Torridgeside v Appledore

3pm  14 April 2017

South West Peninsula League, Division One East
Torridgeside 1 Appledore 0 (att 227)

The second half of my Good Friday double took me to Torrington in North Devon, for a derby match which showed that local football still matters to people in this part of the world.

A problem with the non-League pyramid, at the higher steps, is that teams who win promotion often find themselves playing opposition from many miles away. It's not just the extra travelling, it also means supporters with no knowledge about visiting teams have less interest in turning up to watch.

A crowd of well over 200 is impressive for a 'step seven' game, and the home fans were delighted at Torridgeside's win, and the damage it did to rivals Appledore's title hopes.

In truth it wasn't the greatest of games. A nil nil draw looked likely until the home side were awarded a penalty with about 10 minutes left. The spot kick was saved, but Torridgeside got their winner from the rebound.

Torridgeside used to play second fiddle in the town to Torrington FC, but the one-time Western Leaguers are now in the North Devon League. Torridgeside are enjoying their first season since stepping up from the North Devon League to the South West Peninsula League.

Their Donnacroft Sports Ground is being developed, with a covered standing area nearing completion on the near side of a pitch that has dugouts and is railed off along the touchlines.

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