A journey down the M1 gave me the chance to see a United Counties South League game having recently watched a number of North games.
Bugbroke is a village to the North West of Northampton not yet swallowed up by the behemoth that is this fast growing town. If you stand still for long on the outskirts of Northampton for long you risk being part of a roundabout, housing estate or one of the large sheds that keep growing and growing.
A team named Bugbrooke United started in 1910 but only lasted until 1927 and two years later Bugbrooke St Michael’s FC were formed. They played local Northampton football including in the intriguingly named Central Village League. Bugbrooke joined the United Counties League in 1985 gaining promotion to the Premier League in 1999. Since then they have developed as a Community Chartered Standard Club being voted the best in Northamptonshire in the past. The club now run teams of all ages and levels for men and women.
Their football foundation grant in 2006 to build a clubhouse shaped the ground, ‘the sett’, to what it is today. The brick built clubhouse runs for much of one side of the ground incorporating, changing rooms, bar, food hatch, reception area and function room. They also cleverly incorporated a seated spectator covered area to meet ground grading parameters.
The rest of the pitch area is surrounded by hard standing and new railings and fencing supplied with the support of the FA make this a very tidy and compact ground. There are other football pitches around for their other teams and training and they merge into Rugby and Cricket pitches all with their own clubhouse facilities.
The visitors Rothwell Corinthians like many clubs started as a church side and played local football on the ‘rec’. However in the 1980’s a move to the local cricket ground and the subsequent purchase of their current ground cemented their future. Winning the East Midlands Alliance Premier League on two occasions gave the club the confidence to apply to and join the United Counties League in 1995.
The club have cemented their status in the United Counties despite a few ups and downs and have been set in the United Counties Premier League South since the FA reorganisation. The Corinthians have assumed the senior role in Rothwell after Rothwell Town’s demise from the Southern League just over a decade ago.
Bugbrooke Town 2 Rothwell Corinthians 1
Saturday 25th February 2023. 15.00 pm kick off. United Counties Premier League South.
The Sett, Camp Hill, Bugbrooke, Northampton, NN7 3PH
13th v 17th. Badgers v Corinthians
Bugbrooke, White shirts with black shorts: Rothwell, Red shirts with black vertical stripes on the front with red shorts.
The very flat grasss pitch looked good even though it was wearing in a few places. The day was cold, 5.5 degrees, windy with grey skies that were begining to turn blue in places.
Rothwell were the more possitive team at the start with more possession, more running with the ball and more movement up front. Bugbrooke did have a few moments of opportunity and converted one of these into a goal on 39 minutes when Tom Simmons stole in at the back post to tap the ball into the net after it was headed on after a free kick from the right. Half Time 1.0
The game reverted to the previous halves pattern with Bugbrooke becoming more adventurous which was rewarded in the 70th minute when they were awarded a hotly contested free kick just on the right line of the penalty area. The free kick was whipped in for Joe Malkin to run in and make it 2 nil to the home team.
The Corinthians did not give in and pressed harder resulting in a free kick from the left being met by the soaring Aaaron Healey who headed it past the keeper to set up a frantic final 6 minutes. They continued to press but wasted a series of free kicks that went harmlessly to the goalkeeper or out of play. When the final whistle blew you could see the relief of the home team who celebrated their win with some vigour.
The crowd of only 60 was disappointing for this level of football.
The chips which were freshly cooked were very hot, had the skins on, tasty, crispy but were a bit greasy. A good score of 75.