Abingdon Town
Culham Road

Ground No. 98
Visited - Saturday 12th August 2006
Result - Abingdon Town 3-0 Camberley Town
Competition - FA Cup, Extra-Preliminary Round
Attendance - 80

Every year I normally meet up with family and go camping for a weekend around July/August time, and this year was no different, except with the season underway, I decided to try and take in a match and a new ground instead of sitting around bored on the Saturday afternoon!

We had been staying just north of Oxford, so looking down the fixture list, the one game (or ground) that stood out was Abingdon Town’s home match against Camberley at Culham Road. As an aside, it was also the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, and something that I’ve wanted to do for some time is see a game in every round through to the final, so it was decided that that was where I’d start!

With the ground only being a few miles down the road, I didn’t have to leave until too late, getting a bus into Oxford, and another one out the other side down to Abingdon. After reaching Abingdon and getting off in the town centre, it didn’t take long to walk from there, over the River Thames and to the ground, which was adjacent a cricket pitch.

On first arriving at Culham Road, the most notable feature was the rear of the club house, facing out over the cricket pitch, with a nicely painted sign featuring the clubs name. Other than that, it was the usual standard fare for non-league grounds, of smallish metal fences blocking the view from inside, so after having gone through the turnstile, I went in to found a ground that must certainly be among the best for this level of football.

On the near side is the club house and facilities, with a fair expanse of hard standing for the spectators. In front of the clubhouse was a small stand for directors, including next to it, a rather small press box. Opposite where I’d come in was the River End of the ground, this was a covered terrace running the width of the pitch and standing a few rows high. Although relatively nondescript, it had been cared for and with a fresh coat of green and yellow paint, it looked nice, especially with the trees behind. The ‘Stand Side’ of the ground was another well looked after ensemble of stands, with a small seated stand in the middle, and two covered terraces flanking it either side, finally, completing the picture was the Culham Road End, which was another terrace, although this time uncovered.

After having taken a few pictures, I eventually found a seat and waited for kick-off. In the early stages, it was fairly scrappy, until Abingdon took the lead in the 19th minute when Tom Larman rounded the goalkeeper to knock it into an empty net. They soon made it 2-0 when Larman again had an easy tap in, after a low cross from the left. It stayed like that until half-time, with Abingdon easily the better team, but in the second half, it was more even, with neither side particularly troubling the opposition goal, until the 80th minute when poor defending let Larman in for his hat-trick, as he rounded the keeper once more to knock in from a tight angle, putting the home side through to the next round of the cup.

With the final 10 minutes having been played out to their inevitable end, I eventually left the ground to go back into Abingdon and on a bus back to the campsite, getting back there in good time.

Overall, it had been a nice trip out to a ground I probably wouldn’t have seen if I wasn’t staying in the area. The ground itself is quite nice and well looked after. Compared to say the MFA stadia where I’ve tended to concentrate my efforts on (being based in the West Midlands), it did seem to be of a slightly higher standard, and certainly wouldn’t look out of place higher up the pyramid, so it’s definitely worth a visit for anyone who hasn’t been there.

Welcome to Culham Road

Rear of the Clubhouse

Rear of the River End Terrace

Rear of the Far Side

Rear of the Culham Road End

The Turnstile

The Culham Road End

The Culham Road End

The Main Stand

The Far Side and Main Stand

The River End Terrace

The Near Side

The Directors Stand

The Press Box


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