Tuesday 7 October 2014, Tamworth 0 AFC Fylde 3, Conference North , The Lamb Ground
Wednesday 8 October 2014, Huntingdon Town 3 Newport Pagnell 3 (Huntingdon won 5-4 on penalties), Jubilee Park
A meeting in Birmingham allowed me to visit two non league grounds but both were very different. Tamworth are a team near the top echelons of non-league football, a team I saw play in the Vase final at Wembley in 1988 and club with a ground that almost has a 70's league feel to it, with two of the stands backing onto terrace houses but plenty of red paint giving the ground a much loved feel and the modern world not far away with one stand overshadowed by the Tamworth Snow Done next door.
But a modern ground a good support who did not get on the players back may not be enough to help Tamworth who were easily beaten by North West team Fylde. What is it about that coast? Fylde seem keen to follow Fleetwood, numerous promotions, new grounds and league football as the final target.
But get a chance visit the 'The Lamb Ground'
My next game was closer to home and United Counties team Huntingdon Town, a cup game for a team that was undefeated in the league and they carried on that good form, zooming into a three nil lead but then the wheels came off, Newport Pagnell hit back and in the end it was only by one penalty shot that Huntingdon got through to the next round.
But a different non-league experience, a lower level but a smart ground, smart clubhouse and with plenty of other junior pitches surrounding the complex as they seek to produce more players. Ex Ipswich, now Villa (sometimes) and England player, Darren Bent comes from around here.
But the negative point is the distance from town, to get there to watch or play you need a car, not sure even a bus travels down this country road. So big crowds may never come- even if the car park is about the same size as the one at Tamworth but you cans ee this sort of set up producing further Darren Bents!