Welcome to my blog detailing my groundhopping exploits. My aim is to visit all football grounds in England (Premier league to the 8th tier) Scotland (SPL to 3rd Division) and the Welsh premier league I may also add grounds from other sports or countries. I hope you enjoy reading.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Aveley FC - Mill Field

Match - Aveley 3-3 Cheshunt
Competition - Isthmian League Division 1 North
Admission - £9
Attendance - 74
Scarf - N/A
Food - Cheeseburger 5/10
Ground No. 120
Ground Rating - 7/10

On Saturday I travelled to Aveley FC's Mill Field to tick off another of the remaining Ryman 1 North grounds I had not yet been to and was treated to one of the most enjoyable, action packed football matches I had watched for quite a while. Aveley were hosting Cheshunt in a league match which had 6 goals, 6 bookings and 2 red cards, it was brilliant, shame only 74 people turned up to see it.

 After a pint in the club house me and my dad entered the ground. On the same side of the ground as the turnstiles is the large raised seated main stand that runs along the touchline, this stand consists of a good number of old school wooden flip seats and looks in good nick despite it's obvious age. In front of this stand and to either side there is open terracing. This is one of the better stands I have seen at this level and provided a good view of the match although it does seem to be a fair distance from the pitch itself.

The rest of the ground is made up of shallow terracing with cover at the far end and the opposite touchline to the Main stand.

Cheshunt started the match brightly taking the lead on 5 minutes, but then should have been down to 10 men around the 20 minute mark when there left back committed one of the worst tackles I have seen. A two footed lunge around knee height in the centre of the park leaving the Aveley player limping for the rest of the first half. Luckily for the visitors he only received a yellow card from a referee that was rather poor all afternoon. Not long after Aveley drew level when a cross from the left wasn't dealt with by the keeper who put the ball straight into the path of the Aveley player who couldn't miss.

Just before half time though Aveley were reduced to 10 men when their left winger, who I later found out was on debut was sent off for kicking out at a Cheshunt player who had just wiped him out and was being booked anyway.

The second half started like the first had ended and you could just tell that there would be less than 21 on the pitch by the end, as players dived in to tackles left, right and centre and were pushing and shoving and standing up to each other. You could just see it kicking off.

Nothing really happened though until the last 15 minutes when Cheshunt retook the lead. Aveley, who seemed to be player better with 10 men then went straight up the other end to equalise again. With 5 Min's to go Cheshunt's huge number 9 scored his second to make the score 3-2 to the visitors. 3 more of there players managed to find there names in the referees notebook in this time.

The score stayed like this until the 94th minute where Cheshunt's player-manager made a huge mistake. A long punt up field caused some missed communication between Aveley's goalkeeper and defender 35 yards from their goal. the keeper heading the ball straight to a visiting player who sent a delightful lob over the keeper heading for the open goal to seal a 4-2 victory for Cheshunt, but instead of watching the ball go in Omer Riza, Ex Histon and Trabzonspor headed the ball in from 1 yard out. This meant the assistants flag was raised for offside causing the goal to be disallowed.

The resulting free kick was booted up field landing at the feet of an Aveley player who got to the by-line and cut the ball back to a striker who smashed the ball past the visiting keeper to make the score 3-3 and send his management team nuts in the technical area.

During the goal celebrations a Cheshunt player managed to receive his second yellow card and subsequent red. There was no time for anymore action and the referee brought an amazing game of football to an end.
Due to the exciting nature of the game and the decent standard of ground I had a great day out at Aveley and can't wait for my next groundhop. This is likely to be a trip to VCD Athletic runaway leaders of the Ryman Division 1 North on 21st December but this is yet to be confirmed.

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