Sutton United

Knights Community Stadium

Capacity: 5,013 (Seats 765)
Address: Gander Green Lane, Sutton, SM1 2EY
Telephone: 020 8644 4440
Fax: 020 8644 5120
Pitch Size: To be advised
Pitch Type: Artificial 3G
Club Nickname: The U's
Year Ground Opened: 1898
Home Kit: Amber and Chocolate

The Grandstand
The Grandstand
Railway Terrace
Railway Terrace
Gander Green Lane End
Gander Green Lane End
Collingwood Road End
Collingwood Road End
Curved Terrace
Curved Terrace
Open Terrace
Open Terrace
Welcome To Sutton United
Welcome To Sutton United

The Grandstand, located on one side of the pitch, was opened in 1951. This simple single tiered all seated Main Stand, has a capacity of 765 seats and is covered. It does though have a row of supporting pillars located along its front. The stand runs for around half the length of the pitch but is situated off centre, in comparison to the half way line. The team dugouts are also situated at the front of this stand. Oddly the blue and red seats of the Grandstand do not reflect the Club's colours. 

Opposite on the railway side of the ground is a small covered terrace, called the Recreational or Rec Terrace, that has a box like structure on its roof, which is used for television cameras. The terrace itself is set well back from the pitch. Both ends have small covered terraces, which are similar in design. One of these the Collingwood Road End was opened in 2015. Also in the same year the Club installed an artificial 3G playing surface. 

In 2017 the Borough Sports Ground was renamed the Knights Community Stadium in a corporate sponsorship deal.

To either side of the Grandstand are areas of open terrace that sweep around the corners of the ground, giving the stadium a bit of character. Their oval curvature gives a clue to the fact that the ground once used to have an athletics track surrounding the pitch. The stadium is completed with a set of modern looking floodlights.

On the rare occasion that segregation is in force, then away fans are mostly housed in the Collingwood Road End. This modern terrace is covered, meaning that not only is there some shelter from the elements, but also that fans can more easily generate some noise. In addition a small number of seats are made available in the Main Stand. Although the terrace is fairly modern, the toilets at that end are from a bygone era! The Club catering available inside the ground includes; Bacon & Egg Baguettes (£5), Bacon Baguettes (£4.50), Hot Dog In Baguette (£4.50), Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Burgers (£3), Hot Dogs (£3), Egg & Bacon Rolls (£3.50), Bacon Rolls (£3) and Chips (£2.50).

Behind the Grandstand there is a Social Club, which welcomes away fans and normally has real available. Whilst almost opposite the ground entrance is the Plough pub. Andrew Goddard advises; 'If a large attendance is expected then it may be advisable for away supporters who are travelling by rail, to make use of the pubs in Sutton town centre rather than relying on the Social Club and Plough pub at the stadium. The pub options in the town centre are numerous if somewhat bland, being largely pubco-owned efforts that undergo the relevant re-brand every five years or so, to paper over their respective cracks. There are two 'Wetherspoon' pubs in the town centre doing exactly what it says on the tin, an 'All Bar One' and a handful of other options clustered at the top of the High Street all within five minutes walk of Sutton railway station. One of the better options may be to try 'The Old Bank' immediately to the right of Sutton station as you exit. There should be something to cater for most tastes and all the usual High Street restaurant chains are also present.

Sutton Railway is only one stop (or two minutes travelling time) on the train away from West Sutton station that adjoins the ground.

If you require hotel accommodation in London then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their London and Surrey Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

Leave the M25 at Junction 8 and take the A217 towards Sutton. On nearing Sutton you will reach a small roundabout where you bear left continuing on the A217 towards Central London. At the second set of major traffic lights (the Gander Inn is on the left hand corner) turn right into Gander Green Lane. The Borough Sports Ground is about 200 yards up this road on the left hand side. 

There is a car park at the ground which has a limited capacity of about 200 cars, so unless you arriving very early you may well need to take advantage of the available street parking on the surrounding streets.

Adjacent to the ground is West Sutton Railway Station which is only a couple of minutes walk away from Sutton United. It is served by trains via Sutton, London St Pancras and Bedford. As you come out of the narrow station entrance, turn right and the entrance to the ground is down on the right just past the Plough pub.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Adults £15
Concessions £8
Under 16's £3

To access the seated area, then an additional £2 transfer fee is payable inside the ground.

Concessions apply to Senior Citizens aged 60 and over and students.

Official Matchday Programme £2.50

Sutton United FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Bromley, Carshalton Athletic, Kingstonian and Tooting.

Record Attendance

14,000 v Leeds United FA Cup Fourth Round, 24th January 1970.

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 1,660 (National League)
2015-2016: 1,043 (National League South)
2014-2015: 548 (National League South)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Paul Willott and Andrew Goddard for providing the photos of the Borough Sports Ground, Sutton United, for this page.

Sutton United v Maidenhead United
National League
Saturday 2nd September 2017, 3pm
Paul Stone (Maidenhead United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Borough Sports Ground?
 
The last time I visited Gander Green Lane was around 25 years ago and I was long overdue a return visit. After the 11th hour transfer of Dave Tarpey two days earlier (the prolific Maidenhead goalscorer) to Barnet, I wanted to do everything I could to get behind the team.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
It was a pretty long trip as I decided to go by train - Travelling from home in Reading to Paddington, District Line tube to Wimbledon and finally Thameslink train to West Sutton. You would struggle to find a ground located closer to a railway station.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I went straight from the station to the ground but would have slipped into the nearby Plough pub if time had been available.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?
 
A very typical non-league ground with okay facilities and one that has evolved in a sympathetic and one that has kept its character intact. That said the 3G pitch certainly gives the ground a modern twist. Having seen a few of these surfaces elsewhere this was definitely the closest to a grass like pitch I think I have seen.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Top of the league Sutton got a bit of a shock as Maidenhead United deserved the 2-0 victory. The home crowd seemed quite subdued or maybe they were disappointed at the way their team were playing. The group of around 150 Maidenhead supporters made some great noise and seemed to provide most of the energy and atmosphere in the ground.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
No problems, a quick stroll back to the station and I was on my way back home.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Overall, had a really great day out. As a Magpies supporter the 2-0 scoreline obviously helped my experience, but this a great old ground, a seemingly friendly bunch of home supporters and a well organised set up. If you haven't visited before I would certainly recommend you take a trip to Borough Sports Ground.

Sutton United v Maidenhead United
National League
Saturday 2nd September 2017, 3pm
Dominic Hurst (Maidenhead United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Borough Sports Ground?
 
Maidenhead United are newly promoted. This was my first away game in the National League. I wanted to support the Magpies on their travels.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
We drove and found on-street parking near the ground no problem.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
The Plough pub opposite the stadium had some local youths jeering at us, so we strolled into the ground and went to the clubhouse. It was friendly with both sets of supporters mingling well. It also served a decent pint.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?
 
Gander Green Lane is a good non-league ground with plenty of choice about where to stand. There are good views of the pitch. There was no segregation so we could swap ends at half time.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was a great game, very open and fast on the plastic pitch. Maidenhead United pulled off a surprise 2-0 victory, just days after selling our star striker Dave Tarpey, and knocked Sutton off the top league spot. Maidenhead brought about 200 fans who got behind the team and made quite a noise. The terraces have low roofs so a group of fans singing creates a good atmosphere.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
We were on our way in our car very quickly. No problem.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A very enjoyable day out. I would recommend a trip to Sutton United for any visiting fans.

Sutton United v Leyton Orient
National League
Saturday 5th August 2017, 12.30pm
Robert Edwards (Leyton Orient fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Borough Sports Ground?
 
I was looking forward to supporting the O's in their first game outside of the Football League in 112 years. That and despite the best efforts of the previous owner, in Orient we still have a club to support (thank you Saint Nigel and Saint Kent).
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The journey was fine via the M25 and Dartford crossing from deepest Essex. I found the ground easily enough and after a bit of thought managed to find street parking in a residential area a ten minute walk away from the dual carriage way.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
My mate and I went to a pubco establishment which I think was called the Gander Inn. Clearly a locals pub with Sutton scarves behind the bar. Given the early kick off, it wasn't frequented by many Sutton fans and those we encountered seemed disinterested in us, which was fine. Beer was carbonated fizz but quenched an early thirst.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?
 
Gander Green Lane or the Borough Sports Ground as it is officially known is a typical non-league ground. I say the obvious as I have only frequented such venues supporting the O's in the cup and pre-season, but reality struck on arrival that Sutton are indeed our brethren now. The away end had weeds growing behind the rusty turnstiles. There was a terrace behind the goal but no terracing or cover to the side where we stood. Once it started raining during the first half we were soaked. The refreshment van was unable to cope with the away following of 1,100, and all in all it was a pretty poor experience.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The atmosphere among O's fans before the game was one of celebration, that our ordeal under the previous owner was over. Our rude awakening then continued with Orient getting deservedly turned over 2-0. This league will not be a walk in the park and we are behind in our preparation as I think the result partly showed. But no complaints, the better side won.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
No problem getting away, although a 45 minute delay at the Dartford Crossing I could have done without, but hey ho.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Great to see the O's playing football again and getting to moan about how bad we played, rather than worry about the clubs future. A good day out but the Borough Sports Ground is not one of my favourite grounds. I hope to enjoy others I visit more during the coming season (or probably seasons) in the National League. It could be a long road back to the Football League.

Sutton United v Chester
National League
Saturday 22nd April 2017, 3pm
Phil Graham (Chester fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Borough Sports Ground?

It was the last away game of the season and I hadn't been to Sutton United since 1991

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I got the train down from Edinburgh to London Kings Cross then changed there to a direct train to West Sutton. The Borough Sports Ground is only a five minute walk from the station.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I went straight into the ground at about 2:30pm. Had a Burger and chips that were a bit expensive but that's standard in Football Grounds these days!!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?

The Sutton United ground has changed a bit since I was last there. Mainly the artificial pitch. I must confess I am not a fan of plastic pitches at all and don't think they should be used at any level of senior football. The goal posts are on wheels for goodness sake!! Great revenue for clubs that have them I guess but I can't really get into games that played on them.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Sutton United won 5-0 and scored some cracking goals. While Chester were poor but we have played just as poorly recently and won. Its was one of those days when every long range shot from Sutton United went in.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy exit from the ground and on a train back to Central London by 5.10pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A long day for no reward at a friendly club with a horrible pitch! I would go again but only for a Chester game due to the artificial pitch.

Sutton United v Leeds United
FA Cup 4th Round
Sunday 29th January 2017, 2pm
Paul Dickinson (Leeds United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Borough Sports Ground?

I'd already been to Sutton United to get the ground ticked off a few years ago but it was a chance to see Leeds there and with an away allocation of only 750 given, a rare opportunity to see a Leeds away game with so few fellow whites there

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We sometimes drive to Newark to get a train to London as tickets can be a lot cheaper than from Leeds, and so it proved on this occasion. Once at Kings Cross, it was then the tube to Victoria and the Dorking train to Sutton

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Having been before and not being that impressed by Sutton town centre, we opted to stay on the train to the next stop at Cheam. This was a great call as lots of places to eat and drink and then an easy 20 minute walk to the ground through the park.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?

In addition to watching Leeds every game, I also try and do 20-25 new non league grounds every season. I'm therefore used to non league grounds and enjoy being able to watch the game form different vantage points. Obviously today was different and segregation was in place, meaning a poor view and a good soaking as we couldn't get under the roof due it already being full by the time we arrived.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The least said about the game the better! Gary Monks decision to rest 10 players and give debuts to 3 young players spectacularly backfired - memories of being at Histon came flooding back. Fair play to Sutton though, they thoroughly deserved the win and all the plaudits that followed.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We stayed until the end and following a very brisk walk back to Sutton station (as it was a Sunday West Sutton was closed apart from just one train back into London 45 minutes after kick off), we got back to Kings Cross in time to catch the 5.20pm train back to Newark and I was back home in Leeds by 8pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The result was obviously disappointing but I understood the reasons for the team selection, given we've got two away games in the league this week and with a playoff spot looking increasingly possible. The travelling was spot on and Cheam was a bonus - as ever, it was another great awayday!

Sutton United v Cheltenham Town
FA Cup Second Round
Saturday 3rd December 2016, 3pm
Paul Oxenbury (Cheltenham Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Borough Sports Ground?

I was somewhat ambivalent. I always enjoy an away trip and a chance to go to a new ground. But having watched Cheltenham's disastrous performance the week before at Cambridge and given the importance of the game, I wasn't optimistic of a positive result.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I took the National Express coach from Gloucester to London Victoria which was as smooth as usual on a Saturday morning. From there I walked to Blackfriars (which is now my new favourite London railway station!) to get a train to West Sutton, which is only a few minutes walk from Borough Sports Ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

As it was a nice day and not too cold, I decided to walk round London for a couple of hours. I went from Victoria to Trafalgar Square onto the Millennium Bridge where I walked around the Christmas markets outside the Tate Modern before crossing back over the river, walking to the Old Bailey on Fleet Street and finally taking a look at St Paul's Cathedral before admiring the view of London from Blackfriars station.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?

The Borough Sports Ground looked like a standard non-league stadium at first. For the second time in two weeks, I had to walk through a park to get to the away end which was not clearly marked (my guess is because Sutton games would be rarely segregated). The view from the away end is not the best. The stand is very shallow and because the of the 3G pitch, the ground has been raised slightly so seeing action in the opposition half is something of a problem. Other than that, the ground is a pretty standard non league set-up. The Main Stand seems to give a good view while the terracing seems in good enough condition.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Considering what was at stake, with the winners having the potential of a glamour draw in the third round, then the first half was a strangely muted affair with Cheltenham having the better of the game and taking the lead. This changed dramatically when Sutton levelled right at the start of the second half. Suddenly the game opened up, Cheltenham had more of the play but did little with it while Sutton had the better chances. In the 96th minute, Sutton hit Cheltenham with the ultimate sucker punch taking the tie 2-1 creating an amazing noise from the home fans and a lot of anger and exasperation from visiting supporters.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No problem. The train was a little late, a couple of changes at Wimbledon then at Clapham Junction, where there were plenty of happy Crystal Palace and England Rugby fans, and then straight to Victoria and coach home which apart from a slight delay heading out of London was incident free.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Something of a damp squib unfortunately, which had more to with the Cheltenham team than the ground experience itself.

Sutton United v Tranmere Rovers
National Football League
Saturday 17th September 2016, 12.15pm
Jim McClenning (Tranmere Rovers - my second team)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Borough Sports Ground?

The Borough Sports Ground was to be another ground to cross off my London grounds list.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey was very easy, from where I live in the Ladbroke Grove area of North West London.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I got to Sutton United about 10.30am as it was an early 12.15pm kick off for television coverage. Just as I arrived the bar was opening, which was good timing on my part! I had a pint, then an excellent bacon roll, followed by another pint, some TV watching, then into the ground itself.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?

My first thoughts were that Sutton United is a decent ground, friendly with helpful staff.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The atmosphere was very good, with both set of fans mixing, with some good old fashioned banter. Tranmere should have scored with a the few minutes, hitting the crossbar. Once both sides had settled down, a decent match followed, Sutton United scored just after the start of the second half, and managed to hold on for the win.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting there and getting away was the easiest ever in my experience of going to football, with the train station situated right next door.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

First time I had been to Sutton's ground, hopefully not the last, I had a good afternoon.

Sutton United v Dagenham & Redbridge
National League
Monday 29th August 2016, 3pm
Joel Page (Dagenham & Redbridge fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Borough Sports Ground?

Dagenham were flying high in our first National League season in almost a decade and came into this fixture having just smashed Wrexham 3-0 in front of the BT Sport cameras so I was optimistic ahead of our visit to a team who had been promoted last season.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We left Dagenham relatively early for this Bank Holiday trip and, after three trains and a bus, plus a longer-than-expected walk, we were at Gander Green Lane and the Borough Sports Ground. The journey was very easy and the ground well signposted.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We arrived at the ground at around 1pm and I bought a nice-looking programme for £2.50 before looking around the premises; it was a very tidy, cosy, non-league ground. Then I ventured into the clubhouse which was very welcoming, as were all of the home contingent.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Borough Sports Ground?

One of the things I'm enjoying about the National League is no segregation, enabling you to mingle with fans of both clubs in a friendly manner. Other than a stand along the perimeter of one side, the rest was made up of terracing and all the Daggers fans gathered behind one of the goals. It was better than I expected and really a good advertisement for non-league football.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.

On the contrary, the game was less enjoyable and more frustrating, as our failure to adjust to the 3G surface led to us conceding the only goal of the game on nine minutes. There was still a buoyant atmosphere amongst both fans but, despite many chances and a deserved sending of for the hosts, we were unable to find a leveller and the game ended 1-0 to Sutton.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I slumped out of the ground feeling very dejected and downbeat but was soon on the bus and then trains home. Navigating our way out of the ground was easy and I arrived home at about 7pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, it was an enjoyable day let down only by the result. Sutton's ground is a lovely, as is their club shop, and teams like us could learn a lot from them. They were very welcoming, and I hope to visit Gander Green Lane again and recommend others to do so.

Sutton United v Ebbsfleet United
Conference South League
Saturday 16th April 2016, 3pm
Paul Willott (Neutral fan)

This fixture had popped up on the radar some 3-4 weeks earlier as a match that very easily could be a promotion decider given the unbelievable run that the home side were on, complete with a few games in hand too. Fate on this occasion had not disappointed either, and come match day both teams were level on points with the third placed club, Maidstone United, now too far behind to pose a serious threat. Added to the mix was the spice that although Sutton had a game in hand, there was the potential of a three point deduction for them over an alleged use of incorrectly registered player as a substitute earlier in the season.

I was unashamedly turning up to this fixture rooting for the away side; over the past 18 years I’d been to watch a fair few games at Stonebridge Road and still often trip over my tongue as I try to refer to them as Gravesend & Northfleet, rather than Ebbsfleet. I was really hoping they would win. I along with my workmate that I was attending the match with felt that they really needed the win given that the home side had a game in hand and were on an astonishing 23 game unbeaten run, setting records along the way as they did so.

So, hoping for an away win for the ‘Fleet to hopefully propel them back into the top tier of non-league, I cheerfully set off from my little house in Chatham down to the railway station. And that really is where the day took a downward trajectory for a while. Now most folks, when they get to a railway station, would expect to get on board a train. It’s not an unreasonable expectation. But not so for the burghers of Chatham and nearby towns, as once again I found the station closed and an army of rag-tag double deck buses waiting to be despatched on rail replacement services. However, the 'Gods of Comedy' weren’t finished yet, as the local utilities set-up had decided to set up temporary road works on the north side of the old ‘A2’ road bridge across the Medway complete with alternate way traffic lights that meant a road trip that would normally take five minutes took in excess of 45 minutes just to get across the bridge.

Main Stand

Main Stand

I decided to persevere, and once finally at Bromley South, I briefly toyed with aborting my original mission and going to watch Bromley v Torquay as it was nearly 1.30pm. But taking into consideration my friend who was looking forward to linking up with me at Sutton, I opted to stick with plan ‘A’ and took the 119 bus to East Croydon whereupon I jumped a taxi for the rest of the trek to my original destination.  The cab may have set me back some £30, but it was worth it in the end to at least get to the ground comfortably before kick-off.

Gander Green Lane is not the most imposing of venues when viewed from the road Indeed over the years I had driven past the ground on a few occasions and as I joined the queue to pay my £12 to get in I was prepared to be under whelmed.  I have to say I was actually pleasantly surprised by the appearance of the ground once inside. Although the two covered terraces behind either goal are very much on the small side, the Main Stand alongside the pitch is of a reasonable size and pretty much dominates the stadium. Opposite the Main Stand is another fairly small covered terrace, but the real gem for me were the two stretches of quaint curved open terracing that flanked the terrace behind the goal at the Gander Green Lane End.

Once I’d acquired a matchday programme for the price of £2, I ambled around to the Collingwood Lane End and picked a spot on the terrace.This was the end that was seemingly the home for the Ebbsfleet fans, although there was no segregation being enforced, and awaited my colleague to join me. The relatively new 3G pitch looked smart, and the renovations that had taken place alongside that seem to have whisked away any lasting remains of the athletics track that used to reside here. The atmosphere was building quite nicely beforehand, and the Ebbsfleet players came over to show their appreciation of the large away support once they’d finished their warm up routine. One sensed that they certainly felt they could put a stop to Sutton’s fine unbeaten run.  

Gander Green Lane End

Gander Green Lane End

A healthy crowd had certainly built up by kick-off, and as some of us reminisced about the big top of table clash with Canvey Island some 15 years ago that saw a crowd in excess of 4,500 in Stonebridge Road (the official figure; many youngsters were seen wriggling over the fencing and some suggested the real figure could be nearer 6,000 ), and regular ‘Fleet fans declared that this was probably their biggest game since then. Oddly enough , the prize back then was the same; a place in the top flight of non-league football.

The game got underway, and to start with it was a cracking game of football that defied my expectations. All too often these matches never spark into life when so much is at stake, but both teams were playing good football and during the first 20-25 minutes, the ‘Fleet were on top and were carving out the better chances. Alas, somewhat against the run of play, Sutton scored from a cross that had floated in from the right wing, and from then on, ‘Fleet seemed to lose their way in the midfield and the home side started to control the gameplay with relative ease. The saying that “goals change games” was certainly relevant here at Gander Green Lane. Worse was to follow from the Fleet perspective shortly before half-time when the referee awarded what seemed a ridiculous penalty to the home side, and not only did it infuriate the more passionate away supporters, even my more moderate colleague and I agreed it was one of the poorer penalty decisions given.

Unfortunately, once the Sutton player tucked the penalty away right in front of the Ebbsfleet supporters, he then unwisely gloated quite childishly in front of the away fans, and as several of his team-mates came to celebrate with him, they joined in the provocative gloating with one lowering himself so far as to make an obscene gesture. This garnered a very hostile reaction, with several bottles being hurled onto the pitch aimed at the Sutton players, one of which was struck on the head.  It was a distasteful incident that spoilt the day for me, as there was no need for it.  As the stewarding presence was minimal, I was just relieved that no supporters encroached on the field of play, as it could have got very ugly.

Collingwood Lane End

Collingwood Lane End

The less said about the second half, the better; it was a rather tedious anti-climax with Sutton playing a very effective game management plan and Ebbsfleet seemed to have run out of ideas. Such was the tedium, we sloped off to see if any food was still available and were pleasantly cheered to find that the club had planned and catered for a much larger crowd than usual so we parted with £3:80 for a giant cheeseburger each that was far better than you’d get at many a league ground. It was almost a relief when the final whistle sounded really; Sutton celebrated as though they’d won the league whereas the Ebbsfleet supporters trooped disconsolately away, resigning themselves to the seeming inevitability of the play-off lottery.

We agreed amongst ourselves though that on the day, the better team won, and although disputed, the penalty award didn’t really affect the outcome of the game, as Fleet had already gone off the boil by then. That incident, and the disappointing silliness afterwards detracted from what could have been a great occasion. Sutton had enjoyed a bumper crowd, some 3,180 from recollection, some three times in excess of their recent league encounters, and there had been no friction between any of the supporters despite the lack of segregation.

The Old Fashioned Open Terrace

Open Terrace

I wended my way home, and found the match day programme was a little thin on substance, although I’ve come across worse, and once I’d flicked through that I reflected on the afternoon. I suspect that Sutton supporters wouldn’t have cared too much about the quality of the match overall; they’d secured a huge three points over their promotion rivals, and with games running out could probably start to daydream about how they’ll fare in the Conference National next season.

Gander Green Lane certainly won’t look out of place in the higher division, although it will probably feature as one of the smaller stadia. Maybe one of the ends behind the goals could be a candidate for being enlarged, or the terrace opposite the Main Stand perhaps?  First of all, lets see how Sutton fare next season if they seal the deal for promotion and can consolidate in the higher level, and maybe then it may be time to splash a little cash on the ground.  

Anyone for the derby against Bromley next season?

Plus points for Gander Green Lane
1 Easily accessed by bus and/or train
2 Some lovely terracing, reminiscent of a bygone age
3 Catering manages to serve a far larger crowd than normal, and was good quality

Minus points for Gander Green Lane
1 Match day programme was distinctly average
2 Ground could be in need of development if the club can sustain itself at a higher level

Why not write your own review of Borough Sports Park Sutton United and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 7th October 2017

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Buy my new Football Grounds Book
Fully updated for 2017/18
The biggest and best yet!

Football Grounds A Fans Guide Book Cover

Click Here For More Info And How To Get Your Signed Copy!

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