|Turn left for Blackfield & Langley FC.|
These leggy companions are a hundred feet tall, made of metal, and they follow each other in a precise military line as far as you can see to the south. They are joined together by lengths of wire which sag between them like skipping ropes for giants. You wonder where they're going.
After a couple of miles you veer a little to the left and what you think could be the giants' futuristic city is revealed: dozens of tall chimneys thrusting up towards the sky in the distance - this must be where the leggy giants live?
A few minutes later, you're travelling through the village of Holbury, which is where you guessed the chimneys were, but they are well hidden behind a bank of conifers by now. The metal giants stroll on past. They don't live here.
|Give us a B! Give us an L! And so on, along the length of the hoardings...|
Blackfield & Langley FC (0) 0 v 2 (0) Alton Town FC
Sydenham's Wessex League Premier Division
Saturday 28th January 2012
Club shop: No
Colours: Green / White / Green v White / Black / Black
National Grid reference: SU4402 / SU4403
|Chimneys at Blackfield & Langley.|
* That's my useful job too.
|Another chimney, and a fine twisting leap from this Alton Town player!|
However, the oil refinery wasn't there back then - in its place was a country mansion with extensive grounds full of topiarised bushes and strutting peacocks. As for the settlements of Blackfield, Langley and Holbury...well, you need a magnifying glass to spot the former, and a particularly strong microscope to see the latter two hamlets. There can have been no more than fifty houses covering the three communities at that time. Considering Blackfield & Langley FC were founded in 1935, every able-bodied man, woman and child in the area must have had turn out for them in the early days to field a full starting XI.
Of course, the three hamlets expanded elephantinely when the power station and refinery were built. Now, if every able-bodied person in the immediate area were to play for the club at the same time, it would be a case of extreme cheating.
|Streaky marmalade sky beyond Blackfield & Langley's stand.|
|GOOOOOAAAAL! 1-0 to Alton Town!|
Alton Town are also mid-table, but their expectations must be a lot lower, so they will probably be happy with their FA Vase run this season and not being involved in a relegation scrap. If there was any pressure in this game, it would have been on Blackfield & Langley.
|Manly hugs for the goalscorer as Alton pylon the pressure...|
You would think that a team playing in green might have a slight advantage, in that they would be virtually invisible to their opponents' defence, who would have trouble seeing them camouflaged against the backdrop of grass, hedges and trees. Perhaps, but this can work two ways, as it was plain that Blackfield's players must also have had trouble seeing each other - at least, this would explain their lack of accurate passing (this would also go some way towards accounting for Plymouth Argyle's league position).
Eventually, two quick goals by Alton's 9 and 8 had Blackfield at sixes and sevens. One low poke to the keeper's right, the next to his left, and that was that, bar a sending-off for the home side's number 11 during injury time - but just like Arsene Wenger, I was unsighted by a gaggle of players, so I don't know what his offence was.
|...and two minutes later, it's 2-0 to the visitors.|
I plan on going to another match on 11th February, so the next report should appear early in the following week.