No.34 - Sat 7th March 2015; Northern Premier League Premier Division; 3pm at The Zeeco Stadium; Borderville Sports Centre; Ryhall Road; Stamford; Lincs; PE9 4QN
Matchday images (95) https://picasaweb.google.com/footballgroundsinfocus/StamfordAFC
Stamford AFC (0) 0 Marine (0) 1
'New grounds, you either love them or hate them. It really does surprise (and at times annoy) me when travellers are all too keen to (publicly) criticise a clubís new home following a visit there. It seems that when the location, facilities or even aesthetics somehow donít appeal or don't come up to a certain standard, it becomes fashionable to slag the new ground off! Why do we always have to compare the new build with the old more familiar one? True there are going to be differences between the two but surely isnít it better to see a club thriving then fall by the wayside and lose its status? Come on ground collectors get over your selves and show some support for a change!! Look for the positives and not the negatives: after all without new grounds to visit our hobby would be less interesting.
So what can I say after my hop to the new Zeeco Arena Stadium? Put quite simply, I loved it!! Following the sale of the old Burghley Estates owned ground in Wothorpe Road, the spacious new site on the Rhyhall Road, with valuable support and a partnership involving New College Stamford, has been built at a cost of £5m. Located only a short distance from Stamford the clubís new sporting facilities are easily accessible to all and offers fans (regulars and occasional visitors alike) everything you would want or expect for an enjoyable football watching experience. I will let the album photos serve as a more detailed explanation of the facilities and layout (click on the link above for more).
However here are a few brief personal observations: as a visitor travelling to the game by car there are plenty of parking spaces outside the ground and the information and direction signs are clear and well laid out. Access via the turnstile/pay booth leads you directly to the main stand with a superb elevated clubhouse and adjoining refreshment kiosk (below) situated in the immediate corner. With a wide range of hot and cold food on the menu and several staff on duty this was one of the best catering outlets I had been to in a while. The ease of moving from one part of the ground to another could not have been better and the thoughtful mix of standing and seating cover on all sides seems spot on. Looking outside the immediate confines of the playing area there is much adjoining space to provide further development should the need arise. Judging by the large number of adverts displayed around the place there is also evidence that the club has established many lasting business links in the community which amongst other things promises a bright and secure future. Full marks you Daniels.
Todayís visitors Marine deservedly won what was a close fought NPL Premier Division contest by a single goal scored just six minutes after the break. Although the hosts fought back they missed several chances and could not find an equaliser. Based on this performance the Daniels, after an encouraging start to their season, may now face a bit of a struggle if they are to avoid relegation come the end of April. The game played on a beautiful flat and well grassed surface attracted 368 spectators including many away fans who had made the long journey down from Liverpool. A smart, glossy and newsy all colour 44-page programme priced £2 was issued for the game.
Travellers can find out more information about the club and the league in general by clicking on the links shown below. Check out the photos showing the development of the stadium on the Daniels website. A nice touch. It just remains for me to say that a visit to the new Zeeco Stadium at the Borderville Sports Centre comes highly recommended. A smashing day out and one I hope you enjoy just as much'.
FGIF Match Stats
Scorers: (H) N/A and (A) Clair (51)
Attendance: 368; Admission: £10; Programme: £2; Match rating: 2/5; Ground rating: 4/5.
edited on 08/03/15