Cherry Red Records Stadium
AFC Wimbledon v Hereford United
Saturday, August 19th 2011, 3pm
1. Reason for visit:
Having covered very league club in the South I needed the two newcomers A.F.C. Wimbledon and Crawley Town to add to my list. Ideally I would have like to have been there for Wimbledon's opening fixture against Bristol Rovers but as that game was sold out, I was forced to wait another couple of weeks.
2. Getting there:
This was dead easy. Train from Reading to Twickenham, then round the Kingston Loop to Norbition. I then followed the instructions as detailed on the website and found the ground without any trouble.
3. Before the game:
As I am not a lunch time pub person (preferring to watch my football 'compos mentis'), I simply availed myself of a light lunch at a sandwich shop. The Fat Boy Cafe whilst spotted was given a miss! (Nice though I'm sure it is). There was a downpour about an hour before kick-off so I exchanged pleasantries with the locals under the welcome cover of a large tree. I complemented them on reaching league status which seemed to be genuinely appreciated even though they admitted it hasn't sunk in just yet.
4. First impressions:
Without being disrespectful it is clearly a 'non-league ground' which is evident even from long-range and you can see why AFCW have set their sights on better things.
5. The game:
I viewed the game from the John Smith's Terrace. One of the best I've seen for a long time. Good fast-flowing attacking football from both sides jam-packed with endeavour. Lots of enterprise from the away side. An unmarked headed goal from Hereford's Delroy Facey after 8 minutes was cancelled out after 24 by another close-range header this time by Jack Midson following a corner . Plenty of chances and goalmouth action from both sides after that. Hereford were clearly intent on going for all three points, bossed the latter stages and could have nicked it. A most refreshing attitude (for a side the wrong end of the table) which was good to see. A draw was fair though.
6. Getting away:
A 5 minute delay in getting away from the ground as in a 'shared terrace' the police insisted on the away support exiting first. Easily made the 17.22 from Norbiton.
7. Whilst I wasn't expecting an architectural gem, the ground really is a stop-gap until they find a better venue. Of note is the metal archway proclaiming 'Kingsmeadow', but I'm afraid I Iooked in vain for any other distinguishing features.
All in all though a very good day out. Good game and plenty of lively banter between rival sets of supporters. The stewards were engaging, chatty and very helpful. 10/10 for that.
Do go to Kingsmeadow, you will get a warm welcome to a friendly ground which is hassle-free. Without being harsh I think it fair to say though that the projected new stadium in Merton is eagerly anticipated.
Are you an away or general football fan who has visited the Cherry Red Records Stadium recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Find out more about how to submit a review
to the Guide to Kingsmeadow, the Cherry Red Records Stadium -
AFC Wimbledon page
Football Ground Guide Index