Boldmere St Michaels
The Trevor Brown Memorial Ground


Ground No. 75
Visited - Saturday 19th November 2005
Result - Boldmere St Michaels 1-1 Oldbury United
Competition - Midland Football Alliance
Attendance - 84

With another spare Saturday on my hands, I’d decided to look round the local non-league scene again, so after a glance down the fixtures it was the MFA game between Boldmere St Michaels and Oldbury United that I finally settled on.

When the day came, the weather wasn’t especially good, so I had been half-expecting the game to be called off, so after making the short trip to Birmingham and spending a few hours in the city centre, I was slightly nervous when back at New Street, waiting to catch the train for the even shorter trip to Chester Road station in the north of the city (near Sutton Coldfield).

Despite my first train being cancelled, it wasn’t long before another one came, and I was getting back off, and walking up to the ground. Despite the cold, I was slightly hopeful, making the 10 minute walk from the station to the ground, and was relieved when arriving to find that despite a few frosty patches around the edge of the pitch, that the game would go ahead as planned.

From the outside, the ground really isn’t that imposing, tucked away in a residential street behind some large trees and a car park, it’s only really the floodlights that give away its purpose from Church Road (the initial name of the ground before being renamed in honour of the club chairman).

After taking a few pictures outside, I paid my £5 entry fee, which included a free programme, and went inside. The turnstile block wasn’t actually in use, with the low crowd expected there was simply a table with several club officials taking money and issuing tickets next to it, but you still entered through the same area of the ground, in the corner, on the opposite side to where the main seated stand is. This side didn’t actually have any structure’s, there was a car park, with neighbouring buildings, and then the usual barrier separating fans from the pitch, although this side was where the dugouts were situated. Going around the ground, the far end was again empty, although slightly raised and had a path laid behind the barriers, giving some hard standing. This end of the ground, despite being empty, did have quite an enclosed feel to it, with a sizable fence behind it, and trees and houses beyond that. Coming round to the two developed sides, and opposite from the dugouts is the ‘Main Stand’. This was 4 rows high, and ran for about a third of the pitch, centred on the halfway line, and looked fairly impressive with modern plastic seating in the clubs colours of black and white, (although with that said, I’m not sure if they have since changed to orange and blue which is what they were playing in despite no colour clash). Completing the picture at Church Road is the end where the clubhouse is situated, which is an interesting structure, a brown bricked building, with a very low, sloping roof, that looks unusual, being tucked away in the corner of the ground, and running to the halfway point of the width of the pitch (despite being longer than half the width of the pitch, if that makes sense!), this building is where the toilets and players tunnel/changing rooms are situated, and attached is a small covered standing area which has a refreshment bar built in as well. Also unusual, and particularly notable is how the pitch slopes from the Main Stand side to the Car Park side, (those are my terms, they may have different names that I’m unaware of!), it really is quite a drop, and you can see it with the clubhouse where at the Main Stand side it is level with the pitch, but at the halfway point behind the goal, there are a number of steps leading up to it.

After surveying the scene, and getting a few more pictures, the match got underway, with me initially choosing to sit in the Main Stand. Unfortunately the sun really was getting in my way from this side, so off I went around to the other side, before finally ending the half standing in the covered area of the clubhouse. The game was quite good, and from the off Boldmere looked up for it, with their initial hard work paying off when they took the lead with just four minutes gone, after a cross into the box when Kevin Charley poked home at an angle. Despite taking the early advantage, and pressing to increase it, it wasn’t long before Oldbury had cancelled out that goal, when after a slip from a Boldmere defender, Leon Mitchell ran at the goalkeeper, before taking the ball around him, and coolly finishing, putting the visitors back on level terms. The rest of the half was pretty even, with both teams looking to score, making it quite an exciting game. The home side had most of the play, but couldn’t really have any arguments when the referee blew his whistle for half time, although there was slight controversy, when late on, with a long ball launched up field, after a tussle between two players on the edge of the box, one of the visiting defenders seemed to handle the ball, although the referees subsequent decision to give a free-kick, yet only a yellow card to the player in question, despite him being the last man back seemed a little strange, with a lot of the Boldmere fans calling for a red (which in fairness would have been harsh, if perhaps technically correct). Anyway, with 45 minutes gone, 1-1 seemed fair enough, and promised a good second half.

With the temperatures dropping, and the night closing in, the floodlights were switched on before the two sets of players came back out, and as soon as the referee restarted the match, it looked like Oldbury had come out the brightest, getting most of the possession and taking the game to the hosts, restricting them to breakaways. Despite this, the visitors couldn’t really make anything of their domination, with actual chances being few and far between, and as the game wore on, Boldmere gradually got back into it, and started to take over the game. For the last quarter of an hour they completely dominated, and should really have grabbed a winner with three golden opportunities that were either squandered or cleared by Oldbury. Despite all this pressure and chances, it was nearly the visitors that went away with all three points, when a counter attack in injury time resulted in a near goal before being cleared, with the resultant corner coming to nothing. This signalled an end to the last bit of action, and the referee soon blew his whistle to leave the game at 1-1, giving both sides a share of the points.

The crowd was unfortunately lower than Boldmere’s average so far this season, with 84 people turning up, which was slightly disappointing, seeing as none of the local League teams were playing. That said though, like with my trip to York Road a few months previously, it was difficult to spot any Oldbury fans, with the crowd seeming to be exclusively home supporters.

The journey back home went fairly well, and despite another delayed train, this time back into Birmingham, it didn’t take long to get from New Street to a freezing Wolverhampton.

All in all, although it isn’t one of the biggest or most developed grounds in the country (or even Birmingham if you want to go that far), I actually quite liked it. It’s a pleasant place to watch football, although felt quite odd as most of the fans were scattered around the two covered sides of the ground, leaving the other two sides, particularly the far end where no one was stood, looking a little lonely, giving a bit of a lopsided effect. If another stand could be built on the Car Park side, then it would look quite good, but even if that doesn’t happen, it’s a ground that I’ll quite happily go back to.

Welcome to Boldmere St Michaels

The Turnstiles

The Car Park Side

The Far End

The Far End

Rear of the Main Stand

The Main Stand

The Clubhouse and Near End

The Near End


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