Image Credit – http://betting.betfair.com/football/
Less than an hour before kick off of the scheduled game I received a text asking what I was doing. Quite frankly, I was upto nothing – was browsing OkCupid to make this year’s valentine’s day single living hopefully my last (such the excitement I have on a Tuesday night). The counter offer was a trip to Lambeth Grove, to watch Woodley Sports & Chester City battle it out in the league.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been to Lambeth Grove before with, and don’t have good memories of the place. The ground is a 3G pitch which means that even high flying teams struggle to win – it’s woefully unfair, but it’s legal. With that said, the ground is rather nice – the clubhouse is one of the better ones, and the Woodley staff & volunteers have to work hard to get people in through the door – the average gate is less than 100. The fans are probably some of the most welcoming out there, and – with Chester FC visiting – they were going to get a nice payoff. Bravo to them for also being entrepreneurial – they had VIP packages for £25, free food, drink & entry into the game. In a short space of time I was really looking forward to the game.
At least if we ever got there. You see, Google – for all it’s brilliance – doesn’t know the backstreets of Bredbury that well. After leading us down a cobbled dead end that existed in the same postcode area as the football ground (which my mate’s low slung, rock solid suspended Toyota struggled with immensely), we eventually found our way to the ground, and headed to the bar for a cheeky pint before hand. We finished up & left to take our seats before kickoff.
Except we didn’t, there was a floodlight failure. They half went off, before they fully went off, plunging the ground into darkness. The players – who were already out – left & were replaced by kids playing football on the pitch. The stands emptied back to the bar for another cheeky pint. 15 minutes later we emerged, standing in the designated area for drinking alcohol, to watch the floodlights come back on. Each individual floodlight being cheered, until once again the ground was plunged into darkness. One of the things you learn about being a football fan is how floodlights work – you switch them on, let them run for a bit & then you switch them on full power in the hope they stay on. It didn’t the first time, nor the second & third. Half Eight arrived without a ball being kicked so they were left with the inevitable decision – match abandoned.
We returned to the bar, where we were greeted with the news that there will be no refunds, we whinged, cried & moaned – not that we needed the £7, but the principle. However our spirits perked up when we were told that the rearranged fixture would be free.
I don’t like telling people to do things, but in all seriousness if you’re new to groundhopping, or if you are interested to start, go to Woodley Sports vs Chester FC when the fixture is rearranged. Keep an eye on Woodley Sports or Chester’s website for details of the rearranged fixture, and I’ll probably talk about it on Twitter & Facebook. Not least because you’ll get a pretty good game of football, but you’ll also help a local club that so desperately needs your help.]]>