Hatherleigh FC Soccer match against Seaton Town April 14th 2006 //-->
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Soccer

Hatherleigh Town v Seaton Town
April 14th 2006

Hatherleigh 3 v 3 Seaton Town

Ground Hoppers from around the country attended this match (because it was one of the few being played anywhere on Good Friday!) and were rewarded with a special match programme produced by Roy Smith, some excellent hospitality and an entertaining game as well.

Hoppers travel the country 'collecting' matches and seeking out memorabilia such as shirts, programmes and even pictures of themselves standing by corner flags. "So, how many grounds have you visited," we asked several. "About 2500," was the highest reply we got! 'Nuts' is how Gloria Burt described them, though we could not possibly comment.

Organiser Mike Burt said he'd rarely been treated so well at a Hoppers' match, and complimented Hatherleigh on the high standard of the ground and its amenities. Honours were even at the final whistle, keeping relegation threats in the air for a short while longer.

To keep in with the spirit of Ground Hopping, here are some 'fax and info' about those who attended:

  • Mick Burt, from Slough, who organised things. He doesn't drive so is chaufferred (or is it chauffeused?) by his wife Gloria, who also watched the match for a while and so qualifies as a Hopper for the day. He later wrote: "I have been into the website and thought it fantastic. Gloria says she is now my agent as well as chauffeuse! A brilliant day in every way. Perranporth was OK the next day and then she even agreed to drop in at Chagford for their 11am kick-off on Sunday morning before we went home! What a star! Went to see Braintree win the Ryman League at the new Chelmsford City stadium on Monday (attendance 1,495) but it still didn't do as much for me as Hatherleigh did. Keep up the good work - I shall follow the website with even more interest from now on."
  • Trevor Pike, from Dawlish. Trevor is a 'regular' at Hatherleigh, having last attended a match in 1988. He brought his notebook along to show us the team members, manager's name, referee's name and so on from that match. See you again in 18 years, Trev! Trevor later wrote: "The Good Friday event went really well and I know the hospitality extended by Roy Smith and others connected with the club and/or the town was much appreciated by all of us. It was evident that a great deal of thought had gone into the organisation of the event and it's always good to see hard work repaid in this way. Don't know about the mug shots though. Dodgy looking lot aren't we?! By the way, the following day I revisited Shaftesbury as the club has a new ground constructed close to the site of the previous one. On checking the date of my original trip there, I discovered it was the match I'd attended immediately prior to my earlier Hatherleigh visit in 1988. Anorak bliss! "
  • Brian Buck from Biggleswade, who writes for the Hopper magazines.
  • Dave Garrow from Woking, about whom we found out little.
  • Brian Jones from Swinton, Lancashire. He was one of the Hoppers picked up by Andy Murnock en route from Scotland.
  • Andy Murnock, originally from Berkshire, now from Edinburgh. he left at 2am to be here, picking up Brian and Len en route.
  • Paul Crofts, from Farnborough
  • Len Spierenburg, from Stockport (we think).

Mike Burt from Slough ponders

Brian Buck from Biggleswade

We think this is Brian Jones

Definitely, this is Trevor Pike from Dawlish


The star! Andy Murnock travelled from Edinburgh!

With apologies to Len, Paul, Gloria and Dave
for missing them out.

In case you're wondering, the group found us on the web, organised accomodation locally via this web site and attended several other Devon matches over the weekend too. Thanks for coming lads. See you again next year?

The special match programme can be found here (it's a small pdf).

For more on Ground Hoppers, just Google the term. For a really happy five minutes browsing try this page. The site has no home page so you just keep going round and round, which is appropriate we think. We particularly enjoyed the stand photos and their captions, which display a certain 'je ne sais quoi' in terms of architectural critique.

ADDENDUM May 9th: Brian sent us the story he will publish in the Hopper mag. Download it here (it's a tiny pdf).

 

Match Reporter wrote:

1 Hatherleigh Town 3 VS 2 Seaton Town 3

(Reynolds, O.G, Millington)

"Not a classic, but a thoroughly enjoyable game for the 100+ crowd, with healthy support from the world famous Ground Hoppers who travel all over the UK to watch and see football and grounds. Their main party, however, was in the Midlands watching games in the Harvey World Travel Midland Alliance League, in which Oadby Town play with their commercial manager being ex Leicester City wing half and renowned Okehampton manager Ollie Burton!!!

"One thing the spectators did see was goals, 3 a piece being a fair result. A pitch which had seen childrens' football early in the day was not at its best, with the ball bobbling around so control was difficult at times but as time progressed better passing showed the players getting used to the conditions.

"The first half was end to end with not much flowing football but Town did go into the lead on 22 minutes with an excellent through ball from Millington which Reynolds slotted home. Two bad mistakes by the usual reliable keeper Toop put Seaton 2-1 u p at half time.

"Hatherleigh came out with all guns blazing, and as supporters were still coming out pressure by Town ensured a goal which went in off a Seaton defender. With time running out John Hayman brought off Reynolds and Endacott, to be replaced with James and Bedford. Then the youngster Davis hit a sweet through ball for Millington to score a header.

"With the minutes running away and full time approaching Seaton went up and scored. Justice? or Extra time? Your guess is as good as mine. But at least the tea lady did a roaring trade.

"A point apiece in this six pointer. League leaders Heavitree away tomorrow

"Team : Toop, Wonnacott, Moore, Endacott, Wollacott, Gillespie, Bruce, Davies, Reynolds, Millington, Dymond
Subs: Cooper, Bedford for Endacott, James for Reynolds
Yellow cards: 1 - Moore

"With John Hayman retiring at the end of the season, who will get his job? Some keen onlookers were there! "


This was the third goal - Millie's header rose slowly and majestically into the air giving him time to stand and stare. It passed by the stranded goalie and seemed to take an age to reach the net. Whereupon ...


... all hell broke loose. With barely seconds to go in extra time the lads thought they had pulled off the perfect escape from relegation and wanted to celebrate. Here Millie lies down for a rest..


Next, everybody wanted to lie down on top of him!


Finally, they made him do 100 press ups as a reward.

Unfortunately, Seaton scored again almost immediately to level things once more. The goal came from a free kick stupidly donated by Town just outside the area. This was directed into the net by a superb glancing header to make it 3-3! The final whistle blew shortly afterwards - marking something close to 6 minutes of extra time.

A long shot to show the packed (well, by comparison) Okehampton Road ground!


Another action shot


Finally, Renny's perfect right foot hammers in Town's first goal.

Hatherleigh Town AFC is sponsored by
Tussie Mussie Spode Shop and Show House
at 3, Bridge Street, Hatherleigh.
New Spode china always on display.
Online shopping too with delivery anywhere.

ll

 


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