Hampshire Premier League, Senior Division
Colden Common 1 Overton United 1 (att 30)
Family commitments around Christmas time often present additional challenges to finding games to watch on new grounds, especially if the weather is unkind.
I needed a game that was reasonably close to west London and without going too far out of our way on the journey down from Manchester. It also needed to tick the box of providing somewhere for my partner to spend her afternoon while I was at football.
Colden Common was the ideal solution, being a manageable detour and just a few miles south of Winchester, which had plenty to occupy my other half while I ticked off a football pitch.
The Hampshire Premier League is one of my favourite competitions at this level and, while Colden Common Park is among its more basic venues, they are a club that puts the effort in to make it a decent matchday experience.
Programmes are a rarity in the league, but Colden Common's effort is a good one and well worth the £1 cover price, especially when admission to watch the game is free.
The last time I saw Colden Common at home they played on a pitch close to the centre of the village. Apparently the changing rooms there weren't large enough so they had to relocate to a sports ground off Boyes Lane.
If you're not getting changed to play then the facilities are the two sites are similar, just pitch with rope around the playing area. But whereas the old ground was an enclosed single pitch the new one is part of a large playing field, which feels more exposed and less interesting.
It was a reasonable game between two sides who lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Overton spurned some good early chances and looked the more dangerous side throughout, but it was well into the second half before a free kick, controversially awarded, came back off the post and the rebound was scored.
That saved me from what had looked a likely nil nil draw, but Colden Common equalised late on thanks to a controversial goal of their own, which on another day might have been ruled out for offside (I couldn't tell from where I was standing).
Apparently this was one of the final Hampshire Premier League games likely to be played at Colden Common Park. The club are unable to improve the facilities so are set to move to nearby Otterbourne, and to the ground left vacant when that village's club folded.