I really had been revitalised over the last few days about my opinions on Non-League. I was really beginning to see why so many people prefer to go to their local football clubs, keep money in their local community and enjoy a number of other benefits that they wouldn’t relish in the heights of the Premier or Football League.
After a really enjoyable evening down in Somerset on Tuesday it was time to decide where to head on Saturday. I had a few choices between Frome Town, Street, Mangotsfield United or Odd Down but decided to continue my run in the Southern Premier League at the Badgers Brewery Stadium to watch Frome Town vs. Chippenham Town, with this in mind it was also possible to head to Cirencester Town on Tuesday to get my tally up to 3/24!
The two sides are fighting for separate things at this stage in the season with Frome in a relegation dog fight whilst Chippenham are right amongst the promotion chasers and were in need of the 3 points to continue their good form and challenge Poole at the top of the Southern Premier League.
Now I’ve started venturing out to more Non-League games it is doing my sleeping pattern the world of good; no 7AM starts – it is more a case of leave when I’ve had a bit of lunch. It is joyous. The journey from Bristol to Frome needn’t be a tough one, it was due to take about 45 minutes and did take that long exactly. After arriving early as usual it was time to head to the clubhouse to watch the remainder of the dire 0-0 draw between Arsenal and Hull during which time the clubhouse was beginning to fill up with both home and away fans.
Frome Town were a club formed in 1904 and have played their home games at their ground Badgers Hill (Blindmans Brewery Stadium) ever since. The latest development to the ground occurred in 2012 when completed a new 250 seater stand to comply with
regulations in the Southern Premier League. They are currently in the process of raising
funds for new floodlights to be installed at the ground which currently holds 3,000 spectators.
The game started openly with chances for both sides. Frome tested the visiting keeper early on with a stinger of a strike which was straight at him. This was followed by a number of Chippenham corners which could have caused more danger than they did. These misses nearly cost Chippenham on 15 minutes as the ball was put in the back of the net by Jon Davies but the linesman saved their blushes as he was caught offside. Frome continued to look competent on the ball and looked the more dangerous side but to no prevail. 0-0 at the break.
The second half started in exactly the same way as the first, with a disallowed goal but this time it was the Chippenham side that were left disappointed. Another offside and it really felt like it was going to end in a 0-0. I have been extremely lucky with goals in games. Since January 2015 I have seen just 3 matches that have finished 0-0 out of 70 games so far with just 1 of these games being a part of my 92 Football League club journey.
Unlike the first half Chippenham were now playing on the front and looked like the side who were going to snatch the odd goal in a low scoring game but on the 71st minute it was in fact the home side who snatched it. After some good work down the right and a couple of touches in the area it fell kindly to George Miller who lifted over the keeper to the delight of the vast majority of the 272 fans who really picked up the noise following the goal.
Before the final whistle blew there was only one more clear cut chance which was the perfect opportunity for Chippenham to find their equaliser, an inch perfect cross from the right hand side by Luke Ballinger which found the head of Ollie Taylor but the entire stadium were left stunned as he missed from just 5 yards which proved the final chance to stop Frome from winning the game. A really good, gutsy performance by the home side who all in all probably deserved the three points.
A good performance by both sides but just about edged by the home side who will try to use this as a springboard for the rest of the season in a bid to beat the drop! I must say for this level, the atmosphere was fantastic. Good luck for the rest of the season to both Frome and Chippenham!
What Were The Statistics?
Frome Town 1-0 Chippenham Town
Attendance – 272
Price of ticket – £7 (Student)
Programme – £2.00
Car Parking – Free
Miles Travelled – 41
Cirencester Town vs. Paulton Rovers – 23/02/2016
Weston-super-Mare vs. Chelmsford City – 27/02/2016