Tuesday 13th September 2016 ko 19.45
Eastern Counties League – Division One
HAVERHILL BOROUGH 3 (Robson 37 69 Phillips 90) Forshaw missed penalty 17
COGGESHALL TOWN 0
In so my ways this was a real oddity, a club born out of the much older Haverhill Rovers, but who’ve split away and moved out of a groundshare to the New Croft’s 3G pitch next door to the main stadium. But the two clubs can’t play simultaneously, Borough use the changing rooms at the main New Croft and walk across, which should make for some interesting kick-off times! But on this evening that wasn’t the half of it!
Let’s start with the football side of things. This was Boro’s first game in their new home but there was a little to-ing and fro-ing in the days before. It was obvious that a fair amount had to be done to the place to obtain Step 6 ground grading. I’m told here the stumbling block was the 3G pitch, there are no lack of boxes to tick to obtain the right permissions.
The facilty is perfectly adequate for Boro’s needs, although it is two sided with large fences behind each goal. But there’s seats, cover, and a clubhouse and ultimately what else do you need? But I don’t think the architects planned for what we saw on this evening…. an invasion of teenage girls!
I didn’t expect it either, although perhaps I should. Pop star Olly Murs is involved at Coggeshall and by all accounts is proving to be good for his hometown club. He’s paid for improvements to their changing rooms, and turns out for them in charity games. He had an evening off so came to watch his comrades.
And to be honest in the end I felt sorry for the lad. Before the game he was happy to pose for selfies and sign autographs. During the game he joined his teammates in the away dugout and quite honestly if you didn’t know he was there you wouldn’t have noticed.
But as soon as half-time was over and the club opened up the gates, in streamed dozens of teenage girls, some accompanied by their parents, waiting for the final whistle. A walkway was fenced off for him and after the game was over he walked to the changing room block to hysterical screaming. I walked away, and a young girl screamed at me “HE SMILED AT ME!!!” I allowed myself a half-grin and a puzzled shake of my head, wondering why teen idols aren’t allowed a night off from being teen idols?
What was completely lost in the screaming and hormones was the fact that Boro’ had completely turned the form book upside-down and registered a thumping win. Perhaps Olly’s smile was in fact a grimace?
I assume the furore soon died down, I made a sharp exit, but as the floodlights faded in my rear view mirror, there was knowledge, and dare I say satisfaction that a little football club has both a home and a separate identity. I wish them well.