TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25
Biggleswade Town 2 Woodford United 1
When checking to see if Biggleswade Town’s match is likely to go ahead, the secretary informs me that there are ‘no problems weather-wise down here’.
I can’t help thinking that with 57 flood warnings in place around the country, it is a good job Town are nicknamed The Waders!
I arrive at a deserted Carlsberg Stadium. The turnstile doesn’t open until 7.00pm. I pay £8 to get in and another £1 for the programme. I happen to notice there are pages missing in my copy and am soon provided with another one. It’s not a bad read.
The clubhouse is enormous. Unfortunately, I can only spend about three milliseconds inside because The Nolans are being interviewed on The One Show. I hope there isn’t a reunion! Outside, the only source of refreshments, the burger van, is locked.
I go back to the clubhouse and enquire about a hot drink and am told that the van outside should be open. The barman looks shocked when I tell him it isn’t and he scuttles off toget a tea urn.
Now, some Hoppers shunned the delights of the North Berkshire League Hop last weekend because they considered it to be too low a level of facilities and football.
Well I can assure them that each and every one of the four clubs involved were 100 per cent more organised than Biggleswade Town!
The match is a blur, won by the home side by the odd goal in three. What does remain in my memory is the away manager. He constantly encourages his players, which makes a refreshing change.
When a Town player slides in with a dangerous high tackle, he immediately tells his men to “get away from the ref and let him deal with it!”
Manager of the season in my eyes and a credit to Woodford.
On the flip side I give you a section of the crowd in the home seats. One lad has a particularly loud voice and, contrary to his belief, is even less funny than Michael MacIntyre.
He crowns his performance by telling the referee to “get back to his own country”.