No more than 225 miles from my home in Nantwich, Cheshire lies the picturesque Coombe Valley, home of Teignmouth AFC. This was derby day, with Brixham AFC the visitors. Both sides currently ply their trade in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division One East. Whereas Teignmouth’s club was formed in 1946, Brixham, in contrast, came together just 4 years ago following the amalgamation of the town’s Villa and United teams.
Armed with nothing more than a 50mm f/1.4 lens strapped to a Canon EOS 1DX, I arrived at the ground about an hour before kick-off, having crept around the local lanes on the outskirts of the town before descending down towards the valley in which the pitch resides.
No scarf-sellers, no stewards, no photo bibs, no tourists, no restrictions…what lay ahead of me was just proper football, played by people who just want to play football.
I received a warm welcome from the Teignmouth players and staff, and ventured into the dressing room for their pre-match talk before the teams headed out onto the pitch. The crowd of around 30-40 people were treated to a fiesty, yet remarkably friendly encounter – both sides came into the match off the back of a run of victories, and to end that run with a defeat to your local rivals was something neither team wanted.
Teignmouth eventually ran out 3-0 winners in the end, though Brixham weren’t without their chances. My aim was to document the day; the match and the surroundings. I must reiterate my thanks to everyone at Teignmouth, in particular Liam Jones – having just turned up, camera in hand, they were all extremely accommodating and made it an enjoyable afternoon. All of these pictures are available in all their hi-res glory via the lovely folk at Offside Sports Photography…