Meet The Upwardly Mobile St Neots Town

Mike Bayly went to meet a football club that is potentially at the start of a journey up through the divisions. Non-League supporters are the Bill Brysons of the football world. Whereas a trip to most Football League grounds comes packaged with the familiarity of large urban conurbations, the grass roots experience can lead a man (and for the sake of parity one had better add ‘woman’) into the wilds of the British provinces. In some cases, the journey takes on greater significance than the match itself, particularly when left to the vagaries of public transport. Anyone who has ventured out to the isolated backwaters of Woodford United armed with just a bus pass will know how Odysseus felt in Homer’s Odyssey. There are myriad towns and villages scattered across the county where association football is the only tourist board; the early qualifying stages of the FA cup are a potential goldmine of unchartered exploration, throwing up salivating away days to places such as Walsham Le Willows, Bugbrooke St Michaels or Thurnby Nirvana. It is safe to assume that pending work or family ties, these are places one would rarely venture to, yet marching into unchartered territory remains the elixir of football culture. Unfamiliarity breeds excitement; as John Sullivan once observed, who needs another trip to Buckingham Palace when you can go for a walkabout in Croydon? The Cambridgeshire...

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