HALSTEAD TOWN v AFC SUDBURY RESERVES
Friday 4th March
At the third time of asking this match finally went ahead on what was a filthy Friday night at the Milbank. I had wanted to try photographing a night match for some time and this local derby dragged me away from the sofa and watching my team Nottingham Forest who were away at Sheffield United which was live on Sky Sports.
The weather had evidently played its part in dampening the interest in this match as I'd estimate the attendance at around 150. A local derby against Sudbury would normally attract a much bigger crowd.
A few weeks back I chatted with Ivor who can also be found at most matches with his camera he said it was hard work at a night match as the floodlights aren't bright enough for photography purposes. I was soon to come to that conclusion myself. With my lens wide open and ISO at 6400 I could only manage a 20th to 50th of a second shutter speed, which is way too slow for sports. Ideally you need to be at around at least a 250th. Hence I only took a few shots at set pieces.
With that established I decided to have a walk around the ground and try and capture the atmosphere of this gloomy wet night. I had to put a different head on, but I found shots of the leaky gutter on the stand, the rather bedraggled linesman and man with the yellow umbrella interesting.
As for the match: After some initial Halstead pressure and a couple of missed chances Sudbury caught Halstead square at the back and scored on the break after about 10-12 minutes. Halstead kept plugging away and got a deserved equalised after about 40 mins. It looked like it was heading for half time all square, but Sudbury were awarded a hotly disputed penalty on the stroke of half time which was comfortably put away.
I never actually saw the incident which lead to the penalty, but judging by the amount of flak aimed in his direction, it would appear that the young bedraggled linesman had dropped a clanger.
The whistle went for half time, I was soaking wet, the camera was soaking wet and the temptation to go home and catch the end of the Forest match was all too much, so I slipped into the night and went home.
Sudbury went on to eventually win 3-2, which has put a huge dent in Halstead's challenge to make the Play Off's.
Thurlow Nunn Division1 South
Milbank Stadium (or Rosemary Lane for us old timers)
Halstead Town 2 - 3 AFC Sudbury Res
Admission £6 (£3 concessions)
Cheeseburger & Tea £4
Att 150 (approx)