Petersfield Town FC was formed after the demise of Petersfield United in 1993. United had joined Isthmian League Division Two (South) in 1984 but were placed into the newly created Division Three on its formation in 1991. Failure to gain permission to switch to the Wessex League led to the club folding and Town taking its place. The newly formed club duly joined the Wessex League but struggled for four seasons before being relegated to the Hampshire League, where they now reside.
In many ways fortunes off the pitch have mirrored those on it. The former United moved to a field in Princes Road in 1926. By all accounts the ground was quite well appointed and boasted a 300 seat wooden stand. However, when the owner died shortly after WW2, the club did not have the capital to purchase it. They were subsequently evicted and the land sold for housing. Had they been able to purchase the site, it would have no doubt been worth a considerable fortune today - there’s the fickle finger of fate for you!
The site of the current ground in Love Lane was farm land, which was flattened and converted into a pitch in 1948. According to Kerry Miller, an old Army hut for changing facilities was eventually provided by the local Council and replaced an old workhouse 100 yards away from the ground.
Today the ground is sadly in a rather ramshackle condition, and entered via a turnstile from quite a large open area outside the ground that functions as a more than adequate car park. Just inside the turnstiles is the clubhouse, which dates from the early 1980s.
The oldest structure is a small wooden stand, built by the Supporters’ Club in 1962. Sadly, this is looking a little worse for wear and is in need of attention. Seating is provided by four rows of ‘saddle’ type seats with separate accommodation for club officials segrated within a small brick-built enclosure within.
Further cover on the near side of the pitch went up in 1984. Although twenty years younger than the stand, this too is decidely tatty and is in the form of two identical wooden shelters on either side of a couple of equally decrepit-looking dugouts. The latter are set a little way back from the pitch in order to accommodate a floodlight pylon (lights having arrived at Love Lane in the intervening years). The two ends of the ground are undeveloped, although have hard standing.
The club’s current status means that grading issues are less of an issue than they might be higher up the Pyramid. However, with a predominantly wooden ground, improvements may soon be essential whether or not the club seeks to improve its position.
Off the A3 circulatory system in Petersfield town centre (well signposted).
Petersfield (BR): 10 minutes