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.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Tilbury FC - Chadfields

Match - Tilbury FC 1-1 AFC Sudbury
Competition - Isthmian League Division 1 North
Admission - £8
Scarf - N/A
Attendance - 110
Food - Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese & Chips  7/10
Ground No - 111
Ground Rating - 4/10

We are almost 2 months into the new season now and I was finally going to see my first game of it. My main target for this season is to complete the Ryman League Division 1 North, I have 9 to get to including this one at Tilbury FC. Today's game was a league encounter against AFC Sudbury.

Tilbury play at Chadfields a small ground with a capacity of around 4000 located right next to a Gypsy site in the town of Tilbury just up the road from Grays in Essex. We arrived at the ground at around 2.15 and once we had parked up in the small club Car Park headed to the Tilbury FC Social Club for a quick pint before entering the ground.

The Social Club seemed quite dark and dingy and many of the windows had there metal shutters pulled down. Inside there was a TV and a projector screen on which they were showing the early Premier league match between Arsenal and Chelsea. There was also a large Tilbury FC Flag in the corner below the TV screen.

In the entrance there were plans detailing a possible new ground for the club which would be built on ground adjacent to there current location, which after seeing the ground was obviously required.

Chadfields is an old stadium which looks as though it receives minimal maintenance, probably due to the planned move. There are two seated stands at the half way line on each side of the ground. The Main Stand is down the touchline from the turnstiles. This stand houses the Changing Rooms which are at ground level with seating above which is accessed by a set of stairs to the side of the stand. The stand has a number of supporting pillars that would obstruct your view of the action. Each side of the Main Stand there are small uncovered terraced areas.

On the Opposite side of the ground there is another small seated stand with around 5 rows of seats (and a broken roof), this stand has covered terracing at each side of it. The team dugouts are on this side of the ground meaning that managers, Physio's etc have to walk across the pitch before each half to reach them.

The near end of the ground is where the turnstiles and Snack Bar are located  with just a path running behind the goal in front of the social club building which is inaccessible from inside the ground. At the far end there is some uncovered terracing. At both ends of the ground metal fences have been erected directly behind the goal, to stop balls flying out of the ground, this though means that anyone wishing to stand there has to look through the fences to watch the game.

Far End Terrace
   The game itself started reasonably brightly with Sudbury creating a couple of decent chances, but with the rough playing surface any type of passing football went out the game and both sides started playing very direct football with the centre halves clearing any aerial balls very easily, limiting any real goal mouth action.

The deadlock was finally broken though when Tilbury attacker Emiel Aiken received the ball around 30 yards out turned and hit a cracking shot into the bottom right hand corner of Sudburys goal leaving the keeper little chance.

Sudbury came out in the second half and tried to play more of a passing game which helped them build some pressure on the Tilbury back line. They were rewarded ten minutes into the half when former Tilbury man Tom Webb was released on the left hand side of the penalty area and scored the equaliser into the far corner of the Tilbury goal.

The remainder of the match was a bit bland with nobody really getting hold of the game which reverted back to route 1 stuff, until the last 5 minutes when both teams realised that the game was there for the taking and had a number of good chances to claim a winner but a mixture of poor finishing and good goalkeeping particularly from Howe in the Sudbury goal meant that the game finished level.

A draw in the end was a fair result from a game where both teams I'm sure were far from there best.

In conclusion a poor stadium matched by a poor game of football, but at least the season is underway (for me) and hopefully things can only get better from here

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