Due to a mixture of rain, Christmas, snow & visiting relatives, I hadn’t managed football on a Saturday for 6 weeks. Having not seen my parents over Christmas, the only time I was able to visit with my family was the date when this round of the FA Vase was scheduled. Just for once, the snow did me a favour as the game was postponed and I was able to manage the re-arranged date.
I ordered my train ticket a few days in advance to knock a chunk off the price and set off for Doncaster. At the station where I was leaving, a group of lads had assembled with BMX bikes and were buying tickets for a couple of stops down the line. They were obviously going to a known track and were trying to talk one of their number into doing some fancy manoeuvres. The lad was clearly uncomfortable although he was attempting to put a brave face on it and was assuring his mates that he’d be trying this Evil Knievel style stunt. The urge to check my local A & E department on the way home was almost overwhelming as I’m pretty sure it all would have ended in tears.
The trip to Doncaster was simple enough although I once again had a seat adjacent to the loudest person on the train. This time it was a Geordie lady who sprawled herself over a row of three seats and insisted in talking, continuously for the whole journey to her companion at a volume which would have been suitable if her friend had been in the next carriage.
On arriving at Doncaster, I had to find the bus station. I have to give this station top marks as directions were clear, concise and entirely accurate. I found myself in a large bus station with busses zipping either side of this building with barely a gap between them. I was slightly overawed when I went in there & hadn’t a clue which stop I should be at. But after wandering aimlessly for a while, I cam across a large electronic board that listed all routes and the stop you needed to board from. I found this easily & only had to wait a few minutes for a bus. The journey only took 10-15 minutes & I followed the stops on the pocket route plan available at he bus station. This helped me alight at the right point and I was at the ground with a couple of hours to spare.
I stepped off the bus and was immediately confronted by Robert’s fish bar boasting award winning food. I felt it would be rude to ignore this claim & I strolled down the road happily munching on my hot and tasty sausage and chips. I fancied a kit-kat after this (I know how to live!) and popped in a corner shop. Just ahead of me was a little girl I’m guessing about 7 or 8 years old. “Two 1p sweets please” was her request and the shopkeeper without raising an eyebrow, handed them over. This was just the sweetest thing I’d seen in ages. If you asked for two 1p sweets round my way, you’d be laughed out of town.
I found the ground to check that the game was on & asked if they had a clubroom. I was instead directed to the Wheatsheef just over the road. The ice cold Guinness was gorgeous and this time, the ear-shattering juke box music from the Tap bar I found strangely enjoyable. I spent a happy half hour here reading the paper before adjourning to the ground.
The ground itself was a little basic with a medium sized covered stand on the near side and a small covered standing area behind the far goal. A white rail surrounds the pitch and there is a view of residential roof-tops. I understand that Armthorpe are hoping to secure a new pitch and I wish them well. The pitch was perfectly playable although a copy of the corner areas were extremely wet.
This was a hard fought contest with nothing between the two teams and no player ever having any time on the ball. Armthorpe scored on 16 minutes with a delightful low volley hit on a ball dropping from a great height. Wroxham equalised 6 minutes later with a shot blasted into the roof of the net.
After this we had near misses, woodwork hit, clear cut chances hit straight at the keeper and Armthorpe cleared a shot off the line at the end of extra time.
A draw was a fair result and although basic, I thoroughly recommend a trip to Armthorpe.