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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Archie's in with bricks


Engineering Archie - by Simon Inglis

From Scotland on Sunday: "In 2002, to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, English Heritage launched a pilot study of Manchester, to establish whether Britain’s sporting heritage - not only its football grounds but its billiard halls, cricket pavilions, ice rinks, bowling greens and so on - were at risk. The result is a series of books, called Played in Britain, of which Engineering Archie (above), a study of Archibald Leitch’s life and works, is a part. The first book in the series, Played in Manchester, was released last year. Future titles include studies of Birmingham and Liverpool, followed, it is hoped, by Played in Glasgow for 2007."

"Played in Britain" has it's own website which can be found here.

posted by chevblue at 1:58 pm 0 comments


Friday, March 25, 2005

Whitton United

Whitton United 2 Fakenham Town 0

Whitton United

Two second half goals settled this Ridgeons First Division fixture in the 'Greens' favour on Good Friday afternoon. Whitton are jointly managed by 'local lad made good' Ruel Fox (of Norwich City, Newcastle and Tottenham fame) and featured former Ipswich Town academy players Adam Atay and Daniel Flack in their starting line-up. Also playing - Ronaldo, Ronaldo Wright as it happens, who, accoring to the match programme was recently signed from Ipswich Exiles and 'will do well when he settles down'. Wright scored one of the goals, while Flack provided the cross for the other.

Whitton United

The King George V ground is located on the western edge of Ipswich and neighbours the now defunct Allied Bakery. The main pitch, there are five in all at the complex, has one small grandstand and an incline of Yeovil-ian proportions sloping upwards quite noticeably from the turnstile towards the main road behind the goal at the far end (see picture above). United play in a distinctive kit with green and white quartered shirts - very 'rugby-ish' in style.

Whitton United

Admission £3.00, programme 50p, half-time cup of tea 50p, attendance 76.

posted by chevblue at 11:00 pm 0 comments


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Gillingham

Gillingham 0 Ipswich Town 0

Gillingham

I have no idea why Priestfield gets so much grief, in fact it was voted the worst ground in the Football League in a poll conducted by some magazine at the tail end of last year. OK the visitors section is an uncovered temporary scaffolding affair but the remainder of the ground has been fully renovated since Paul Scally took over as Chairman in the 1990’s. It’s not in the greatest of area’s but which grounds are. If you want ‘bad’ try sitting in the away section at ‘Premiership’ Fratton Park. In the rain.

I must admit to having a soft spot for Gillingham, being the first ever Football League ground I attended (v Torquay United way back in 1967) and the side supported by my late grandfather as well as by a number of assorted relatives. But to hell with that for today’s game as Ipswich go looking for three further points in their push for promotion ….. well perhaps not as the game end’s goalless. Town’s first 0-0 draw since December 2003!

From a Gillingham perspective, and sitting with the home fans I had one, this was a very good result for the Men of Kent as, with Coventry losing 1-0 to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, it moves them out of the relegation zone for the first time since mid-October. And if it weren't for a number of excellent saves from Kelvin Davies and the intervention of a cross-bar at the death, the Gills could have made off with all three points and it would have been deserved. As for Town, they could have carried on playing for another ninety minutes and would still have struggled to find the net. A performance far removed from the one put in in last Saturday's 6-0 trouncing of Nottingham Forest.

posted by chevblue at 11:00 pm 0 comments


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Colchester United

Colchester United U-18's 0 Ipswich Town U-18's 5

Layer Road

Layer Road was one of the earliest grounds I visited after moving to Suffolk, and the first game I watched there, with my father and brother (I believe) was an FA Cup game between Colchester United and Bognor Regis in the early 1970’s. Being at a still impressionable age back then I stood in awe of, not the game itself, but what seemed to be non-stop fighting between fans in the stand at the road end of the ground. No idea what the score was but Bognor seemed to have the upper hand in the punch-up.

Layer Road

The end furthest away from the road used to be an uncovered crumbly terrace, but has since been converted to covered seating, but that aside the ground is still pretty much as it was thirty something years ago – a rusting relic. Located slap-bang in the middle of a residential area it is clear to see why the club and its fans have been fighting for years to get planning permission for a new stadium. Their efforts have paid off as just recently the office of John Prescott gave the nod and the new ground should begin to take shape sometime in 2006. The 10,000-seater stadium will be located on a site to the north of Colchester known as Cuckoo Farm, access to which will be provided by a new junction on the A12.

Layer Road

As for this evening’s game a healthy crowd of over 2,800 saw Ipswich Town's U-18's thrash their Colchester counterparts 5-0 in round 6 of the FA Youth Cup. The first half was a fairly even affair before Town took the lead through Darryl Knights in time added on following an Owen Garvan free-kick. Two further goals in the ten minutes after the break, from Aidan Collins and Knights, ended any chance of comeback by the home side and the rout was completed in the 78th and 88th minutes with strikes from Liam Craig and Billy Clarke. Town will take on either Watford or Spurs in a two-legged semi-final.

Layer Road

posted by chevblue at 3:30 am 1 comments


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Cardiff City

Cardiff City 0 Ipswich Town 1

Ninian Park

Tommy Miller's 12th goal of the season, and his second from the spot in the last two games, secured a vital win for Ipswich. The home side spurned chances early in the game but Town's counter-attacking football always looked the more likely to produce a goal. The breakthrough came in the 62nd minute, when Miller was obstructed by Danny Gabbidon in the box, and he duly converted his 23rd consecutive penalty-kick. Despite the now customary late wobble the Blue's hung on to keep the Bluebirds at bay and register back-to-back clean sheets.

Ninian Park

Cardiff, in addition to hovering just above the drop zone, are currently facing serious financial difficulties with debts of almost GBP30m. Player's salaries have recently gone unpaid and club captain Graham Kavanagh was sold to leaders Wigan just over a week ago to ease the club's cash flow problems (making his Latics debut against Town the following day). Unexpected delays in the construction of Cardiff's new home in neighbouring Leckwith are being blamed for the crisis, with income connected with the retail side of the development delayed until construction starts. Many fans have turned against Chairman, Sam (He’s not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy) Hammam, who was once hailed as the clubs saviour, as the full extent of the Welsh side's problems are revealed.

Ninian Park

More pictures here.

posted by chevblue at 3:45 am 0 comments


Saturday, March 05, 2005

Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic 1 Ipswich Town 0

JJB Stadium

The JJB stadium avoids the off the shelf bowl shape favoured by Leicester, Southampton, Derby, and so many others, having as it does four traditional stands on each side, but is completely devoid of any ambience or ‘feel’ that the other newer grounds have somehow managed despite their sameness.

JJB Stadium

‘Yes, but you only saying that because you lost’. Not at all. In its favour the sightlines are good, leg room is ample and the facilties inside the stands are excellent and spacious compared to the JJB’s contemporaries (if you’ve ever been crammed in the mezzanine in the away section at the Stadium of Light at half-time you’ll know what I mean), but would hate to have to come here and watch my football every other Saturday.

JJB Stadium

As for the match, despite putting in one of their better performances of the past two weeks, and bolstered by the return to action of leading marksman Shefki Kuqi, goal shy Town lose 1-0 to Wigan and are now three points off the automatic promotion places.

More pictures here.

posted by chevblue at 11:00 pm 0 comments






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Ground Visit Record

ENGLAND

AFC Bournemouth
(Fitness First Stadium)

AFC Portchester
(Wicor Recreation Ground)

AFC Sudbury
(King's Marsh Stadium)

AFC Totton
(Testwood Park)

Aldershot Town
(Recreation Ground)

Alton Town
(Alton (Bass) Sports Ground)

Arsenal
(Emirates)

Arsenal
(Highbury)

Aston Villa
(Villa Park)

Barnet
(Underhill)

Barnsley
(Oakwell)

Basildon United
(Gardiners Close)

Billericay Town
(New Lodge)

Birmingham City
(St Andrews)

Blackburn Rovers
(Ewood Park)

Blackpool
(Bloomfield Road)

Bolton Wanderers
(Reebok Stadium)

Bolton Wanderers
(Burnden Park)

Boston United
(York Street)

Bradford City
(Valley Parade)

Braintree Town
(Cressing Road)

Brantham Athletic
(Brantham Athletic Sports & Social Club)

Brentford
(Griffin Park)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Withdean Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Goldstone Ground)

Bristol City
(Ashton Gate)

Bristol Rovers
(Eastville)

Bromley
(Hayes Lane)

Burnley
(Turf Moor)

Bury
(Gigg Lane)

Bury Town
(Ram Meadow)

Cambridge City
(Milton Road)

Cambridge United
(Abbey Stadium)

Charlton Athletic
(The Valley)

Chelmsford City
(New Writtle Street)

Chelmsford City
(Chelmsford Sport & Athletics Centre)

Chelsea
(Stamford Bridge)

Chester City
(Saunders Honda Stadium)

Colchester United
(Layer Road)

Cornard United
(Blackhouse Lane)

Coventry City
(Ricoh Arena)

Coventry City
(Highfield Road)

Crewe Alexandra
(Gresty Road)

Crystal Palace
(Selhurst Park)

Dagenham & Redbridge
(Victoria Road)

Dartford
(Watling Street)

Debenham Leisure Centre
(Maitlands)

Derby County
(Pride Park)

Derby County
(Baseball Ground)

Diss Town
(Brewers Green Lane)

Eastleigh
(Sparshatts Stadium)

Ely City
(Unwin Ground)

Everton
(Goodison Park)

Fareham Town
(Cams Alders)

FC Clacton
(Rush Green Bowl)

FC Fleetlands
(Lederle Lane)

Felixstowe & Walton United
(Dellwood Avenue)

Framlingham Town
(Sports Ground)

Fulham
(Craven Cottage)

Gillingham
(Priestfield)

Gorleston
(Emerald Park)

Gosport Borough
(Privett Park)

Great Yarmouth Town
(Wellesley Recreation Ground)

Grimsby Town
(Blundell Park)

Hadleigh United
(Millfield)

Halstead Town
(Rosemary Lane)

Hamble ASSC
(Follands Park)

Harwich & Parkeston
(Royal Oak)

Havant & Waterlooville
(West Leigh Park)

Heybridge Swifts
(Scraley Road)

Histon
(Glass World Stadium)

Horndean Town
(Five Heads Park)

Huddersfield Town
(Leeds Road)

Hull City
(KC Stadium)

Hull City
(Boothferry Park)

Ipswich Town
(Portman Road)

Ipswich Wanderers
(SEH Sports Ground )

Kingstonians
(Kingsmeadow)

Leeds United
(Elland Road)

Leicester City
(Walkers Stadium)

Leicester City
(Filbert Street)

Leiston
(Victory Road)

Leyton Orient
(Brisbane Road)

Lincoln City
(Cincil Bank)

Liverpool
(Anfield)

Long Melford
(Stoneylands)

Lowestoft Town
(Crown Meadows)

Luton Town
(Kenilworth Road)

Manchester City
(Maine Road)

Manchester United
(Old Trafford)

Middlesborough
(Ayresome Park)

Millwall
(The New Den)

Millwall
(The Den)

MK Dons
(National Hockey Stadium)

MK Dons
(stadium:mk)

Needham Market
(Bloomfields)

Netley Central Sports
(Station Road Recreation Ground)

Newcastle United
(St James' Park)

Newmarket Town
(Cricket Field Road)

Northampton Town
(County Ground)

Norwich City
(Carrow Road)

Nottingham Forest
(City Ground)

Notts County
(Meadow Lane)

Peterborough United
(London Road)

Petersfield Town
(Love Lane)

Plymouth Argyle
(Home Park)

Port Vale
(Vale Park)

Portsmouth
(Fratton Park)

Preston North End
(Deepdale)

Queens Park Rangers
(Loftus Road)

Reading
(Madejski Stadium)

Redbridge
(Oakside Stadium)

Romsey Town
(Bypass Ground)

Rotherham United
(Millmoor)

Saffron Walden Town
(Catons Lane)

Salisbury City
(Raymond McEnhill Stadium)

Scunthorpe United
(Glanford Park)

Sheffield United
(Bramall Lane)

Sheffield Wednesday
(Hillsborough)

Shrewsbury Town
(Gay Meadow)

Shrewsbury Town
(Prostar Stadium)

Soham Town Rangers
(Julius Martin Lane)

Southampton
(St Mary's)

Southampton
(The Dell)

Southend United
(Roots Hall)

St Albans City
(Clarence Park)

Stanway Rovers
(New Farm Road)

Stockport County
(Edgeley Park)

Stoke City
(Britannia Stadium)

Stoke City
(Victoria Ground)

Stowmarket Town
(Green Meadows Stadium)

Sunderland
(Stadium of Light)

Swaffham Town
(Shoemakers Lane)

Swindon Town
(County Ground)

Thetford Town
(Mundford Road)

Tiptree United
(Chapel Road)

Tottenham Hotspurs
(White Hart Lane)

United Services Portsmouth
(Victory Stadium)

VT FC
(Vosper Thornycroft Sports Ground)

Walsall
(Bescot Stadium)

Walsall
(Fellows Park)

Walsham Le Willows
(Walsham Sports Club Ground)

Watford
(Vicarage Road)

Wembley Stadium
(Old)

Wembley Stadium
(New)

West Bromwich Albion
(The Hawthorns)

West Ham United
(Upton Park)

Whitton United
(King George V Playing Field )

Wigan Athletic
(JJB Stadium)

Wimbledon
(Plough Lane)

Winchester City
(Denplan City Ground)

Witham Town
(Spa Road)

Wivenhoe Town
(Broad Lane)

Woking
(Kingfield Stadium)

Wolverhampton Wanderers
(Molineux)

Woodbrige Town
(Notcutts Park)

Worcester City
(St. Georges Lane)

WALES

Cardiff City
(Ninian Park)

SCOTLAND

Aberdeen
(Pittodrie Stadium)

Heart of Midlothian
(Tynecastle Stadium)

AUSTRALIA

Northern Spirit
(North Sydney Oval)

AUSTRIA

SW Wacker Innsbruck
(Tivoli Stadion)

BELGIUM

RSC Anderlect
(Constant Vanden Stock Stadium)

FC Brugge
(Olympiastadion)

SV Zulte-Waregem
(Regenboogstadion)

DENMARK

FC Kobenhavn
(Gladsaxe Stadion)

Helsingor IF
(Helsingor Stadion)

ESTONIA

FC Flora
(Lillekula Stadium)

FINLAND

HJK Helsinki
(Finnair Stadium)

VPS
(Hietalahti Stadium)

Tampere United
(Tammelan Stadium)

FRANCE

St.Etienne
(G.Guichard Stadium)

GERMANY

1. FC Koeln
(Mungersdorfer Stadion)

Borussia Dortmund
(Westfalenstadion )

1. FC Union Berlin
(Stadion An der Alten Försterei)

HOLLAND

AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
(GN Bouw Stadion)

FC Groningen
(Euroborg)

FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

Feyenoord
(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle
(Oosterenkstadion)

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
(Diekman Stadion)

Vitesse Arnhem
(Gelredome)

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)

IRELAND

Bray Wanderers
(Carlisle Grounds)

Dublin City
(Tolka Park)

ITALY

Inter Milan
(San Siro)

LUXEMBOURG

Avenir Beggen
(Stade Josy-Barthel)

NORWAY

Skeid Oslo
(Ulevall)

POLAND

Widzew Lodz
(Stadion LKS)

SPAIN

Barcelona
(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
(San Bernabeu)

Valencia
(Luis Casanova)

SWEDEN

Orgryte IS
(Gamla Ullevi (Old))

Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois
(Idrottspark)

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF
(Strandvallen)

Trelleborgs FF
(Vangavallen)

IFK Goteborg
(Ullevi)

USA

Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures
(Odeum)

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Tampa Bay Stadium)