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Tuesday 10th March 2015 ko 19.45

Wessex League Division One

HYTHE & DIBDEN 3 (De’Ath 7 Stacey 27 Burch 79 (!))

ROMSEY TOWN 2 (Parker 2 Prince 90) Andrews sent off (DOGSO) 26

Att 45

Entry £4

Programme £1

When you encounter the hoppers with huge (thousands) of grounds visited they always have exactly the same problem, finding a new ground to visit midweek when the game has to be floodlit. With, in simple terms, only the top 6 levels of non-league football being lit any time you see a club in those levels move grounds, you tend to see a lot of the senior hoppers congregate!

Hythe & Dibden moved from their quirky, but unsuitable Ewart Rec’ this season, I could almost see the hoppers’ collective eyebrows raise, as a new Step 6 ground opened, and for me a mere 75 miles from home too! The only trouble with the Clayfields Recreation Ground, in Dibden is that those responsible for its creation have clearly failed to take heed of the ground’s name!

The club have had to postpone a series of games due to poor drainage, and one corner of the pitch has proved to be extremely problematic. Even with a week’s dry weather, the sand on that corner told a sorry tale, and the grassed areas beyond the pathways pitchside were very wet.

In time the club will transport some of the stands from Ewart Rec’, the concrete plinth is in situ for one, and chaps can I humbly suggest that its moved? It’s just to the right of the dugouts and a stand there is going to have dreadful sightlines. Everywhere else though the ground is a vast improvement on the old ground. It was good to see the old memorabilia in the new clubroom, and the club are clearly making the place home.

I did feel a little guilty being just about the only hopper there on my first attempt at a game, and it turned into a good match to pick, two sides at the wrong end of the table matching up nicely. Unquestionably the result hinged on the dismissal of Romsey’s Ben Andrews for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, Albert Stacey smashed the resulting free kick, and Hythe exploited the extra space well.

It felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from the hosts at the end, but I was most grateful to the committee man at Romsey who came over to me at the finish. I think its now public knowledge that we tried to get a Wessex League hop in place for next season, but due to a variety of reasons that will not be happening, and his kind words were much appreciated. I really must re-visit Bypass Ground soon.

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