Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Cross Thames battle

Tuesday 29 September 2015, Ebbsfleet United 1 Chelmsford Coty 2, FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round, replay - Stonebridge Road

This had a real cup tie feel to it and with two sets of supporters who did not seem too keen on each other! A very even first half but a second half where Ebbsfleet dominated without really challenging the City keeper so it was not that much of a surprise with just 6 minutes left that the Essex team broke free and got the eventual winner.

The ground feels very large, old but not outdated - sunny day but a cold night as the wind came in off the Thames, best part of the ground? The camera gantry at the front of the roof on the Liam Daish stand.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Second oldest football club in the world

Sunday 27 September 2015, Cray Wanderers 5 Redbridge 0 -  Ryman League, North Division, Hayes Lane

Cray Wanderers are not only the oldest football club in London but (possibly) the second oldest in the world. They current share/lodge at the home of Bromley and because of the ground share they had to play on a Sunday, so I thought I would take the trek over the Thames to visit this famous old club.

On reading into the history of Cray, it seemed they had played at a number of grounds and even though they now play at a great ground at Bromley, it is not their own. So they are currently planning to open a new ground at Flamingo Park.

So on the way to Bromley I popped into their old ground in Sidcup at Oxford Road - home to the Sidcup Conservative Club. By a stroke of luck a youth game was about to kick off so i was able to walk round the whole ground, and it was a ground full of character. No lights, a small entry road and a small slope - you can see why it was no longer used by Cray, in fact another club has also since played at Sidcup and left. Sidcup and  Seven Acre, who I saw recently at their new home they share with Thamesmead.

Oxford Road

Back to Bromley, and it is a fantastic ground which has plenty of potential and one of the bewst places in South London to watch a game - Cray or Bromley. the game? Cray are top of the table and ran out easy winners but Redbridge never gave up and have some good players of their own. The crowd was an impressive 240, much greater than a Saturday fixture would get.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Problems at home?

Saturday 26 September 2015, Ipswich Town 2 Bristol City 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Trouble not only winning at home but playing well - need to start taking our chances

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Thurlow Nunn complete and a great ground to finish with

Tuesday 22 September 2015, Kings Lynn Town 4 Histon 2 , Southern Premier Division - The Walks

Tuesday night in North Norfolk but an important visit for me as it completes the set of Thurlow Nunn Football grounds, yes I am a 'groundhopper' but not one who is tied down by rules, a friendly match can count, do not need to know the ref's wife's maiden name (if a man and not single!) and I do not have a little notebook to write down the teams, attendance and the kilowatt power of the floodlights.

I just want to see a game - so I decided that a Kings Lynn was my last Thurlow Nunn ground, thought it was better to try and get their first team playing in a Sothern League game and I was not disappointed, 6 goals and good football from both teams.

But the best bit was that the 'walks' was a fantastic ground, a traditional stand and would not take much if anything to move up at least two further divisions. Quite a large town and the club has had it's issues with the original club going bust but they seem to be on the 'up' again. One of the top 3 supported teams in the division and a good commercial offering at the ground but one issue they have is are they in the North or the South? They are one of the teams who the FA keeps moving between the two regional set ups- last year in the North and now in the South even if Lowestoft (further South and east) still remain in the Northern Division!

But the 'Walk's are well worth a visit- even if they play in yellow!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

On Sky and we never lost!

Friday 18 September 2015, Ipswich Town 1 Birmingham City 1, Championship - Portman Road

Breaking the TV hoodoo ?

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Ipswich - the two wheel town

Saturday 12 September 2015, Aviva Tour of Britain - Finish of Stage 7 - Ipswich Town Centre

What a brilliant finish - not sure how they separated the top two but the real winner was cycling in Ipswich - lets hope we see the Tour return in 2016

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Another great new ground and not a bad cup match to go with it!

Wednesday 9 September, Seven Acre & Sidcup 1 Banstead Athletic 2, FA Vase 1st qualifying round replay - Bayliss Avenue (also home of Thamesmead)

After being very impressed by the home of St Neots, last night I was agin impressed by a non league ground that not only looks good but is doing the job it is meant to do- a superb stand built on the top of the changing rooms, a G4 pitch behind and further grass pitches next door - a real football hub and plus home to 3 clubs, Thamesmead, Seven Acre & Sidcup plus Charlton ladies.

On top of being impressed by the main stand, I also witnessed a good cup game with Banstead deservedly coming out on top though they held their luck when Sidcup hit the bar from a free kick in the last few minutes!

Sidcup could also play but spent far too much time arguing with the ref and themselves which seemed to take their minds off the game in hand.

As a replay no programme but a free team sheet was welcome. Nice to see that the club bar decoration is changed depending who the home team is, photographs on the wall swapped for each match and a Sidcup Union Jack hung over the Thamesmead club shop/display case!