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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Broxbourne fold in the wind

Broxbourne Borough 1 Stotfold 2


Broxbourne Borough are one of those clubs that I’ve kept putting off. Geographically, they’re not far from me at all, but on looking it had seemed tricky to reach and I had always plumped for a different option. One the draw came out, it once again caught my eye & this time I decided to bite the bullet and find a way there. It looked to be a couple of miles from Theobalds grove station. I decided to go into London and after a couple of stops on the Tube, drop down to my destination. Oh silly me! Needless to say, once again my plans were scuppered by London Transport who decided it would be a good idea to close the entire Victoria line on a Saturday. What other major capital city in the World has to constantly put up with this constant inconvenience. Plan B was put into action. My wife kindly agreed to drive me to Hertford East station where I could catch a train to Cheshunt & then change onto another train for my one remaining stop. On reaching Cheshunt & with 25 mins to wait, I looked at a station map of the local area and decided it would be considerably quicker to walk from there. This I did and the actual walking time was probably no longer than going from Theobalds grove. A brisk 25 minute walk did the trick although I was slightly concerned knowing I had to cross the A10. No need to have worried as a flyover was conveniently placed. I looked down from the flyover and spotted the HQ for the local sea cadets. When I was a boy scout, I always liked the idea of being a sea cadet. But back then I had the same thought as I did in the middle of Cheshunt, how can you have a sea cadet base in the middle of the Home counties with no water and certainly no sea for at least 50 miles? As I was early I had a walk around the local park, on a windy day this was a hazardous idea with acorns and conkers falling with vigorous monotony from the trees – I could have done with a hard hat. I witnessed some local vandalisation by a few teenage boys on making my way to the ground as they kicked down a fence post and carried over to some mud mounds to use as a jump for their bikes. Even when facilities such as this bike area is laid on for kids, they still need to have more! I arrived at the ground and entered the clubhouse that was positively teaming with people all drinking, eating 7 generally enjoying themselves in a very loud way. Loads of kids in football kits were milling about and I looked forward to a bumper crowd at the game. When I later entered the ground itself, I couldn’t believe how empty it was. Hardly any of the people in the clubhouse seemingly stayed to watch the match. I enjoyed a very tasty jumbo sausage with chips and sat at a little table on a low stage as there was no other room. Whenever you sit on a stage for whatever reason, you feel like everyone is watching you & I felt a little self conscious. It was nice to see 4 of those little sweet vending machines where you insert 20p, turn a handle and a few sweets drop out. I sneakily bought myself 20p of Minstrels and thoroughly enjoyed them.

The ground itself has a seated area with no roof which looks a little odd although I understand that this construction is not yet finished. All the remaining cover available surrounds a corner flag, although made of a nice wood, it is quite unusual, particularly the officials area which is literally positioned right in a corner and doesn’t give a great view of the action. A rail surrounds the pitch with hard standing.

As stated earlier, it was an incredibly windy day which was blowing across the playing surface.

The game itself was not great. The elements were the ultimate winner and it was a day where every pass seemed to catch a deflection or be blocked.

All the goals came in the second half. Firstly Stotfold scored with an unmarked header from a corner, then they got a second from the spot after a tackle from behind. Broxbourne scored the best of the lot 7 minutes from the end when their skipper who had pushed up front scored with a falling volley from the edge of the box.

This ground turned out to not be half as difficult to reach as I anticipated.

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