Wednesday 13th January 2016 ko 19.45
Norfolk Senior Cup Quarter Final
DEREHAM TOWN 2 (Borrer 39 Swatman 41)
Att 199 at FDC, Bowthorpe, Norwich
Just occasionally groundhopping throws up something a little unusual. Sometimes it’s a trip inside a Military Stadium or a ground that is completely homemade but at other times it’s a little more prosiac.
On the face of it the FDC, or to give it its full title “The Football Development Centre” is a converted “Powerleague” facility. But that is to underestimate its importance. For it’s the Norfolk FA that now owns the place, and they’ve converted it to use as a County Ground whilst retaining many of the small-sided pitches.
You pay the place a visit and the philosophy is obvious. A child will learn on the smaller field, but will walk past the full-sized pitch, and will want to be good enough to play on it. Yes the term “Field of Dreams” borrows heavily from Hollywood, but the sentiment is very much Norfolkian.
In essence the main pitch is an Eastern Counties League ground in waiting, albeit with the far side being out-of-bounds. There’s everything you could want here, even a tea bar and hospitality area!
The game was being staged here as Anglian Combination Spixworth have no lights. With Dereham playing in the Isthmian League, the fixture looked a mismatch but both clubs put on an excellent show in the cold.
In time class told, it usually does and Dereham were deserved, if not completely comfortable winners. But as the congested car park cleared the overiding aim of the FDC was there for all to see….