Arnold Town
Gedling Road

Ground No. 154
Visited - Saturday 12th April 2008
Result - Arnold Town 1-1 Selby Town
Competition - NCEL Premier Division
Attendance - 233

Opened in 1956 Gedling Road has been home to Arnold Town and their various incarnations for over 50 years, but following a decision by the charities commission, then the club have been forced to relocate to a new ground that will be open for the 2008/09 season. Their last match was scheduled to be the NCEL Premier Division fixture against Selby, so with nothing else on that day, I was determined to make my way up to the ground to get the chance to visit it before it was eventually demolished to make way for housing. 

Situated on the northern outskirts of Nottingham, it was an easy journey over to the East Midlands, with a quick change in Birmingham on the train, before arriving into Nottingham just after 11am. I spent the next few hours there, before catching a bus for the last part of the journey out to Arnold itself, a small town, cum suburb.

Officially called the King George V playing fields, then the ground is based within a larger sporting complex on the edge of the town centre with a cricket field at one end (the cricket club had been evicted a couple of years ago), and a kids play area before you reached the turnstiles. After going in, you come out in the corner of the ground, with the changing rooms and clubhouse immediately to the right whilst hard standing runs the length of the pitch in front of you, down to the far end where the football pitch is railed off from the neighbouring cricket field. The far side features the largest structure at the ground, a terrace that provides cover for 500 with 6 steps providing an elevated view of the action. This stand sits in the centre of the touchline, running for about half of the length of the pitch. Finally at the near end is a small cover with two rows of bench seating behind the goal, and is notable for the tall netting sat on top of it to stop balls from escaping.

Having taken a few pictures, and bumped into an ex-work colleague who was doing a feature on the ground for the BBC, then I made my way into the clubhouse, grabbing a quick pint before the match started.

Neither team really had much to play for. Level on 55 points, with a game extra left to play Selby still could have finished 2nd and gone for promotion, but with Glapwell 10 points ahead and Selby only having four matches left then the realists knew that the season was more or less over for both sides, but this didn’t stop the game starting off in a blistering manner. With just five minutes gone, number 9 Craig Mitchell chased a long punt up field taking it on the bounce before hitting a great shot over his namesake in the Selby goal to make it 1-0 to the hosts. The visitors equalised soon after, following good work down the left hand side and a cross into the box where Steve Lyon netted the equaliser on 14 minutes. After that, Arnold had most of the play in the first half, but other than an effort ruled out for offside, they couldn’t break down the Selby defence and the score remained 1-1 at half-time. In the second half neither side really dominated the match and the game was bereft of chances other than a glaring miss from Arnold goalscorer Craig Mitchell who couldn’t poke home a cross from close range, so the final whistle was blown with no further score and both sides remaining level on points, separated only by Selby’s better goal difference.

After leaving the ground, I made my way back to Nottingham, and then on homewards, arriving back in good time, glad to have made the trip.

Overall, whilst their new ground at Eagle Valley sounds like a real step forward for the club, it will be a shame to see Gedling Road bite the dust. Situated close to the town centre it has a great location and even with just two sides has a lot character and was certainly more than suitable for step 5 football.

Welcome to Gedling Road


The Town End

The Clubhouse Side

The Cricket Field End

The Far Side

The Far Side Terrace

Selby players line-up to welcome Arnold Town onto the pitch for the last time

Ready for Kick Off

The Far Side

The Clubhouse Side


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