Ok, so the heading is far-fetched and poor but you try producing something from that name !
Yes, I am in far better mood than on Tuesday night, thank you.
I was most fortunate to have a new chauffeur in the shape of Mr. Andy Chilton, who took Rod and myself down to the Global Metcorp Stadium, at Gaywood Park. A relatively simple journey was enjoyed down the M40 and up the M25 to J20 then a mile or so into the village of Kings Langley. A case of “3 men in a tub (BMW) – the statto, the blogger and the Town website twitterer”.
On arrival at the ground, my immediate thought was that we are at an old MFA ground, one of the less salubrious ones at that ! This may not be far from the truth as the “Kings” have had three quick consecutive promotions from the Spartan South Midlands Division 1, SSM Premier Division and the Southern League Central Division last season. With small crowds they have not had money to be able to improve their very basic stadium.
The main building from the carpark contains the changing rooms, barely-legal toilets and a small bar. Once through the turnstile, a view down to the pitch – level but bobbly – confirms the severe shortcomings of the ground. A sloping walkway from changing room to pitch is protected by 6 ft high fencing. From this nearside corner one has to pass the mobile refreshment trailer (minimal menu, but very acceptable fare). The next point of interest is the boardroom, located in an apparent old seafreight container above some minimal open terracing. Then the only current seating is an old low-level covered wooden stand with a row of seating. Surely below the statutory requirement, there is then new covered concrete terracing (with scaffolding) being fitted out with seating from the now demolished Nene Park (home of Rushden and Diamonds).This work has to be completed in the next fortnight to stand any chance of the “Kings” avoiding demotion because of substandard ground quality. Turning the corner to behind the goal, there is a very small covered terraced stand (the width of the goal and barely beating Dunstable’s mini “effort”). The far side had a couple of small 5-tier covered terracing then leading round to an unadorned near goal side.
Had a drink with Hughes senior and junior, Carl’s folks and “Fitz” and “Tunni”, before walking my usual perimeter inspection tour to meet up with regulars – carload of “Mr and Mrs’s” (Simpson and Hales), Jim and the returning wildlife “snappers” – Granty and Woody. There were a couple or more Townites who I am not on such intimate terms with.
The game was no classic and was generally end to end. A straightforward penalty (for a foul on Mikey) was despatched with ease by Edwin who got the important second goal following some dogged chasing and footwork on the right to engineer a fine left-footed shot. No time better for a goal – or second one – than just before half-time ! Second half saw the home side “up their game” a little and get a goal back after a low centre cannoned round in the area and was stabbed home. Town battled hard to stave off the subsequent pressure and were rewarded with the “killer” goal late on, courtesy of Mikey chasing down a long ball and dispossessing the embarrassed home ‘keeper near the touchline and shooting home past a despairing lunge by a home defender.
Relieved players, team management and the “Barmy Blue Army” were all smiles after a near 100 minute game. We, like most Town supporters, departed at approx. 5.45pm to arrive back in Tiddington at 7.15pm
Next Saturday now takes on a very interesting look to the encounter with Banbury, as they have now caught Merthyr for the fight for the fifth play-off place. Town, although not mathematically safe, are back to 17th and virtually “there” so the local derby could draw in a goodly crowd. Bring your friends and relations to see, hopefully, a great game of football.
Up the Town !