The Meadow has been the home of the village football and cricket clubs going back to the late 1800s and the old pavilion still survives on the far side of the ground, originally this had a thatched roof and water was carried across to it by bucket and then a two wheeled hand water cart was pulled across by the players. With no electricity in the original building changing could be somewhat hazardous after the game on a cold December Saturday.
Football and cricket were both played at the present ground in Summer Road until the outbreak of war when the field was ploughed up to provide land suitable to grow food on.
There is some confusion regarding the road that the ground stands on to this day because the signs erected by the highways authority show different names at each end of the road, Sumner Road at the main road and Summer Road at the village end.
Football started up again after the war and was played at Grove Road in the village from 1947 and the club competed in the Bury & District league Division 2. A new pitch was developed on Gallents Meadow in Ixworth Road and used from1948 to 1951 (the reserve side was formed in 1949 to compete in the Bury village league) when the club moved back to its present site after the generosity of the Martineau family provided the grass seed to reseed the field.
Originally the pitch was across the field but upon the resumption of football at the meadow the direction of the pitch was changed to allow a new cricket square to be laid in the centre of the field. The thatched pavilion was still in use and the additions of calor gas for lighting and a calor gas boiler for tea making improved the facilities for everyone.
The amalgamation of the cricket and football clubs in 1952 then formed Walsham le Willows Sports Club.
The original football stand was built in the 1950s with the new pavilion in 1973, mains electricity was added at this time and the addition of a bar and lounge area followed soon after with the snooker room, kitchen and car park added the following year.
The clubs teams have participated in the Bury & District league, Bury Village league, Stowmarket league, Suffolk & Ipswich league and now the Ridgeons league. As a junior side the club won the Suffolk Junior cup three years running in 87-88, 88-89, and 89-90 after being beaten finalists in 73-74. Numerous Bury and district titles and cups were won before entering the Suffolk & Ipswich league in 89-90, promotion to the senior league was achieved in that season and was quickly followed by relegation before we established ourselves as a senior side in 97-98 by finishing in 4th position. League positions then went 3rd and 4th with the league knock out cup being won in both seasons. Current manager Paul Smith was appointed for the following campaign and the league record then went 4th, 1st,1st and 2nd with one league knock out cup victory.
Season 2004-05 was our first in the Ridgeons league and we finished 4th with our first ever Suffolk Senior cup final appearance at Portman Road. The following season cup success was achieved at Portman Road by winning the Suffolk Senior cup in a thrilling extra time 4-3 victory over Capel Plough. A creditable 5th position was achieved in the league and our first ever appearance in the F A Cup. The installation of floodlights, new changing rooms and the 100 seat stand give us a facility to be proud of and in season 06-07 we became champions of Division One after exiting all cup competitions early.
This is our seventh season in the Ridgeons Premier. During 2011 the club achieved the FA
Charter Standard Community Club Award, the main pitch has been drained to improve the playing surface and a new Sunday side wasformed.
The recent development over the road of 3 new pitches, car park, tennis court andartificial grass pitch 50m x 30m was completed in 2012 and provides us with some of the best facilities in the area.
Season 2012 – 13 was our best ever in the Eastern Counties League Premier division with a position of 6th place and with plans for a further set of changing rooms in the pipeline we hope that we can continue to progress.
Walsham Sundays Division 3 Champions and KO Cup Winners 2012-2013
Walsham Sundays Division 4 KO Cup Runners up 2011-2012
Hospice Charity Plate Winners Walsham Reserves 2011-2012 Ipswich & Suffolk Youth Football League U18 Division Champions 2011-2012 Hospice Cup Winners Walsham 'A' Team 2011-2012 Peel Cup Winners Walsham Reserves 2010-2011 Ipswich & Suffolk Youth Football League U18 Division Champions 2010 - 2011 Ross Taylor Cup Winners Walsham 'A' Team 2009-2010 SIL Division 4 Champions Walsham 'A' Team 2009-2010 Eastern Counties League (Ridgeons) Division One Champions 2006-07 Ridgeons Reserve North Div. Runners-up 2008-2009 Ridgeons Reserve North Div. Champions 2007-08 Ridgeons U18 Central Div. Champions 2007-08 Suffolk & Ipswich League (SIL) Senior Champions 2001-02 and 2002-03. SIL Senior Division Runners-up 2003-04. SIL Omnico Cup Winners 98-99, 99-2000, 2001-02. SIL Omnico Cup Finalists 02-03. Suffolk Senior Cup Winners 2005-06. Suffolk Senior Cup Finalists 2004-05. SIL Intermediate A Champions 2001-02. SIL Intermediate B Champions 96-97 SIL Ryan Cup Winners 2004-05 SIL Division One Champions 89-90, 94-95. Suffolk Junior Cup Winners 87-88, 88-89, 89-90. Suffolk Junior Cup Finalists 73-74 SIL Division Four Champions 2000-01. SIL Division Six Champions 96-97 SIL Orwell Cup Winners 96-97, 97-98, 99-00, 02-03. SIL Senior Club of the Season 2001-02 and 2002-03. SIL Junior Club of the Season 89-90. Bury Sunday League Div Four Champions 2001-02. Bury Sunday League Div Four K.O.Cup winners 01-02. Bury Sunday League Div Two K.O. Cup Winners 04-05.
FIXTURES & RESULTS
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NEWS FROM THE WILLOWS
22 April, 2014
In November 2012 Ipswich Town visited Summer Road in the Suffolk Premier Cup, nearly a thousand people attended that match and new manager Mick McCarthy sent a very strong squad and Ipswich Town were represented by players, officials and the then chief executive. Ipswich Town rightly received very good press for this and conducted themselves in an exemplary manner. However in a sport where own goals are common place I can’t help but feel that the afore mentioned club has managed to score two whoppers by firstly pulling out of the Suffolk Premier Cup and now deciding they cannot host the four Suffolk cup finals that they have in the past, due to the fact they might be in the “play offs” and have a Barry Manilow concert to fit in. This is a professional club with members of staff to look after the pitch and which has nowhere as many matches on it as it would years ago when teams at that level ran reserve teams. I understand Ipswich Town is a business but to alienate some of your potential and current customer base is not the way to go about endearing yourselves to them. Having been involved in two cup finals at Portman Road we can only sympathise with the teams that have lost out on that dream of playing there.Onto the football and the reserves played Gorleston at home on last Wednesday night and a speedy front two from the opposition had us in all sorts of bother and 2-0 down at the break, we did pull one back through Hammond in the second half but could not find the equaliser. The “B” team played two matches after a late winter break and lost 5-3 to Bury Rovers and then 3-0 to Bury Wanderers. On Saturday the first team travelled to Hadleigh and an early bath after 5 minutes for home player Jennings did not help the Hadleigh cause. Clarke put us ahead with a fine header and an own goal early in the second half appeared to have settled the match but Hadleigh hit back through Donnely before Wood finished well after rounding keeper Howe. A late goal from Blades made the score 3-2 in our favour and some revenge for the previous match when Hadleigh played us off the park. Easter Monday brought our first three figure crowd of the season and a local derby against Diss. The first half was a very cautious affair with our old nemesis Dixon scoring to put Diss 1-0 up. In the second half we pressed Diss back and man of the match Lee Sim scored two goals from distance, the second being a sublime chip over the keeper with Austin completing the scoring for a 3-1 win. The three reserve players of Gathercole, Driscoll and Austin acquitted themselves well and it was a fine team performance. We would like to thank match sponsors Carol and Eric Hubbard for their marvellous support to the club for over the last 60 years and we are pleased to see their grandchildren playing for the junior sides.
CHELL TROPHY CUP FINAL DETAILS ANNOUNCED
15 April, 2014
Congratulations to Walsham le Willows Reserves and Halstead Town Reserves on winning their Chell Trophy semi-final matches. The Final will be played at Diss Town FC on Wednesday April 30th, kick-off 7.30pm.
It will be Walsham’s second consecutive appearance in the Chell Trophy Final and having won the Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup Final already, beating Whitton Utd Reserves 3 1 held at Stowmarket Town FC
Above, Ben Cobbold receiving the Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup from Match sponsor Keith Mills from Days Sports
WALSHAM RESERVES 1 GORLESTON RESERVES 2
21 April, 2014
Thurlow Nunn Premier Reserve League
Wednesday 16th April 2014
Walsham Res 1 Gorleston Res 2
Walsham started on the upper foot, and Gathercole had an early chance saved at the near post by Gordon, before minutes later Cooke blasted over from the edge of the box. Gorleston looked dangerous going forward, and on ten minutes took the lead, when Roots broke through and fired into the far corner of the net. The visitors took control of the game, and doubled their lead on twenty minutes, when Watts took the ball around Walsham 'keeper lynn, and slid the ball into an empty goal. Watts had a further effort saved, before Cobbold's free kick was mishandled by Gordon, and Hammond saw his attempt cleared off the line. Before the break, Roots saw his great drive just clear the home cross bar, while at the other end, Virtue's header was deflected for a corner, and Gordon did well to block Cooke's shot.
After the break Walsham were much more positive; Twinn was unlucky when his attempted lob just went over, Gathercole shot straight at the 'keeper, and Fletcher fired a loose ball over. Twinn had two further efforts go close, before the visitors got more into the match; Williams and Perfect firing straight at Lynn in the Walsham goal, before McElhinnes' header went just over. Two minutes from time the home side pulled a goal back, when Hammond scored from a tight angle at the far post, but despite five minutes of added time, and a lot of the ball, were unable to snatch an equaliser.
To be fair, I thought that we played really well, some lovely one touch football, but not enough in the final third of the pitch. The big problem was, that Gorleston matched us, and had forwards who could really play with pace, as both their goals showed. Over the ninety minutes they probably just about shaded it, but that was still a good effort.
Now my favourite subject, the laws of the game, officials and consistency. The following are general observations as not to point the finger and get into trouble.
In a recent game, a player was cautioned and a free kick awarded for deliberately pulling an
opponents shirt in no mans land in the middle of the pitch (probably the right decision according to the laws), in the very next match a player commits roughly the same offence but more robustly, and prevents the attacking team mounting a meaningful attempt on goal, free kick awarded, no caution. A linesman flags because the ball has not entered the field of play from a throw in, referee's decision, play on (incorrect), the throw in should be retaken ( I believe that the linesman in question got cautioned for making that point clear to the referee. A linesman flags for offside against an attacker going for the ball from an off side position, prior to him getting the ball he is fouled by a defender, referee's decision, free kick to the attacking team. Incorrect, a free kick should be awarded to the defending team and the defender cautioned if the foul merited one. An attacker is fouled by a defender, but carries on with the ball leaving the defender on the floor, controls the ball looks up and his cross goes over the cross bar. Referee's decision, free kick to the attacking team, basically the defending team have been penalised for the forward not being able to cross the ball, rubbish. A player on the losing team is cautioned in added time for aimlessly booting the ball in the air, but previously in the same match a player is hacked down from behind and only a free kick is awarded. I make mistakes like everyone else, but it is frustrating and very annoying to be over ruled, or in some cases ignored completely, when the referee is plainly not in a position to judge the decision that I have made, why do they do that (answers on a postage stamp)? Only one referee in the past two seasons, has made me run the line on the right back side of the pitch, at least he does it every time (now that's consistency, but why)? Lastly, David Ellary, a famous Premier League referee from a few years ago once famously said, ' you cannot have common sense and consistency', spot on, what we all want is consistency, probably why he was a Headmaster (or is that Head Teacher to be politically correct)? If any budding, or not so budding, referees would like to take issue with any of that, then I am all ears, That's it folks KG
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2 August, 2013
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