Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Staines Town F.C. - Wheatsheaf Park

Staines Town F.C.

Staines Town F.C.
Wheatsheaf Park
Wheatsheaf Lane
Staines-upon-Thames
Surrey
TW18 2PD


Ground Number: 13
Date: Saturday 28th February 2015
Score: Staines Town F.C. 0-1 Sutton United
Competition: Vanarama National League South
Attendance: 325

Today was a game that I was really looking forward to for many reasons. The first reason why I am looking forward to this game is because in the 2013/14 season, my first ever away game of watching Sutton was here at Staines Town. My first ever away game was at Staines. The second reason why I was excited for this game was because it is kind of a friendly derby because we play in the same league and the clubs are just under 25 miles from each other and there are not that many teams in the London area (30 miles surrounding London) in this league, so we kind of thought of the game as a friendly derby.
I remember visiting Wheatsheaf Park last season (13/14) and even though we lost 2-1, I remember the atmosphere being incredible as I had never been to an away game before. This game was also very important for both teams because Staines were in a relegation battle and Sutton were in the bottom half of the table and needed some points to try and find some form to try and finish in a more respectable position at the end of the season. We knew that today`s game would not be easy.
As we have been to Staines before we was not planning on getting there really early. The plan was to leave my house just before 1pm and get to the ground at just before 2pm. Staines is only around a 40-45 minute drive away from where I live. My mates Johnnie and David and a mate from their school was coming to the game and they said they were getting to the ground for around 1:30pm so we would arrive around 20-30 minutes after them.
Staines Town were founded in 1892. The clubs nicknames are `The Swans` and `The Massive`. The club currently play at Wheatsheaf Park which has a capacity of 3,009 and there is 300 seats. The club currently play in the Ryman Premier but at the time of this game, Staines were playing in the Vanarama National League South. The first Staines Town folded in 1935 but after World War Two, the club was re-fromed. Between 1892 and 1935 Staines were known under many names such as Staines F.C., Staines Albany F.C., Staines Lagonda F.C, and Staines Town F.C. In 1953 Staines Town were founder members of the Hellenic League. In 1971, Staines advanced to the Athenian League and in 1973, Staines were elected to join the Isthmian League Division One. In the 2009-10 season Staines joined the Conference South. Staines have reached the FA Cup first round proper on 6 occasions.
So I woke up this morning not feeling that tired. I went to sleep quite early last night (9:30pm). I did this on purpose because it allowed me to have more sleep and more energy for today. Also we was not leaving for the game early so there was no reason for me to wake up early. I did get out of bed at 10am. I had my breakfast and had a bath and got dressed. My dad soon arrived at midday and we checked that we had everything. We went round to the car at 12:55pm and left my house at 1pm.
Now the drive to Staines is fairly easy from my house and the journey was fairly relaxing, there was hardily no traffic until we passed Thorpe Park near the entrance of Staines Town Centre which is where we got held up in traffic but after we turned out of the town centre, the traffic was fine and it a simple 5 minute drive to Wheatsheaf Park from the Town Centre. We finally arrived at Wheatsheaf Park at 1:56pm. There is plenty of roadside parking near the ground as the stadium is located on a housing estate/area. The stadium has its own car park but I think you have to book a parking space.
We parked the car in a nearby road and walked up to the ground and paid to get in and we purchased a programme from the turnstilles whilst we was paying for admission. Once we got in the ground, my mates Johnnie and David were playing football with a blow-up football so I decided to join in and we played for about 30 minutes. After playing until around 2:30pm, I went round to the tea bar and purchased a cheeseburger and hot chocolate. The cheeseburger wasnt the best but the hot chocolate on the other hand was very nice. After I had finished my hot chocolate, memories from losing here last season  come to my mind and it really got me pumped for today`s game because I wanted to get a win to hit them back for beating us here last season. 
Just before kick off, I went round the ground and took some pictures. Wheatsheaf Park is a stadium that I both like and do not like. I like the main stand and the terrace which runs the length of the pitch but I do not like the open area behind both of the goals. Now the main stand is the biggest structure in the stadium. It is very modern and is connected to a building which holds `The Thames Club` which is a gym and some other things. The stand has a roof and holds 300 seats in the colours of blue and yellow for the home kit colours of Staines Town. Opposite the main stand is a covered terrace that is small in terms of height but it runs nearly the length of the pitch. I really like this terrace.
Then behind both goals is a concrete walkway with some netting to stop the footballs from going in people`s gardens. Wheatsheaf Park is kind of crammed into a compact area of Staines so there is not much room for new terracing or stands but for the room that the stadium has it is a good stadium and it a decent stadium for the level that Staines Town play at.
The teams came out and the game kicked off at the weather started to turn for the worst as it started to rain. I quickly put my flags up and then I started a couple chants and it seemed the weather made the atmosphere a lot louder as all the Sutton fans were cramped together under the terrace and everyone was singing. Both Sutton and Staines had a few oppertunities to score in the first half but they didnt take their chances.
Half time and it was still 0-0 and we felt that the game was going to end 0-0 because both teams were having chances but it looked like one of those away games were the ball just wont go into the back of the net. The teams came out and Staines had a good few chances but failed to covert them and Sutton seemed to dominate the the rest of the second half but there still no goals. It seemed like the game would be a dull and boring 0-0 but in the 87th minute, Sutton midfielder Ricky Wellard shot from a tight angle just inside the 18 yard box and scored a screamer and all the Sutton fans went wild and it the game finally turned in Sutton's favour and we managed to hold on for the final few minutes and we managed to grab an important 3 points. We left the ground feeling very happy that we managed to win and we knew that we had paid Staines back for beating us at their ground last season.
The people of Staines Town F.C. are really friendly and they make you feel really welcome. If you live in Middlesex within an hours of Staines, I would definitely suggest going here as you will visit a great ground and experience some decent hospitality from the club and their fans. Also if your team are playing here I would definitely not hesitate about coming here.
Rating:
Stadium: 7/10
Bar: 7/10
Food & Drink: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Friendliness: 8/10
Value For Money: 8/10 
Overall Rating: 7.3/10

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