Harwich & Parkeston

20 July 2013

Harwich & Parkeston 0 
Clapton 0

Gate: £2 - fantastic bargain !
Atten: 74

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A few years ago I was in Harwich on business and when I asked the hotel receptionist what the best thing about Harwich was , without even looking up from her What's On TV magazine she replied “the road out”. However after yesterday I think she was wrong, as the road in brings you to the Royal Oak , home of Harwich & Parkeston FC.

Formed in 1877, nicknamed “The Shrimpers” they reached their first ever cup final final loosing to today's opponents Clapton in the Essex Senior Cup.
One of their most proudest moments came in 1953 when they reached the
Amateur Cup Final in front of an audience of 100,00 against Pegasus at Wembley Stadium. Today they find themselves plying their trade in the Essex and Suffolk Borders League a far cry from the dizzy heights of Wembley finals, higher leagues, FA Cup runs and packed houses.

Last week I visted Whitstable Town aka “The Oyster men” today at Harwich , “The Shrimpers” so next week I will try to visit a club whose nickname is either The Lobsters ,The Crabs or The Malacostrac's basically another club of Crustacean influence perhaps ?

Today's opponents from the East End of London are Clapton FC who need no introduction, their history is equally as fascinating and can be read on the superb history website about The Old Spotted Dog.

Ground: 9/10
As you enter through the turnstile you enter a whole new world. Like a precious stone on a jewellers cloth a new 'gem' sparkling in the summer sunshine, unfolds before your very eyes.
The Imposing Main stand is simply superb. Showing more decay than in a dental practice , with its missing or broken seats, the bird droppings, the graffiti and greenery that would have Percy Thrower turning in his grave. You can not help but love this place and it is true what they say …. The Only Way is Essex , well it was for me yesterday.

Match Enjoyment: 7/10
Despite just being a friendly both teams were fully committed. It ended goal less but was enjoyable.
Missed penalties, good saves and decent shifts put in by both teams more than made up for the lack of goals.

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