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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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BuiltWithNOF

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

Slade Green FC

The Small Glen
Moat Lane
Slade Green
Erith
Kent

Telephone: 01322 351077

Website

Nickname: The Green

View from the bank

Stand and dugout

Looking along the touchline towards the bank

Slade Green is a suburb of Erith situated close to the Industrial Development alongside the River Thames between Woolwich and Dartford. Originally, Slade Green was represented by three clubs: The Wasps, St Augustines and Southern Railway Sports. On 6 June 1946 in a meeting at the Railway Hotel in Slade Green these three clubs merged to form Slade Green Athletic FC (re-named Slade Green in 1986).

In 1952, Green joined the Kent Amateur League and promptly won the Division Two title at the first attempt. This success was surpassed the following year as Green were crowned Division One Champions, remaining unbeaten and scoring 144 goals in the process. This was part of a League and Cup double as Green lifted the Erith Hospitals Cup for the third time following a 3-0 win over Belvedere Albion.

The 1960/61 season saw Green emerge as Senior Division Champions and shortly after this they were elected to the Greater London League. After finishing as Greater London League Runners-up in 1969 the club became members of the Kent League in time for the start of season 1970/71, although since then the club has never lifted the championship.

A small piece of land adjacent to the Erith marshes has been home to the club since its inception. The ground was originally named simply ‘The Glen’; the ‘Small’ prefix being added in 1987, in recognition of the late Charlie and Gert Small who had been involved with the club since its earliest days.

Although the busy A206 runs close by, and the railway station is just around the corner, the ground is quite secluded and is quite aptly named in this respect, even if it does sound rather more romantic than it actually is.

The car park offers a fine elevated view down onto the pitch below, accessed by a slope from the pay hut. All the facilities are along the near touchline, with shelter provided under quite a large if basic concrete structure with a large sloping roof. Behind is quite a well-appointed clubhouse. The remainder of the ground is undeveloped, save for hard standing and floodlights.

When I visited with Langney Sports for an FA Cup tie a few years back there were definately seats, although these were not in place when the photographs on this page were taken (the 2004 edition of the ‘Non League Directory’ lists 150 seats). If the seats weren’t there, neither were the goalposts despite it being in mid-season, and it would appear that it’s relatively secluded position may appeal to the local vandals as well as spectators.

Fortunately, since these pics were taken, the Club has successfully installed an external fence around the perimeter of The Small Glen with the help of an £80,000 grant. Thankfully, since the fence was erected, there have evidently been no cases of vandalism at the ground (the main reason that the ground lacks any seating). The Club is planning to place permanent seating on the touchline opposite the main stand/clubhouse.

Ground details
Capacity: 3,000
Seats: 150 (??)
Floodlights: Yes

Directions
From Erith proceed in the direction of Dartford on the A206 dual carriageway. Turn left into Bridge Road then over the railway bridge and sharp right into Forest Road.

Continue on this past the railway station where the road goes left into Moat Lane, and the part of Moat Lane with the football club is then straight ahead of you as the through road goes left to become Hazel Road.

By rail
Slade Green (BR) 400 yards.