Fellow Yellows – Cove FC

Pre-Season Friendly
Cove FC v Hampton & Richmond Borough FC
Saturday, 23rd July 2013, 7.45pm
Oak Farm
Entrance free, No Programme
Distance 51 miles, Attendance 21 (headcount)
Driving down Squirrel Lane for the first time, it’s probably fairly common for people to stop, and double check they haven’t taken a wrong turn. As pleasant as it may be, it just feels nothing like the entrance to a football ground.
The tight rural lane weaves round the back of residential properties for some distance, before opening out to Cove’s Oak Farm car park. To the left is a busy clubhouse and through the gate, parking pitch side.
130723 PSF Cove v HRB (25)wThe first to greet me was their amiable young Vice Chairman. Formerly with Clifton FC, James Willcocks spoke of his delight at now being at Cove, the pride in last season’s fantastic achievements and, their possibilities going forward. In a whirlwind tour he also introduced President Frank Kenton, committee members, sponsors and the manager, before explaining detailed plans for invigorating this pleasant little club (which has sadly been overshadowed in the media by one neighbours’ shenanigans).
Founded in 1897, Cove once played in the local Aldershot and Isthmian Leagues and, now reside in the Combined Counties Premier Division; Level 9 on the football pyramid. With some historic league and cup successes, in 2010 they lifted the Combined Counties League Cup. Last season however – Anthony Millerick’s first at the helm – saw them win the Aldershot Senior Cup and, finish the league a creditable third behind Champions Egham and, the division’s power house Guernsey. The challenge now is how to better this.
With only a limited traditional fan base, Cove are trying to make the best of their facilities. Even if they win the division however, Oak Farm needs improvements to facilitate promotion. To this end they’re looking to grants and sponsorship, whilst leasing out the clubhouse (motorcycle club, The 3Bs meets on Tuesdays) and their 3G training pitch; a surface which is used weekly by all sixteen of the club’s development teams. One big plan for the future will see club staff’s sponsored cycle “Cove-to-Cove”; from Highland League, Cove Rangers back to Oak Farm.
130723 PSF Cove v HRB (53)  130723 PSF Cove v HRB (37)w  130723 PSF Cove v HRB (46)
Down on the farm, the grass on the main pitch may be suffering from the current heat wave but, with large green sprinkler spots, it was deemed playable by the two officials who’d made it to Cove. The referee had broken down so, the home team provided subs to alternately run the line as the match kicked off.
130723 PSF Cove v HRB (19)wThe game began in fairly untidy fashion, with both sides showing continuous improvement as it progressed.  Earlier, as I drank coffee made by the President, dedicated Watford fan, and Cove Assistant Manager, Danny Roberts warmed the home team up. He spoke avidly of his side, Non-League football and of course the Zolacoaster. The team has changed little from last season; keeping a blend of youth and experience, and when the 90 minutes was up, Cove had promisingly netted three times to Hampton’s two.
In this very evenly balanced encounter, there had been highlights for both sides. Whilst Stuart Harris was commanding in the home goal, young Liam Eagle showed good potential at left back. Up front Jake Baxter led the line well, scoring a terrific opener; charging down the keeper à la Scott Fitzgerald, he slotted the rebound coolly home. Afterwards I heard one fan state confidently that Cove “look quite strong; could do well this year.” One certainly hopes so.
This may not have been the most high profile game and, two fine goals were regrettably ruled out for offside (let’s blame the absent ref) but, it was a really engaging fixture, played in an amicable manner by two sides wanting to progress.
The welcome had been as warm as the setting sun; there was wonderful football camaraderie, the coffee served in china and, I got to touch the match ball. Some days – irrespective of the score – you leave a match with a buzz. Tonight was one of those.

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shorts league
P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Pts/P
GD/P
black
3
0
1
2
2
4
1
0.33
-0.67
red
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
yellow
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.

Fellow Yellows programme (7)

This entry was posted in 2013-2014, Combined Counties Football League, Isthmian League, pre-season friendly and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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