Saturday 12th March 2016 – Wycombe Wanderers 1 – 0 Stevenage FC
League Two @ Adams Park, High Wycombe
“Time wasting bastards, we know what we are….”
A totally random ground tick, born out of a reunion between old university housemates, and dictated largely by geography.
I’ve not a great deal experience with either club. My first recollection of Wycombe Wanderers as a football fan was their famous win against Leicester in the cup back in 2001 (the one with the striker who they signed via Teletext…) and more recently though Matt Bloomfield’s column on the BBC Sport website.
Stevenage FC (or Stevenage Borough in earlier memories) seemed to be a club always knocking on the door of the football league, but denied because their ground wasn’t up to scratch. When we agreed on this fixture, Teddy Sherringham was in charge – a draw of sorts in itself – but he has since departed.
So play-off chasing Wycombe, versus drop avoiding Stevenage.
High Wycombe is a town of many hills, as we noted walking from the train station to the centre. A nice market town, we frequented The Antelope (good beers, very loud music) and The Falcon (no-nonsense ‘spoons) prior to the match. There are some nice little pubs in Wycombe – we did a small crawl after the game trying to find Everton vs Chelsea (but ended up in Yates as everywhere was showing the egg chasing), but not lots of choice, as you’d expect from a smaller town – but you won’t be disappointed wherever you choose.
The location of the ground also dictates. Adams Park is a good trek from the centre. One of our party drove that day; the area surrounding the ground has its own micro-economy on match days, with all available space being flogged for between £4 and £6 to park during the match.
From our parking spot in a woodyard, the ground was about 5 minutes away on foot. Most out-of-town stadia tend to be surrounded by ringroads and retail parks, but Adams Park has something of a woodland vibe to it. From our position on the terrace behind the goal, all you could see were trees. The twitcher in me also spotted a kestrel being chased away by some crows during a lull in play.
We paid £20 to stand on the terrace. We actually stood along the advertising hoardings, something rare in the football league these days. Given there is no concourse, there is no bar (from what I could see) in this area, but there was a decent kiosk. To the left is a tiny stand, which must have only had a couple of hundred seats at most, and opposite it a large double tiered all-seater. Away fans were positioned opposite behind the goal.
The game itself was a very entertaining 1-0 victory for the home side, though I sensed it was better for a neutral than the actual fans. Stevenage were no great shakes, but threatened to get back into it occasionally. Wycombe seemed to miss chance after chance to put the game to bed, much to the annoyance of the home fans.
The home fans generated a good atmosphere in the ground. The terrace behind us was noisy and in good voice. The away fans too. I imagine Wycombe may be one of those places that has more people heading towards Marylebone to watch the ‘big clubs’ than go to Adams Park, but the club is certainly one for the town to be proud of.
I had heard horror stories about getting away from the ground after the game, but we were ok.
Verdict? Well worth a visit if you have not done so already – not sure when Hull will ever play Wycombe again (would presumably have to be a cup unless a drastic change in fortunes for either side) so pleased I got the tick.