SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Faringdon Town 1 Wooton & Dry Sandford 0
The second match of the North Berkshire League Hop is at Faringdon Town at 1.30pm, a short drive along the B4019 from Coleshill. After the final whistle of the first game, many Hoppers scuttle off for a pub tick in Coleshill and then visit the brew-pub in Faringdon before entering the football ground.
What Tucker Park lacks in scenic beauty is made up for by the welcome and the professional organisation of club officials. Spectators are greeted at the gate by the town mayor who shakes everyone’s hand and thanks them for coming.
The large clubhouse is selling ploughman’s lunches and homemade cakes. A bowl of water is provided for one Hopper’s dog!
It is basically a roped-off park pitch but interest is provided by the Faringdon Folly clearly visible on a hill in the distance. The ground is named after one of six local men missing in the First World War. Their names were put in a hat and Michael Tucker was drawn out.
While a gaggle of Hoppers are scribbling down the teams for this afternoon’s action, someone appears from the dressing rooms and alters all of the numbers on the white board.
Much to the annoyance of the organisers, and contrary to instructions given to all Hop clubs, most of today’s sides seem incapable of modelling shirts numbered one to eleven at the start of a game!
Faringdon take to the pitch wearing shirts that make them look like they are extras from Star Trek: Next Generation. They proceed to boldly go where no team has gone before this season and beat their visitors.
Wooton are unbeaten leaders of Division 1 but the home side match them in every department. Unfortunately, this does not make for exciting viewing. A tight contest sees just one shot on target in the whole of the first half.
The second half is as forgettable as the first and a huge sigh of relief can be heard around the ground when the only goal hits the back of the net, especially from one happy Hopper who has now gone over three seasons since his last 0-0!