I have heard comments elsewhere “what a stupid time to go” and “just our luck to get them on January 6th…” It’s the nature of football supporters to moan and while I understand it’s a grim time of the year to head for the east coast, but ‘Boro are a National League North side so someone has to visit them in January.

Last year we got the golden ticket of an August weekend and it’s only fair another club gets a turn. Having received 7 straight home draws in cups (more of that later) overall our luck is very much with us ..and as our hosts will remind us, they had to travel to Hereford in midweek. The away following that night – although bigger than many at the Street at 38 determined souls – was their smallest away turnout for 3 years.

Now it’s our turn to travel the 440-mile round trip, our fourth longest journey of the season.

It’s more miles than if you were travelling from Bishops Stortford, Banbury and Gloucester. It’s a long one for sure.
Awaiting us is an 4G pitch and a club with a settled team in formidable form, as are Hereford of course, so this match-up between two sides in Play-Off contention feels significant. If you are feeling very confident, you might think these two are destined to meet again post season. We need to be aware of 6 foot 4 striker Rutledge (a Gateshead loanee) and wide man Harry Green, the club top scorer.

‘Boro have lost only once at home (Farsley in October) with only 6 goals conceded in 12 home games. Admittedly, they’ve only played 3 of the top 9 clubs at home so far.

However, plastic surfaces DO bestow significant home advantage as is proved by the fact that two of the top three sides in the National League North home form table play on 4G surfaces; (Tamworth and Scarborough) with 30 and 29 points gleaned from home matches so far this term. Bromley lie second in the National League, whilst Redditch United are third in the Southern League Premier Central, Cirencester Town fourth in the Southern League Central and so on. So, we can expect another match with an unnerving bounce ensuring limited capacity for defenders to turn smartly, and a surface that benefits speed merchants.

Since our last visit, the away facilities have improved but not quite fast enough as the seats are not ready. We have covered and elevated terrace. No bar yet for visitors though there is one attached to the press area so the media squad will be content. Admission is the fairly standard £15 full price and £11 for concessions (cash at turnstiles)
I am indebted to Paul Adamson, chair of the Valley Bar Seadogs, for sharing so much detail about his club that I haven’t really needed to do any research myself – right down to pointing out their goalkeeper is called Whitley not White Lee. Apparently, every other commentator makes that mistake.

Boro are an example to basically every club at this level. They are 100 per cent supporter owned, compete so well that they only missed the play offs on the last day last season and make a profit. Their accounts up to May 2023 aren’t public yet but indications to shareholders are for another profitable year. Proof clubs don’t have to rack up debts to compete.

Hereford | Vanarama National League North | Scarborough Athletic FC Tickets (ktckts.com)

If you’re unable to travel Radio Hereford FC (Frank Williams & Simon Wright) and BBC Hereford & Worcester (Keith Hall & Paul Fewings) will be behind their respective microphones to bring you full match commentary.

Simon Wright & Keith Hall

By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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