Saturday 23 August 2008


Formed in 1892, and playing at their current location since the mid 1920's, the 2008/09 is the first ever for Merstham in the Isthmian League.
I have been here on a number of occasions for both Dulwich Hamlet Reserve & Youth Team matches. When I firsy came here it was practically a railed off pitch, with a small bit of cover behind the goal, which is still in use. The location of it makes me wonder if the pitch was ever facing the other way, and it was on an 'old' halfway line.
nowadays it is a smart little ground, with cover a both ends, and a modern stand down the side; with a changing room/boardroom complex next to it.
I was extrmely impressed by the friendly welcome we got at the ground from their officials, and the chap selling their 'golden goals' tickets was a cheerful bloke, with a nice word for everyone he spoke to. Volunteers like him are a credit to the club.
I also bumped into a Blackpool fan, who lives in nearby Redhill. He was actually asking for me! I used to play against him in the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Quiz Team, when he turned out for London Blackpool, in the Home Counties Supporters' Football Quiz League & hadn't seen him for fifteen years!

This is the car park. The club house is the building in the background. The ground is on the left, behind that.

The clubhouse is outside the ground itslef, and there is a public footpath between it and the turnstiles, shown here. The chap by the pushbike is a Hamlet fan. he cycled to the match, and he told me it took him ninety minutes!

Perfectly functional, but strange turnstiles. You pay through the hatch, and then move through them. Alright for an average, small crowd, but it would be a bit chaotic if they got a bigger attendance at a cup tie.

As you enter you're at one of the corners, and again I will take you on a clockwise journey round the ground.

Behind the goal is a new covered terrace.

Only one step, but it does the job for me.

Looking back towards the side we came in we see the changing rooms, & boardroom building. This was being built on my last visit, & the cover we've just seen was not there. This building was partly funded by the gate money from when they hosted two matches with AFC Wimbledon in their two Combined Counties League seasons, in the Kingston based Dons first two years of existence.

Past this we look over to the main stand, where the majority of spectators watched the match.

And here's a full length look at the same side of the ground.

Along the opposite side, with the dugouts, it's completely open, with no terracing or cover.

Back behind the goal the footpath continues past the covered terracing.

From the next corner we look back behind the goal...

And down the side.

And from that side we admire the terracing once more.

Along the side is a variety of 'clutter' except it's so neatly stored you can't really call it 'clutter'.

Across the halfway line we look across to the main stand.

And spot the stretcher propped up against the home dugout. Not used this afternoon thankfully!

This is the cover behind the far goal. This was the 'old cover' that was here on my previous visits.

Before having a closer look at it, we take another glance behind us, down the side.

And now our first look at the area behind the far goal.

A closer look at the covered terrace.

And from behind the goal we look over to the main side of the ground.

Wear your colours! Two of the forty or so Hamlet fans who made the trip to Merstham, going home happy with a 4-1 victory, in case you were wondering!

Looking down the far side. Study this snap closely. and follow the pitch markings, a although it's fairly straight, it's hardly level. About halfway down there's a bump in the pitch almost as big as a 'sleeping policeman'!

A look back behind the goal, to show you a glimpse of our flag!

We're on the final stretch now...

Here is the main stand.

And the dugouts, as seen opposite.

The tea bar is behind the stand, soing good business here at half time.

This is the other end of the seats.

And so to the new changing rooms.

I jsut can't get used to this 'MFC' everywhwere. I know we're at Merstham, but from my neck of the woods there's only one 'MFC', and that's Millwall!

The teams are helpfully marked up on a board, on the wall.

And practically back to where we started it's a view of the new covered terrace again.

Having popped into the clubhouse to check on the final scores I took tow last snaps, one of either end of the ground. And then it was time to go home.
It's only ten minutes to the station, and easy to find. If you haven't been here before it's worth a visit.

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