Friday 22 April 2011

Hayes & Yeading United

Hayes & Yeading United play in the Blue Square Bet Premier. They are a very new club, having come into existence in May 2007, following a merger between Hayes FC & Yeading FC.

I first visited Church Road in the late seventies, it was one of my first ever Hamlet away games. Been back many times since, the most memorable being when we won there on the last day of the season to stay up in 1988.

The ground is finally being bulldozed for housing at the end of this season, so when a Dulwich Hamlet game was postponed on 26th February 2011 I took the opportunity to dash across London here, so I could record the ground for posterity on my blog, when they hosted York City.

It hasn't changed much at all over the years, though it is more enclosed, and some grass banking went, to comply with gradings. But it still a magnificent venue, with large banks of terracing.

One of the last old London amateur grounds remaining, the last one left now is probably Bromley's Hayes Lane.

Progress is progress, but these venues will be sadly missed, I'm just thankful that I'm from a generation where I managed to get to many of them.

Next season they will be groundsharing at Woking, in Surrey. The old Yeading ground is currently being re-developed for their new home.

The ground is in Church Road, but the original name of Hayes FC was Botwell Mission.

The clubhouse is outside the ground, and on the main road. The fenced off part beyond it is the old, large car park. Which gives you an idea of the size of land they have sold for hosuing.

The entrance to the bars.

The path up to the ground.

Behind the clubhouse, before you reach the ground, is this newer function room, named after their former player, without whose transfer deal, I doubt they would be where they are today.

Now we are at the main turnstiles.

Obligatory League sign on the wall.

Inside now.

Smart club sign once you've entered.

We are in the corner, to our right is an open stretch of terrace.

Ahead is open hard standing, leading up to some terracing, & the main stand. Note the hut to the immediate left, selling the matchday programmes, & the club shop just past it.

An ugly building from the outside, but don't let looks deceive you...

Inside it is a real treasure trove!

After the hard standing is this smal lsection of open terracing, with the tea bar behind it.

Here we look toward the tea bar, terrace to the right.

Similar angle, but with some of the cvoered terrace on the far side in view.

Back round in front of the terrace. A few dnaps are slightly blurred/steamed, as there was some rain coming down.

Atop the terrace, at the back.

We look back at the open 'car park' end.

Tea bar doing business.

The same terrace, with the stand beyond.

Looking at it from the other corner.

Now we've reached the stand. At this point we are going to walk past it, as you have to pay extra to sit in it during a match. So we will come back to this point after the final whistle, to get more photos from in it.

Steps lead up, you can see the sign with the extra £2 charge on it.

In front are the dugouts & the tunnel,changing rooms being underneath.

I'm not sure what these extra seats in front are for, your view would be fairly restricted, due to the dugouts. Perhaps installed to satisfy ground gradings? The sign proclaims their promotion two seasons before.

At the other end of the stand there is some more seating in front.

Past the main stand now, we look back at it.

Moving on it's just open hard standing to the corner.

From this side we can see the ocvered terrace on the far side, where most of the crowd are sheltering from the showers.

And the other direction is more open terracing behind the next goal.

Moving onwards to the corner.

Plenty of terracing, plenty of space!

Before we turn the corner we look back down the main stand side.

Corner flag shot, over to the covered terrace.

Now behind the goal.

In the corner, at the back of the terrace.

It can be lonely being a steward at Church Road.

The terrace curves slightly round.

From behind the goal we look back over to the stand.

Directly up behind the goal, looking over the ground.

Some hardy home fans at the back.

Walking on toward the next side.

But first we go down the front, to get a snap behind the net.

We're getting there...

At the corner now, an open bank of terrace, leading up to the cover.

A glance back behind the goal, before we move on.

The next corner flag picture.

And now we're ready to go along the next side.

Going toward the cover.

Almost there.

Why pay a couple of quid extra in the main stand when you can bring your own seat?

At the back of the cover. It's a bit crowed under here, so we will return at the end of the match when it empties out, so you can appreciate it more.

From under the roof we see over to the main stand.

Segregation barriers in the centre, though you can mingle at the front.

So we head back along to the open terrace...

And move down there.

Past the 'segregation' in the middle.

Over the halfway line.

This is the 'dividing line'.

The York City section.

Some flags from last season's play-off final at Wembley Stadium.

Beyond the cover is more open terracing.

From where we peer back into the cover.

Heading toward the corner there are some more turnstiles.

We're now almost at the 'car park' end, which we saw as we came in.

Turning round, for one more view along the side.

Our final corner flag view.

Now we're on the open terrace behind the goal.

This angle shows how big this ground is along the terraced side.

Now we turn the other direction.

Moving down toward the front we see the covered terrace.

With the main stand the other way.

At the back hangs a southern York City flag.

Down at the front again, for another 'postal' picture.

Onwards, back to the corner where we came into the ground.

Tour over, time to stroll back around for some more shots, to complement the ones already seen. Here we see the covered terrace.

A busy 'proper snapper' at half time.

The covered terrace.

Looking into it, slightly less populated during the interval.

A close up of the dugouts, with main stand behind.

Back at the covered terrace, now almost empty after the match.

And from the back.

Heading back round to the stand, the ground staff do their closing duties.

Behind the now raised net, toward the main stand.

Here we are now, finally up in the seats.

From where we look back to behind one of the goals.

Directly over the tunnel, covered terrace opposite.

I loved this officious but quaint old fashioned sign at the back of the stand.

Control centre also at the back.

Press box in one corner.

Next to it is the sction for visiting directors.

Directly over a dugout.

More in the centre is the section for the home officials.

Back down the front.

Time to pop onto the pitch, for a 'full frontal' of the stand.

The tea bar terrace section.

Over to the 'car park' end.

Turning toward the covered terrace.

And, lastly, the other end, toward the setting sun.

The dugouts.

Time to head out, toward the tunnel.

Quickly snapping the league sponsors hoarding.

Finally back at the corner where we began, time to head home.

Just a few action snaps from my last ever visit to Church Road to finish.

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