After having kept an eye on the fixtures all morning, my chosen game had a pitch inspection at 11am which was duly passed and so I headed down to Tattershall Road on the A16 through the Lincolnshire countryside.
I arrived at the ground in a very heavy downpour and the car park was full of very large puddles which started me worrying about the game even starting. After 10 minutes or so the downpour abated and I headed into the ground.
The entrance brings you into the ground with the pitch mainly to the right of the entrance. I decide to head to my right, which consists of a wide hard standing are with the Clubhouse and other facilities at the back of it.
Having reached the corner I stepped onto the pitch to take a photo of the corner flag, which has the Club name and the year they were established on it. A very nice touch.
The far side of the ground has a fair bit of development going on and is not yet finished. There is a strip of hard standing running the entire length of this side together with a railing. The first structure you come to is a roofed section supported by wooden beams which give it a unique look. The hard standing under it is rough and ready and some of it is taped off but most importantly it is dry!
Beyond this is a raised set of seating with the roof supports in place but no roof as of yet. Believe it or not, there were no takers for these seats today.
As I reach the corner I meet Pete, who tells me about the new stand being built by the Club members themselves. Pete also tells me about the history of the Club, the pitches either side of the ground, the current problems with the lease and about his lovely wife Pam, (who I will meet later), who seems to run the place. These are the people who enable people like myself attend games and we should be grateful to them all. Here is Pete:
The pitch behind this side of the ground was hosting a Lincolnshire league game Pete informed me, but I failed to get a photo as the officials came over and were talking to Pete and I forgot to take the shot!
I carry on to the end opposite where you enter the ground which has a new section if seats in an older stand which gives a great contrast and a bit of character.
There is hard standing leading to the stand and the trees which can be seen behind this stand and indeed all around this side of the ground belong to the Witham Way Country Park, the entrance to which is next to the ground.
Here is a close up view of the seats.
The next side of the ground has a large covered terrace running most of it's length and the dug outs are situated in front of the stand.
This consists of hard standing, then a wide step up and a final step, at which level the finish is wood, very unusual.
Behind this stand there is another pitch and it was here that the two teams warmed up before the game, saving the pitch from unnecessary wear and tear.
This brings you back to the corner near to where we came in and the dressing rooms are situated here.
I see Pete heading towards me and he introduces his companion as Simon Ashberry whose book on the history of Boston, "Come and sit with us", I'd asked him about. I arranged with Simon for him to send one to me and had a chat about his other team Bradford City (where he is based). I shall look forward to reading the book.
So to the game. By kick off the wind and rain had returned as you can see from the picture below.
The weather worsened within seconds of the picture above and now there was hail mixed in with the rain. The dugouts emptied into the stand and even at the very back we were still getting wet as the strong wind blew it under the cover. After two minutes the referee signalled for the players to leave the pitch. Almost as quick as it blew up, the weather calmed off. This enabled the game to resume but although the pitch was playable it was very muddy. Both sides made a good effort considering to try and play passing football and this made for an entertaining game. Boston were on top and had some good chances but Raunds looked capable of scoring on the break.
Boston started to take a real grip on the game and looked more and more likely to score. However some good saves from the Raunds keeper kept the game scoreless. But there was nothing he could do on 35 minutes when a good cross from Parker was met by Borbely who headed home.
Raunds struggled to contain Boston for the next five minutes but withstood the onslaught to actually go forward themselves but with no real end result.
The half time whistle blew with Boston leading 1-0 and I headed off for a cuppa. When I get there Pete is there and introduces me to Pam who modestly denies she runs everything. Pete very kindly bought me my hot drink, which was extremely kind of him and I'd just like to thank him for the gesture again. Here's Pam:
The sun was actually shining at this point and I decided to take my drink to the seats at the other end of the ground. As I went to sit down the heavens opened again and the Raunds subs who had been warming up in the goal quickly joined us in the stand. It can only be described as a squall as the wind picked up again and hale and rain battered Tattershall Road. A couple of the subs made a dash to the side stand and you can see the conditions for yourselves.
The start to the second half was delayed to wait for the squall to blow over which it eventually did. Boston came out first and their keeper was not impressed with what he found in the goal that I was sat behind.
The referee came out to inspect the pitch but it seemed pretty certain that I would see no more football today. After five minutes and plenty of discussion the match was abandoned. I made my way towards the exit taking a couple of more shots of the pitch and technical areas.
So, a disappointing end to my visit to Tattershall Road, but it was still one of my most enjoyable days out this season. A smashing ground, very quirky and individual. A really friendly greeting from the Club from the gate to the groundsman. A very big thank you to Pete especially who made the day special and also to Pam and Simon, both of whom were a pleasure to meet. I think I'll be back for the re-arranged game.
More pictures of Tattershall Road here.
There are pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.
Boston Town A-A Raunds Town
(1-0 to Boston; abandoned at half time)