Sunday 31st July 2016
South West Peninsula League Charity Bowl
At Bodieve Park, Wadebridge Town FC
BODMIN TOWN 0 ST AUSTELL 0 (St Austell won 4-3 on penalties)
Attendance: 301 head count
Tea Hut Stuff: Didn't get anything from the Burger Van, full already
Weather: Lovely sunny afternoon with a gentle breeze
Parking: Directed to the on site parking field above the ground
I am planning to do a separate visit report for the Wadebridge ground as and when I get around to visiting it later in the season. These are just a few brief notes about the game. An encounter that matched two of the best sides in the South West Peninsula League who finished first and second in the Premier Division. Bodmin Town, the champions were aiming to add to the silverware fest they gathered up in last seasons famous treble.
Any illusions that this was just a polite charity day leg stretcher went out the window immediately after kick off. The rivals tore into each other as though the game was a title decider. Within 5 minutes St Austell had Liam Eddy sent off for a blatant off the ball revenge offence and hopes for a quality well balanced game more or less went down the tunnel with him.
St Austell quickly searched out Plan D and Bodmin huffed and puffed trying to break them down. It was a first half of multiple off side decisions as both sides failed to find rhythm or cohesion. Never have I seen so many niggles and feigned injuries in a non league match, the referee was faced with a La Liga type scenario with numerous players falling over like nine pins. The screams and shrieks resembled break time back at the school playground. I wasn't comfortable with the relentless attempts to get fellow players booked or dare I say it, sent off. Not something one normally sees on such a consistent basis at this level of what I like to think is 'proper football'.
Sure enough Bodmin were down to 10 men themselves just before the break as the beleaguered official rounded up the numbers, a very dubious sending off decision saw Steve Bowker trudge towards the dressing room. I suppose it evened up the proceedings for the second half though.
The final 45 minutes was competitive, tight and still a bit bad tempered. Consistency, quality and finishing were the victims. Bodmin had the greater number of chances and came mighty close to scoring but St Austell hit the woodwork from a wonderfully struck free kick and often pushed dangerously forwards on the break.
It all ended 0-0 after the 90 minutes and it was straight to penalties. St Austell were faultless and took the Charity Bowl 4-3 when Bodmin missed the net for the second occasion.
Despite the niggles and the scrappy periods of play I can't wait to witness these two SWPL heavyweights go head to head again. With Plymouth Parkway in the wings and one or two other contenders making positive soundings it should be a great season of South West football.
Sorry about the snaps (bit basic), had to make do with the phone again, camera left at home.