Saturday, 23 July 2011

Carlton Town

Saturday 23rd July 2011
Pre-season friendly
Bill Stokeld Stadium

My second game of the day is a trip to the other side of Nottingham to Carlton. The journey through Nottingham city centre from Beeston took around half an hour and following lunch in a well known ubiquitous fast food joint I arrived with around 20 minutes before kick-off. 

Carlton Town were formed in 1904 as Sneinton FC and spent most of the last century playing in local Nottinghamshire Leagues. In 1995 they were promoted to the Central Midlands League (CML) and in their third season in the CML secured promotion to the Supreme Division with a 3rd place finish. In 2002 the club changed their name to their present and at the end of the season were crowned CML champions for the one and only time. This championship secured promotion to the Northern Counties East League (NCEL) division 1. The division one title was achieved in the 2005/06 and this secured promotion to the premier division. Just one season was spent in the premier division as a 3rd place finish secured promotion to division 1 south of the Northern Premier League. 

The club currently play at the Bill Stokeld Stadium on Stoke Lane. The following information on the ground is taken from Christopher Rooney's Nottinghamshire football website:

"The local council had for many years been planning to build a by-pass on the A610 to take traffic away from the nearby suburb of Gedling. Tragically, the proposed road bulldozed right through the middle of Carlton's main pitch. As a result, the club had to move all of it's facilities a few yards north, including the re-location of their spanking new stand and existing changing rooms, all at their own expense. Carlton moved into the all-new Bill Stokleld Stadium in the summer of 2007. and it's a vast improvement.

You shouldn't miss the ground, as there's one road in and one road out - well sort of. A controversial decision was made by the local council to only allow access to Stoke Lane from the new by-pass into Stoke Lane. this has affectively sealing off the north side of Stoke Lane, with only buses allowed through only (there are traffic lights in force that only turn green for buses to continue through to Burton Road.). The major problem is that all of the potential fanbase for Carlton is to the north of the stadium, thus no passing traffic equals no passing punters. A crazy decision by a council who are supposedly meant to be supporting the local community."

Carlton were supposed to be playing Leicestershire side Barwell but I was told on arrival that they had pulled out due to not being able to raise a team!!! Seriously. Staveley stepped in at short notice as they themselves were without a game. The game was no better than the first game at lunchtime though for the most part both teams were more interested in kicking each other than playing football. Both referees (one used for each half) struggled to get the players to calm down and  if this was a competitive game then quite a few cards would have been shown. Why the game was like this is a strange one as from what I can gather their is no history between the two sides. A friendly that was too competitive for it's own good!!! As I was walking around the ground during the first half I came across Malc Storer for the second time in two days. This followed our first meeting at Pinxton last night. Malc and his mate Kev are fellow bloggers and their's can be found here: On The Road 2011-2012

The only goals of the game came in the second half - the first after 46 minutes when Massiah McDonald cut into the penalty area from the right and laid the ball off to Rob Gill who slotted the ball past the keeper. Carlton's second (and final) goal of the afternoon came on 73 minutes when Ryan Goward smashed home a shot from outside the penalty area that gave the Staveley keeper no chance. With tempers at boiling point the referee called a halt to proceedings a couple of minutes early - a wise decision in my book.

Admission: £5
Programme: none
Attendance: between 50 and 60


A weekend that saw me attend three games and eleven goals that helps increase the total to my charity donation. (click on the link at the top of the blog for more details).

A slideshow of photos taken of the ground and came can be viewed below:
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