Sunday, 7 April 2013


Saturday 6th April 2013
United Counties League Division 1
The Irish Centre, Manor Fields, Bletchley, Milton Keynes

After a very busy Easter weekend in which in the space of four days, I watched seven games of football, a game of basketball plus viewing the new Danny Boyle film, Trance a sense of normality beckons today. Only one game of football and a choice of one in my eyes. This was one of three away days with Oadby Town that I had pencilled in before I the fixtures were released. It was originally due to be played back in November but had to be postponed due to heavy rain, and in the end that day I saw Corby Town beat Hayes & Yeading United in a thrilling FA Trophy tie.

The club
The following information is taken from the Wikipedia page:

The club were established in 1883 and initially played in local leagues. They won the Aylesbury & District League in 1902–03 and 1936–37 and the North Bucks League in 1924–25, 1928–29, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1938–39, 1948–49 and 1949–50. They were founder members of the Hellenic League in 1953, but left after only four seasons. They then joined the South Midlands League, in which they played until joining the United Counties League in 1974. They were Premier Division champions and Knockout Cup winners in 1983–84, and the following season they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first (and to date only) time in their history, losing 2–0 at home to Orient. In 1985–86 they won the Premier Division again and were promoted to the Midland Division of the Southern League. They won the Southern Division in 1990–91, but were not promoted as their ground failed to meet the standards required. They remained members of the Southern League until finishing bottom of the Southern Division in 1996–97 season, when they were relegated back to the Premier Division of the UCL. They were relegated to Division One at the end of the 2006–07 season.

They were evicted from their traditional Ford Meadow home at the end of the 2010/11 season and played at the Winslow Centre, Winslow in 2011/12. This season they are again playing “home” games away from Buckingham, with the Irish Centre in Bletchley their current base. 

The ground

The Irish Centre is part of the larger Manor Fields sports complex that is also home to Bletchley Rugby Club and Bletchley Town Cricket Club. The football pitch is completely seperate from the rest of the complex and is a bit of a ramshackle affair. On the near side there is remnants of a large stand, while opposite there is a seated stand and the dugouts. 

The day itself

It started by picking up fellow Oadby Town supporters Owen Jones and Teri-Leigh White near to Braunstone Police Station around 11.30am, before heading south on the M1 to Milton Keynes. Lunch and some liquid refreshment was had at one of the four JD Wetherspoon outlets in the city, which was simply called Wetherspoons. Two halves were had, firstly Brewer's Passion by the Caledonian Brewery and secondly Tasmanian Wolf from the Wolf Brewery in Norfolk before making the short walk to the nearby Secklow Hundred for another drink. It must be said that Brewer's Passion is one of the nicest beers I have had in a very long time - very drinkable on a nice sunny day. 

From which we made the ten minute drive to the ground , arriving with about twenty minutes before kick-off. I was met at the ground by friend and Belper based groundhopper Neil Laughlin, who I had seen back in November 2009 for a Leicestershire Senior League game @ Melton Mowbray FC.

The game

It was a tale of two halves with Oadby dominating the proceedings in the opening forty five minutes and in truth be told should have been more than two goals up. New signing Levi Porter had a chance in the opening couple of minutes, but his header from an Ollie Brown-Hill cross was tame and the Buckingham keeper was able to make the save. The opening goal came from penalty spot which Jon Stevenson converted after Che Adams was brought down in the area. It was only a matter of time before Oadby increased their lead, and this came from Porter who slide the ball under the keeper. The second half was a completely different story with the home side belying their lowly position in the league table and looked like a side challenging for promotion. They caused Oadby all sorts of problems and created some excellent chances. The killer third goal came against the run of play late on in the game and was scored by Stevenson.


An enjoyable day out in Buckinghamshire for what was only my seventh game in the county ever, and my first for around four and a half years. After the game my travelling companions and I had a drink in the nearby Chequers Inn in Fenny Stratford before heading north back to Leicester.

58 photos of the ground and game can be viewed in the slideshow below:

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