A look at tonight's visitors, St Margaretsbury...
Stevenage host St Margaretsbury tonight in the first round of the Herts Senior Cup and for those of you unfamiliar with our opponents, here’s a brief look at their history and current form.
The Club was founded in 1894 as Stanstead Abbotts FC, with their home at Mill Field, Cappell Lane in Stanstead Abbotts. Prior to 1940 they played in the Herts County League, East Herts and Hertford & District Leagues and were winners of the local Graphic Cup during the 1920’s and 1930’s. After 1945 the Club played in the Waltham & District League, re-joining the Herts County League in season 1947/48. In their first season back in the Herts County League the Club won Division two, gaining promotion and also winning the Aubrey (League) Cup.
In 1962 the Club moved to their present location, St Margaretsbury Recreation Ground, one of the conditions being they changed their name to St Margaretsbury FC.
After a spell of 44 continuous years in the Herts Senior County League the 1st XI became members of the London Spartan League, Premier Division for the start of season 1992/93, finishing in a very creditable 6th place. The 1st XI also reached the final of the Roy Bailey Memorial Trophy, losing 1-0 to close neighbours Wormley Rovers, at Enfield FC. But that season also saw the Club gain its first County Cup when winning the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy, defeating Sawbridgeworth Town 2-1 at Ware FC.
Over recent years there has been major redevelopment of the Recreation Ground with the conversion of the training area to a full size pitch suitable for FA Cup competition. This resulted in a complement of two senior pitches and one junior. In 2002, grants from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the Local Authority enabled various improvements such as major drainage works on the main playing surface, an extension to the covered seating area, fencing for the enclosure of the playing and spectator areas and the installation of a PA System. Added security was also provided with the installation of CCTV equipment.
At the start of last season St Margaretsbury’s first team manager left to join neighbours Hoddesdon Town. Most of the squad’s players also made this move, leaving coach John Barker – later appointed manager – with just six players. Despite this massive upheaval the team was able to compete and finished 19th in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division to avoid relegation.
With a more stable summer 2016, hopes were high of an improvement in league form this season. However The Bury come into this game bottom of the league with four draws and nine defeats from their 13 games to-date. They did however recently pick up their first win of the season with a 3-2 victory over Ilford in the FA Vase.
St Margaretsbury Squad: Adam Seymour (GK), Michael Corderoy (GK), Michael Cooper, Simon Grove-White, Jetmir Brija, Danny Charles, Sean Flaherty, Louis Wylie, Danny Gooding, George Beattie, Courtney Clay, Ryan Wade, Tomi Fagbongbe, Harley Haag, Billy Murray, Rian Carroll, George Lyons, Mark Brennan, Dan Di Lieto, Louis Offer, Anthony Anstead, Nicholas Mountford, Ciaran Doherty
Tonight's game will take place at The Lamex Stadium and kick-off will be 7.45pm. Only the West Stand will be open for this fixture and tickets will cost £5 adults and £2 concessions (over 60s and Under-18s). The winner of this tie will face Leverstock Green away in the second round of this year's competition.