AFC Telford United
New Bucks Head

Ground No. 67
Visited - Tuesday 12th July 2005
Result - AFC Telford United 0-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition - Pre-Season Friendly
Attendance - 2205

After visiting Keys Park only 24 hours earlier, there was another non-league treat for me to see in the shape of the Bucks Head at Telford. After Telford United had gone out of business in the summer of 2004, there was some confusion about what would happen with the stadium, but thankfully the newly formed AFC Telford United were able to keep playing there, offering me the chance to see another good (and arguably the best) non-league ground.

In the daytime, I'd taken the chance to go over to Shrewsbury, to take pictures of Gay Meadow, which the last time had unfortunately not come out so good, but on the way, I'd stopped off in Wellington, and gone up to the ground, to try and see if I could get some pics of it empty, which after finding an open gate, and enquiring in reception I was able to.

From the first sighting of the ground, I was quite simply blown away. The pictures that I had seen beforehand didn’t do it justice, and even when you are going there expecting to see a good stadium, you cant possibly expect to find what you come across. If you come from the train station, from the outside the first thing you see is the rear of the Sir Stephen Roberts Stand, which with the hotel attached to two sides of it, looks huge. With the cantilever supports, glass frontage, and striking blue/white colour scheme, it’s a sight to behold, and a stand better (and more impressive) than many in the Championship, even in the Premiership if you count Fratton Park! The rest of the exterior is less so, being around about half the size, without many features, but you certainly get an impression that it is all very modern, and of a good quality.

Once inside, the two ends are exactly the same, fair sized, new terraces, with curved roofs, whilst the Sir Stephen Roberts Stand, like from the outside, draws most attention, being all seated, featuring executive boxes running across its rear, and ‘Telford United FC’ in stylish writing across the seats. The one side that does unfortunately let the ground down, is the East Terrace, which is rather small, and uncovered, and leaves the ground feeling a bit open, if this could be replaced then it would be a superb stadium, unquestionably fit for League Football.

After getting enough pictures, it was back to the station, for a short trip to Shrewsbury, where I spent the rest of the afternoon, before coming back over in time for the evenings match.

The admission was only £5, and after buying a programme, it was my first chance to see the facilities (which had been locked up before). Like with the rest of the ground, they were superb, as good as, and better than many Premiership grounds. I'd chosen to stand in the Frank Nagington Stand behind the goal, although despite the two sets of fans being separated, we were able to walk around to the East Terrace, which Wolves fans were also in.

The game kicked off, and it was a frantic start, as both sides looked to attack. Telford had most of the early chances, and looked dangerous, but halfway through the First Half we scored, with youngster Tom Williams slotting home after some good work from Rohan Ricketts. After that, it seemed mostly us, with the home side restricted to mainly half-chances, but like at Hednesford 24 hours earlier, we couldn’t make our possession tell, and create anything that genuinely threatened their keeper, so when the referee blew his whistle on 45 minutes, it was 1-0 to us.

The second half started, with a completely different Wolves team coming out, and it didn’t take them long to double the lead, when another youngster, Chris Cornes, hit a low shot from the edge of the area which found its way in. Telford didn’t lie down though, and went on several attacks of their own, but unfortunately for them, nothing came of it, and when Kenny Miller nodded home a good cross from Naylor on 83 minutes, it was game over.

Throughout the game, there had been a decent atmosphere, from a crowd which looked a lot bigger than what was officially read out, and despite being segregated from the home fans, and a heavy police presence due to trouble caused by West Brom fans several days earlier, the match was a good natured one, with the announcers making several messages thanking Wolves fans and directors for agreeing to use the Bucks Head for reserve games again next season.

It was a short walk back to the station, although a slightly longer wait than expected as the train was delayed, but getting home I was happy that I'd decided to take the opportunity to see the ground. Unlike at Hednesford, it had been a good game, and the ground really is one that everyone should try to get to, there surely cant be a better one in all of the non-league pyramid, and with any luck AFC Telford will rise again, and eventually challenge for league status.

Welcome to Telford United

Rear of the Frank Nagington Stand

Rear of the East Terrace

Rear of the David Hutchison Stand

Rear of the Sir Stephen Roberts Stand

The David Hutchison Stand

The East Terrace

The Frank Nagington Stand

The Sir Stephen Roberts Stand

The Frank Nagington Stand

The Sir Stephen Roberts Stand

The David Hutchison Stand

The East Terrace

The New Bucks Head Panoramic


1 comment:

  1. I think that it is great that they didn't loose the stadium. It is something that it remarkable and something to remember. One place that I have in the price per head services list with my friends.