Wednesday 8 September 2010

Erith Town

Erith Town play in the Kent League Premier Division. I realise that 'home is home' to individual clubs, but I really could not watch my team playing at such a venue week after week, year after year. I'm certainly not a fan of athletics track grounds, where you are proverbial miles from the pitch as you are here. That's more of a sleight on the venue, not the actual club. The man on the gate was very welcoming & friendly, much more than many venues that I prefer without six lanes around the pitch, so 'swings & roundabouts' I suppose.

I took the opportunity to see a game here last season, during one of the bad weather spells, & this was one of the few games on, & I saw them defeat Fisher 4-2.

The ground is part of the local sports centre complex, which we approach here. It includes a swimming pool, large gymnasium, that sort of thing.

Entrance is through this small entrance, tickets & programmes on sale from the man in red by it.

Walking in we see the main side ahead, with the sports centre behind, to the right.

It's extremely open, looking across the pitch.

And behind the goal, this is the direction we are heading, round the pitch & track, clockwise.

From this end we look over to the open bank of seats.

There's a hard path behind the track, but no barriers, making this a 'one sided' ground.

Trackside we look over to the Sports Centre.

Here we are, almost directly behind the goal.

'Going round the bend', so to speak, as we reach the far straight. In the distance at the next corner are the changing rooms.

Set back on the fence are a few hoardings, with the railway line down below. This one is from their main sponsor.

And these from former Kent League backers.

Plus one from tenants much more suited to the venue.

The dugouts are set behind the track on this side.

From here we look directly over to the spectator area.

Moving on we reach the changing rooms. There is also a tea bar here for spectators, & the boardroom for club officials.

From this corner we look behind the goal.

A helpful board is hanging up, listing the teams.

A photo here that is a perfect example of why athletics gorunds and football matches should not mix.

Past the pavilion now, we glance back at it.

The players' tunnel being put up across the track, pre-match.

Behind the goal now, I doubt anyone bothers to watch the game from this spot!

Continuing our trip round the ground we now have the seats in view.

Decent seating, but only if the weather's good!

From this side we look across the goalmouth.

Wet & windy, seats empty, a snap that symbolises how desolate this venue can be.

Up in the seats on the halfway line.

And over to the right, the goalmouth, with the changing rooms behind.

Turning our head the other way, you now have had a full set of pictures showing how far from the action you are.

I spotted this small plaque, almost 'hidden' on the wall. I've never heard the ground referred to as this in local non-league circles.

At least it's brightening up just before kick off...

The two teams are ready...

Later I take a couple more snaps, further along, a bit blurred unfortunately. Steps down to the track, the path at the top leads to the back of the seats.

This path leads to the admission hut, where we began.

Heading back to the centre of the main side the steps lead up to the bar, and the covered bit acts as a high viewing point, the only part of the ground where you can stay dry if it rains.

Back down the front, another angle along the seats.

The lights come on.

A blurred panorama over the pitch.

Very few fans 'braved' the seats!

Most of the crowd staying 'upstairs' on the balcony, or watching through the glass in the bar.

A couple of minutes to go, I try this 'arty farty' shot through the trees, as I'm ready to leave on the final whistle. No idea why this one is less blurry than the others, but there you go. And that, folks, is Erith Town. Not the greatest of venues, but at least it's another Kent League venue ticked off for me.

No comments: