Friday 30 June 2023

AEK Boco - The LA Clarke Pavillion

The LA Clarke Pavillion
Greenbank Road
BS15 3RZ

0117 947 7331

Ground Number: 1195
Friday 30th June 2023
AEK Boco 2-1 Thornbury Town


The club was established in 2003 as a result of a merger between local clubs AEK Rangers and Boco Juniors. Boco Boys was formed in 1978 by Bob Boyd, a former director of Bristol City FC, and John Cummins. Named after the 1978 Argentinean Champions Boca Juniors, as it corresponded with the year that Argentina first became World Champions. Initially playing in the Bristol Premier Combination, they joined the Gloucestershire County League in 2014. They were runners-up to Cheltenham Civil Service in their first season before winning the title in 2016. With the facilities not yet up to standard, they would have to wait a few more years for elevation to the Western League. Their time came in 2021. Following two pandemic-interrupted seasons, their record was considered good enough over this period to win promotion to the Western League Division 1. They have finished 8th and 11th in their two seasons so there far.

Yet to play in the FA Cup, AEK Boco made their FA Vase debut last season. However, they were heavily beaten 10-1 by eventual winners Ascot United. The club is based in Hanham, a suburb in the southeast of Bristol. Its population is just over 6,000 or over 10,000 if you include Hanham Abbotts. Famous people from the area include comedian Stephen Merchant. It was also one of the first places to act as a blueprint for carbon-free homes, built on the former site of Hanham Hill Hospital. The Blue Bowl in the town has been claimed to be one of the oldest public houses in the country.


This game was decided a week before when fellow hopper Dan offered me a place in his car for the journey. This suited me fine as I could get picked up from work and be able to relax and enjoy the journey. Originally, we were due to go to Avonmouth but AEK Boco was considered a better option. This had been on my radar for a while, as I'd spotted them whilst members of the Gloucestershire County League. At the time, they had a railed pitch and a smart-looking clubhouse. Since then, a standard pre-fab stand had been added to get the ground up to standard. A dull and predictable option, but one that gets increasingly popular. It was not considered the greatest by other hoppers but the area looked good for a pre-match pint or two.

The club's name had always reminded me of the Four Tops hit 'Loco in Acapulco' and I wondered if they'd adopted it as their club song. For the journey, it appeared as if Martin would be joining us. This meant that Colin would miss out. He had been banned from Dan's car again in the week for the constant abuse that he gave him, calling him a fat bastard in front of Dan's Dad. Colin was confident that he would not need Dan for a lift again so he saw no harm in abusing him. Though surely common decency in treating someone who has helped you out well is due but it fitted with Colin's general lack of respect for people who act as his personal taxi service. I had a lot of research to do for the upcoming month, getting a lot of it out of the way on Thursday night.

The day of the game came and it was one of my easier shifts at work. That said, the place was full of screaming children and it gave me a sneak preview of the horror show that is Sunday. I finished at 3 and went and got my bag from my car before meeting Martin. Daniel and Richard were delayed by 20 minutes due to the call of nature but were with us by 3.35. Talking of nature, typically after a sunny week, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and was now grey, damp and miserable. We were near the ground at 5.35 with us all going in the Wetherspoons in Kingswood called the Kingswood Colliers. I opted for a pint of Blackthorn for £3.19, a rare sighting of something dry. Whilst the others had a meal, I went across the road to the Lyons Den Micropub. This was a superb place and I had a half each of Bristol Beer Factory North Street and Brislington Brain Twister. From there it was to The Jolly Sailor Wetherspoons, Hanham. This had a poor cider selection for the area but service was good for my spicy meat feast pizza and Aspalls.


From there it was to the ground, with me arriving five minutes before kickoff. £2 was the entry fee, great value. Thornbury Town took the lead on four minutes, a close-range finish. The game was end to end, just before half-time Thornbury blasted narrowly wide from outside the area. During the game, I confirmed Barry Town United and one other for my birthday weekend. I wanted something booked and the coach at £22 return and the the hotel at £50 with the the facility to cancel was too good to turn down. Colin was unwilling to commit but I couldn't be waiting a week for him to respond. Boco equalised a few minutes into the second half, a cross from the right and a firm header. Boco took the lead in the second half, an opportunistic shot made it 2-1 around 70 minutes. That was it for the attendance of 89 fans. The game was no classic, but it was a good night out.


THE LA CLARKE PAVILLION comprises of a smart clubhouse with some cover. This offers a great range of drinks including several ciders. There is also a prefab stand, not the best but it does the job. The rest of the ground is open. Ten minutes away is Hanham with a mediocre Spoons and some takeaways. 20 minutes away is Kingswood, a far better Spoons and a wider range of places.

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