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Saturday 6th August ​Back on duty with my camera for the first time this season for a FA Cup Preliminary Round match away at Leverstock Green, which is just off of the M1 on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead. The coach arrived at their Pancake Lane Ground just before 1.00 and we were greeted by the guys at the gate and made very welcome by the staff and home supporters in the clubhouse. To paint a picture of the day I took a few photo's of the ground and characters and the teams warming up finishing off with a team photo just before the kick off. Nipped back into the clubhouse to put the telephoto lens on and mount it on the mono pod and set off towards the Leverstock goal. Then, disaster struck. I have attached the lens to the mono pod 100's of times and carried it over my shoulder without a problem, but today, for some unknown reason the whole thing fell apart and the camera smashed onto the concrete path. It looks like its a write off, but fortunately, I'm covered on the house insurance. Phew, what a relief. Fortunately, I always carry a back up camera and for the first time ever, it was called into play. It's not quite as versatile as my main camera, but I managed to take some pictures with it, but I must admit my mind wasn't really on the job. As for the match. I missed a lot of the first half including Leverstock's first goal as I was still sorting out the camera. But once I finally took my place it was plain to see that Leverstock were a very well drilled unit and were up for the match. They went in at half time with the score still at 1-0. I paid more attention to what I was doing in the second half, but it was soon apparent that Halstead were struggling to break down their organised defence and although Halstead pressed for an equaliser, they never really looked like getting one. Half way through the second half Leverstock were awarded a penalty and from what I saw through the camera Halstead's defender won the ball cleanly and the forward went sprawling. The spot kick was comfortably tucked away and that was it as far as Halstead getting anything out of the game was concerned Deep into injury time Leverstock got a third, it was pretty sloppy defending by Halstead and a cross to the far post was easily nodded in. So Halstead's FA Cup adventure was over. They never really got into the game and can't really have any complaints about the result, but 3-0 did somewhat flatter the home team. Other than Halstead losing, Forest losing their first match back in the Premier League after a 23 year absence and smashing my camera, it was otherwise an enjoyable day out. ​ FA Cup Pre Preliminary Round Pancake Lane, Leverstock Green Leverstock Green 3-0 Halstead Town Admission - £8 (£4 concessions) Programme - Digital Copy Cheeseburger & Tea - £4.70 Att 100 (Approx)

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