Down Ampney 3-2 Trowbridge Town, Saturday, October 30th, 1999, (
Trowbridge Town Football Club Archive)
Down Ampney 3 - 2 Trowbridge TownLeague - Wiltshire Intermediate League
Saturday, October 30th, 1999, 2:30 PM
So the Bees' unbeaten league record finally goes, which may be a good thing for several reasons. Firstly, it might take some pressure off the team, who to my eyes have been struggling a little of late to replicate the free-passing form which saw us past the likes of Raychem and Blunsdon earlier in the season. And secondly it might help the sanity of the supporters, many of whom have been seen wandering around the town centre like zombies in the early morning, mumbling "Top of the league!... Top of the league!..." to themselves in disbelief. In trying to make excuses for the result, I could start droning on about the conditions but I won't. The simple fact is that, for most of the game (and especially the first half), Down Ampney were up for the game while Trowbridge weren't. The difference was particularly marked in midfield, where they seemed to be first to every loose ball, whilst the pace of their strikers gave us further problems. That said, Trowbridge had the best early chance as Adam Smith's close-range strike was blocked by the keeper. However, a header from a corner put the home team one up after ten minutes, and almost added to their lead a few minutes later after the now-traditional suicide charge out of his area by Chris Vaughan led to the equally-traditional collective coronary amongst Bees supporters on the sidelines (another 50 or so there, outnumbering the home fans). Alan Roberts had obviously decided to forget about teacups and throw the entire crockery set around at half time, as Trowbridge came out with improved purpose after the break, helped by the sort of gale which Caribbean's could doubtless relate to. The equaliser came on the hour, as a cross from the right found John Taylor sneaking in on the far post to bundle the ball home. But ten minutes later the traveling support was rocked back on its heels as Trowbridge failed to defend another corner, and the loose ball was swept home at the near post. In what was becoming an increasingly end to end match,
Trowbridge dragged themselves back onto level terms when Taylor (my choice as Bees' Man of the Match for his ceaseless effort) was impeded in the area, and Neil Kirkpatrick stepped forward to dispatch the penalty with his usual panache (three inches inside the post, as ever). By now the game was wide open, and the Trowbridge entourage fancied a last gasp winner as the wind died down to mere hurricane level. But with five minutes left the killer blow was struck by Down Ampney on the break, their striker running half the length of the field to tuck the ball past Vaughan into the far right-hand corner. By now the gold and black throng on the touchline had pretty much realised it wasn't going to be our day, although there was still time to get excited as Steve Eade's header came back off the post in the last minute of normal time. All in all the home team deserved their win, and it was good to see our fans applauding both teams off the park. Whilst it is disappointing to see our unbeaten record go, it should be pointed out that we were missing at least three important first team players in Andy Bonser, Gary Holding and Will Astall; we particularly missed Bonzo's stability at the back, and 'Jeff's' workrate up front. Hopefully we'll have these two back for next week's game against our dear friends from Blunsdon. Apparently they don't like us very much. Can't think why?
Report by Rob Lloyd-Smith.