Stony Stratford Town FC
Ground Number: 488
Tuesday 7th April 2015
Stony Stratford Town 2-2 Buckingham Athletic
Spartan South Midlands Division 1
With me having a busy Easter football wise, with pricey trips to Yorkshire for the NCEL hop on Saturday and Burton v Wycombe on Monday, I was keen to stay local for this Tuesday game. The ideal game came up in the Spartans South Midlands League Division 1, with Milton Keynes based Stony Stratford Town at home. There was also Broxbourne Borough as an alternative, but that was further away and would involve a trip along the unreliable M25, so I opted for the original plan.
STONY STRATFORD TOWN were formed in 1898. They have been in the Spartan South Midlands League (or it's predecessor the South Midlands League) for much of their history. They had a best ever finish of runners up in the Premier Division on 4 occasions, the last being in 1973. They have not been in the Premier Division since 1975 and spent some time away from the league in the late 70's and early 80's. When they rejoined in 1987 they started at Division 1 Level (which later went on to be called Division 2) In 1994 they were promoted to the Senior Division (which went on to be called Division 1) They have been in this Division ever since, with their best finish being 3rd which they achieved in 2006 and 2007. The club have not yet played in the FA Cup, but they did have a season in the FA Vase in 1997/98 where they exited at the first hurdle to Bicester Town. The game would be a bottom half battle with both teams sitting well in the lower reaches of the table.
It was the last leg of my 5 days off for Easter and after going for a jog in the morning I caught up with my blog from the NCEL hop that I went to on Saturday. I still had a number of things to do, and was glad to catch up with most of them before having a dinner of spicy chips and beans before leaving at 6PM. I met Anwar, who had also bought his son Hicham along for the game at 6.30 and after a good journey with lots of clear roads, we were there 40 minutes later.
Despite it being fairly close to kick off, the place was deserted, with the teams training on the pitch outside. We took a slow walk round the ground, taking some pictures and having a chat. It was still quiet at 7.35 so we went out to see what was going on. It was at that point we saw a crowd walking over to the main pitch, including a man with a box who relieved us of £3 entry and £1 for a nice thick programme. Anwar still wanted something to eat for him and his lad so I walked to the clubhouse and back, returning just as the game started.
One notable name on the team sheet was Christopher Wreh. The former Liberia international and Premiershp winner with Arsenal had played for local side Buckingham Town around 10 years ago, and it was feasible at the age of 39 that he was turning out for Stony Stratford Town. However it turned out to be his son who was on the bench for Stony Stratford Town. He was to enter into the fold later, but a duck on the pitch, waddling around and watching the game for at least 10 minutes was one of the main talking points of the first half.
As for the game it was a decent contest. It was 1-0 to the home side after 8 minutes, the Buckingham keeper parried the initial shot, but was unable to prevent the rebound being put in. It didn't take the visitors long to equalise - Glen Hawkins volleying in from a good cross on 13 minutes. It was level at half time, but there were plenty of chances for both sides. The aforementioned Christopher Wreh came on in the second half and made a real impact. He looked very strong and it was his drilled shot from the edge of the area after a good run that gave Stony Stratford the lead on 58 minutes. However, as with the first goal it was soon quickly wiped out with an equaliser. A very weak cross was put in, but the home keeper fumbled it and Phil Martin took full advantage. There were chances for either side to win it, but the most controversial talking point of the game came in the last 10 minutes. A Buckingham Athletic attacker was pulled down by what appeared to be the last man. After discussion with his linesman he gave just a free kick with no card. The set piece came to nothing and the game ended level.
After the game we walked back to the car. Unusually it took longer to get home than it did to get there. This was partly due to me taking it a bit easier on the dark country roads than I had on the way there. The main reason though was that the dawdlers were out in force, driving at well below the speed limit. We got back to Aylesbury at around 10.30, and after much better roads after I had dropped Anwar, I was back home shortly after 10.45. I checked out Facebook quickly and keen to get some sleep before my 4am wake up for work the following morning, watched TV in bed until midnight.
OSTLERS LANE is a pretty basic venue which is typical of step 6 grounds around this way. There is just the one covered area and this is a mixture of bench seating and standing, holding around 250. The ground is set in nice green surroundings and could probably hold around 1200 in all. There is a bar with basic tea bar facilities at the ground, and a wide range of takeaways in the town which is a short walk away.