Tuesday 16th April 2013 ko 19.45
Wessex League Division One
FLEET SPURS 0
BROCKENHURST 3 (Ritchie 46 Spinney 53 Kenna 72p)
I hate the fact the only reason I did this game is because Fleet Spurs have resigned from the Wessex League. It is the lot of the groundhopper that the end of the season is spent at least in part doing clubs and grounds that may not be there the next time round.
The Southwood Pavilion, in Kennels Lane, lies more or less equidistant between Fleet and Farnborough on former MOD land. At one end is the soon-to-be vacated Nokia building, the other woodlands leading to the Cody Sports and Social Club the former home of Farnborough North End. Therein lies the problem, the facility is nowhere near any population, so the most relevant statistic above is the attendance. They didn’t even cover the cost of the referee and linesmen this evening.
With financial facts of life stacked against you, a change is clearly necessary, but what that actually is isn’t known as yet. The club like would a sideways move to the Combined Counties, thereby reducing travelling costs, but a drop in status to the Hampshire League is possible, as is no move at all. It’s all down to the committees and darkened rooms of the FA to decide next month, or maybe the month after, the club simply doesn’t know. That can’t be easy for the players, not knowing even the level you’ll be playing next season.
And to be honest it showed, as promotion-chasing Brockenhurst dominated. They contrived to miss a string of chances during the first half. Over an excellent burger and cup of tea, the Fleet faithful feared the worst if the visitors found their shooting boots. Which they did with much of the crowd (such as it was) still in the pavilion, Dan Ritchie blasting home from 25 yards. Fleet worked hard, but offered little up front but it took something fortuitous for Brockenhurst to double their lead. The ball was worked well from the left but Mike Spinney’s shot was scuffed. A clean shot would have been easily blocked by keeper Ryan Bone, but instead it spun up and over the wrong-footed glovesman and looped in.
A silly penalty will no doubt help Brockenhurst’s goal-difference, it is extremely tight at the top after all, that was easily dispatched by Warren Kenna, the brother of former Southampton professional Jeff, for a rather harsh scoreline for Fleet.
Maybe I was the mood I was in, but I found myself warming to the small band of volunteers trying to keep Fleet Spurs going despite almost insurmountable odds. I wish them well whatever the FA decides.