, , , , , , , ,

Tuesday 27th December 2011 ko 12.00pm

Spartan South Midlands League Division One

KINGS LANGLEY 4 (Noonan 24 90 Warrell 26 Armstrong 90)


Att 130 (record gate receipts of £340)

Entry & Programme £4

Tea-in-a-mug 70p

The village lies on the Southern Edge of the Chiltern Hills, and its western portion lies in Dacorum. The borough includes the towns of Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, and Tring. It was once the location of Kings Langley Palace, a royal palace of the Plantagenet kings of England. The village is perhaps best known for being the location of the Ovaltine factory, now long since closed and converted to flats.

If the film “Field of Dreams,” espoused the comment “Build it and they will come,” then this fixture suggested a comment of “Set and stick to an unusual kick off time and they will come.”

“They” of course refers to the 120 or so groundhoppers who used the fixture as the first game of various potential triple-headers. Other clubs in the area owe the club a debt of gratitude for getting so many hoppers in the area in the first place.

The club moved to Gaywood Park, on the Hempstead road in 1987, the ground getting its name from Graham Gaywood, a major benefactor. It’s quirky with a “Heath Robinson” stand, and there’s a large grass back affording an excellent view. There are in fact two pitches, the 2nd XI at one end of the senior pitch, and I was rather drawn to the dug-outs used by the reserves!

At the other side of the grass bank lies the River Gade and beyond that is the railway, trainspotters would enjoy seing Pendolino trains at full tilt on the curve here!

One look at the league table and you would have thought this would have been a straightforward away win. London Colney 17 points clear at the top, and cruising, but it simply didn’t work out at all like that. In a game devoid of Christmas spirit, the hosts took the game to their visitors, and were deserved winners, although 4-0 I think is a little harsh. There was plenty shouting and swearing, and general petulance, but Langley officials were a friendly bunch who even helped a car load of hoppers heading for Berkhamsted by phoning ahead to reserve programmes for them. As a club they seemed genuinely surprised that so many people were taking an interest and were happy with both that, and the revenue it produced.