Ground Number: 742
Tuesday 14th November 2017
Desborough Town - Kirby Muxloe
United Counties League - Premier Division
DESBOROUGH TOWN FC - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was formed in 1896 and joined the Northamptonshire League in their first season. This became the United Counties League in 1934 and Desborough Town have played here for their entire history, save for a break during the second world war. Incredibly, they have remained in the top tier of the league for the entirety of their stay, though they had seasons to forget in 1955 and 1956 as they gained just one league win in the latter season and finished bottom of the league for the only times in their history. They've been champions on nine occasions, though not since 1966 and runners-up on a further six occasions. Recent seasons have tended to produce bottom-half finishes, with last season's 4th place finish being their best since 2007/08. This season, they've done fairly well and sat in 10th prior to tonight's clash.
Desborough Town reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup for the first and only time in their history in 1926. They travelled to football league side Doncaster Rovers and were eight minutes away from gaining a home replay before the game was abandoned due to fog. They lost the rescheduled match 3-0 and in recent times their best effort has been the 2nd Qualifying Round, last reached in 1996 when they lost to Bilston Town with a replay. Desborough had a barren run in the FA Trophy in the 1970's, but have had a few good runs in the FA Vase. Their best progress came in 1980 when they defeated Newfoundpool WMC, Stapenhill, Ledbury Town, Rushden Town and Friar Lane Old Boys before a 5th Round defeat to eventual winners, Stamford. Local cup wins include the United Counties League Cup twice, the Northampton Senior Cup four times, the Northampton Junior Cup five times and the Maunsell Cup in 1924.
I'd been wanting to visit Desborough Town for a while, but on the occasions that it did come up as an option, I'd avoided it due to the weather looking ropey and there being no backups nearby. This week, however, there were no such issues forecast and with it being the closest ground, that myself and fellow groundhopper Anwar had yet to visit, so we planned it in. The night before, I was in bed asleep by around 9.15, hoping to get a decent night's sleep in. I managed that, but still woke around 6 am which was annoying. After watching TV in bed for a couple of hours, I woke up and had some eggy bread for breakfast. After a bath and getting dressed, I did my usual day off ritual of walking down town before getting a lift back with my Dad. After lunch, I spent the afternoon watching TV and updating my blog for tonight and other upcoming games. I needed to get some fuel for tonight's game, so I left home at 4.15. Annoyingly, my local station was closed, so I'd have to get some en route. Surprisingly, the usually overpriced 'Jet' station was the same price as Morrisons had been that morning, so I filled right up with diesel.
I met Anwar at 5 and we were soon on our way. There was the usual slow getting out of Aylesbury and then through the roundabout loving Milton Keynes. All the constant directions on the sat nav were annoying when I was trying to listen to the confession on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 show. We got to Desborough at 7 and went in search of food. With it being a very small town, there were not many choices for dinner that were immediately obvious. All too often, the lack of competition, the prices are expensive and portions small, but not in this case. We went to TA Brothers Fish Bar where I had spring roll and chips for £2.50. Everything was freshly cooked, portions were decent and it tasted nice, so a thumbs up from me. It was also nice to be able to eat our dinner in the warm shop, rather than outside, albeit standing up. We got to the ground at 7.30, paying a bargain £5 to get in, plus another £1 for a programme. After getting some pictures of the ground, we settled down along the side, near the halfway line and waited for the game to start. Desborough had triumphed 7-4 against Pinxton in the FA Vase at the weekend in a real goalfest, whilst Kirby Muxloe had won 5-2 at Sleaford in the league. I was, therefore, hoping for a few goals, but it turned out not to be the case.
Before the game, the referee James Wetherall called the two captains together, asking for their support. 'We're only human, we might make mistakes, but please respect us' were his words, which seemed fair enough. One of the Kirby Muxloe bench had a bit of a whinge at a few decisions, but there was no bad language, which was a nice change from other games at this level. The visitors would have been happy with their start, with them forcing a series of corners early on and restricting Desborough to very little play. One of the Kirby Muxloe forwards charged home keeper Chris Jones and though a free kick was rightly given, it didn't stop the custodian making a couple of great saves. It was still goalless at the break and although Desborough had a great chance at the start of the second half, it was Kirby Muxloe who took the lead five minutes into the second period. Home keeper Jones lost track of the ball and felled a Kirby Muxloe forward. A penalty was awarded and with a successful conversion, the visitors led 1-0. Kirby Muxloe remained on top throughout and despite a late rally by Desborough, they hung on. There was a brief delay near the end, as the balls had run out, meaning that after sorting my stuff out, we didn't leave until 9.45. Listening to the football on the way home, with England having drawn 0-0 with Brazil and Ireland having crashed 5-1 at home to Denmark, I dopped Anwar off at 11.05. I got home myself at 11.30 and after staying up for around 25 minutes drifted off to sleep around midnight.
The Waterworks Field is one of the better grounds at step 5 and has plenty of cover. The old stand has bench seating and a capacity of 250. There's further cover to the right-hand side and also behind the goal for a further 800 spectators (approx) With the rest of the ground being open, there's an overall capacity of around 2000. The town is close by and has a decent choice, whilst at the ground is a bar, although I didn't encounter the tea bar.
SCORES ON THE DOORS
1: Ground facilities & condition (for the level)
A decent venue (7)
2: Area around the ground (parking, food/drink, public transport)
Parking limited, around half a mile from town (6)
3: Welcome / Club Friendliness
A nice welcome (7)
4: Value for money
A fiver at this level is excellent (8)
5: Social Media & Website
Reasonably regular updates on both (7)
Not a huge amount to read, had all the essentials and only £1 (7)
7: Game entertainment
Average, a little one sided (5)
8: Tea Bar
Didn't see (-)
9: Bar / Clubhouse
Cosy, not a huge selection, had Doombar for real ale drinkers (6)
10: Club Shop
TOTAL SCORE OUT OF 80: 53
AVERAGE SCORE: 6.63