Tonbridge Angels

Longmead Stadium

Capacity: 3,000 (Seats 760)
Address: Darenth Ave, Tonbridge, Kent, TN10 3JF
Telephone: 01732 352417
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Angels
Year Ground Opened: 1980
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Royal Blue With White Trim

Main Stand
Main Stand
Mezzanine South Stand
Mezzanine South Stand
Jack Maddams Stand
Jack Maddams Stand
Clubhouse Side
Clubhouse Side

Tonbridge Angels SignThe Longmead Stadium is located in a pleasant setting, within a small park, with plenty of trees surrounding the ground perimeter. At first glance, the ground looks much older than it is. This is partly because the Main Stand on one side of the pitch predates the 1980 opening of the ground. It was originally located at the Club's old Angel Ground, before being dismantled and re-erected at the new stadium. This covered all-seated stand was formerly a covered terrace. It runs for around three-quarters of the length of the pitch and has an interesting looking angled roof. It does have a number of supporting pillars, as well as the bases of some floodlight pylons in front of it, that could impede your view. There are flat standing areas to either side of this stand.

Both ends of the ground are almost identical, with small covered terraces located behind the goals, with flat standing areas to either side. Although only four steps high, these are quite broad and do provide an elevated view of the match. Although set back a bit from the touchline, the cover does help with the generation of the atmosphere. The remaining side of the ground is almost entirely open to the elements, with spectators confined to a pathway behind the pitch perimeter fence. Known as the Clubhouse side, it comprises a mish-mash of club buildings, with a tall elevated television gantry located in the centre. There is also an odd-looking small covered structure, that contains around 30 seats, which is used as a Director's Box. The team dugouts are also located on this open side of the ground. One unusual feature is that the team changing rooms are located at one end, next to the covered South Terrace. This means that the teams enter the field of play from near one corner. The ground has a set of eight small floodlights, four of which run down each side of the pitch.

It is very rare that there is crowd segregation at the Longmead Stadium. If segregation is put in force then the visiting supporters are allocated the Jack Maddams Stand at the North End of the ground. This end comprises a small covered terrace that is located directly behind the goalmouth, with flat standing areas to either side. Around 500 away fans can be housed in this area. As segregation is normally not in force then this allows the traditional non-league swapping of ends at half time, with the obligatory banter that goes with it!

There is a clubhouse bar at the ground, that normally welcomes visiting supporters. However, with not much else around the local area, it does fill up pretty quickly. It does though normally have real ale available. The closest pub is the Royal Oak on Shipbourne Road. It is just over half a mile away, or a 10-15 minute walk, from the Longmead Stadium. It doesn't show televised sports but does have Harvey' Real ale on tap. If arriving by train then there are a number of pubs along Tonbridge High Street, including a Wetherspoons outlet called the Humphrey Bean. There are also plenty of pubs dotted along the walking route from the railway station to the ground.

From the North 

Leave the M25 at Junction 5 and take the A21 towards Sevenoaks and Hastings. After five miles leave the A21 and take the B245 towards Hildenborough. Continue along the B245 through Hildenborough and on towards Tonbridge Town Centre. Shortly after passing a Beefeater outlet on the right and the Chestnut Lodge on the left, take the next left into Dry Hill Park (signposted Shipbourne A227). At the mini-roundabout take the first exit onto Shipbourne Road. Go past the Shell Garage and the Royal Oak pub on the left and at the next roundabout take the first exit onto Darenth Avenue. The ground is located at the bottom of this road. There is a large car park at the ground, which is free.

Tonbridge Railway Station is located just under two miles away from the Longmead Stadium. The station is served by trains from London Charing Cross, Redhill and Dover Priory. There is a taxi rank at the station. As you exit the main entrance, turn right and then right again, to find it. Alternatively, from directly outside the station (just to the left of the main entrance) you can catch the 218 or 219 Bus which will take up to near the stadium. The 219 gets you a bit closer to the stadium stopping in Darenth Avenue itself. View the timetables for these buses on the Arriva website (look for the Cage Green Pinnacles stop, for near the ground). Please note that for midweek games there are no buses running back to the station after the match has ended.

To walk from the station to the stadium will take around 40 minutes. Turn left out of the station and proceed down along the High Street. Continue passing Tonbridge Castle and Tonbridge School on the left. Where the road forks, keep straight on to the right towards Shipbourne (A227). Go straight across the mini roundabout, passing a Shell Garage on your left and then just past the Royal Oak pub turn left into Welland Road. Then take the next right into Long Mead Way. At the end of this road turn left into Darenth Avenue. Longmead Stadium is at the bottom of this road, within a small park.

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

Adults £13
Over 65's £9
Under 18's £5
Under 13's £4*

*Free entry into League games if accompanied by an adult.

Official Matchday Programme £2.50

Maidstone United and Dover Athletic.

Record Attendance
2,411 v Lowestoft Town 
Isthmian League Premier Division Play-Off Final
7th May 2011

Average Attendance
2018-2019: 542 (Isthmian League Premier Division)

The Club's previous ground was close to the Angel Hotel and was hence known as the Angel Ground and the Club Tonbridge Angels.

If you require hotel accommodation in Tonbridge or nearby 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. 

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If there is anything that needs to be updated or if you have something to add to the Guide to the Longmead Stadium Tonbridge then please email me at: [email protected].

Special thanks to Iain Badger for providing the photos on this page of the Longmead Stadium Tonbridge.

Tonbridge Angels v Hemel Hempstead Town
National League South
Saturday 14th September 2019, 3pm
Myles Munsey (Ground hopper)

Pitch MarkingsReasons for visit
As with Dorking Wanderers a chance to visit a new ground at this level. The pictures on this website suggested an interesting stadium – I was not to be disappointed. The Indian Summer continues and so with the weather set fair off I went.
 
Getting there
A mid-morning train from Newbury had me in London in good time to just make the 12.00 from Charing Cross. This arrived in Tonbridge at 12.45 so on a warm afternoon I took a light lunch on the lawn in front of Tonbridge Castle. Passing through the archway I re-joined the High Street and followed the exact walking route to Longmead as shown in the guide. This was performed at a leisurely pace such that when I arrived the clock had just turned two. 
 
Before the game
I paid my money and in I went and had a good hour to take it all in. I purchased a programme from the wooden hut and having already eaten noted the prices from the Tea Shack (below) before performing an anti-clockwise circuit of the ground described in more detail under first impressions. I looked into the club shop and noted the framed black and white photos of former players Malcolm McDonald and Ron Saunders. Roy Hodgson (the picture that is) for some reason was absent.
 
Tea shack fare
½ pound burger £5  
¼ pound burger £3.30
Veggie burger £3.30
Jumbo hot dog £3
Cappucino/Lattte £1.50
Tea/Coffee £1
 
First impressions
This is a fabulous ground if like me you are a traditionalist. I sensed this before I even went inside. It occupies a lovely setting bordered by several mature trees and has a spacious feel as there are wide grass strips between the rear of the stands and the boundary fence. There is a wacky assortment of architectural styles ranging from the wooden programme hut and refreshment kiosks and the TV box to the pre-fab club shop. Add to that the breeze block toilets and the three corrugated ironwork stands and you have a glorious conglomerate of structures resulting in a most appealing football ground. 
 
The Main Stand is not a barrel roof exactly – more a quarter segment but the angle iron that supports it (like Aldershot) is suitably eccentric. (And some rust did fall off when the ball struck it!). There is real pride in the club here so those stands are freshly painted and the pitch would grace many a league outfit. This is due to the award winning groundsman who I spoke to. He assures me that the pitch markings (and they are dead straight) are down to good old pegs and string. What he puts into the turf I don’t know but the playing surface is superb.
 
Main Stand Side
 
Main Stand Side
 
The game
Another day of warm sunshine, so again shirtsleeves and a Main Stand position –area C just shy of the halfway line. With the sun behind the stand. I sat in the front row for maximum legroom and enjoyed a near perfect view. Unlike the Dorking match, this was no soporific affair and an entertaining game developed.
 
A real see-saw game this one, with plenty of free-flowing football from both sides. Tonbridge bossed the first half and but for four terrific saves from Danny Bines would have been out of sight at the interval. Other chances came and went but it was goalless at half time which was surprising. We didn’t have long to wait for a goal though and it went to the visitors – Liam Nash turning in a half chance on 48 minutes and then4 minutes later bending a free kick over the wall for 2-0. Bines gave away a penalty on 70 minutes but Joe Turner contrived to waste this glorious chance to halve the deficit by lofting the ball into the front of the North Stand. Tonbridge did everything but score, Bines pulling off another two excellent stops and seeing one effort booted off the line. For Tonbridge it just wasn’t meant to be. Nice to see journeyman Jack Midson appear for the visitors. I last saw him turn out for Concord Rangers and before that Oxford United. 
 
The Director's Box/Press Area
 
Director's Box
 
Getting away
I was ready and waiting by the gate when the whistle blew and followed the exact same route back to Tonbridge Station. As I managed it in just 27 minutes I made the 17.31 Tonbridge to Charing Cross and the 19.03 Paddington to Newbury.
 
Overall thoughts
Another small club finding its feet and well run by the local townspeople. The whole set up is a real hands-on effort of which they can be justifiably proud. Hats off to the away contingent, drumming and singing near constantly and not a hint of trouble. This is what football is all about. And it wouldn’t be National League South without one Spaniel, one Retriever and one Labrador.
 
Attendance: 576

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Updated 26th November 2019

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