Fry Club 6 – 1 Stockwood Wanderers
Somerset County League – Premier Division
Saturday 24th August 2019
Somerdale Pavilion, Keynsham
Attendance: ~45 (headcount)
The Season So Far:
Fry Club came into this match off the back of two heavy losses, conceding 10 and scoring none in the process. Their only point so far coming from the opening game away at Middlezoy. Stockwood had fared better with two draws and a win away at Clutton in the bag so far. Would this be a sign of things to come?
I started today thinking i’d be taking in my first FA Cup game of the season – Yate Town taking on Exmouth Town at Lodge Road. First Great Western, though, had other ideas. I should have guessed things wouldn’t go smoothly today as I boarded the half-hour-late train. It was announced just in time that the train was so severely delayed that it wouldn’t be stopping at Yate (amongst other destinations), and a quick look at trains to Yate from Bristol Temple Meads made it clear that I wouldn’t be able to get there in time to catch enough of the game to make it worth my while. Some surprisingly nimble thinking led me to have a look at what Keynsham’s second team Fry Club were doing today; and I was in luck – a home game against Stockwood Wanderers. I had just enough time to hop off the train, grab a sandwich and head to the Somerdale Pavilion.
A pleasant walk through a new housing development and towards the old Fry’s chocolate factory was all it took to reach the ground. A smart, modern mini-sports centre which plays host to a gym, cricket matches and – lucky for me – Fry Club FC of the Somerset County League Premier Division. As I expect is typical of this league, the ground is fairly basic with a couple of dozen or so uncovered seats at one end, against the Pavilion building and not much else, save for a perimeter fence around the pitch. Still, this does not detract from what is a spectacular place to watch football – the surrounding countryside providing a glorious back drop which was especially glorious given today’s weather (see the photos below!). This would be my first game in which the league only provided a referee, with the two clubs each providing a willing linesman for the game.
The game kicked off in the blazing sunshine and it was the visitors, based a stone’s throw to the west of Keynsham, who had the first shot; albeit a shot that would sail high over the bar. On the quarter-hour mark a Fry’s striker found himself well placed in the box but somehow managed to miss the target. Not to worry – 5 minutes later the home side took the lead with a shot blasted into the middle of the net from 18 yards. Fry’s number 9 Lewis Coppard had a great chance to double the lead a couple of minutes later but the Wand’s keeper Rich Guest saved well when one-on-one. And the number 1 would make an even better save shortly after – diving low to his left and turning the ball around for a corner. The moment of the match came next: a long range shot hit the Stockwood woodwork and the following shot was somehow saved at point blank save by the man of the moment. In the ensuing melee a penalty was awarded to Fry’s for handball. This was duly dispatched – 2-0. Around 7 minutes later it was three. A great cross was met by Coppard who buried the header. Down at the other end the Wand’s number 9 flashed a cross-shot across goal but no team mates were there to apply the finish. Coppard had taken over as man of the moment and had two chances in quick succession to increase the lead but just failed to hit the target on both occasions. He soon turned provider, though, as he sent in a low cross for his strike-partner to bury. Four-nil at half time and the home team looked out of sight.
Now, I was unable to follow the second half in quite as much detail as I was chatting to a former pro who had turned up having moved to the area in the week. He regaled me with stories of his prime and we both offered up our opinions on the game that was unravelling in front of us. The first chance of the game went to Fry Club, but a shot from a tight angle was saved at the near post. Seconds later they made it five-nil, sadly I missed it, but I believe it was the home team’s captain who scored it. Stockwood heads didn’t drop and they got their consolation goal from the penalty spot. A well taken spot-kick into the bottom corner by their number 6. They almost got another but a Fry’s defender put his body on the line and blocked a powerful shot somewhat painfully. Star striker Coppard would get his hattrick (according to the club’s Twitter account!) – following up from a good save to dispatch the rebound. I left a few minutes before the 90 were up, but the score remained 6-1. This wasn’t the day I expected, and I was disappointed to not be able to make it to Yate. However I was treated to 7 goals and an incident-filled match nonetheless. I would absolutely recommend a visit to Somerdale Pavilion – good luck to both teams for the remainer of the season.