Western League Division One
Meadow Lane, Westbury
Match Rating: 2
At half time on the Western League groundhopping extravaganza, the cavalcade of hoppers made the 25 mile drive westwards over the border from Somerset into Wiltshire for this 4.30 kick off.
Meadow Lane is situated in the northern part of Westbury, and spectators enter via the car park entrance in one corner of the ground. It turned out to be an interesting and attractive ground, with plenty of rural and traditional feel about the place, with all buildings coloured in dark green to match the surroundings as well as club colours. From the entrance, to the other side of the goal there is a covered standing area, whilst at the other side of the corner flag is the clubhouse, with a path between the two leading to a tea bar. Along the length from the clubhouse is a brick building housing the changing rooms, whilst straddling the half way although set some way back is an all-seater stand. Around the rest of the ground there is just hard standing, along there there are a couple of permanent benches along the other length.Trees closely line three sides of the ground, and hills in the background behind one goal make for quite a scenic backdrop. The 24 page programme was perhaps the best of the day, with an attractive cover, very neatly laid out inside on good quality paper and with some interesting articles as well as the necessary stats, and minimal advertising.
Westbury United came into this game in 13th place, with six wins and five defeats from their opening 11 league games, but with games in hand on almost all teams above them, they can certainly look to climb the table in the coming weeks. In their season back in senior football, Malmesbury Victoria have settled in very well, in fourth place, with eight wins and three draws from their 14 league games.
After two very entertaining games earlier today, after a bright opening half hour full of attacking endeavour and committed play, this soon became a rather scrappy game, with the home side probably just about looking the better side in the first half, but the scoreline remained goalless at the break.
The visitors came out after the break with more purpose and took the lead on 51 minutes, Ed Wilkins heading home from a good cross from the right wing. Despite plenty of huff and puff from both sides - and Westbury did come close to an equaliser on a couple of occasions - this always had the feel of a game where one goal would win it, and so it proved.
So not the best of games on the pitch, but this was another enjoyable experience overall, with a ground with plenty of rural charm and plenty of character, as well as the slick organisation to make the large crowds feel at home and catered for.