Sunday, 28 March 2010

Uppity Uppity

Saturday 27th March 2010
Peterborough & District League Premier Division
Uppingham Sports Field

My choice of game today sees me take in a first venture into the Peterborough & District League (PDL) to see Rutland side Uppingham Town in action. Uppingham have played in the PDL since 2002 when they transferred from the Leicester & District League. There first campaign was in the leagues first division where they secured the runners-up finishing three points behind divisional winners Emneth Seniors and with it secured promotion to the Premier Division. In the six seasons to date in the Premier Division the club to be fair to them have struggled, finishing in the bottom half on five occasions with a highest finishing position being 8th place in the 2004/05 season.  This season Uppingham currently sit in 9th place in the division winning eight of their twenty league games played so far. Their last game saw them lose 1-0 at home to Ramsey Town in the Peterborough Senior Cup, while Leverington lost 2-1 at home to Oundle Town in a premer division encounter. Leverington themsleves joined the PDL in 1962 and won Division 3 (Southern Section) at the first attempt remaining unbeaten in the process, winning twenty nine of their thirty league games played. Two years later and they won the division two title finishing five points ahead of Spalding Youth Old Boys. A division 1 runners-up spot in 1968 secured promotion to the premier division, and they have remained in the PDL top flight ever since. Their one and only premier division title came in 1996 when they finished eight points ahead of runners-up Deeping Rangers. 

League table (as at 20th March)

Pos / Team.............Pl W. D. L. F. A. Pts
1. Whittlesey Utd......24 17  4  3 75 32 55
2. Moulton Harrox......26 17  4  5 71 30 55
3. Deeping Sports......25 15  4  6 74 35 39
9. Uppingham Town......20  8  6  6 40 44 33 (+3 points)
13.Leverington Sports..20  6  1 13 26 48 19

Uppingham itself is a small market town (population 3,721) in Rutland which is the smallest historic county in England. The town is located roughly half way between Leicester and Peterborough with the county town of Oakham 6 miles to the north. The town is probably most well know for its public school which was founded, along with a hospital in 1584 by Archdeacon Robert Johnson. The original school building can still be found in the towns churchyard and is a grade 1 listed building. Old Uppinghamians include:

Jonathan Agnew Leicestershire and England cricketer
Donald Campbell World Land and Water Speed record holder
Stephen Dorrell MP and health secretary
Stephen Fry Actor and writer
Phil Spencer property expert
Rick Stein Chef and restaurant owner
Johnny Vaughan TV and radio presenter

The home of Uppingham Town is the imaginatively titled "Uppingham Sports Field" which is on North Street East. The pitch is a basic roped off affair though the club do have their own clubhouse on the site. There is street parking around the field and there is also a small pay and display car park opposite next to the co-op. As expected there was no admission charge or programme issued which I believe is normal for the Peterborough League. The game itself was not the best with the referee making some strange dicisions at times. Uppingham took the lead on 24 minutes when their number eight scored with a low shot past the keeper that went in off the post, but before that Leverington had two goals disallowed, the first of which was for offside and the second for a foul on the keeper. The game became niggly and dissent was creeping into the game and it was for dissent that Leverington had a man dismissed towards the end of the half. In stoppage time at the end of the half Uppingham were awarded a very soft penalty but the resulting kick was saved by the visiting keeper. The second half was primarily a stale affair with neither side making much of an impact, but as the half wore on Uppingham began to find space with their numerical advantage and secured all three points with just seven minutes left on the clock when a cross from the right was headed home.

Attendance: varied but peaked at around 40
Google maps driving time / distance: 43 minutes and 22.5 miles


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