Sunday, 12 March 2017

Worthing F.C. - Woodside Road

Worthing F.C.
Worthing F.C.
Woodside Road Stadium
Woodside Road
Worthing
West Sussex
BN14 7HQ

Website: https://worthingfc.com/


Ground Number: 39
Date: Saturday 14th January 2017
Score: Worthing F.C. 2-2 Sutton United F.C.
Competition: FA Trophy
Attendance: 1,398

The FA Trophy, the non league equivalent of the FA Cup. Some teams take the competition very seriously and some take it lightly but for Sutton, we tend to take the first round that we enter the competition not so serious because we tend to focus more on the league but after beating Bath City at home in the last round, the club seemed to be taking the competition a bit more seriously. After managing to beat Bath City 1-0 at home, we got the draw of being away to Ryman Premier side Worthing F.C. and when the draw was announced, I was quite excited because it would enable me to visit another ground in the Ryman Premier and I have not visited that many grounds in the Ryman Premier.
The day before the game seemed to go very slow so I decided to watch as many highlights and videos about Worthing F.C. so I would get a better understanding of the side that they have, the way they play and what to expect. I also looked at a bit about the history of Worthing F.C.
Worthing F.C. were founded in 1886 but when the club was founded, the club was founded as Worthing AFC. The club`s nickname is `The Rebels` and `Red Army`. The club currently play their home games at Woodside Road which has an artificial pitch and the ground has a capacity of 4,000. The club currently play in the Ryman Premier. The club do not really have any rivals but they do seem to have a hatred towards Bognor Regis Town F.C.
After the club was formed, between 1886-1896, the club played friendlies and competed in the Sussex Senior Cup. In 1896, Worthing F.C. and a number of other clubs founded the Wessex Senior League and during the clubs time in the West Sussex Senior League, they were champions seven times. In 1900, Worthing F.C. absorbed their local rivals Worthing Athletic and in the same year, the club moved to Woodside Road which is where the club still currently plays. In 1905, Worthing F.C. absorbed another local team into the club which was Worthing Rovers.
In 1920, the club received it`s nickname (`The Rebels`) when they resigned from the Wessex League and the club went on to found the Sussex County League with a number of other clubs and they won this league eight times. In the 1948/49 season, the club joined the Corinthian League but in 1963, the Corinthian League disbanded and the club joined the newly created Athenian League. Worthing then joined the Isthmian League. In 1977 and throughout the late 70`s, 1980`s, 1990`s and the 2000`s, the club remained in the Isthmian League and at the end of the 2015/16 season, the club were promoted from the Ryman Division One South (Isthmian Division One South) to the Ryman Premier (Isthmian Premier) via the play offs after finishing 3rd in the league.
So the day of the game had finally arrived and I woke up nice and early but I did not sleep very well because I was really excited for todays game. I was planning on waking up at around 8am but I didn't get up until 8:30am which meant I had to rush around getting ready because my dad was picking me up from my house at 9am as we were getting a lift from my Uncle Ben and we had to be at his house in Banstead at 9:30am.
After waking up, I had a wash and got my flags ready but today, I decided that I would only bring the small one instead of the small one and the 18ft because there is not many places to clip the flag at the ground so I decided to just bring the small one. My dad came round 5 minutes early so I had enough time to have a quick cup of tea before leaving and I got in the car and we went to my uncle`s house in Banstead.
We got to my Uncles house at 9:21am and when we parked up outside his house, he was already outside cleaning his car as it had snowed the previous night. We got the flag bag out of our car and put it in my uncles car and it felt really weird because the bag was really light because we only took the small one with us. We got in my uncles car and we checked that we had everything and then we left his house at 9:30am.
The roads were pretty empty which was quite surprising but we drove through Epsom and down to Beare Green and stopped off in a petrol station and filled up with petrol and got a few snacks and then we joined the A24 at Beare Green and then we cruised down to Worthing because there was no rush and the roads were still very quiet and we managed to arrive in Worthing at 11:30am.
As soon as we drove into Worthing we spotted a lot of cafes so we decided to park up and stop in a local café. For once, I decided not to have anything to eat but instead, I had a strawberry milkshake which was really tasty. My dad and uncle on the other hand had a breakfast and tea/coffee and they said that the breakfasts were "very nice". We finished our lunch in the café at around 12:30pm and we drove up to the seafront and we passed a few Sutton fans in the town centre and we drove straight to the ground after driving along the seafront for a few minutes.
We arrived at the ground at 12:45pm and we went straight into the ground which cost me £5 for a concession ticket as I am a student. After paying to get in, I suddenly thought to myself "this is a lovely ground" and it is a really nice ground especially for the Ryman Premier but I personally think it is a little bit small for the National League South but it would be a nice National League South ground if Worthing were to ever get promoted to the National League South. After taking a couple of pictures, we went straight into the bar which is located under the main stand and the bar already some Worthing fans inside. The bar is quite warm and friendly and is very modern as well which is a shame because I prefer the traditional bars with a pool table and dart board.
As I am still 17 and not allowed to drink any alcohol, I had to settle for a J20 and my dad had a pint of lager and my uncle had a cup of coffee. About 15 minutes later, Max, Johnnie, Owen and Ryan arrived and we had a quick chat and then we headed out to the ground at 1:50pm and then we walked around the ground to take some pictures and the more I walked around the ground, the more I seemed to like it.
Woodside Road is a really nice stadium and is very smart and has a traditional feeling to it but it also has a kind of modern feel to it as well. The most impressive part of the stadium is the main stand which is raised and is very high especially for a club in the 3rd tier of non-league. There are around 500 seats in the stand and all the seats offer a great view of the pitch but if you are scared of heights, then I wouldn't really suggest sitting in this stand. Opposite the main stand is a small covered terrace which is quite small and is located behind the team dugouts which are located parallel to the main stand. Then behind one of the goals is a similar covered terrace which could probably hold around 100 and is located right behind the goal and behind the other goal is a larger covered terrace which holds around 200/250 and is located to the left of the goal from a fans point of view. The ground has a 3G pitch which was installed in 2015.
After taking some pictures, we clipped up our flags behind one of the goals and then around 20 minutes later Johnnie, Max, Owen and Ryan came out of the bar and then around 15 minutes after that, Harry and a few of other Sutton fans arrived as they went into the town centre before to try and get something to eat.
Then the teams came out and luckily enough Sutton were kicking the way that we were already standing and we had already put our flags up which was a big relief because it meant we didn't have to take them down and walk round to the other end and put them back up again. The game kicked off and I was shocked quite quickly because Worthing's squad was quite young and they seemed to have a very fluid way of playing the ball up the pitch and they were very quick on the attack, Sutton did have some good chances in the first half and I believe we hit the woodwork one or two times but it was from a counter attack that Worthing took the lead and when they scored, you could see how much it meant to the fans.
The Worthing fans behind the goal let off a smoke bomb which didn't really work because it was raining at the time and the rain put the smoke out around 20 seconds after the smoke was deployed. The half time whistle blew and Sutton went into half time being one-nile down. The rain was not very heavy but it looked more like drizzle. My dad got me a cheeseburger after waiting in queue for around 10 minutes and I have to say the cheeseburger was not the best, the bun was a bit hard and the burger did taste a little bit undercooked but it was still a good burger.
We put the flags up and shortly after, the teams came back out and when the game kicked off, Sutton looked like they were a completely different side as they looked more confident on the ball and they looked more fluid when passing the ball. This came to Suttons advantage as the `magic man` Roarie Deacon put the ball in the bottom corner and equalised for Sutton. Then Sutton looked even more confident and the atmosphere from the Sutton fans increased massively, the chants were becoming louder and our spirits looked high and then in the 79th minute, Adam May who is a midfielder on loan from Portsmouth deflected a shot into the goal and put Sutton in the lead and we thought we could hold on to the one goal advantage and go through but in typical Sutton away form, Sutton conceded in the 85th minute and the Worthing loyal went wild and both teams had a good few chances to take the game and win 3-2 but both teams managed to hold on and it finished Worthing 2-2 Sutton.
On the way out of the ground, a few of the Worthing fans put their hands out and gave us all a handshake and wished us well in the league and wished us a safe journey home which made me feel proud to be a Sutton fan because we are being treated well by other clubs and we can see that these fans can see the effort that we use to support our team. We went straight to the car which was parked just outside the ground and we drove home and we talked about the game and what an amazing day we had in Worthing and the journey was quite quick as there was not a lot of traffic and we was back at my uncle Bens at 6:30pm. We got into our car and drove back to my dads house and we got back at 7pm.
Woodside Road is a really nice stadium and is one that I would really like to visit again and I would really like to visit the ground again as a groundhopper so I can experience a game from a Worthing fans point of view. The ground has a modern feeling to it but it does feel very traditional as well which makes the ground feel special in a way. I like how the main stand is very dominating and the covered terracing is very simple.

The bar inside the bar is very modern, warm and very friendly but it feels like it is lacking atmosphere as such, the atmosphere inside is more quiet talking rather than people having a laugh and enjoying themselves. The bar is very nice but it doesn't feel very non league as the bar is very modern so it would have been nicer to see a more traditional bar.

The food inside the ground is a good standard, the cheeseburgers was not the best, the bun was a bit hard and the burger did taste a little bit undercooked but it still tasted good.

The atmosphere in the game was quite good, both sets of fans were chanting in both halves but Sutton were the much louder side out of the two sets of fans. Worthing did have a drum and like 10 people chanting and a smoke grenade which was very tinpot but at least their fans are trying to create an atmosphere.

Worthing F.C. is very friendly, their fans welcomed us to the ground and were very polite towards our fans and when the game had finished, some of their fans said to us "have a safe journey home" which was very nice of them.

The overall experience as an away fan is Worthing F.C. is a very good place to come for an away day because the ground is very good, the fans are friendly and you can have a nice day at the beach before and after the game.

Rating:
Stadium: 7/10
Bar: 7/10
Food and Drink: 6/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Friendliness: 9/10
Experience As An Away Fan: 8/10
Average Rating: 7.33/10


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Chertsey Town F.C. - Alwyns Lane

Chertsey Town F.C.
Chertsey Town F.C.
Alwyns Lane Stadium
Alwyns Lane
Chertsey
Surrey
KT16 9DW


Ground Number: 38
Date: Tuesday 27th December 2016
Score: Chertsey Town F.C. 3-4 Horley Town F.C.
Competition: Combined Counties Premier Division
Attendance: 104

The day after Boxing Day is normally a day where you have a nice lie in and recover from the three stressful days of Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) but not for me, if there is a game of football on that is local to me then I will be there and for me, this was the case because only yesterday I found myself at Bromley v Sutton United and today, there was two fixtures that I go to and they were Chertsey Town v Horley Town or Hanworth Villa v AFC Hayes and seeing as I have been trying to go to Chertsey Town for the past couple of months, I decided that I would go to Chertsey Town F.C. instead of Hanworth Villa.
I decision to go to Chertsey Town was made on Boxing Day night and this meant I had time to prepare for the game as I would be filming the game instead of physically watching then game because I had recently set up a new YouTube channel called NonLeagueTV which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSQeBoE5YmdjGzxOF6M7X1g. The channel is where I film non-league games and upload the highlights and I thought that today`s game between Chertsey Town F.C. and Horley Town F.C. would be a good game of me to film my first game. After deciding to film the game, I charged up my new camcorder that I got for Christmas and got the tripod and all my camera equipment ready. I then looked into the history of Chertsey Town F.C. as I do did not know a lot about them.
Chertsey Town F.C. were founded in 1890 and their nickname is `The Curfews`. They play in the colours of blue and white and they currently play in the Combined Counties Premier. The club play their home games at Alwyns Lane which is located just around the back of Chertsey high street and the stadium has a capacity of 2,500 and there are around 300 seats. The reason why the clubs nickname is `The Curfews` is because it is the name of the local famous bell that was in the nearby St Peters Church.
The club started out in the small Surrey leagues and in the very late 50`s and the early 60`s, the club played in the Surrey Senior League and then they played in leagues such as the Spartan League. Then the club was in the Isthmian leagues during the early 80`s and then was relegated to the Combined Counties and since the mid 80`s and the early 2000`s, the club has been Isthmian leagues with many promotions and relegations between the Isthmian leagues but in 2006, the club was allocated to the Combined Counties. After getting promoted and then they had a spell in the Southern League Division One Central but they were relegated back down to the Combined Counties where they still are today.
I woke up around 7:30am and then I had to go round the shop to get bread and milk and once I did that, I checked all of my camera equipment and then we left my house at 9am. The original SD card for my camcorder was too big so we stopped off in Curry`s PC World on the way and got a 64GB mini SD card for £25 and then we drove to my mate Johnnie`s house who is also a Sutton fan and he runs a YouTube channel called FITBHighlights which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/user/FITBHighlights
After picking up Johnnie we drive to the ground and then we paid to get in and I got a programme and then we went to the main stand to set up our cameras and we finished setting up our cameras at 10:55am. After this I walked around the stadium to get some photos and as I was walking round the stadium, I kind of started to fall in love with the stadium because it is a lovely stadium.
Alwyns Lane had a capacity of 2,500 and there are around 300 seats. The main area of the ground holds the main stand which has the 300 or so seats and is the location where me and Johnnie filmed the game from. Next the main stand is a open terrace and the bar. Opposite the main stand is a really nice covered terrace and the roof of the terrace is striped in blue and white to represent the colours of Chertsey Town F.C. Behind one of the goals is a covered terrace which is around half the width of the pitch and behind the other goal is a very small traditional covered terrace which is around the width of the goal.
The teams came out and this was when I started to film the game, the first 20 minutes were very boring but after that the game started to pick up and from my point of view, Chertsey looked the better team for the first half and went into half time winning but in the second half there were more goals to come and the game eventually finished Chertsey Town 3-4 Horley Town which was a very good game for me especially as it was my first game that I have ever filmed for my new YouTube Channel (NonLeagueTV).
I took my camcorder off the tripod and dismantled the tripod which takes around 2/3 minutes and then me, my dad and Johnnie headed back for the car which was parked in Chertsey High Street and we dropped Johnnie off home. I got back to my house at 3pm and I uploaded the footage to my laptop and I had over 120 individual clips I had watched all of them to see what ones I need to delete. After doing this I uploaded the clips onto the editing software that I used at the time of this game which was called videopad and after putting all the clips together, the video took around 6 hours to export onto a single video file and I uploaded the highlights to YouTube at 12am.
You can find my highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLuDI8Hb9r4&t=3s
I would personally like to thank Chertsey Town for allowing me to film the game and I would like to thank them for a great morning of football. I would also like to thank Johnnie who gave me the confidence to start a football YouTube channel.
Alwyns Lane is a really nice stadium to groundhop to and for me, I feel that this is a ground that you must visit because the ground is very traditional and the ground has so much character and there are not really any modern features to the ground which makes it better because the ground is very traditional and just has that feeling of a ground that is special.

The bar is not the best but it is quite warm which was good especially as it was really cold out today but the fans who go inside the bar are very friendly and when my dad went in there at half time, they said hello to him. The staff are very friendly and will generally have a quick conversation with you which makes you feel very welcome.

I will admit the food at Chertsey Town is not the best but at half time, I did get a burger which costs around £2 but it was quite small and felt very dry but I always say that it is better than nothing so if you are planning on getting something to eat at Chertsey Town, then I wouldn`t really suggest getting a burger.

The atmosphere was not the best if I am honest but there was some form of atmosphere as the Horley fans that were sitting in the main stand were shouting some motivational quotes like "come on Horley" which was quite good as it showed their passion for their team. The Chertsey fans did a few chants which for this level of football is quite good as you do not see many teams have fans that chant in the Combined Counties but the Chertsey fans did so I do give those fans a lot of credit.

Chertsey Town F.C. is a very friendly club, the fans are friendly and welcoming, the players will generally say "hello" of you bump into them, the away fans were also very friendly and the people who run the club are also very friendly. So if you are planning on going to Chertsey Town, you should not be expecting to witness any form of abuse because it is very rare that this happens at Chertsey Town F.C.

The overall experience as a groundhopper is Chertsey Town F.C. is a must do groundhop if you live in London or Surrey or if you are within an hours drive of the ground because it makes a great day out and it will give you a great experience and you will feel very welcome and will experience a well run non league club.

Rating:
Stadium: 6/10
Bar: 6/10
Food and Drink: 6/10
Atmosphere: 3/10
Friendliness: 9/10
Experience As A Groundhopper: 9/10
Average Rating: 6.5/10