Inkberrow 0 Perrywood 1

Saturday 5th January 2013
Inkberrow 0 Perrywood 1
Athium Midland Combination Division Two
At: Recreation Ground, Sands Road
Kick-off: 2-00 pm
Admission: none; Programme: none
Weather: frequent sunny spells
Attendance: 30 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 46:10; second-half: 46:23

More Athium Midland Combination Division Two action, this time at Worcestershire village of Inkberrow where visitors Perrywood won a tight contest with a single goal scored midway through the second half by Dave Budden.

Have you read I am the Gloryhunter by Spencer Austin which follows the author’s football travels, with a difference, during the 2008/09? Briefly, he picked one of the 92 League clubs out of a hat – Grimsby Town – and when they lost he moved on to follow the team that beat them. If his team won or drew, he watched their next game.

Watching Perrywood this afternoon made me think about Austin’s book as Perrywood were the team who won the last game I saw (2-1 against Kenilworth Town KH). So, I suppose I was the ‘Gloryhunter’ today by following them at Inkberrow.

I wish I’d read Wikipedia BEFORE visiting Inkberrow rather than AFTERWARDS. Had I done so, I think I’d have arrived a lot earlier than 1-23pm and explored. Surfice to say that the village, on the A442 to the south of Redditch between Stratford-upon-Avon and Worcester, has past conections with William Shakespeare and more recently the Radio Four soap The Archers. Inkberrow is said to be the model for Ambridge and Archers memorabilia can be found in the Old Bull pub. There’s also a castle and the church is dedicated to St Peter. The ‘welcome’ sign told me at the village is twinned with Bray-sur-Somme.

Inkberrow FC’s Recreation ground was easily found at the north end of the village on Sandy Lane – follow the signs for ‘Morton Underhill’ and ‘Village hall’. They currently play on a large playing field which includes two full sized football pitches and a cricket square in between. The first team pitch was the one furthest away from the road and enclosed by low hedges on two sides. A grass slope behind the dugouts provided an elivated view ofthe game and surrounding countryside. Previously the club had used a pitch closer to the pavilion and still use the original changing rooms.

I’d not seem a game at the old ground (photo right) so the question doesn’t apply to me, but for those who have, is this a ‘new ground’ or ‘another pitch on the complex’? True they use the same chaning rooms but the ‘new ground’ is on the other side of a hedge on land that was previously used for agriculture not sport.

Inkberrow FC was established in its current form in 1998. They first joined the Midland Combination in 2002 and spent three seasons in Division Three achieving seventh position in both 2002/03 and 2003/04. After a spell in the Straford Alliance they rejoined the league in 2009 and the current 20012/13 is their fourth of this second spell in the Combination.

Inside the pavilion, I recognised Perrywood’s Secretary Kevin Bradshaw who kindly let me copy down the lineups. Like Perrywood on Tuesday, Inkberrow ran a tea bar which again was most welcome. Before kick-off I met a couple of fellow football travellers who had travelled down from Solihull.

While Perrywoood (30 points from 17 games) stood in fourth position in the table, Inkberrow (9 points from 17 games) occupied 14th position in the 17-team division. The home side were the only team in the division not to have drawn a league game this season.

“C’mon Berrow from the off,” shouted one players who added “strong 15” as Perrywood (in a change kit of red) got the game underway attacking the near ‘bowling green’ end in the first half.

It was the home side who created the first decent chance in the 9th minute. James Parkin slipped the ball through the Perrywood defence into the path of Harry Coughlin but Lewis Pinches left his line to clear the danger.

Looking to follow up Tuesday’s win, Perrywood started to gain control with Kirk Layton, Wes Joyce and Nick Pearce all going close to opening the scoring. As chances continued to be created by the visitors, Inkberrow’s goalkeeper Dan Dawson parried a volley from 10-yards out hit by Dave Budden. Dawson produced another save on the quarter hour ro keep out a shot from Joyce.

Needing points to move up the table, Inkberrow almost took the lead just after the half-hour mark. A nice move invoving Coughlin and Liam Firkin set up a chance for Steve McManus who fired against the right-hand post, admittedly from an offside position.

Perrywood finished the half on the attack but again couldn’t beat dawson who held a flicked header from Joyce. Right on half-time, Inkberrow broke upfield and Parkin curled a shot side of the far left post.

“Good half yellows”, commented one Inkberrow player and I was pleased the teams made the trip back to the changing rooms during the interval as it enabled me to warm up with another trip to the tea bar! Inside the pavilion I noticed a plaque: INKBERROW SPORTS PAVILION Jointly funded by Wychavon D. C. and Inkberrow P. C. with contributions from the Scouts and the cricket, football and outddor bowls clubs. Officially opened on 27th April 1996 by Councillor Gordon Moone.

With dark clouds gathering overhead, which thankfully didn’t produce any rain, Perrywood made a strong start to the second half and Jodran Stoddart headed against the top of the bar from Joyce’s long throw.

Inkberrow received another “let off” in the 56th minute. Logan Stoddart, up in the home area following a free-kick headed against the bar from just a few yards out.

Some in the home camp were concerned: “Got to raise it yellows, we haven’t started yet”.

While Inkberrow started to pose problems, I always felt that a Perrywood goal was likely and it came in the 67th minute. Layton saw his initial shot blcoked on the line by a defender and Budden fired home from the rebound.

The home side went close with a 25-yard shot from Parkin which Pinches confortably held. Time, however, was running out for Inkberrow to grab an equaliser.

“Berrow, c’mon, we’ve got to fight for it now”. They did just that and Matt Rose headed wide from Ryan Elvy’s deep right-wing cross.

Budden thought he’d put the outcome beyond doubt when he latched on to a through ball from Pearce and lobbed the advancing Dawson, only to see the ball land just over the bar. The miss, thought that may be an unkind comment to describe a nice bit of skill, gave Inkberrow a lifeline.

Into stoppage time and one last chance for Inkberrow to equalise. All bar a couple of players went up for a last-gasp free-kick whuch was played into the Perrywood half. The ball wasn;t cleared and Rose fired against the bar. So close to a dramatic late goal.

After the final whistle, I made my way back to the pavilion for yet another tea and a chat with a Perrywood fan, Vicky, who was watching the team play for the first time. Nice to meet you. Then I headed home via Redditch and Bromsgrove, rather than retracing the route I used earlier via Droitwich Spa.

Inkberrow (yellow/blue/blue): 1. Dan Dawson, 2. Ryan Elvy, 3. Jack Dicker, 4. Jon Ingram, 5. Dom Lorimer, 6. Nick Andrews, 7. Harry Coughlin, 8. Matt Rose (capt), 9. Steve McManus, 10. Liam Firkin, 11. James Parkin. Subs: 12. Craig Whitehouse (for Liam Firkin, 74), 14. Will Saunders (for Parkin, 84), 15. Jamie Firkin (not used).

Perrywood (red/red/red): 1. Lewis Pinches, 2. Logan Stoddart, 3. Chris Moore, 4. Neil Mogford, 5. Jordan Stoddart, 6. Wes Joyce (capt), 7. Kirk Layton, 8. Nick Pearce, 9. Dan Parsons, 10. Dave Budden, 11. Ashley Banner. Subs: 12. Charlie Burrow (for Banner, 71), 14. Harry Blood (for Logan Stoddart, 78), 15. Jack Godwin (for Layton, 74), 16gk. Craig Gorley (not used). Manager: Phil Stoddart.

Referee: ???

0-1 Dave Budden (67)

Inkberrow: James Parkin (YC, 68)
Perrywood: Dan Parsons (YC, 22), Kirk Layton (YC, 36)