Ware. Where? Yep, it’s up there with the most tiring gags this country has to offer. After all, we’re well familiar with them. It can’t be much of a shock to learn that we’ve had a number of encounters with the Blues since our first meeting in 1981, can it? To start with, we had to make do with cup ties; our first league match-up not coming until the 1984-5 Servowarm League Division Two North season. They ended up propping up the table that campaign; Boro’ making up six of the 100 goals they shipped. Their fortunes improved. But not enough to keep up with us.
All four of their wins against us have come in cup encounters. In the league, Boro’ are by far the dominant. The chances of us meeting any time soon, however, are slim. For all but one season in the Southern League, the Blues still remain in the lower reaches of the Isthmian ladder. Only once since our formation in 1976 have they made it through to the proper stages of the FA Cup. That wasn’t all that long ago, to be fair; the 2007-8 season saw ’em knocked out in the first round at the hands of Kidderminster Harriers. One good run is all it takes to maybe see ’em again.
Yes folks, it’s Ware – and the who, the why, the what and the how too. Not only are we talking about one of our nearest neighbours off the pitch, but a side that we came to know well enough on the pitch too. The Blues date back to 1892, so Stevenage teams are nothing new to them. The Wodson Park outfit might well be one of the few clubs to claim a unique treble. That’s because we doubt there are too many others who can say they’ve played Town, Athletic and Borough. The Blues can. But we’re only here to talk about the latter of that trio.
In that long ol’ time since 1892, honours are few and far between. They were Herts County League Eastern Division champions – and overall champions after a playoff – in 1909; following that up with the Central Division title in 1910. Yet another county title (Eastern) in 1913 reaffirmed their pedigree at that level. Ultimately, however, they’d go onto join the Delphian League (1955) and Athenian League (1963) with no silverware at that level. That’s not to say they didn’t win promotion. It’s just that nothing went in the trophy cabinet at Buryfield as a result.
In 1975, the Blues opted to join the Isthmian League. It wasn’t until fairly recently (2015 and 2021) that arms were chanced in the Southern League. Obviously, they reverted back to the Isthmian between those two periods…
How to get to Ware – Travel Information – Distance: 19 miles
A nice simple trip should be in the offing here. Take the A602 towards Ware (obviously) and follow it all the way until you reach the A10. Here, head northbound; it’s the first exit on the roundabout. Go north for just one junction, however, before coming off again. This will be the Thundridge and Ware North exit.
As you come off the short slip road, take the first exit at the roundabout to bring you back over the A10. Keep going over the next roundabout as if you were heading into the town centre. Wodson Park is on the left.
There are a couple of alternatives if traffic is proving a pest. When you reach the A10, you can go straight over the roundabout and head into the town centre itself; taking the first exit at the large roundabout at the foot of Watton Road. This will take you up a bit of a hill, with Wodson Park on the right.
And if traffic is *really* bad, you don’t even need to go as far as the A10. At the junction for Bengeo and Wadesmill, make a left for Wadesmill. Follow the road through to the village, and turn right onto what is the old A10. Keep going up this hill past Hanbury Manor and go over the double roundabouts at the A10.
Wodson Park has a generous car park that should be more than adequate.
Services to: HERTFORD EAST, BROXBOURNE
It’s a bit of a long walk to the stadium from the station. But, if you’re intent, here’s how you can walk it. Turn left out of the station and then right onto Amwell End, crossing the river at the top of the road. Follow the road around to the left onto the High Street and continue on this road until it becomes Baldock Street. Eventually, you’ll come to a roundabout.
Go straight over the roundabout to follow the A1170 towards Wadesmill; the road bending around to the right. Wodson Park will be up here on the right.
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