Witham Town 1 Stansted 1 (23/03/2011)
Less than two hours after the Tilbury match ended, Witham were due to kick off their Essex League match v Stansted. Roadworks around Chelmsford looked like they may put a spanner in the works, but in the end we made it with ease.
The rapid fluttering of a flag up a flagpole in the car park gave evidence that despite the unseasonal warmth, hints of colder weather were still grimly lingering on.
There’s not a huge amount to say about Witham’s Spa Road ground. The area around is rather flat, and the ground does little to challenge the status quo. It’s tidy, but basic. Only two or three steps deep all round, both ends are covered with modern, if not hugely attractive, corrugated sheeting flat roofs. The main stand holds maybe 100 fans in a couple of rows of black seats, with another flat roof cover. The opposite side is completely open, save for the covered dug-outs, either side of the dressing roof entrance.
One end backs onto an elevated railway line, and watching the trains shuttle to and from London is normally the only diversion if the game is less than stimulating.
I say “normally” though, as on this day there were probably as many fans in the very nice club bar as there were in the ground – even during the game – as many chose to stay there and watch Wales v England in the Euro 2012 qualifiers instead.
It was a welcoming place, but there wasn’t much about the game that stuck in the memory – or not mine at least. The low crowd meant that despite it being 3rd v 2nd, you couldn’t get any sense of the tension. Still, England won, and sadly more people, even the locals, seemed to care more about that.
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