This Pieman visited Hamlet Croft in 2002 for an Eastern Counties League clash with Halstead Town. In 2010 the club moved to a new £2 million ground at Chalkstone Way, appropriately named The New Croft. I was fortunate to be offered a lift to this match and really appreciate the gesture. To reach this venue by public transport would most likely have involved getting a bus from Cambridge.
The New Croft is a tidy venue. There is a covered seated stand along part of one side. This is situated in front of the extensive clubhouse complex, which incorporates the bar (no real ale), refreshment kiosk, toilets and changing rooms. The only other specific spectator structure is a four step covered terrace immediately behind one goal (ideal for wet weather as this arena would be quite exposed). There is concrete hard standing around the entire perimeter and the ground is fully enclosed by wooden fencing.
The journey home to Cheshunt via the A11 and A10 took around an hour and I was home in time to see Oldham take on Everton in the late (6pm) match. Although this particular match was not a classic, it was still decent fare for the admission money. I have always liked the Eastern Counties League, the people are friendly and the grounds are of a good standard.
Haverhill Rovers: Elliot Anderson, Paul Abbott, Jack Wilkinson, Perry Moody, Stuart Kingham, Danny Morphew, Marc Abbott, Marcus Hunt, Dan Cornwell, Jack Higgs, Callum Harrison
Subs: Ross Elkins, Jake Twinn, Harry Halls, Simon Newnes
Stanway Rovers: Paul Rutherford, James Gregory, Michael Fitzgibbon (Jake Plane 44), Andy Joslin, Matt Crips (C), Chris Ribchester, Martin Calver, Stuart Fergus, Lewis Bentley ( Hassan Ayten 90), Tom Webb ( Danny Slatter 68), Kevin Coyle
Subs: Danny Slatter, Hassan Ayten, Jake Plane
Assistants: Peter Howard & Thomas Hancock
Programme: £1:00 (20 pages)