Friday 1 July 2011

Epsom Athletic

Epsom Athletic play in the Surrey Elite Intermediate League, which is step seven in the non-league pyramid. I saw them in an end of season game in May 2011, on a Wednesday evening. They play at the old Decca sportsground, now a Goals football centre.

The old company name is still on the gate into the ground.

The new owners have their standard hoardings on show.

Though the entrance is the car park. Ahead are the changing rooms & bar, the 11-a-side football pitches are beyond the building.

Past the building the game is on the pitch further ahead.

Here we see the back of the pavilion.

To our right is another pitch, with dugouts. I was told this is the usual pitch for Epsom Athletic. fortunately I class 'groundhopping' at places like this as 'one tick, one complex'; unlike some hoppers who would return to 'tick' each pitch as a different 'ground'.

Here are the dugouts on that pitch.

The game tonight is as basic as it gets, partly roped off, no dugouts, just a game of football. I must admit I couldn't watch games at these venues week in, week out. I like to see 'structures' of some sort at 'new grounds' I visit, but end of season 'catch up' early midweekers I don't mind dipping in to.
Here we are at the corner of the pitch, we are going to stroll straight ahead, clockwise, around it.

A corner flagless corner flag shot!

A few yards along & it's roped off along this side.

To the left there are some huts, presumably for pitch maintenance equipment. You can see a working clock on the front of the main structure. Some groundhoppers are to the right side of the snap, watching the game.

It's a bit weather beaten.

No dugouts, but the area where they would be are marked out on the grass. Note the picnic table to the left.

A stand of sorts, utilised as an open air dugout by some of the substitutes!

The rope continues along the touchline, with players kitbags all together here. Presumably the changing rooms are shared with the goals 5-a-side pitches, so cannot be exclusively secured for Epsom Athletic?

The rope almost goes as far as the next corner flag.

To the left there is a 'graveyard' for old pitch equipment, by the look of it.

It's a long way back to the changing rooms, so players have to make their own toilets! ;-)

Next flagless corner.

Before moving on we glance back along the side touchline.

Completely open behind the goal, not even roped off.

From the other side of the net we see down the pitch.

While down the next side we can see it is roped off once more.

Another picnic table, used by home followers.

The small crowd is spread out along the rope.

The rope continues to almost the next corner, like on the other side

From the end of the rope we look back along the touchline.

The final corner flag with no flag picture.

Now heading behind the goal, no rope at all, as with the other end.

From this end we look to the right hand side, club people on the left, hoppers on the right. Can you tell the difference? ;-)

The groundhoppers on the other side of the pitch.

Behind the net.

And back to the corner flag where we started, although the corner flag is now no more!

That ends our walk around the ground, just a few action pictures to finish with.