BITTON AFC (Recreation Ground, Bath Road)

This evening I found myself on the outskirts of a small village between Bristol and Bath, as it's team, Bitton AFC, took on rivals from across the valley, Odd Down, in the Western Premier League.

I felt very fortunate to get a game into tonight as external factors could've thrown a spanner in the works.

Firstly there was the FA Cup. If either side had needed a replay after the weekend the game would've been postponed, luckily that wasn't so (both teams won their respective ties 3-1) and, secondly, the weather. It was awful today with heavy persistent rain, but by late afternoon it had stopped and upon arrival the pitch was immaculate.

Formed in 1892, Bitton played in local Bristol leagues then moved into the Gloucestershire league. After promotion to the Western league in 1997, they were crowned Champions in 2009 but Bitton were unable to gain promotion as the ground facilities did not satisfy Southern League standards. They same thing occurred again in 2011, when they finished Runners up. After investment in the ground the club is now ready for promotion, should the opportunity arise again.

Bitton, who had began their season with three straight victories, got off to a fantastic start in the match, taking the lead inside 20 seconds when Mark Salter bust through the Odd Down defence to give them the lead.

Bitton really should've extended their lead but they would come to rue those early missed chances when after 20 minutes Kye Simpson equalised at the second attempt. Simpson then put the visitors in front just two minutes later as Odd Down began to take control of the game.

Bitton had a couple of early chances after the break, but it was the counter attacking of Odd Down that looked more likely to reap reward and indeed so it proved when Twaine Plummer effectively put the game to bed in the 68th minute.

Any hopes of a Bitton comeback were extinguished in the 78th minute when James Pilling was sent off for an over the top challenge.
Good game to watch and, based on this performance, I would expect both teams to be in the mix come the end of the season.



Wednesday 15th August 2012
Western Premier League
Bitton AFC 1-3 Odd Down (Bath)
Attendance: 109

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