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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Bromley 3 Margate 2
Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent

Hayes Lane

I currently find myself working in Kent - the county of my birth - on the Isle of Sheppey. Whoever gave Kent the title of the Garden of England never ventured north from Sittingbourne across the River Swale onto the Island that’s for certain. The tourist brochure for the island, in a struggle to find anything nice to say about it, boasts of the wonderful views that Sheerness offers of Southend, which sits on the other side of the Thames estuary! A proud claim indeed. What it doesn’t mention is that in the middle of the estuary, about a mile out from Sheerness, is the wreck of the USS Richard Montgomery a WWII ship packed with enough high explosive to hurl a 1,000ft wide column of water, mud, metal and munitions almost 10,000ft into the air were they ever to detonate. But enough of that as tonight I escape up the mainline, through the Medway Towns, and the last major rail stop before London Victoria, for my first game of the 2007-08 season as Conference (South) Bromley take on Ryman League side Margate.

Hayes Lane

Bromley share their Hayes Lane ground with Cray Wanderers (formed in 1860 making them second only to Sheffield as the world’s oldest football club) and the Crystal Palace second eleven. An injection of cash has improved the fortunes of the club on the field (Ryman League Play-off victory back in May sees them compete in the Blue Square Conference South this coming campaign) and the facilities off it. Both ends are partially covered (one with seating), an open terrace runs along the far touchline, while the covered John Fiorini stand on the near side offers seating for a couple of hundred. This stand is home to a plush new bar, spanking new boardroom and a café, which added altogether make this is quite a pleasant place to watch a game of football. Oh, and two brand new five-a-side pitches have just opened behind one goal. The ground is ringed by trees in a leafy area of Bromley, where the surrounding commuter belt homes all come with a minimum £500,000 plus price tag, a nice neighbourhood to stroll through on the twenty minute walk from Bromley South station.

Hayes Lane

The club had enjoyed three consecutive 3,000 plus crowds at Hayes Lane. Last seasons play-off games against Billericay and AFC Wimbledon, and their first pre-season home fixture against near neighbours Palace last weekend, but tonight’s turnout for the visit of Margate numbered just a few hundred. Not unsurprising. The record attendance though stands at a dizzy 10,798 when Bromley fans turned out en masse for a game against Nigeria in 1949. The current capacity stands at around the 5,000 mark.

Bromley are managed by the former Crystal Palace Chairman Mark Goldberg who lost £24M in his eight short months at the helm at Selhurst Park back in 1998. The coaching partnership of George Wakeling and Billy Smith, who had won the side promotion to the Ryman Premier in 2005, were sacked to make way for Goldberg, with claims of nepotism laid at the door of Jerry Dolke, club Chairman and Goldberg’s brother-in-law. But you can’t argue with a decision that has led to a second promotion in two years and see’s the club competing in the Conference (South) for the first time.

The pictures continue here.

Match Number: 1380

posted by chevblue at 11:13 pm

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extreme groundhopping

a (mainly) pictorial account of one man's obsession with football stadia, floodlight pylon's and ipswich town football club

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Ground Visit Record


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)



Aston Villa
(Villa Park)



Basildon United
(Gardiners Close)

Billericay Town
(New Lodge)

Birmingham City
(St Andrews)

Blackburn Rovers
(Ewood Park)

(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)

(Griffin Park)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Withdean Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Goldstone Ground)

Bristol City
(Ashton Gate)

Bristol Rovers

(Hayes Lane)

(Turf Moor)

(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)

(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)

(Watling Street)

Debenham Leisure Centre

Derby County
(Pride Park)

Derby County
(Baseball Ground)

Diss Town
(Brewers Green Lane)

(Sparshatts Stadium)

Ely City
(Unwin Ground)

(Goodison Park)

Fareham Town
(Cams Alders)

FC Clacton
(Rush Green Bowl)

FC Fleetlands
(Lederle Lane)

Felixstowe & Walton United
(Dellwood Avenue)

Framlingham Town
(Sports Ground)

(Craven Cottage)


(Emerald Park)

Gosport Borough
(Privett Park)

Great Yarmouth Town
(Wellesley Recreation Ground)

Grimsby Town
(Blundell Park)

Hadleigh United

Halstead Town
(Rosemary Lane)

Hamble ASSC
(Follands Park)

Harwich & Parkeston
(Royal Oak)

Havant & Waterlooville
(West Leigh Park)

Heybridge Swifts
(Scraley Road)

(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 )


Leeds United
(Elland Road)

Leicester City
(Walkers Stadium)

Leicester City
(Filbert Street)

(Victory Road)

Leyton Orient
(Brisbane Road)

Lincoln City
(Cincil Bank)


Long Melford

Lowestoft Town
(Crown Meadows)

Luton Town
(Kenilworth Road)

Manchester City
(Maine Road)

Manchester United
(Old Trafford)

(Ayresome Park)

(The New Den)

(The Den)

MK Dons
(National Hockey Stadium)

MK Dons

Needham Market

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
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Petersfield Town
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Plymouth Argyle
(Home Park)

Port Vale
(Vale Park)

(Fratton Park)

Preston North End

Queens Park Rangers
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(Madejski Stadium)

(Oakside Stadium)

Romsey Town
(Bypass Ground)

Rotherham United

Saffron Walden Town
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Salisbury City
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Scunthorpe United
(Glanford Park)

Sheffield United
(Bramall Lane)

Sheffield Wednesday

Shrewsbury Town
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Shrewsbury Town
(Prostar Stadium)

Soham Town Rangers
(Julius Martin Lane)

(St Mary's)

(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)

(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)

(Vosper Thornycroft Sports Ground)

(Bescot Stadium)

(Fellows Park)

Walsham Le Willows
(Walsham Sports Club Ground)

(Vicarage Road)

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

West Bromwich Albion
(The Hawthorns)

West Ham United
(Upton Park)

Whitton United
(King George V Playing Field )

Wigan Athletic
(JJB Stadium)

(Plough Lane)

Winchester City
(Denplan City Ground)

Witham Town
(Spa Road)

Wivenhoe Town
(Broad Lane)

(Kingfield Stadium)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Woodbrige Town
(Notcutts Park)

Worcester City
(St. Georges Lane)


Cardiff City
(Ninian Park)


(Pittodrie Stadium)

Heart of Midlothian
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Northern Spirit
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SW Wacker Innsbruck
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RSC Anderlect
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FC Brugge

SV Zulte-Waregem


FC Kobenhavn
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Helsingor IF
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FC Flora
(Lillekula Stadium)


HJK Helsinki
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(Hietalahti Stadium)

Tampere United
(Tammelan Stadium)


(G.Guichard Stadium)


1. FC Koeln
(Mungersdorfer Stadion)

Borussia Dortmund
(Westfalenstadion )

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


AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
(GN Bouw Stadion)

FC Groningen

FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
(Diekman Stadion)

Vitesse Arnhem

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)


Bray Wanderers
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Dublin City
(Tolka Park)


Inter Milan
(San Siro)


Avenir Beggen
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Skeid Oslo


Widzew Lodz
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(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
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(Luis Casanova)


Orgryte IS
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Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF

Trelleborgs FF

IFK Goteborg


Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
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