Friday, 27 January 2012

Scunthorpe United - Glanford Park



Scunthorpe United FC
Glanford Park
Doncaster Road
Scunthorpe
DN15 8TD


01724 840139

Official Website
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Ground Number: 95
Friday 8th October 2004
Scunthorpe United 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca-Cola League 2






TEN FACTS ABOUT SCUNTHORPE UNITED

1:  The club was established in 1899. In 1910, they merged with North Lindsay United to become Scunthorpe & Lindsay United, a name they were known as up until 1958.

2:  After playing in local leagues, they joined the Midland League in 1912. They'd remain here until 1950, winning the league twice in 1927 and 1939, as well as an emergency wartime competition in 1940.

3:  After an unsuccessful application to join the Football League in 1921, they were finally admitted in 1950. Starting in Division 3 North, they won this league in 1958 and went on to finish as high as 4th in the second tier in 1962, the club's best ever finish. Fortunes rapidly declined and by 1975, they finished bottom of the 4th Division. Back in those days, the bottom 4 in the Football League had to reapply for election to the Football League, but it was very much a closed shop then. The club has been in League 1 since 2014, finishing in the top half in the past three seasons.

4:  Scunthorpe United’s best progress in the FA Cup has been the 5th Round. In 1958 they narrowly lost 1-0 to Liverpool then in 1970 Swindon Town defeated them 3-1. In terms of them suffering giant killings by non-league clubs, they’ve remained relatively unscathed, only losing to Rushden & Diamonds in 1999 and Grimsby Town in 2013, neither of which were huge shocks.

5:  In the League Cup, the best progress came in 2009/10 when Chesterfield, Swansea and Port Vale were defeated before a 5-1 loss at Manchester City in the 4th Round.

6:  Scunthorpe United got to the Football League Trophy final in 2009, only to lose 3-2 to Luton Town.

7:  Up until 1988, the club played at the wonderfully named Old Showground, now the site of a Sainsbury’s supermarket. The ground once held 23,935 for an FA Cup 4th Round game against Portsmouth. It was the first ground to have a cantilever stand, built in 1958. They moved to Glanford Park in 1988, the first Football League club to move stadiums since Southend United in 1955. The record attendance at the new ground came in 2010 - 9,077 watching a League Cup 3rd Round game against Manchester United.

8:  Scunthorpe United’s record win is 8-1, firstly in 1965 against Luton Town, then 30 years later against Torquay United. The worst defeat came in 1952 with an 8-0 loss to Carlisle United. The record transfer received was £2m for Billy Sharp, a striker who moved to Sheffield United in 2007.

9:  The club can boast two future England sporting captains, having had both Kevin Keegan and Ian Botham in their ranks as youngsters. Future England goalkeeper Ray Clemence was also a product of the club’s youth system.

10: The town of Scunthorpe has a population of around 82,000 and is well known for its steel and iron industries. Notable people to hail from Scunthorpe include radio presenter Ian Collins and golfer Tony Jacklin.



VISIT 1: SCUNTHORPE 2-0 WYCOMBE


My only previous visit to Glanford Park wasn't a memorable or pleasant visit. Wycombe lost 2-0 in a poor performance. And the ridiculous stewards stopped me taking my KFC into the ground as it "constituted an offensive weapon". It was a Friday night game for some reason. Future Wycombe player Paul Hayes was the man who did the damage, first scoring and then winning a penalty that Andy Crosby converted to give Wycombe their first away defeat of the season. It was certainly a long journey back on the supporters coach that night, the only funny thing I remember someone went to the expense of having Gary Silk's nickname of Psycho printed on the back of their shirt, the only thing was it had been spelt 'PHYSCHO'. Wycombe goalkeeper Frank Talia also complained of being pelted by coins from the home fans, though the game was notable for the debut of Ikechi Anya who was only 16 at the time.



VISIT 2: SCUNNY 1-0 WWFC (L1, 29/12/18) 

It was time once again to revisit a ground for a Wycombe away game. At the start of the season, Scunthorpe would have been pretty high on my list, having only been there once back in 2004. It was not the most attractive of away days, like Wycombe it was a long way from the town, a town which was very limited in terms of decent pubs. I was hoping that the Independent Supporters club would pull a decent stop out of the hat and as it was, they did OK, even if the drinks range looked a little limited and the food decent, albeit more expensive than I was used to paying. One thing that was unattractive was Wycombe’s form and had I not booked the coach and procured a ticket, I’d be giving it a miss.  We’d been absolutely dire in the previous two games, deservedly losing to AFC Wimbledon and Burton Albion. I’d much rather be groundhopping and will be glad of a break from watching Wycombe after our New Years Day game at home to Coventry. I’d had a good night on Friday with family being around and having a good catchup over a few drinks. The morning of the game came and I awoke at 6 after a patchy night’s sleep. It gave me time to catch up with things and start researching Scunthorpe United’s history, something that I’d been too busy to do previously. I left home at 7.50, catching the minibus at 8. Unusually we had extra passengers on at my stop, with fellow Wycombe fans Barbara and the two Daves making the journey. We were soon on our way but the coach driver cocked up and forgot to pick up at the second Wycombe stop, meaning that we had to wait at the side of the road and make the passengers walk for 15 minutes to avoid a half hour detour up to the next motorway junction and back.



There were a paltry 13 people on the coach, understandable at this time of the year, especially given recent performances. We were on a minibus which was quicker than the coach but lacked USB charging ports. We got to the pub bang on midday. It was in a nice location on the banks of the river Trent and although the cider selection was nothing special, the food was great. I’d wanted to try wood pigeon for a while and was delighted that it was on the menu in the pie. I also had treacle pudding for dessert. All was very tasty and came in at not much more than £20 including 4 pints. Suitably filed, we left at 2 and made our way to the ground. Half an hour later, we were there. I got some pictures of the outside of the ground before joining Anwar for the game. We started fairly brightly against a side that was on a stinking run of form, hadn’t scored in 8 hours and hadn’t kept a clean sheet in 18 games. But a terrible mistake from keeper Ryan Allsop who allowed a weak shot to squirm through his legs gave Scunthorpe the lead. We couldn’t even get the basics right, free kicks and corners ended up in the stand or being intercepted by the first man. We improved in the second half but ran out of ideas which made for a frustrating afternoon. We were actually the better team and It wasn’t as bad as the previous two games and ref didn’t help, but it means another long journey home and downbeat feeling for the week. We were quite late leaving, not getting away from the ground until around 5.30. It was a fairly decent journey home, a brief stop at a random services was had but we'd dropped everyone off and I was back home at 9. The rest of the evening was spent uploading this blog before Match Of The Day started at 10:20. It had been a fairly enjoyable day despite the result and it was nice to revisit what was to be fair, a pretty unique stadium.



THE GROUND

GLANFORD PARK was the first of a new breed of out of town grounds. Built in 1988, it was the first new ground since Southend United moved to Roots Hall some 33 years previously. As a result, it makes errors that others learned from. The stands are all of the same height and joined together - though in a boxy shape rather than the new-style bowl shape. There are also supporting pillars, but unless you are unlucky, they don't ruin the view too much. The ground has a capacity of 9.088, with just over 1600 given over to away fans. The ground is three side seats, plus a home terrace. There is a supporters club at the ground which lets in away fans, plus a few pubs. Food-wise, there's a KFC, a McDonald's and a Frankie and Bennies on the nearby retail park, which also has a Tesco.

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