Sunday, 6 November 2011

AFC Hayes - Farm Park

AFC Hayes
Farm Park
Kingshill Avenue

0208 845 0110
Official Website

Matchday Number: 181
Saturday 5th November 2011
AFC Hayes 2-2 Burnham
Evostik Southern League - Division One Central

I had visited Notts County several times before, and as I was unable to raise anywhere near a full car of passengers, I decided to go and see a local game instead. My mate Corey said he fancied going to AFC Hayes, so that was the one I went with. It was one of the ones that I had to tick off for a game in their league, which I am well over halfway towards completing.

I set off just before 2, and had a fairly easy journey, arriving at the ground around 2.35. I met up with Corey and we chatted about all manner of things before setting up my phone to give notifications of the games we wanted to know about... the Wycombe game (for me) , the Hayes and Yeading game (for Corey) , games on my bet and a few others that we had interest in. It was a very reasonable £8 to get in for me and a cheap £1 for the programme, though to be honest, that wasn't up to much, but it was only a pound after all.

AFC Hayes started 3 points from the top of the table in 6th place, while Burnham were 4th from bottom, just a point from being rock bottom. Both sides had former Wycombe youth players. Lewis Ochoa for the home side and Dave Reading for the visitors. Before the game had even kicked off, I had a notification to say that Wycombe were already 1-0 down up in Nottingham, ex Brentford and Blackpool striker Ben Burgess scoring. Burnham bossed the first half. A mistake from the AFC Hayes keeper Simon Grant allowed former Hayes and Yeading striker Kieron Knight to put the visitors in front after 10 minutes. And the same player doubled the lead after 25 minutes with a great volley. Burnham continued to dominate, but had a set back when Ashley Smith (who also works at Wycombe's football in the community scheme) was sent off for a second bookable offence after 39 minutes. So a cracking first half. Whilst all this was happening, Hayes and Yeading had taken the lead up at Stockport, before falling to a 2-1 deficit at half time, and Wycombe were still 1-0 down thanks to a goal that came after 49 seconds.

The second half was a different story though. The extra player advantage fired up AFC Hayes and they quickly started to dominate like their league position suggested. Matty Woods reduced the arrears with a goal after 52 minutes and it was all square on 77 minutes as Woods struck again. AFC Hayes continued to press and hit the woodwork twice in the closing stages. All in all it had been an entertaining game, and a good chance to catch up and chat with a mate. And we both had last gasp equalisers to celebrate.... Joel Grant made it 1-1 at Meadow Lane, whilst up st Stockport, Louis Soares stuck twice to make it a 3-3 draw with  Hayes and Yeading. Sadly another equaliser put pay to my bet, as Chesterfield chucked away a lead to draw 2-2 with Yeovil. Still, I went home happy, having had a good day, a pity there was only 62 people there to see it, as it deserved a bigger crowd. I was home within 30 minutes and after thinking I probably wouldn't bother with a pint, I ended up having 5 whilst playing Football Manager. Not the best of ideas when you are up at 5am for an 11 hour shift, I can tell you!

FARM PARK is a small, basic and compact ground, but is in quite a nice setting, surrounded by trees and fields. AFC Hayes used to be called Brook House, named after the local pub of the same name, but changed their name in the late 2000's to give themselves wider appeal. There is a clubhouse at the ground, but sadly no club shop. As for the ground itself, the best part is a covered terrace that stretches the whole length of behind one end. There is seating for 100 and another small covered area of standing on the opposite side. The rest is just open flat standing. The tea bar is fairly good, selling a very welcome cup of Bovril on a cold day for just 80p. The Hot Chocolate comes highly recommended too, so I am told. And both at half the price of what I'd be paying at Wycombe.

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