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Monday, October 01, 2007

Leverstock Green play onnnnnnnnnn into next round

Leverstock Green 3 Halstead 0


Due to an evening engagement, I could only manage to reach a local club for this round. I chose Leverstock Green, a club I’ve visited several times before, but a ground where the sun always seems to shine. This day was no exception. Not the easiest ground to visit by public transport. From London, I would suggest the Thameslink to St Albans station & then a 300 or 301 bus to Leverstock Green. This journey takes about 15 minutes and the ground is only a 5 minute walk from the village. One of the pleasures of Leverstock Green is the village green. I often take in a pre season friendly due to the fact that I can catch some cricket on the green before the match. I journeyed to the green today hoping to catch some late season action. Sadly, the pitch had been mown and the only cricket was two guys practising in the nets. I say practising. The batsman seemed fine but the bowler steamed in like Bob Willis only to bowl like Bruce Willis. Balls were flying out of his hand at the strangest angle, one in three of them somehow missed the net altogether. I decided that watching was a dangerous occupation so went for a gentle walk around the green on the way to the ground. The green is full of horse chestnuts and there were conkers as far as the eye could see. Now, when I was a kid, if you found a conker on the ground it was rarer than gold dust. I still can’t walk past a horse chestnut tree without an overwhelming desire to throw up a stick to knock the fruit down. In my day, they’d barely hit the ground before they were boiled in vinegar and had a hole drilled through the middle. I’m sure I’ve still got my 129er somewhere. I reached the ground in good time. It’s fairly basic. A small clubhouse with a bar & a tea hut serving hot and cold food and drinks are available although the toilets are decidedly dodgy. There is a small covered seating area along one side, other than that it’s a white rail affair. The pitch however was immaculate and fairly wide. Players warming up kept hoofing balls into a neighbouring field. One of the lads was about to retrieve them when a club official came running over claiming that you couldn’t enter the field due as it was shut due to mad cow disease. After that, whenever a ball went over there, everyone cried out mad cow disease and made mooing noises. About midway through the half, a real cow from that field made one of the oddest bovine noises I’ve ever heard. All the substitutes warming up, stopped in their tracks before cracking up laughing, Amusing, if slightly disturbing. The game itself was livened up by the Geordie referee. He chattered constantly to players from both sides and his extravagant cries of ‘Play onnnnnnnn’ as he waved his arms about in a frenzied fashion could probably be heard throughout the village. The game was closer than the final score suggests although Leverstock Green were worthy winners. The first goal cm early when a speedy winger beat his man and hit a pinpoint cross headed home by the centre forward. Halstead thought the Leverstock keeper should have been sent off for handball outside the area. The ball did hit his hand although I’m sure he knew precious little about I & no way was it deliberate. No offence was given. The second goal came on the half our. A corner from the left bounced at the near post, caught a deflection and went in, players going off at half time claimed it was an og. Halstead never seriously threatened the goal all afternoon despite some nice football. The final goal came near the end. A throw on the right was misjudged by a defender. The substitute forward lobbed the keeper from an angle to make the game safe.An enjoyable, open game in a nice little Hertfordshire village

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