Saturday, February 24, 2007

Needham Market FC

Needham Market 0 Wroxham 0 - Eastern Counties League Premier Division

The name Needham Market, according to the gazetteer in a reputable Atlas of the British Isles, means "needy homestead with a market". Today that name would appear to be inaccurate on both counts. In 1245 King Henry III granted a market charter for Needham to Hugh, Bishop of Ely. This market flourished for many years and it is likely that the plague brought it to an end when trade moved to Ipswich and Stowmarket.

Although we were heading for Stowmarket, we realised that to take in a full 90 minutes, Needham Market was a better bet. Our arrival at Bloomfields at 14.58 merely underlined the point. However this was a top of the table clash between the home side in 3rd place and visitors Wroxham, currently sitting just above them but with games in hand on leaders Mildenhall.

Needham Market railway station is less than half a mile from the ground, an easy walk for anyone using public transport.

There appeared to be a number of others in the very good crowd of 220, like ourselves, who had arrived at Needham Market having intended to be elsewhere. The ground has a disjointed feel about it but in common with many at this level, this just adds to the attraction. The main stand is very steep in appearance and along with seats for about 100 spectators there is also limited standing room at the very back. Along one half of the opposite touchline there is covered standing accommodation and to one side of one of the goals are some additional standing facilities.

On a sticky, boggy pitch the teams fought a keen battle. Every so often it got heated and the referee struggled to maintain order. On reflection, a point each was fair in this Suffolk v Norfolk contest.

Attendance: 220
Admission: £5
Programme: £1
Chips: £1
Hot Dog: £1.80

No comments: