Overton pay at the Overton Recreation Ground, a facility shared with the cricket team. It is on the Northern edge of Overton village, situated just over the Hampshire border from Berkshire and historically famous for producing the paper for banknotes (as well as being practically next door to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, housed in an old paper mill). There is a small car park on site and a fair amount of on=road parking nearby (beware, the streets are quite narrow). The ground is open all round, no fencing, no turnstiles and is opposite a church that tolls it's bells every hour giving the rather pleasant feeling that you are watching football on a typical British village green. There is no cover at the ground although there is a bar on the first floor of the recreation centre itself. There are also a couple of benches on a rise at the car park end of the ground should you fancy resting the legs at any point. I have to say that the pitch looked to be in extremely good condition and has no pronounced slope.
Coming into then game the visitors, Colden Common, had certainly had the better start to the season. Currently sitting in sixth spot with 13 points from their 7 games. Overton, admittedly after one fewer game, were down in 13th position having picked up just one win and two draws - their last two games, the latetr of which was a 4-4 draw at Sway. However, Overton had also played all six of their league games away from the village. This, presumably, is because they have to wait for the cricket season to finish before they can play at home.
Both clubs are founder members of the Hampshire Premier League (2007-8 season) and, again, it is Colden Common who have the historical upper-hand. They have won the league twice, in 2008-09 and again the following season. Overton's best league finish came last season when they managed 4th spot.
Last season saw the teams play out a 1-1 on the outskirts of Winchester, whilst Common triumphed 3-0 in the corresponding fixture to this evening.
Overton would need to be on their guard against Common's prolific forward-line. Sam Adams (7) and David Paskins (6) had already scored 13 goals between them in their seven games.
Common started like a team unbeaten in their last three games, pushing Overton backwards from the first whistle. However, in an early example of how the game would develop, it was the home side who were first to come really close to a goal when Amiable's cross looked to be looping in at the far post before the Common goalkeeper touched it onto the woodwork and clear.
One minute later, with around eight on the clock, Common showed their dominance of p the ball when their number 10 weaved through a number of home defenders before laying the ball off for David Paskins to even up the top-scorer chart with a low, driven finish. 0-1
After the goal, Common continued to press forward urged on by their vociferous coach, and it looked like it was a matter of time before they put the game to bed. However, it was a further 15 minutes before they managed to add to the score. Overton gave the ball away inside their own half and were immediately made to pay when a sharp exchange of passes set up Sam Adams to make it 0-2 and take the lad in the team scoring charts again.
At this point it looked as if the result was already in the bag for the away side, and it was just a matter of how many goals would they rack up. Aside from the cross that struck the post, Overton had rarely threatened the Common goal and they were clearly struggling to string their passes together.
Then, just after the half-hour mark, the game changed. It was hard to tell if Colden Common took their foot off the pedal or if Overton gained some confidence, I suspect a little of both. Whatever the case, on 34 minutes the home side were back in with a shout. A great run down the right from full-back Finley Hall produced a low cross which was controlled by Ben Nicholls, who swivelled and fired a shot into the far corner. 1-2.
HT Overton United 1 Colden Common 2. A strange half in a lot of ways. Colden Common were so much in control for the first half an hour that they could, and should, have been out of sight. However, they dropped their concentration and United, to their credit, came back at them and have given themselves a fighting chance.
The second half was only seven minutes old when it burst into life. Common came very close to extending their lead when Paskins' snap-shot came back off the post and directly into the arms of Burrows. The keeper immediately started an Overton break, and then a lofted ball over the top of the Common defence saw Ben Nicholls go clear through to bury his second and the equaliser. 2-2. What a turn around from the home side after looking dead and buried in the first half, they were suddenly level.
The game, as well as the score, was now much more even. Confidence had re-appeared in the home ranks and we had a real game on our hands.
Just past the hour mark Colden Common re-established their lead when their Terry New volleyed in a superb effort from the edge of the box. 2-3. Could the away side have finally killed off Overton's resistance? It was certainly beginning to look that way as we approached the final 10 minutes.
However, Overton were not just going to sit back and wait for the final whistle. They pressed forward and won themselves a corner on the right. When the ball was played in it was met by the head of Craig Williamson at the near post, who sent the ball into The Commoners net for the third time. 3-3
Seven minutes later a speculative low cross from the left was spilled by the Colden Common keeper. First to react was Finley Hall, who rolled the ball into the empty net to put Overton in front for the first time in the game. 4-3.
The home side hung on for the final few minutes of the game for a very unlikely (after the first 30 minutes) three points.
FT Overton United 4 Colden Common 3. For the neutral, a very entertaining game of football. Both managers will have plenty to address before their next game but United must be pleased with the way they stuck at it. All in all, a very enjoyable evening of football. Best of luck to both sides for the remainder of the season.
Overton United: Burrows, F.Hall, Swan, Williamson, Mellos(c), Reynolds, S.Nicholls, Rudge, B.Nicholls, Aimable, N.Hall. Subs: Jones, Darmody, McCann
Att: Approx. 40?
Ground Number: 210