The Oakside Stadium

Ground No. 133
Visited - Saturday 8th September 2007
Result - Redbridge 1-2 Aveley
Competition - Isthmian League, Division One North
Attendance - 87

Having visited Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Ground for their midday kick-off against Barnet, I wasn’t going to leave London without taking up the opportunity of seeing a second game, with a trip to Redbridge’s Oakside Stadium proving to be the most popular option available.

Formerly known as Ford FC, the club moved to the Oakside Stadium in 2001, although the ground dates back way before then, to the late 1950’s, when current tenants Barkingside built the ground from scratch. When Redbridge (or Ford) moved there though, they bought the lease from Barkingside making them the main owners, even though once at the ground several things would suggest otherwise (most notably the gates with BSFC written in them).

Thanks to the previous game finishing later than planned, I was a little late in getting there, rushing from the nearby Barkingside tube station which sits above and behind the Main Stand (yet requires a 10 minute walk with a fair detour around the local streets to get from!) arriving at the ground at 3:15pm, having missed the visitors Aveley opening the scoring to make it 1-0. The half an hour I did see showed both teams to be pretty evenly matched, and the hosts were a little unlucky not to go into the break on level terms when Dave Collins struck a free-kick against the woodwork, but despite this it was still 1-0 when the referee blew his whistle.

At half time I took the time to have a quick look round the ground, and it has obviously been developed to quite a high standard. Coming in through the turnstiles at the North end of the ground, there is a small terrace of five steps, although no one chose to stand on this, instead preferring the raised platform that stood a good four feet higher and offered a fantastic view of the action. To the left was a few steps of terracing and hard standing that was covered for the full length of the pitch whilst opposite was an uncovered area of hard standing that had an embankment behind it, offering some local kids a free view of the game from behind the perimeter fence! Finally, along the western side of the ground was the Main Stand which featured covered seating (and a rather flimsy looking roof), flanked either side by terraces that like the North end of the ground had an elevated platform behind the main terracing where most people chose to stood.

Having had a look round, I had a quick pint in the clubhouse before it was time for the game to resume, and it started in a positive manner with both sides attacking, before Aveley scored a second through Ainsley Gasper who poked home from a cross to make it 2-0. It wasn’t long before the hosts were back in the game though, three minutes to be exact, with substitute Hugh Ashman making it 2-1. Despite controlling the rest of the game though, Redbridge (managed by Dean Holdsworth) couldn’t find a second, and so all three points went to Aveley.

After leaving, I made my way back into London, catching the first train home, hoping to avoid the Wembley crowds from Englands game against Israel, getting home by 9pm.

Overall, I was glad that I’d taken the chance to visit the ground. Of the two visited on the day, I actually preferred Oakside over Dagenham’s Victoria Road, and it was just a shame that it was so sparsely populated (with a crowd of 87), when it really deserved to see a few more people inside it.

Welcome to Redbridge FC

Gates to the Ground

The Near End

The Near End

The Far Side

The Far End

The Near Side

The Main Stand

The Main Stand

The Oakside Stadium Panoramic


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