Friday 17 December 2010

North Greenford United

My visit to North Greenford United, who play in the Zamaretto League Central Division having won the Combined Counties League last season, was part of my August Bank Holiday 'double visit' to new grounds, having been to fellow west London club Hanworth Villa, before.
Another relatively 'characterless' ground, with 'standardised, modern' stands, but then not all clubs can have the ramshackle 'individual character' that I love, with their own individual identity!

In honesty it wasn't the best of games, against Bedfont Town, but you can never judge with football. And the hobby is called 'ground'hopping after all...not 'absolutely cracking game'hopping! ;-)

From the main road the ground is down the end of a residential suburban side street, with a big park at the bottom. Just follow the signs...not the 'far right' advice.

For through the car park, is this building, which is for another club.

It's actually the local Gaelic sports club, the building was shut, but luckily their minibus was parked outside, to tell me this! ;-)

Well established, & nice crest on the door.

But we're here for football, & the ground we want is on the far right, as the sign said.

This is the football clubhouse, from outside.

This is the turnstile hut.

Having gone through it, to our left is the pitch ahead of us.

To the right is the bar area, with the changing rooms the other side of the green railings to the far left.

A sign proudly proclaims they are the current CoCo champions, though the chap on the left looks as though he would be more at home in the members room at Lords, than here!

It's quite a spacious bar inside.

With personalised club mirror...

& carpet!

Back outside we look back at the clubhouse & entrance.

The official League sponsors' individual club sign is on the side of the fence that forms the 'tunnel' from the changing rooms.

The teams enter the field of play from the corner.

Usual handshakes all round.

Somewhat unusually, but not totally uncommon, the only seating is behind the goal. This is the way round the ground we are going to head, in a clockwise direction.

From behind the goal we look down the pitch, toward the left, where the dugouts are.

Here we see across the seats, with a sign at the back.

Named after John Bignell, who is the club president.

Past the end of the stand is open hard standing to the corner.

The hard standing continues round the corner, with the gates we see her, I presume, access to the pitch for the groundstaff.

Before we move round it's a glance back along the end we've just walked along.

From the corner we see the small covered terracing on the other side, & the far open end.

Wide, flat, hard standing down this side.

And from this angle we look back at the stand.

Note plenty of flat grass behind the hard standing, easy to construct more cover, if ever the need arises, as we reach the dugouts.

Over the other side we see the covered terrace.

Behind the dugouts, not sure what kind of shot I was trying to get here? Maybe some sort of 'arty farty' one, holding the camera in the air, looking 'down' on the game? din't work, which is why I shouldn't really attmept them! ;-)

Directly over the halfway line, inbetween the dugouts.

And then past the second one.

Here we look back at it, with the game in progress.

The wide hardstanding continues to the corner.

A 'corner flag' angle.

Now it's more open hard standing behind the goal, but older.

Approaching the net we see the cover on the far side in the background.

Directly down the pitch, to the seated end.

Almost identical, but with the net in the way!

And now the other side of the goal.

Looking along the last touchline, hardstanding all the way along, plus the terrace further up.

Here we are looking directly down the walkway.

Again plenty of grass behind it, should they ever wish to build up the ground.

From this side we look over to the two dugouts.

Now we're almost at the small area of covered terrace.

Basic, bland..but adequate for groundgrading.

Standing on it we look along it.

Looks like I'm not the only one with a camera!

Continuing along, we're on our way back to the corner of the ground where we began.

Past the terrace it's more open hard standing to the corner.

Almost there now, we look to the seated end.

A quite turn round to see the covered area from the side.

And to finish our tour of the ground this is the 'tunnel'.

One last look over the pitch, before it's time to watch the game...

Here are a few snaps, including the two penalties, one apiece, which were the two goals.

Game over, goodbye!

But not before I mention this chap, who I met for the first time, a fellow 'Kempsterite', in fact a doyen of the board, UK Punk, from Clacton-on-Sea. Although I'd never met him before he was a really friendly bloke to chat to...that is when I could get a word in edgeways. He just doesn't stop! ;-) Give me his company over the sad git I snapped at Hanworth Villa in the morning anyday! Not that I've ever spoken to him before...thankfully, but I'm usually quite a good judge of character! ;-)