Sunday, 9 December 2018

Winch's Field - Herne Bay

Herne Bay - Winch's Field

Image result for herne bay fc badge

Herne Bay Football Club
Winch's Field
Stanley Gardens
Herne Bay


Herne Bay Football Club were formed in 1886. The 1st League they played was the East Kent League which later on won it 3 times, 1st time being in 1903. They joined Division Two of the Kent League in 1896 and finished bottom 2 years running in 1897 and 1898. They went on to win the East Kent League title four seasons in row between 1901–02 and 1905–06, before re-joining Division Two (East) of the Kent League in 1909. However, they left the league after a single season. They later folded in 1913. After reforming, Herne Bay joined Division Two of the Eastern Section of the Kent County League in 1934. They remained in the division until World War II, playing in the North Division in 1939–40 and the East Division in 1945–46, a season which saw them finish bottom of the table. They were then placed in the North Division in 1946–47, again finishing bottom, and continued in the division in 1947–48 until league reorganisation saw them placed in Division One for the 1948–49 season. In 1953 the club returned to Division Two of the Kent League after moving to their Winch's Field ground, although they were one of only two first teams playing in the division. Herne Bay were Division Two champions in 1954–55 and runners-up the following season, but were not promoted until the end of the 1956–57 season. Their first season in Division One saw them finish bottom of the table. When the Kent League folded in 1959, the club were founder members of the Aetolian League, joining Division One. At the end of the 1963–64, the Aetolian league merged with the London League into the Greater London League, with Herne Bay leaving to join Division Two of the Athenian League instead. They were Division Two champions in 1970–71, earning promotion to Division One. However, after finishing bottom of Division One in 1973–74 the club left to join the reformed Kent League. The 1988–89 season saw Herne Bay finish bottom of the Kent League, but in 1991–92 they were league champions. They were runners-up the following season, before winning a second league title in 1993–94. The club went on to win back-to-back championships in 1996–97 and 1997–98. They finished as runners-up in 2000–01, 2004–05, 2009–10 and 2010–11 before winning the league again in 2011–12, this time earning promotion to Division One South of the Isthmian League. The 2011–12 season also saw the club reach the semi-finals of the FA Vase, eventually losing 4–3 on aggregate to West Auckland Town. 


Herne Bay 1-4 Gillingham
Tuesday 11th December 2018
Kent Senior Cup

After seeing a 1st win for me at Glanford Park on Saturday, another Tuesday game became Ground 147 on a very cold night in Herne Bay as Gills took on Herne Bay in the Quarter Finals of the Kent Senior Cup and successful it was as well. I had only previously watched Herne Bay the once this season at Ramsgate, which turned out to be a thrilling 5-4 win for the Bay. On the day of the game, I went with Dad in the car, after leaving home shortly after 6.15pm, we arrived at the ground around 7.25pm and parked round the corner of the ground.

After taking the usual amount of photos I do, I happened to have met Mr Stat Man himself, Lee who goes home and away with Gills and known him for a number of years now. I discovered this was of course a new ground for him tonight as well, after talking all Gills with him, the game kicked off. The game was a fairly decent watch without sounding biased. We took the lead on 15 minutes from a great finish by Callum Reilly who is one of our 1st teamers currently on suspension after picking up a straight red at Bristol Rovers the other week. Few minutes later and it was 2-0, a great ball in from Reilly himself, and youngster Henry Woods was there to finish to make it 2-0. 2-0 didn't stay 2-0 for long as Herne Bay pulled one back, a cross which should have been dealt with, as the last touch came off a Gills player which looked like to be youngster Ryan Huckle, and Herne Bay were back in the game, but after a quiet spell from then till HT, 3-1 came with a smart finish from Bradley Stevenson. HT came, and I made my way round to the other goal where Gills were shooting. 2nd half was really quiet and not a lot happened, other than we wrapped the game up on 60 minutes as Bradley Stevenson again finished with a lovely chip to make it 4-1 and book ourselves in the semi-finals of the Kent Senior Cup. A very cold night at Winch's Field but a ground ticked off the list. I arrived home shortly before 11pm afterwards.


The club have been playing at Winch's Field since the club reformed in the 1930's. The club had been playing at Memorial Park which apparently had previously been a rubbish tip. The new ground at Winch's Field cost £5,000 to build, and a crowd over 1,000 were in attendance for the 1st game at Winch's Field in August 1953, seeing a 2-2 draw with Tunbridge Wells. The ground holds 3,000 of which 200 is seated and 1,500 under cover. Herne Bay station is the nearest to the ground, around a 10-15 minute walk according to Google Maps.


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