With everything around the M25 off, I ventured up the M11 to Barrington, just outside Cambridge for a local derby in the Cambs Senior League Division 2A.
Barrington’s village green is supposedly the longest in England and having been formed in 1893, there’s a fair bit of history to the village’s football club.
The villages of Barrington and Foxton are only five miles apart, and in football terms, they seemed even closer than that. Practically everyone on the two sides appeared to know each other, and after a quick look on the league website this morning this proved to be the case. A sizable contingent of both sides had played for the opposition at some point, but a special mention should go to Daniel Alder, who has had six separate spells with Barrington and three with Foxton.
So the game was played in good spirits, but not without a bit of needle.
Barrington had Luke Chadwick (of Manchester United fame) bossing things in the middle; and he found it a breeze against two midfielders whose combined age was still less than his own.
The turning point for me came pretty early when a Barrington forward clattered the Foxton keeper who was jumping to collect a loose ball. The keeper was petrified to come off his line for the rest of the game and was lobbed from the edge of the box twice (I think). He wasn’t helpe either by a defender who hit a half-volley into his own net from the edge a similar position. Barrington were 3-0 up with barely a quarter of an hour gone.
The home side were 4-0 up at the break and despite Foxton launching a mini revival to get it to 4-2, a screamer from the edge of the box with about 10 to go put an end to any thoughts of a come-back.
I was made to feel very welcome by Barrington Chairman Steve Woodward, who made me a cuppa before the game. I politely turned down his offer of joining them in the pub afterwards though.
Attendance started at around 10, but by the time players from other teams whose games had been called off started to arrive and the sizable contingent of spectators from cars parked up, there was probably closer to 50 there.