No.29 - Sat 31st January 2015; Football League Division Two; 3pm at The Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way; Stevenage; Herts; SG2 8RH
Matchday images (47) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/StevenageFC02
Stevenage (0) 0 Oxford United (0) 2
'A trip down Memory Lane''
Itís midday and the cold winter chill is really biting. Despite the threat of sleet coming in from the west, a few games in the local leagues are still on. Within minutes my worst fears are realised as snow is starting to fall quite quickly outside. Any chance of a non league game (or even a game of any sort) looks unlikely but I do have a couple of fall backs. No, itís not 3G to the rescue but two Football League games instead. I set off slowly stopping off at Litlington Athletic FC (Cambs County League) en route (I couldn't get a response on the phone) only to find that the place is a desolate white-out! Despite the beautiful surroundings I must admit that it does look much nicer as a scene on a Christmas card.
So on to Plans B and C. Being close to Royston (just off the A505) Iím fairly well placed to reach either Luton Town or Stevenage Football Clubs in time for their Sky Bet League two matches. Realising that the game at Kenilworth Road (v Cambridge United) is an all-ticket affair, I decide instead for the game at the Lamex Stadium. This is only twenty miles up the road and is achievable from here. I phone ahead and the club confirms that the game against Oxford United is still on. Phew!
Incredibly my last visit to watch Stevenage was over twenty years ago when the club, then known as Stevenage Borough, beat Marlow in a Diadora League Premier Division match (result: 2-0) at Broadhall Way on 12/12/92. I donít remember much about the hop other than taking my late dad-in-law Eddie along with me to watch the game and have a beer or two. Wow, how time flies?!
Within half an hour I pick out the floodlights shining in the distance and soon park up on a dedicated site across the road. A few quid later Iíve secured my ticket which gains entry in the home standing terrace (opposite the main stand), purchased a glossy match programme and some cholesterol fuelled pre match snacks. To be honest Iíd forgotten what it was like to spend so much cash just to watch a match! I will on this occasion let the album photos serve as a more useful ground description.
I suppose I expected more. The game against a young Oxford United side is a poor contest with a lot of kick and rush masquerading as decent build up play. Both sides came into the game with similar records. Stevenage had the edge winning just once in their last four games compared to their opponents who had not won at all in 2015. For the record the Uís won the match 2-0 with both second half goals coming from set pieces. A crowd of just over 3000 attended the game with 500 noisy fans filling the away end.
So on a day when the elements conspired to mess up the fixture list, I was pleased to say that I got in a game. It was also my first chance to see Stevenage as a Football League team. I enjoyed the experience too and it made a nice change to watch a game with (a bit) more atmosphere and in a proper ground. So will I be heading to watch a professional game again some time soon? Your guess is as good as mine! Have fun wherever you go and donít forget to plan a fall back or two, or three, or four...in the coming wintry weeks'.
FGIF Match Stats
Scorers: (H) N/A and (A) Mullins (59), O'Dowda (68)
Attendance: 3146; Admission: £20; Programme: £3; Match rating: 3/5; Ground rating: 3/5.
edited on 01/02/15