As part of our support for non-league football we’ve launched our Club Renovation Programme for the second year. The deadline for entries has just closed and we’ll be revealing the finalists over the next few weeks. Here we go behind the scenes of Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase clubs with non-league football champion and talkSPORT and Sky TV presenter Tony Incenzo.
Hayes & Yeading United 4 Northwood 2
Where: The SKYex Community Stadium, Beaconsfield Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 0SL
Kick-off: 1pm, Boxing Day Tuesday December 26 2017
Overview: Radio reporting duties were due to send me to Brentford versus Aston Villa on the evening of Boxing Day. So this gave me the prefect opportunity to take in a match nearby at Hayes & Yeading United’s new stadium at 1pm. But is it actually a new stadium? There has been a great deal of debate amongst the groundhopping community on this subject. In effect, the old Yeading FC stadium has been totally demolished and then rebuilt with the pitch being realigned 30 yards south and at a 30° angle. This move was necessary to allow a cycle path to be created for new housing in the area. Weighing up all the evidence, I decided to count it as a new football ground to be visited.
History: The club was formed in 2007 by a merger of local rivals Hayes FC and Yeading FC. Looking back, Hayes were the longer-established of the two clubs dating from 1909 when they were initially known at Botwell Mission FC. Meanwhile, Yeading FC can trace their roots to a youth club formed in 1960 and they made remarkable progress up through the leagues after gaining senior status in the 1980s.
Ground description: The main feature of this new stadium is an excellent cantilever grandstand with 1,248 seats. There is provision for a large 800-capacity function room at the top of the stand, but this is currently an empty shell with completion work waiting to take place. New dressing rooms are also being built. It was interesting to note that some of the covered terracing from the old Yeading FC ground is still standing in the car park behind one goal, thereby giving an indication of how far the pitch has been moved. The whole venue is set against the backcloth of an industrial skyline, with a gas tower, towering cranes and austere factories in full view from the back of the grandstand.
Programme details: A 32 page glossy production that sold at £2. I particularly liked the historical content with a couple of fascinating articles on past Boxing Day matches from the world of football.
The match: Northwood nipped into an early lead with Martin scoring on 7 minutes. But back came Hayes & Yeading through Duku (20 & 83), Hobbs (44, own goal) and Culley (79, penalty). These goals were greeted enthusiastically by a vociferous group of fans in the main stand who displayed two club flags and belted out an array of songs about their ‘Ayes’ heroes. Martin scored again for Northwood three minutes into injury time at the end.
The people: It was good to catch up with H&Y media officer Tim Fuell, who has a great knowledge of Non-League football. I also had a friendly welcome from club chairman Tony O’Driscoll, club secretary Andy Corbett and his wife Lisa, who did a great job on the turnstile.
You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo
The Buildbase Club Renovation Programme will provide two product bursaries of £50,000 each in building, electrical products and hire equipment to two clubs by the end of the 2017-18 season. We’ll announce the finalists over the coming weeks, for more information visit our website