Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Greatness Park - Sevenoaks Town

Sevenoaks Town - Greatness Park

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Sevenoaks Town Football Club
Greatness Park
Mill Lane
TN14 5BX


Sevenoaks Town Football Club were formed in 1883, otherwise known as Sevenoaks FC then. They were amongst the founding members of the original Kent League, although they had left the League just after a season. In 1906, the club now known as Sevenoaks Town, became one of the founding members of the Sevenoaks League. In 1951, the club almagated with another local club, St John's United and became members of the Kent Amateur League (Western Region) which they won on two occasions. In 1984, the Kent Amateur League was re-organised as the Kent County League and Sevenoaks were the 1st Premier Division champions, a title which Sevenoaks later won again twice in 1995-96 and 2002-03. Their best FA Cup run came in the 2016-17 season, getting knocked out of the 2nd qualifying round by losing against Chesham United.


Sevenoaks Town play at Mill Lane in Sevenoaks, Kent with 150 seats and 1,000 standing. It is known that on 26th April 1893, they played Royal Arsenal (now Arsenal FC) who were at the time the only professional team in the South of England with over 1,000 spectators watching the game. The nearest train station to the ground is Bat & Ball, around a 10 minute walk.


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Wheatsheaf Park - Staines Town

Staines Town - Wheatsheaf Park

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Staines Town Football Club
Wheatsheaf Park
Wheatsheaf Lane
TW18 2PD


Staines Town Football Club were formed in 1892. They were known as various names including Staines FC, Staines Albany FC, Staines Lagonda FC and of course Staines Town FC until it folded in 1935. Prior to the World War, the club re-formed as Staines Vale. In 1953, the club were founding members of the Hellenic League, where then 3 years later they finished runners-up. After finishing 2nd in 1971, the club advanced to the Athenian League, where they won the 2nd Division on the 1st attempt, winning the League on a record number of points. A year later, the club then were elected into the new Isthmian League Division One, and a year later the club finished top and were promoted to the Premier Division. The following year they finished 9th with 66 points from 42 games. The club's best FA Cup runs have been in 2007-08 season and 2009-10 season reaching the 2nd round proper. In 2009, they earned a place in the 3rd round draw after a 1-1 draw with Millwall. The replay back at The Den saw Millwall comfortably beat Staines 4-0. The winners of the tie faced Derby County. In 2007, they took then League Two side Stockport County to a replay back to Wheatsheaf Park, and won on penalties (4-3) which saw them draw Peterborough United at home then managed by Sir Alex Ferguson's son, Darren. Peterborough won 5-0, and Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Trevor Brooking were guests at Staines Town that day. Staines won the Isthmian Premier Divison Play Off Final in 2009, beating Carshalton Athletic 1-0 at Wheatsheaf Park, Scott Taylor getting the winning goal in extra time. Staines were promoted to the Conference South and stayed there until relegation in 2015. Rivals include Ashford Town (Middlesex) Egham Town, and Hampton & Richmond Borough FC.


VISIT 1: Staines Town 3-3 Worthing 6/3/18


Wheatsheaf Park has been the home of Staines Town Football Club since it was purchased in 1951. The ground has a total capacity of 3,009 with 300 seated and 800 covered terracing. The record eague attendance for a game at Wheatsheaf Park was 2,285 in a league game against AFC Wimbledon. Also Wheatsheaf Park is the home of Chelsea Ladies FC. Staines railway station is the nearest to the ground, around a 20 minute walk.


Staines Town 3-3 Worthing
Tuesday 7th March 2018
Isthmian League

My original plan to visit Staines was back on Halloween night, but after receiving some heart-breaking news, I gave it a miss. I wasn't in the right frame of mind, so I just fancied a bit of time to myself. But anyway, I noticed Staines were at home to Worthing only a few days before I checked the fixtures on Soccerway, so I decided to give this one a visit, and one I'm very glad to have chosen anyway. I arrived to Staines shortly after 7 after leaving home at 5. I've been to Staines railway station a few times before as it's an easier route to get to Thorpe Park, a great theme park which is situated in between Staines and Chertsey.

I arrived to the ground about 7.15pm. £10 admission, although I didn't see any programmes, so I didn't have chance to buy one. I did a little bit of research in both teams before getting to the ground, I noticed Jesse Starkey now plays for Worthing on a permanent basis after a brief spell with Gills, and he was in the team, so would have been interesting to see what he was like. I sat in the main stand on the side of the pitch at Staines, it sort of reminded me of Met Police's Imber Count but slightly better. Anyway, onto the game itself, and it was a cracking game to watch. Both teams played some nice football at times, and quite a few mistakes were easily made. I was impressed with Staines number 11 on the wing, Max Worsfold, a tricky little winger. A name that did ring a bell from Worthing was number 4 Sam Rents, as I thought I heard that name somewhere and it turned out he used to be at Brighton for a bit. But yeah, overall a cracking 3-3 draw and probably a fair result in the end for both teams. A nice little ground I thought and worth a visit. I arrived home from Staines shortly after half 11.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

York Road - Maidenhead United

Maidenhead United - York Road

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Maidenhead United Football Club
York Road


Maidenhead United Football Club were formed in October 1870. They played their 1st ever game 2 months later in December against Windsor Home Park at Bond's Meadow, near Maidenhead bridge. A year later, they played their 1st game on the York Road site, against Marlow. The ground York Road, when then at the time was shared with the Cricket club, is officially acknowledged as the oldest continuously used football ground in the world by the same football club, eclipsing Northwich Victoria's old claim by 5 years. Maidenhead were one of the original 15 entrants in the first ever FA Cup competition in 1871-72, and the following season, they reached the last 4 losing out to Oxford University. They entered the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup for the 1st ever time in 1878 and they won it for the 1st time ever in 1895. Maidenhead FC merged with 3 sides before the Great War. Maidenhead Excelsior were formed in 1877 and joined forces with the Red and Blacks in 1885. Maidenhead Temperance or originally known as Maidenhead Band of Hope almagated with the club in 1891 as did Boyne Hill FC who did likewise later that year too. Maidenhead have won the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup 22 times, the 1st one being in 1895. As the years have gone on, the club currently sit in the Vanarama National League. (at the time of typing this) The club won the Vanarama National League South in 2017, winning the title on 98 points from 42 games. They beat Ebbsfleet to the title by 2 points, who won the Play Off Final that same very year.


Maidenhead United play at York Road, and has been home to Maidenhead ever since the club has existed in 1871. It is acknowledged by the FA and FIFA to be the oldest continuously-used senior football ground in the world by the same football club. It was briefly home to Hayes & Yeading United from 2014-2016. The ground holds 4,000 with 550 seated. Maidenhead railway station is no more than a 5 minute walk to the ground.


VISIT 1: Maidenhead United 3-1 Eastleigh 20/2/18


Maidenhead United 3-1 Eastleigh
Tuesday 20th October 2018
Vanarama National League

After a quiet spell of Groundhopping lately due to mainly the weather playing a part in it, it was back to Groundhopping business for me. I was hoping to go to Shrewsbury v Gillingham but sadly I couldn't make it, was hoping to get a lift of somesort but didn't manage to. I could get the coach, but getting back from Gillingham to home as I don't live in Medway would have been a bit of a pain. But I wasn't too worried, I had been to Shrewsbury in the past, plus I'm off to Bury this coming Saturday anyway. So after a quick look at the fixtures, Maidenhead v Eastleigh was a fixture I liked the sound of. I was only on 11 grounds in the Vanarama National League that I had been to, so was pretty low, plus Eastleigh are managed by none other than Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler, plus with a few ex Gills players in there, would have been nice to see some ex Gills. So after leaving after half 4, I arrived to Maidenhead about 7.25 and arrived to the ground shortly after that. After 21 minutes, ex Dover man Moses Emmanuel put the Magpies in front after 21 mins from a neat finish with Eastleigh equalising just before half time through Ayo Obileye, which at the time did look like a penalty. 2nd half although Eastleigh looked the better side, Maidenhead took away their chances with Sean Marks and Harry Pritchard sealing the 3 points for Maidenhead. Was impressed with the lad Harold Odametey the number 4 for Maidenhead, looked a very strong player and a pacy player too. Although a cold night, was fairly impressed with the ground, and very easy to get to from the station as well. Afterwards, I arrived home shortly after a midnight. A good night overall, and was better as well after hearing Gillingham got a great point at high flying Shrewsbury.