Wednesday 24th February 2016 ko 19.45
Dorset Premier League
SHAFTESBURY TOWN 3 (Matheszki 6 17 Bevis 25)
MERLEY COBHAM SPORTS 0
Shaftesbury is one of those towns that surprises you. You are so clearly in Wessex Country, the place has the all the feel of a Hardy agricultural town, and you are only just over the border from Wiltshire! In fact so agricultural is the feel, that the famous Hovis advert with the boy pushing his baker’s bike up the hill was filmed here, by Ridley Scott, on Gold Hill. The town’s Millenium project involved the planting of 60,000 snowdrop bulbs to provide a spectacular Snowdrop walk each year!
The football club play in the centre of town at “Cockrams” on Coppice Street, and it’s fair to say it isn’t a ground typical of the Step 7 Dorset Premier League. There’s been a club here since 1888 and as Shaftesbury they’ve played the vast majority of their time in Dorset-based competitions.
They moved into the newly expanded Wessex League Division Two in 2004, but only ever managed one above half-way finish before opting to drop back into the Dorset Premier League for season 2011-12. The legacy of the Wessex is clear; a ground that will easily fulfill ground grading should be the club wish to make the leap back. The stand incidentally was built by the club’s sponsor Tesco, in a rare example of altruism from a multinational! They’ve applied for promotion, but whether they choose to take it seems to lie in whether the championship is won.
They’re certainly well-placed to do so. Going into this game they were top, three points ahead of Merley Cobham with the visitors having a game in hand. If there was the perfect time to visit, it was this!
It could have been a close game, it may even should have been a close game, but a Szymon Matheszki quick fire double including a thunderous 20 yard blast quickly put the tie to bed. Elliott Bevis made it three, and afterwards despite the visitors’ valiant efforts, the tie never looked in doubt.
But I suspect for Shaftesbury Town, the big decisions have yet to be made….