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Sunday, November 02, 2014

Woodbridge Hunted down

Woodbridge Town 0 Huntingdon Town 3

After missing the first couple of rounds this season due to being away, it was great to get back on the Vase trail.
I started my journey at Welwyn North station, a typical example of a village railway station where people walk their dogs along the platform as a cut through and talk across the rails to neighbours waiting on the opposite platform, hard to believe it's only 30 minutes journey from central London.
I changed at Cambridge where they had a lot of exits open that I'd not only never seen before, I never even knew they existed. They must have trebled their station staff just to man these exits.
I found a seat and as invariably happens, I got the noisiest party in the carriage come and sit at the seats behind mine. This timeit was three university cinema studies students, I think I tolerated about 10 minutes of listening to how great they were before I just couldn't take any more and put my ear phones in.
The final leg of the journey was one stop from Ipswich to Woodbridge. This is a lovely little branch line full of views of rivers and lakes and miles of unspoilt country.
For a change, I actually found my bearings almost immediately and set off on the 20 minute walk to the ground. My hoping for a chip shop was in vain and in fact, I never passed any shops at all.
The walk was all uphill which never bothers me as it means it's all downhill after the game, I hate having it the other way!
I passed a swimming pool and actually couldn't think of another groundhop where I've done this. I was happily walking up the hill when I suddenly realised that the pavement stopped, there was a footpath on the other side of the road set back slightly, but it was 100 yards behind me - A simple sign would have been nice.
But I made the sensible choice and re-traced my steps 100 yards and actually found the ground without a single problem.
It was the most gloriously sunny and warm day, ridiculous for November but I was not complaining for a minute.
I found a gate that looked like the entrance but it was locked, I could also see a few people in the clubhouse bar, but again the door was locked. So I sat at a picnic table and messed around on my phone for a while as it was only 2pm.
When 25 minutes later there was still no sign of life, I decided to explore to see if I could find another way into the bar. All doors were padlocked until hidden in a corner, I spotted the actual entrance t the ground which I had walked right past without spotting. Once in the ground, I still couldn't figure out how to get into the bar area until a local put me out of my misery.
Worth the wait as I found a really efficient, well marked food hatch and ordered a cheesburger with chips. This was actually cooked to order and although I had to wait about 10 mins, the end result was excellent with hot chips, clearly cooked in fresh oil and a good burger. The barman kindly hal opened my can of Coke, but didn't do it properly, I had to push the tab down with my finger and then risked slicing my mouth open every time I had a sip.
A reasonable ground with a little stand next to a covered standing area and high fences to stop the ball flying on to a busy major road that runs parallel with the far side.
Huntingon were much the better side here, scored a couple in the first half and another in the first minute of the second half. Woodbridge were plucky in the second half especially after they'd made their substitutions but never seriously threatened to get back into it.
A friendly club positioned at the end of a very pleasant little housing estate.

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