Saturday, 14 May 2022

Springfield - Springfield Hall Park

Springfield FC
Springfield Hall Park
Arun Close 

01245 492441

Ground Number: 1074
Saturday 14th May 2022
Springfield 0-3 Galleywood
Essex Olympian Premier


The club was established in 1935. Up until 2002, they played at Pollards Meadow, moving to their current home at Springfield Hall Meadow. They played in local leagues up until 1980 when they joined the Essex Olympian League. From 1986 until 2006, the league was known as the Essex Intermediate League before reverting to its original name. By then, Springfield had already had two runners-up spots, firstly to Herongate Athletic and then Rayleigh Town. The club suffered a turbulent start to the 1990s, firstly dropping to Division 2 following a reorganization and then being relegated to Division 3. They'd remain there until 1995, finally gaining promotion back following a runners-up spot to Great Baddow on goal difference. However, they'd only last a couple of seasons in Division 2 before being relegated once more in 1997. In 2004, a 3rd place spot behind Faces and Galleywood saw them gain promotion back up. Division 2 was renamed Division 1 in 2007 but Springfield would suffer a couple of relegations to find themselves in Division 3 by 2009. It was a great start to the 2010s for the club as successive title wins in 2011 and 2012 saw them back in Division 1. A credible 4th place was followed up with a runners-up spot behind Newham United in 2014 to see them return to the top tier of the Essex Olympian League for the first time since 1989. They've been in the Premier Division ever since and reached the pinnacle of the club's history in 2017 when they were crowned Essex Olympian League champions.

The club has not played in the FA Cup or FA Vase due to a lack of facilities and standing. The only cup honour is the Essex Olympian League Senior Challenge Cup in 1984 (Shared). They've been runners-up in the Anagram Trophy (2016), the Essex Olympian League Cup (1982 & 2013), and the Denny King Memorial Cup (2005). Springfield has been a civil parish of the Borough of Chelmsford in Essex, England since 1907. The parish takes in the portion of the town north of river Chelmer and west of the A12 bypass and originally comprised the manors of Springfield Hall, Springfield Barnes (now Chelmer Village), Cuton Hall, and in part New Hall (now Beaulieu Park). It is located around a mile from Chelsmford and has a population of around 17,500. Local rivals include Galleywood whilst Chelmsford City is the prominent team in the area.


Since I last updated this blog around 8 PM last Saturday, there had been a lot of drama. I'd last been typing my blog on the floor of Westbury station and thankfully, the 20:26 to London had turned up. I got that but knowing I was taking an unofficial route, spotted the inspector and nipped into the bog. Once he had gone, I was clear to go back to my seat and nip out of Paddington and into Marylebone via the disabled gate, though it was still a £2.50 underground fare between the two stations. I was back at Wycombe by 10:30, an hour later than intended and for the second weekend in succession got in past midnight after my walk home. Sunday was the usual joyless experience at work, but I did have a game to look forward to, even if it was only on the TV. In the first game I've watched on the box since the Euro 2020 Final, Wycombe progressed to the playoff final at Wembley, despite a 1-0 defeat to Milton Keynes. It was one in the eye for a club that had only given Wycombe the bare minimum of tickets despite the stadium being a little over a third full. There were stories of groups being deliberately split up by being given odd tickets but it didn't stop the fans from being in great voice. They were rewarded with a resolute performance by their team and although it was like a siege on our goal at times, we got through. I had a few drinks of course and it had been my booziest weekend of the year so far. With that in mind, I was looking forward to a sober week and most of Saturday too as I'd decided to drive to Cranleigh, rather than find something on public transport. However, that was called off on Thursday night due to the away side forfeiting and so with limited options, I decided on the Chelmsford derby between Springfield and Galleywood.


The ticket information for Wycpmbe's trip to Wembley was released at 4 PM on Tuesday and it was a huge disappointment. Just like when we played Southend United in 2014, they sold all the low down seats first, meaning that if you wanted a decent view, you'd have to wait or may be out of luck altogether. Looking at the prices, I think I can see why as all the low down ones are more expensive for some reason. The ones higher up - block 503 for example are actually not bad value for a playoff final. It is disappointing that Wembley Stadium treats lower-league fans with contempt as I've actually had some good experiences with England games when I've gone higher up. However, the experience has always been poor and not fitting for a special occasion from the lower seats. When they went on sale, they shifted quickly as people rushed to buy tickets, and in the end, I secured a seat in my favoured block of 501. Wembley is far from ideal for watching football due to the gaps around the pitch but hopefully, the extra height will negate the distance from the pitch. I initially wasn't really looking forward to the hassle of all the rules and designated entry time as well as the crowds but once my ticket was secured, I was in a far better frame of mind. My ticket was a very reasonable £42 and with my Railcard expiring just a couple of days before, I renewed that too, ensuring good value train travel.

A nice looking arch at Baker Street Station, plus an amusing Reading FC sticker on the train

I'd initially planned to go to Lemsford Reserves against Hemel Hempstead Rovers on Tuesday, only for it to be called off a few hours before kick-off. Credit to the away side, they initially said it was on, but then said they could only get together eight players, which saved me a wasted journey. It did mean that I'd spent time doing research for my blog, but will just use it for when I go and see their first team as it is a pretty decent ground. As it was only 13 miles away, I decided on a revisit to Chipperfield Corinthians. taking Colin and meeting Dan & Richard. In good company, we saw a really good first half and a not-so-good second half with the game ending 1-1. Thursday bought the disappointing news that my game had gone and though plenty of options were available, I opted for Springfield as it was a railed pitch and a decent day out on the train. It was an uneventful and sober Friday night as I aimed to get a reasonable night's sleep for once.
The Ale House in Chelmsford. Excellent place, and gives you dodgy-looking pints on the house, tasted fine though! 

As it turned out, despite going to bed at 11, it wasn't the best night's sleep and I took a while to get going the next morning when my alarm went off at 7. I had breakfast before I left at 7.40, knowing I couldn't afford to hang about if I wanted to get the 8.57 train. I made it by ten minutes and was glad, as owing to a cancellation, I'd have had to wait 45 minutes until the next one. I was glad to see confirmation that the game was on as there are a lot of unfulfilled games at this time of the season. I got to Marylebone, walked to Baker Street, and got the Circle Line to Liverpool Street. It was just over 20 minutes until my train, so I decamped to the Hamilton Hall Wetherspoons for a pint of Black Dragon. I was open to getting the 11.00 train but it slipped down very easily and I caught the 10.30, arriving in good time. The Greater Anglia service was busier than I'd have liked, but still probably the best train company I have used this season. Pleasant, clean trains and USB chargers, all with prices that are good value with a railcard. It's just a shame it gets a bit pricey towards Norfolk and Suffolk as it is an area I would like to explore. I was in Chelmsford just before 11 and so headed straight to the Ale House. It was a brilliant place, near the bus station. My first pint was Sandford Orchards Apple & Oak for £5.20. It was very nice and I was delighted to be the only customer in the place. I bagged myself a nice table and got out my laptop. Unable to negotiate a deal with EE due to the hoops that I had to jump through to access the live chat service, I signed up for an unlimited everything deal with ID Mobile for £28.99 a month, getting a Google Pixel 6 in the process. EE had served me well over the past couple of years but it was time for a new phone, even if I had to pay a little extra for leaving early. I then had a second pint of Panting Partridge, free as the colour was a bit funny but nice all the same. From there to the previously sampled Pizza 45, and a greedy 15" Mexicana for the decent price of £7.99. This kept me full for the walk to the ground with me getting there 20 minutes before kick-off. The pizza was OK, but not as nice as last time and I wished I'd had something different.

The two sides were well matched with Springfield in 13th and Galleywood in 14th. The two sides were also local rivals, just five miles separating the sides with Galleywood being a few miles south of the city centre. Springfield were in disappointing form but were unbeaten in two games. They'd drawn 1-1 in their last game against Shenfield and had won 2-0 at Leigh Ramblers before that. However, they had lost 6-0 at Sungate, 1-0 at Hutton, and 3-0 at Catholic United. They'd also drawn 2-2 with Canning Town. Galleywood had fared slightly better but they had lost their last two games - 5-1 at Catholic United and 4-0 at Rayleigh Town. They'd also lost at leaders Basildon Town but had put up a good fight, losing 3-2. On a more positive note, they'd drawn 2-2 with Leigh Ramblers, won 2-0 at Bishops Stortford Swifts and beaten Harold Wood Athletic 2-1. In the reverse fixture on 12th February, Galleywood had triumphed 3-2. The away side were well in control this time too, with Springfield offering very little threat. The visitors took the lead on five minutes, Thomas Crick heading home a left hand sided corner. It was the same at halftime and despite Springfield having a go for an equaliser, the lead was doubled on 65 minutes. It was a good goal on the break, lobbed home from 30 yards by Thomas Watling which doubled Galleywood's lead. On 72 minutes, Springfield looked to have scored a goal, only for the linesman to rule it out for a foul. A minute later, it was game set and match for the visitors, they scored a goal on the break from Crick to make it 3-0.

It had been a blazing hot day and with lots of unhealthy food and a bit of booze, it was a sluggish walk back to the station. I stopped at a Co-Op on the way, getting some Matchmaker Orange cookies which weren't great and some cranberry juice which was a lot better. I was there in good time for the 4.40 train back to Liverpool Street, the train making good progress through the Essex countryside. A stop at the Euston Cider Tap was very possible and I tried to find out if it was open. Either way, I would actually be home at a decent hour for once, barring a disaster. I did stop there but just as on Bank Holiday, it was closed. As a result, I missed the 6.00 train back to Wycombe which would have only taken 23 minutes. Instead, I got the 6.12 back to Wycombe, getting back at 6.52. The packed train meant that I had to stand up and couldn't do my blog, meaning I'd carried my laptop around all day when I didn't need to. There were some revolting individuals on the train, coughing and sneezing everywhere, but that's the general public for you. I listened to the FA Cup Final, or at least the penalty shootout on the walk home. I was back just after 8, having a couple of drinks and a much-needed bath after a boiling day.


SPRINGFIELD HALL PARK is a decent venue for the level, just over a mile from the centre of Chelmsford. The city has a great range of places to suit all tastes. At the ground, there is a railed pitch and plenty of parking. There's also a bar and snack bar, but I didn't try either on my visit.

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