Stevenage - The Lamex Stadium
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HISTORY/FACTS ABOUT THE BORO:
- Stevenage FC were formed in 1976 after the bankruptcy of Stevenage Athletic. Chairman Keith Berners and a number of volunteers were tasked with arranging a friendly with Hitchin Town Youth at Broadhall Way in November 1976 as a curtain-raiser for the new club.
- The new club started out playing in the Chiltern Youth league on a roped-off pitch at the town's King George V playing fields, and moved up to intermediate status, joining the Wallspan Southern Combination shortly after.
- In 1980, the council reacquired the lease for Broadhall Way and allowed the football club to become its tenant. With the council as their landlords and a refurbished stadium, Stevenage Borough took on senior status and joined the United Counties Football League in the same year.
- The club's first competitive league match was a 3–1 victory over ON Chenecks on 16th August 1980, played in front of 421 people.
- After three successive seasons in the United Counties Premier Division, the club joined Division Two North of the Isthmian League in 1984, and the following season earned promotion to Division One after finishing the season as Champions.
- The 1996–97 season witnessed the club progress to the Third Round of the FA Cup for the first time after a 2–1 win over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road. The side were drawn against Birmingham City at Broadhall Way, but ground issues saw the tie switched to St Andrew's; Birmingham won the match 2–0. The following season, the club went one better, reaching the Fourth Round, where they drew Premier League club Newcastle United. A temporary stand was erected behind the away end to house the Newcastle supporters, which increased the stadium capacity to 9,000, enough to satisfy The FA.
- In 2001–02 season, the club reached the FA Trophy final for the first time, but lost 2–0 to Yeovil Town at Villa Park.
- The 2003–04 season witnessed Boro consolidate their position in the league, making steady progression, finishing in 8th position. During the 2004–05 season, Boro managed to make the Play–Offs after finishing fifth under the guidance of Westley. After beating second–placed Hereford United over two–legs in the Semi–Final, the side lost 1–0 to Carlisle United at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke in the Final.
- The 2006–07 campaign saw the club reach the FA Trophy final again, where they came back from 2–0 down to beat Kidderminster Harriers 3–2 in front of a record FA Trophy crowd of 53,262. The victory meant that Stevenage were the first team to win a competitive final at the new Wembley Stadium.
- The club reached the final of the FA Trophy again, but lost to Barrow 2–1 after extra–time, having played seventy minutes of the match with ten men. Shortly after the end of the season, chairman Phil Wallace announced that the club will start its life in the Football League as Stevenage Football Club, dropping the word ‘Borough’ from its name as of June 2010. Stevenage's first ever Football League fixture was against Macclesfield Town in August 2010, ending in a 2–2 draw at Broadhall Way.
- In 2011, Stevenage won the 2011 League Two Play Off Final with a victory over Torquay United by 1-0, the winner coming from future Gills loan player John Mousinho at Old Trafford in Manchester.
The Lamex Stadium or otherwise known as Broadhall Way has been home to Stevenage since 1980, although it was previously home to the old Stevenage Athletic and Stevenage Town before that. The ground holds 6,722 with away supporters housed in the South Stand which is behind the goal at Stevenage. If demand requires it then part of the Main Stand can also be given to visiting supporters, bringing the total allocation up to 2,000. Stevenage railway station is the closest to the ground, around a 20 minute walk away.
VISIT 1: Stevenage 2-2 Gillingham 1/2/11
VISIT 2: Stevenage 3-1 Gillingham 4/2/14
VISIT 3: Stevenage 0-1 Gillingham 2/9/14 (Johnstone's Paint Trophy)
VISIT 4: Stevenage 3-0 Gillingham 7/11/15 (FA Cup 1st Round)
I have been to Broadhall Way or otherwise known as The Lamex Stadium due to sponsorship, quite a few times now with Gillingham, including my last trip there probably a forgettable one, well the score line anyway. I have watched Gillingham play there in all competitions now, including the league, JPT and FA Cup. I've always admired Stevenage's little ground, it's a nice ground to visit as well, and plus Stevenage's fans haven't hardly disappointed as they do like to get behind their team. My last visit to Stevenage wasn't so long ago as I'm typing this, was just under a week ago, as the week before the FA Cup was drawn, and I was at work at time so had to rely on finding out the draw on my phone. I was quite happy with the draw at the time, fairly local game and easy to get to. Decided to see what other grounds were around Stevenage and noticed that Hitchin Town was a few miles away, so decided to go and visit there before heading off to Stevenage, annoying that the groundsman at Hitchin was a bit of an arsehole as I got kicked out but managed to get a few pictures in anyway. Stevenage train station to the ground is around a 20 minute walk, fairly easy to get to.