Friday 27 November 2015

FC Broxbourne Borough - Goffs Lane

Broxbourne Borough FC
Goffs Lane

01992 639207
Official Website

Ground Number: 540

Thursday 26th November 2015
Broxbourne Borough 2-1 Greenhouse Sports
FA Vase 2nd Round


BROXBOURNE BOROUGH FCwas founded in 1991 following the merger of 2 local clubs and were initially known as SOMERSETT AMBURY V&E. Starting in the Hertfordshire League they progressed through its divisions and were invited to join the Spartan South Midlands League for the 1998-99 season. They remained in it's Premier Division for the entirety of their history, with a best-ever finish of 4th in 2008/09. In 2012 financial issues saw the club fold, but they reformed for the 2013/14 season, finishing 6th in Spartan South Midlands Division 1. Last season finishing runners-up behind Bedford was enough to see them promoted back to the SSML Premier. The new season had seen them settle into a comfortable mid-table placing.

In the FA Cup, their debut season proved to be their finest year. Back in 2001, they beat Clapton and S&L Corby, scoring 8 goals without reply between the 2 games to reach the 2nd Qualifying Round. They were in for a rude awakening though as they were on the end of a 9-1 defeat when they travelled to Canvey Island. The FA Vase 4th Round was reached in 2005/06 - despite a notable victory over Maidstone United they lost 1-0 to VCD Athletic in the following round.


I was hoping for a bit of FA Vase action earlier in the week but fate (or to be more accurate the weather) had conspired against me and I'd had to make do with a normal league game. It was quite a lifesaver actually when on Tuesday I ended up at Boldmere St Michaels. As is often the case the unplanned hops turn out to be gems and this was a case in point, a good game, a nice venue and friendly people. I'd set out on the journey intending to go to the Vase game between Highgate United and Nuneaton Griff, but with me almost at the ground, the game was postponed. That was the second disappointment of the day, my original intention had been the game postponed from Saturday - which was Broxbourne Borough v Greenhouse Sports. I'd actually learned of this postponement from the away team's Twitter, which saved me a wasted journey. It was my nearest 'unhopped' ground at steps 1-6 of non-league, so I was delighted when it was rearranged for this Thursday.

On the day of the game it was a pretty standard day at work, and I got away at 1.30. I arrived home half an hour later and after having a bath spent the afternoon chatting online. News on the transfer deadline day front saw Wycombe sign a couple of young midfielders from Brentford. If they are as good as Alfie Mawson, Nico Yennaris and Sam Saunders who we had from the Bees last season, then we are in for a real treat. Signing of the day had to go to Barrow though who got Liam Hearn on loan from Lincoln who has already scored 8 goals this season. After watching The Chase and having a dinner of Lasagne, I left at 6. The roads were a little slow, as was to be expected at this time of day. 55 minutes later I was at Broxbourne Borough, nabbing one of the last few spaces in the car park. I paid £6 to get in, which included a programme - excellent value. As it was a bit nippy I went and sat in the bar and caught up on Facebook as well as reading the programme. The Quarabag v Spurs game was also on the big screen to keep me entertained and there were a few Spurs fans in there cheering their team on.

The game started with the hosts making all the running and ruling possession but they had little to show for it in terms of clear-cut chances. In fact, it was Greenhouse that had the first real chance on 10 minutes as a stinging shot was pushed over the bar by the home keeper. As the game wore on the visitors had their period of domination and missed a glorious chance to take the lead on 20 minutes. There were chances aplenty for both sides before the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half-time as a low drilled shot from the left was deflected in. The referee was having a good game, getting things generally right and talking to the players to show that respect works both ways, as a lot of them are too arrogant to justify their decisions. Tempers were frayed and a minor scuffle between the teams occurred with 4 players being yellow carded. Broxbourne pushed and pushed for the leveller and after having a shot headed off the line and a succession of corners, they finally got their equaliser with almost the last kick, and what a goal it was - a free kick from some distance out. Both sides had chances in extra time but it looked as if it was heading for penalties. But a few minutes from the end, the hosts won it with a header to send players and fans into delirium. It had been an excellent contest between two sides who gave their all. Perhaps it was a good thing that it was not settled by penalties but it was cruel on Greenhouse Sports who had played their part in a great game. It was nearly 10.30 by the time I left and thankfully it was a much easier journey home, with good progress bar a few slow drivers nearer home. I got in at 11.10 and typed some of this blog whilst watching Watchdog. I was most annoyed to somehow lose the first half of my blog which mean an hours work down the drain. Thankfully I'd done the second half in Apple's simple but excellent app 'Notes' which syncs my notes across my phone, tablet and iMac. As always after a good game I was wide awake, eventually getting to sleep at 1am, not good news when I was up at 4am.


GOFFS LANE is a smart ground, probably good enough for step 3. The seated areas of cover are split, with one along the side and one behind the goal. Around 300 sitting spaces between the pair. There is also a covered terrace along the side which has space for around 250 standing supporters. The rest is hard standing. There is a nice clubhouse at the ground with live sport on the big screen, whilst the tea bar is also in here. A reasonable range of food and drink is available from these outlets.

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