Monday 7th December 2015 ko 19.00
Army FA Woolwich Cup Quarter-Final
ARMY AIR CORPS 8 (13secs 3 55 60 71 75 84 90)
ARMY INTELLIGENCE CORPS 1 (87p)
Att 22 at Tidworth Oval
I have a theory that when groundhoppers look for interesting stadia and games to visit, the Army FA is a blind spot for many. In a sense that is odd, the Army FA is treated as a county by the FA in exactly the same way as, say Wiltshire is, and the Military Stadium in Aldershot should be on everyone’s to-visit list. However there are a few factors to consider before attending games.
The first is to check where the games are taking place, the Army FA’s website and Twitter feeds are excellent, but when a game is taking place inside a garrison, then do check whether spectators are being allowed, and if so what security arrangements are in place.
The other is to understand what and who you are watching. These are games between serving military personnel, and given the way of the world at present, it was entirely understandable that my request to jot down the team line-ups was very politely refused. I would imagine that would be even more the case for the Intelligence Corps.
But despite my opening comment the Tidworth Oval does have a reputation amongst the better-informed hoppers. There’s a few reasons for it, the proximity to the A338 means that when you pass you see the stand and immediately fancy paying the place a visit. Despite being owned by the Army, Bulford Camp is a few hundred yards behind, the ground has been borrowed occasionally for the odd game by civilian sides, normally to get a county cup match played at short notice. The likes of Andover and Salisbury have played games here.
The stadium dates from 1910, but was extensively refurbished in 2000. The stand is what makes the groundhopper salivate, and that is a rebuilt version of an earlier model, even down to the quite wonderful clock!
Despite this game not really being geared up for spectators the 8 or so hoppers were made extremely welcome and the tea and coffee from camp canteens was appreciated on a cold evening!
The game was in many ways typical of the regimental games. Both sides had players that could easily play semi-professionally, but there were some who were, perhaps just keen amateurs. It was, therefore a pity for the Intelligence Corps that the two best players on the park were the two Air Corps forwards, who contributed 5 goals in this rout.
It was, despite the rather lop-sided scoreline, an excellent evening’s entertainment, but do please understand what you’re watching.