I blame my former work colleague Scott as he tweaked my interest in non-league football after extolling the joys of following Slough Town. So having recently moved to Didcot I thought it was a good excuse to see my new local team in action. They play in the Evo-Stik Division One South & West league, which is currently topped by former league club Hereford Utd (who caused trouble with a pitch invasion at Didcot the previous weekend). Driving to the ground I was looking out for the bright lights of the ground and nearly turned into the local Tesco delivery warehouse. However, I did make it to the ground and it is impressive with a fairly new clubhouse/bar and decent seating area. There is a covered standing area and more seating behind one goal plus a tea hut! Their nicknames are the Railwaymen (like Crewe and they also play in red tops like them) and Diddy (I assume after the town and not a tribute to Ken Dodd!).
Form wise Didcot have drawn one and lost five in their previous six games, whilst Taunton are the exact opposite, five wins and a draw in their last six games. Didcot took an early lead through Joyce, although Taunton had equalised by half time. Pretty evenly matched in the first half and there is a lot more aerial/hoofing of the ball – Tony Pulis would be in his element watching some of this game. Second half saw Didcot take the lead again with a penalty put away by Whitehead. It was short lived as Taunton equalised, had a penalty saved and finally got the winner with some ten minutes to spare. Hard result on Didcot, although the result did run to current form.
An enjoyable game and glad I was located near the Didcot old boys who provided lots of entertainment with their quips. Taunton had a dozen or so fans in the 96 official attendance and they were a lively and noisy lot. They don’t seem to like Yeovil Town much 🙂 Their number five is a big lad, reminding me of the former Stoke player and kebab lover Jon Parkin.
Andy Ballard is the manager of Didcot and spent a lot of his career at Oxford City, plus a spell at Slough Town. The players have mainly played previously in local non-league teams like Oxford City, although Callum McNish has played for Exeter City and Southampton youth team, and you can see that is some of his on the ball trickery.
So along with my first love Stoke City, I can add Didcot Town to teams I follow along with Crewe and East Fife.