Welcome to my blog detailing my groundhopping exploits. My aim is to visit all football grounds in England (Premier league to the 8th tier) Scotland (SPL to 3rd Division) and the Welsh premier league I may also add grounds from other sports or countries. I hope you enjoy reading.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Leyton Orient - Matchroom Stadium

Match - Leyton Orient 1-3 Scunthorpe United
Competition - NPower League 1
Admission - £23 West Stand
Scarf - £8
Att - 4,055
Food - Cornish Pasty  8/10 Meat Pie 3/10
Ground No. - 106
Ground Rating - 6/10

Today's ground hop was to the Matchroom Stadium to see the League 1 game between Leyton Orient and Scunthorpe Utd. Both teams have been struggling this season with Orient sitting just inside the bottom half of the table and Scunthorpe languishing in the relegation zone.

It was back to just me and my Dad for this game today so at just before 12 my dad was outside my house picking me up and we made our way to Epping tube station. Epping Station is at the end of the central Line where the tube would take us straight to Leyton station 9 stops down the track.

On leaving Leyton Tube Station we were confronted with a view over to the London 2012 Olympic park. I am one of the lucky ones to get tickets for the event later this year all be it through the 2nd round of ticket sales and not what I originally wanted to see I also have tickets for the paralympics, I cannot wait to see this fantastic event in my home country. I will post my Olympic visits on the blog in the summer.

Olympic Park: Velodrome (r) Basketball Arena (L)
 A short walk later we were at Leyton Orients Matchroom Stadium formally Brisbane Road. The ground is named after owner Barry Hearns company but most still refer to it as Brisbane Road. To join the debate I have no issue at all with clubs renaming stadiums even the likes of Newcastle Utd's St James' Park as it brings in much needed funds and in the end everyone will continue to use the original name anyway so whats the problem.

The matchroom Stadium is an all seated stadium holding around 9,500 supporters. A lot of the ground is recently new, with the only old stand being the large East stand along one touchline, 2/3rds of this stand is for home supporters and the other third is taken by away supporters. Although apart from the away supporters area there really wasn't many fans using this stand.

At each end there is a newish single tiered stand at the South end is the Tommy Johnston Stand and the North end a similar standwhich as far as I can make out is just named the North Stand. Both are accessed from the front of the stand with the Tommy Johnston Stand raised so is accessed via a set of stairs. Both Stands are for Home supporters, something I'm not particularly keen on as I believe away supporters should be allocated one end rather than stuck away in the corner.

On the opposite touchline is the new odd looking West stand, this stand is home to all the club offices and changing rooms it has a shallow single tier of seats and above has a load of offices and hospitality suites with windows that look out on to the ground, with the roof of the stand being very high up which almost gives the seats no cover from the elements if rain is even slightly angled towards the stand, Which it was at times today. Half way up between the general seating and the roof is an odd looking gallery which seats hospitality guests. This stand like the other two new stands is accessed at the front with a large walkway between the front seats and the pitch, which makes you feel a long way from the action.

Another odd characteristic of this ground is that in all four corners there are blocks of flats many with balconies looking over the pitch and therefore perfect vantage points to watch any games played at the Matchroom Stadium.

The O's Mascot Theo
The game itself wasn't the best Orient started by trying to play some passing football whereas Scunthorpe just adopted the long ball game trying to pick out there Tank like forward Jon Parkin who is currently on loan from championship promotion hopefuls Cardiff City. The wet conditions didn't help matters either with the ball skidding off the surface. The more the first half continued the more scrappy the football became with a number of fouls being missed by the officials irritating both sets of players and supporters.
Until with around 10 minutes to go until half time Orient managed to put a few passes together which ended up with French forward Jonathon Tehoue heading in a Dean Cox cross to put the O's in the lead.

Orient decided not to turn up in the 2nd half and Scunthorpe took full advantage, they changed from there long ball tactics and got the ball to feet and started passing the ball around although not creating a massive amount. Parkin was causing the Orient defence a few problems with his strength and had a great touch for a big man.

Utd finally got the equaliser their play deserved on the hour when a cross was nodded back across the goal and Walker Volleyed in from 8 Yards. Scunthorpe carried on being the better of the two teams but looked like being held to a draw until 5 minutes from the end they made it 2-1. Andy Barcham scoring after some good hold up play by Parkin.

The 3rd goal for Scunthorpe came in very unfortunate circumstances for Orient as there keeper went to catch a ball from a corner and landed awkwardly doing so and in the process dropped the ball right at Parkins feet who made no mistake putting the ball in the back of the net. The keeper had to be stretchered off with what looked like a broken leg while receiving gas and without a substitute keeper on the bench one of the centre halves had to take that role.

The game finally finished 1-3 a result that lifted Scunthorpe out of the relegation zone. Not a great game but another four goals for me and my dad so can't complain to much. I also hope that Lee Butcher The O's keeper recovers soon from what looked like a horrible injury.

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