No.23 - Sat 20th December 2014; Peterborough & District League Premier Division; 2pm at City of Peterborough Academy; Reeves Way; Peterborough; Cambs; PE1 5LQ
Matchday images (45) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/RiversideFC
Riverside (2) 2 Peterborough ICA Sports (4) 8
'The ten goals of Christmas...'
'Ground collecting can often be described as a ‘moving feast’ amongst its fraternity. With each season that passes comes a load of new ‘hoppertunities for us to tick off grounds that we have not been to before. Many clubs relocate permanently into purpose built venues having sold their previous homes to the likes of property builders or developers. They are the lucky ones.
For others life is not always that simple. They find themselves having to look for somewhere else to play as they are forced out of their ground in search of a temporary site. It can be seen as a difficult time. Often another club comes to the rescue and offers help by way of a ‘ground-share’ agreement. But for many especially those lower down the pyramid it’s very much a case of finding somewhere to play in order to maintain their status in what becomes a nomadic existence. I imagine all of us can list half a dozen or so such clubs that we have come across in this predicament in recent times.
Take Peterborough & District League side Riverside Football Club as a case in point. Founded in 2008 (as shown on the distinctive logo), the club known then as Riverside Rovers, initially played its home games at the impressive Riverside Pavilion in the Woodston area of the city. The new ground built at a cost of £3m as part of a new regeneration project is located in a new housing development at the end of Candy Street off Sugar Way, aptly named after the British Sugar Corporation company where the IT and HR departmental offices are now located. However after a fall out with the landlords and the Peterborough FA the club was evicted and asked to look elsewhere to play their games.
The club relocated once again in the following campaign to another new development, this time to Queens Park in Daimler Avenue in Yaxley, to the south of the city. Alternating between the two main pitches on site they remained here for two seasons. I was fortunate to take in one of their games back in August 2012 when they lost to Whittlesey Blue Star by the only goal of the match (see: http://footballgroundsinfocus.com/R121306.htm for more).
Six years on and surprise, surprise, the club has moved yet again to another new site this season. But it’s a change for the better as they have formed a partnership with the impressive City of Peterborough Academy in the New England area of the city and become a Community Chartered Standard Club. Based only a couple of miles from the city centre the expansive venue found off Reeves way prides itself on providing fine facilities for its pupils and for the local community offering football opportunities to youngsters aged five onwards.
After arriving at the large car park in front of the school follow signs around the main buildings to the sports pavilion at the back. As you approach the large playing fields you will notice a smart new floodlit MUGA (artificial pitch) to the right and the football club pavilion immediately to the left. Here a small foyer at the front opens up into two separate changing rooms and a kitchen from where refreshments are dispensed at half-time. Interestingly the referee uses another changing room in one of the main buildings in the school block opposite.
There are several pitches on the school playing field. The main, larger one used today is in the middle and is roped along one side. Both ends offer elevated views - there is a small grass embankment at the far end (where cars frequently pass along the A1139 Frank Perkins Parkway) and along a path running in front of the main school buildings at the opposite end. There is no cover but the subs use fold-away plastic bench seating units placed close to the half-way line.
Today's game sees the visit of Peterborough ICA Sports (who ironically play their games at the Riverside pavilion!) to the Academy for a Premier Division gamey. It's a bit of goal fest as the hosts struggle against stiff opposition finally going down 2-8 (where the first goal is scored after only 45 seconds). A small crowd including a PFA committee member is in attendance in a match played in mainly dull, overcast conditions. Although the club doesn't issue programmes, hot drinks and snacks were on offer at half-time from the pavilion foyer which was festively adorned with a Christmas tree and decorations.
It's nice to see that Riverside Football Club has overcome what has been a difficult time in its short history. A visit here comes highly recommended for all travellers. For more information about the club and league (including a really useful online handbook) check out the valuable web addresses below. The joys of hopping continue - have fun wherever you go!
FGIF Match Stats
Scorers: (H) Campbell-Brazier (31), Del Aruso (45) and (A) Jackson (45 secs), Fox (33), Glover (40), Bates (42), Gallacher (pen 54, 61), Carter (55), Moore (60)
Attendance: 13; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.
edited on 21/12/14