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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Louth Town

Louth Town 1 Westella & Willerby 0 (Abacus Central Midlands Football League – Supreme Division)

Louth Town

We have a copy of the AA Illustrated Guide to Britain (purchased around 1984) which gets carried around with us on holidays in the UK. In its margins the ministering angel of domestic bliss has noted - next to the books descriptions of each regions principal towns and villages - what we thought of each place that we’ve visited or driven through. “Nice” she noted next to Louth after we drove through the town in 1988, but twenty-one years on we are not quite sure why.

“One of the most perfectly preserved Georgian towns in England, and a good centre from which to tour the Wolds”, reads the guide. The narrow pavements and constant flow of traffic right through its centre make navigating it on foot an unpleasant experience. Yes, there a great variety of Georgian and early-Victorian architecture but it struck us as all being a bit grubby. A succession of souped-up Vauxhall Astra’s and bulky four-by-four whipping past the impressive St James’s Church fail to add much to the 1515 building and its soaring spire either.

That aside we found the Lincolnshire folk to be particularly friendly during our holiday and that continued in the town and at the game tonight – starting with the friendly welcome from the young lady operating Park Avenue’s single turnstile.

Louth Town

Local side Louth Town were formed in May 2007, when forerunners and former tenants of Park Avenue Louth United withdrew from the Central Midlands Football League. Town completed their debut season (2007-08) with a creditable mid-table finish and the following campaign collected the league’s “Team of the Season” award when they clinched the championship and promotion to the Supreme Division, winning all but three of their twenty-eight league matches.

A bit frayed around the edges, their Park Avenue ground had already been sold prior to the club’s formation (it occupies a sizeable spot in a residential area to the east of the town centre making it ripe for redevelopment) but they’ve been able to secure a short term lease while a new home is found.

All of the grounds facilities are housed in a single two-storey building along one touchline. At pitch level are the changing rooms (and a function room large enough to house the Louth Pavilion and Bingo Social Club) and above this the club’s bar which in addition to providing the usual lubricants has a glass frontage offering views of the action as it unfolds on the pitch.

Louth Town

There are half a dozen flags of St George decorating the walls and further flags are draped at the back of the small area of covered terracing below the windows on the outside. The Louth Town “Crew” also have flags positioned at various points around the perimeter of the pitch.

On the touchline opposite the main stand is what appears to be a TV gantry – although neither Town or Louth United have had any recent cup run’s that would help explain its presence (let me know if you know why it’s there).

Tonight’s opposition Westella & Willerby (who this campaign will field an impressive 21 teams at a range of age levels) hail from East Riding (just to the north of the Humber Bridge) and are thought to have been playing competitive football since 1910. Counting Dean Windass amongst a number of famous “names” to have begun their senior careers with the club they have a reputation for the development of young players a reputation which earned them FA Community Club status in 2003.

The only goal of the evening - in an evenly contested match - came after just 13 minutes and put the home side top of the table with the only unbeaten record in the Supreme Division. Westella & Willerby, Town’s rivals for the Premier Division title last season, had previously been unbeaten until tonight.

More pictures here.

posted by chevblue at 11:30 pm






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