Saturday 27 February 2016, Arlesey Town 3 Chalfont St Peter 2, Southern Laegue Central Division One, aRMadillo Stadium
Only a few miles separate Hitchin from Arlesey, and just one division in football terms. But just seven days after visiting Hitchin, going to a game at Arlesey was like entering a different world.
There were some similarities, friendly, good club house (in fact the one at Arlesey is much better) and not bad football and both pitches OK when you consider the winter we had but that is where the similarities stop.
Arlesey is a modern ground on the edge of the village and a very good modern ground at that, whilst Hotchin is a town centre ground that would look at home in the 1930's - wood, wood wood whilst Arlesey is brick, brick and brick!
Hitchin's 'Top Field' oozes character but that is not to say the modern ground at Arlesey has not got it's individual features- the small terrace behind one goal and how many clubs have an adjoining Petanque club?
Arlesey got a win and have a young team trying to play football the right way, coached well and plenty of very skillful players and the club has had success in the past - but then we have the real big difference- the crowd - Hitchin one of the best supported teams in the area whilst Arlesey survive on crowds of about 70!
Did I still enjoy the day out? Yes, nice ground and a good game of football, I also have so much respect for the people who run clubs like this but you do worry how long clubs like this can survive.