Tuesday 20th March 2018 ko 19.45
Hertfordshire Senior County League Premier Division
WORMLEY ROVERS 3 (Linger 26p 56 90)
SANDRIDGE ROVERS 2 (Jarvis 43 Chanhunduza 72)
At Step 7 in the south you can spot the ambitious clubs a mile off. In Wormley’s case that’s almost literally the case, you see the floodlights as you turn into Church Lane. You’re in Hertfordshire suburbia here, and there are no end of potential rivals for Wormley, by means of an example I passed Cheshunt’s ground on my way here.
But fulfilment isn’t necessarily logical is it, and Wormley are the club that discovered the player with the very epitomy of an unfulfilled career, former Arsenal midfielder David Bentley. His career may have faltered but his former club are clearly going places, 4th in the table, and a ground that is clearly aiming for the Spartan South Midlands League, complete with removable floodlights to allow for the cricket season. Current Leyton Orient defender Charlie Lee also started here.
The original Wormley FC was founded in 1921 playing in a ground donated by Joseph Rochford & Sons, the horticulturalists. The club went into abeyance during the Second World War but was reformed in 1947 moving to its present ground 1954. The club have played in the Hertfordshire League since 1975, but perhaps surprisingly, they’ve never won it.
But there’s more to it sometimes than just bricks and mortar and history; the thing to look out for is club at ease with itself. I’d seen that in spades at Kelty and I saw it here, albeit without the backdrop, but I did I did like the topiary arch!
Unlike at Kelty what we did get was a highly competitive game. It took time to warm up but it was a penalty awarded to Wormley then quickly withdrawn on the advice of the linesman that sparked the the encounter to life. Another penalty was soon won and converted with ease by Mitchell Linger. Matt Jarvis equalised for Sandridge just before half-time but there was Linger to restore Wormley’s lead just after the break.
At that point I though this would end up being a straightforward home win, but Sandridge rallied and when Courage Chavhundura scored the visitors’ second it was they who looked the more likely winners. But with just seconds left there was that man Mitchell Linger to thread a free kick into the bottom corner to seal a remarkable victory.
It was a remarkable denouement of a game at a ground that exceeded every single exception. I’ll look out for their progess with interest.