Ground Number: 235
Wednesday 26th December 2012
Bedford Town 3-0 St Neots Town
Southern League Premier Division
My second game of the day was to be Bedford Town v St Neots in the Southern League Premier Division. I was happy when Chaz said he would come with me to the second game, as football is always better with company. I originally had Cambridge City as a backup plan should this game be called off, but thankfully it was not needed as the pitch passed a 10.30am inspection and it was game on. After dropping Ryan off we were on our way and arrived at an already busy ground at 2.30. I had previously been to take pictures of Bedford Town and also Bedford FC's ground next door on the way to Peterborough in 2007 and had always fancied going back for a game. Especially when I heard the programme shop at the ground had a good reputation. And fully justified it was too, with everything laid out really neatly, with individual piles of programmes for each team, priced at 50p each. I could have spent ages looking, but I just looked for all the league ones I needed, picking up a Blackpool v Wycombe one from a game I went to in 2003. I also got the day's programme to add to my collection.
By the time of kick-off, it had started to rain and so after getting some chips we went and took shelter under the terrace at the near end of the ground. There was one name I recognised from each side. Nick Beasant for Bedford had a trial for Wycombe about 10 years ago. And for St Neots, it was the former Aston Villa and QPR striker Stefan Moore. The game was not as good as the previous one at Biggleswade and took a while to get started. The impressive crowd of 567 would have to wait until the hour mark for the opening goal, a curling shot from Will Green from around 15 yards. Good work down the left allowed Mark Bell to grab a second and an own goal from John-Paul Duncliffe wrapped up the game a minute from time. There'd not been a huge amount of difference between the sides in a dull game, but the formbook had rung true with St Neots going six games without a win.
It had been a good day, seeing two games of football and meeting some good people. The only downside of it was getting flashed by a speed camera on the way home. More fool me, as I have been past it a fair few times, but was just keeping pace with the car in front. Looking at my speedo I was only doing about 5mph over the speed limit, so hopefully, I will get lucky and won't be contributing to next years Hertfordshire Police Christmas party. Sadly, that was not to be the case as I tidy up this blog in 2020. I took my punishment and if I recall correctly, went on a speed awareness course later the next year.
THE NEW EYRIE is a smart modern ground that is probably good enough to grace Blue Square Premier Football, with the addition of more seats if the need arises. It has already seen Blue Square South action when they were in that league a few seasons ago. All 4 sides of the ground are covered. Along the side where the bar, changing room and club shop is, there is a seated stand holding around 300 fans. At the near end of the ground, there is a terrace that holds around 800 under over. Again like so many others it is a metal one, but it provides good shelter on what was a rainy day. The other 2 sides were mainly open, but they had small areas of cover, probably holding around 150 each.
As mentioned the programme shop is excellent, and there is another shop which sells the usual range of merchandise. The tea bar is pretty good too. As for the bar, I didn't go in, but it is probably the only option as the ground is a long way from anywhere