Ash United FC
Badshot Lea FC
Ground Number: 395
Sunday 2nd August 2014
Badshot Lea Legends 3-4 Spurs Legends
I had been meaning to go to Ash's ground for a while, as it was one of the ones that I still had to do in the Combined Counties League that I wanted to complete. I was well over halfway, and originally I was going to go to a pre-season game there against Guildford City until I found out that it had been moved to another pitch in Farnborough. Whilst looking at their twitter, I saw that they had a Sunday game coming up against Spurs legends - best of all it was on a Sunday, so it meant that it was unlikely to clash with anything else. Looking at the Badshot Lea side, the only person I recognised was Mark Butler. I never saw him play but did recognise his name from old programmes as he played for us in a short spell in 1989, 2 years before I started watching Wycombe. He was mainly remembered for his spells at Aldershot Town, where he scored 155 goals in 303 appearances
The Spurs team had a lot more names of note, though to describe them all as legends is stretching the term a bit. Those who played for Spurs a reasonable amount of times since I started watching football included Chris Perry, Ruel Fox, Paul McVeigh, Clive Wilson and David Howells. The latter's brother Gareth Howells also played, though I mainly remember him for a non-league career at clubs like Farnborough. There was also Mark Stimson, currently the manager at Thurrock, who had managed in the football league with Gillingham after doing well at Grays and Stevenage. Most recognisable however was Stuart Nethercott. He had made over 50 appearances for Spurs in the Premiership, but more relevant to me, he made 51 appearances for Wycombe under John Gorman, between 2004 and 2006. As I went over 7 years without missing a game, home or away, I saw every single one of those, and he was pretty good in most of them.
I'd not got much sleep the night before, so I was grateful that work only lasted 5 hours before everything was done and I could go home. I bought myself a bottle of Irn Bru and the Non-League Paper before going home and relaxing, and having a bath. I left home at 12.15 and was expecting to get there at 1.30. There were traffic problems on both of my first choice routes though, and so I had to go cross country via Beaconsfield, Slough, Windsor and Bracknell, but at least I got there with 10 minutes before kick-off. I realised on the way that I'd forgotten my Irn Bru, but it was too late to turn back. I parked up and went straight into the ground. By that time I was thirsty, so I went into the bar for a pint of perfectly chilled Blackthorn cider, and caught up with what had been happening on Facebook. I learned that kick off would be late, as some of the players were held up in the traffic that made me have to divert. It was only 15 minutes and it suited me, as I could get some food and take some pictures. In the end, I got some chips, nice and freshly cooked by a lady and what appeared to be her 2 kids serving at the tea bar so it was a real family affair. The game itself was an interesting one, as you can see below from the Badshot Lea website report.
After what had been a goal-filled game, but a fairly relaxed one in terms of pace, it was time to drive home. By the end of the journey, my lack of sleep was catching up with me and I felt quite jaded for the last leg of it. I got in at 5.10, later on having dinner and a few ciders while watching a thing about the Inbetweeners on TV.
SHAWFIELD STADIUM is one of the better grounds in the combined Counties League. There were a couple of areas of cover, a stand holding around 150 along the side, and an area of cover behind the goal holding 200. The rest is open standing. The bar is very good with a wide choice at reasonable prices, and the tea bar likewise. If you want more, there are some shops around 20 minutes away.