Hertfordshire’s most prolific football club is Watford F.C., a team that has been through its paces over the last few decades. Elton John has served as chairman, Troy Deeney secured the comeback that sent Watford to the playoff final, and Javi Gracia guided the team to the F.A. Cup final.
Watford is not the only team to have a footballing culture in Hertfordshire. The Herts Advertiser Sunday Football League plays a role in keeping grassroots football within the county. Based in St. Albans, the league has 50 teams across five divisions and celebrates its 60th birthday this year. The Premier Division hosts ten teams, but here are the five that you may be interested in the most.
Hilltop FC is in Hatfield near Welwyn Garden City, thirty minutes South-West of Watford. Its first team plays in the Premier Division and is currently ninth in the table.
Alfie Gibbs has made 12 appearances for Hilltop, which is tied with Hayden Evanson, and he has two goals. Calvin Edwards and Glen Scully also have two goals to their names this season. Striker Ryan Nelson has been one of the league’s in-form forwards, netting seven times in eight games.
Hilltop has struggled to find good form. The team has two wins and six losses from its opening eight games.
Plough and Harrow FC
Plough and Harrow FC was originally known as Harpenden Rovers Blues. It is named after The Plough and Harrow pub and plays at the Redbourn Sports Centre.
The team struggled to get points at home when the season started in September. Despite winning the opening game 6-3 against The Beehive F.C, Plough won one in five and found itself dropping points on home soil.
Billy Small has been the club’s go-to player this season; he has scored ten goals in 12 appearances. George Naismith has been another key player this season in the first team as he has five goals.
The Beehive FC
The team has been representing The Beehive pub in the Herts Advertiser Sunday Football League since 2018, and it has enjoyed a strong 2020/21 campaign. It is fourth in the Premier Division after it earned three wins and two draws. Oscar Gibbon and Ryan Ewhare are joint-top scorers with four goals each.
Beehive plays its home games at Cunningham Hill Road. The stadium has easy transport links, given that it is within walking distance of St Albans City train station. The pub is 20 minutes away from the stadium, so be sure to stop by for a bite to eat!
Brookmans Park is one of Hertfordshire’s best-connected towns. It has direct routes to Heathrow Airport, is home to the airport’s VOR transmitter and hosts BBC London’s receiving antennas.
The locals have another thing to add to their town’s list of notable attractions: Brookmans Park FC. The club is topping the Premier Division with 17 points. The team can thank its strong start to the season for its league position, where it was unbeaten in the opening six games. It then lost back-to-back games and conceded nine goals, but a 1-0 win over Hilltop FC ended the losing streak.
The club has been in existence since 1982. It has three teams, all of whom play in separate divisions.
Skew Bridge FC
Five-time Herts FA Senior Sunday Cup winners Skew Bridge FC is not a team to take lightly. It has played less games than most of the top-flight teams, but it is the only team in the Premier Division to have a 100% winning record this season.
Skew Bridge brings an entertainment factor to its games. The team has scored 25 goals and conceded five times, which is the best record in the league. The wins included a 9-1 demolition against The Beehive and a 6-2 away win at Brookmans Park.
Skew Bridge is based at Rothamsted Experimental Station in Harpenden. The area is home to one of the world’s oldest agricultural centres and is a registered charity under British law.