Sunday, 9 September 2018

Holsworthy 0 Liskeard Athletic 1

Saturday 8th September 2018
South West Peninsula League Division 1 West
Attendance: 87 head count (not many clubs publish crowds down here)
Admission: £4 
Programme: Free (couple of club columns, usual page to page adverts)
Tea Hut Stuff: Most folk seemed taken in by chips with grated cheese?
Weather: Dull, first time I've needed a coat this season
Parking: Just over the road from the entrance, easy getaway

Not a lot going on in this quiet but characterful little town, appears Holsworthy shuts up shop come midday on a Saturday, I passed 5 people in the town square as they drifted between the Co-Op, a Cafe and an Electrical Shop. The main car park even stops charging at lunchtime. Not exactly rocking at the prospect of the league leaders providing todays in-town opposition.

Upcott Field is a nice little non league ground for this standard of football, there's a decent low level stand with a row of benches and room for standing at the rear, they've also got a busy club house with a bar and comfortable seating arrangements. A refreshment window adjacent to the entrance provides burgers, chips, sausage rolls and the usual stuff your Doctor tells you not to eat. A bit further along resides what looks like a retro 70's style caravan which appears to act as the Club Office. The rest of the place is just the railed off pitch which seems to dip towards the playground end of the stadium. The surface looked in good condition if not a little hard from the uncommon dry summer.

A reasonable crowd of 80 odd showed up with about a quarter coming along from Cornwall as the Liskeard support. 

Neither Holsworthy or their visitors had lost a game yet with Liskeard currently joint top of the pile alongside their Cornwall rivals Porthleven on points. 

Suppose neutrals had the visitors down for the 3 points and their possession and the chances they imposed upon Holsworthy certainly backed that up. Liskeard continually fluffed their opportunities throughout the game and despite hitting the woodwork on numerous occasions just couldn't extinguish the threat that Holsworthy might pinch something from this encounter. 

Being honest it was a hard game to watch, the passing, cohesion and finishing was pretty much poor quality. This was a particularly scrappy match and only brightened up when Liskeard defender Adam King popped up in the box to head home the only goal of the game in the second half. 

This spurred the home side into some spirited advances over the halfway line which in turn gave Liskeard more scope to counter attack, one of the current best strikers in the division, James Lorenz can count himself very unlucky to not get on the scoresheet, his clever approach play and lightening turn of foot had the Holsworthy defenders in knots. 

Likewise fellow Liskeard striker Ben Waters who was incredibly unlucky not to grab a few goals himself, the goalposts saved Holsworthy on a number of occasions, how the ball didn't go in the net was incredible.

Must add a note about the Referee Mr Anthony Cloak, it cannot be easy officiating in non-league but I have to say Tony was absolutely top notch at keeping this game flowing, his common sense decision making and firm communication provided the ideal platform for football, shame the respective team performances let the event down a tad. 

A brief summary of the afternoon would be Liskeard got the 3 valuable points they needed but more or less 'won-ugly'. They are a far better football side than this showing but at least they got what they came for. Holsworthy battled hard but they don't quite look the finished article on this showing. Liked the ground, very friendly people and the sleepy little town had some nice touches about it too. Being honest and not wishing to appear disrespectful I've seen a lot better games at this level. 

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Bere Alston United 1 Liskeard Athletic 4

Saturday 18th August 2018
South West Peninsula League Division 1 West (what a mouthful)
Attendance: 70 (dodgy headcount)
Admission: £2 which included their first ever programme
Tea Hut Stuff: Saw some blokes with mugs of tea near the changing hut
Weather: Overcast, reasonably mild but still had to put the trusty coat on
Parking: Car Park full, parked down the lane, some parked on the Rec area

Welcome Bere Alston to the SWPL. This was their first game in the much respected competition and what better start than to have the entertaining Liskeard club as opposition. They even did a programme for the occasion which I am led to believe was a first ever edition.

Bere Alston is a small tidy village about 6 miles from Tavistock off the road from Callington. It's a relaxing nice drive without the antics of tourists taking on tractors. I arrived pleasantly calm without the need for extra blood pressure tablets. It is a fine achievement for such a sedate humble village to have a football club in the SWPL and it was obvious that a small group of people had worked extremely hard to attain such a status. The Chairman, Westy Westlake also steps up as a Player and takes on the Joint Manager role with Mark Wheeler, in similar fashion Mark is also Club Treasurer. Westy didn't get on the pitch today but you could see him doing his stuff in the dug out. There are doubtless other colleagues doing their bit like the chap taking on the task of getting people to pay in at the playing fields gate, it's possibly been free entry up until now. At only 2 quid it's gotta be the best value around. Poor chap seemed to be getting some negative remarks from nearby houses on the lane, don't think the Bere Alston population was prepared for the baying hordes of 70 odd punters rolling up for a football match, for goodness sake one of the mob had a flask and a sandwich box, nobody wants to witness anti-social behaviour like that going on. I also think the Club Secretary Derek Murphy puts in a regular shift running the line as the designated linesman?

The ground has little in the way of stands or structures, the only building houses the changing rooms and a nice selection of endangered spiders in the mens bogs. The pitch looked very good indeed and somebody needs a pat on the back for its presentation, the playing area is complimented by a wooden fence and nearby trees, it pans out to a large recreational playing field space giving the ground a wide open feel which may entice a biting breeze come winter time. 

Todays visitors Liskeard Athletic just missed out on promotion last season and look a firm bet to be challenging hard again this season. Under the crafty coaching of Richard Woods and Martin Hodge the line up is studded with quality players all the way through the side with Josh Gilbert in goal, Sam Gilbert on the left, Jack Podmore and Jarryd Woods dictating the middle with James Lorenz and Ben Collins continually marauding forwards. 

Looking at the 1-4 final score most will reckon Liskeard pretty much strolled this game but that was certainly not the case. For a long period both sides were evenly matched at 1-1 with Bere Alston proving a tough nut to crack indeed. It was the lethal James Lorenz who broke the deadlock with a well taken strike, only then did Liskeard get the extra space to exploit the game with Lorenz going on to get a hat trick, fair to say his last couple of goals were assisted by some rather lapse defending but he was in the right place at just the right time to take full advantage.

A few armchair experts have said Bere Alston may struggle this introductory season but I saw enough here to warrant some confidence about holding their own. They are well led both off and on the pitch, get stuck in and have some nice positive options to put the opposition on the back foot, good luck to them.

As for Liskeard, they did impress me, good football side who could go all the way if they can keep their key players on the pitch. It will be a very good side who can finish above them this season.

*All the snaps should properly enlarge if you click on them.

Friday, 16 March 2018

FA Cup Weekend

A selection of goodies from my FA Cup collection

Friday, 9 March 2018


Many say its the most scenic fishing village in Cornwall. When the sun hits the valley its possibly the most picturesque in Europe. Of course that's when it's not raining, which isn't very often down Cornwall way.

The coastal path around these parts is gorgeous if not a little strenuous, you'll need proper walking boots and plenty of water.

A slight drawback for postcard Polperro is the lack of choice to park your vehicle, unless you pay the extortionate fee at the one and only car park at the top of the village you don't get to visit. The money grabbers even keep up the high car parking rate during the winter, sadly this turns the dodgy months into a vacant lot of empty second home cottages and out of season self catering houses, mostly without a soul in sight, there isn't a lot open from November to Easter apart from a couple of pub grub establishments and a decent enough bakery.

Anyway enough about nice views and cash extracting parking penalties this is supposed to be a site about South West football venues so I'd better get on with it.

Polperro FC play at Killigarth, a mostly holiday chalet based area at the top of the extremely steep hill heading to the East. You could say Polperro is located about halfway between Polruan (which is just over the water from Fowey) and Looe. Rame Head rests eastbound with Plymouth hidden beyond it.

At the time of writing this entry Polperro were 5th in the ECPL Premier Division, which is quite a good standing for this level of local football in the area. Club colours are green shirts, black shorts and black socks. Green seems ever popular down these parts, wonder if it's the Plymouth Argyle connection?

Approaching along the main road from Looe take the small Killigarth signposted road on the left, it's just a few bends after spotting the Pelynt FC ground on your right and the petrol station just a bit further along. Once past the houses and the holiday accommodation turnings the ground is found by an old metal gate on your right. It's easy to miss so watch out for it.

As expected at this level of football the ground has little in the way of structure, certainly no stands or the like. They do however have a rather nice looking clubhouse building just behind the goals at the holiday complex end. I did find that the pitch has a few undulations with the goal posts at one end definitely sloping towards the sea.

Looks like part of the buildings at the far corner of the ground have become redundant at some stage, not sure if they still provide a ground-staff service or not? Think they were the old changing rooms in the past. Recently heard the club want to refurbish this section and possibly return the building to a changing facility? This would assist in freeing up the nice little clubhouse at the other end of the ground for other ventures. Any potential sponsors should contact the club, I am sure Polperro FC will be pleased to speak to people that may be able to help out.

There is a degree of pitch perimeter advertising boarding with the rest of the playing area roped off accordingly. Looks a nice little place to watch some football.

Under the thumb groundhoppers could easily offload a nagging wife here for a few hours (early or late season would be best). Best offloading spot is down at the entrance to Polperro car park then you can zoom back up to the ground, this leaves Boss Hog to do the rounds at the fudge shops and gift boutiques, job sorted, you get to see a match and she gets a new jumper to politely compliment the new fingers of fudge she's just acquired. Only a joke ladies, I know how delicate things have got lately. No disrespect intended. What would we do without you.


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Padstow United

Padstow is an extremely popular tourist trap on the North Cornwall coast.

It's hammered.

Pubs and food outlets don't need to try very hard to snare the passing trade here.

Rick Stein seems to own three quarters of the surrounding area with gift shops, delicatessens, restaurants, a pub, hotels and even a mega expensive chippy. Some of the locals have taken to renaming the place 'Padstein'. 

There always seems a willing queue of visitors eagerly waiting to pay well over the odds down the busy streets surrounding the harbour and quayside. Rick has started a trend that has witnessed countless lesser known pretenders staking a claim for some of the tourist related income. There's big money to be made.

20 years ago Padstow was a charming charismatic place with a great atmosphere, now you're just swamped by the gross commercialism and cheesy claustrophobic crowds slogging around the hard sell gift outlets and the ridiculously priced eateries. 

2 hours on my parking ticket gave me far more time than I needed, something I'd never have said when I often came here years ago.

What better reason to escape the mass marketing and dried up pasties than getting some fresh air just outside the town at nearby Jury Park the home of Padstow United. Cornwall football by the coast, what could be better.

The Green Army (as Padstow market themselves at the ground) play in Division 1 of the East Cornwall League. Not to be confused with the slightly larger Green Army over at Home Park, Plymouth Argyle.

Jury Park is an open plan ground with some nice views over the fields but to be honest not a lot else. 

There are changing rooms, dug outs and what could even be a tea hut but you won't find any stands at the location.

Still makes a welcome break from the tourist packed streets around Padstow Harbour though. I know where I'd sooner spend a quiet afternoon. 

Friday, 23 February 2018


Lanreath, which is pronounced 'Lanreth' is a smart charismatic little village around 6 or 7 miles from the popular seaside port of Looe.

It looks a quite place to be honest, most of the action seems to circulate around the village shop, lets just say it's not exactly buzzing.

The football team trot out at Rally Park and play in Division One of the East Cornwall Premier League (bit confusing title that isn't it). Shall we just stick with ECPL D1.

Rally Park houses a rather large looking Sports Bar and extensive car park which advertises free 'flop on the floor' Satellite TV football channels we normally have to pay for back at home. Its a rather imposing building actually as it looms over the adjacent football pitch, it lurks in the background like some unwelcome intruder from outer space. It's probably very friendly and homely inside with not a Martian in sight. 

The ground is pretty much open plan and I can imagine it's a cruelly exposed location when the rain pours in from the Atlantic. 

It's neat and well kept with advertising around the pitch perimeter and has a couple of nicely weathered dug outs to compliment the facilities.

The jewel in the crown is 'The Kippax' covered terrace which nestles between the aforementioned dug outs. It's tiny and I can imagine it gets packed with freezing cold substitutes during the game as they seek 'Shelter from the Storm' (slight Bob Dylan plug there, sorry). Get here early if it's dodgy weather, viewing spots out of the hailstones will be at a premium.

Can't really recommend anything grub wise in the area, perhaps the Sports Bar do stuff? To avoid disappointment best rustle up three or four sandwiches from home just in case. Piece of cake would be nice too.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Launceston Grub Hunters

Tension mounts at the Tea Hut window, this blokes buying all sorts!

Launceston FC

South West Peninsula League


Launceston play in the Premier Division over at the neat and tidy Pennygillam ground. Its got a bar, hot drinks, hot food and a seated main stand.

Like most grounds in the South West the pitch can start to suffer midway through the season but that's down to the wet weather rather than a lack of attention from the ground staff.

There are two main roads into Cornwall, the A38 which takes you over the Tamar Bridge at Plymouth or the A30 which slogs up and down the rollercoaster past Okehampton. On this A30 route Launceston is the first town you meet over the Cornwall border.

The town has got a Castle, a Tesco's and a narrow gauge Steam Railway.

It also sports one of the best fish and chip shops for miles around, the much under publicised 'Francines'. Get the Cod & Chips, you'll be full for a week.