Shaftesbury 1 Stockbridge 2

Wednesday 29th October 2008
Shaftesbury 1 Stockbridge 2
Sydenhams League (Wessex) Division 1
At: The Cockrams
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: none
Attendance: 35 (headcount)
Weather: rain
Duration: first-half: 46:11; second-half: 48:05

The journey to the game was horrible. They journey back was horrible. But I did enjoy the bit in the middle – the game itself – despite all the rain.

Shaftesbury’s current ground is a relatively new venue, only a couple of years old I think. As the aerial photo on Google maps shows, the land now occupied by football ground and adjoining supermarket was previously used by the town’s cricket club. The old football ground was located in the next field immediately to the north-west with the top of the new ground being, I guess, a few yards from the bottom goal of the old ground.

The Cockrams, located on Coppice Street, is a fully enclosed ground (orientated north-west to south-east) with a high wire-mesh perimeter fence and conifers growing in front. The pitch stretches lengthways from the entrance which is situated next to the changing rooms/tea bar building, with a seated stand on the right-hand touchline. There is overhang from the club building and a further area of cover on half-way behind the dugouts down the left-hand side.

Shaftesbury FC are long established, being founded in 1888. They became a founder member of the Dorset Combination in 1957 but left after a couple of seasons. They rejoined the Combination for the 1976/77 season and progressed into the Wessex League in 2004/05 when that competition was expanded into two divisions.

I obtained the line-ups from a club official by the changing rooms and decided to watch the game from a seat in the stand.

Stockbridge (blue and yellow stripes, blue shorts, blue and yellow hooped socks) got the game underway defending the entrance end and attacking down the slight slope.

The visitors took the lead in the 17th minute. Nick Coates pulled the ball back from the left bye-line for Ryan Boare to fire into the bottom-right corner from 15 yards out.

However, Shaftesbury (wearing all red) hit back with an equaliser two minutes later. Lee Williams’ initial shot was blocked by a defender with the home side appealing for handball. The ball fell for Matthew Chant to fire across the face of goal from the right and into the far side of the net.

The rain started to get heavier (eventually it turned thankfully to drizzle) but it didn’t stop Stockbridge scoring what proved to be the winner in the 28th minute. Lou Bain hit a 35-yard lob that flew over the statuesque keeper and dipped under the bar.

Shaftesbury created chances in the second half to get back on level terms but, near the end, a good save from Austin Cornell prevented Sam Coleman from adding a third for Stockbridge with a 25-yard shot.

What made the evening more enjoyable was watching the last hour or so in the company of a well-known traveller who I hadn’t seen for many years.

Shaftesbury (red/red/red): 1. Austin Cornell, 2. Mark White, 3. Ben Gibbs, 4. Mark Harvey, 5. Julian Hawkins, 6. Lee Hale, 7. Matthew Chant, 8. Nick Ward, 9. Lee Williams, 10. Stuart Dominy, 11. Lee Gale. Subs: 12. Daniel Webb (for Dominy, 68), 14. Dane Cull (not used), 15. Aaron Martin (not used), 16. James Coffin (for White, 88), 17. Andy Ford (for Hale, 68).

Stocksbridge (blue and yellow stripes / blue / blue and yellow hoops): 1. Alan Ralph, 2. Andy Burgess, 3. Gavin Burgess, 4. Tristan Burton, 5. Dave Barker, 6. Gavin Richards, 7. Ryan Boare, 8. Lou Bain, 9. Nick Coates, 10. Simon Paultney (capt), 11. Liam Edwards. Subs: 12. Sam Coleman (for Paultney, 52), 14. Mike Barker (not used), 15. Chris Payne (for Gavin Burgess, 25), 16. Steve Smith (not used).

Referee: Steve Graham.

0-1 Ryan Boare (17)
1-1 Matthew Chant (19)
1-2 Lou Bain (28)

Shaftesbury: Stuart Dominy (YC, 45), Ben Gibbs (YC, 54), Julian Hawkins (YC, 84).
Stocksbridge: Simon Paultney (YC, 12), Sam Coleman (YC, 73), ??? (YC, 84).

Full-Time match report