Monday 23 July 2012

VCD Athletic

VCD Athletic play in the Kent Hurlimann League Premier Division, & are based in Crayford, which it what the middle 'C' stands for. VCD is an abbreviation of an old aviation company,
Vickers Crayford and Dartford

This ground has been substantially built up since I first went there to watch a Dulwich Hamlet JFC Under 18s match at the start of the nineties, when it was just pitches, with a bit of rope. As you will see the old changing rooms pavilion is still in the corner & in use. They built a smal lstand on the side of the pitch, as it developed, then eventually moved the pitch round ninety degrees, to from the ground as it is today.

These photos were taken at the start of the 2011/12 season, for a Friday night match, the first ever in the newly formed step six Kent Invicta League, when groundsharers Erith & Dartford Town were well beaten 4-0 by visitors Phoenix Sports. They have since changed their name to
Kent Football United, which for me is a bloody stupid name for a football club, but there you go...

The entrance into the ground, from the road.

Club sign at the entrance, a little 'worn'.

There appear to be plenty of events held here, including this one. I've never heard of her!

Through the entrance & the car park stretches up to the clubhouse, on the far left. On the right are other sports sections of the venue.

One is the bowls club.

And tennis, too.

The car park continues past the clubhouse, turnstiles are to left of this photo. Straight ahead is the overspill car park, & secondary pitches.

So here we are at the turnstiles.

Obligatory Ryman League sign on the wall, though no longer members.

Tenants admission prices stuck on over the landlords.

The entrance is above the pitch, in the corner, as you can see from this snap. Behind one goal ahead, the portakabin type building up above is the boardroom.

Turn immedaitely right as you enter the ground and there are the toilets & tea bar.

Nice noticeboard in the background of the tea bar.

Wheelybin a bit lost...visiting from Sutton!

On the patio type area, still above the pitch, in front of where we came in, was this 'club shop', strange because they were selling lots of professional club 'half & half' European match & cup final style scarves.

There was this bench next to it.

Memorial plaque on it, no idea who the man was though.

Moving onward, this footpath leads down to the pitch, so that's the way we're heading, toward the main stand, down in front of us.

The game is about to kick off, one of thecovered standing areas on the other side in the background, behind that you can see the changing room pavilion.

At the bottom of the path, we reach the hard standing, around the pitch.

We will go straight ahead, toward the stand, moving round the ground in a clockwise direction.

No standing in front of it.

Named afte Gary Rump, again I don't know the story behind it.

Moving quickly on, as I don't want to block anyone's view of the game in progress, we look back along it, from the other end.

These fans keep the correct side of the sign.

Past the stand it's simple open hard standing.

Across the pitch are the dugouts, and two areas of cover.

Here is the scond part of cover, after we saw the other section earlier, at the start of the match.

In between are the two dugouts.

This is the home one.

Back on 'our' side, we turn back to the seats.

Then onward, to the corner.

Here we are.

First corner flag shot.

Behind the goals it's more concrete hard standing, with a grassed area roped off, behind.

Toward the penalty area there is high netting, to prevent losing too many football into the houses behind.

From the edge of the box we look back, right, to the main stand side.

Then the other direction toward the covered standing side.

Moving on, past the goal.

And on, toward the second corner.

As we get there we see the gates that form the 'players tunnel'.

Next corner snap, over the pitch.

This enclosed path leads back to the pavilion, that is the changing rooms.

As you can see, from this photo taken over the top of the ground perimeter fence, it is set a bit of a way back from the main pitch.

Down the side it's more of the same concrete hard standing, all the way along, the only difference being the two small roofed sections.

Looking back across the pitch, where the players enter the field of play. I like the club initials painted onto the grass.

almost at a section of cover, no steps of terrace underneath, but better than none at all. Certainly more covered standing than Burgess Hill Town, at the level above!

Zooming in, to the far corner, with the boardroom as a backdrop.

We have now reached the first covered standing area.

Past it is the first of the dugouts.

A pro-football advert from John Smith's beer.

Open hard standing between the two dugouts.

Directly over the halfway line, to the main stand.

The away dugout.

And another bin 'on holiday', this one from Maidstone.

We've now reached the second section of cover, identical to the first one.

Leaning over, we see the technical area in front of the dugouts.

Under the roof, as we march on.

Back in the open, almost at the next corner.

Turning round for a glance back, first.

Then to the open end, below the car park.

A Kent League old sponsor board still on show.

At th corner, penultimate corner angle picture.

Now almost the last stretch...

From behind the goal we look back to the covered standing section.

Seats now to our left.

At last! A bin on  'home' Bexley territory! Not sure if this is number 23 though...

Over to the seats, from behind the net.

Now walking past the goal.

And the covered standing side, behind the other post.

To the last corner, where we came in.

Almost completed our circuit, just in time as dusk sets in!

Looking along the main side.

Below the boardroom.

Last corner flag picture, very smart, with their own corner flags & the intials in the grass, again.

Down the side where we came in, heading toward the bottom of the path where we began.

Which is where we are now, to finish.