Friday, 4 November 2011

Flackwell Heath - Wilks Park

Flackwell Heath
Wilks Park
Heath End Road
Flackwell Heath
High Wycombe
HP10 9EA

01628 523892

Ground Number: 126
Friday 17th August 2007
Marlow United 1-3 Cove
FA Cup Extra Preliminary


Flackwell Heath FC was founded in 1907, but did not make the step up to Senior football until 70 years later. In 1977 they joined the Hellenic League at Division 1 level and won promotion in their first season. They joined the Isthmian League in 1984 and got as high as Division 1 North. Their only season at that level resulted in relegation, and due to restructuring, they went back to the Hellenic League. Since that time, they have finished in the top half on all but one occasion, with 4th being the best, this has been achieved on 2 occasions.

The club had their best ever FA Cup run in 2005, when they reached the 4th Qualifying Round, before losing to Billericay Town in a replay. The FA Vase 3rd Round has been reached on a number of occasions, most recently in the 2011/12 season. They have won a few local trophies, including the Ryman League Associate Members Cup in 2004/05 while their record attendance of 1500 came against Oxford United


FIRST VISIT: Marlow United v Cove, FA Cup

My first visit to Wilks Park was to see Marlow United's only ever FA Cup game. Cove, their opponents included former Wycombe and AFC Wimbledon striker, Kevin Cooper amongst their ranks. Gary Wiltshire put Marlow United 1-0 up just after half time to set up hopes of a real FA Cup shock, but it was not to be. Goals from Lee Passmore, another former AFC Wimbledon player and then he added a second, 3 minutes from time. It was a brave effort from Marlow United, but all to no avail. Later financial problems led to them downscaling and dropping a league, but their FA Cup efforts will probably be remembered by all those that saw the game.

2ND VISIT: Flackwell Heath 0-3 Wycombe, Friendly, 2008

It was Flackwell Heath's centenary year in 2008 and so as part of their celebrations, it was arranged for a full-strength Wycombe side to visit Wilks Park for a friendly. What it actually was, was an outing for all the squad plus some trialists. Amongst those trying to earn a contract were Kieran McAnespie, formerly of Fulham and Woking. His goal in between strikes from John Sutton and Lewwis Spence were enough to earn Wycombe a 3-0 victory. Flackwell never really posed any threat, but likewise, Wycombe didn't like they were several leagues apart from their opponents. It was good news for the home side though, over 800 people turned up for the game and gave them a much needed financial boost.

3RD VISIT: Flackwell Heath 3-1 Oxford City Nomads, Hellenic Premier, 23/12/14

With Anwar unavailable again, I wanted something local to go to. I was more than happy to see Flackwell Heath at home. The ground was only 7 miles from home, and although I'd been twice before I didn't have a programme from the ground. I was enjoying 5 days off work for Christmas and this would be my last game before Santa emptied his sack.

I left home at 7 and 25 minutes later I was in Flackwell Heath. I parked up in a nearby side street and walked to the ground. After paying £6 entry and £1 for a programme I went in and saw several people I know. Fellow groundhopper Dave Finch was there, as was local referee Dan Burford and also Wycombe fan Woj. I also knew Liam Tack who was playing for Flackwell Heath, as he is also a Wycombe fan.

Oxford City Nomads were the reserve and Youth development team for Conference North side Oxford City. Some of their players have made the step up to play in the first team and as the team were in 12th, and the home side in 6th, I was expecting quite a close game. The final score of 3-1 reflected this, but the balance of play didn't. It was only a great show from the visitors' keeper Juan Martin that kept the score down, with him even saving a penalty. Oxford's consolation came via a comical own goal when a Flackwell defender deflected a cross into his own net, despite not having an opponent anywhere near him.


WILKS PARK is a great ground for step 5, and could probably serve a couple of leagues higher. There is cover on all 4 sides, with capacity for around 1000 in these stands. There are around 250 seated out of this, and the ground holds around 3000 overall.

There is a smart, modern bar at the ground and also a decent tea bar. If you want a better choice there is a pub called the Stag and Hounds a couple of minutes walk from the ground, and the small town centre is not much further and has a decent range of takeaways.

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