The Football Neutral: Match Sixteen – Ebbsfleet United vs Sutton United

2013-12-21 14.32.20

This is now an edited version of the original blog… you can read the full one by downloading my Football Neutral 2013/14 season review on Kindle.  Well over 300 pages of daftness. Less than £2! Thanks!

…Northfleet Station is tiny.  It’s a couple of platforms, backing onto a scrapyard.  The black skies, dull light and driving wind and rain did make the entire place seem impossibly bleak.  It feels like the middle of nowhere.  It is, by near-London rules, the middle of bloody nowhere.  It was at this point that I reached the ground, saw the turnstile, and remembered that I needed a cash machine.

I wandered hopelessly around the stadium for five minutes, and eventually spied a corner shop.  OK, it wasn’t on a corner.  It was a middle unit.  But the phrase stands.  They had a cash machine.  One of those really dodgy ones that don’t even have the link logo on and you swipe your card through rather than inserting it.  I suspect my bank account is currently being used to buy illegal goods somewhere in the USA by a teenage hacker.

It’s a tenner to watch Ebbsfleet, and it seems that they get decent crowds for the level they’re at.  They had a decent stint in the Conference National, and this is their first season back down at South level.  Stonebridge Road holds about 5,000, with covered seats behind one goal and on one side, a massive covered terrace down the other side (where I chose to stand) and an uncovered terrace behind the other goal that can rival the old away end at Barnsley in terms of looking grim, especially in the wind and rain.  Dwarfed by a massive pylon and with industrial equipment dotted across the horizon, it’s the sort of stadium architecture that I genuinely love.  This is a PROPER ground, no doubt about it.

The talk amongst the Ebbsfleet fans was of their recent form.  I’d read on the Internet that they are in the best form out of EVERY team in the top 6 tiers of English football, and their fans were a decent mix.  Whoever handles the club’s official twitter feed told me there were two places I could watch the game from: Behind the goal in the seats if I wanted youthful exuberance, drumming and the like; of standing on the halfway line if I wanted to listen to older fans talking about the game in either serious or comic tones.  I chose the latter….

This is just a tiny extract from the full article – you can download the full match report and 25 more (plus tons of other stuff) by clicking here and spending less than £2 on my ebook on Kindle. Over 300 pages of football based nonsense!



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