Tuesday 16th August 2016 ko 18.30
Spartan South Midlands League Division Two
CLEAN SLATE 0
LOUGHTON MANOR 2 (Line 41 Graham 73)
Entry & Programme £2
The SSML’s third tier is something of any anomaly, as it only really exists to provide a Step 7 feeder to the rest of the league in Buckinghamshire, the Hertfordshire Senior County League does the job to the east. But if you think that’s intriguing the that’s nothing compared to club called Clean Slate.
The club started life 4 years ago in the Chiltern Churches League as, yes, a Christian football club, graduating via the North Bucks & District League into the SSML for the 2014/15. They played their first two seasons groundsharing at Ampthill but this season have signed a lease to move in Downs Barn Pavilion in Milton Keynes.
The ground was the home of Mercedes-Benz FC from 1993 to 1998 when they moved to Wolverton Park and became the second incarnation of Milton Keynes City. That club lasted until 2003, a year before Wimbledon FC moved to Milton Keynes. Of course any connection between the two events is of course coincidental!
What Clean Slate have taken on is a clubhouse, a floodlit multi-games area, and a grass pitch railed on one side. It’s basic, but its home, and the potential is there. The problem for the here and now is the team. Having a Christian ethos is one thing but the club’s tenure in the SSML has seen one last place and one second-last place finish, and as I write this they are yet to register a point, and in a dull game they didn’t look like breaking their duck.
But for all their struggles, there’s is something endearing about Clean Slate. Maybe it’s the religious idealism, the programme has the club chairman as Jesus Christ, but even a cynical agonostic like me walked away at the end of it all wanting only but the best for them.