Monday 19 December 2011

Hythe Town

Hythe Town play in the Ryman League Division One South, having been promoted from the Kent League at the end of last season. A promotion I was very pleased about, as it's a ground I hadn't been to before. The game against Dulwich Hamlet was on Saturday 17th December 2011, & it was my Saturday working, so I booked the dsy off.

It's a very tight ground, with a strange clubhouse, where you can watch the game from 'executive box' style balconies, as you will see.

The locals were very friendly, & I'd certainly recommend a visit here to anyone.

I only spotted this sign outside, after the game, hence the dark background, as I arrived from another direction. I only note it because..

On the other side.. !

There are identity problems immediately outside the ground though, very spart big signage.

Supported by the Club sponsors.

Also the obligatory Ryman League board.

Here are the turnstiles.

Same turnstiles, now inside. Programmes, raffle tickets. All offered with a smile, & a genuine warmth, asking how the journey was, have you been here before, pointing out the tea bar, main bar...
First impressions count, and all the boxes were ticked. Too far from London for me, but if you're a floating non-league fan, then you should try to pop down here a couple of times a season.

We have come into the ground behind the goal, which is covered at this end. Here we turn to our right, but we are heading the other way, clockwise, round the ground.

Past the post we look over to the 'strange' main stand, with the changing rooms on the lower floor, bar above it, with actual 'open boxes' at the front up top for viewing from!

There a couple of shallow, but decent steps of terrace, to the corner.

The next side, where we are going next, is covered all the way along.

But we're not there yet.

At the corner, a glance back behind us now, at the covered end.

First corner flag shot, over to the main stand.

Under the roof of the covered side, one shallow step, but more than adequate for this lovely, tight little ground.

From this side we see the covered end from the front, at an angle.

Directly across the pitch is the tea bar, and the toilet block.

We move along this side.

Opposite the main stand now. There are seats at pitch level, with the glass fronted part in the middle of the red being the boxes.

To the left of the main building, as we look over, is covered bench seating.

Time to crack on, along the rest of this covered side.

Directly over the halfway line.

And on we go!

There is this gate cut into the back of this side. Not sure if I want to go through it because..

I'm sure it's safe, but don't think I'll risk it! ;-)

So it's onward to the next corner.

The bench seats, now directly opposite. The hill makes a nice backdrop, as the winter sun starts to set.

Almost at the next corner, where the home team are warming up.

It narrows in the corner, note the amount of barbed wire to keep you out of the military land behind, I bet they don't get too much trouble with people trying to bunk in for free from this corner!

I couldn't really tell them to get out of the way, as I wanted to take a corner flag pic, could I? ;-)

This end is open hard standing, no cover, or terracing, but plenty of space to build up, if there was ever the need.

A similar shot of this end.

Looking back along the covered side.

The pitch perimeter fence bends back behind the net.

Almost at the goal, with the main side as the backdrop.

Not sure if this sign means "Don't even think about climbing over for wayward attempts on goal. We shoot footballs!" ;-)

Directly behind the net.

A zoomed in snap of the, now, far end, where we began.

Past the other goalpost, the covered side in the background.

The final side of the stadium, we're getting there.

Heading to the next corner.

The covered bench seating.

Presumably for retrieving matchballs. But where's the tin hat?

Back along the open end.

Now a playerless corner flag photograph.

The bench stand.

Three rows under the roof.

The view of the penalty area at this end from one of them.

Down the length of the benches.

Similar, as we move along.

We're almost at the officials section, & the tunnel.

Turning round, we glance back.

Home officials section (& my shadow!)

Gates that keep the dugouts & tunnel clear.

The home dugout.

Players tunnel.

Looking directly at the tunnel, from on the pitch pre-match, with the away dugout to the right.

The sign above the tunnel.

Here we see both dugouts, during the game.

The benches, in the corner, from on the pitch.

The rest of the stand, with bar area above, which gives you a closer look at the balconies.

They are popular with drinkers during the match.

On the pitch, in front of the dugouts, we turn to the covered end.

And then the covered side.

The view from this side of the halfway line, now.

Past the tunnel is more bench seating, the first section being for visiting officials.

Which is this bit here.

Here we see it, from the side.

Now we are clear of the stand.

Door on the side into the changing rooms.

And steps up to the clubhouse.

Up we go.

It's a friendly long, narrow bar. You can see the sliding doors out to the 'boxes' on the left.

The bar area itself.

Trophy cabinet, & Club sponsors board.

At the far end I 'sneaked' a shot of the boardroom, through the open door.

Back at the other end is this great compilation of photos & cuttings from a recent Cup run.

Next to it is a packed noticeboard of recent press reports. Superb!

Just time to pop onto one of the boxes, to see what theview is like, to our right is the open end, directly into the setting sun.

Over the pitch.

And the covered end, to our left.

The covered end again, back outside, from on the top of the bar steps.

Back down at ground level, open hard standing to the next corner.

Just past the bar, to the left as we walk to the corner, is the tea bar.

Beyond this is the toilet block.

Good community funding for this construction.

Something that EVERY club should have, but many don't.

The match poster.

We've now almost reached the end where we started our tour.

Toilets, set back in the corner.

The covered end, from the side.

The last corner flag picture of the day.

Under the roof of the covered end, steeper steps of terrace, as we saw at the far part of this end, as we first walked round.

They continue until the penalty area, where the entrance is behind.

There is an almost disused building here, now the doors just open to be the home for the club shop.

Which we see here. I was happy to pick up a centenary booklet of the Kent League, which was published back in 1995.

The grills on the left show the length of the empty void.

Back behind the goal, to conclude our circuit of the ground.

A few pictures of the match.

With a shot of one of the floodlight pylons, to finish. They caught my eye, because I thought it a bit unusual to see the extra bulb added halfway down to improve them.

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