Our county town ain’t all that much of a footballing force. But we still had our battles with Hertford Town in our time. Not that it should mark the Blues out as anything special, you realise. After all, we must’ve now had ding-dongs with pretty much all of Hertfordshire’s senior clubs? But there were times when a) the Blues looked down on Boro’ and b) we were found at the same level. So, what changed? Well, we’ll always thank them for letting us have Paul Fairclough; the 1990 appointment of Cloughie hugely transforming our fortunes.
After 10 years in the Spartan South Midlands League, the Blues returned to the Isthmian League in 2017; a competition we played ’em most often in during the 80s.
Hertford Town: The Facts
West Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG13 8EZ
The Blues’ tale starts in 1908 in official terms – but their roots stretch back seven years before that. Port Vale Rovers formed in 1901; changing their name to Hertford FC soon after to carry the town’s name. This club merged with Hertford United, before absorbing two more clubs (Blue Cross and Horns) to establish the club that we know today in 1908. That’s how it all started for the Blues. Now, time to move onto a bit about ’em.
In truth, there’s not much to report. After spending time in the Herts County League and Spartan League, the Blues’ best years (up ’til that point, at least) came at the start of the 1960s; picking up two successive Delphian League titles. Bad weather had a big impact on the competition during the 1962-3 season. At the end of it, the Delphian League was no more. So, the Blues became a founder member of Athenian League Division Two; winning promotion at the first attempt.
Why do we know Hertford Town?
Just nine seasons into their time as an Athenian League side, the Blues left; deciding to go into the Eastern Counties League instead. But it was short-lived. A year later, the Isthmian League came calling. And they answered with arms wide open. This was in 1973, so there’s still a bit of ground to cover before we are even a thing – let alone in a position to meet ’em. It’d be another 12 years before we’d catch them up in the league.
We didn’t need to wait that long for our first encounter, however. Nope – that all happened courtesy of the East Anglian Cup…
How to get to Hertford Town – Travel Information – Distance: 11 miles
Leave Stevenage on the A602 towards Ware. After following the Watton-at-Stone bypass, take the second exit at the roundabout for the A119 towards Hertford. Continue on into the town; passing under the railway at Hertford North and continuing towards the centre.
At the next roundabout, however, turn right and then follow the filter lane onto the A414 signposted Harlow. Follow the dual carriageway around to the next roundabout.
You’ll need to come back on yourself here. That’s because you want to turn left for West Street just after the garage. As West Street bends around to the left, the entrance to the ground forks off to the right.
The ground has space for 100 vehicles – and that should be more than enough.
Station: HERTFORD NORTH
Services to: STEVENAGE
Turn right out of the station and head along North Road past the hospital. Go straight on as you get to a mini-roundabout that leads off to the A414; staying on North Road. After you pass some new flats on the site of an old garage, there will be a subway to take you onto the far side of the dual carriageway.
Walk against the traffic (more or less in the same direction) and turn right for West Street.
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