Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bedfont Town Take The Point

Hopperational details
Wednesday 20 October 2010 at The Orchard, Bedfont Town 1 Hitchin Town 1 in the step 4 Southern League Div 1 (Central).

I am here because I look out for potential ‘hops to Hitchin away games.  I lived in the town for five years in the early 80s, and live in one of its satellites now, and so this is a rare chance for me to be partisan rather than neutral.

Finally, my fellow Twitterer @CynInHerts is a fantastic advocate for all things #Hitchin (not just the football) and I knew that Hitchin are flying (again) this season, just like the aircraft that pass low and loud next to this ground every forty seconds.
This match in one sentence
Bedfont took the lead early on and then spent the rest of the game hanging on in the face of wave after wave of Hitchin attacks; the second-half equaliser was well-deserved and this must feel like the loss of two points rather than the gaining of one.
So what?
Hitchin go five points clear of Woodford United and local rivals Arlesey Town at the top of the table, though the latter have two games in hand.  They will know better than anyone after last year’s experience (when 100 finished second and stayed down) that you may need more than a ton to win this league.
Who caught the eye on the pitch?
Midfielder Callum Donnelly is the fifth family member to have played for Hitchin.  His grandfather, father and two brothers have also pulled on the shirt.  He was industrious, skilful and took his goal well as he burst through into the penalty area.  From where I was standing with the Hitchin faithful, his late booking for going down under a challenge in the six-yard box looked harsh, but by this stage of the game I could not be considered neutral.  Almost all of the second half comprised Hitchin attacks, with quick-fire one-touch passing and good movement that was working well on a decent playing surface.  Some of the final balls were just that bit too close to the goalkeeper.  Hitchin did not look quite as assured in completing their rarer defensive duties, but if they can play like this on December and January surfaces they should be fun to watch.
This match had the same effect on my pulse rate as …
…sitting in the co-pilot’s seat on an Airbus A380, trying to work out which button controls the storage temperature for the sparkling mineral water, but pressing the wrong one and accidentally cremating the onboard croissants.
A snippet from the programme
Working out what is happening with Bedfont teams is tricky for the neutral.  I’ve seen a Bedfont step 4 home match before, but this was in their previous life as Bedfont Green, groundsharing at Windsor & Eton.  Under my ‘hopping rules, the name change is irrelevant, but the move back to The Orchard cannot be ignored.  Bedfont FC played there in step 5 last season but are no more, and Feltham of step 6 are now groundsharing.  Another local side, Bedfont Sports step 6 can be found down the road.  I hope I’ve got that all right.

The current position of this club is summed up in the final, unfinished sentence in the history page of the programme.  “The journey begins here …”

Excellent use of the ellipsis, if I may say so.
What I learned today
Applications to perform at Hitchin’s Rhythms of the World Festival in 2011 are open until 13 February 2011.  This festival has been growing since 1992 and further details are on a splendid website quote, “We are interested in almost anything — from the most obscure world music to rock; from string quartets to blues; performance art, circus acts and street performers; from solo artists to big bands; choirs, jazz and buskers; from spoken word, mime, theatre and traditional folk to experimental techno — you get the picture!”

Oh, and always stand upwind of a vuvuzela.
Modus Hopper Random Talking Point
The Orchard is far and away the best ground for simultaneous planespotting that I have visited so far.  Therefore I offer you this blog’s first “Top Six So Far”.

Modus Hopper Random’s Top Six So Far for Aircraft Lovers

  1. Bedfont Town / Feltham – Heathrow arrivals, close enough to smell the kerosene
  2. KA Akureyri of the Icelandic 2nd tier in a stunningly beautiful setting
  3. Ashford Town (Middlesex) – also on the Heathrow perimeter (which unfortunately I visited when all flights were stopped due to volcanic ashclouds!) with collateral birdwatching (hordes of parakeets)
  4. Chalfont St Peter – Heathrow flight path AND small aircraft AND red kites circling overhead
  5. Airbus UK Broughton – for private jets and light aircraft on an adjacent runway meaning that the floodlights have to be collapsible
  6. Welwyn Garden City / Hatfield Town – aerobatics from nearby Panshanger Aerodrome
Honourable mentions to Aveley, Binfield, Bishop’s Stortford, Burnham, Chertsey Town, Colden Common, Fulham, Guiseley, Harlow Town, Hyde, Maidenhead, Salisbury City, Solihull Moors, Staines Town, Vauxhall Motors, Windsor & Eton, Yeading.  Windsor & Eton are edged out by Ashford Town (Mdx) only on the relative parakeet numbers, and yes, I do keep a record of these things, why do you ask?
What Next?
Certainly, an FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round tie on Saturday.  There are seven Hopperatic Areas (d’you see what I did there?) under consideration.

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