Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Football Is Back! - Fordingbridge Turks vs. Totton And Eling

First new venue - Fordingbridge Rec
After a hectic six weeks or so, it was back to football this weekend. I'd seen that Fordingbridge Turks produced a program for pre season last year but didn't make it and when I saw they were doing the same this year, I made sure I visited. The club got it's name in recognition of the Turkish forces who valiantly stood up to the powerful Russian army in The Crimean War and they are one of the oldest clubs in Hampshire. Fordingbridge play in division one of The Bournemouth League where they finished eighth last season. Their opponents today were Totton And Eling who play in division one of the Wessex League and they finished just shy of mid table last time out. I was adamant that I'd seen Totton And Eling in the past of couple of seasons but looking my records I'd clearly imagined this.    

Facing down another pre season
I don't have to wait long for  my first goal of the season - a neat Totton header from a cross out left. This sets the tone for the first half. Totton make two from close range following patient build up play. Fordingbridge's first effort on goal is a shot on the turn which goes just over before the visitors get their third when the forward is played in before slotting past the goalie. The fourth comes when the Fordingbridge goalie misses a cross and the lose ball is bundled in at the back post. Fordingbridge's next chance forces the Totton keeper to make a good low save from a drilled effort. Totton score three more before half time which includes an intricate chip over the goalie when played in on goal. 

Third Totton goal
In the heat, the second half is played at a somewhat slower place. Fordingbridge have the first chance of the second half but the cross on the break is blocked by the Totton defense. The away side get the eighth when the ball is given away and they finish from close range. Fordingbridge get the goal they goal they deserve when they take full advantage of a wayward long pass to get on the score sheet. Despite the score, Fordingbridge played on until the end and they always tried to play football which bodes well for the season ahead.

Fordingbridge attack in the first half
To get to Fordingbridge you have to take a train to Salisbury from Waterloo which takes about an hour. Then from the market place you take the X3 into Fordingbridge. While the bus was quite posh the seven pound fare for a twenty odd minute journey was extortionate. Fordingbridge is a pleasant town with an attractive center and a nice waterside park. In terms of pubs, for ale The Ship Inn had a good selection of ales that I somehow manage to miss completely. Then pretty much next door, The Crown Inn  looked the best bet for any early kick offs. If the weather is nice, then a drink next to the river at The George is fully recommended. The clubhouse had the usual selection of drinks and you can see all of the match action from the bar. The program was of a high standard and capped off a great opening day!

Action in front of the dugouts

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