Eastleigh compete in the Blue Square Bet South, & I visited here for the Good Friday game on 6th April 2012, when they lost to Dorchester Town, an own goal in stoppage time, & unfortunately one of the worst matches I sall all season!
The ground isn't a great one, but I liked it, a good, high stand, and cover behind one of the goals. It probably helped by being a reasonable day weather wise, & I was here with friends, who live in the area, & so had someone to chat to, to take my mind off the game. I am also mates with one of their fans, Callum, who has 'guested' for the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Team, today he was 'disguised' as the mascot, then setting off on a charity bike ride to Weston Super Mare, over the next two days, with other fellow Spitfires fans!
The ground is right out on the edge of town, though a bus from the centre does stop right outside it. There is this lovely old country church across the road from the entrance.
A bit unusual for it's 'one hand clock'.
This is the entrance from the road, into the ground. It has a large car park.
This is what I'm here for.
Another sign at the entrance.
Ahead, the dark brick block with the window, is a tunstile, the main stand to the right. We are heading left through the car park, to another turnstile, toward the bar.
The back of the stand.
Sponsored stadium name on it.
And on the side of it, looking as though it's come second hand from Blackpool, is something that's supposed to be a Spitfire, which is their nickname. I do hope it lights up a midweek games on cold winter nights!
The turnstile for us is straight ahead, at the end of the car park.
League sign on the outer fence of the ground.
Club offices in front, turnstile to the right of it.
A nice touch having the club initials on the brickwork of the gate, club flag flying by it inside.
Far too many rules & regulations for my liking...not gonna read that lot! Hope photography is allowed! ;-)
Inside the ground is to the right, as in along this path & the bar is the building on the left.
Inside the bar.
My mate Callum, wearing the shirt for his Rose Road Children's Appeal charity bike ride. I introduced him briefly to my friends. I told one of them that he was..."Phwoar!"....she told me..."You weren't wrong!" ;-)
Behind the bar...a local take on the telly programme I'm pleased to say I have never watched!
Back outside, it's clearly a well run social club, with non-football events on, including Alvin as Elvis!
Sponsors are clearly appreciated.
We are now by the pitch, behind the goal.
Main stand to our left.
Covered standing to the left, it looks covered down the far end too.
Pop up srpinklers, pre match.
Behind the goal, to our right, is open hard standing.
We are going to do our circuit the other way round, clockwise. Past the club house, and tea bar.
A large flat patio area, ideal for tables & chairs for non-matchdays when it's nice & warm out, I would guess.
From the same area, toward the main stand, into the sun.
Here we zoom in to the main stand.
Almost at our first corner, to start the covered side.
A glance back, before we move on.
The covered side, along the touchline.
First corner flag shot, over the pitch.
A strange covered area, no terracing, just hard standing, & it's set way back from the pitch, so oyu'd be a bit of a distance from the action if it rains. But, without a doubt, a better ground for having it.
From this side we turn back to the open end.
Walking down the side.
Tea bar and club shop opposite.
The 'Blackpool Spitfire' over there too.
The whole of the main stand.
And onward we march!
Over the halfway line.
Sam spot, the closet my camera can zoom in.
Tunnel & away dugout.
With the home to the left, as we look over.
Carrying on along the 'covered/open' side, toward the next corner.
Here we can see the touchline is quite a way in, from the pitch perimeter, as we look to the covered end.
Home flag beind the goal.
And another, with Callum, erm...sorry, Sammy the Spitfire!
I suppose you could stand on that electricity box, if you want an elevated view, & you're agile enough. I never thought of it at the time...& I'm not agile enough!
Our first proper look at the covered end, which is a mix of hard standing & seating.
Final view directly down the covered side.
Corner flag picture point.
Now we are at the covered end, no terracing, but at least the roof is close to the pitch barrier.
Toward the main stand.
Up the side touchline.
Looking the other way, mascot keeping an eye on the ballboy...
He's spotted me!
Superb flag at the back.
The view up the pitch again.
Similar, but more to the left, with the stand in just in shot.
Full view of the main stand side.
He should have kept a better eye on the ballboy!
We noe come to a section of seating behind the goal, it's ok, but personally I'd prefer some proper terracing here. Presumably this is to have enough seating for ground gradings?
In the seats, toward the covered side.
Toward the goal, the other way.
At the front, behind the net, to the covered side.
Immediately behind it, from the seats.
And at the back of the other post, main stand as backdrop.
This must be one of the longest bits of pitch perimeter advertising in non-league football?
Past the seated section is more hard standing.
The 'family enclosure'. I really wonder why they need to bother?
Heading to the next corner.
A look back along the seating behind the goal.
From this spot we see the main stand side, where we are o our way to.
We're getting there!
A last look back directly at this end.
Third corner flaf snap.
And now we're moving along the open hard standing to the main stand.
From this side we get a shot of the large ground sponsor's hoarding above the seats behind the goal.
Almost at the main stand..
Past the toilets...
Dugouts ahead, but fenced off.
Behind the stand is the players & officials car park.
Round the front side of it, on the way up the steps, we see back toward the covered end.
Turning the other way we see the players tunnel.
At the bottom of the seats see up into them.
Moving along the front of the stand.
Then up the steps to the back.
Over the halfway line, a superb view from up here.
Same spot, to the covered end.
Then moving past the tunnel.
Press places at the rear.
At the other end of the stand, down toward the remainder of the stadium we've yet to cover.
Heading down to get to pitch level.
Tea bar table.
The main stand from in front of it.
Then moving onward, past the tea bar.
Across the pitch, to the open end, where we began.
Past the tea bar is the club shop portakabin.
Some of the stock.
Past that is wide, flat hard standing, to the end.
With the turnstile we first saw, on the way into the car park, on the left, down this path.
Almost at the final corner now.
Not quite sure what this is sponsoring? Presumably the coaches to away games?
Turning the corner...with the huge bike ride charity banner flying high.
The last leg, almost done!
Fourth & therefore final corner flag photograph.
On the hard standing, toward the turnstile where we began.
The main stand, side angle, from behind the goal.
Another look at the Spitfire!
Almost behind the goal.
League flag fluttering above the Eastleigh FC one.
Behind the post, toward the covered side.
And to the right, main stand once more.
Directly behind the net.
And so to where we commenced our walk round. Note the EFC brickwork again, and the plaque above it.
Flowers in front.
A nice tribute to an old fan.
Callum with a 'shrunken' Sammy!
And, lastly, the scoreboard above the covered side, which I failed to notice, until I settled behind the open end, to watch the second half.
So to the match itself, starting with the teams coming out onto the pitch.
Thursday, 12 April 2012
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