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Monday, August 10, 2009

Stowmarket Town

08-08-2009: Stowmarket Town 0 Downham Town 2
(Ridgeons League First Division)

Stowmarket Town

It is with great sadness that I must report that the blue Super Dexta tractor featured in Simple Pieman’s report of his trip to Stowmarket Town in 2007 may well be in that great tractor heaven in the sky. At least there was no sign of it anywhere Saturday afternoon. This is, agriculturally speaking, more than made up for the by fine array of vegetables that are grown with the confines of the Suffolk club’s Green Meadow ground. I’ve spotted flowers, plants and the occasional shrubbery at non-league venues before but I do believe this is the first time I’ve seen runner beans growing within a few feet of a corner flag.

Stowmarket Town               Stowmarket Town

The A14 passes within a few hundred yards of the ground, an elevated section of the East Anglia - East Midlands link road as it crosses the River Gipping and the main railway line between London and N*rwich. Speaking of N*rwich I thought Five Live were having a laugh when they said that Colchester had put seven past the C*naries on opening day, and nearly lost control of the car when the score was confirmed by James Alexander Gordon at 5 O’Clock. I must say that it’s nice that the Norfolk boys have retained their sense of humour if not their place in the Championship. But I digress.

Stowmarket Town

Travelling back and forth along the A14 I must have passed the ground a thousand times. You get a really good - almost aerial – view as you motor by, but this is only the second time that I have ventured in for a game (coincidentally Downham Town the same opposition as Simple Pieman saw two years ago).

Stowmarket Town               Stowmarket Town

Three sides of the ground are open to the elements but, for an average Ridgeons League attendance at least, there is more than ample cover along the west touchline both for seated spectators (the main stand has a capacity of around two hundred) and those who prefer to stand (a structure that sits between the main stand and the large club house and doubles as a storage area). In front of the clubhouse and over by the northwest corner flag is a beer garden - the busiest area of the ground as fan’s took advantage of the excellent weather - which is well equipped with picnic tables and the like, although a bit bleak come January I suspect.

Stowmarket Town

Founded in 1883 the club only took up occupancy at Green Meadows as recently as the summer of 1984 when the ground and it’s floodlights were officially opened by Sir Alf Ramsey. Originally formed as Stowmarket Association, and then variously known as plain Stowmarket, Stowmarket Corinthians, Stowmarket (again) and Stowmarket Town, their old Cricket Meadow ground was sold off to developers. Although (reading the clubs history) the lead up to the sale was a period of great uncertainty for the club it has actual proven a good decision in the long run. The popular social club raises the funds required to run a team in the Ridgeons League, and while the team has not enjoyed a great deal of success league wise (two top seven placings (’02 and ’03) in the Ridgeons Premier was followed by relegation in ‘05) they’ve had a couple of decent-ish runs in the FA Cup since the turn of the century

More pictures here.

posted by chevblue at 6:08 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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