Where more apposite to celebrate the living dead than Somerset. It's Haloween, something that was only celebrated in America when I was a lad, but like all bad things stateside - Mugging, Jerry Springer etc. - it has eventually crossed the Atlantic and the owner of my favourite Thanet café was proudly announcing he will be wearing a costume that will scare the living daylights out of children, something that would get him a custodial sentence if he did it any other day of the year.
Templecombe, on the Waterloo to Exeter line, is a wonderful station that looks like Kew Gardens, all achieved by volunteers, and from here it is about a half hour walk to the hamlet of Horsington, home of South Cheriton United. An Ordanance Survey Map would come in handy which would enable a senic yomp across the fields thus missing out on a somewhat less pleasant walk along a fairly main footpathless road. Horsington is a picture postcard village and conversing with one of the locals sitting on a bench by the duck pond, he reckoned it was the best place in the world to live. Obviously he's never been to Hammersmith. Rustic idyll it may be but what happens when you run out of milk?
The ground is by the village hall where surprisingly, hot and cold drinks, bacon rolls and seductive jam doughnuts at 50p a throw were all available 45 minutes before kick off and at half time. It goes without saying the view from the ground is stunning, the pitch has been hastily fenced off to comply with ground grading ( I hope it doesn't get too windy!) with unusual double sided dugouts which also face the adjacent pitch. To add to the occasion the thermometer hit 21 degrees which is quite something on the last day of October, and I was decidedly overdressed in my ermine lined anorak.
Although a routine win for Sherborne, at 0-1 Cheriton should have had a penalty for a blatant trip. The referee was the only person in the ground who missed it. It's the nature of the job that referees make mistakes, so no criticism from me ( he got enough of that from the players) but I would question the (in)actions of the linesman who had a perfect view and decided to do nothing. Some strange people call them "assistant referees" but I would have thought drawing the refs. attention to the penalty would have been of more assistance than allowing a miscarriage of justice.
So another Saturday, another league recompleted, and while waiting on Templecombe station for my train home I met up with magazine mogul, editor of the late lamented "Non League Digest", Steve King and his young lady on their way back from the big one in the Yeovil & District League, Templecombe Rovers v Martock United. Steve is the worlds foremost authority on "Football Grounds doable by South West trains" and the journey to London flew by enlivened with red hot conversation on teams nobody has heard of in Somerset and Dorset. And I got back to Broadstairs early enough to go Trick or Treating.