Groundhopping

The curse of the M4…. Hungerford Town v Chelmsford City

Before I get into this blog, I need to provide you with more background for this title make sense.

I have used the M4 to attend three games before today; Taffs Well v Pen-y-Bont, Cardiff City v Sunderland and Gloucester City v Chelmsford City.

Two of these games finished 0-0 (the other was 0-0 at half time). Considering I am from the South East, taking the M4 means it will be at least a two and a half hour journey.

So on Saturday when we took the M4 slip road on the way to Hungerford, there was this lingering sense of impending disappointment.

We arrived around an hour before kick off and managed to find a perfect parking space just a short walk to the ground.

Hungerford is as far from London as you can get, quiet and surrounded by fields and trees, my kind of place!

Bulpit lane was actually a very pleasant ground, small but with decent seating facilities and really nice chips.

But we knew that nothing more than 3 points would suffice for Chelmsford today, especially as Hungerford are cut adrift at the bottom of the NLS.

The game started and you could see a distinct pattern emerging, the home side looked to defend deep and utilise counter attacks, while Chelmsford wanted to keep possession in midfield.

Hungerford took the lead midway through the first half with a swift counter attack and the City faithful were staring down the barrel of another failure away from home.

If i’m being completely honest the rest of the game was pretty uneventful, Hungerford continued to defend resolutely, and Chelmsford struggled to pick the lock.

Apart from Sam Higgins’ first half attempt which hit the post and Adrian Cascaval’s last minute header, the visitors hardly had any openings.

It was rather frustrating as the Clarets looked bereft of ideas and continually played aimless long balls forward.

The whistle blew which ensured that the curse of the M4 would live on.

Landscape after the game

This game actually turned out to be Rod Stringer’s last game in charge of Chelmsford City as he was sacked on Tuesday. This came as a surprise to me but results this season haven’t been good enough and football is a results business.

I’m not quite sure how he didn’t manage to guide the Clarets to the National League, considering the amount of times they made the play offs during his tenure.

Anyway, another unsuccessful away trip for us this season, but we go on!

My next game is the small matter of the Milan derby…..

  • GROUND: Bulpit Lane
  • GAME: Hungerford Town v Chelmsford City
  • COMPETITION: National League South
  • GROUND NUMBER: 71
  • WOULD I GO BACK: No (too far away)
  • TICKET PRICE: £6
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