Sunday, 12 March 2017

Worthing F.C. - Woodside Road

Worthing F.C.

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

Official Website:

Ground Number: 38
Date: Saturday 14th January 2017
Score: Worthing F.C. 2-2 Sutton United F.C.
Competition: FA Trophy 2nd Round
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, but we take 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. as I do not know a lot about them and because I haven't really seen them play before.
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. I really enjoyed my day in Worthing because the locals are really friendly and the stadium is really nice and is one of my favourite grounds that I have been to and I would definitely recommend going there.

Stadium: 8/10
Bar: 7/10
Food and Drink: 6/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Friendliness: 9/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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