Cressing Road

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Cressing Road
Location Braintree, England
Coordinates 51°52′31.16″N 0°34′22.64″E / 51.8753222°N 0.5729556°E / 51.8753222; 0.5729556Coordinates: 51°52′31.16″N 0°34′22.64″E / 51.8753222°N 0.5729556°E / 51.8753222; 0.5729556
Opened 1923
Surface Grass
Capacity 4,151 (553 seated)
Record attendance 6,000 (football)
8,000 (non-football)
Braintree Town

Cressing Road, also known as the Amlin Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is a football stadium in Braintree, Essex and the home ground of Braintree Town. It currently has a capacity of 4,151.

History[edit]

The stadium was built as a general sports ground by the Crittall Windows Company, the parent company of the club, then known as Crittall Athletic.[1] It was opened in 1923 by the fourth annual Crittall Sports and Show, which had previously taken place the club's old ground on Panfield Lane, with an attendance of 6,000. At the time the ground had a cinder track a quarter of a mile long.

The first football match was played on 15 September 1923, with Crittall beating Great Leighs 4–0.[1] A 400-seat grandstand was opened in December 1924 and the ground became the regular venue for the Essex Junior Cup, with a record football crowd of 6,000 attending for the 1926 final between Rayleigh Athletic and Saffron Walden. This was equalled in the 1928 final between Leigh Ramblers and Wimpole Road Wesleyans and an Essex Senior Cup semi-final between Chelmsford and Colchester Town in 1931. A non-football record of 8,000 was set for the Crittall Sport and Show in 1926.

A second grandstand was opened during the 1932–33 season. A record attendance for the home club was set on 8 May 1952 when they played Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly, with 4,000 watching Spurs win 8–1.[1] Floodlights were installed in 1967, the same year in which greyhound racing also began to be held at the ground.

In the mid-1970s the ground had fallen into a state of disrepair and the club was forced to play at other venues for a time due to problems with the pitch.[1] These included Heybridge Swifts' Scraley Road (a single match on 26 April 1975 arranged at such short notice that many fans arrived at Cressing Road for the match and only 50 attended the game), Braintree Rugby Club's Tabor Avenue (at the start of the 1975–76 season) and the Courtaulds Sports Ground in Church Street in Bocking (a single match against Gorleston on 6 September 1975 with a crowd of 73).[1] However, after winning the Eastern Counties League in 1983–84 the club began to upgrade the ground, building a new 292-seat grandstand at the end of the 1980s.

Current format[edit]

The ground currently consists of four stands:

  • The Main Stand, a 553-seat covered stand with uncovered terrace on either side with a capacity of 735.[2]
  • The Clubhouse End, an 803-capacity uncovered terrace.
  • The Quag End, with a 761-capacity terrace (of which 357 is covered)
  • The Cressing Road side, a 1,296-capacity terrace (of which 862 is covered).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Blakeman, M (2010) The Official History of the Eastern Counties Football League 1935-2010, Volume II ISBN 978-1-908037-02-2
  2. ^ All about the Cressing Road Stadium, home of Braintree Town FC Braintree Town FC