Holman Cup, Quarter-Final
Hartland Clovelly reserves 0 Lynton 3 (att 5)
I don't usually visit grounds for reserve games but I do make exceptions if a club's second team has a different home venue to the first team. Even then such visits are usually to local games, but I was in the south west for the weekend and this cup tie filled what would otherwise have been a blank Sunday.
Hartland and Clovelly used to be separate clubs until they joined forces a couple of years ago. The first team's official home is at Hartland, while the second team usually plays home matches at Clovelly Playing Field.
The village of Clovelly is mostly known as a tourist attraction, with its steep pedestrian street, crowded with day trippers, winding down to a picturesque harbour. Just before the the visitor centre and car park is Higher Clovelly, which has enough flat land for a football pitch next to the village hall.
There are some surprisingly well-equipped football grounds lurking in the depths of the North Devon League, and Clovelly is one of them. The pitch is tightly hemmed in, with dugouts bookending a small stand for spectators on one side, and views out to the Atlantic, beyond trees, on the other.
It's an exposed spot though, and I imagine most games at Clovelly are affected by the wind to some extent. There was a certainly a strong and cold wind that challenged the players in this cup tie, but Lynton always had the edge and deserved to progress.
The final of the Holman Cup is played at Lynton, giving their players an extra incentive to progress. They did so thanks to one first half goal and two more after the break.