Over 20 years of writing about my club in Barnet matchday programmes, which sold to about 500 souls on a good day, now with this Blog Site everyone can read my ramblings, memories, interviews, experiences, features, guides to away grounds and pure love of everything Barnet Football Club. Enjoy and digest and tell your friends.
Reckless - Potters Bar March 2014.
Oh Yes, thank you to"Al" without whom.......that is all
Athletic Ground, Lewisham Road, River, Dover, Kent CT17OJB
Club Colours Black and white
Nickname The Lilywhites
Official website www.doverathletic.com
Kinnear is the current manager at Dover and he of course is a legend
at Barnet if only because he is the Number 3 in the Bees terrace
chant The 12 Days of Christmas! He was at Underhill between 1982-84
joining us from Maidstone after starting at West Ham United.
first became manager here in 1985 and had considerable success over a
decade winning three Southern League titles. After a spell as manager
at Margate he returned to the Crabble in January 2014.
Directions by Road
Join the M20 and
head towards Dover. The M20 automatically becomes the A20 at
Folkestone. After going through the Roundhill Tunnels at Folkestone,
continue on this road for approx. 1.5 miles and take the exit off
signposted, Dover Town Centre, B&B.
the roundabout take the 1st exit into Dover. Continue on
this road entering Dover. At the mini-roundabout, go straight over.
will eventually come to a large roundabout. Take the 1st
exit and stay in the left-hand lane. Continue on this road in the
left-hand lane. You are now on a one-way system.
approx. 1.5 miles you will pass the Bull pub in your right, continue
in the left-hand lane. The traffic is now two-way. Continue on this
road passing an Esso petrol station on your left. At the traffic
lights stay in the left-hand lane.
the road downhill and under the railway bridge. The road will start
to go up hill again. Towards the
top of the hill turn left into Crabble Athletic Ground. The car park
is at the top of the slope.
to Crabble Athletic Ground (M2/A2).
M2 and head towards Dover. Exit M2 & join A2, still heading
towards Dover. At the end of the A2 you will come to a large
roundabout (McDonald’s Drive Thru on your left but resist it
please). Take the 4th exit down Whitfield Hill towards
River. At the bottom of the hill, take the 1st exit at the
roundabout and continue on this road. At the traffic lights, turn
sharp right into River. Follow the road downhill and under the
railway bridge. The road will start to go up hill again. Towards
the top of the hill turn left into Crabble Athletic Ground.
is no parking for supporters within the ground, although parking is
available in the rugby/cricket ground, which is just inside the main
entrance. Street parking is plentiful although be prepared for an
unsympathetic walk up the steep hill to the Crabble itself.
is a choice of two stations for Dover Athletic FC, Kearsney (the
nearest and about 20 minutes walk) and Dover Priory (about 2 miles
away). Kearsney is on the London Victoria line via Canterbury and is
less frequent than the London Charing X via Ashford train which
travels directly to Dover Priory. Taxis are really the best option as
both stations are a fair walk from the ground. Why not get there
early and explore and take in a few hostelries on the way (please see
and Drinking Locally
For just a beer The
Cricketers is the pub closest to the Crabble and has been a reliable
pre match watering hole for years. Big beer garden and real ales. If
not seek out The Three Cups on Crabble Hill – nice!
Priory Station offers the chance to visit the Golden Lion on Priory
Street which comes recommended. The Eight Bells is the local
Wetherspoons outlet closest to this station on Cannon Street.
alighting from Kearsney Station try the Royal Oak on Lower Road where
you can be sure of a good food as well as a sound pint.
As ever I leave the
best to last as the “Reckless Recommendation” is The Coastguard
Bar & Restaurant (The Bay, St Margaret's Bay, Dover, CT15 6DY)
literally on the beach in the village St Margaret's which is about a
mile and half to the west of Dover. Find the A258 Deal to Dover road
turning into Station Road signposted St Margaret's. Go through the
village and at the steep hill the Coastguard is clearly signposted
and straightforward to find. Not the cheapest place in the world I
grant you but it comes highly recommended from my sources.
Centre Spot is accessible from inside the ground and has great views
of the pitch. We will be made welcome before and after the match.
low main stand with its four rows of seats, which occupies the whole
of one side of the ground, was built in 1951. Both the River and Town
End terraces are covered with identical open box like structures
while the fourth side accommodates the social club, some open terrace
areas and the smart Family Stand which sits at the south end of the
ground between the halfway line and the corner flag. There appears to
be a caravan perched on the roof of the main stand – don’t worry
it is the quaint Directors Lounge! Such character is rapidly
disappearing from our football grounds so treasure the image.
segregation is employed we will be allocated the Dover Street End
£15 Over 60's £12 Under 18's £6 Under 11's Free when accompanied
by an adult
Meetings and Memories
We have battled both
versions of Dover and in fact the original club was a very frequent
opponent during the 1960’s and 1970’s. It doesn’t get much
better as an 11 year old watching your team thrash another team away
from home 0-6. That game in 1971-2 season - decorated with goals by
Lou Adams (3), Paddy Powell (2) and Les Eason - was the start of our
journey to Wembley and ultimately the FA Trophy final defeat by
Stafford Rangers. Our successful run up to winning the Club Call Cup
in 1989 included a fine 5-1 victory over Dover at Underhill. That
game featured goals from Nicky Ironton, Paul Shinners, David Sansom
and Nicky Evans – who got two of course.
The FA Trophy tie at
Underhill in January 2004 was memorable for completely different
reasons. Geoff Pitcher (2) and Lee Roache goals had given the Bees a
narrow 3-2 victory in the 3rd Round and supporters waited
with baited breath for the draw for the next round dreaming perhaps
of trip to Villa Park for the final. However it came to pass that we
had fielded an ineligible (cup-tied) player for the first half of the
game in one Adam Campion. Campion had represented Aylesbury Utd in a
previous round versus Banstead but had omitted to tell the club. Bees
Chairman Tony Kleanthous was quoted as saying “We went straight to
the FA, holding our hands up and we did try and do the right and
honest thing but honesty doesn't count for much in this industry”.
The Villain Adam Campion
6/10 for this one and I suggest popping over the Channel early in the
morning to pick up a little booze, cheese and chocolate and perhaps a
French maid outfit for the other half – it works for me!
few Ex Bees have left their mark at the Crabble in the past. Giuliano
Grazioli made his considerable experience count towards the teams’
success quite recently. ‘Don’t Flinch’ Tony Lynch spent a
couple of spells on loan here and became quite a cult hero. Talking
of heroes Barry Little gained the respect of the Dover locals before
his tragic death from a brain tumour in 1994. Chris Kinnear as
already mentioned was a lynch pin in a couple of Barry Fry’s early
Underhill squads and powerful midfielder Robert Codner
had a brief spell here too before becoming a Football Agent. Andy
Hessenthaler was manager from 2007-10 and oh yeah Ian Hendon popped
in for cuppa once!