Padbury Village play, somewhat unsurprisingly, in Padbury Village, a couple of miles to the South-East of Buckingham. Their ground, at Padbury Pavilion just off Springfeilds, is also home to Padbury Cricket club and, in addition, has a couple of tennis courts at the far end of the sports field. The football pitch is directly outside the pavilion, at a 90 degree angle. The pavilion itself, as was the case at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago, is currently under refurbishment and extension, so there's not too much i can say about it. Maybe I'll have to go back when it re-opens fully. There's no spectator cover unless you count the lee of the pavilion which, on a day as gusty as today, didn't provide too much shelter to be honest.
The playing surface looks to be fairly flat although, being on a small hill, it is quite open to the wind blowing across it. There were patches of heavy going, especially around the centre circle. However, considering that there was standing water on three hours before kick-off, it looked in a pretty good state.
This game was a Charles Twelftree Trophy Quarter-Final, a competition run by The Berks & Bucks FA for teams in the regional feeder leagues, ie Step 7 and below. The current holders are Old Bradwell United who beat Finchampstead 4-0 in last season's final. But, who is/was Charles Twelftree? There's not too much information about the competition out there. Although it seems that the competition started in 1950 with Flackwell Heath being the first winners. Neither of the sides in today's game have won the trophy before. Both have played there games to get to this stage. Padbury beat New Bradwell St Peter 9-8 on penalties after a 2-2 draw, followed it up with a 2-0 win at Prestwood and then beat Pundit FC 4-1 at home in the previous round. Burghfield defeated Mortimer 2-0, won 1-0 at AFC Winkfield and then beat Old Windsor 2-1 at home to reach the quarter-final.
Padbury, who recently won 7-2 at Silverstone in a league game watched by BotP (Racers Routed), are currently second in the North Bucks & District Premier League, pushing hard to stay in the second promotion spot behind runaway leaders MK United. Burghfield sit eighth in the Thames Valley Premier League, a little off the pace but with games in hand on all above them.
With the icy wind at their backs in the first half, it was Burghfield who got off to a very quick start. Within the first minute, using the conditions to assist, they played in Chris Smalley-Ward on the right. He drove into the box and managed to get a deflected shot off whilst being bundled over in the process. The referee signalled for a corner amidst vociferous calls for a penalty from the visitors. You have to say, you've seen them given. The Fielders, however, looking very sharp, didn't have long to wait before getting their noses in front. Two minutes later they were awarded a free-kick some 25 yards out and just to the right of centre. Adam Telford lined it up, driving a stunning effort over the wall into the top corner, leaving Jude Murphy with no chance. 0-1.
It was an early setback for Padbury but they responded in tremendous fashion, equalising within two minutes of going behind. It was a goal of simplicity but well taken. A through ball split the visitor's defence leaving Jordan Tavener to run in on the right. He took the shot early, low and hard past Ben Lallament into the opposite corner. 1-1
So, five minutes in and in a blistering start to the game, both teams had scored with excellent strikes. Despite the wind, rain and heavy pitch, this was shaping up to be a proper cup classic.
The home side, buoyed by the equaliser, went in search of a second and were almost rewarded very quickly when Charlie Willis drove a shot just over Lallament's bar. Somewhat unsurprisingly, this effort signalled a bit of a lull in goalmouth action, although no let-up in the pace of the game. Players were starting to find the going a a little difficult as the pitch cut up a little and became slippery in places, although nothing bad enough to suggest it was dangerous.
Just past the quarter-hour Teddy Thomas drew a good block from Padbury's Jude Murphy before, a minute later, Ben Lallament demonstrated just how unpredictable the conditions were making the game. Teh keeper came out of his area to make a clearance, which sailed over both sets of players before bouncing on the edge of the Padbury area, deceiving Murphy but going over the bar. Not a million miles from being a wind-assisted goal for the keeper.
Although the game was reasonably equal in terms of possession, it was Burghfield who were generating a few more chances. One such came in the 23rd minute when a free-kick was lofted into the Padbury box for Smalley-Ward, on the stretch, to head wide of the post. Having said that, Padbury also showed they had the tools to unlock the visitor's defence, especially with a similar through ball to the one that got them level. Again Tavener was on the end of it but this time a defender got in a good block.
The game still ebbed and flowed with neither team really able to get on top. Alex Hickey did manage to get his head to a cross five minutes from time, but that went over Lallament's bar. That was probably the closest either team came to going ahead before the break.
HT Padbury Village 1 Burghfield 1. Two goals in the first five minutes. The levels dropped a little after that, but both sides made chances. Not much to choose between the teams.
Burghfield immediately stepped up the pressure. Pinball ensued in the home penalty area as Burghfield had at least three bites at the cherry before the referee signalled a defensive free-kick. Not sure the ball stayed out, but stay out it did.
Then, on the hour mark, a ball into the Burghfield area saw Lallament and a Padbury player come together in a 50/50 challenge. There was no malice from either player but both ended up in a heap and required treatment. The Padbury player was soon up on his feet but the keeper had not even moved, a sure sign it was more serious. Thankfully, after a lengthy delay and both physios in attendance, he was able to be helped off the pitch with, I was told, a nasty, deep gash around the knee area. Goalscorer Adam Telford donned the gloves as the visitors were forced into a change.
Five minutes later, while I was still trying to work out how much time would need to be added on, Padbury went ahead out of the blue when Dale Butler beat the new keeper from way out. I must admit, I only saw the ball fly into the net but judging by the response of his teammates, it must have been a very good strike. 2-1
As in the early minutes when Burghfield went ahead, the team in arrears hiot back almost immediately. It was, again, only two minutes before the visitors were back on equal terms. A long throw from the right was nodded goalward and there was Teddy Thomas to flick it past the keeper. 2-2.
With time running out, it looked as if we may be getting a penalty shoot-out. However, as the clock ticked over towards the 90 minute mark, there was plenty of late drama to be had. First of all Willis lunged into a tackle on Elliot Telford and was shown a second yellow card. The home side down to 10 men. Then, already into added time, Burghfield got themselves in front again and, just to run salt in the wounds, when the ball into the box was contested buy a group of players, the final touch came off a Padbury defender. 2-3.
The cup run was over for Padbury but the on-field incidents weren't quite done. Following something of a fracas in midfield, Padbury substitute Nick Farrow as also shown a red card.
FT Padbury Village 2 Burghfield 3. Burghfield go through to the semi-final and will feel justified in their victory. However, it was the sort of game whereby the defeated side would also feel as if they should have won it. To be fair both teams served up plenty of entertainment in very adverse conditions and they should both be credited with that. Maybe the red card finally swung the game in Burghfield's favour, maybe not. Either way, it was an enjoyable game to watch for a neutral.
So, do you want to catch these teams in action soon? Of course you do.
Padbury are back at home on Saturday when they welcome Old Bradwell United Development to Springfields. The visitors are currently fifth in the table, six points behind Padbury with a game in hand. The reverse fixture saw Padbury edge a five goal thriller with goals from Jordan Tavener(2) and Dan Chittenden cancelling out Aaron Jones and Matt Car for OBU. Gus Thorne and Charlie Wills both saw red for Padbury.
Burghfield, who have games in hand on everyone above them, go to AFC Winkfield on Saturday. They've already met twice this season. The Charles Twlftree game which ended 1-0 to Burghfield and the reverse league fixture which Burghfield also won, 3-0.
Padbury Village: 1.Murphy, 2.L.McAndrew, 3.Willis, 4.Hickey, 5.D.McAndrew, 6.Heritage(c), 7.J.Tavener, 8.Bones, 9.Exton, 10.Marshall, 11.Butler.Subs: 21.Saltzer, 18.Thorne, 20.L.Tavener, 22.Farrow, 19.Fasolo
Burghfield: 1.Lallament, 2.E.Telford, 3.J.McClellan(c), 4.R.Farmer, 5.A.Telford, 6.Simmons, 7. Thomas, 8.Symington, 9.Smalley-Ward, 10.Guze, 11.T.McClellan. Subs: 12.Storey, 18.Nikomanis, 14.Peters, 15.Taylor, 16.Chowdhary
Ground Number: 390