Saturday, 14 March 2020

Gay Dawn Farm - Corinthian

Corinthian - Gay Dawn Farm

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Corinthian Football Club
Gay Dawn Farm
Valley Road

Tel: 01474 573116


Corinthian Football Club were formed in 1972. The club was established by Ron Billings Sr in 1972, initially as a youth team for eight and nine-year-olds. The club was named after the original Corinthian, an amateur club in the early twentieth century. They initially played only friendly matches, although they played over 60 games a season and attracted visits from Charlton Athletic, Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur. They remained without a league until 1985 when a successful application was made to join the Southern League. Despite still being an amateur club, Corinthian finished fifth in Division One South in their first season in the league. However, this proved to be their only top-half finish, and after finishing bottom of the division in 1990–91, they were relegated to Division One of the Kent League. Despite three moderately successful seasons, Corinthian struggled in Division One, and after finishing bottom of the division in 1996–97 and 1997–98, they withdrew from adult football to concentrate on their youth teams. In 2009 the club rejoined the Kent League, taking the place of Slade Green. The league was renamed the Southern Counties East League in 2013.


Corinthian 2-1 Bearsted
Saturday 14th March 2020
Southern Counties East Football League

My 1st visit to Gay Dawn Farm came in March 2020. It was a last minute decision with all the Premier League and Football League games being postponed due to the Coronavirus and with not many non-league games on, I was limited to what game to do. East Grinstead was my main one to do, but once again for about the 5th time of trying to tick it off, that was out the window. Looking on Google Maps, having to notice Corinthian was only a 40 minute drive from home, I decided to do this one. After meeting my Dad from his work around 1.40pm, we made our way to the ground arriving around 2.30pm. After taking photos, we made our way in with admission at £7 each.

The game shortly kicked off after 3pm, and it was a cracking 1st half of football to watch. Bearsted took the lead after 3 minutes from the penalty spot from Lucian Scarlat, a cool finish to put the Bears 1-0 up. Corinthian were then down to 10 men after a late challenge in the 1st half but then 2 quick goals in the 1st half put the hosts in front despite having 10 men. 2nd half was a little bit flat but Bearsted were the better side pushing for an equaliser. Corinthian then were awarded a penalty right at the death only to be saved, and the hosts held on for the 3 points. Corinthian now move joint top with Beckenham Town whilst Bearsted stay in 7th. Good day in all, ticking off Ground 165.


After establishing the club, Ron Billings created a football ground at his Gay Dawn Farm. The farm later became a wider sports complex, featuring golf and footgolf courses. When floodlights were installed Bobby Moore was the guest of honour. A wooden stand with benches is located behind one goal, whilst the two-storey clubhouse has seats on an upper balcony. A new seated stand was built (a converted hay wagon) on one side of the pitch and four small covered areas on the other when the club returned to the Kent League. The capacity at Gay Dawn Farm is 2,000 with seats on the side of the pitch and behind the goal. The nearest station to Gay Dawn Farm is Longfield, around a half an hour walk.


Saturday, 29 February 2020

Sincil Bank - Lincoln City

Lincoln City - Sincil Bank

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Lincoln City Football Club
Sincil Bank


  • Lincoln City Football Club were formed in 1884. They were formed as an amateur football association. Football in the city of Lincoln had been prominent since the 1860's, although not strictly connected to the modern day club. Before Lincoln City, there was a club called Lincoln Rovers which disbanded in 1884.
  • Lincoln turned professional in the 1891–92 season, and soon helped to form what was then the Second Division in 1892–93 season, as an increasing number of clubs wished to join the Football League. Their first game in the Football League was a 4–2 away defeat to Sheffield United on 3 September 1892. Their first home game was also against Sheffield United, this time, however, Lincoln won 1–0.
  • They failed re-election to the Football League in 1908. They won immediate re-election after winning the next year's Midland League, and would repeat this feat after failing re-election again in 1911 and 1920. Founder members of the Football League Third Division North in 1921, they won promotion as champions in 1931–32, but were relegated two seasons later. Crowned Third Division North champions again in 1947–48, they were relegated the next year, but would remain in the second tier for nine seasons after again winning the Third Division North title in 1951–52.
  • It was the 1975–76, when they were managed by future England manager Graham Taylor, season where the club won the Division 4 title and broke the record for most points for a whole season when 2 instead of 3 points were awarded for a win with 74 points in total (this was and still is the record number of points achieved under the 2-point system); the record of winning the most games (32) and losing the fewest (4), was also set. City also become the first club in nearly a decade to score over 100 league goals (111 in total). They also won 21 out of 23 home league games in this season (the other 2 were drawn) and also won 11 games away from home, another impressive bout from the club. It was the season where, Graham Taylor recalls, "teams were petrified of coming to Sincil Bank".
  • In 1982 and again in 1983, Lincoln narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. In 1985, Lincoln were the opposition at Bradford City when the Bradford City stadium fire claimed the lives of 56 spectators – two of them, Bill Stacey and Jim West, were Lincoln fans, and subsequently these fans had the Stacey-West stand named after them.
  • Lincoln were relegated to the Fourth Division at the end of the 1985–86 season, and the year after that they became the first team to suffer automatic relegation from the Football League. They regained their Football League place automatically via promotion as champions of the Conference at the first attempt.
  • In the 1997–98 season, Lincoln were promoted from the Third Division (previously the Fourth Division), but were immediately relegated back on the next season.
  • Lincoln City were relegated again from League Two (previously the Third Division) on the last day of the end of the 2010–11 season. In the 2016–17 season of the National League (English football) (previously the Conference), Lincoln City under Danny Cowley were promoted as champions back to the Football League.
  • In the 2016–17 FA Cup, Lincoln beat Championship side Ipswich Town, in a replay, after progressing past Guiseley, Altrincham and Oldham Athletic, before defeating Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion at Sincil Bank to make the fifth round of the FA cup for the first time since the end of the Victorian era. On 18 February, Lincoln went on to beat top flight side Burnley 1–0 to historically go through to the FA Cup quarter final, the first time a non-league club had progressed to the last eight since 1914. In the quarter finals, they were defeated 5–0 at Arsenal.
  • In the 2018–19 season, on 5 April 2019, Lincoln announced that Nettleham Ladies FC would be rebranded as Lincoln City Women from 1 June. Lincoln won League Two, on 22 April 2019, after a 0–0 draw against Tranmere Rovers, having been top of the table since 25 August 2018. Promotion from League Two represented Lincoln's first season in the EFL League One since the 1998-99 campaign.


Lincoln City 0-0 Gillingham
Saturday 22nd February 2020
League One

My 1st visit to Sincil Bank came in February 2020. Sincil Bank would be the only ground in League One to do in the 2019/20 season, so of course I was looking forward to ticking the ground off once the fixtures got released in June. I had previously watched Lincoln a couple of times before when ticking off Braintree Town and Sutton United in 2017 which of course they won the National League that season.

Was interviewed by a Lincoln City vlogger before the game, 1 min 43 onwards.

So after leaving home on the Saturday morning for Lincoln after 9.30am, with a quick change into London using the Victoria line, I left King's Cross at 11.30. Annoyingly the train arrived into Newark North Gate a few minutes late but luckily made the connection to Lincoln dead on time and arrived into Lincoln Central at 1.30pm. I made my way to the ground and shortly arrived not long afterwards. After taking photos, I made my way to the ground, typically to be told by stewards you're not allowed lids on coke bottles which is typically a rule at alot of football grounds nowadays. Luckily I had a spare in my pocket. I made my way into the stand to get a fairly decent view. I then checked in on the EFL rewards app which you could win a signed shirt or tickets for a game, sadly didn't win anything. The game kicked off around an hour later. The game wasn't the best to watch (highlights below) with the hosts I would say the better side in the 1st half, a great chance which was a mistake from our keeper Jack Bonham kicking the ball at their player only to pounce onto it but great defending from a cross prevented a goal. 2nd half, a header from Lincoln's Harry Anderson prevented a great save from Bonham. Right at the end of the game when Lincoln's defender Tayo Edun got sent off for a second bookable offence, but the game was pretty much over at that point. After the game I made my way back to the station as I was booked on the 17.27 train from Lincoln straight back to King's Cross. I arrived home shortly after 9pm.


Sincil Bank has been the home of Lincoln City since 1895. Before that the club had previously played at the nearby John O'Gaunts ground from 1884-1895. The capacity at Sincil Bank is 10,120. Away supporters are allocated in the Stacey West stand which is behind the goal at Lincoln. Anything up to 1,000 can be allocated. Lincoln Central station is no more than a 15 minute walk to the ground.