Tuesday 26 September 2023

Sporting Club Inkberrow - Sands Road

Sporting Club Inkberrow FC
Sands Road

Ground Number: 1231
Tuesday 26th September 2023
Sporting Club Inkberrow 6-1 Moreton Rangers
Hellenic D1


Sporting Club Inkberrow was established in 2016, the club entered the Stratford Alliance League under the name of Inkberrow Colts. They were originally part of Inkberrow FC which competed in the Midland League Division 3 at the time. The coaching team of Neil Guy, Carl Stenton and Tom Harris remain in charge to this day. A 3rd place finish in Division 2 was a solid start and then they lifted the title the following year in 2018. Another title saw them win Division 1 in 2019 and they were accepted into the Midland League Division 3. The pandemic halted things with the team placed well but they were not promoted. They switched to the Hellenic Division 2 West for the 2020/21 season but again the season was not completed. Season 2021/22 saw them win the title, but they were not picked for promotion. They won the title last season and this time they were accepted into the Hellenic Division 1 for this season.

At some point, as the club progressed higher than the original Inkberrow, they assumed their history, hence the 1978 date on the club badge. They played local football up until 2002 when they joined the Midland Combination Division 3 for a few seasons. A return to the Stratford Alliance followed before they came back to the Midland Combination in 2009. A 4th place finish in 2011 was good enough for promotion to Division 2. They finished bottom of the league in 2014 after which the league was disbanded. Inkberrow were placed in the Midland League Division 3. Their performance over the two pandemic seasons was good enough for promotion to Midland D2 where they still compete to this day. Local cup wins include the Alun Rees Trophy in 2018, the Evesham Hospital Cup and RM Smith trophies in 2019 and the Worcestershire Minor Cup in 2021. Inkberrow is a village in Worcestershire, often thought to be the model for Ambridge, the setting of BBC Radio 4's long-running series The Archers. In particular, The Bull, the fictional Ambridge pub, is supposed to be based on The Old Bull in Inkberrow. The population is around 1,800.


This game was decided upon on Sunday whilst looking at the option on a coach journey from Tallinn to Riga. I presented fellow hoppers Anwar & Colin with four options. They chose Sporting Club Inkberrow above Hanley Town, Uttoxeter Town and Wolverhampton Casuals. That suited me as I could spend more time at home after a hectic weekend. I was still in Riga on Monday, having a disappointing lukewarm breakfast from their buffet, at least it was included in the price of the room. The juice was especially important as I was parched. I spent until just before 12 in my room as I had a lot of time to kill. I then went to a pub called  Two More Beers having a local cider and a Belgian Kriek beer. After that, it was onto another pub, Paddy Whelans for another Kriek beer and a lunch of Buffalo chicken wings. That was it drink-wise as I had to drive later. The wings could have been hotter, they weren't as good as the ones in Wetherspoons. From there, it was a convenience store for drinks and snacks.

Then a bus to the airport which was absolutely packed and I had my ticket checked for the first time. £1.30 was remarkable value for 90 minutes of travel. Compared to the £42 someone had paid in Stockholm for a return journey. I was at the airport in good time and at my gate nearly two hours in advance. I noticed that the 11.30 Wizz Air plane to Luton was delayed until 5.20. When I went with them, they were great, but I've heard lots of horror stories about them. We got off on time but the flight really dragged. 2 hours 45 minutes later, we were at Stansted though we'd gone back two hours due to the different time zones. It was fairly quick getting out of Stansted and after a decent drive home, I was back by 8.30. I had six blogs to complete and so I stayed up past midnight to do them. I was glad to get home even though it meant a return to work. It was a boozy couple of weekends so I'll not be having another drink until I get to the pub before the Wycombe game on Saturday.
The day of the game came and it was the final day of my twelve days off. I did my usual walk down Wycombe, getting some chicken for lunch. There wasn't much near the ground in terms of takeaways so I decided upon going straight there. I spent the afternoon at home, adding the Wiltshire and Kent Leagues to my blog. At long last, Futbology had added step 7 leagues to their app and it opened up a whole new world. Before I left at 4.30, I had my chicken which was really nice. I was with Colin pretty quickly but it took 45 minutes as opposed to 25 to get to Anwar thanks to multiple sets of roadworks. We had a pretty good journey to Inkberrow with us getting there at 7.10. It was £5 to get in, great value.
Out of the 19 teams in the Hellenic League D1, Sporting Club Inkberrow were 6th whilst Moreton Rangers were 18th. Both had played 9 games, the hosts winning 5, drawing 2 and losing 2. The visitors had won once, drawn once and lost seven times. Inkberrow were unbeaten in five games. They'd triumphed 4-0 at Southam United on Saturday and had also won 3-1 at Calne and 4-0 against Cheltenham Saracens. They'd also drawn 3-3 against Tytherington Rocks and 0-0 against Clanfield 85. Moreton Rangers had gained a morale-boosting draw on Saturday, 1-1 against Kidlington Reserves. They'd lost 6-0 to Shortwood United recently, their only victory coming on the opening day of the season as they beat tonight's hosts 1`-0. Inkberrow started brightly and they took the lead on five minutes. It was a shot by Green from the edge of the area that found the bottom right corner. Moreton didn't offer much and it took a couple of good saves to keep them in it. Inkberrow also smashed the post as they piled on the pressure. Moreton Rangers equalised with their first chance, 28 minutes in, they rifled into the net from just inside the area. The visitors could only hold on for so long and after pinball in the area, Green scored his and his side's second on 38 minutes. A run down the left and a square ball found Coughlin to slot home from six yards on 59 minutes, Green the provider this time. Green completed his hat trick on 62 minutes with a great free kick. Inkberrow continued attacking and hit the post once more. It was 5-1 on 69 minutes, Alcock netting a rebound. On 83 minutes, it was 6-1, Smith finishing off a well-worked move. 

The visiting defenders had started to argue amongst themselves over whose fault the goals were as the evening progressed. If it wasn't for their keeper, it could have been double figures. There were a number of hoppers there and we had a good chat with Kiz. The linesman on our side was also very chatty. I was left with just one to do in this league, Devizes Town. They were actually at home tomorrow but I wanted more notice to get prepared. Instead, I pencilled it in for Tuesday 24th. We left around 9.40, dropping Anwar off just after 11. I needed petrol so I filled up on the way to dropping Colin off. It was then a short drive home with me getting in just before midnight.

SANDS ROAD is a brand new setup in terms of the first-team pitch. It is fully railed and has hard standing on two sides. There are two small stands, one seated, one standing holding around 50 each. There's plenty of parking. There's also a bar and kitchen which offers a reasonable range. I didn't see much else nearby. There are many other pitches, one of which is decent in its own right with dugouts.

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