Saturday 16 April 2016, Grundisburgh 2 Felixstowe Harpers United 4 - Sufolk and Ipswich League, Senior Division - The Playing Field
For some it may seem strange to watch a match at a ground that really is just a roped off park pitch but there is far more to watching a game at Grundisburgh than that.
Most of my football watching life they have been the top dogs of local Suffolk football, nine time champions and seven Senior Cup wins (all held at Portman Road) but they still choose to stay at this level whilst previous opponents in Suffolk, Leiston and now closer in footballing terms to the Football League than the Suffolk and Ipswich League.
There is talk that their success was down to paying players, but I would also like to think it was helped by a great little club bar and a village that gets behind their team.
That sense of hospitality still exists today and the level of organisation at times out shines many clubs at Thurlow Nunn level. A Clubhouse, small but plenty of seats, tea, coffee and homemade cake and then a quality programme - that was free!
No admission either but a box was passed round in the second half for donations, Hope spectators are generous as the club deserves the rewards.
On the pitch, at first I thought we would be lucky to see 22 players on the pitch at the end as the ref seemed to struggle to impose herself on the game. But it became obvious that many of the opposing players knew each other and other than one harsh challenge in the second half they controlled themselves as we finished with 22 players on the park.
Felixstowe gained the win but Grundisburgh will feel they were unfortunate to not at least gain a point but Felixstowe scored late in both halves to stop any home team comeback.
As the season has to end by May you can catch a number of evening games in this league with 6.30pm kick offs, I would suggest you will find you will be most made welcome and the standard of football will not be that bad - oh and I would recommend the coffee cake at Grundisburgh.
I mentioned the quality free programme, and it had an interesting page on the history of the club and on reading it I found out that in 1945, 2000 German Prisoners of War, walking the Playing Field from the airfield at Debach, to see a game featuring fellow German POWs play a friendly match. In goal for the German team was a certain Bert Trautmann!