Bedworth United FC is a non league football club from the former coal mining town of the same name in Warwickshire, located around five miles north of Coventry. The club was originally formed as Bedworth Town FC in 1895.
The club played in local competition before disbanding five years later. A second incarnation came in 1905 and lasted until the 1920’s, before another new club came along to replace it in 1925 playing in the Coventry & North Warwickshire League until 1940. The fourth Bedworth Town came following the War in 1947 as the joined the Birmingham Combination.
In their second and third seasons ‘The Greenbacks’ were crowned as league champions before progressing to the Birmingham & District League for the 1954-55 season. The league changed its name to West Midlands (Regional) League in 1962-63 before the club disbanded, leading to the formation of Bedworth United in 1968.
In 1972-73 United joined the Southern League, becoming members of Division One North. In 1979-80 the league was re-organised with Southern and Midland Divisions replacing the Premier Division. The Greenbacks were placed in the Midland section.
By 1982-83 the league reinstated the Premier Division, with Bedworth being placed in it. In 1989 the club suffered relegation back down to the Midland Division. In 1999-00 this was renamed the Western Division, before returning to its former name in 2006-07. United were placed in the newly named Division One Central for the 2010-11 campaign.
Under the managership of Steve Farmer the club won its first ever promotion in 2011-12 via the play offs with a 3-1 win over Beaconsfield SYCOB in the final to reach the Southern League Premier Division. However, relegation followed after just one season as Farmer departed soon after.
The club was transferred to Division One South of the Northern Premier League following their demotion, which led to a quick turnaround of managers. Ady Fuller took charge of the team in May 2013, but after a very poor start in their new environs he was replaced by former Bolton Wanderers, Exeter City and Brighton & Hove Albion star Stuart Storer in December 2013.
Bedworth United 0 Scarborough Athletic 3 (Saturday 22nd March 2014) Northern Premier League Division One South (att: 183)
My chance to visit Bedworth came because the fixture earlier in the season had been postponed because of the wet weather. The new date fell when I was on night shift and just one day before I departed on my annual cricketing jaunt to Chiang Mai.
Travel from London cost me just £14 return and meant I didn’t have to leave until 12.46. After changing in Nuneaton I’d arrived in Bedworth and walked the five minutes to the ground by 2.30. Admission was £8, with the programme another couple of quid.
Entry from the town end next to the Miners Welfare Park gave a fine view of The Oval from up a slope. It was a fine and tidy venue. On the far side there was a raised seated stand across the half way line, with tall trees enclosing that side. The near touchline had a cover in front of the clubhouse, with sponsors and directors facilities on its roof. The rest of the ground was open with a mixture of grass and hard standing. The near end had banking, while the far end doubled up as a car park, as did part of the clubhouse side.
The clubhouse was excellent. The Guinness was good; the room warm and not too big, with live sports on the TVs. Live feed of the Cardiff City v Liverpool game was being shown at the same time as our live match.
The downpour that greeted my arrival had given way to bright sunshine at kick off. Boro fielded two new signings; forward Grant Ryan and wide man Jordan Thewlis, which was definitely needed to freshen things up. Thewlis had a good header saved in the first minute before Ryan marked his debut with a fine finish on three minutes to put the Seadogs one nil up.
The visitors cheered on by around fifty travelling fans continued to create havoc for Bedworth with fast incisive football. Gary Bradshaw made it 2-0 as he swept home a fine cross from man of the match Jimmy Beadle.
Referee Alan Sarginson was becoming unpopular with the home fans with some of his decisions, which as often happened led to paranoia and widespread over the top moaning. The more the fans moaned, the less he gave their side. The Greenbacks had a decent spell up to the break without really threatening.
The chips and curry sauce after the break were top class for £1.90 as Boro kicked into the wind. United played far too many long balls, which Jason White in the Boro net gathered up. Play was scrappy with the ref blowing his whistle and brandishing yellow cards far too often, but it must be said that the home players were giving him every opportunity to take names.
Eventually centre back Marlon Walters was shown a second yellow card for persistent offending. Skipper Chris Tullin took real umbrage and was very fortunate not to follow his mate for petulance. Some of his team mates tried to calm him down. The home bench didn’t set the best example.
Scarborough’s forwards were being caught offside far too often as Bedworth’s rearguard played a high line with Mark Allbrighton having a fine game. However Boro’s players remained professional and kept possession to take the sting out of any threat, while keeping cool under occasional provocation.
Five minutes from time Chad Degville-Cross was sent off for his second yellow card, leaving the home side with nine men. Beadle broke and laid a chance on a plate for Thewlis, who somehow missed from close range. Beadle then had a shot of his own hit the side netting before he set up Thewlis once again. This time the former Brigg Town man made no mistake.
Mr Sarginson got some real abuse for his troubles at full time shortly after. Boro had definitely got the rub of the green decision wise and he was maybe a bit card happy, but the home side were their own worst enemies.
After catching the full time scores back in the bar amongst the amiable locals, I headed to the station for the 5.22 service to Coventry.
On the first leg of the journey I felt so humble after a real reality check. I sat with a Scarborough fan called Ian who I’d met at games in the past as he always travels by train. The bloke never stops smiling each time I’ve come across him. Communication is done by lip reading, nodding, signs & careful listening.
What made the bloke so amazing is he that he follows Scarborough from Oxenholme in the Lake District, which is the other side of the country. He gets to all the games he can manage.
It certainly put big club TV moaners and Scarborough locals who couldn't be bothered to turn out apart from the glory games into perspective.
The service from Coventry stopped at Watford Junction, where I alighted and saved myself a bit of time getting back to Kingsbury for a kip before night shift. It had been a decent day out.