My Matchday - 194 Glanford Park

Scunthorpe United 1v2 Leicester City
League One
22nd November 2008
Scunthorpe is an industrial town in North Lincolnshire, known as the ‘Industrial Garden Town’ which specialising in steel and ironworks, after the discovery of the Frodingham Ore fields in 1851. The town takes it’s name from the hamlet Escumtorp, meaning the farmstead which belonged to a man called Skuma, which is mentioned in the Doomsday book.
In August 1988 Scunthorpe United became the first club to relocate grounds since Southend United in 1955, when they vacated the Old Show Ground, their home for almost 90 years. At the time such a thing was unheard of, but nowadays it’s became the norm, with another 25 League clubs (so far) taking the decision to move on to pastures new.
The old ground was sold to supermarket chain Sainsbury’s for £2.5m,which financed the project and paid off some of the clubs debts. The ground was built near the village of Gunness, just over the edge of the towns boundary in the Glanford Borough, by Humberside based construction company Peter Birse.
The original capacity when constructed was 11,226, but nowadays is down to 9,183, the ground has a compact intimate look to it, nothing special, but somewhat homely in appearance. All four sides are of equal proportion, three ends are all seated with one side terracing. For the purpose of this ground description I’ll use original named points of the compass for each end, as there was a bit confusion about who sponsor which end, as they seem to change from season to season.
The main stand is to the west, which incorporates a hospitality block in the middle section and a family enclosure at one side, opposite the East Stand has a larger section of seats, decked out in sections of claret and blue with SUFC lettering picked out in the middle section, with a front fascia with the sponsors name.
The South Stand is the away end, which has a capacity of 1,650 blue seats, the railway line runs past this end, where passengers get a clear - but brief view inside the ground, it’s a shame there isn’t a railway station here, instead of having to navigate the two mile trek from the main station in the town centre.
The four corners are covered by advertising boards, with the toilets and refreshment facilities underneath, above the four corners are the tall thin floodlights pylons, shining in from their position, standing outside the ground.
We chose to watch the game with the main Iron support in the covered terrace at the North End, I cannot knock the Scunny supporters for their passion, as it was generally a good atmosphere, but where were the songs and the usual banter? nothing about their lack of love for Hull City or Grimsby Town and how they’re “ Gonna win the league” not even a “United” (clap, clap, clap)
There’s plans afoot to build a new three tiered stand at this end of the ground, taking the capacity back over 11,000, the plans also include conference and leisure facilities. The possibility of moving to a new stadium has also been discussed, which would see the first club of the modern era to relocate, to again.. relocate. I don’t really think this option is necessary, the ground is ideal for a club like Scunthorpe United, however a brand new stand would be a much better and viable move and would give Glanford Park a big boost.

A late goal from Andy King ten minutes from time, leapfrogged City over United at the top of League One. Leicester City had the better of the opening exchanges, taking the lead after 22 minutes when a good through ball found Lloyd Dyer, who finished well, side footing the ball home into the far corner of the net from the just inside the box. The Iron drew level ten minutes later with a cracking strike from Paul Hayes, after receiving a chipped through ball from Sparrow, Hayes hit a ferocious effort with his right foot from a tight angle. City should have been ahead by half-time, but two great saves from Murphy kept Scunny level after an entertaining first 45 minutes.
United had more possession in the second half, but City looked more threatening on the break, looking more likely to grab a winner ,which duly arrived on 81 minutes, King eluded the defender before bringing the ball under control on the edge of the box, looking up to pick his spot and shooting on the half volley, giving the keeper no chance. Scunthorpe pushed for an equaliser, but Leicester held on to take the valuable three points and on the balance of play, probably just shaded it.
My Matchday trip to Scunthorpe was brief, but nevertheless a very enjoyable day. I caught the 1129 National Express train from Newcastle to Doncaster , where I caught my connection train to Scunthorpe. The journey to Scunthorpe was in a single carriage rattler, which must have been the most non-scenic train journey I’ve experienced (so far)with the highlight being a rare site of fully working colliery; the one at Hatfield, and a rather attractive looking lass sitting in the next seat.
I arrived in Scunthorpe just before 1.45pm, I was greeted by two female police officers at the station, asking if I was going to the match, I told them I was; but was meeting someone first, reason being so they could escort me on to the shuttle bus, which transfers you straight to the ground.
I called in for a quick pint in the Honest Lawyer pub on Oswald Road, as I had a little bit time before meeting a couple of the 100FGC squad at 2pm in the Wetherspoons ‘Blue Bell’ pub, situated on the same street.
I met up with squad #93 Dan Gooch, his girlfriend (and future squad member) Sam and squad #109 Paul Hodkinson who travelled by car from Tamworth. We departed the pub at 2.30 and just had enough time to park up and take a couple of photographs before the big top of the table clash got underway.
During the first half I was bursting for the toilet, then at long last I finally took advantage of a break in play to visit the bog. The toilet is situated in the far corner, so on the long walk back I took the opportunity to take some pictures from another angle from my chosen viewpoint. Suddenly two stewards appeared , being very irate and telling me to stop taking pictures, I told them I was only taking photos of the ground and supporters and not the match action. They tried to escort me away and told me to “Come with us” but I showed them my 100FGC badge, telling them it was for the website. They both looked at me stunned, not really knowing what to say, so before I gave them the chance I scuttled off back into the crowd before I got lifted.
We really enjoyed the game and the crack was good, but with the train station being over 2 miles away, I had to exit the game early, leaving with just over five minutes remaining. My train was due at 1710, but there was another due at 1718 as my back up plan, I ran back and made it with five minutes to spare (What an athlete!) I stopped off in Doncaster and called into the Wetherspoons ‘Red Lion’ before boarding my train and arriving back in Newcastle for 8pm.
I had a another great day bagging another of ‘The 92’. My ground total in this department is pretty poor, so if the opportunity arises then I’ll be boarding the train again to improve on my tally. I don’t mind travelling alone, in fact I quite enjoy it, but it’s always a pleasure to meet up with some of the 100FGC squad on arrival, so hopefully I can meet up with Paul, Dan and Sam again this season.

Matchday stats
Irons 1(Hayes 32) City 2 (Dyer 22 King 81)
Admission £16 (+ £1 booking fee)
Programme £3
Match Report



Shaun said...

'The Bevvy Almanac'

Honest Lawyer, Oswald Rd.
Timothy Taylor 'Landlord'(4.3%)****

JD Wetherspoons-Blue Bell,Oswald Rd
Spire 'Winter's T'Ale(6.6%***
White Horse'Epona'(4.3%)***

JD Wetherspoons-Red Lion-Market Pl
O'Hanlon's 'Goldblade'(4.3%)***

Anonymous said...

Got to visit this ground last season when Palace played there. Wouldn't be too upset at all if they got promoted back to the Championship. There was a huge Tom Cobbleigh chain pub right next to the ground - ideal if you like getting to away games 2 or 3 hours before KO (!)

Scunny stewards have to be amongst the worst in the league.

Good report, keep it up!

Will send you details of some new grounds to add to my list in due course


David London (Squad 105)

Anonymous said...

Oh and I forgot to say, Walsall copied this ground almost to the millimetre a couple of years later when they moved from Fellows Park to the Bescot Stadium. Only difference between the two for years was the colour of the seats.

Although Walsall have already added a 2nd tier to their home end.

David London (Squad no. 105)