Sunday 30 September 2012

Newport County - Rodney Parade

Newport County FC
Rodney Parade
Rodney Road
South Wales
NP19 0UU

01633 674990
Official Website

Ground Number: 218
Saturday 29th September 2012
Newport County 0-0 Grimsby Town
Blue Square Premier


I had met my Grimsby mate Sam at the Sheffield Wednesday v Wycombe game at the end of last season and we got on so well that we agreed another meet was a must. We were initially planning on going to Manchester City v QPR on the first of September as the City Of Manchester Stadium was one we were both keen to visit, mainly to contribute towards us completing the 92. But Sam wanted to go to Hereford v Grimsby that day and so after arranging another time to go to City, in March v Wigan, we looked at the fixture list to plan something else. I looked at Grimsby's away games as I was also looking to do every ground in the Blue Square Premier and spotted Newport County away on a day that I was free, and so it got pencilled in. I had previously been to the old ground at Newport on the way to Swansea (the year we got to the League Cup Semi Final) to take pictures, but this would be a whole new ground for me as they had moved to share with the Rugby club in the town, at Rodney Parade. I don't know about anyone else, but the first thing I thought of when I heard that was Rodney Trotter out of Only Fools and Horses!

On the day I set off around 8.40am. I wasn't feeling at my best, my stomach felt bad and I was worried about feeling crap for the whole day. However, I didn't need to worry. A rare treat of a breakfast sub from Subway and a couple of Belgian Buns from ASDA soon settled things down and I felt much better. So come 9.30, I was ready to leave Wycombe. But instead of going down the M4 which was the quicker route, I opted to go up and through Oxford to save myself the ludicrous £6 entry into Wales, via the Severn Bridge. It was roughly the same mileage and only half an hour extra, a sacrifice I was prepared to make. It was a bit slow going at times, but after a few small delays, I was in Newport just after 12. As it was just under 2 hours until the Grimsby supporters coach was due to arrive, I walked into Newport and had a look round the traditional looking town centre, buying a can of Belgian Elderflower cider at B&M Bargains before making my way to the local Wetherspoons. At first looking at the outside, I thought someone had pinched some of the letters as the words on the front of the pub made no sense whatsoever, and I had only had one can! Then I suddenly remembered I was in Wales, and their complicated language meant that signs like that were par for the course. I had a great pint of Gwynt Y Draig Gold Label cider which was a new and very nice tipple for me. By now, it was getting on for 1.30, so I made my way back to the ground, stopping off at my car to pick some stuff up on the way.

I had arranged to meet Sam and his mate, whose name escapes me at the moment, but he did remind me a small bit of Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter Films. We agreed to meet at the club shop at 2.15 and had a good chat about our teams. I was pleased to meet another decent footy fan as well. Normally we would get a pennant or something from the shop, but Newport were asking silly money, a tenner would you believe. So we left it and after taking some pictures of the outside of the ground. After meeting another Mariners fan, Will, that I had spoken to on Facebook, we found some decent seats for the game and settled down, with around 20 minutes to kick off.
The game kicked off, and after 2 minutes, Grimsby keeper James McKeown was called into action as former Wycombe player Andy Sandell's free-kick was heading for the top corner. He may have left Wycombe under a cloud, moaning that he didn't want to play left back anymore and wasn't enjoying his football. But he would walk into the current Wycombe side and for my money, he was Newport's best player. Newport had more chances than Grimsby, but the visitors were still holding their own. Newport's best chance game after McKeown came out to make a brave save,  but lost the ball, was left stranded and it was up to Nathan Pond to cleat off of the line to keep the scores level at the break. At halftime I heard that Wycombe were losing 1-0 at Dagenham, Gareth Ainsworth making a number of changes from the team that lost to AFC Wimbledon a week previously. Back to the game in hand, the second half started with Grimsby having the better of the game. They had their best chance of the game on 60 minutes when Joe Colbeck's shot was smartly saved by home keeper Lenny Pidgeley. Newport had their chances in the second half too, but it was Grimsby that looked the most likely to score in the dying moments. After the game I said my goodbyes to Sam and co, agreeing that March was far too long to wait before our next meet and that we would try and meet again before Christmas.

When I got back to the car, I was surprised to find that I could pick up BBC Three Counties Radio, despite being 200 miles away from the transmitter. I was disappointed to hear that Wycombe had lost 3-0 and would be even more depressed when I read and heard about how bad it really was. As ever the radio coverage of us was poor, and we, in fact, got more mentions on BBC Radio Bristol than we did on our own local station. I had decided to stop at Westbourne United FC on the way home, to take pictures. It turned out to be as much of a disappointment as the Wycombe result, as it was little more than a railed off pitch and a changing room block. Getting back on the M4 I made quick progress and was back in Wycombe by 7.30. After stopping off to get a few cans and a curry, I went home and had a relaxing evening, having had a good day with some great people.


RODNEY PARADE is the original home of Newport Rugby club, Newport County having moved in at the start of the season. The ground is a mixture of new and old. The most impressive stand is the one we were in, a modern stand holding around 3500 from which the views and facilities are excellent. To the left, there is just a small seated area for disabled fans and their helpers, along with some buildings. Opposite is the old main stand, which has seats in its top tier with a terrace below. Whilst at the other end is an uncovered terrace. There is a bar and an overpriced club shop at the ground, and alcohol is served in the ground too. Though the bar looked pretty basic and so you would be better off taking the short 10-15 minute walk to the town centre.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Leighton Town - Bell Close

Leighton Town FC
Bell Close
Lake Street
Leighton Buzzard

Ground Number: 216
Wednesday 19th September 2012
Aylesbury United 2-0 Hanwell Town
Spartan South Midlands League - Premier Division


The club was formed in 1885 with their formative years spent in the Leighton & District League, a competition that saw them enjoy great success. They’ve been known as Leighton Town for the most part but changed their name to Leighton United in between 1922 and 1963. They’ve mainly plied their trade in the Spartan South Midlands League (or it’s two forerunners), winning the South Midlands League in 1967 and 1992. Generally, they’ve played in the higher tier and finished no lower than 7th when they have dropped down. Brief spells in the Hellenic and United Counties League saw little success and saw them switch back to their usual home after a couple of seasons. Their most successful spell, league-wise came around the turn of the millennium. Joining the Isthmian League in 1992, Leighton Town spent time in the bottom two tiers, with a best-ever finish there of 10th in Division 2 in 1997. A reorganisation of the Non-League pyramid in 2004 saw them switch to the Southern League. A record finish of 11th in Division 1 Central (step 4) in 2011 was a high point, but it was all downhill from there. After years of struggle, Leighton Town finally succumbed to relegation in 2016, returning to the Spartan South Midlands League. A 16th place finish in the Premier Division has been followed up this year with much better form, the team sitting 4th, prior to the previous weekend’s games.

In the FA Cup, the best ever run came during the 2007/08. After beating FC Clacton, Ashford Town, Kirkley & Pakefield and most notably Boreham Wood, they succumbed 3-0 at Havant & Waterlooville in the 4th Qualifying Round. their victors going on to reach the 4th Round and enjoy a match against Liverpool. 2005/06 saw the best ever FA Trophy progress, with Eastleigh amongst their casualties, prior to a 1st Round defeat to Boreham Wood. In the FA Vase, Leighton Town reached the 5th Round in 2004, bowing out to Andover Town. They have the chance to better that this coming weekend, as they face a trip to this year's surprise package, Wolverhampton Sporting. The team represent Leighton Buzzard - home to Kriss Akabusi, Frank Bruno, Darren Gough and Bob Monkhouse at various points. The town has also contributed musically, with groups The Barron Knights and Kajagoogoo formed in Leighton Buzzard.


My mate Anwar is a keen football fan and groundhopper like me. Normally we go to most Wycombe games, and always meet up for a chat. However, we like to do others and last week he suggested that we go to an Aylesbury United game as they were playing at Leighton Town and it would be a new ground. I was too tired from working long hours at work. But this week I had a bit more time off and so we decided to go to the game v Hanwell Town.

On the day I left home at 6.15 and got to Anwar's in Aylesbury by 6.50, the only bit of traffic coming near where I picked him up. As well as the social aspect, the fiver he chipped in for fuel was most welcome and helped bring the cost of the day down. After a hassle-free journey, we got to Leighton around 7.20 and after a few quick pictures of outside, we went in. This was where the costs were not so good, £7 was expensive for this level, but it normally included a programme. Not tonight though, owing to a cock-up at the printers. Cheekily, they still charged full whack, but in their defence, I later wangled a team sheet from the boardroom, which although not as good, was at least something.

After a walk around the ground and some more pictures, I got some chips for the wallet-friendly price of £1 and they were pretty decent, even if there wasn't much choice of sauces. It was soon time for kick-off and we picked a place to stand and started discussing grounds we fancied going to. Possibly coming with us in the future is Ryan Eyre, nothing to do with a dodgy airline, but a good lad banned on false accusations from Wycombe. Corby and Nuneaton were suggestions, and surprisingly it wasn't much extra in terms of miles or journey times to go via Aylesbury and pick Anwar up. As for the game, it was a fairly routine 2-0 victory for the hosts. Aylesbury United featured former QPR forward Kevin Gallen in their lineup and they controlled the game throughout. It was Gallen who came closest in the first half with a 25-yard effort that whistled wide, but it was goalless at the break. Stacey Field gave Aylesbury the lead minutes into the second half when he beat the offside trap and finished from close range. Jack Mulholland got the second, heading home powerfully from a corner to seal the win.

Overall, despite the pricey entry, it was a good night. To be honest it felt like an away game for both sides with no Aylesbury signage or presence around the ground. I can only hope that Aylesbury United returns to the town soon, as they would attract excellent support and had a smart facility at their old Buckingham Road ground. And I have a soft spot for the club after doing work experience there in 1996, a very friendly club and my most enjoyable job ever. Anyway, after a nice journey home I was back by 10.30 and after a quick look on the net and watching Corrie, I went to bed as I was up early again.


I'd not done a groundhop with Anwar in 6 weeks due to a variety of factors, so one was long overdue. With him going to Arsenal on Wednesday, he didn't want to go far and so it looked like a revisit was on the cards. The three that he suggested to me were Hemel Hempstead v Chelmsford City, Biggleswade Town v Hereford and Leighton Town v Cockfosters. My first choice would have been Hemel, but as it turned out that the ground was closer to me than it was to Anwar. Leighton Town was my next choice and thankfully I passed right through Aylesbury on my way there. Ironically, we'd be returning to the ground that we first did together, way back in September 2012. It would never have happened if Anwar hadn't randomly asked me if I fancied going to Aylesbury United v Hanwell Town, but I'm glad that he did. In the intervening 5 and a bit years, we've racked up 177 grounds with me driving, plus many more where we have met at the game. The grounds were drying up though, and from a best-ever 52 during the 2014/15 season, we'd only managed 12 this season and only 2 in the last few months. With many grounds not hosting games in midweek, due to playing in small leagues, the nearest options were often 100 or so miles away which meant a late and often pricey night for both of us. Add to that the usual miserable weather at this time of year and the choices were even more limited.

The game of the day came and it was my usual day off, with me getting a reasonable night's sleep and waking at around 8am. After having breakfast and getting ready, I walked downtown at 10.30, picking up my train tickets for my upcoming trip to Kidderminster at the weekend. I picked up a few things in town before meeting my Dad. We popped to Lidl where I got some things for lunch as well as a few cans for the weekend. After coming back home and having some lunch, I spent the afternoon at home doing research for this and other blogs. There were plenty of games being called off all over the country, but thankfully with the weather being dry, ours was not one of them. After having a Paella for dinner, I left at 6.15, not best pleased to hear rain outside. Thankfully, it quickly disappeared and despite a slow start, it was a decent journey over to Aylesbury. I picked Anwar up at 6.45, with it taking ages to get out of Aylesbury thanks to some poorly designed junctions. We soon got going though and by 7.20 we were at the ground. The car park at the ground was not great, minuscule spaces and not many of them at that. Thankfully, there was a Morrisons across the road with plenty of space and 3 hours of free parking. Entry was £6, good value and £1 less than I’d paid to see Aylesbury United at the same level 6 years ago.

I also picked up a programme as they were only £1. The ground had gone a bit downhill since my last visit, with areas taped off and the range at the tea bar scaled back. The Spartan South Midlands League always provides us with a good game but despite a lot of great crosses being put in by the hosts, the Cockfosters keeper wasn’t really being tested. A heavy pitch didn’t make for ideal conditions, but Leighton Town took the lead just before halftime with a nice ball into the box and a tidy finish from 12 yards by James Hatch. Cockfosters improved slightly in the second half and they got the equaliser on the hour when centre-back and captain Ian Salt headed home from a corner. This led to the visitors having a real spell of dominance, but they failed to capitalise on this. The game soon swung back in favour of Leighton and it was the hosts who got the winner on 70 minutes. Cockfosters failed to clear their lines following a spell of pressure and the ball was poked home from just inside the area by Hatch to complete his brace. There were chances to make it 3-1 to the hosts with the keeper making a good save to tip the ball over the bar and a defender clearing a shot off the line, but it wasn’t to be. In the end, the scoreline was a fair reflection of a decent night’s football in front of an attendance of 93.

It was around 9.45 by the time we got back to the car. The radio brought good news for us with the two teams in and around Wycombe - Notts County and Newport County, losing to Crawley and drawing with Morecambe respectively. As for the other games we were considering Biggleswade v Hereford had been called off earlier that day and Hemel Hempstead beat Chelmsford City 3-1. We'd been happy with our choice and the journey home was a lot better. I dropped Anwar off at 10:05, getting home myself at 10:30. After staying up until midnight, I went to sleep, although with me up for work at 4 am the next morning, a nap was needed the following afternoon.


BELL CLOSE is a fairly decent home for Leighton Town, but really doesn't feel like home for Aylesbury United, despite the fact that they have been sharing there. There is a nice club bar which hasn't really got much in the way of real ales or ciders which is a shame. There is no club shop for either club to my knowledge. The tea bar is OK, with Bacon Sarnies, drinks and cakes. The ground is nearby the town, and that is probably your best bet if you want a good drink, there is a Morrisons with a cafe opposite the ground.

As for the main ground, 2 sides are open to the elements. Firstly behind the goal where the bar is. And then part of the side to the left, although most of it is closed due to the local cricket club sharing the ground. The other side has a decent sized seated stand holding around 200, with the rest open standing. At the other end is a fully covered terrace, holding at a guess around 600.


1: Ground facilities & condition (for the level)
Not as good as my first visit, but still decent (6)

2: Area around the ground (parking, food/drink, public transport)
Right near the town, parking OK (7)

3: Welcome / Club Friendliness
Standard (6)

4: Value for money
£6 represented good value (7)

5: Social Media & Website
Both were OK (6)

6: Programme
Reasonable content, especially for £1 (7)

7: Game entertainment
A decent night’s football on a tricky pitch (7)

8: Tea Bar
Limited compared to last time (5)

9: Bar / Clubhouse
Standard range of drinks, fairly spacious (5)

10: Club Shop
N/A (-)



Friday 7 September 2012

Dunstable Town - Creasey Park

 Dunstable Town FC / AFC Dunstable
Creasey Park Community Centre
Creasey Park Drive

01582 891433
Dunstable Town Website
AFC Dunstable Website
Dunstable Town Twitter
AFC Dunstable Twitter

Ground Number: 215
Wednesday 5th September 2012
AFC Dunstable 2-2 Aylesbury United
Spartan South Midlands Premier 


1:  The club was formed in October 1883 and were founder members of the Bedfordshire FA. They played in local leagues initially including the Metropolitan League as well as a couple of years in the United Counties League between 1961 and 1963.

2:  They've spent most of the modern era in the Southern League, first joining in 1965. Finishes have ranged from 21st in the second tier on two occasions to 8th in the Premier Division in 1976. They've spent very little time away since joining - playing in the Spartan South Midlands League between 1998 and 2003 where they won 3 promotions to progress through and out of the league and then the Isthmian League for the 2003/04 season where they finished 5th.

3:  There have been a couple of spells of severe financial difficulties. In 1975 the original Dunstable Town went bust, but quickly, a new team, Dunstable, was formed to take over their place in the Southern League. The new club disappeared altogether in 1994 following an 18th place finish in the Southern League Southern Division. It took until 1998 for a new club to be established with the reformed Dunstable Town making rapid progress up the non-league pyramid.

4:  The best progress in the FA Cup came during the 1956/57 season. Starting in the 2nd Qualifying Round, Dunstable Town beat Vauxhall Motors (Luton), Wolverton Town and Eton Manor before a 3-1 defeat to Margate in the 1st Round. 

5:  In other FA Competitions, the club reached the 5th Round of the FA Vase in 2011, losing to Whitley Bay. The best progress in the FA Trophy came by default in 2003/04 when Dunstable Town started in the 1st Round and were immediately knocked out at home to Histon by a 6-2 scoreline. 

6:  In local competitions, Dunstable Town have won the Bedfordshire Senior Cup 12 times, the Bedfordshire Premier Cup six times, the Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup twice and the Bedfordshire Floodlit Cup in 2008.

7:  Several famous players have turned out for Dunstable and these include Jeff Astle, George Best, Tony Currie, Kerry Dixon, Barry Fry and The Chase host Bradley Walsh. Fry and Dixon also managed the club. During Best's limited time at the club, Dunstable Town drew their record attendance of 10,000 for a Friendly against Manchester United, with the Bedfordshire side recording a remarkable 3-2 victory.

8:  Dunstable have faced my own team Wycombe once competitively. On the 24th October 1970, Wycombe triumphed 4-0 at Dunstable in an FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round game.

9:  Local rivals AFC Dunstable were formed in 1981 as Old Dunstablians. Originally a team for former pupils of a local school, as recently as 2009 they played at step 7 of non-league. Rapid progress in the past 9 years has seen them rise up the leagues and they currently are involved in a promotion race in Southern D1 East and potentially could swap places with Dunstable Town at the end of the season.

10: The town of Dunstable itself has a population of just over 36,000. Famous former residents include footballer Kerry Dixon and Hollywood film actor Gary Cooper. Cooper attended Dunstable Grammar School between 1910 - 1913 and has the local Wetherspoons pub named in his honour.


I had made good friends with  Sam who is a Luton fan, through this very site and then Facebook. We had initially planned to meet before the Luton v Wycombe friendly back in July, but owing to it being a right git to find a space, he was already in the ground by the time I had managed to park up. So an alternate meet was needed to be arranged. As I had not been to Dunstable for a game before and he lived nearby, I looked for a game there, checking out both Dunstable Town and AFC Dunstable's websites. I found a game on a night I had free, against Aylesbury United who had fallen from grace in recent times. As recently as the late 90's they were just 2 steps away from the Football League, ten years prior to that they had been in the Conference. But problems over the ownership of the ground meant financial woes for the club, and now they play at Leighton Town in a league which contains village teams such as my local side Holmer Green. I actually did work experience at the club back in 1996, having a great time and so it is sad to see them struggling.

In the interim period between the Wycombe friendly and the Dunstable game, I had also made friends with Sam's mate Kyle, so a meet between the 3 of us was arranged. On the day I was aiming to get there by 7.15, so left at 6 to allow time for traffic. Thankfully there wasn't any and I arrived 25 minutes before our meet time. I parked up and took some pictures of the outside of the ground before going and taking a look at the impressive and modern bar, the complex was a far cry from the ramshackle setup I had stopped to take pictures of on the way back from collecting a parcel about 6 years ago! I met Sam and Kyle outside and after paying a very reasonable £5 to get in and £1 for a basic but well-presented programme we made our way into the ground. After taking some pictures of the ground and getting some chips, we settled for a space behind the goal and with plenty of time still to go till kick off, we had a chat about everyone's favourite subject - football of course! Prior to the game, I saw that ex Wycombe defender Glyn Creaser was now coaching Aylesbury United, he looked a lot more trim than he did for our Legends game back in May.

The game kicked off at 7.45 and was an entertaining affair, made all the better by some great company and banter. The home side took the lead after 15 minutes when the ball was bundled in from a corner. Up until this time AFC Dunstable had deserved the lead, but it only lasted for 3 minutes. Joey Acheampong slotted through the keeper's legs for an almost instant reply. Despite Aylesbury having the better of the game until half time it remained level at the interval. I went and took some more pictures of the ground during the interval and noticed from looking at the team sheet that ex QPR striker Kevin Gallen was playing for the Ducks. Later on, I also discovered that they have Mark Bircham on their books, sadly neither made an appearance on the night. 
The second half was started in much the same vein as the first, with AFC Dunstable meriting their lead that they took on 52 minutes when Graham Clark shot from the edge of the area and it crept in past the Ducks keeper Jack Sillitoe. Talking of the keeper, he was a bit on the tubby side and so we had cracking banter with him, offering him some of the food that Sam had bought. Aylesbury took control of the game again and got their second equaliser on 72 minutes when Ben Butler headed from the corner. There were further chances for both sides, mainly the Ducks but in the end, both sides settled for the draw.

At the end of the game,I drove we all shook hands with the keeper who had taken the banter in good spirit. After giving Sam and Kyle a lift back to nearby Houghton Regis, I drove home. After making good progress I was back home before 10.45 and went to bed, having another early start the next morning.


I'd originally spotted this game after it had been postponed recently and vowed to try and go to the rematch. It was pretty much a decider to see who went down from the Southern Premier with the two teams well adrift at the bottom. I was glad when it was scheduled for a Thursday that I was free, but after a busy week of football, I almost decided against it with games four days in a row. However, the Dunstable Town secretary, Andrew Madaras, spotted that I was considering going and invited me along as his guest. He said that he had been enjoying my blog for years, which was much appreciated. I really only do it to note down memories for myself and to help others plan visits to the ground by providing information about my day out. So, the fairly small readership does not bother me, though it does grate that the vast majority of clubs can't be bothered to retweet my blogs, especially when I spend around three to four hours on each one and a considerable amount of time and money attending the games themselves. The best thing that has come out of my blog is meeting new people who have read the blog, some of which have become really good friends which is also the whole reason I am on social media as football is so much better with company.

The day of the game came and it was another day at work, with me getting back home around 2 after stopping at a couple of shops. Despite the 4 am start, I didn't need an afternoon nap as per usual and so I cracked on with my blog from Tuesday, including putting a video together with the limited highlights that I'd cobbled together. I also decided to sacrifice tomorrows game at an as yet to be decided venue, as I could do with a night in to catch up. I was glad to see that my mate Chris from Kings Langley was going to the game and spent the latter part of the afternoon trying to redo some of my blog ready for tonight. I saw that the town was around a mile away and considered whether it might be worth ticking the local Wetherspoons, the Gary Cooper if I got time. I don't normally drink during the week, but I found out that I can park halfway between in a side road and am unlikely to get another chance any time soon. After having a nice dinner of a chilli stir-fry, I got my things together and left at 6.15. I had a good run, getting there at 7. In the end, I decided against going to my pub stop, instead going straight to the ground.

After parking in a car park around 5 minutes from the ground I walked to the ground, having a good chat with Chris before the game. I got a pint of Strongbow from the bar, it wasn't the best but was only £3.10 and put a little bit in the club kitty. There was a minutes silence before the game for a recently deceased Dunstable fan which was impeccably observed by all. I also got Scampi and chips for the great price of £2, being able to watch the game while they cooked it. Later on, I got a Bovril and also bumped into the secretary who made me feel very welcome. Both of tonight's teams had enjoyed notable wins in recent times, Gosport smashing troubled Frome Town 7-0 on Saturday to draw level on points before Dunstable Town won their game in hand on Tuesday to restore the three-point cushion. A win would guarantee survival for Dunstable, whereas a Gosport win or a draw would see them take the battle to the final day of the season. Dunstable players were all on amateur contracts due to budget constraints at the club, so they were mainly youngsters that I didn't recognise the names of. The visitors meanwhile had a number of notable names including former Wycombe midfielder James Harper who gave a hilarious interview on his first day at the club, but was dire on the pitch.

Gosport had brought good support and they were the brightest side at the start. They weren't creating much though, whereas Dunstable forced a great save out of visiting keeper Patrick O'Flaherty who did well to tip a rasping shot over the bar. The hosts also had a shot cleared off of the line and looked dangerous on the break. Rowan Vine came closest for Gosport, his drive going into the side netting on 40 minutes. The score was level at the break but Dunstable were still holding on. They improved a little in the second half, keeping Gosport at bay but never really creating any chances of note. The visitors took the lead on 73 minutes, a long throw was put in from the right and former Hayes & Yeading striker Ben Wright poked home from within a crowded penalty area. The second was a goal from journeyman Craig McCallister, most famous for a productive spell at Crawley Town. His close-range shot on 81 minutes deceived Dunstable goalkeeper Nathan Harness and from then on there was no danger of the points heading anywhere but back to Hampshire. On the field, the visitors were a cut above, but Dunstable were top class hosts, which I was very grateful for. It all goes down to Saturday now, both sides facing trips to mid-table opposition. Gosport have a two-goal advantage and travel to St Neots Town while Dunstable travel to Frome who will be a tougher opponent than when they surrendered to Gosport last weekend. I headed home with the other 352 fans, having had a good night. I left at 9.50, getting back at 10.30 after a decent journey.


CREASEY PARK has been much improved in recent times, the ground being completely rebuilt and looking like a smart home for the town's 2 sides.The 2 covered sides are both Arena type stands, which are becoming very common these days. There is seating for around 150 and standing for around 250, along the side and behind the goal. The other end is hard standing in front of grass banking, whilst the other side houses the bar and dressing rooms amongst other things.

The bar is really smart and a community hub with several different groups and activities meeting there. The range of drinks is pretty standard, but the food is good with some real imagination in the choices and some dishes named after old players such as Barry Fries and the (George) Besty Burger. I didn't see a club shop sadly, but you can order stuff online from their website. The ground is very close to the town and there are a number of good looking pubs including The Gary Cooper which is a Wetherspoons outlet, The Globe and The Pheasant Inn. Of course, with it being the town, there are plenty of takeaways too.


1: Ground facilities & condition (for the level)
Well kept but had only metal stands (5)

2: Area around the ground (parking, food/drink, public transport)
A mile from town, lots of parking (6)

3: Welcome / Club Friendliness
Made to feel very welcome (9)

4: Value for money
Complimentary entry (10)

5: Social Media & Website
Both excellent (8)

6: Programme
Free, well presented, online only (8)

7: Game entertainment
Tense, but reasonably entertaining (6)

8: Tea Bar
Lots of choices and great value, friendly but service variable (8)

9: Bar / Clubhouse
Small and basic range but smart (6)

10: Club Shop
None (-)