Travels to the soul and heartbeat of English football...alright primarily Leicestershire!!!!
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Leading up to today I was being very indecisive (no sarcastic comments needed!!!) about where to go to get my footy fix. Do I put my groundhopping hat on or do I put my Oadby Town hat on?
Well it went the way of Oadby Town for their opening game in the United Counties League after they transferred from the East Midlands Counties League. Prior to the main even I took in a game in the Football League Youth Alliance between the under-18's of Burton Albion and Bradford City. This kicked off at 11am at the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College in Woodhouse and ended 0-0, with an attendance of 40.
Probably like a lot of the country Leicestershire was bathed in glorious sunshine and I arrived at the ground at around 1.45pm. Admission was £5 and a further £1 for a programme and it was a case of heading to the clubhouse for a pint.
Over the summer Oadby have undergone changes on both the playing and management side with Clem Dublin joining from St. Andrews as joint 1st team manager alongside Lee Harriman. Having not seen Oadby during their pre-season games I only recognised about half of the team, and these included a some of them who played for Clem last season at St. Andrews. Examples being goalkeeper Warren Butlin and Kris Stevenson, the latter of which I remember seeing play for Kingsway Rangers in the Leicester & District League a few years ago.
The game started off fairly evenly with some robust challenges from the visitors that resulted in numerous free kicks for the hosts. Oadby then took control of the game from the quarter hour mark and from then on it was primarily one way traffic. The opening goal came on twenty two minutes when Sam Benjamin headed from from twelve yards out. Eight minutes later and Tom Williams doubled the home sides advantage as he stabbed home a corner from just inside the penalty area. The third goal followed straight after as Jon Stevenson got the first of a brace and made it 3-0. As the first half went into the latter stages midfielder Jake Duffy got in on the act with two goals on 41 and 45 minutes respectively make it 5-0 at half time.
The second half was only four minutes old when Stevenson got his second beating the Potton keeper with a shot from outside the penalty area. A raft of substitutions followed from both sides and the game became a little disjointed, but Oadby had time to add two further goals. Firstly Duffy completed his hat-trick on seventy-three minutes and substitute Ben Harris completed the scoring with eight minutes left.
Oadby could and should have won by a greater margin but some good goal keeping helped keep the score down.
It is difficult to read much into this result regarding predictions for the season as Potton were one of the weaker sides in the United Counties League last season, but the 8-0 scoreline was the biggest victory I have seen them personally achieve since I first watched them in 1998.
Admission: £5 Programme: £1 Attendance: 91 A slideshow of forty photos taken during the first half can be viewed in the slideshow below: