I’ve lived next to the Cricklefield Athletics Stadium for some 11 or so years now and never been to it before today. The ground is within walking distance of my home. The last time I lived within walking distance of a football ground was when I lived in Moss side Manchester and was a stone’s throw from Maine Road, Manchester City’s then home ground. There ended the similarities.
I found myself at home alone this weekend and surfing the FA Website for anything about Spennymoor Town’s win at Ashton in the FA Cup brought me to a story saying Waltham Forest were playing Eastbourne Borough on the 2nd October. A quick look on the internet revealed that Waltham Forest no longer play in that London Borough but ground share with Ilford FC at the Ilford Athletics Ground.
So, Sunday afternoon, I left home around 14:40 and still had time to get to the ground, and have a look round before kick off. Admission was £8. Much cheaper than any league club and most conference clubs. This is for admission to the ground. You can sit stand or both at no extra cost.
There were programmes on sale somewhere, but I was not able to find them. Oh well, their loss and more beer money for me! Some grounds you spot from miles away because of their floodlights or the size of the stands. Not here. Can you spot the ground in the following picture?
It is there honest! The turnstiles are just past the building site on the right. Obvious isn’t it?
The ground itself is in the middle of an athletics ground meaning the fans are a long way from the pitch. The distance behind the goal from terrace to goal is huge and not something I’d like to put up with each week. West Ham fans should probably stop reading now.
Rather than write hundreds of words describing the ground. Look at the video below
and the pictures of the ground
The Main Stand above and the view from behind the goal below
West Ham fans this is what you can expect at the Olympic Stadium.
The game itself was an intriguing affair. Waltham Forest in level four (level 8 if you count the premier and football leagues) hosting a team from Level 3. Waltham Forest made the running early on and even had a goal disallowed early on. By half time the score was still nil nil. However, the interest for m was the Waltham Forest winger, playing at number 11. He seemed to spend more time arguing with his team mates than much else. At more than one point I expected to see blows being exchanged. He was substituted early in the 2nd half and was last seen heading to the dressing room chuntering to himself – I’m not sure what about though.
The pitch itself made good football difficult to ply. It was very uneven. I am not sure if it come across in these pictures?
The game ended up 3-0 to Eastbourne which came as no surprise, but Waltham Forest did not disgrace themselves.
For me, it was a pleasant afternoon, enhanced by being allowed to drink beer whilst sat in the sun watching the game. The crowd on both sides was friendly, even the obligatory dog was friendly.
At under £15 for admission, food and a few beers – and home by 5pm, it makes for a good afternoon. The crowd at 175 was 73 above the previous best, and nearly 4.5 times the lowest of the season, so a good day financially for Waltham Forest, although it would have been better still if they had won.
In case you were in doubt, this is Crickelfield Stadium
This is Maine Road, Manchester
As you can see they are easy to confuse.
Wembley on final day looks like this
Whereas Waltham Forest in FA Cup 3rd Qualifying round is slightly less full