On The Road with Mr Baldock...

The latest instalment of On the Road with Mr Baldock coincides with a trip to Sandridge Rovers in the Quarter Final of the Senior Centenary Trophy.

This is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me having visited the Spencer Recreation Ground many times as a player in our Herts Senior County League days.

I always felt this one was a potential banana skin for us. I don't recall winning too many games there as a player and the 1st team's record isn't all that good either.

With Mrs Baldock Christmas shopping with her Mum and boys in Bedford, I was making this trip alone. Before they set off, we had to go via Luton Town Centre for an emergency dental appointment for her youngest. After arriving the customary five minutes late for the appointment, he was in and out quicker than an F1 pit stop with anti-biotics for a couple of abscess' - nasty!

This cup tie was a 1.30pm kick off due to Sandridge having no floodlights, so I had the dilemma of doing my weekly food shop before or after the football - the pressure was palpable, but I got there in the end! Before then though, I was off to the Macron store in Letchworth to try on a winter coat from our new club shop.

After trying on three different sizes over two visits, I plumped for the 2XL - sounds big, but it is good fit to be fair. My long arms made the Large look like a short sleeve top!

If you are buying any clothing from our club shop, I would advise going along to try it on first as some of the garments can come up small.

Anyway, with my new coat ordered, I left for Sandridge around 12.50 and got lucky in finding a parking space at the ground for 1.25 just as the teams were coming out.

Despite our less than impressive record at Sandridge, it has always been a ground I liked. Their Chairman Nigel Rump is a top bloke and my Dad often bumps into him during the week when he is out delivering.

Their playing surface might not be one of the better ones, but their clubhouse is the type of place we've been crying out for for years. It is snug, has a family feel to it and has a larger function room attached to the rear overlooking the pitch.

Mark Furness treated me to a decent cuppa at the interval and it warmed the cockles nicely on what was a pretty chilly afternoon. Shame the result didn't match, but if it means we reap the benefits of this latest cup exit in the league, then I'm sure this will be seen as a blessing in disguise come the end of the season.

With holders Bishops Stortford Swifts through with a resounding 4-0 win over Belstone, it means "Hamez" once again misses out on a reunion with his old team mates. London Lions hammered Letchworth Eagles 4-0 and Wodson Park were 7-2 winners at Sarratt, so the trophy really is up for grabs at the last four stage.

Where next?

Hadley Wood & Wingate: 29th October The third instalment of On the Road with Mr Baldock coincides with a trip to Hadley Wood & Wingate.

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