Wednesday 18 August 2010

Ayr United

I was extrmely fortunate to get a peek inside the home of Scottish League Second Division side
Ayr United in june 2010. I went there more in hope, than expectation, but after popping into the club offices by their portakabin style shop, I cheekily asked if it would be possible to look inside, & to my delight, a chap agreed! I didn't walk round the whole ground. He may have let me, I don't know, but I was a bit too embarrassed to push it & ask. Just happy to have got inside at all!
So here is a brief look at Somerset Park, I don't know if I'll ever get back there, but it is one of those many grounds that I 'really want to do!'

A glimpse of the ground from the train. My heart dropped. It looked so great, I just knew I wouldn't be able to get in...

Approaching the ground...

Turnstiles on the corner, & the towering pylons.

Lovely matchday sign on the wall, almost from a bygone era.

The turnstiles again.

The outer walls of the main stand, down the side.

set back, further laong, to the left, is this club shop, with offices behind it. It looked shut, but there we people inside & I bought a few things.

And this is the main entrance, where I was allowed to enter!

Once inside we are in front of the main stand. To our left is a covered end. The right hand corner is where the turnstile block is, which we saw earlier.

Opposite is an open terrace, with some sort of building behind. I have no idea what it is.

And to our left is another covered end.

Turning behind us we see the magnificent old stand, with a traditional terraced paddock in front.

I walk along to behind the goal, and here we see along this terrace.

From this end we look down the pitch.

Behind the goal we glance left, to the open terrace along the side.

A similar shot, just to the left of the goal.

Turning the other way we get a good look at the stand.

Retracing our steps it's time to leave, I didn't want to impose by taking too long, I was pleased at their kindness just letting me see inside, so almost our last snap. Of the paddock in front of the stand.

We couldn't leave without a dugout shot!

A final look up at the magnificent old fashioned floodlight pylons. I really hope I get to return here one day for a match.

Tuesday 17 August 2010


Cockfosters play in the First Division of the Spartan South Midlands League, which is at step six of the English non-league pyramid. I saw a match here at the end of the 2009/10 season, which was a womens' match between East Barnet Old Grammarians & Hampstead WFC.
I was pleased to be able to get in this visit, as a few years before Dulwich Hamlet Reserves had been drawn here in a London Intermediate Cup tie, but I was working that day, & so missed the opportunity to see a game here. Now rectified!

The venue is a short walk from Cockfosters tube station, at the end of the Piccadilly Line. Immortalised in a Fosters television advert!

The ground appears to be in a 'sporting hotbed', not only by the cricket club...

But also the Bowling Club.

In case you're wondering where Cockfosters is, it's in the London Borough of Enfield.

This is the entrance to the ground. The buildings along the right include the bar & changing rooms.

This is a very blurred snap of inside the bar.

As we enter the ground there is an overhang hre, to our right, in front of the bar area.

It is a basic, open ground, you can see the railed off area behind the goal to our right.

Turning the other direction, we are heading clockwise round the pitch, we pass this small covered bench stand.

Beyond this is hard standing along the touchline.

Looking over the halfway line we see the dugouts on the far side.

We continue along the pathway.

Which stops at the corner.

There is no standing behind the goal, just the hedge separating the players from the open park beyond.

Before we move on we glance back down the main side we've just come down.

This is the 'non existant' end behind the goal.

From behind the net we look over the open far side, & the dugouts.

Squeezing in behind the goal we look end to end.

And from the other post we see back to the small stand & club buildings.

To the corner now, for a 'corner flag' shot.

Down the far side now, simply grassed off behind the railings.

A gap in the hedge, behind the corner, this is where I actually found my way into the ground, having been unsure where the entrance was!

Further along, and there is some more hard standing paving.

We have noe arrived at the dugouts.

A club hoarding hangs over the fence.

Here we see behind the dufouts, note the graffiti on the back.

More 'wannabe' Banksy, than your run of the mill 'traditional' scrawl!

Inbetween the two we look over to the bar & stand.

Passing along there is more open hard standing.

And from there we look toward the other goal.

Open grassed area behind the goal.

From this corner we see back down the touchline.

Behind this end is the cricket club pitch.

Moving behind the goal there appears to be some work in progress, laying down some hard standing.

Very smart paving, if I may say so!

Almost back round the the bar area where we began. From here you get a clearer view of the overhang in front of the bar.

At the last corner,we look back along the hard standing, which reaches up to the goal.

This is the view down the main side touchline.

By the look of this sign a few locals clearly just stroll in through gaps, without paying admission.

Completely concreted here, for this section.

The overhang, with the clubhouse behind.

And with the match about to kick off it's time to end our tour!

Visitors in a huddle.

I walk past the stand.

And lean on the railing for kick off.