October 28, 2018 at 9:06 am #17084
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Ground Hoppers Report from Paul of Surrey :
SWP 1 West
Penzance 1-2 Bere Alston United
Around 80 in attendance
Adm inc prog £4
After overnighting in Plymouth I decided to head to a notable outpost for my last trip of the summer. The two hour train journey for a very reasonable walk-on return fare of £10.80 brought me into Penzance late morning. Plenty of time for a bracing walk around the seafront to work up a thirst, duly slaked in the Crown brew pub back near the station and the local ‘spoons, midway between station and ground. Walking directly between station and ground would be around 15 minutes, but it ain’t flat!
Onwards to the ground, a place I’ve stood outside once before, well over 30 years ago when holidaying in the area, but never got inside. Also outside the ground is the big clubhouse, adorned with a few bits and bobs including commemorative plaques from the club’s centenary games against Liverpool and Celtic back in 1988/9. A comfy place but lacking anything on tap today, and reverberating to the musical tastes pumping out of the two changing rooms which are situated in the same building.
The most striking feature you see outside the ground, however, is the turnstile block, a classic and a work of art, almost worth the trip alone for the ground aficionado – well worth checking out on google images. Inside is just as good, a proper ground with character – traditional snack bar (pasties £3), grass banks, overgrown shale footpaths, little nooks and crannies amongst the vegetation etc. Floodlit too. But the showpiece is the belting old, low slung, black and white stand, which must hold at least 500 with its six rows of wooden bench seating and stretching about half a pitch-length. Although it’s a ground that rarely gets a mention on anyone’s ‘must-see’ list, it can’t be far off.
Long trip today for Bere, around 80 miles and two hours, which I guess isn’t that extraordinary for step 7 in these parts. Great tweet by Bere from their minibus this morning captured the sentiment of an away day well, and they’re clearly enjoying the adventure after last season’s promotion…even if the Bucky was unopened! (Sorry, can’t find a link to it now).
The game itself was played in sunshine and showers. Two teams limited in quality but high on good honest effort made it watchable, and the second half in particular was great fun for the neutral. Bere surprisingly led 1-0 at the break – surprising both because of their lowly league position and because the home side had most of the play. Equally surprising was that the visitors started the second half like a house on fire, bagged a quick second and should have added another before Penzance soon started reasserting themselves. Bere defended for their lives but the home side just weren’t quite good enough to convert pressure into goals, and Bere weren’t quite good enough to convert any of their several breakaways, though the home keeper deserves some credit for that. Penzance finally scored on 83 to set up a grandstand finish but just couldn’t get the equaliser, and we were even denied a Clive Thomas moment as the ref blew for time a millisecond before the header from the final corner of the game came to nothing.
Great battling performance by Bere and maybe they’ll finally be cracking open the Bucky on the long journey home. Not as long as mine, mind! Still, most definitely a grand day out.
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