London League, Midweek Cup Group B
Visa 1 Las Nuevas Maradonas 5 (att 1)
In London for work and looking for something to pass time on a Monday night I spotted the opportunity to tick off a new venue, and see my first game in the London League.
The London League, like its near-namesake the London Legal League, has midweek matches on 3G pitches around the capital, allocated by the organisers so every fixture is effectively at a neutral venue.
It's not the sort of football I'd travel far to see, but a few tube stops from my hotel to Maida Vale, followed by a short walk to pitch one at Paddington Recreation Ground, seemed worth the effort.
I wasn't surprised to be the sole spectator, and I wasn't surprised the standard of football wasn't high. A slightly late start meant two 37-minutes halves to fit the match into the time available, more than enough a chilly night.
The visitors scored some decent goals though, two in the first half and three in the second earning an easy win. Visa had one player who stood out from the rest, but a second half penalty was their only reward.
A plus point was that three neutral officials were appointed to officiate the match. On the down side Las Nuevas Maradonas wore training bibs over their striped Argentina shirts to distinguish them from Visa's varied collection white tops, adding to the makeshift feel of the game.
I could have ticked off another ground in the same competition 24 hours later ... but I decided a hotel with room service was a better option.