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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Erith Town FC

Erith Sports Stadium
Avenue Road

Telephone: 01322 350271

Website: None

Nickname: The Dockers


Developed side of the ground with extensive seating

Far touchline and dugouts

The history of Erith Town dates from 1959, when the club was originally formed as Woolwich Town FC, a Sunday club who played in the London Metropolitan Sunday League. In 1989 they briefly changed their name to Woolwich Heathway FC but reverted back to their original name within a year.

In 1991, the club switched to Saturday football and joined the London Spartan League Division Two. Despite finishing in a lowly ninth place, they were promoted to Division One due to the restructuring of the league. In the summer of 1995, the club gained senior status and were promoted to the Premier Division.

In 1991, Woolwich Town left their home at the Woolwich Barracks Stadium, to ground-share with Greenwich Borough FC at Harrow Meadow. In October 1995 however, the club acquired sole use of the pitch at Avenue Road, Erith.

In March 1996, at the third attempt, the Dockers won their appeal against the Isthmian League Joint Liaison Committee at Lancaster Gate, concerning crossing the FA Pyramid. Following this decision, the club tendered their resignation from the London Spartan League at the end of the 1995/96 season and were accepted into the Kent League.

With the promise of development at Erith Stadium from the local authority, the club decided to look into representing the community more rather than carry the banner of a team six miles away, and in June 1997 changed their name to Erith Town FC.

Extensive building work was carried out at Erith Stadium in 1998/99, so the club returned to groundshare at Greenwich Borough before returning the following season.

Erith Stadium is typical of many grounds that serve a dual function. There is plentiful car parking; the playing surface is second to none in the Kent League; and there is ample seating, albeit uncovered as yet. All the facilities however, are on one side of the pitch and the presence of the running track renders spectators remote from the action and thereby creates a somewhat soul-less venue for watching football. The two mobile dugouts on the far side of the pitch are pushed into position on match days.

Significant building work has been taking place behind the main seated area, where the local authority is evidently building a swimming pool. The Club is hoping that it will be able to erect cover over some of these seats as part of this work.

Ground details
Capacity: 1,450
Seats: 1,006
Floodlights: Yes

From the A206 at Erith, turn into Victoria Road and left at the T junction into Avenue Road. Take the 1st right along driveway which leads to the Leisure Centre car park, and the stadium is on the left.

By rail
Erith (BR) 600 yards.