expensive. I did my usual day off thing of walking down town and going to Lidl, getting a few things that I needed in the process. I was back at 2 and had my fish finger baguette for lunch but there was still no news on the game. I researched the club history in the afternoon and also tweeted the club who happily confirmed 'game on'. I left at 4.15, meeting Anwar half an hour later. We were soon on our way and headed to the small town of Bidford Upon Avon for dinner. There was a choice of Pizza, Indian or Chinese and I went for the latter. The Avonside Chinese Takeaway was decent but not exceptional. I had shrimp curry and chips for £6.90 and portions and service were good. It was a nice pretty place and from there, we headed to the ground. We were there at 7.05, paying a well priced £5 for entry. It was nice to have time to relax be the game and carry on typing this blog. The game kicked off at 7.49 with Littleton in all red with pinstripes and Newent in yellow and black.
Littleton were 9th in the table and in their last game, they'd been thumped 6-1 at Cheltenham Saracens. They also lost 3-2 to Clanfield 85 & 1-0 at Stonehouse Town with their last win coming on 28th August with a 3-1 win at Shortwood United. Newent Town were 15th in the table and had lost their last game 3-2 at home to Bourton Rovers. Prior to that, they had lost 2-0 to Cheltenham Saracens but had beaten Moreton Rangers 3-1 on 4th September. The first half was pretty open and equal but the finishing was not the greatest. The only time either keeper was seriously tested was when Littleton had a chance a few minutes from the break and the visiting keeper did well to smother the shot. The start of the second half was livelier with Littleton heading a corner narrowly wide, Newent hitting the post and the hosts having a goal ruled out for offside within the opening five minutes. The momentum was not helped though by regular stoppages for fouls and the referee in no rush to get on with things. Littleton's Jade Ferron was the best player on the pitch but Newent's Josh Cloakley had a brilliant 25-yard shot tipped wide with just under 20 minutes to go. Just as it looked as if I'd be seeing my first 0-0 of the season, Ricardo Richards stepped up with a winner for Littleton, netting with a shot on the turn from close range.
The game finished at 9.42 and it was a few minutes before we left. It had been a better game than the scoreline suggested but slightly hard on Newent. It was a shame that there were only 38 fans there to see the game. As ever on a Tuesday night, we listened to Andy Crane on Greatest Hits Radio and the 'Guess The Year' competition. I was correct again with 1981, not that Anwar would know much about it as he slept for most of the journey. I dropped him off at 11.20 and got home myself an hour later. Looking at other results, there was a shock in the FA Cup as Marske United won 4-0 at Chester, despite being two leagues below their opponents and playing the last 20 minutes with ten men. I eventually got to sleep an hour or so later and was a bit tired the next morning. With me off work from Thursday afternoon, my next game will be on Friday, most likely Cribbs v Hallen unless something nearer crops up.
FIVE ACRES is a ground in a nice rural setting. Everywhere is really nicely kept. The ground is in the middle of nowhere so the only food and drink facilities are what's at the ground which is fairly basic. There is the obligatory 50-seater Arena stand, as well as a similarly sized standing unit. There's also a charming smaller stand, capacity 20 which is all they need really. The rest of the ground is open hard standing.