Saturday 15 April 2023

Scarborough Athletic - Flamingo Land Stadium.

Scarborough Athletic FC
Flamingo Land Stadium
Ashburn Road
North Yorkshire
YO11 2JW

07538 903723

Ground Number: 1173
Saturday 15th April 2023
Scarborough Athletic 0-1 Buxton
National North


The current Scarborough club was established in 2007 following the dissolution of the original Scarborough FC. The club could not agree on a deal with the liquidators to rent the McCain Stadium, so they had to groundshare over 17 miles away at Bridlington Town. The youth section of the old club continued at George Pindar Community Sports College, briefly having an adult section, Scarborough Town. They played in the Teesside League, Wearside League and Humber League from 2008 until 2013. Starting out in the Northern Counties East League, they won Division 1 at the second attempt in 2009. They then spent four seasons in the Premier Division, winning it in 2013. The club then spent 5 seasons in the NPL's second tier before winning promotion to the Premier Division as runners-up to South Shields in 2018. It was a double celebration for Scarborough Athletic as they had moved back home to their new stadium at the start of that season. The club spent the next four years in the NPL Premier, although two of these were wasted due to the pandemic. Last season, promotion was finally achieved after a third-place finish. Scarborough then beat Warrington Town and Matlock Town to reach the National League North for this season.

Scarborough Athletic's best FA Cup run was during their homecoming season of 2017/18. They beat Marske United, Workington, Sunderland RCA and Stratford Town prior to a 2-0 home defeat to Hyde United in the 4th Qualifying Round. In the other FA competitions, they reached the FA Vase 4th Round in 2009 and the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round in 2013. That year, they beat Prescot Cables, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Cambridge City prior to a heavy loss to AFC Telford United. It remains their best run, although their best progress came this season when they reached the 2nd Round by default, losing at Marine at the first hurdle. Local cup wins include the North Riding Senior Cup in 2019 & 2022 and the Supporters Direct Shield in 2011. Scarborough are currently managed by former Manchester United, WBA, Fulham and Middlesbrough midfielder Jonathan Greening, past managers have included the delightfully named Rudy Funk.

The former Scarborough FC club existed from 1879 until 2007. They were a mainstay of Non-League Football for most of their history. They played in the Northern, Midland and NPL leagues up until they joined the Alliance Premier League in 1980. They stayed there until 1987 when they won the newly-named Conference under manager Neil Warnock. Scarborough would spend 12 seasons in the Football League, their best finish of 5th came in 1989 before they lost to Leyton Orient in the playoffs. They would have a further playoff campaign in 1999, this time losing to Torquay United after a 6th-place finish. The Seadogs were relegated back to the Conference in 1999, a famous goal from goalkeeper Jimmy Glass keeping Carlisle United up at their expense. The prospects of a return looked decent after a 4th place finish in their first season back but in 2006, they were relegated from the Conference following financial turmoil. Their last season saw them relegated from the Conference North. Their latter spell in non-league did see Scarborough host Chelsea in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, putting up a respectable performance as they lost 1-0. They were also three times FA Trophy winners.

I'd seen both Scarborough teams once. Firstly in November 1993, a Scarborough side containing a veteran keeper in John Burridge were beaten 4-0 at Wycombe. Then, almost twenty years later, the local derby between Bridlington Town and Scarborough provided an entertaining 3-3 draw in the Northern Counties East(er) Hop of 2013. With a population of 61,749, Scarborough is the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire Coast and the largest seaside town in North Yorkshire. The town has fishing and service industries, including a growing digital and creative economy, as well as being a tourist destination. Residents of the town are known as Scarborians. Famous people from the town include businessman and former Sheffield United owner Kevin McCabe and Tottenham Hotspur legend Bill Nicholson.



Scarborough had been a long-term aim for me. As well as being a pleasant seaside town with a plethora of decent pubs. Scarborough was also the team I needed to complete the National North in terms of grounds visited. A train and a day out would have been a lovely way to do it, but the greedy operators wanted £120 for the journey unless you were lucky enough to secure one of the limited advance tickets. The coach was also a no-go due to time constraints. Luckily, fellow hopper Martin was willing to drive and as the car had four people in, the cost was a quarter of the train fare. I had quite a bit of research to do for the game in terms of Scarborough's history, but this was all left to the last minute on Friday evening.

Since my last blog, I've done six revisits. Easter Sunday saw a Hellenic League treble as part of their organised groundhop. The highlights included a great cake stall at Watlington Town, chilli and chips at Abingdon United and a stall with plenty of reading material at Clanfield 85. The football had not been bad either and it was nice to help out three other hoppers get new ticks by giving them a lift. It was then a double on Monday, with me taking the slightly mad decision to walk to Flackwell Heath. After a pleasant few days, the rain was back with a vengeance, Despite a load of waterproofs, Colin & I got drenched walking to the game and the programme I bought got ruined. We were 'rewarded' with a 0-0 draw against Windsor for our efforts but it was nice to support local football. It was then a taxi to Adams Park to watch Wycombe beat Forest Green 2-0. We barely had to get out of first gear against a poor Forest Green side and it was probably less entertaining than our earlier game.

It had been a boozy and unhealthy Easter and I was determined to get back to a healthier routine. Tuesday was a fairly busy one. After walking up at 8, I was ready to head out just after 9. I dropped a parcel off before walking to town and back, over 9 miles in all. I picked up some lunch before heading back. After doing some jobs around the house, I started preparation for this blog around 2.30. After a pleasant morning for my walk, there was the return of the customary and persistent rain in the afternoon. I was hoping that it wasn't going to be match-affecting, and if it was, that they'd make an early decision. If it was called off at short notice, there were a couple of backups including Pagham. In the end, I got as far as junction 11 on the M25 before the game was postponed. Pagham was the only game left standing and although they were confident, the officials called it off five minutes before kickoff. By that time, I was back home having a curry having wasted 70 miles of petrol and over two hours on the road. 

There was another revisit on Thursday. Amersham Town is a ground I've got into visiting regularly in recent weeks. Colin and Martin were also going up there, so I decided to visit and go up for a chat. Amersham beat a depleted Eaton Socon in a 4-0 victory. I was planning on going to Kings Sports v Stoke Mandeville on Friday but decided against it due to the persistent rain and lack of reliable Twitter updates. It turned out to be a big regret as the two sides shared out a cracking 5-5 draw. At Ely in Cambridgeshire, Ely City and Walsham Le Willows played out a 1-1 draw on a waterlogged pitch in farcical conditions, but it did look fun. I decided to stay in and do my blog, watch Corrie and play Championship Manager 97/98. Aside from the 01/02 version, I don't think this game has been bettered in all those years. I find the modern versions to be too complicated and time-consuming for my liking.
 The day of the game came and my alarm went off at 6.40, an hour before I'd been having to get up for work lately. I was slow off the mark and as a result, only had time to grab a couple of bags of crisps before Martin arrived at 7.25. We headed to Anwar, meeting him in Budgens where I picked up an unconventional breakfast of chilli and cheese hotdog and chocolate cornflake cake. We were off pretty swiftly, as was Colin, asleep before we'd even got to Milton Keynes. The journey went fairly quickly despite the distance, three of us had a chat and I worked out future possible games as Colin dozed on. Our sleepy friend rejoined us in deepest Yorkshire as we trundled along the back end of beyond, avoiding the main route due to traffic. After an overcast journey, we had blue skies as we approached Scarborough.

We were in Scarborough at 11.40. Colin took around 10 minutes to acclimatise to being awake. We popped up to the ground, but I'd already bought mine online for ease of use. I left the guys and headed off on my pub crawl. First up was the Stumble Inn, a pleasant place. But like most others in the town, they'd fallen into the trap of stocking mainly Lilleys and Broadoak which conned their way in masquerading as Real Cider. I had a pint of Snailsbank Orchard Dry which was semi-pleasant but more of a sweet cider. At £3.80, it was fairly priced though. The next pint of Hecks Farmhouse Dry was far better at £3.90. This was one I only noticed on the Real Ale Finder app which was super useful. It also saved me a trip to pub three of the day, meaning it was just Wetherspoons to visit after. The Lord Roseberry was 5 minutes walk away. There I used the facilities and had lunch. Chicken Strips, chips and a pint of Thatchers Gold were just North of £9. The service was excellent, with food and drink at my table within two minutes of ordering. From there it was Poundland, a few minutes away and a chance to stock up on Irn Bru and chocolate before the 20-minute walk to the ground. Arriving just before 2 30, I met up with my group and got some good pictures.
The first half was fairly even, Scarborough taking the initiative early on, but Buxton having the better of the latter of the half. The attendance given at half-time was 1,759 with 115 from Buxton. The visitors had the better of the start of the second half and the hosts improved towards the end of the second. However, Scarborough were totally unambitious generally and Buxton popped up with an 89th-minute winner. Scott Boden got on the end of a simple cross to slot home from close range. We all headed for the car, disappointed as Wycombe had their usual pathetic surrender at Morecambe, losing 1-0. It was to be a long trip home with me due to get in around 10pm.


THE FLAMINGO LAND STADIUM is a smart setup that has been built up over time. The original main stand holds around 400 and is elevated on a bank with a bar behind it. There's a further small covered terrace behind one goal and a combination of covered terrace and seats along the side. The rest of the ground is open and offers reasonable food options. The club shop is disappointing though. There's plenty of parking and the ground is just under a mile walk from town. 

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