No.4 - Sat 15th August 2015; Essex & Suffolk Border League Division Two;                           3pm at the Cressing Sports & Social Club; Jeffrey's Road; Cressing; Braintree; Essex; CM77 8JQ 


Matchday images (60)


Cressing United (8) 9  Colchester Athletic (0) 1

'A United Front!'

'Today I’m heading through the sticks and making my way over the border into Essex for my footy fix. My chosen destination is the village of Cressing, located on the outskirts of Braintree, where the local football club is making a bit of history, on this, the opening day of the new season.


As far as I know it all began about a year ago when a group of lads, mostly Sunday footballers, got together in a pub one night after a training session, to discuss the idea of forming a new team of their own. Following a planning meeting in March they decided to formally approach the Essex and Suffolk Border League and apply as a Saturday side. Once the league committee had inspected the ground they found out by the end of the season that their application to join had been successful and were then invited to take up their place in the competition as a side playing initially in the second division.

Led by manager Ivan Gooday (ex Braintree Town and a legend in these parts, or so I am led to believe) and pro-active committee members Andy Thorndyke, Lloyd Gooday and Darren Stone, there is much optimism about the place ahead of the game. Indeed the club has been impressive in their pre-seson warm up by winning all of their games with a 4-1 victory coming away at Flitch last week, being their final friendly. By coincidence, visitors Colchester Athletic are themselves playing their very first game in the Border League after gaining promotion from the Colchester and Essex League at the end of last season.

Based at Jeffrey’s Road, the club is found hidden away inside a residential housing area in Cressing, a stone’s throw from the town by-pass (quite near to the Freeport Designer Retail outlet). A narrow driveway leads to a small car park where limited parking is available outside the well appointed social club which boasts Sky TV. Much work has taken place at the club over the summer months and upon my arrival a local painter and decorator is busy sprucing up the adjoining club building. A number of picnic tables and chairs can be seen at the edge of the field which is bordered on all sides by trees and housing. The players change in a separate pavilion around the back. Many ‘hoppers may be interested to learn that Rayne FC (also members of the Border League), played here last season.

The match turns out to be a pretty one sided affair as the hosts prove to be too skilful for their opponents. Indeed as a sporting spectacle it is all over by half-time with United leading 8-1 after demolishing the visitors for most of the first half with some impressive play and cracking goals coming from no fewer than five players who get their names on the scoresheet. The second half is more of an even contest with the hosts adding only one more goal to their total to take all three points and send a message to other clubs in the league that they mean business and not making up the numbers. The game played on a partly sun worn pitch in very warm conditions is attended by just over forty spectators including two fellow hoppers (locals I think) and an enthusiastic referee’s assessor (sadly a Leeds United FC fan but never mind!) who is here to keep his eye on the match official in charge of his first game at this level.

As far as pitch furniture goes the picnic area proves a popular vantage point for many of the spectators (dressed in T-shirts and shorts to take advantage of the heatwave!) who watch the game at very close quarters. A young fellow snapper is also busy taking pictures and her superb photos can be seen on the club’s website. Although the club like most in this league does not issue programmes, there’s plenty of refreshments on offer over in the bar area near to the entrance.

A visit to Cressing United FC comes highly recommended and travellers will definitely receive a warm welcome (from the lady in the bar to the committee members and the local supporters) here. To find out more about the team click on the links below which include a newly developed website (with access to a Facebook page) and the informative league site. The joys of visiting new ‘new’ clubs and grounds continues, have fun wherever you go!'.     

FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) Bearman (3), Gooday (4), Storey (26, 30); Knightbridge (29, 38), Olding (40), Coppas (79) and (A) Aves (20) 

Attendance: 41; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 4/5.



edited on 17/08/15