Fellow Yellows – Chalfont Wasps FC

Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup, Semi Final
Chalfont Wasps FC v AFC Aldermaston
Saturday, 22nd February 2014, 2pm
The Nest
Entrance free, No Programme
Distance 10 miles, Attendance 28 (headcount)
For the past two months, I’ve been driven from the South East by biblical downpours. Now the sun was back out, it seemed fitting to head towards the safety of home once more. Contacting some old school friends, we arranged to meet not far from our old stomping grounds.
140222 BBIC SF Chalfont Wasps v AFC Aldermaston (126)wDown in the village, Chalfont St Giles was still suffering from watery excesses however up on the playing fields, the elevation of the chalk hills had thankfully drained the pitch, enough for today’s important fixture to go ahead.
While players warmed up, we began our day in the spacious bar chatting with club stalwarts Angie & Dick, where tales of recent club history and Mrs D’s MBE were recounted. About us, the polished rewards of a successful youth policy, paid tribute to the hard work in this volunteer run club.
140222 BBIC SF Chalfont Wasps v AFC Aldermaston (9)wFounded in 1922, Chalfont Wasps started life in the Wycombe Combination, winning their first silverware within a decade. Thirty years ago they then became founder members of the Chiltonian League which subsequently evolved into the Hellenic League Division 1 East; their current abode.
Though spending only a very brief spell in the division above, Wasps have recently become very successful in Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup; lifting the trophy four times in the past eight years. As optimistic as they were – genial Chairman, Steve Waddington, informed us prior to kick-off – training preparations for this year’s Semi Final had been hampered somewhat.
140222 BBIC SF Chalfont Wasps v AFC Aldermaston (78)As we stood out in the sun, discussing our own rather limited footballing successes; opposite us were the covered area and dugouts – as featured David Bauckham’s book – with fans sparsely lining the perimeter. Given they hadn’t played together for a while, the players showed some promise, or as John put it, “Unlike us, they’re actually trying to play.”
140222 BBIC SF Chalfont Wasps v AFC Aldermaston (121)wThe first real opportunity saw Dave Zealey sprinting down the wing, before passing to Fred Tripp, who flicked the ball deftly to the onrushing Keiran Webb but, an offside flag prevented any shot on goal. Then, up the other end – missed by unsighted officials – Aldermaston’s Matty Wilks clearly handled to beat his marker and, forced Wasps into two desperate goal line clearances. More defensive action saw bravery from home keeper, Chris Tullett, whilst in attack Steve Rodgers flashed two long range efforts just over the bar.
Twenty minutes in, the ref pointed to the spot. Once again we’d had a better view of the incident; yet again he’d been wrong. Cutting through the mayhem, Andy piped up “There’s going to be goals in this”, Wasps’ captain Ed Chemlal pleaded himself into the book, and Kai Parton-Eddy drove the spot kick home.
As the engaging fixture continued, Aldermaston were forced on to the back foot. Zealey and Tripp both had good chances blocked and just prior to the break, Zealey’s thunderbolt – bringing a stunning save from visiting Ben Smith – was the first sign that maybe this wasn’t to be Chalfont’s day.
After the break a more even encounter saw Tullett brilliantly deny Parton-Eddy before, Zealey levelled the score following good work from Rodgers. Ten minutes later – through a fierce Michael Porter drive – Aldermaston were ahead again. Headers went over at both goals, and saves, shots and blocks continued apace.
140222 BBIC SF Chalfont Wasps v AFC Aldermaston (112)wWith the game drawing to a close, in the flurry of activity, the ball deflected tantalisingly across the Aldermaston goal line and moments later, Chalfont were awarded a penalty. I grabbed my camera and sprinted once again behind the net as sub and Assistant Manager, Jean-Pierre Jamil, paced out his run-up.
As the ball rebounded off the keeper it was fairly clear, whatever Wasps’ endeavours, they were unlikely to progress. Tullett made another fine save before the whistle but as chances go, any hope of extra time was wiped away with the penalty miss.
Sure many levels above there might have been more media interested and far tidier beards but, it’s unlikely that up there I could have arranged, at short notice, to stand chatting with old friends, in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, whilst we took in what felt like the very first sun and a very entertaining game.
At the other end of the football pyramid is wonderful world, comfortingly it feels like home.
shorts league
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Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.

140222 Chalfont prog (2)

This entry was posted in 2013-2014, Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup, Fellow Yellows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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