Monday 30 May 2022

Leyton Orient - Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient FC
The Matchroom Stadium
Brisbane Road
E10 5NF

0871 310 1881
Official Website

Ground Number: 99
Saturday 20th November 2004
Leyton Orient 1-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca Cola League 2


1:  The club was established in 1881 as Glyn Cricket Club with the players wanting to play a winter sport. From 1886 until 1888, they were called Eagle Cricket Club. From 1888 until 1946, they were known as Clapton Orient. They changed their name to Leyton Orient in following the end of the Second World War and have retained that identity to this day, aside from between 1966 and 1987 when they were known as Orient.
 2:  The 12 history books written on the club by its historian Neilson N. Kaufman between 1974 and 2015 suggest that the choice of the name Orient came about at the behest of a player, Jack R Dearing, who was an employee of the Orient Steam Navigation Company, later part of P&O – Peninsular & Oriental.

3:  The club's initial home was at the cricket club in Glyn Road. From 1886 until 1930, they played at the Clapton Stadium on Millfields. Primarily a greyhound stadium, it had a capacity of 35,000 at its height of operation. However, high rental costs saw them decamp to the Lea Bridge stadium in Walthamstow. The ground was beset with issues though and they had to find alternative venues such as Wembley and Highbury, following complaints from opponents. They've been at Brisbane Road since 1938, developing it over the years to meet their needs. 

4:  The club played in the London League and Southern League prior to joining the Football League in 1905. Following a 112 year stint, they returned to non-league for a couple of seasons, finishing mid-table during 2017/18 but winning the title the following year. 

5:  The club's highest position came in 1963 when they spent their only season in the top flight, finishing bottom. This was following on from the 1961/62 season when they finished as runners up to Liverpool in the 2nd Division. Their lowest position was rock bottom of the Football League in 2017. 

6:  Cup highlights include reaching the FA Cup Semi-Final in 1978. They overcame Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea & Middlesbrough before losing 3-0 to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. This century has not been too kind to them though, with defeats to Margate, Maidstone United and Maldon & Tiptree in the last 20 years. Their best run in the League Cup came in 1963 when they lost in the Quarter Finals to Bury. The club also made the finals of the FA Trophy in 2019 and the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1977.  

7:  Probably the most well-known part of Leyton Orient in popular culture is the 1995 documentary 'Orient: Club For A Fiver'. Originally shot by student Jo Trehearne as part of a project, it was so memorable that it was commissioned by Channel 4. 1994-5 would be one of Orient's worst seasons ever. The team failed to win away from home all season and suffered a run of eight games where they failed to score at all. Finishing bottom of the table, they ended the season with a run of nine straight defeats. Manager John Sitton went on some memorable rants, famously sacking a player at halftime during a defeat to Blackpool. The trouble mainly came about after owner Tony Wood's coffee business collapsed because of far more serious events in Rwanda. In just 100 days in 1994, about 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin.

8:  The madness continued into the next season. Orient's relegation did not spark an upturn in form and the club finished near the bottom of what is now League 2. However, for once the madness came from their opponents during Bobby Gould's crazy spell as Wales boss. That is covered at length elsewhere and this game is just the tip of the iceberg. Wales were preparing for a game against San Marino and Gould fixed up a friendly against Orient as he thought that would be ideal preparation. The idea backfired as Leyton Orient won 2-1, the winner coming from Peter Garland, recently released by Charlton Athletic.


9: Famous Leyton Orient fans include  Bob Mills (comedian and radio presenter), Daniel Mays (actor who played Jim Keats in Ashes To Ashes and the investigation officer in 'Des' - a film about Dennis Nilsen) and Andrew Lloyd-Webber (classical music) 

10:  The players to have played for both Leyton Orient and Wycombe Wanderers are numerous. The best from a Chairboys perspective include:

Terry Howard - famously sacked in the aforementioned documentary, went on to have a great spell with Wycombe

Peter Garland - a good loan spell with Wycombe in 1995, went on to score that winner against Wales

Paul Hyde- a goalkeeper who won promotion to the Football League with Wycombe

Darren Currie - skilful midfielder, nephew of Tony Currie

Scott McGleish - prolific goalscorer for several clubs

Michael Simpson - a battling midfielder who played 339 times for Wycombe

Scott Kashket - Midfielder / Striker bombed out of Orient by their antisemitic owner Francesco Becchetti, just one of many despicable acts by him. Recovered to have an excellent career at Wycombe but was released last year and joined Crewe Alexandra.

VISIT 1: ORIENT 1-2 WYCOMBE (L2 - 20/11/04)

My first visit to Brisbane Road came in November 2004. Wycombe were still reeling from the poor form under, and the departure of Manager Tony Adams. In charge were Keith Ryan and Steve Brown, 2 Wycombe legends who had the full support of the crowd. Wycombe had not won for 10 games and things looked bleak when Wayne Carlisle gave Orient a 28th minute lead from a free-kick. After half time though, the game changed and it took just 3 minutes from the restart for Nathan Tyson to get the equaliser. And it was a huge weight off Wycombe's shoulders when Roger Johnson got the winner on 67 minutes. The match had a punch up after David Hunt was sent off for a high tackle on Tyson, but it was the 3 points that meant the most to the travelling support.

VISIT 2: ORIENT 1-0 WYCOMBE (L2 - 25/03/06)

This visit was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I'd been to Charlton v Middlesbrough on the Thursday night and had consumed a Chicken Biriyani that had not been cooked properly before the game. So come midnight I was being sick, had stomach cramps and was sh*tting through the eye of the needle. I was told by the doctor that it was due to the rice being reheated.

Anyway, I felt like dirt, and come kick-off I had not eaten for 36 hours at kick-off time. But I was in the midst of a 7-year run without missing a game and there was no way I was going to miss this one. Though Wycombe put in a reasonable performance we lost 1-0 to add to my woes. Though at least I was recovering from my illness and I eat my first meal in 2 days when I got home.

VISIT 3: ORIENT 2-0 WYCOMBE (L1 - 01/05/10)

Wycombe had been taken over by Gary Waddock midway through this season, and had improved greatly after a dismal start under Peter Taylor who played dire football. The on pitch style improved greatly though the results took a while to improve. This game was our last chance saloon and though we gave the playoff chasing O's a good game we went down 2-0 and were relegated. The team were still given a good reception by the fans though at the end as we went down fighting, unlike our previous relegation under Tony Adams.

VISIT 4: ORIENT 1-3 WYCOMBE (L1 - 16/08/11)

Wycombe gained their first win of the season at Leyton Orient, with goals from Ben Strevens, Joel Grant and Scott Donnelly. Orient were struggling at the time but fate would decree that they would stay up and Gary Waddock would get Wycombe relegated for the second time, amidst ownership troubles and threats to the ownership of out ground. Waddock took a much more pragmatic approach this time round and the football was not great - nor were the results with twin 6-0 defeats to Huddersfield Town - both live on Sky. This at least was a good day out, with me discovering the Punjabi Grill and having a couple of pints with fellow Chairboys in a local pub.

VISIT 5: ORIENT 1-1 WYCOMBE (L1 - 19/09/15)

On the day of the game I woke up at 8.30. I played Football Manager for half an hour before having a bath and getting some breakfast. By 10.15 I was ready to go and so after popping into Iceland and getting some diet Irn Bru and some chicken I parked up in a road around 5 minutes walk from Amersham station and caught the 10.49 train to Liverpool Street. Around an hour and a 5 minutes later I was at my destination and I walked the 5 minutes to Williams Ale &  Cider House and had a pint of Gwatkin No Bull. It was very nice but a little too sweet for my liking and it was very pricey at £4.80 a pint. Even at the Wetherspoons away from the station it was £4.10 for a  pint of Strongbow Dark Fruits.

I'd had enough of expensive central London and so I got back onto the train and made the 20 minute trip to Leyton. It was 1.30 by now and so I went for a pint in the  Leyton Orient supporters club which was very good, even though they only did Westons (albeit 4 different types) After I'd had some Wyld Wood I went to get my lunch at an excellent establishment called Punjabi Dera. I  had myself a triple paratha kebab and meat samosa which was huge and cost well under a fiver. Just before 2.30 I finished up and went in the ground.

The game was very good and Wycombe were unlucky to only get a 1-1 draw. They dominated the game for the most part and led through Matt Bloomfield's goal on 40 minutes. They had several chances to extend their lead but didn't take any of them. Orient scored on the break through Jay Simpson and had their best period after this. Proceedings were temporarily halted as someone sat in the Orient home end invaded the pitch and for the remaining 10 minutes looked the side most likely to win. Wycombe fans were in fine voice, singing loud and proud all game whilst their Brisbane Road counterparts only piped up once they had scored.

As ever it had been an excellent day out with decent and friendly opposing fans and club. I got straight on the train at Leyton station and was back at Liverpool Street by 5.30. Getting back to Amersham from there was a bit of a faff with a few train changes and it wasn't until nearly 7.30 that I got back to Amersham, getting home just before 8. I was back at work so I had a couple of drinks before watching Match Of The Day and going to sleep.


I wasn't originally going to do a blog for this game, but when I checked on the day of the game, I thought it could do with a tidy up and a few bits adding. I'd decided to go to this game around a month ago when I saw that all of the Essex Alliance Cup Finals were being played at Leyton Orient and Dagenham. With the obsessive in me wanting to see a game on every day of the year, this was ideal for me as 30th May is the only day outside of June and Christmas Day that I've not been to a game on. Leyton Orient is one of the better away days in London and I was looking forward to the revisit. Sadly the takeaway that I really liked had gone, so I'd have to find somewhere new. I also shelved plans for a few pints after a heavy day on the booze on Saturday.
I didn't know whether I was going to go from Amersham or Wycombe Station. On the end, I chose Amersham, it worked out cheaper and I could park nearer the station. It was of course work on the day of the game and with it being half term, the place was full of irritating unsupervised brats. It meant the roads were quieter though, and I kept my head down and got on with the job. It was packed, but soon enough, it was home time. I drove to Amersham, parking up a few minutes away from the station. For once, luck was on my side and I only had a couple of minutes to wait for my Chiltern train to Harrow On The Hill. It was then a change at Liverpool Street, everything running smoothly and taking around an hour and twenty minutes. I'd killed time on the train researching Leyton Orient but there was still plenty to do. I headed to Poundland for a drink of Irn Bru before going to see the Laurie Cunningham statue in the park. I was ready for dinner now and it was nice to get inside as it had started to get rainy and chilly. I selected a Piri Piri place called Five Lads for my meal, a play on the famous Five Guys chain. The boneless half chicken meal seemed decent value for £7.99. They were doing a lot of business and it was easy to see why as my meal was excellent, maybe the best of the season. From there it was a few minutes to the ground. It was nice to go up through the executive entrance and see the corporate things. Entry, programme and T-shirt were a bargain £5. The seat had a great view right on halfway was padded too.
League champions DTFC were playing their last game under their current name. They'll be known as Canons Wood from next season and will play at step 6 of the Non-league pyramid. They got to the final by beating Kit Out London 5-1, winning 1-0 at Tower United before a 3-1 win in the semi-final at Woodford East. Lymore Gardens had beaten Blue Marlin 3-2 and Chigwell Town 4-0 before a 4-1 at FC Petrocub in the semis. DTFC came close with the first real chance on the break after a couple of minutes. They forced a good save out of the keeper and then hit the bar. They were not to be denied for long and on 7 minutes, they took the lead. It was a lovely low shot on the turn from Billy Golledge from the edge of the area and they looked the better side for the rest of the half. Golledge got his second on 35 minutes, heading in a right-wing cross. They started the second period well too, hitting the post from a free-kick. It looked to be game over on 63 minutes when Ashley Campbell headed home a corner but Lymore Gardens had started to get back into the game. Following a number of close calls, their raucous support got the goal they deserved on 78 minutes. Benjamin Sumaili poked home from close range to make 3-1. As Lymore piled the pressure on, a DT man was sent off for a foul. From the resulting free-kick, there was a further infringement in the box. Though the spot-kick was initially saved, Andre Rashford who had looked handy all night followed up in the eighth minute of injury time. There was only time to kick off before the final whistle of a decent game. It had been feisty at times and before the trophy was presented, the DT team went into the crowd and there was a bit of handbags. They were the better team and should do well under their new identity next season but who knows what might have been had Lymore Gardens got into the game earlier. 

Overall, it had been a great end to the season. Leyton Orient have had some bonkers things happen in their history and it was good to update my blog. It is also one of the better away days in London. It was just a shame that all of the grounds in the Alliance are very basic but I can see me going to some finals again next season. The whole thing was great value and well organised, although there were a lot of people not used to going to games that were up and down all game. I remedied that by moving to a quiet part of the stand in the second half, the attendance was very good, around 600 I reckon. Certainly, good value helped. There have been some scandalous prices about lately - £44 for the cheapest ticket in a terrible stadium for the national league final. Also season tickets at Barnet and Kings Lynn cost more than Wycombe, even after ours were substantially hiked last year. The trains were not as regular on the way home but I still made good time. It was a single change at Liverpool Street, less than ten minutes wait but a slower Metropolitan Line train all the way back to Amersham. I was back by 11.25 and back home within 20 minutes after walking back to my car. I stayed up until the early hours as I was not tired but was glad to update my blog.


BRISBANE ROAD is a smart modern ground that still retains some of the character and charm of before it was rebuilt for modern football. It is now all seated and has flats in each corner of the ground so that the residents can watch the game for free. Being an older ground that has been rebuilt, there are a lot of takeaways and pubs around the ground. The pubs are the usual fare, but there is an excellent takeaway called the Dera Punjab Grill which does all sorts of kebabs, curries and Indian food at great prices. There is also an excellent supporters club which costs £1 to enter, but buy a couple of pints and you will have made that money back on the cheap pints. They do a number of real ales, plus ciders from Westons.

Overall it's a cracking day out with decent friendly supporters and plenty of choices to eat, drink and be merry.

WEST STAND (under construction in 2004)

NORTH STAND (Under construction in 2004)


EAST STAND (Away fans get South side)



Saturday 28 May 2022

Sungate - Ilford Wanderers RFC

Sungate FC
IWRFC Sports Ground
Forest Road

Ground Number: 1077
Saturday 28th May 2022
Sungate 0-3 Canning Town
Essex Olympian Premier


The club was established in 2003 although from my research, it's unclear where they spent their early years. In 2008 they joined the Essex Olympian League, starting in Division 2. They were champions in their first season and finished a credible 5th in their first season in Division 1. However, in 2011, they finished second-bottom and were relegated. The slide did not stop and the following season, another second-bottom finish, this time amassing just five points after deductions. Sungate would spend four seasons in Division 3, finishing as runners-up behind Benfleet in 2016. This was the start of a rapid rise and they were Division 2 champions in 2017 before a 4th place finish in Division 1 the following year was good enough for promotion to the Premier Division. and they have been there ever since. Their best finish came during the two pandemic interrupted seasons when they finished 4th on PPG. In terms of complete seasons, this year will be the best yet for the side, regardless of the result on my visit.

In terms of local cups, Sungate won this season's Essex Premier Cup. Starting in the 1st Round in September, they won 3-0 at Barnston. Next up was a thumping 6-0 win at Wivenhoe Town Reserves before a 4-0 win against Wakering Sports. In the 4th Round, Harold Hill were beaten 5-1 before they beat Basildon Town 5-3 after extra time in the Quarter Finals. The semi-final actually saw Sungate lose 2-1 to Catholic United although their opponents were subsequently removed from the competition as they fielded an ineligible player. The final was played at Billericay Town on 13th April with Sungate beating Woodford East 2-0.

The club uses a pitch at Ilford Wanderers Rugby Football Club for their games. They play in the 'London 3 Essex' league which sits at the eighth level of rugby union. The club is based near Hainault which has a population of around 12,000. They are based on the Ilford side of the district which has a population of just over 168,000. The main football team is Ilford of the Essex Senior League whilst Barkingside also play at the stadium which is also used for athletics. Famous people from Ilford include Tamzin Outhwaite, Noel Edmonds, Nigel Benn, Paul Ince and Sean Maguire.



When looking for games on my last Saturday of the season, Sungate was the one that stood out.  I did wonder if they had any connection to the old Collier Row FC, but they still exist in the lower reaches of the Essex Olympian League. Sungate was the name of their ground and this has long been demolished and appears to be now used as a coach park, somewhere near the Whalebone Garden Centre and Sungate MOT Centre. They were a famous old name in non-league and had a connection to the current Romford FC, so I'll probably delve deeper into their history when and if Romford returns home. Being right at the end of the season, the options were getting really thin. With a decent likelihood of a postponement due to 'unable to fulfill' I had some backups in place. The better two of these were both reserve teams. Woodnesborough had the better ground but Benfleet - who now were sharing at Canvey Island, had the more interesting history. There was also Southend Rangers at the Len Forge Stadium. 

The previous Saturday was Wycombe's big day at Wembley and I tried to make the best of it. It was a nice walk down town, followed by a pleasant couple of drinks at my usual pub. My lunch from German Doner Kebab was a bit mediocre but it was great to meet up with my brother. The organisation of the trains at the Wycombe end was also very good, but once we got to Wembley, it all went downhill. The Wycombe fan zone was closed before kick-off and the authoritarian rules prevented street drinking. Stewards just pushed people out the way when they wanted to get past and the turnstile queues took an eternity. At least my seat was good, a very decent view for £42 but the food in the stadium was limited and overpriced and there wasn't even a cider on offer. We didn't do much on the pitch either, losing 2-0 to Sunderland who were the better team. The worst bit was coming back, a two and a half-hour queue for the train due to poor organisation, lack of signposting and communication. Overall, a very poor experience at our national stadium and I hope that I never have to visit there again.

Looking forward to this Saturday, the game and venue were pretty decent. The only thing that was poor was the selection of cider pubs and so after much frustration, I came to the conclusion that I'd have to sort something in Central London. In the end, I settled for yet another visit to the Cider Stall at Borough Market where there was also a decent range of food stalls. There was a kebab shop near the ground in case I fancied eating later. With some doubts over whether the game would be going ahead, I was pleased to see that the two sides had drawn 1-1 the previous evening. The week progressed without much incident and it was a relaxed Friday night with a few ciders, the highlight as ever being from Ross, my favourite maker.
I got a fairly early night but had a rubbish night's sleep, around five hours. I woke at 4 and couldn't get back to sleep. I watched YouTube and listened to some podcasts for a few hours before getting up and having a shower and breakfast. After getting dressed, I left at 8am, forgetting my main camera but at least my phone does a decent job. I was at the train station well in advance of my 9.26 train but a faulty ticket machine led to delays and I made the train with a few minutes to spare. It was disappointing to see so many people out and about as I like my space but at least they were a fairly quiet bunch. I got to Marylebone and walked to Baker Street with the Jubilee line packed too. I was at Borough Market by 10.30. There was a disappointment on the cider stall front with me having to wait 15 minutes for them to open and then they only did so partially. Not the smartest idea to refurbish your shop on a Saturday but at least I got a pint of Nightingale Nightbird, a decent drop. I then found the nearest Wetherspoons that did Black Dragon, The Knights Templar. It was a pleasant walk along the Thames and Fleet Street but when I got there, it was closed. Luckily, an alternative was available and the Shakespeare's Head on Holborn provided me with my pint, albeit at London Prices of £5.10. The phone signal was not great though and online ordering was turned off, so I just had my pint and headed to the station. For a relatively obscure station such as Hainault, I needed a change at Woodford but at least I was on my way. The pitfalls of the Underground meant no Internet, so I had to make do with a saved audiobook to keep me entertained. It was nice to have a seat and after an 8-minute wait at Woodford, I was on my way. I was in Hainault by 1.20 and after going to a shop for drinks, headed to the Hainault BBQ. The Doner Lahmacun and chips were excellent for £9 and filled me right up. I was at the ground 15 minutes before kickoff, bumping into several hoppers who had come over.
 The two sides had drawn 1-1 on Tuesday and prior to that, the hosts were in mixed form. They'd lost 2-0 to Old Southendians but had won 4-2 at Harold Wood Athletic. Canning Town had lost 3-2 to Catholic United but beaten Bishops Stortford Swifts 3-0. Canning Town had triumphed 3-2 in a cup final at Bishops Stortford on 10th May, so it was shaping up to be a decent game. Canning Town were on top early on but Sungate soon took control and hit the bar on 15 minutes. They also forced a good save out of the visiting keeper on 35 minutes as he plucked a shot out of the top right-hand corner. Though Sungate had the better of the opening period, Canning Town took the game to the hosts at the start of the second. The game soon died a death though and it looked as if we may be heading for a 0-0. But nine minutes from time Callum Newson drove a shot into the roof of the net, though the defending could have been better. Thogo made sure of the result a minute from time He had not appeared in their team in recent times but had confirmed the result, tapping home a right-sided pass from a few yards out. In the last minute, Newson grabbed his second, making it 3-0 on the break.
Following the game, I said my goodbyes. I'd made the decision to visit the Hop Inn Micropub in Hornchurch, trying to get a bit of value out of my travelcard. The bus to Romford came every 8-11 minutes according to the sign and they were plentiful the other way, but I had nearly 20 minutes wait. I reflected on the game which had its bright spots but could have easily ended 0-0 after a lacklustre second half. I was at Romford by around 5.40. I could have got another bus but instead walked to the station and got the 5.11 to Emerson Park. It took a bit longer but was far simpler. The time really dragged but eventually, we were on our way and I got to Emerson Park at 5.16. The Hop Inn was a few minutes' walk away and well worth the detour. The people were super friendly and my first pint of Ross Dabinett and Bisquet was simply sublime, one of the best ciders that I've had. The next one was Pilton Labyrinth, also very pleasant, though not as good. It took a fair bit of willpower to tear myself away, but I did go to their shop next door. An Irish cider and a retry of the excellent Duckchicken Giggle juice set me back £16.50, but these wonderful businesses deserve support. I headed for home, Google Maps said to change at Stratford. It was there I spotted the Jubilee line and decided on the diversion of The Miller at London Bridge. I had a pint of Perry's Farmhouse, a bit sweet for my liking. But after a good relaxation, it was a convivial atmosphere on the way home with the usual admiration for Akinfenwa once people saw my Wycombe shirt. It just made me happier as I headed back to Baker Street. I had a walk to Marylebone and around 15 minutes wait for my train. I was back home around 9.20 and I visited our local Chinese for Singapore Vermicelli and chicken wings. These were eaten on the way home and I listened to random stuff before remembering there was a game on. 3rd place in the English league Liverpool played the La Liga Runners-up Real Madrid in the 'Champions' League final It was a win for the Spanish side with a lot of help from former Tottenham and Chelsea players. It baffles me how Liverpool managed to finish behind Manchester United last season as no one has been able to touch them and Man City this season.

I was back in by 11 and cracked open a bottle for the last of the night. I was hoping for bed by 1am, allowing 6 hours of sleep. In the end, I awoke around 6.15 the following morning. This will be the last blog for a while. The end of season awards and summary will be out in mid-June, but not before the servicing bills for my car have landed. I'm not expecting it to be cheap having had a few issues this year but that is the way I work out my expenses. Owning a car is always going to cost something, even if standing still and that is why I don't count insurance and depreciation in my football costs. Who knows what it will cost, but I'll use those figures to work out what to charge people next season and also to compare costs versus public transport.
So, that's it for new grounds this season. I was aiming to do games on every day of the year and 30th May will see me complete the month with a game at Leyton Orient between DTFC and Lymore Gardens. I've been to games on 4th June and 11th June and so it'll be a couple of days off for me. I did consider the National Christian Cup at Hemel on 4th June, but the £10 entry fee and the unreliable bus service put me off. It would have seen me tick another Spoons and also visit a Micropub but maybe Wycombe might get them in a pre-season friendly. My new season should start on 18th June with a game between Bermondsey Town and Estudiantes LDN, a revisit to Fisher I presume. Until then, I have the unappealing prospect of the worst weekend of the year. It might be a four day weekend for some, but it is just the standard Saturday off for me. All for something that it seems rather crass to celebrate a super-rich family who wants for nothing whilst a large number of people are forced to use food banks. A ludicrous £12m was spent on getting, at best, a lecherous old man avoiding criminal charges and I think it could have been spent better.


ILFORD WANDERERS SPORTS GROUND is an excellent setup for a step 7 side. The pitch was immaculate and fully railed. Rugby and cricket are also played there and there was a smart clubhouse which did food. Further afield is Hainault BBQ takeaway which was good and there are a few convenience stores too. The ground is well located for Hainault Station, less than ten minutes walk away.