Wordsworth Drive, Taunton, Somerset
I’m on the road again and a couple more business get-togethers before tackling the traffic hell that is Bath and heading across country to Taunton, in ziiider-country. I’m continuing my love affair with the Southern League, but this times it’s a rare toe-dip into the South & West division, a good two-and-a-half hours drive from home.
Taunton Town are not having a good season at this level, being just one off the bottom prior to this league match against mid-table Uxbridge, who’ve bought a handful of supporters with them on this long mid-week haul. To be honest, I’ve seen better football on Sunday mornings and I’m not going to waste my typing finger on this turgid affair which managed to drag 120 or so misguided souls (myself in particular) away from the Germany-England friendly on TV. A solitary goal mid-way through the first half by the home team clinched a much-needed three points for Taunton.
The ground is not far from the motorway, although armed with a google map I still managed to make three wrong turnings before managing to overshoot the ground entrance. Fortunately you can park at the ground without too much bother, although i suspect a local derby against, say, Tiverton might see it bulging.
The programme’s on sale just inside the turnstile and a promising cover reveals much of the same for this level. Pages of adverts and statistics downloaded from the League website. Where’s the pride! Surely somebody local wants to be in print with some interesting stories or essential trivia? At £1.50 I’d say it was the worst value I’ve come across for some time.
The bar is spacious and there’s a big telly showing Sky Sports News (not sure if they have Sky Sports or Setanta). Although I’m driving so it’s no problem, I have to report a bar with no real ale on sale. Tssk!
In fact there’s no pre-match food from the hatch either, and I have to wait until half time for my chip cob, although I’m heartened to see that the menu offers cornish pasties and egg & bacon cobs as a change from the usual burger fayre.
The ground itself is a rarity at this level in that it offers cover on all four sides. There’s matching cantilever-covered terracing at either end (local youth kop choir in evidence) and a lengthy covered seating stand on one side. Opposite, on the club side, is a much smaller seated stand with uncovered terracing to the side. Clearly a ground that could play at a higher level. Just a shame about the standard of football.