Wednesday 30th March 2016 ko 19.30
West Hertfordshire Saturday League- Premier Division
KINGS SPORTS 1 (Gray 67)
CROXLEY COMMUNITY 2 (Martindale 20 McClyment 53)
Att 13 @Dacorum Athletics Track, Jarman Way, Hemel Hempstead
In the great unwritten book of groundhopping tactics the topic of floodlights looms large. The less experienced hopper tends to ignore the fact that the number of floodlit grounds is finite. They then find when they reach around 1,500 grounds ticked they’re rapidly running out of new grounds to visit midweek. But is the converse of that argument also correct?
The idea is that if the possibility of a floodlit tick comes up, you should drop everything and do it. Or even if a club has floodlights but seldom uses them, you should wait until they do before visiting.
This game was a case in point. With a wet winter Kings Sports decided to hire a floodlit athletics stadium in Hemel Hempstead with a pitch in the middle. The ground isn’t currently used for football, and no one could come up with a memory of football being played here regularly before either, so I painstakingly tracked my way around the back of Hemel Hempstead’s Climbing Centre and was afforded the privilege (as were all the spectators) of being able to watch pitchside, and take in the background of an indoor skiing centre!
Theoretically the West Herts League feeds the Hertfordshire County League placing this encounter at a nominal Step 9, and whilst the standard wasn’t high, the endeavour was, but the only real issue was the floodlights! With one pylon out all together and bulbs missing on most of the others the comment on an athletics website that the lights were “fantastic” looked very wide of the mark.
But in the end, the right side won the game, I grabbed a restorative coffee from the retail behind the stadium and headed for home. Truthfully, this was neither a good ground or game, but that finite number of grounds I can visit hasn’t been reduced. But knowing my luck, now I’ve visited a club will move in permanently!