Stonebridge Road

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Stonebridge Road Stadium
San Stonebridge
The Plough End of the stadium
Location Stonebridge Road,
Northfleet,
Kent
DA11 9GN
Built 1905
Opened 1905
Owner Gravesham Borough Council
Operator Ebbsfleet United
Capacity 5,011 (500 seated)
Tenants
Ebbsfleet United
Charlton Athletic Reserves

Stonebridge Road is a multi-purpose stadium in Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent, England, which is primarily used for football matches. Stonebridge Road was constructed in 1905, and was initially the home of Northfleet F.C., which merged with Gravesend F.C. in 1946.[1] It is currently the home ground of Ebbsfleet United F.C. (formerly Gravesend & Northfleet F.C.).[2] Thus, Stonebridge Road has been the home of Ebbsfleet and its predecessor football clubs for over 100 years.

Although one of the Fleet's local rivals, from 2000 to 2006 Dartford F.C. had a groundsharing agreement with Ebbsfleet United to use Stonebridge Road as its home field.[3] Gillingham F.C. used Stonebridge Road briefly for home matches in 1961.[4] Charlton Athletic Reserves also plays home matches at the ground.[5]

Ground details[edit]

Stonebridge Road, November 2007

The stadium has a capacity of 5,011 people.[6] The average attendance for Ebbsfleet United home ties at Stonebridge Road was 1,165 in the 2006-2007 season.[1]

When the Fleet plays at Stonebridge Road, the home supporters typically sit in the Main Stand or in the Plough End. Both those seating areas are covered, although seats were not installed in the Plough End, which is also called the Northfleet End, until 2006.[2] Home fans also stand in the terraced Stonebridge Road Stand, which runs along the length of the pitch on the side of the stadium closest to the street and which is also covered. Away supporters typically stand in the Swanscombe End, which is an open terrace.[1]

The pitch size at Stonebridge Road is 112 by 72 yards for football matches,[1] and the pitch is presently maintained by groundsman Peter Norton.[7]

The postcode (for maps and directions) of Stonebridge Road is DA11 9GN.[8]

History[edit]

Ebbsfleet United, then called Gravesend and Northfleet F.C., played its first ever match after the merger of the two Kent clubs at Stonebridge Road in August 1946 against Hereford United. The Fleet won that first match 3-0 with more than 5,000 fans in attendance.[9] The stadium's record attendance is 12,032, which was achieved against Sunderland F.C. in February 1963 in an FA Cup Fourth Round tie.[6]

In April 2002, the Fleet gained promotion to the top level of non-league football, the Conference National, by defeating Bedford Town on the last day of the season at The New Eyrie. The season also saw the highest modern day attendance at Stonebridge Road, an official figure of 4,068 spectators was announced for the game was against title rivals Canvey Island, although unofficial estimates put the number closer to 6,000 fans.[9]

Following the club's victory in the FA Trophy in May 2008, the parade honouring Ebbsfleet United's victorious squad started at Stonebridge Road.[10]

The future[edit]

Ebbsfleet United are actively investigating [11] the possibility of moving to or constructing a new stadium in the next three years.[12]

In August 2009 proposals for a new stadium as part of redevelopments in the local areas were rejected by Kent County Council and Gravesham Borough Council.[13] After the owners of the freehold put the site up for auction on 21 September,[14] a group of former directors, Ebbsfleet supporters and MyFootballClub members set up a limited company to raise the funds to buy out the freehold.

On 17 September 2009, Gravesham Borough Council announced that they had bought the ground, to be leased to the club at £1 per year, but with the option of the Club purchasing it from the Council if sufficient funds can be raised.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Adams, Duncan (2008-03-10). "Ebbsfleet United". Blue Square Premier League Football Ground Guide. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Stonebridge Road". Ebbsfleet United F.C. Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  3. ^ McCartney, Stephen (2008-01-27). "Stonebridge Showdown: Darts want to follow in the Fleet's footsteps". www.kentishfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  4. ^ "Stonebridge Road". Doing the 92. 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Charlton reserves change ground". BBC Sport. 2006-06-12. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  6. ^ a b Oliver, Pete (2007-08-08). "Blue Square Premier form guide". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  7. ^ "Beat the weather - myfootballclub.co.uk". YouTube. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Ebbsfleet United Ground Guide". The Football Supporters Federation. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  9. ^ a b "Concise history of the Fleet". Ebbsfleet United F.C. Official Website. Retrieved 2008-05-28. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Route update: Fleet's Trophy heroes take to the streets". Gravesham Borough Council Official Website. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-05-28. [dead link]
  11. ^ "FGD Stadium report". Ebbsfleet United. 2009-04-02. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  12. ^ "Fleet eye new stadium for 2010". kentnews.co.uk. 2007-12-24. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  13. ^ "Hopes dashed for Fleet stadium". bbc.co.uk. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 10 September 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ "FOOTBALL STADIUM & COMMERCIAL YARDS". Clive Emson Land & Property Auctioneers. 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2008. 
  15. ^ "Council buys Ebbsfleet's football ground". Gravesham Borough Council. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 17 September 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°26′58.34″N 0°19′20.18″E / 51.4495389°N 0.3222722°E / 51.4495389; 0.3222722