Christie Park

Ground No. 135
Visited - Saturday 15th September 2007
Result - Morecambe 0-3 Hereford United
Competition - Coca-Cola League 2
Attendance - 2949

Four months previously, I’d been present to see Morecambe promoted to the league at the expense of Exeter in the first Conference play-off final at Wembley, unfortunately that day I’d been sitting in the Exeter end, which had made it a fairly depressing game, and when the Lancashire side had come to Molineux several months after that, they inflicted further misery by putting Wolves out of the League Cup in extra-time thanks to a blatant dive from forward Michael Twiss to win them a penalty in normal time (not bitter, honest!). Despite this though, I was looking forward to making the trip northwards, and having booked the day off work, had decided to go to Christie Park over Hartlepool, which was the only other ground left for me to do from all the days fixtures.

The journey up there went well, surprisingly well actually, with it taking just 2½ hours up there on the train, changing twice at Stafford and Lancaster, and arriving in the coastal town just after midday. After spending some time in the town, I made my way up to the ground, finding it fairly easily thanks to some directions from locals, and went to have a look around.

From the outside there is little to see really, with just the rear of the North Stand and a few turnstile blocks being visible from Lancaster Road. The club shop and a car park is here as well, but other than that, little of interest, so having taken a couple of pics, I made my way in. I’d chosen to stand behind the goal in the North Stand, which is the home end of the ground, and probably the most impressive stand there. 25 rows high, it is a covered terrace, which is as good as any in the rest of the league, whilst opposite is a slightly smaller and older covered terrace which is given up to the away fans. This was noticeable for the excessive Umbro Signs, and also featured a number of supporting pillars which made the view worse than in the column free North Stand. To our left was the Car Wash Terrace, which was little more than a couple of steps of terracing running the length of the pitch with no cover, whilst to our right was the Main Stand, which was a classic old grandstand, more or less identical to the one at Cheltenham (who says it’s just new grounds that look the same!), with a small strip of terracing beneath a raised area of seating  that ran about half the length of the pitch, situated on the halfway line with a pitched roof for cover.

Having taken a few pics, I found a spot to stand in, and waited for the game to get underway. In the first half, it was fairly even, with both sides looking to keep the ball on the deck and play a passing game. Unfortunately, despite chances to do so, neither side could take the lead, so it was scoreless at the break. After the restart, the game played out in much the same way, with Morecambe gradually taking more control, but with little apparent urgency to actually score they were made to pay when Hereford broke away in the 79th minute and Trevor Benjamin tapped in from close range to make it 1-0. This seemed to motivate the home side, and they started to play with some conviction, laying siege to the Hereford goal. Unfortunately for them Hereford, as sleepy as their hosts previously, had no intention to settle for a point, and went on to confirm all three with goals from Lionel Ainsworth and Luke Webb who made the final score 3-0, in a game which didn’t reflect the scoreline at all!

After leaving, I went back to the town for a little while before finally getting on the train home, making good time back, this time going via Manchester.

Overall, despite a rather boring match, it had been a good day out. If the ground had a cover on the Car Wash side, then it would be a fantastic place, although the lack of that does somewhat let it down a bit (I’m not a great fan of uncovered sides), but that said it is a good place to go, and I’ll be happy to go back there one of the days, not that that may be possible with the clubs plans to move to a new ground. The initial designs look a little bland with four similar stands very reminiscent of the ground that Leigh RMI/Centurions are currently building, so with another new flat-pack ground on the way, Christie Park is a ground worth getting along to sooner rather than later for those still to add it to the 92. 

Welcome to Christie Park

Rear of the North Stand

The North Stand Turnstiles

The Ticket Office

Looking across the Car Wash Terrace

The Car Wash Terrace

The Umbro Stand

The Main Stand

The North Stand

The Car Wash Terrace

The Umbro Stand

The Main Stand

Bring me Sunshine!

Christie Park Panoramic


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