WHEN inclement weather threatened to wipe out the local football programme, you could have put money on the first game to be called being at Lyme Regis Football Club.
In recent times the Seasiders have gone for weeks without a home game because their Davey Fort pitch, literally cut into the side of a cliff, was notoriously wet.
This weekend was the first to fall foul of the heavy rain this season and a number of games were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.
But the Davey Fort, where Lyme Reserves and Dunkeswell Rovers were schedule to meet in the Devon & Exeter Division One East, was not one of them – the reason being that the Seasiders have been working flat out to widen their pitch and make it more playable.
New drainage along the northern touchline has been part of a £140,000 development programme at the Davey Fort called Project Fortify which has been generously supported in grant aid from Lyme Regis Town Council.
Other improvements in recent times have included a new kitchen on the clubhouse and a 63-seat grandstand. The final stage with be the extension and resurfacing of the car park which should be completed by the end of February.
Players and officials worked most of Friday and Saturday morning to make the pitch playable for the first home fixture and the good news was that the new northern bank drainage succeeded in dispensing the amount of water cascading down the steep field behind the ground.
Referee Glyn Roberts, from Seaton, arrived early at the ground to make sure the field was not dangerous before giving his approval to go ahead.
Club chairman Howard Larcombe told LymeOnline Sport: “We were delighted we were able to get Saturday’s game on when so many other local clubs had to called off their matches and I would like to thank all those players and committee members who worked so hard to make sure the Davey Fort was playable.”
The only disappointment was that the Reserves were unable to crown a big day for the club, losing 1-0 in a closely-fought encounter against determined Dunkeswell side.
There was very little between the two teams with the Devon side scoring the only goal of the game with a free header from a corner midway through the first-half. The Seasiders went close in the second half with a header from Tyler Wellman which went just wide.
It was a good around performance by the Reserves with Cam Fowler working particularly hard in midfield.
After the game, Lyme manager Nick Tregale said: “We were caught napping with their goal but we battled hard and were unlucky not to get a point which we deserved.”
Next Saturday (October 10th) Lyme Regis 1sts are due to travel to University of Exeter 2nds. Lyme Reserves return to the Davey Fort for a Dorset Intermediate Cup match against Upwey & Broadway (kick-off 2.30 pm).