Bournemouth 2 Royston Town 1
After canceling my previous trip to Bornemouth due to rail closure, I was delighted to see that they were drawn at home again & off I set. As usual, I found myself sitting in front of a father with two noisy children. But for once, instead of being annoyed by them, I found myself silently joining in with his impromptu Railway children quiz. My moment of glory arrived as neither of the two young children or the father could remember the name of the station master. As I left the train, I leant over and casually announced that I thought it was Mr Potts. "Of course" replied the father, "Thank you". I happily strutted off. Only when I got home & checked on google, did I realise that it was actually Mr Perks. That's the last time that I butt in to a children' quiz.
The trip from Bournemouth station to my destination I made on one the town's yellow busses. Very cool they are to. A TV screen inside the bus showing live camera shots of the bus in motion & also shots of the passengers sitting in the bus. Very high tech!
On walking to the ground, I had two dogs come yapping around my ankles as their flustered owner shuffled over and exclaimed "Whatever next"?I wasn't quite sure how to reply to this, so just smiled and muttered something about having a face that made dogs bark and left her trying to untangle her leads.
The clubhouse at the ground was packed even from 2pm when I arrived. I passed no shops after leaving the bus, so purchased one of the clubs hot dogs. A small submarine roll, a few onions & a sausage from a tin. But I was so hungry, that it tasted as good as fine dining and the lady serving was as pleasant as can be.
I actually quite like the Wessex league for its grounds and this one was not a disappointment. A fair sized stand with seating right next to the clubhouse. The rest of the pitch is railed off with netting and advertising boards and hard standing.
The wind throughout the afternoon was ferocious and exactly came close to ruining the contest. Both sets of players also spent most of the afternoon complaining like crazy and sprinting towards the referee when a decision went against their team. As I discussed with a photographer sitting just inside the hoarding, "If they played football like they whinged, they would be World class.
But this game turned into a battle ground and I can't remember a game with so many late and bad tackles. Bournemouth got off to a terrific start, winning a penalty as the keeper took out a man that went past him even though the ball was never going to stay in play. The penalty was easily converted. A second came on 16 minutes. A break down the left resulted in the right back failing to win a tackle just inside the area, The ball fell kindly to the attacker who beat the keeper comfortably. Other some full blooded challenges and a couple of 20 man melees, Bournemouth were reduced to 10 men just before half time after a man got a deserved second yellow card for a late tackle. The second half was therefore always likely to be all Royston what with the extra man and the wind with them. They had loads of the ball but didn’t create as many chances as I expected. They did pull one back on 67 mins. A ball through the left saw an attacker let it run brilliantly, taking the keeper out of the game. He cut it back from the dead ball line and a substitute who had been on for no more than 30 seconds, stroked it in. After this Bournemouth had one hairy goalmouth scramble, but actually had the better of the chances and were probably worthy winners.