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Good Evening and welcome to Cheshunt Stadium. We extend a warm welcome to the players, officials and supporters of Baldock Town for this County Cup tie. Remarkably it has been the first meeting of our two Clubs this century and the first since the Reds reformed in 2003.
Even more remarkable, this is our County cousins first visit here in 45 years. Baldock’s last visit came on the 9th Novenber 1976 in a group game of the East Anglian Cup when they were beaten 6-1 with Cheshunt goals coming from Dave Bidwell (2), George Berryman, John Poole, Brian Reeves and Dave Underwood.
Enjoy the game
Please note Cheshunt FC operates a No Dogs policy. (except Assistance Dogs)
You are responsible for your own children on the site, unless they are participating in an organised event at the site with qualified staff.
Welcome everyone to Theobalds Lane for tonight’s Herts FA Senior Challenge Cup fixture.
It’s our second cup match in a row following our solid one nil win at the weekend in the FA Trophy. The win against Corinthian Casuals extended our unbeaten run to five games, in what had looked a difficult run of fixtures in October.
We hope the winning run continues this evening. It’s always good to be in the running for silverware and we have as good a chance as any in the Herts FA Senior Challenge Cup.
Tonight will be a tough match and I’m sure Craig will utilise the squad we have available to ensure we’re in the hat for the next round.
Off the pitch we will be meeting with the Council this week to start discussions about Cheshunt Sports Village. I hope to report more in my programme notes for the weekend.
For now, thanks as always for your support and enjoy the game.
Firstly I’d like to welcome Rob his team and everyone who has travelled over from Baldock for tonight’s Senior Cup game. I’d also like to welcome our match officials and hope they have an enjoyable game.
It’s been quite a week for us as we continued our impressive form. At home to Cray we played very well, moving the ball at great pace and looking so solid defensively. We had a number of key players missing but you’d never have noticed which is massive knowing we have that sort of strength in depth.
Although we went in at half time goalless I was confident going into the 2nd half that our dominance would be rewarded and that proved correct as we banged in four quality unanswered goals.
At Corinthian Casuals in the FA Trophy we were the opposite. It was truly an awful game, which wasn’t helped by the condition of the pitch. George never had a save to make and although we were much the better side we were not exactly peppering their goal either.
The one piece of real quality in the game was the move at the start of the 2nd half that resulted in our winner. After that we were not threatened at all and it was a pretty comfortable 1-0 win. It showed we could ‘win ugly’ which in a way was as satisfying as the performance against Cray.
On to tonight’s game. Baldock did incredibly well to qualify in the last round coming from four goals down to win at St Margeretsbury, it must have been some game. It’s also a great opportunity for some of the lads to get minutes into their legs as well as one or two new faces to make an appearance.
Hopefully it’ll be another exciting game with plenty of goals.
Enjoy the game
Cheshunt 3-0 Worthing
Saturday 2nd November 1974
This evening we look back 47 years to the visit of Worthing in the Athenian League.
The Athenian League in 1974 was a shadow of its former self. Seen as the second most powerful Amateur league in the south of England behind the Isthmian League, their best clubs had been syphoned off gradually as the Isthmian League slowly expanded in the 1970s. Cheshunt were consequently now one of the Athenian League’s biggest names and very much title contenders as John Drabwell’s young side made their challenge.
Worthing were dispatched with two goals from John Drabwell’s brother, Peter Drabwell and a third from skipper John Cerasoli.
‘Cherry’, as he was affectionately known by all at the club had been one of Drabwell’s first signings when he arrived at Theobalds Lane in November 1972. Aged 20, Cerasoli had already played for Ilford, Bexley and Hornchurch but was known to Drabwell from his schooldays, where Drabs had been his PE Teacher. To the Manager’s amusement, he would continue to absent-mindedly call him ‘Sir’ throughout his time at the Club!
A dynamic and talented midfielder, Cerasoli could adapt to being a striker or drop back in defence when required and soon became Club captain, lifting what is still arguably Cheshunt’s most prestigious honour, the London Charity Cup, in May 1974.
Cheshunt title aspirations faltered in the final run-in that season, drawing at Tilbury, Moseley and the return game at Worthing, leaving Letchworth to carry off the prize. By way of a consolation, Cheshunt won the Athenian League Cup, beating Redhill 1-0 at Theobalds Lane with Colin Waters getting the winner. Cerasoli missed that final due to injury and departed for Harrow that summer. He would return in 1978, bringing his statistics at Cheshunt to 137 appearances and 49 goals.
The 1st Team played its first competitive match in September 2003 in the North Herts League at The Shed on Clothall Road, Baldock. The match was against Magnum with a Rob Foster hat-trick sealing a 5-1 win.
Since then the Club have progressed from the North Herts League to the Herts Senior County League. The 1st Team won Division One of the HSCL in their debut season in 2007/2008.
For three seasons from 2008/09, the team played its home matches on Saturday afternoons at The County Ground, Baldock Road in Letchworth, but they returned to Baldock for the 2011/12 season playing at Baldock Town FC’s former home at Norton Road, which is now known as the North Herts Arena.
After three near misses, the 1st Team finally won the Herts Senior County League Premier Division title in 2011/12. Unfortunately due to ground grading issues, the team were unable to take their place in the Spartan South Midlands League.
For the 2012/13 season, the team began a groundshare with Hitchin Town FC. Despite finishing runners-up in the HSCL Premier Division the following season – it would still prove enough to secure that elusive promotion. Scott Grant’s side also won the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy for the first time and retained the Anagram Records Trophy.
The next two seasons saw a period of consolidation for the 1st Team finishing 7th and 10th respectively in Spartan South Midlands League Division One, which is Step 6 on the Non-League Pyramid.
After Grant decided to step down Luke Gregson took the reigns for the 2015/16 season, assisted by Dean Gilbert. After an indifferent start, the team went on a superb run and ended up just missing out on promotion. The 3rd place finish was the club’s highest in the Football Pyramid to date.
The team is now managed by Rob Bates who joined during the 2019-20 season to assist Adam Fisher; When Adam stood down in the summer of 2020, Rob was appointed as Manager.
Manager Craig Edwards
Reece Beckles Richards
Baldock Town FC
Manager Rob Bates
Adam Harpur (GK)
Ollie Skinner (GK)
Davis Boateng (GK)
Josh Furness (Captain)
Football is the most popular sport worldwide, and there are so many children who do not have the same opportunities to safely play the game that they are so passionate about.
In the UK, children are often buying new pairs of football boots every season, as they so quickly outgrow their old pairs. This means that their used football boots are often left in near-perfect condition.
Our goal is to give these football boots a second chance and to bring joy to children who don’t have the same opportunity.
Cheshunt FC teams are collecting boots for this very worthwhile charity, please check your cupboards for any boots you may be able to bring along to the club and donate.
Non-League football German style by Stuart Fuller
It’s 5pm on a beautiful Wednesday evening in early August and the FC Kaiserslautern team bus is slowly manoeuvring itself down a lane not really wide enough of a Smart car in the heart of Saarland, South-West Germany. Die Roten Tuefel, or the Red Devils, may have arrived in style but a few hours later they will leave with their forked tails between their legs. Whilst the team who took the 3G surface in Wiesbach may not have been the Red Devils first XI, this was a competitive game and one that would still embarrass the management of one of Germany’s founding members of the Bundesliga.
Shaun Harvey and the management of the EFL must look longingly at Germany (and Spain) and see how the top flight teams are allowed to enter their reserve sides into the competitive league structure. Of course there are rules around who they can and cannot field, as well as a rule that means they can never be in the same division, but it is accepted here in a way that I doubt it could never be back in England.
FC Kaiserslautern’s reserve side play in the fifth tier of German football, the Oberliga. Those of you with O-Level German will know that ‘Ober’ in German means ‘upper’, so Oberliga literally means ‘the top league’ or as we would call it The Premier League (well, until the marketing men took their millions for coming up with EPL). Confused? Yep, me too.
Werder Bremen had the highest placed reserve team, last season playing in the Bundesliga III but relegation back in May meant they will be in the Regionalliga along with the stiffs from 18 other Bundesliga I and II clubs. Step down one more level and you will find a host of others including Kaisersluatern II, now playing in the Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar along with clubs such as BFV Hassia Bingen, TSV Schott Mainz and today’s hosts, Hertha Wiesbach.
One way to look at the similarities between the respective step 5 leagues in the English and German footballing pyramids is average attendances. The Conference Premier/National League in England has some clubs who have certainly had better days such as Leyton Orient, Chesterfield and Wrexham but their core support hasn’t disappeared as they’ve headed down the pyramid. Last season the National League had an average attendance of 2,048 with three clubs (the aforementioned Leyton Orient and Wrexham, plus promoted Tranmere Rovers) averaging over 4,000. Compare that to the Oberliga, which had an average of just 289, with only two clubs out of the 14 leagues with average attendances over 1,000 (FC 08 Homburg and SC Borussia 04 Fulda in case you wanted to know).
Facilities at this level are probably on a par with England’s Step 5 or 6. Hertha Wiesbach’s ProWin Stadion was situated in a small valley, with steep hills rising behind the club house and the main stand – perfect on a hot, summer’s night but treacherous I would imagine come the winter. Their 3G pitch provides a facility for the local community, whilst the club- house was advertising a number of events over the coming weeks. Oh, and being Germany, you could have a beer whilst standing on the hill watching the game, trusted that you wouldn’t start a Mexican Wave or some Icelandic Clap.
On the pitch it is a different matter – the Step 5 teams here in Germany certainly looked technically as good as our National League, if not better. The home side blew the famous
visitors aside, scoring three second-half goals as Kaiserslautern wilted in the sunshine (and bizarrely only arrived with two on the bench). The win, lifted the home side to top of the table, with a 100% record after three league games and no goals conceded.
There can be few better ways to spend a hot Summer’s evening than watching football, beer and sausage in hand and Wiesbach delivered on every level. I wasn’t the only one who left with a spring in my step, with the knowledge that David had sort of got one over on Goliath, albeit Goliath’s little brother, Bob.
Thankfully the 6.30pm kick-off meant that as I headed south-wards towards my hotel for the night, I drove right past (OK, so there was a 2.5km detour) the Sportplatz Papiermühle (or Paper Mill Sportsfield), where the second half between SPV Dillingen and SV Engers 07, also in the Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar was just kicking off. The ground wasn’t too dissimilar to the ProWin Stadion, with one low-level clubhouse with standing in front. A similar demographic of fan was watching this one, albeit with contrasting fortunes to the first match as unbeaten Engers ran out 4-0 winners.
Not a bad evening all being told. Just like there’s some real gems in and around the Non- League scene in England, seek and you shall find beauty in the most unlikely of places in Germany too.
DON’T BLAME THE REF…
I remember years ago reading and article by Ken Aston who was the head honcho of the refereeing world back in the sixties. He felt that television scrutiny was already becoming too intrusive and that his compatriots were finding themselves too readily subject to criticism and trial by TV pundit. Aston argued that this was unfair as they were making split second decisions and doing their best without any opportunity to review decisions.
Fast forward to 2021 when referees are even more scrutinised but now at least do have the opportunity at the top level of the game to review decisions via the use of VAR.
Has it improved the game? In some respects, I’d have to say yes.
I sincerely do believe that the standard of refereeing is better than it’s ever been throughout the history of the game, and at the top level its ability to make the correct decision is vastly improved from yesteryear.
That said however ‘strange’ decisions still exist at every level of the game and there are unfortunately too many examples of incompetent refereeing.
When watching games for Cheshunt I am often impressed by referees and over most games I don’t think they get too high a percentage wrong, but I still see some decisions that leave me speechless, and I do wonder what can be done to improve that.
One area I see as poor at every level is the lack of cohesion and teamwork amongst the official’s team. Referees seem to be too isolated; they take on the position of the leader of the official’s team, they become distanced from their own team and appear uncommunicative.
At our lower league level, we have three officials, but rarely do I see excellent examples of them working optimally as a team.
Ref’s are giving fouls, making bookings, deciding on sending offs, keeping time and generally holding the fabric of the game together and although the assistants on the line do seem to monitor time it generally feels very disjointed and arbitrary as to how much their role will be optimally effective, and that adds to the inability of the three to act as a team.
In the last two weeks I’ve seen two strange pieces of refereeing first-hand. In the Cheshunt home game against Bognor there was an unnecessary long delay following the ref’s decision to book a player for leaving the field too slowly. I wasn’t about to argue with that as Cheshunt needed every second to try and rescue the game, however when suddenly the referee decided that he’d already booked the same player and issued a second red I was confused. I couldn’t remember him being booked previously so I assumed he must have said something or continued to be too slow and that consequently he’d got a red.
It took seven minutes for the referee to be persuaded that he’d confused a previous booking for a Cheshunt player with the booking of the dawdling Bognor player. Even then he didnt change his mind until post match, Bognor had to play out the last ten minutes with ten men. Tempers were frayed, tensions escalated and confusion reigned. Three physio visits, one for a head injury, six substitutions & the seven minute madness resulted in just six minutes of injury time? My reflection is why wasn’t either assistant quickly communicating with the referee that he needed to quickly change that decision. A more coherent and coordinated approach to decision making would have greatly helped matters. Surely they too had noted the bookings & substitutions, both teams bench & media had.
I was recently at The Emirates when the Crystal Palace player aimed a powerful kick at Arsenal’s forward Saka, making no attempt to play the ball. Referee Mike Dean was yards from it and missed it, his linesman and fourth official offered no advice, and VAR couldn’t ensure the decision was reviewed. A complete team meltdown with the whole process, making the officials look incompetent, and certainly impacting on the confidence that the spectators may have in the process of ensuring the game was governed fairly.
In my view it reinforced that we still have communication issues with officials and that underpinning this is a continued elitist attitude from the refereeing profession; an impression I would suggest they genuinely want to disassociate themselves with.
As players develop, they have to learn to learn from mistakes, to improve their understanding of the game and develop their play. Referee’s obviously do the same, but I still consider that refereeing sees it’s role as too separate, and almost aloof from the playing side of the game.
Communications in any organisation are fundamental to success, if we get our messaging wrong, then we will have problems. In football the gap between the players and officials remains an area of concern in the development of the game and after decades of trying to cure this we are still a long way from resolution. Try watching a Rugby Union match this week end, and note the player/referee interaction.
I heard recently that at higher levels of the game in Germany refs are giving post-match interviews, and the impression is that it is being received positively. It’s hopefully providing a reflective approach and a learning opportunity, and one hopes in time it will establish a role at all levels.
So long as such moves are regarded respectfully as a piece of open time post-match it should help all sides to communicate and improve outcomes.
‘Its Good To Talk’
Stourbridge did something a little unusual last week.
The Southern League Premier Central club appointed Leon Broadhurst and Stuart Pierpoint as joint-managers – something seldom seen in English football.
The pair are no strangers at the War Memorial Athletic ground. Broadhurst is the Glassboys’ leading appearance holder with 780 in total while Pierpoint has four fruitful seasons at the club.
They’ve been playing Non-League football for 20 years and were both still turning out this season – Broadhurst with Bromsgrove Sporting and Pierpoint at Coalville Town.
The popular duo had always said they would go into management together and once Stourbridge approached them it was near impossible to turn down.
Their return to the club has brought excitement added to by a 3-0 victory over Lowestoft Town last weekend in their first game in charge, but how will the uncommon approach of being joint-managers work in the long-term?
“We’ve been close friends and played together for many years so we know our skillsets,” Broadhurst told The NLP. “The first training session it fell into place without our different skills. It was brilliant to see how Stu concentrated on one area and I concentrated on another.”
Pierpoint added: “We didn’t really verbalise how it was going to work because it’s a learning curve for both of us. There will be different elements we’re probably not aware of at the moment that will come up.
“But, as Leon said, we do have different skillsets which will benefit us. We have a very similar outlook and similar approach with regards to our expectations and how we see the future.
“However, in terms of how we undertake the role we have different traits that we can bounce off each other. It’s all about open communication. We’re not going to agree on everything but that’s great as well.”
In the Premier League and Football League there aren’t any managerial partnerships with only Danny and Nicky Cowley coming closest, having worked their way through Non-League, although older brother Danny is officially ‘manager’.
Doug Livermore and Ray Clemence were once first-team bosses at Tottenham Hotspur but both were soon axed before Gerard Houlier and Roy Evans took charge of Liverpool in 1998, and Evans quickly resigned.
There are plenty of successful examples outside of the EFL. Chester bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have won five promotions together at Ramsbottom United and Salford City while Neil Baker and Jon Underwood have taken Slough Town from Step 4 to National League South.
Carl Withers and Jamie McClurg led Binfield to last season’s FA Vase final and promotion from Step 5. Rick Andrews and Angelo Harrop, in their short time in charge of AFC Sudbury this year, reached the FA Cup first round proper and are going well in the Isthmian League North.
Broadhurst and Pierpoint have the makings of another successful duo as more Non-League clubs will be asking themselves, is two better than one?
King Georges Field drained well after extended periods of overnight rain, but the regular deluges continuing into the Saturday morning left the surface extremely heavy, giving the impression both teams were finding it difficult to move the ball freely, passing looked laboured and forced at times.
The first half opened with a Corinthian Casuals free kick on the edge of the box looking dangerous but a tamely struck shot was well held by Ambers keeper George Marsh for the home sides only attempt on goal in the first forty five. The Ambers had much more possession and should have been the more likely to open the scoring, but heavy touches, misplaced passes and some last ditch defending in the final third restricted the Ambers to longer range efforts. Joe Re making his one hundredth appearance went close with a left foot shot over the bar, Reece Beckles Richards followed suit, and with a minute of the half remaining Mo Camara blazed an angled volley just over with only the keeper to beat. 0-0 at half time with defences clearly on top, aided by the pitch and the officials slowing the pace of the game considerably.
Zack Newton had spent the first half being well marshalled by Emmanuel Mensah & Andy Mills doubling up on the Ambers danger man each time he threatened, however within two minutes of the restart a move inside from his wide right position as Cheshunt built on their left saw a series of short passes from Re, Beckles Richards, Miles & McLean open the home defence and find Newton in the penalty box, back to goal. A feint one way & a roll the other saw him clear the attentions of Mills and stroke the ball past Dan Bracken in the home goal. The Ambers now had all of the second half to pick off Corinthians as they pressed for an equaliser. A second goal for Cheshunt should have been delivered when a long throw created panic at the Corinthians near post, the ball bounced at pace off several boots, a forest of shins, and a post before dribbling out for a goal kick. Former Amber Bobby Mills was the pick of the home team efforts, often picking the ball up & running at the Cheshunt defence, but eventually reaching Taylor Mackenzie, who steered him wide of any threat. Mensah too was having a decent game in an unfamiliar position, until a needless kick at Mo Camara & a spat with Beckles Richards blotted his copy.
Corinthians huffed & puffed their way to one on target attempt for the second half, a header from range, cleared easily from the line for a corner. Nordirbek Bobomuradov & Ola Williams came on for Cheshunt in the latter stages to provide fresh legs wide, and secure the back line. Both were successful in the objectives, Bobomuradov breaking a weak offside line & coming close to beating Bracken to a through ball in the latter stages. Late in the game a succession of corners & throw ins for Cheshunt in the Corinthians half ensured the tie was safe.
An ugly win, but a win all the same, a clean sheet, £2,500 in the bag, and into the draw for the next round where we will meet Berkhamstead FC currently top of the Southern League Division One Central at step 4.
Cheshunt finish the day in second place
The Herts Senior County Inclusive League entered it’s second weekend at Nicholas Breakspear Roman Catholic School in St Albans today (Sunday 10-10-21) with Cheshunt ‘A’, Everett Rovers FC ‘A’ & Pro Touch SA playing in the Premiership Division.
With only three sides playing in the division, everyone played each other twice and it was Cheshunt ‘A’ and Everett Rovers ‘A’, who just like in week one, kicked off the afternoons football. And, just like four week previous, the match ended in a hard fought 0-0 draw.
The Ambers then conceded their first league goal of the season in a 0-1 loss vs a very strong Pro Touch SA team who then went on to win the group. A 1-0 win over Everette Rovers ‘A’ in their second match together gave The Ambers some hope of winning the group but, a 2-1 reverse in the second match v Pro Touch meant a second place finish ensued.
The next leg is on November 14th (venue TBC)
FULL PREMIERSHIP RESULTS (10-10-21). Click on the links available for match day photos.
Everett Rovers FC ‘A’ 0-2 Pro Touch SA
Everett Rovers FC ‘A’ 0-0 Pro Touch SA
B team end the day on a high note
The Cheshunt FC ‘B’ team went into the second week of fixtures in good form having won their group in the opening weekend. But league newcomers Bedwell Rangers, playing in their first tournament, showed that they will be tough to beat in the coming season. Although the Ambers lost their first two matches 0-2, they started to get into their stride in the third match, losing 0-1 v St Albans City ‘B’ and then, as in the last round of matches at Cheshunt FC, they drew 0-0 with Enfield Town.
Bedwell Rangers finished the group top with the maximum 12 points from 4 matches and Cheshunt ‘B’ finished with 1 point to finish 5th.
FULL CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION RESULTS. Click the links to view matchday photos.
Another four clean sheets for impressive ‘C’ team
The Cheshunt ‘C’ team started their second group of matches on the back of a perfect defensive record of four clean sheets from four matches, and they started of the second weekend of fixtures exactly as their started the first, with a 0-0 draw vs Hatfield Town. This was followed up with another 0-0 draw, v Everett Rovers ‘B’ and two 1-0 wins v St Albans City ‘B’& Smiles Aylesbury.
Smiles Aylesbury went on to pip the ‘C’ team to the winners top spot in their last match as a 3-0 victory over Hatfield Town in the last match of the day, added to their two earlier victories, was enough to break the hearts of a battling ‘C’ team finishing second one point behind.
THE LEAGUE DIVISION FULL RESULTS. Click on the links where available for some match photos.
Hatfield Town 0-3 Smiles Aylesbury
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