No.8 - Sat 6th September 2014; Suffolk & Ipswich League Division Two; 2.30pm at Cedars Park Community Centre; Pintail Road; Stowmarket; Suffolk; IP14 5FP
Matchday images (52) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/CedarsParkFC03
Cedars Park (0) 0 Bildeston Rangers (1) 2
Lion's Den-ied victory on special day...
'After a five year wait and a rather nomadic existence since, Cedars Park FC played its first competitive game at the new Lion's Den ground in Stowmarket on Saturday afternoon. Having previously used pitches at the town's leisure centre, High School and more recently the village hall recreation ground in neighbouring Stowupland, it was a special day for the club as they came back to the area where the side was first formed back in 2009.
The new site found at the Cedars Park Community Centre is only a stone's throw from the A14. Without any strategic signposts to help you it is not a particularly easy place to track down. The ground situated at the end of Pintail Road is in the heart of a vast new housing development where most of the roads leading to it are named after British birds. The final approach takes you along Creeting Road West before turning right down Harrier Way and then right again into Pintail Road where you will see the main entrance and car park.
The Community Centre is a tidy and impressive new multi-purpose venue with plenty of function rooms used not only as a facility by the football club but also by the local pre-school play group. Inside is a smart bar with TV lounge, toilets and changing rooms. A narrow access path leads to the main pitch (around the back). There's a fantastic large covered veranda over a well lit and spacious patio area where plenty of bench seating provides excellent spectator comfort. It's definitely close enough to the watch the game from here (with a pint in hand) and will no doubt be a real asset in the event of bad weather come the winter months.
Despite being in the middle of a large housing estate the site has an appealing, enclosed feel being bordered by landscaped paths and small saplings along one side, hedges along another and a high fence at the far end. There is plenty of evidence that building work continues at a pace with large towering cranes filling the skyline. The pitch itself which runs lengthways (end to end) is separated from the pavilion by a smart wooden fence. A banner printed with the words 'the Lions' (the club's nickname) adorns the rails. Players enter the field of play through a small gate near to the penalty area. At present there are no dug outs or other pitch side cover. A couple of smaller goals along the right hand side touchline support a yellow plastic banner advertising Stowmarket Town Youth football, one of the area's junior sides which also use the facilities here.
As many hoppers may already know Cedars Park FC has made great strides since joining the Suffolk & Ipswich League back in 2009-10. This great success has been down to a hard-working and proactive committee. The club has gained consecutive promotions from Division Six up to Division Two where they finished in ninth position last season. Their best form was back in 2011-12 when they won Division Four remaining unbeaten and amassing over sixty points with a GD of +65.
Today's game, the first of the new season, saw the visit of fierce rivals Bildeston Rangers to the new Lion's Den. Despite a close contest it was the away side who took all three points scoring a goal in each half to come away with a deserved 2-0 victory in this tough Division Two encounter. The match played on a decent pitch in mainly dull overcast but muggy conditions attracted thirty spectators. This included fellow hoppers and FGIF readers Lawrence and Janet Milrose who have recently moved to the area from Braintree just over a year ago. The affable pair love their local football and are enjoying taking in new grounds since relocating. It was nice to see you both.
Paper chasers will be delighted to know that the club issue a (free) smart 16 page colour photocopied programme for all of their home games. With a picture of the new CPCC and match details on the front cover there's plenty to read inside with Chairman's notes; Club notices; First, Reserve and A team (new this season) fixtures as well as several superb pre-season action pictures. Sadly there are no line ups in this week's edition. Copies of the programme can be picked up (literally) from tables in the bar area where a selection of drinks and snacks is also available throughout the afternoon.
Travellers may be interested to learn that the club has several home fixtures coming over the next couple of months if they wish to tick the ground off. These are: vs Trimley Red Devils (on 27/09); vs Ufford Sports (Suffolk FA Cup on 04/10) and Boxford Rovers (on 11/10). For more details visit the side's excellent website or the SIL (sponsored by Touchline Sports) competition site (see links below). Needless to say that a visit to this ambitious club in the Gipping Valley comes highly recommended. Come on you Lions!'.
FGIF Match Stats
Scorers: (H) N/A and (A) Bignall (29); Y (og. Allnott 50)
Attendance: 30; Admission: Free; Programme: 16 pages, free; Match rating: 3/5; Ground rating: 5/5.
edited on 10/09/14