No.27 - Sat 17th January 2015; Suffolk & Ipswich League Division One;                              2pm at Rattlesden Playing Field; Bird Green; Rattlesden; Bury St Edmunds; Suffolk; IP30 0RT 


Matchday images (59)

Stow United (0) 0  Benhall St Mary (2) 3

'A Changing for the Better'

'It's all change. Travellers may be interested to know that former Suffolk and Ipswich League side AFC Crowley has not only changed its name to Stow United FC but has moved from its base at the Needham Market playing fields to the Rattlesden Playing Fields next to the village hall in Bird Green, Rattlesden, situated midway between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket (come off the A14 at junction 47 for Woolpit). 

Difficulties cited in booking council-run pitches and sharing with local cricket clubs at the start and end of the season forced the club’s hand to look elsewhere to play its home games. Re-locating some ten miles away the club decided that a name change was a good idea if it was to reflect the new site and area it now found itself in. 


The site set in delightful Suffolk countryside offers lovely vistas of the surrounding fields and woodland. The un-roped pitch is bordered by some local (and very expensive) housing, hedges and a fast running stream which runs behind the furthest goal. Facilities here are excellent. A large modern village hall with ornate clock on the gabled roof is situated next to the car park provides accommodation for conferences and wedding receptions with a kitchen area being used to sell refreshments from. A veranda with handrail allows spectators to watch the game under cover at close quarters. The players change in separate portable buildings at the back in close proximity to the pitch.


After experiencing a few days of sleet and snow, the weather improved markedly and I was grateful to take advantage of a beautifully sunny afternoon for my footy fix today. This was my first visit to a new SIL ground since ticking off Shotley FC at the start of last season. I arrived at the playing fields with plenty of time to spare ahead of the Suffolk & Ipswich League Division One encounter against opponents Benhall St Mary. Both sides came into the game on the back quite differing form: Stow had seemingly struggled this season and found themselves down in eleventh place (out of 13) whereas Benhall had seen greater success sitting just three places off the top of the division and still left in the Suffolk Junior Cup where a semi-final tie against Ransomes Sports in March and the Bob Coleman League Cup with a home tie in the fourth round against Wenhaston United next week, both await.


Today’s match went according to the form book. Visitors Benhall looked impressive and ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. The game was expertly refereed by the affable Ian Smillie, a legend in the SIL, an ex-ECL official and member of county referees association, now into his thirty-sixth year of whistle blowing. A lovely bloke who always has a smile on his face! A crowd of twelve people were in attendance in a game played on a heavy but perfectly playable surface. Although the club doesn’t issue programmes, refreshments including hot drinks and snacks werre dispensed through a small hatch/window at the side of the hall.


A visit to this lovely friendly club comes highly recommended. For more details check out the useful SIL league websites (see address below). The joys of hopping continue. Have fun wherever you go!'.     

FGIF Match Stats

                Scorers: (H) N/A and (A) Trotter (41), Cook (42), Sillett (83)  

Attendance: 12; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 3/5; Ground rating: 3/5.



edited on 18/01/15