No.11 - Sat 26th September 2015; Herts Senior County League Division 1;                           3pm at Boundary Drive; Bengeo; Hertford; Herts; SG14 3JG 


Bengeo Trinity (1) 1  Lemsford FC (0) 0

'It only takes a few seconds to score a goal...'

Like many hoppers I do like to try and watch matches from as many different leagues and competitions as I can throughout the course of a season. So today, I am venturing out of East Anglia (my usual X) and heading south towards Hertford for the much awaited Herts Senior County League match between Bengeo Trinity and Lemsford in a First Division encounter.

The club plays at the Boundary Drive which is located off New Road some three miles to the north of Hertford city centre. To get there from the A10 I followed signs for Bengeo turning up Port Hill and then into New Road where Boundary Drive is the third turning on the right hand side. Be careful as the entrance which could be easily missed is immediately on your left.

At first impression the ground (which shares with cricket) seems to be a tight one with space at a premium especially on the near side. All the facilities are found close to the entrance where a very narrow car park offers very little room for vehicles. If you are driving get here early to book your space and so avoid disappointment.

Immediately to the left are the changing rooms and adjacent bar and lounge. Both ends are closely bordered by local housing. With no cover or dug outs most spectators watch the action from the hard-standing offered by the car park which borders the near side of the pitch. You will not fail to notice how the playing field slopes down markedly towards the far side of the recreation ground.    

Bengeo Trinity FC was a founder member of the Hertford and District League a competition which started over one hundred years ago back in 1910. When the Premier Division was introduced in 1948 the club won the title on no fewer than ten occasions, the first time in 1958-59 and more recently in 2007-08. This is the hosts first season in the HSCL after coming up from the H&DL last season.  

Before play thereís very little to separate both sides on current form, each having won two of their opening four games played so far. Hoppers should note that visitors Lemsford FC who were originally founded back in 1999 and play at Lemsford Village Hall should not be confused with fellow Division One side FC Lemsford who have only been in existence for one year and play their games at Roe Hill Hall. Confusing or what!?

The only goal of the game comes after just 40 seconds when a low cross into the area is netted from close range. This is enough to earn the hosts three valuable points in a game played in bright sunny conditions on a side to side sloping surface. Although the club doesnít issue programmes, a range of cold snacks and drinks are available from the bar in the club house throughout the afternoon. Thirty supporters are in attendance including fellow hopper and 'Gooner' Mark (Baseball Caps on the NLM Forum) who arrives five minutes late after getting stuck in heavy traffic on the Barnet by-pass en route from his North London base. It just goes to show that getting to a game early is vital if you donít want to miss out (thatís my only hopping rule if I had to really pick just one!).

Amusingly the game is held up for five minutes mid way through the first half when the ball from a wayward shot makes its way over the perimeter hedge and lands in one of the gardens backing onto the playing field. Before the keeper can retrieve the ball the homeowner quickly nips out, picks the ball up and goes back indoors. Luckily an eagle eyed neighbour who happens to be passing by and witnesses what happens, explains the situation to club officials who had joined in the search for the ball. After knocking on the red faced offenderís door the ball is soon returned and the game resumes with a goal kick!

For more info about the club and league competition check out the useful link shown below. Another joyous afternoon's entertainment and a visit I would recommend to all hoppers on the grounds collecting circuit.

FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) Phalona (1) and (A) N/A   

Attendance: 30; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 3/5; Ground rating: 3/5.



edited on 27/09/15