I was actually really looking forward to this match but, as it turned out, this would be the worst visit of the season so far for a number of reasons.
Leaving work I made the short journey over to Burnham and parked up in the High Street in order to pop into an old favourite restaurant of mine, Peppers. The food, I have to say, is still excellent and this would turn out to be the highlight of my evening.
I made my way to The Gore, home of Burnham FC, and parked up just a few yards from the Stourbridge team coach. I was quite relieved to see the coach as a friend of mine had reported it to be stuck in traffic on Stourbridge ringroad at 4pm. As the car park was almost full, I had to park at the far end, away from the turnstile and main stand. This will become more significant later.
Upon entering the ground I got chatting to a couple of Glassboy supporters that I have become acquainted with over the past few months. The team news was not good. No Geddes, both recognized full-backs out with stomach bugs, a youth team player drafted in and only 3 on the bench, with one being the Assistant Manager. Still, after a 7-0 win on Saturday, confidence should be high.
The stadium itself has the main stand, club house, gym and conference centre building on one side. Opposite that are the dugouts and a smaller covered standing area, with hard-standing around the rest of the ground. The pitch, in direct contract to the last game at Biggleswade, was very bumpy and not conducive to the passing game.
For some reason the toilets inside the ground were locked so, to pay a visit, you had to leave the ground and go through the clubhouse to the nearest facilities. On a cold night, as it was, this is just not good enough.
I'm not sure if Stourbridge had one eye on the upcoming cup match at Stevenage, but they started slowly and never really looked like they were up for it. Burnham, although much livelier than Stourbridge, didn't look like the sort of team that should unduly trouble the Glassboys. However, on 9 minutes they went ahead and, to be fair to them, didn't look like losing that lead at any time. Stourbridge should have had a penalty in the middle of the first half when Ben Billingham was very clearly tripped. Both referee and linesman had clear views but failed to give it. It remains a mystery to what they were both thinking.
Stourbridge huffed and puffed through the remainder of the first half and did try to put on some pressure in the second half. However, the final ball was never quite there. Maybe they were missing the passing range of Sean Geddes or maybe it was just one of those days. Burnham, seemingly happy with their 1-0 lead, did everything possible to break up the play. Plenty of time-wasting, feigning injury and kicking the ball away at every opportunity.
Then, in the 96th minute with Stourbridge pushing everyone forward, the ball was cleared and Burnham found themselves in a 2 on 1 situation. Their forward duly finished the game off (albeit at the second attempt) and that was that. Game over. All in all, a terrible game of football. Entertainment levels at zero.
Then, just to finish my night off, I get back to my car to find my back window smashed and some of my belongings missing.
This event probably has clouded my view of the evening somewhat but this is one ground that I won't be re-visiting. An awful game of football, a bad result for my team, no toilets in the ground and the expense of getting my car fixed.