Competition - Isthmian League Division 1N
Admission - £8
Attendance - 51
Scarf - £10
Food - Bacon Burger £3.50 6/10
Ground No. 113
Ground Rating 5/10 (would increase when finished)
After having had my last planned hop to York City called off due the torrential rain on the 22nd Dec I decided to start my groundhopping off early in 2013 with a new years day trip to see Redbridge in the Isthmian League Division 1N. Unfortunately this game was also called off at around 10am so after a quick look online settled on the game at Thamesmead Town's Bayliss Avenue ground for their game against Aveley in the same league. Both Thamesmead and Aveley are fighting near the top of the league before this game Aveley sat 4th and Thamesmead 6th with Aveley having a couple of games in hand over the home side.
We arrived at the ground around an hour before Kick Off and with no spaces in the clubs car park parked down a small side road just outside the club gates and made our way to the turnstiles, only to find them closed. While we waited for the ground to open we went for a pint in the decent sized clubhouse which is also home to the snack bar and where I got hold of a club scarf which was a bit on the expensive side at £10.
The turnstiles were finally opened 30 min's before kick off. The whole place is undergoing some big changes. After speaking to a club official we found out that the works have been going on for around 4 years with 3 different building firms going bust during the project and the current builders having issues with getting an electricity supply to the new stand which will also house the club offices and presumably new changing rooms and clubhouse.
|Almost finished new stand|
|Far end with A2016 flyover right behind|
It was 1-1 at the break when the lively Aveley No.9 Petrit Elbi finished off a lovely passing move that saw the ball worked from left to right and then crossed into a dangerous area where he volleyed the ball home from 8 yards out.
During half time there were murmurings that the referee was looking to abandon the game due to the fact that there were a number of floodlights pointing towards the centre of the pitch that weren't working. With the players returning to the pitch to start the 2nd half the ref spoke to both captains advising them that he would give it 10 min's and if they were not back on a he believed the light had got too bad he would call the game off. Luckily though with a clear sky and a makeshift floodlight set up by the Thamesmead officials the game was seen to it's conclusion.
|Not a great picture of the makeshift floodlight|
The away side were again looking the most likely to score but as it was in the first half they fell behind again and again it was the left foot of Probets who curled a free kick up and over the wall into the top corner of the Aveley goal. Thamesmead then took control of the game and should have killed it off when there No.9 was released one on one with the keeper. He kept his calm to round the keeper but somehow blazed the ball high over the bar.This woke Aveley back up who then created a number of chances one of which cannoned off the bar and a couple of penalty shouts which lead to one of the away coaches telling his players to go down/dive. How can we get rid of diving when we have coaches like this around????? from one of these penalty shouts Aveley were awarded a corner the deep cross that came in was headed back into the 6 yard box and the ball was turned in by Junior Appiah to level the game. Proving to the coach that you don't need to cheat to score goals.
The rest of the game was quite even and as they entered the 3 Min's of signalled additional time looked as though it would end with the score at 2-2. Then in the 2nd min of time added on Thamesmead won a free kick around 25yards out on the left hand side. My MoM Thamesmeads Probets crossed the ball in which was only half cleared straight to a Green shirt the player drilled the ball back towards goal and with a slight deflection it ended up in the net to give the home side all three points.
There are videos of both Aveley goals on their website Here
A good game in which to start 2013 and I will definitely return to Bayliss Avenue once the ground is finally finished. Hopefully the finished ground will entice more people to come and watch their local team as the attendance of 51 wasn't great.