Sunday, 20 November 2016

York City F.C. - Bootham Crescent

York City F.C.
York City F.C.
Bootham Crescent Stadium
Grosvenor Road
York
Yorkshire
YO30 7AQ

Official Website:


Ground Number: 33
Date: Saturday 29th October 2016
Score: York City F.C. 2-2 Sutton United F.C.
Competition: Vanarama National League Premier
Attendance: 2,037

So once again Sutton have an away game and I have only just started to freshen up from our long away trip to Southport last week and this weekend I will be going even more north than Southport as this weekend Sutton are playing away to York City and I was really looking forward to this game.
As York City were relegated last season from the football league, we made this fixture a priority because it would allow us to go to another city up north, visit another ex-football league stadium and will allow us to get another away game under our belt and it was also important that we go this game because it means that we do not have to come all this way to groundhop to York in the future for groundhopping.
So I was really excited for this game because I will be going more north than I have ever been before and the furthest north I had previously been is Southport which is where I went last week. So it was a couple of days before the game and me and my dad went online and booked the train tickets and we was going to get the train from Kings Cross straight to York. It was kind of weird booking the train tickets only a few days before the game because we normally book train tickets for away games weeks and possibly months in advance but this time, we left it to the last few days. After booking the train tickets, I looked into the history of York City FC as I don't know a lot about them.
York City were originally founded in 1908 as an amateur side but the club we reformed in 1922 as a professional side. The clubs nickname is the Minstermen due to the Minster cathedral in York. The club play in the colours of blue and red and they play their home games at Bootham Crescent which has a capacity of 8,256 and there are 3,409 seats. In the 2003/04 season the club was relegated to the Conference Premier and they played in the Conference Premier until the 2011/12 season which was the season when they were promoted back to the football league. The club remained in the football league for the 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and the 2015/16 season but they were relegated at the end of the 2015/16 season and now they play in the Vanarama National League Premier. York were in the football league from 1946-2004.
The day of the game finally arrived and I woke up nice and early at 5:30am and quickly got dressed and brushed my teeth and we was in the car and on our way to South Wimbledon tube station at 5:50am. We got to South Wimbledon at 6am and we got on the tube up to Kings Cross St Pancras feeling very tired but we got to Kings Cross at 7am. We then collected our train tickets from the machines in the station and we then went and had a McDonalds breakfast. We finished our breakfast and walked back to the station and the platform that our train was at was announced at 9:15am and we got on the train and found our reserved seats and I plugged my phone in as it needed charging then I put my headphones in and listened to music for most of the journey.
We finally pulled away from Kings Cross at 9:29am. Around half way through the journey we decided to get up and walk down to the buffet car and get something to drink and me being me decided to get a bottle of coke. By this time I was feeling fully awake and not long after this the train started slowing down and we finally arrived in the beautiful city of York at 11:34am. York train station is one of the most beautiful stations that I have ever been to and the roof and architecture of the station is something that anyone should be able to witness. Like many of the people going to York we followed the crowd which was towards the Minster and we got a few photos of the beautiful cathedral and the surrounding areas and started walking to the ground. We did get a bit lost and walked down a wrong side road and we asked for directions and 10 minutes later we found ourselves at the wonderful Bootham Crescent.
As we got to the ground early we decided to go in a free house pub right next to the ground and we had to pay £1 to get in and we got some drinks but me being 16 still but nearly 17 meant I had to deal with a J20. We sat in the pub for around an hour and had a friendly talk with the York fans and at around 1:30 we headed into the away fans bar inside the ground and we saw that Paul Doswell (Sutton manager) was there and we said "hello" and sat down in there for 5 minutes. We then went back outside and waited for the turnstiles to open and the turnstiles finally opened at just before 2pm. I paid £12 as I am classed as a student as I am at college and my dad paid £18 as he is an adult. We then walked into the ground and took some pictures.
Bootham Crescent has a capacity of 8,256 and there are 3,409 seats. Bootham Crescent hasn't seen any major investment for a number of years now, which has resulted in it looking a little tired in places. However it does have character, something that a lot of newer stadiums lack. On one side of the ground is the York Pullman Main Stand. As you would expect it is the tallest stand at the ground, but only runs for around two thirds of the length of the pitch, with open corners to either side (one of which houses the supporters club). It is a covered all seated stand and to the rear it has windshields to either side. It also has a number of supporting pillars running across the middle. 
Opposite is the Benenden Popular Stand. This is a simple affair, being small and covered. It too has a number of supporting pillars this time running across the front. On its roof is a rather basic looking television gantry. At one end is the David Longhurst Stand, which is a fair sized covered terrace, which has a row of supporting pillars across its front. Opposite is the open terraced Prostate Cancer UK Stand, reserved for away supporters. The ground is completed with a set four modern looking floodlight pylons. (Description of Bootham Crescent is sourced from Football Ground Guide).
After taking some pictures of the ground I put up my two flags and seeing as we had a small section of the ground I was limited to where I could put my 18ft flag so I put both of my flags over a metal support bar that people lean on and the flag looked really good. 10 minutes later my mates Johnnie, Theo, David and Gabriel arrived and they also put their flags up. Then I went to the tea bar and got a bottle of coke. Then the teams come out and the York fans had some large hand waving flags which looked really good.
During the game Sutton were chanting for the whole 90 minutes and an amazing 138 fans had travelled from South London to York. Sutton were creating the better chances and were awarded a penalty and Jamie Collins stepped up and put Sutton 1-0 up. Then a few minutes later Sutton full-back George McLennan gave the ball away and York equalised and at half time it was 1-1. Then during half time I got a cheeseburger which was not the best but was better than the pie I had at Southport last week.
After I had finished my pie, the Sutton fans were singing don't look back in anger and a bit of oasis which was one of the highlights of the day. The second half started and York were dominating and then out of nowhere in the second half York took the lead from long distance and then with only minutes to go it looked like it was gonna be our lucky day as Ross Stearn was tripped inside the box and Sutton were given another penalty and Jamie Collins stepped up again and with minutes to go Sutton made it 2-2 and the full time whistle went and it finished York City 2-2 Sutton United.
Whilst walking back to the station we had a chat with 2 of the York fans and they were very friendly and we wished each other the best for the rest of the season. When we got back to the station the Sutton squad were there are most of them said `hi` to us but they was not on the same carriage as us. We got on the train that would take us back to London at 5:52pm and we left York at 5:59pm. Like the journey to York I listened to music and charged my phone and we finally got back to London Kings Cross at 7:54pm and we got the Victoria Line from Kings Cross to Stockwell and then got the Northern Line back to South Wimbledon and we finally got back to the car at 8:41pm. After getting back we went straight to bed and slept the good day away.



Rating:
Stadium: 8/10
Bar: 7/10
Food and Drink: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Friendliness: 10/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.8/10

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Bedfont Sports F.C. - Bedfont Recreation Ground

Bedfont Sports F.C.
Bedfont Sports F.C.
Bedfont Recreation Ground
Hatton Road
Feltham
London
TW14 8JA

Official Website:


Ground Number: 32
Date: Wednesday 26th October 2016
Score: Bedfont Sports F.C. 2-2 Windsor F.C.
Competition: Combined Counties Premier Division
Attendance: 58

So it is a cold Tuesday morning in October half term and I have no plans until the weekend and like many groundhoppers I would look at my groundhopping app to see if there is any mid-week games that I can go to tomorrow and to my luck there was a game that I could go to tomorrow, Bedfont Sports F.C. v Windsor F.C. in the Combined Counties Premier Division. As I have not been to Bedfont Sports yet this seemed like the ideal game for me to go to and after looking at some other fixtures for a couple of minutes I finally decided that tonight I would groundhop to Bedfont Sports.
Bedfont Sports were founded in 2002. The clubs nickname is 'The Eagles' and they play in the colours of red and black. The play their home games at the Bedfont Recreation Ground which has a capacity of 3000 and there are around 500 seats. The club currently play in the Combined Counties Premier Division. The club has a strong rivalry with neighbours Bedfont and Feltham who are in the same league and play their home games literally right next to Bedfont Sports F.C. The club was established in 2002 as a Sunday team called Bedfont Sunday. In 2003 the club joined the Hounslow and District League Division One and they made their way to the Combined Counties Premier in the 2011/12 season.
So Wednesday had finally arrived and it was the day of plane spotting and groundhopping put together as I was planning on getting to Heathrow for around 5:30pm to do some plane spotting then we would head to the ground at around 6:45pm. I woke up at 9am feeling fresh and energetic as I had a full 11 hours sleep and I was really looking forward for tonight's groundhop to Bedfont Sports FC.
After waking up I decided to go and have a shower to fully wake me up and after getting out the shower I felt more awake than I have ever been during half term mainly because I had an exciting evening ahead of me. I stayed the night at my dads last night as last night I went to Sutton United v Maidstone United and tonight I would be staying round his again as it is easier than getting back to my house at 11pm and waking everybody up.
Even though the game did not start until 7:45pm we ended up leaving my dads house in Hackbridge at around 3:15pm as we did not want to leave during the rush hour and get caught in loads of traffic and maybe miss the start of the game. We drove down the A3 to Hampton Court which is where we started to hit the traffic so we decided to drive through Busy Park and through Teddington to get to Heathrow and to our luck the traffic was a lot thinner this way. We eventually got to the Heathrow area at 5pm.
We then drove up to the ground and parked in a small road in a housing area near the ground and then walked to the airport to do some plane spotting. After walking for around 10 minutes we reached Hatton Cross tube station which is where the Piccadilly Line goes and we purchased a sandwich and some biscuits from a newsagents inside the station as we were both feeling a bit peckish and we still had a few hours before the game.
After having a quick snack we got the bus to McDonald`s and had a quick toilet break and then we got on another bus to my personal favourite plane spotting location which is near the end of runway 27R. After plane spotting for around 15 minutes we caught the bus back to Hatton Cross and got another bus to the stadium which was only around 2 bus stops away from Hatton Cross and then we went in the stadium and got a programme and got something to eat. I myself got a bacon cheeseburger which tasted really nice and I really wanted another one after I finished but we did not have enough money. After I finished my bacon cheeseburger we walked around the ground and took some pictures.
The Bedfont Recreation ground is a really good stadium especially for county level and for me this stadium would be very good for Ryman Division One North/South level so this stadium is really one league below where it should be. As you come into the stadium there is the bar which has 3 TV`s, a darts board and a pool table and on this side of the ground there is some covered seating which holds around 150. Then opposite this side of the stadium is a small covered seated stand which seats around 150/200. Then behind one of the goals is an old covered terrace which is now not being used an I believe to be taped off as it is unsafe. Then behind the other goal is a seated stand which has around 125 seats.
The game soon started after I walked around the lovely stadium and took some more pictures and we decided to stand behind the goal that Bedfont were kicking and Bedfont were creating a lot of chances but were unlucky not to go 1-0 up before half time but then Windsor took the lead just before half time and this punished Bedfont Sports as they were 1-0 down at half time after dominating the first half.
During half time, we walked round to the other end of the stadium and sat in the seated stand and checked on the other results of other games that were being played tonight. The second half looked a bit better for Bedfont as they looked more confident and were creating many more chances and it soon paid off as Bedfont levelled the score to make it 1-1 but soon after Bedfont equalised they had a man sent off which meant Bedfont were down to 10 men. Then it looked to be Bedfont`s night as in the 92nd minute Bedfont took the lead and made it 2-1 but 7 minutes later disaster struck in the 99th minute as Windsor found a equaliser and the full time whistle went and it finished Bedfont Sports 2-2 Windsor.
After walking out of the stadium I thought to myself that I had a really good evening as I was able to do some plane spotting and visit a new stadium and more importantly tick off another stadium that I have visited that is within the M25 as my aim is to eventually visit all of the stadiums within the M25. I would definitely recommend visiting Bedfont Sports FC because their stadium is really good for the level of football they are at and the club is really friendly and the food is also really good.


Rating:
Stadium: 7/10
Bar: 9/10
Food and Drink: 8/10
Atmosphere: 4/10
Friendliness: 10/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.7/10