No.17 - Sat. 20th October 2007; Leicestershire Senior League Division 1 3.00pm at Station Road, Dunton Bassett, Leicestershire (Att: 51; Admn: £1; Prog: 12pp, £1)
Dunton & Broughton Rangers (3) 5 Lutterworth Town (2) 3
Rangers exploit defensive frailties!
A journey up to the East Midlands on Saturday provided us with a perfect Leicestershire 'double'. Whilst travelling up to visit our daughter Jo, now studying English at Loughborough University, we stopped en route to attend the Leicestershire Senior League First Division game between Dunton & Broughton Rangers and Lutterworth Town. And what a cracking 'hors d'oeuvre' this proved to be!!
Newly promoted from the Leicester & District League, Rangers have so far made an impressive start to life in the Senior League having lost only two of their opening eight games. This match was an excellent contest, full of incident and goals, making it a splendid advert for the County League.
It was breath-taking stuff as the hosts took a two goal lead with Matt Whifield netting a brace early on. Town were given a lifeline as a Ross Harrison corner was inexplicably fumbled into his own net by Dunton's keeper Adam Bewell. Town soon found themselves on level terms as Bradshaw cooly rounded Bewell to slot home at the near post. Rangers went back in front again as Greg Richards made it 3-2 just before the interval. It was exciting end to end stuff with both keepers called upon frequently and trying desperately to make amends for some slack defending by the players in front of them! Plenty of shots inevitably led to more goals and Rangers increased their lead through Tom Line and Mark Snazell after Town 'keeper Lee Jacques had to retire with an injured knee midway through the second half. Whilst the visitors responded with a flurry and grabbed a late consolation effort through Nathan William, Rangers themselves were afforded the luxury of missing a penalty as the ball cruelly hit a post, leaving the game with an unbelievable 5-3 scoreline! What drama! This is what hopping is all about isn't it?
Dunton & Broughton Rangers Football Club was formed as recently as 2002 following the merger of long standing clubs Dunton Bassett FC and Broughton Rangers Juniors/Ladies. The club runs football teams for both boys and girls aged between six and seventeen as well as two senior Saturday sides and one Sunday side. Three separate venues are used: Station Road (First Team); Thomas Estley Community College and occasionally Broughton Astley Recreation Ground. FA Charter status was achieved in 2005 with the Leicester and District title gained in a record number of points a year later at the end of 2006-2007.
Travellers to Station Road will receive a thoroughly warm welcome at this friendly, well-run club located in the village of Dunton Bassett (some 10 miles from the city of Leicester). The committee members could not have been more helpful and were cheerfully dispensing refreshments and programmes as well as providing 'hoppers with those vital team line ups well before the 3pm kick-off.
Down the end of a narrow driveway the ground is almost opposite the Merrie Monk Public House in Station Road. Hoppers will be left in no doubt as to their location with the club initials proudly displayed on the main gate and beautifully painted in full on the back of a new dug out next to the half way line. The well maintained ground has a rural feel about it with views of rolling hills which can be seen from every angle. It is hard to believe that you are only a few miles from the M1 motorway which can be picked out on the horizon. The bumpy but well grassed pitch is fully enclosed on all sides with a neat post and rail fence. Unusually there are two dug outs here with one on each side of the field and to avoid any confusion the hosts set up camp using the oldest one on the far side whilst the visitors sit on the nearside. Players enter the pitch between a narrow roped off 'gangway' in the corner.
The clubhouse has a lovely cosy feel about it with a TV, pool table, lounge bar and snug arm chairs (that would not look out of place in a stately home!) in situ. A range of team photos and memorabilia are proudly displayed on the back wall to give the place a bit of character and atmosphere. Great stuff! The dressing rooms and some toilets (spotless according to Mrs W!) are found at the opposite end of this building.
A crowd of about fifty spectators were in attendance including a handful of hoppers who had travelled from far and wide to get here. Refreshments included fresh cheese and ham rolls, snacks and sweets as well as hot drinks were all served from the bar throughout the game. Like last week (see R No.16: Renhold United) I was well chuffed to receive an excellent 12 page computer generated programme which was included in the £1 admission price. The club name, logo (not surprisingly showing a Leicestershire fox) and website address are all neatly printed on the front cover with the club sponsors listed in colour on the back page. A brief history of the club, match welcome, player profiles, team line-ups and stats (including a current league table, results, fixtures and goal scorers) can be found inside. A colour first team photo showing the District League Championship squad from last season completes this splendid effort edited by the hard working club secretary Richard Nutt. It is useful to note that the club now issues programmes for all home games.
The club is easy to find being close to the M1 motorway (junction 20 is only five miles from here). Take the A4303 towards Rugby before almost immediately turning right onto the A426 Leicester Road passing through Lutterworth, Bitteswell (home of LT FC which is signposted) and Ashby Parva. As you approach Dunton Bassett turn right at the main crossroads into Station Road. There is plenty of parking space at pitchside in front of the club house.
Dunton & Broughton Rangers Football Club is well worth a visit. 'Hoppers will be made to feel very welcome by this friendly club, found in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside. With the club now issuing programmes it is surely an opportunity that is too good to miss!
FGIF Rating: 5*
edited on 21/10/07