Sunday, 26 November 2017

Chesham United F.C. - The Meadow

Chesham United F.C.
Chesham United F.C.
The Meadow Stadium
Amy Lane
Chesham
Buckinghamshire
HP5 1NE

Official Website:

Ground Number: 62
Date: Saturday 25th November 2017
Score: Chesham United F.C. 2-1 Gloucester City A.F.C.
Competition: FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Attendance: 246

One of the best feelings as a football fan is going to away games and I have been to quite a few Sutton away games this season and I have been to 4 out of our previous 5 away games and this was something I am quite proud of but unfortunately, I wont be able to go to Guiseley away this weekend because we haven't got the funds to go as we are saving up for some big away games in 2018 and this meant only one thing, we would have to groundhop on Saturday.
After beating FC Halifax Town at home on Saturday, we found out that train tickets were too expensive and we couldn't get a place on the coach because we hadn't renewed our supporters club membership as we generally don't use the supporters coach as we like using the trains and seeing as we had some big and expensive away games in 2018, we decided to miss out on going to Guiseley and we decided to look for another game to go to next Saturday.
I spent most of Sunday night on non-league forums and Football Web Pages to look for some possible games that would allow me to go to another new ground and I was spoilt for choice as there was quite a few tasty options such as Chesham United, CB Hounslow (recently moved into their new ground), Ashford Town Middlesex and Welling United and seeing as all of these ground were on my top 25 non-league grounds to visit, I had a hard decision to make so I said that I would make the decision on Wednesday night.
Monday was spent doing coursework and doing some bits and pieces in my room as it needed a clean-up and then back to college on Tuesday which was not as chilled as I was hoping but wasn't too bad as I only had two lessons and then after college, I got the train to my dad's house and then had something to eat and then went to Gander Green Lane for Sutton vs Torquay. It was a bad game for Sutton and finished Sutton 0-1 Torquay United.
After a long day at college on Wednesday, I once again went through the list of games that I could go to on Saturday and I firstly ruled out Ashford Town Middlesex because I wanted to go there when it was a bit warmer, we then ruled out CB Hounslow because we said we would like to visit them during the spring/summer months and that left us with Chesham United and Welling United. I had read some reviews on both Chesham United and Welling and they both seemed very appealing but Chesham seemed to have more traditional non-league ground and if you know me well, I love really traditional non league grounds, so I was favouring Chesham over Welling and decided that I wanted to go to Chesham. I then called my dad to see what he thought about going to Chesham and he said "yes why not", so that was our Saturday afternoon sorted as me and my dad will be going to Chesham United.
I felt like I had made a good choice by choosing to go to Chesham United on Saturday and this put me in a really good mood. Thursday and Friday were good days for me because I was all up to date with all my college work and I didn't have any work that needed doing which meant I was just spending the two days doing a new assignment. I got home on Friday evening at 5:30pm and had dinner then had a nice warm bath and then sat in bed playing some Football Manager 2018 and I also looked through the history of Chesham United before I went to bed.
Chesham United were founded in 1917 via the merger of Chesham Town F.C. and Chesham Generals FC and their nickname is 'The Generals'. They are based in the small town of Chesham in Buckinghamshire and they play their home games at The Meadow which has a capacity of 5,000 and there are 284 seats. The club currently play in the Southern League Premier (England's 7th Tier). The club was formed  The club joined the Spartan League in 1919 and won a few league titles in the 1920's. During WW2, the club played in the Great  Western Combination League and soon after WW2, the club joined the Corinthian League. The club then joined the Athenian League in the 1960's. The club reached the FA Cup 1st Round in the 1966/67 season but ended up losing 6-0 against Enfield.
The following season, they reached the FA Amateur Cup Final but ended up losing 1-0 against Leytonstone. In 1973, the club switched to the Isthmian League and in the 1979/80 season, the club made it to the FA Cup 3rd Round but ended up losing 2-0 against Cambridge. In the 1992/93 season, they were denied promotion to the Conference because their ground didn't meet standards. In the 2005/06 season, they finished bottom of the Southern Premier and they were relegated down to the Southern League South & West. In the 2008/09 season, they got to the play-off final but lost to Nuneaton Town but the following season, they defeated Slough Town in the play-off final and were promoted back to the Southern League Premier which is where they still remain.
I woke up this morning at 7:30am feeling very excited for today’s game between Chesham United and Gloucester City in the FA Trophy. After waking up, I sat in bed to check to see if any of the games had been postponed and conveniently, it had been snowing up North and in Guiseley, so I was quite relieved that we weren't making the trip to Guiseley as it could be called off. I then had a quick shower before having some toast for breakfast.
My dad arrived at my house at 9:35am and I then got my stuff ready for today which was some bottles of water, headphones and some other bits and pieces. We left my house at 10am and walked to the bus stop and got the 200 up to Colliers Wood and I put £10 on my Oyster Card and then got the 57 to Wimbledon. Once we arrived into Wimbledon, I went in Greggs to get some sausage rolls to eat on the way and then quickly went into Argos to buy a new portable charger whilst my dad went to the bank and we then got on the District Line and by 10:15am, we were leaving Wimbledon.
We stayed on the District Line until Edgware Road and then changed to the Hammersmith and City Line and stayed on for one stop and got off at Baker Street. We then changed to the Metropolitan Line and seeing as the next train to Amersham or Chesham wasn’t for another 15 minutes, we got on one going to Watford and then changed at Harrow on the Hill. I was originally planning on going to Amersham before the game for a pint and then get the tube to Chesham but seeing as the next train to Amersham wasn’t for another 20 minutes, we decided to get on a train going straight to Chesham instead.
I have never been on a Metropolitan Line train further than Harrow on the Hill, so it was interesting to finally go to all these new stations as I am quite a big fan of the London Underground. Whilst on the tube, we shared the sausage rolls that I purchased earlier and we talked about the game that was only a few hours away and also about Sutton's long trip up North to Guiseley and we soon found ourselves approaching Chesham at 12:30pm. It felt quite an achievement as I have now been the furthest West and North that the London Underground goes but the downside was it was quite cold but bearable (for now).
I then went on Google Maps and looked for some local pubs to go to for a pint and some lunch and there was a couple of pubs that looked quite good but we chose to go for `The General's Arms` which is only a 2 minute walk away from the tube station. There was a real community spirit in the town and it felt really friendly. Once we arrived at The General's Arms, we saw that the Chester vs Dagenham and Redbridge game was on TV so we got some drinks, I obviously went for a Kopparberg and my dad went for a lager shandy and we then sat down by the TV to watch the game.
We then felt quite a bit peckish and seeing as the pub does food, we asked for a menu and then had a look and they had my favourite which was fish and chips but then my dad pointed out that they had ham, egg and chips and seeing as I haven't had that for a while, I went for that and so did my dad and that cost £13.50 and was a little bit expensive for the portions that we was given but you cant ever beat traditional pub food and watching football!
We then finished our lunch which was very tasty and then watched the second half of Chester vs Dagenham and Redbridge and finished our drinks and it was coming up to 2pm and Dagenham were 2-0 up and we wanted Chester to win but it was getting close to kick off, so we left and used Google Maps to walk 10 minutes to the ground and it didn't even feel like 10 minutes. We then took some pictures of the signs outside the ground and then walked up and paid to get in. Today's admission prices were £10 for my dad and £8 for me (student) and £2.50 for a programme, so £20.50 for entry and a programme which is very reasonable. We then walked round the ground to take some pictures.
The Meadow has a capacity of 5,000 and there are 284 seats and it has the appearance of a typical Southern League ground. The main stand is quite old and looks like it dates back to the 1950's and holds all 284 seats. Opposite the main stand is a covered terrace and many barriers and has a real non-league feeling to it. Behind one of the goals is a covered terrace in which you cannot see the supporting pillars as they are behind the fence and gives the terrace a unique appearance and behind the other goal is a more modern cover terrace and you can see similar examples at Maidstone and Solihull.
I really like The Meadow because it is such a traditional ground and even though there is a modern terrace, it does fit in with the rest of the ground and it doesn't ruin the overall look of the ground and personally is something I look for when I go groundhopping, a traditional ground with character and some good facilities and it seemed like The Meadow was ticking most of the boxes! I also like how there are a lot of barriers around the ground and it gives the ground a traditional look and makes the ground unique as you don't really see these barriers at football grounds in the UK anymore!
After taking some pictures of this really good ground, we then went in the bar because it was freezing outside and you could definitely tell that winter was near and it seemed like most of the people were in the bar and it is a really decent size and can hold around 300 people and there are TV's inside but no dart board or pool tables unfortunately. After being in the bar for around 5 minutes, we went to the club shop which was just a table with some merchandise and we asked if they had any pin badges and luckily they did, so I got a Chesham United pin badge for £3 and will be a good addition to my collection. We also purchased a golden goal ticket which was for the last goal scored in the game for £1 and out ticket was for the 72nd minute which was quite good.
We then went back outside and got something hot to drink as it was very cold and I went for my obvious choice which was hot chocolate and so did my dad and they were only £1 each and a cup of tea is only 60p and it made me feel like I was living before my time in the early 1990's! We both got a chocolate bar as well to during the game, I went for a Toffee Crisp and my dad went for a Kit Kat. We then stood behind the goal and read the match day programme. By the time we had a flick through and read up about Gloucester and about both teams recent results, we both predicted Gloucester to win 2-1 but we obviously wanted Chesham to win!
The teams came out and there want much of a roar from the crowd but there was from the travelling Gloucester fans and there was around 30 of them and you've got to have respect and fair play to all those that have travelled all the way after what has happened to the club in recent years! The game started and immediately, you could tell that Gloucester were a league higher than Chesham as they were dominating and Chesham were really struggling to get the ball and the Gloucester defence looked really solid. Gloucester dominated with chances in the first 20 minutes and Chesham managed to get into the box a few times but nothing was created. Gloucester deservedly took the lead with around 30 minutes gone from a decent strike and the travelling fans went wild!
Gloucester continued to dominate the game and Chesham were struggling to get back into the game but we both had a feeling that Chesham would eventually get that goal that they needed to get back into the game and it would allow them to get another but it just wasn't happening for Chesham. We then started walking round to the burger van with around 5 minutes of the first half left and by the time we walked round, the first half had finished and it was still 1-0 to Gloucester.
Half time and we was both feeling quite peckish, hence why we started walking round to the burger van before the first half finished. Once at the burger van, I decided to have a bacon cheeseburger and my dad had a normal cheeseburger and it came to £8 which is a reasonable but could be a little but cheaper but I have to say, the bacon cheeseburger was one of the best burgers I have ever had in my life and I would highly recommend getting one! We then went back into the bar because we were both feeling cold. We then checked the results and luckily enough, Sutton were 2-0 up at Guiseley which was great, it was such a shame that Chesham weren't winning as well!
We then went outside and we decided to sit in the main stand for the second half as there wasn't any signs of any chants being sung and because there was no atmosphere being made from the Chesham fans behind the goal but the travelling Gloucester fans were quite loud for the amount of fans that had travelled to the game. You get a good view of the pitch from the stand and is quite cosy and warm and I would highly recommend sitting in there!
The second half started and it seemed like the Chesham manager had given the Chesham squad a kick up the backside because they looked quite confident and were starting to look like the better side and it seemed like they had fed off Gloucester's confidence from the first half and you could tell that Chesham wanted it more than Gloucester and there chance came when they were given a free kick with about 30 minutes to go and their number 7 stepped up and whacked the ball into the top corner and Chesham had gotten themselves back into the game via a very impressed free-kick and the Chesham fans went wild! Chesham then looked liked the team in the league above as they were now creating a lot of chances but they didn't score in the 72nd minute, which meant our golden goal ticket wasn't a winner.
Chesham were dominating the game and Chesham's chance came in the 77nd minute when a Gloucester Kieran Thomas was sent off after a heavy tackle on one of the Chesham players and you could tell that Chesham were going to win from this point! The chance for Chesham to take the lead was in the 84th minute as the ball was whipped into the box and Swales headed the ball and went into the back of the net and Chesham finally and deservedly had taken the lead and the Chesham loyal went wild and even me and my dad cheered quite loud when they scored!
Chesham continued to dominate the rest of the game and had the chance to make it 3-1 but they weren't that lucky and with 5 minutes added on, we left our seats in the main stand then walked round to the terrace behind the goal to watch the last few minutes and when the full time whistle was blown, the Chesham fans went wild. We walked out of the ground feeling happy that Chesham had won and just as happy that Sutton had won 2-0 at Guiseley. The Christmas lights in the high street was a nice added touch to the overall experience. Once back at the station, we got on the tube and headed back for London.
The journey back into London was spent looking at results and going through my social media and we was intending on going home the same way as we came earlier but a lot of Tottenhan ans got on at Wembley Park so we changed onto the Jubilee Line and stayed on until Waterloo and then got the Northern Line back to Colliers Wood and then walked back to my house and we got back at 7pm feeling exhausted but we had really enjoyed our day in Chesham and I would highly recommend going there because it is very friendly, the burgers are amazing and you will visit a very good non-league stadium!
Rating:
Stadium: 8/10
Bar: 7/10
Food and Drink: 9/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Friendliness: 10/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8.2/10

2 comments:

  1. Lovely to have you come and visit us. Glad you enjoyed the visit and luckily got to see us take the result. Do come again and look forward to reading about more of your travels.

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    Replies
    1. I really did enjoy my visit, and the win was a bonus and I am hoping to re-visit the ground in a few years!

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