Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Bedfont and Feltham F.C. - The Orchard

Bedfont and Feltham F.C.

Bedfont and Feltham F.C.
The Orchard Stadium
Hatton Road
TW14 9QT

Ground Number: 45
Date: Saturday 13th May 2017
Score: Redhill FC 2-3 AC London F.C.
Competition: RPM Records Division One Challenge Cup Final
Attendance: 375

It is the time of season when all of the leagues have finished and there are no more league games and the only games that are taking place are cup games such as local cup finals and the play-offs and this is a good time for groundhopping because your team has finished their season and it means you have the time to go and watch cup finals and play offs in other leagues and counties and this means you have the chance to visit grounds that you don't have time to visit when the league season is taking place.
During the week, I was looking on some non league forums and the FA website to see what play-off games and cup games were taking place this weekend and there were a few local games taking place this Saturday but the game that most stood out was Redhill FC vs AC London in the RPM Records Division One Challenge Cup Final which was being held at The Orchard which is the home of Bedfont and Feltham and I have wanted to go to The Orchard for the last two years but I have never found the time to go there but this weekend, me and my dad had nothing planned so we decided that we would go to this game.
The days before the game really dragged as I was at college and I was still doing coursework but there was one good thing about this and that is I wasn't stuck at home bored all day. The last few days of the college week went by and by the time Friday had arrived, I was exhausted because I had worked really hard all week doing coursework so that I wont have to worry about doing coursework this weekend. I got home on Friday evening feeling so exhausted that I nearly fell straight asleep but I had a nice hot chocolate to keep me awake. I then spent the rest of the evening researching into the history of both the teams as I don't know a lot about Redhill FC and so my knowledge of AC London can be strengthened.
Redhill FC were founded in 1894 and they play their home games at Kiln Brow which has a capacity of 2,000 and there are 100 seats. The clubs nickname is 'The Lobsters' and they play in the colours of red and white. Redhill have spent most of their time in the lower leagues of non league in the county leagues and was in the Athenian League. This season (2016/17), Redhill finished 2nd in the Combined Counties Division One and they will be playing in the Combined Counties Premier Division for the 2017/18 season.
AC London F.C. were founded in July 2012 by a 16 year old called Prince Choudary. The clubs full name is Academic Club London FC. The club was originally founded as an amateur youth team but after its first season, the club established a men's first team and a reserve squad and academy for the 2013/14 season.  By June 2015, the FA committee allocated the club to the Kent Invicta League for the 2015/16 season and the club has become the first club to ever become a semi-professional side after three years of being founded. The club were moved to the Combined Counties Division One for the 2016/17 season and they recently started groundsharing the Merland Rise stadium which Banstead Athletic who are the main club who runs and owns the stadium.
The day of the game finally arrived and I woke up at 8am feeling very tired as I didn't sleep very well so instead of going back to bed for an hour, I had a nice warm shower and that worked the trick as I felt much more awake. After having a nice and refreshing shower, I got dressed and then I had breakfast which was a few warm muffins. Today I was going for a casual look which was my Adidas jumper, jeans and my Adidas Gazelles as I like to wear casual clothing when I go groundhopping. By 11:15am, we was ready to leave and we made the hour long journey to Heathrow and we arrived in the Bedfont area at 12:20pm.
After parking the car in a housing estate opposite the stadium, we went and did some plane spotting on Mrytle Avenue as you get some good views of the planes coming into land when they are landing on runway 27L and for me, visiting stadiums near airports is a treat for me as I have two passions which is football and aviation and when I go to grounds near airports, I get to watch planes and watch football. After plane spotting for around an hour, I had gotten some great pictures to add to my collection. We then walked up to Hatton Cross and got the bus up to McDonalds as we was feeling peckish.
Normally when I go to McDonalds, I will get a quarter pounder meal but as they were doing the American burgers, I decided to have the New York Stack and it tasted really nice. I also noticed that my phone was on 20% battery and luckily enough we was sitting by some plugs, and luckily I had my charger on me so I plugged my phone in to get some extra battery. I managed to get my phone up to 45% which wasn't too bad but it would be enough to last the rest of the day.
We then got the bus back to Hatton Cross and then we walked to the ground from there and the ground is roughly a 10 minute walk away from Hatton Cross Tube Station. We got to the ground at 2pm and there were already quite a few people there. I took some pictures of the exterior of the ground and then we paid to get in and we also got a programme. We then walked around the ground to take some pictures.
The Orchard is a fairly open stadium and it is mostly standing. The ground has a capacity of 1,200 and there are around 100 seats. On one side of the ground is a small seated stand located on the halfway lane which has around 60 seats and the seats are in white, yellow and blue to represent the colours that Bedfont and Feltham play in. Then opposite this side of the ground is another small seated stand that is a bit smaller than the other seated stand and it holds around 40 seats. Then on the far end of the ground behind the goal are two small but tall covered terraces that look weird but add a unique feeling to the ground and then behind the other goal is a uncovered terrace and a small covered terrace, clubhouse and tea hut. The stadium is also located right next to Bedfont Sports, the grounds are a 1 minute walk away from each other.
As we were walking around the ground, I started to really like the ground and even though it is one of the smallest grounds that I have ever been to, I really like it because it has a unique feeling to it and you get really good views of the planes coming into land and I even managed to get some pictures of an A380 coming into land. After taking some pictures, we saw the same Sutton fan that was at the AC London game and we had a talk about how our season was and the thoughts on our new summer signings so far. We then went to the tea hut and we got a cheeseburger and a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was really nice and so was the burger. We then headed to the seated stand to eat our burgers and drink our hot chocolates.
By this time, the game had started and both teams had a few chances to score but both teams didn't take their chances. We then went and stood behind the goal and for today, we were supporting Redhill because I know a couple of their fans. The majority of the first half saw some good football from both sides but it was AC London who took the lead in the 42nd minutes as they slotted the ball past the Redhill keeper to go 1-0 up and the remained 1-0 up at half time. During half time, we went and got another drink and I decided to have a diet coke as it had started to get quite warm.
We then went and stood behind the other goal and the second half started and AC London started the 2nd half very well as they scored again in the 48th minute and this seemed to spark some energy into Redhill as they seemed to start responding to AC London and Redhill were starting to look like they could get back into the game. AC London then scored again but the goal was not given as there was an incident with one of the officials during the build up to the goal. Redhill then took the opportunity to let AC London that they were still in the game and Redhill had another great chance but failed to score.
Redhill did finally get a goal back in the 70th minute via a header and I went wild even though I don't support Redhill but I was supporting them for the game and this was a good enough excuse for me to celebrate them scoring. Then out of the blue, Redhill equalised 2 minutes later via another header and me and my dad went wild because within the space of 2 minutes, Redhill were back on level terms with AC London. Both teams had chances to take the lead for during the last 18 minutes of the game but at full time the game remained 2-2 and the game went into extra time. We then went round to the other goal and AC London scored after 8 minutes of extra time and they went wild. After 15 minutes, the scored remained 3-2 AC London but Redhill were not finished with as they continued to fight for the last 15 minutes but the game finished 3-2 AC London and they had won the RPM Records Division One Challenge Cup.
We headed out of the ground with mixed emotions, we were happy that we had seen a great game of football and that we had been to a ground we have wanted to go to for 2 years but we was unhappy that Redhill didn't win but we had really enjoyed our afternoon at The Orchard. We walked back to the car and then we drove back home to South West London. I got home at 6:30pm feeling quite happy because I had finally visited The Orchard and I had enjoyed my time there and it meant that after 2 years of wanting to go there, I had finally been there and I would definitely recommend going to Bedfont and Feltham as the staff are really friendly and the ground is quite small but unique.
Stadium: 6/10
Bar: 7/10
Food and Drink: 9/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Friendliness: 9/10
Value For Money: 10/10
Overall Rating: 7.8/10

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