LIGHT'S OUT: Styche earns deserved chance at League football

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Reece Styche of Forest Green Rovers Reece Styche of Forest Green Rovers

REGULAR readers of this column will be well aware of the quality and promise of FGR striker Reece Styche, and it cannot surprise any of you that he has moved into League football, signing a loan deal with Wycombe Wanderers.

Wycombe are paying his wages until the end of the season and in addition paying Rovers a fee for the opportunity to play Reece.

It is a good move for Reece and he was fulsome in his praise of the Nailsworth club and in particular manager Ady Pennock for help in setting up the move. Both men emerged from the deal with great credit.

So did the Rovers team, playing through a mini hurricane to defeat Chester 3-0. It was a most entertaining game with Rovers showing how much they have moved forward under new man Pennock.

They are seven points behind fourth-placed Gateshead with three games in hand. You can all do the maths and work out what is possible. No forecasts from me as I am usually wrong. A more circumspect response is more appropriate.

There was anything but a circumspect response to the performance of Lee Hughes, who on Saturday scored two of Rovers’ goals. When he was substituted near the end of the game he received a standing ovation. It was well deserved, not least because Rovers’ fans had enjoyed two opportunities to see his celebratory scoring dance.

This I am afraid is far from elegant and can best be described as a slim, trim Uncle Fester of Addams Family fame celebrating a lottery win.

Saturday afternoon’s weather was truly astonishing. I left Costa-del-Cirencester at a relatively balmy lunch-time, and it was only the wifely concern of Mrs Light that caused me to take gloves, body warmer and scarf.

I am forever in her debt as the temperature dropped, the wind blew and the heavens opened. Other men froze or were soaked. I was well prepared to deal with all the Cotswold climate could throw at me.

Penny, you will always be listened to on such matters.

Anyone watching Cirencester Town’s home game will know the strength of the storm which caused the game to be abandoned at half-time. When did that last happen?

Opportunities for young people abound in this town, making me wish I was much younger. The 1950s were a desert by comparison. Guides, scouts and uniformed organisations being the few opportunities available.

In sport, youth cricket, soccer or rugby were non existent. Now is so different and in my usual perusal of these pages I discovered a brother and sister playing different, but important roles. Ben Knowles is a key member of Stratton U15s soccer team, scoring a fine individual goal on January 23. On the inside pages we could read of his sister Amy-May who is taking over directorship of the Phoenix Revue Company annual pantomime.

She is already Young Person of the Year (2012) and chairwoman of the Youth Town Council. Congratulations to both brother and sister for their different but valuable contributions to life in this town.

There is no limit to what young people can achieve given the opportunity and in Cirencester there are so many youngsters who are proving how true this is.

Older readers may remember a feared fast bowler who struck terror into batsmen’s hearts between Bisley and Barnsley where he once took all 10 wickets for eight runs. Frank Mansell was much more than a cricketer, however, writing on astrology and publishing a book of poems Cotswold Ballads.

At the Plough Service, recently held in Cirencester Parish Church, the vicar, Canon Leonard Doolan, started his sermon quoting from first Robbie Burns and then ending the sermon with two verses of Frank’s.

I have failed totally to engage the companionable Leonard in Cotswold sport but have obviously won a battle in introducing him to Cotswold culture.

Starting with Burns, but moving on to Mansell shows an appropriate understanding of their status. Frank had many qualities but humility was not one of them and he would have relished Fr. Leonard’s sermon.

His embellishments of it would ring round his beloved Cotswold valleys. It would have stopped him talking about the sunny afternoon in June, 1963 when, in successive overs, he clean bowled your columnist and Indian Test cricketer Farokh Engineer. One of us did not trouble the scorers.

As the rain lashes down, I am returning to study the Conference Premier League table. It is possible, isn’t it?

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