My first game of the season saw me and my dad end up in Milton Keynes, and more specifically New Bradwell St Peter Football Club. This is one club that I has been on my hit list as it were for a few years, especially as Milton Keynes is within easy reach of Leicester. I have only previously visited five clubs in the Spartan South Midlands League, three of the clubs currently ply their trade in the same division as New Bradwell and two clubs in the MK area - Newport Pagnell and Stony Stratford. The day started out with a trip to the Northamptonshire Records Office on the edge of Northampton to do some family research with the intention of trying to take the "Campion" name beyond the mid / late 1700's by looking at old parish records. Having spent around 2 and a half hours in the records office we did not manage to take the name further back but found out that the surname changed from "Camping" to "Campion" in the late 18th century. After leaving the records office the plan was to grab some lunch and then look at some of the villages and towns in Northamptonshire where our relatives came from. First up was Rushden, and more specifically Duck Street. Duck Street in 2008 is pretty non-descript, an average street on the edge of Rushden town centre. From there is was to Finedon and more specifically the church where a Campion was married in 1814. The final stop of the day was the village of Stanwick near Raunds. A lot of Campions / Campings in the late 18th century were christened here but strangely the father, an Edward Camping was neither born or buried in the village. Brick wall time!
After leaving Stanwick we decided to head to Milton Keynes itself and made the relatively short journey down the A509 and pulled into Willen Lake for a drink before heading to New Bradwell. Note - there are two Bradwell Roads. The one with the football ground on is in the postcode district of MK13. A phone call was made to the club to confirm location and we arrived with around 15 minutes before kick-off. No admission was taken, programmes had to be collected from a club official's house and I managed to get hold of one during the first half for £1. The club also had badges for sale from their centenary year six years ago which were sold for a bargain £1 each.
Despite arriving at the ground before kick-off we managed to miss the first ten minutes (and first goal for the home side) due to us talking in the bar and losing track of time. Shit happens I suppose!!! A couple of minutes after arriving at pitch side the home side were awarded a free-kick. Lee White stepped up and scored direct from the kick from fully 35 yards to make it 2-0 against a side that won 4-1 at the weekend. I'm not sure if it was intentional but the keeper was expecting a cross and was caught out position wise, added to the fact that the ball seemed to catch the wind. The home side continued to play the better football during the first half and should have been further ahead at the interval. The visitors came out with more intent and purpose in the second half (probably after a rollocking from their manager), but did not cause the home side too many problems. Both sides continued to create chances until Ampthill got a goal back on 77 minutes through Needleman. A free kick was spilled by the home keeper and the afore mentioned player reacted first to stab the ball home from a few yards out. The old saying in football that you are at your most vulnerable after you've just scored couldn't have rang truer, as just a minute later the home side restored their two goal cushion when the ball was diverted into his home net by a visiting defender from a right wing cross. No further scoring ensued and the home side were deserved winners. An enjoyable game hosted by a nice friendly club.
Trying to recall what happened without taking notes is difficult, even after less than 24 hours after the game ended. Hopefully the next time I attend a game I will remember to take my note book!
Distance / time (according to Google maps UK): 52.1 miles / 1 hour 7 minutes