Additional: Entrance £5, Programme £1.00
Abbey Stadium in pictures
Ground Statistics (marks out of ten, maximum 40)
Character 7, Structures/Terracing 8, Hospitality 9, Backdrop/Scenery or aesthetics for larger stadiums 7
Abbey Hey, surely the first football club alphabetically, hail from Abbey Hey, Gorton, in south Manchester. They were formed in 1902. They have spent a lot of their time in Manchester Leagues, but entered the NWCL in 1998. Last season they just missed out on promotion to my local club Norton United, but this season look favourites for the title.
I went here in August, for only the second game of the season. The ground, the Abbey Stadium, was bigger and had more character than I imagined. We were given a hearty welcome and told (almost insisted) that we get something to eat in the clubhouse. I felt quite guilty for having eaten already. The clubhouse is plush and spacious, with a massive bar on the second storey. We sat down beforehand on a comfy sofa watching the olympics.
The Abbey Stadium had one big structure opposite to the clubhouse. It was a covered terrace bookended by identical seated areas, three rows of 17 seats in each ear of the stand. The seats were delineated by lines.
A smart newish perimeter bar surrounds the pitch, set in a surburban area. There was ample car parking all around the ground, but in some places you risked a ball shaped dent in your motor. Abbey Hey had nets that went straight down from the crossbar, with no back stanchion or triangle. I hadn’t seen this at any ground (other than Sunday league) this calendar year, but this was the second, after Conway. Some slavage attempt is made in pulling the net a bit up at the bottom with fly ropes, but they weren’t good nets.
Leek CSOB showed a very leaky defence as Abbey Hey raced into a 3-1 lead before half time. Leek got a wonder goal back for 3-2, but Abbey Hey immediately restored their two goal lead and then finished it off with a penalty for 5-2.