Alfreton Town v Luton Town
Saturday April 14th, 2012, 3pm
Blue Square Premier League
By Paul Willott
On the weekend of FA cup semi-finals, it seemed poignant to recall that in 1994 I travelled to Wembley to watch Luton take on Chelsea in an FA cup semi-final; and here I now was travelling to watch them play at Alfreton, who as recently as 1998 playing in the Northern Counties East league. How the footballing geography can change over the years.
The drive up the M1 was fairly trouble free, and following the directions provided in this guide, I soon found myself a place to ditch my car in a perhaps appropriately named "Preston Avenue", quite close to where the ground nestles.
Alfreton's ground is a far cry from Wembley! If there had been any problems earlier in the season for the little club in dealing with larger crowds, they had cured them by the visit of Luton, as I encountered no hitches either going in or getting out of the ground. I made a bee-line for the covered section of the "tin end" terrace and surveyed the surroundings. What a quaint little ground! I noticed an earlier reference to a sloping pitch ; it almost struck me as though the ground was clinging to the hill-side!
The toilets were certainly primitive and cramped, but the food seemed good from what I heard being said about it by fellow supporters.
The 900 or so Luton fans made plenty of noise, but in truth they had little to shout about as Luton's performance was hardly inspiring. There was a sense of inevitability about the 0 - 0 scoreline and another season in the fifth tier of English football beckoning; but I guess with every cloud comes a silver lining in the shape of more visits to grounds where you can still stand to watch your football, and maybe another couple of train rides on the Severn Valley railway with a football match cheekily slotted in the middle; thats assuming Kidderminster don't succeed where Luton are currently failing of course........
I quickly returned to my car upon the final whistle and in a trice was heading south down the M1 .
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