Wessex League Cup Round One
Laverstock & Ford 2
(Adam Bourner, James Clifton)
Romsey Town 1
It was a Terrace Traveller family reunion for this game as Terrace senior (my dad) and my stepmother made the 200-mile trip south to come and visit for a few days. Excursions to the New Forest and Stonehenge were on the cards and being football fans, they were both intrigued to see what the Non League scene had to offer and asked me to pick out a game.
After throwing a few options at them (not knowing where any of the places were, however) I decided that a trip to The Dell would be the best picking for a Tuesday night on the outskirts of Salisbury.
This was my second visit to Laverstock, having witnessed a 5-0 mauling of Andover New Street last season in a Wessex Division One match. Tonight’s challenge was a slightly different affair with a cup tie, anything could happen.
Tucked away just outside of Salisbury, Laverstock, at a quick glance, looks like a fairly quiet village with very little going on. The football ground is even more tucked away down a narrow driveway but with a big social club, housing what I believe is all the sports clubs in Laverstock, it is quite a welcoming place once you can find it.
On entrance to the ground, up one corner you enter between the two identical seated stands that are strangely placed either side of the corner flag. Next to one of the seated areas there is one small covered terrace behind the near goal that had just one lonely chair placed ready for the game. The rest of the ground is uncovered standing around the perimeter.
The three of us decided to stand on the halfway line opposite the dugouts, dad didn’t believe that both halves were the same length, however the threat of public shaming with picture evidence suppressed any ideas of pacing out the pitch.
James Clifton’s second half strike secured Laverstock & Ford’s place in the next round of the Wessex League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Romsey Town, despite Zak Pickett having a goal disallowed for offside deep into injury time.
Adam Bourner had put the home side into the lead from the spot before Idrit Elezi equalised shortly after. Clifton netted from close range in the second half to knock Romsey out of the cup.
The home side got off to a good start with Phillip Morgan going close, heading over the bar unmarked from the first corner of the game. Laverstock were putting pressure on the Romsey backline and they were awarded an early penalty when Jake Swift hauled down James Clifton. Bourner stepped up and converted the spot kick, despite ‘keeper Jordan Westbrook diving the wrong way.
Romsey settled into the game and Daniel Fox had a good chance to equalise when Pickett slid in a good through ball, but Lee Newman-Judd pushed the effort out for a corner.
Sam Dorrington dropped a clanger for the home side when his weak back pass was intercepted by Indrit Elezi who skipped around the ‘keeper to slot into the open net.
The second half was scrappy for the most part with neither side gaining any sort of advantage over their opponents. The introduction of Russell Jones instilled a bit of pace on the left wing for Laverstock and they soon found the eventual winner when Jones played in a dangerous ball which was turned against the post by a Romsey defender before Clifton popped up at the back post to tap in the rebound.
Romsey piled men forward to try and force extra time and Craig Bryant put his effort over the bar after Pickett had done well to head the ball back across the box.
And it looked like there would be some late drama when Zak Pickett rose highest to head the ball into the back of the net, but as the defender wheeled away in Alan Shearer-esque ‘hand in the air style’ the linesman on the opposite side had his flag up for offside. Laverstock managed to hold on for the last few seconds to keep their 2-1 victory.
2016/17 Games: 28
2016/17 Grounds: 28
Total Grounds Visited: 167