Warminster Town FC
Ground Number: 1073
Saturday 7th May 2022
Warminster Town 0-1 Welton Rovers
Saturday 7th May 2022
Warminster Town 0-1 Welton Rovers
Western League D1 Playoff Final
WARMINSTER TOWN FC - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was founded in 1878 although not firmly established until seven years later. After starting out in the Central Wiltshire League which they won in 1909, They then joined the Wiltshire County League. they joined the Western League in 1930. They remained here until 1939, staying in Division 2, their best finish of 7th coming in their debut season. Following the end of the Second World War, the club reverted back to the Wiltshire County League which they won in 1957 and were also Division 2 champions in 1977 and would remain here until they rejoined the Western League in 1983. Another spell in the second tier followed, now called Division 1. This time they got as high as 4th in 1995 but in 2002 finished bottom and reverted to the Wiltshire League. In 2006 they'd make the step up again, this time to the Wessex League Division 1, their best finish coming in 2009 as they finished 5th. In 2012, they were transferred to the Western League and struggled at times, even finishing bottom in 2018. However, this season has been the best in the club's history and a second-place finish gives them a shot at the end of season playoffs, with the chance to be promoted to step 5 of the non-league pyramid.
Warminster Town first entered the FA Cup in 1936 and fell at the first hurdle, the 4th Qualifying Round, as they lost 1-0 to Bath City. Since then, the best they have managed is the 2nd Qualifying Round, reached on a number of occasions. They had a good run in the FA Vase during the 2018/19 season. They beat Alresford Town, East Cowes Victoria, AFC Portchester and Roman Glass St George prior to a defeat to Bitton in the 4th Round. Local cup wins include the Wiltshire Senior Cup in 1901, 1903 & 1911 and the Wiltshire Alliance Shield in 2019. The market town of Warminster is located in the southwest of Wiltshire and has a population of around 17,000. Warminster was the location for a number of UFO sightings during the 1960s and 1970s. The first sighting was recorded by Arthur Shuttlewood on 25 December 1964 and he compiled a dossier of further sightings over the following year before giving it to the Daily Mirror to publish. The Daily Mirror's story gained the town some notoriety for UFO sightings, including a BBC documentary in 1966, and several books published on the sightings.
With it coming towards the end of the season, options were starting to become a bit thin on the ground. Initially, I was planning to go to a revisit to Birmingham City against Blackburn Rovers. Tickets were well priced at £25 for the best seat in the house and I could visit the excellent Post Office Vaults pub pre and post-match. However, two things made me change my mind. Firstly, Wycombe could be playing there next season and secondly, the train price was pretty steep at over as my railcard does not cover that far north. I started to look for alternatives and was pretty uninspired. That was until I saw that the Western League were having their Division 1 playoffs and that Warminster were at home. I might have gone on Tuesday night for their semi-final but I'd already promised Colin that I'd take him to Ampthill. Luckily they won against Radstock and therefore would be at home on Saturday. When I'd been researching grounds during the lockdown, Warminster looked like a nice place to visit and so I decided to try and plan a visit. Had it not been for split ticketing and alternate routes, it would have been a total non-starter on public transport. The standard fare was a scandalous £78.20, this was against around £40 - £45 in car costs if I chose to drive. However, the magic of split ticketing would be a huge help. I ran my journey through a few sites and found that I could complete my journey for £32.20. It was 34 minutes extra on the way out and the same time on the way back if I took an alternate route but of course, the operators hide it from you. How they get away with it is scandalous with a lot of journeys being way overpriced in the UK.
Since my last game, I'd had a joyous day on Thursday. It did not start that way though, thanks to the good old general public. As well as the usual tricks of not respecting your personal space, letting their kids run riot and being generally irritating, it also turned out that some of them can't even use a toilet properly. How they got shit all over the toilet seat is anyone's guess but it's revolting and I feel sorry for our cleaners who have to deal with that sort of thing on a regular basis for very poor pay. Thankfully, the day got better once I had left work and it was my usual routine. A couple of pints in the Rose & Crown which is an oasis of calm amongst the madhouse that is High Wycombe. This was thanks to the absence of kids and Milton Keynes fans mainly which were both verboten. I then had a great pizza from Prime Pizza as well as a can from the local corner shop before carrying on my walk to the ground. Usually, Adams Park has a poor atmosphere but that night, it was absolutely bouncing. Several familiar faces were there including Anders who had come over from Norway to do a groundhop. But best of all was the onfield action. I was slightly concerned about the game, given that. Milton Keynes thumped Plymouth Argyle 5-0 on Saturday. However, I needn't have worried as we played really well and nullified their threat. It was one in the eye for their fans who had abused footballing legend Adebayo Akinfenwa in our league game in February. That was one of my worst days at Adams Park as a fan but this was up there with the best. All against an odious club who had also restricted ticket sales to Wycombe fans despite having plenty of empty seats.
As a result, I was bouncing all day Friday and didn't even let the public get me down. I came home and did my research for this blog, although I was disappointed that my planned game on Tuesday at Loughborough Dynamo had been put back a week. It was a sober and quiet evening after Thursday and I was in bed and asleep by 10.30. As a result, I awoke at 5.30, some 90 minutes before my alarm. I watched YouTube and played on my phone for a bit before getting up at 7. A quick freshen up and some porridge for breakfast and I was on my way. It was the standard walk to the station, a little bit of drizzle, but nothing serious. I listened to the podcast on the way and this got me in the mood. I was at the station 20 minutes before my 8.52 train and for once was able to get tickets on my phone which was far more convenient and tidy. I got the three that I needed and was glad to see the train was nice and quiet. It got a lot busier once I got to Oxford where I had a 27-minute wait, having just missed the half hourly service to Didcot Parkway. It was another 20 minute wait there before my train to Swindon. It was super busy on this train and I was glad that I only had 15 minutes on here. I certainly wouldn't be too pleased if I'd bought the super expensive London to Bristol fare for those conditions. It was less than five minutes wait for my train to Westbury and this was at least, a little quieter. The train was stopped for ten minutes at a red signal but even so, I was there in plenty of time of time for the hourly service to Warminster. I'd spent the journey looking at potential games for the next week, but it was really slim pickings with the end of the season coming up.
I was in Warminster at 12.10, heading to my 225th Wetherspoons, The Bath Arms. No Black Dragon and lots of horrible brats but Chicken Jalfrezi, chips and a bottle of Aspalls for £7.25 was decent value. It was nice too, not up to curry house standards but enjoyable all the same. They had Old Rosie and Thistly Cross on Draught but after drinking up, I headed to another pub, the Fox and Hounds. This was a great place where I tried two new ciders from the Weymouth Cider Company - Portland Bill and Happy Slapper. The first was very sweet, too overpowering for my liking. The second was far more balanced and enjoyable and it was all set to a decent soundtrack by the group of blokes that commandeered the jukebox. From there it was to Morrisons where I got Irn Bru and Pringles and then to the ground, a well-priced £5 entry, a quid for a programme and £5 for Jerk Chicken and rice.
Warminster Town finished 2nd on 89 points, ten behind champions Sherborne Town. Welton Rovers finished 4th, just a point behind the hosts. Both sides progressed to the final with 2-0 wins - the hosts over Radstock Town and the visitors over Wincanton Town. The two sides had met in March with Warminster recording a 1-0 win at Welton but this was revenge for the first game in September where Welton triumphed 2-1 on their hosts' patch. Going into the playoffs, Warminster had recorded five straight wins, their last defeat a 1-0 reverse at Bishop Sutton on April 2nd. Welton Rovers' form was a little more patchy although they had beaten Almondsbury 6-1 on the final day. It was a very cagey opening half, neither keeper really tested. Warminster with the majority of possession but Welton looked more dangerous. The first real chance was on 51 minutes, a Welton Rovers man heading against the bar from the rebound, although the resulting corner was cleared. The visitors finally took the lead on 65 minutes, a clever move on the break and a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net by Joe Garland. That was it, although both sides had half-chances, there was never any serious threat of a goal in what was a tense game.
Welton Rovers deserved the win overall and will be playing in the Western Premier next season. It was a real shame for Warminster who had enjoyed a brilliant season but they missed out due to a lack of conviction and firepower. I was a little sunburnt from the afternoon and with my train not for nearly an hour, it was back to Wetherspoons. They'd put some Black Dragon in the fridge during the afternoon, so I got a pint of that and cooled down. After a stop at Lidl, I got to the station 20 minutes early only to find the train canceled and another hour wait. Most disappointing and I had lost an hour of the 90 minutes I had to play with. I typed my blog whilst waiting, a bit nervous that any more cock ups by the trains would result in me being stranded. In the end, it looked like I was gonna go back to London from Westbury as I couldn't afford any more cancellations, although, at the time of writing this blog, even the 7.02 was delayed. There was then an hour and six-minute wait to get the train to London, which I had to do to ensure that I got home. I was lucky to have an old schoolmate called Barry to provide the best advice as he works on the trains, but it was still a bit of a dog's dinner. I had one of my cans as I typed this blog, sat on the floor in Westbury which really summed this day up.
WEYMOUTH STREET is a decent setup for step 6. There is just one stand, this is attached to the bar and is an overhang attached to the clubhouse. The rest of the ground is open and one side is closed off officially. There is a small bar and also a Jerk Chicken stall. Otherwise, the town is around ten minutes walk away and has a good range of places to eat and drink.