Friday 30th December 2016 ko 19.46
Hellenic League Premier Division
FLACKWELL HEATH 7 (Rapley 3 37 71p Bayliss 33 Thompson-Wheeler 55 Blount 60 72)
HENLEY TOWN 1 (Gardner 12) Griffiths sent off 72 (2nd booking)
It had been years since my last visit to Wilks Park, in fact I think the last visit was during a Hellenic Hop game vs Oxford City Nomads. The league had spent our entire stint on its patch telling everyone that the Nomads weren’t Oxford City’s reserves, but City manager Mike Ford was at the game so a hopper sidled over and asked him. “These guys?” he replied, “Well basically they’re our reserves!” You can fool some of the people…
I think Flackwell Heath is rather unfairly treated, in that it tends to be lumped in with High Wycombe, when it has more to do with Bourne End and Marlow. The village has a famous resident, composer Ed Welch who amongst many other pieces wrote the theme to TV quiz show “Blockbusters!”
Wilks Park reflects the clubs past membership of the Isthmian League. There’s cover on all four sides, the club turned down promotion last season as it would involve Southern, rather than Isthmian League membership, but it remains a tucked away gem! You really should take a walk around the perimeter and explore!
The only trouble was the fog! There’d be enough worries about waterlogging, but the fog made the game marginal at best. Should it have started, yes, should it have been abandoned? Probably yes too, Reading FC’s game 25 miles away lasted only until half-time.
I did wonder why Henley didn’t press the matter. Perhaps the fog was at it’s worst during the first half when they were still competitive. They collapsed after half-time just as the job began to clear a little, talk about bad timing!
But despite the poor visibility this was a highly convivial visit, fortified by keeping close to the tea bar for regular supplies of soup. All things considered it was good way to say goodbye to 2016.