//
you're reading...
Groundhopping, Non-League, Stadia, Grounds, Travelog

Hyde United

Ground Ewen Fields
Date Saturday 10th November
League Conference North
Result Hyde

1

3

Southport HT 1 3 Att 611
Johnson 35

 

 

Brass 16(og) Holland 21 Prince 44
Entrance: £10 (min £15) Programme: £1.50 Hot Drinks: £1.00

EntranceIf I liken my brain to Google, then thinking of the two words football and Hyde brings up just one hit entitled Preston 26 Hyde 0. This is the only thing I knew about Hyde; that they were on the receiving end of the biggest win in English football history on October 15th 1887 in the 1st round of the FA Cup.
I happened upon them as I was looking for a fairly close ground to go to, and having done most of the local ones in my area, had to widen the net to South Manchester, just into Wales, deepest Derbyshire and North Birmingham.

Hyde, the place, captured my imagination if only for the fact that it was where DS Tyler was transferred from in the excellent BBC drama Life on Mars.
I was impressed with what I saw on their excellent website, which gives one of those 360º video tours. It looked like a really interesting ground, with differing stands and points of interest. It was also a nice drive from where I live, just under 36 miles on A-roads skirting the west and High Peak district, through Leek and Macclesfield. It comprised a bit of a ground tour actually as the route goes by both Harrison Park and Moss Rose!

It turns out that the Hyde that got thrashed 26-0 were actually a previous incarnation of the present Hyde team, just called Hyde FC, in existence from 1885. Today’s Hyde United hark back to 1919.

However, their Ewen Fields ground was used by both Hydes and has a very long and eventful history, from 1906. It also has the recent claim to fame of hosting the last FA Cup tie on an artificial pitch in 1994 against Darlington. When Hyde FC folded in the middle of WW1 Ewen Fields became a vegetable plot and was then later earmarked for housing. However, in 1920 when the new Hyde United had been going a year, they moved back in to Ewen Fields.

The visitors today were Southport, ex-leaguers who failed to gain re-election in 1978, having finished 91st three years running, being replaced by Wigan. Since then, though, they have consisitently been a big name in the pyramid. It was a big game today with Hyde placed third in the Conference North and Southport fifth. Hyde had scored more goals than any other team in the division so I had high expectations!

As a game it was a bit disappointing, but the ground was very impressive. Like most old football grounds it is set snugly among terraced houses just a short walk from the main high street. As well as parking at the ground there is plenty of on-street parking in the surrounding streets. It is an Aladdin’s Cave of a ground, with an abundance of interesting features. New meets old seemlessly and with confidence.  The main stand, The Pennine Stand, was built in the eighties, when the club saw big changes under council ownership. It replaced a similar looking wooden stand.

Pennine Stand

I think it has a wonderful retro feel to it with the unusual ‘tripod’ floodlights sat atop on finials that look like very large desk lamps. Another retro aspect to it was the scoreboard, the messages of which were gobbled up one by one by an advancing Pacman. It was during the time of the council ownership when the artificial pitch was laid, the Baspograss. When this went down it unearthed the fact that the previous pitch was not a perfect rectangle. This can be seen clearly by the alignment of the Tinkers passage stand:

Tinker’s Passage

It is stretching it a bit even calling the old pitch a rectangle, looking at that! Tinker’s passage is a seven stepped terrace with a corrugated iron roof. The covered terrace to the side of this is where the singing contingent stand and sits next to the main Pennine Stand. It is known locally as the Scrattin’ Shed. It is a thirteen step terrace that gives a good view all round and has good acoustics. It meets you on the right as you come in through the turnstile.

Scratters

 Main Stand and Scarttin shed Ewen Fields

It is on the left of the main stand in the picture.

Close up the Scrattin Shed

This is it in close up. The other side and behind the other goal look like slightly more modern stands. These are both covered too, making all five stands in the ground covered.

Side stand

The side stand was a five step terrace, similar to the stand behind the other goal.

BTG stand

The match started off promising with Hyde looking the more likely to score, but a peach of an own goal after 16 minutes by the No 2, Brass, seemed to unsettle Hyde terminally. Brass expertly punted a right wing low cross into the back of the net to give Southport an unexpected lead. It was 2-0 after 21 minutes after one of the biggest scrambles ever that would have have gained a top score in giant’s pinball, the ball finally falling to Holland who smashed it in from 15 yards.

Despite a well struck goal before half-time, Hyde were punished by more poor defending on the stroke of half-time when a tame shot by Prince on the edge of the Hyde area completely bamboozled the keeper, leaving him hugging himself. The second half was a bit of a dour affair with Hyde rarely looking like making the comeback. Southport deserved the three points on the day, and they took a hefty number of followers; I’d say in the region of 150-200.

Some more pictures:

Tinkers Passage again

From afar

Links: Ewen Fields History   Hyde UnitedOfficial site with 360º video

             

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Hyde United

  1. Great report Mr Groundhog – I like Ewen Fields as it represents what an old fashioned non-league football ground should look like.

    I was working a couple of days in Manchester back in 1993 and grabbed the opportunity to watch Hyde United v Marine (1-3). The amazing thing was that, half an hour before kick-off, the entire playing surface was covered with water. I could not believe the match would go ahead but apart from the Marine fans nobody else appeared concerned. True enough, we actually watched the water drain away in ten minutes. It was a very dodgy artificial pitch but it certainly drained well!

    Posted by Simple Pieman | November 15, 2007, 7:19 am
  2. Just to point out that the scoreboard isn’t retro, but new this season. A sponsor removed it from a building they were demolishing and donated it to the club.
    Also notable is the unusual floodlight arrangement; 4 pylons on one side, 2 on the other.
    The terracing opposite the main stand was covered by means of bucket collections. Grant monies laid new terracing, but left it uncovered. A single season of collection change at half-time generated enough to ‘raise the roof’. The collections were such a success that they’ve become a standard feature at home games, and have also financed a retractable tunnel, refurbishments for dressing rooms and physio’s room and state of the art equipment for the award-winning groundsman.

    Posted by Mad Bill | November 18, 2007, 5:29 pm
  3. Hi Mad Bill,
    I meant that the pac man graphics on the scoreboard were retro rather than the scoreboard itself – sorry if it’s not clear.
    Yes, the floodlights were unusual in their 4-2 formation – I did mean to mention it. Would you mind if I went back and amended? Anyway, thanks for the extra info. It’s great that the club have such generous fans, although it’s a shame that it has come to this, to finance the lower leagues.

    Posted by thegroundhog | November 18, 2007, 8:44 pm
  4. Good report, it is a really tidy ground which I am proud to call our home, with the best playing surface outside the football league. I believe the Scoreboard came from Sheffield United in the summer. I would say the Tinkers Passage end would be next up for redevelopment should funds become available which would finish the ground off just perfect. Planning permission was granted in the summer to extend the sponsers lounge at the back of the main stand along the flat area of land to the right of the main stand.

    Posted by Ghost of Red Pump St (Hyde Fan) | November 20, 2007, 11:18 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

LATEST and TO COME…

Latest...
Jul 3rd 2015 Glyndwr Lex XI
Jun 23rd 2015 Staffs County League 2015-16 Guide
To come Season 2015-16 guides, non league and welsh

A-Z TRAVE(B)LOG


WELSH LEAGUES

Aberystwyth Town
Acrefair Youth
Airbus UK Broughton FC
Bala Town
Bangor City (Farrar Road)
Bangor City (Nantporth)
Berriew
Buckley Town
Caersws
Cefn Druids (Plaskynaston Lane)
Cefn Druids (The Rock)
Connah's Quay
Conwy Borough (fka United)
FC Cefn
Flint Town United
Glyndwr Lex XI Gresford Athletic
Guilsfield FC
Holyhead Hotspur
Holywell Town
Llandudno Town
Llanelli AFC
Llanerch-y-medd FC
Llanfair United
Llansanffraid Village FC
Newtown AFC
Penrhyncoch FC
Penybont
Penycae
Port Talbot Town
Prestatyn Town
Pwllheli
Rhayader Town
Rhos Aelwyd
Rhydymwyn
Rhyl
Ruthin Town
The New Saints (TNS)
Trearddur Bay United
Welshpool

NON-LEAGUE (PAST & PRESENT)

Abbey Hey
Abbey Hulton Utd
AFC Darwen
AFC Telford United
AFC Wulfrunians
Aigburth People's Hall
Alsager Town
Altrincham
Ashton Athletic
Ashton Town
Ashton United
Atherton Collieries
Ball Haye Green
Barnoldswick Town (pics only)
Barnton FC
Belper Town
Biddulph Victoria
Bilston Town (2007)
Bloxwich United
Borrowash Victoria
Brocton (CCG - Heath Hayes)
Brocton (SL)
Buxton
Cammell Laird
Carlton Town
Chadderton FC
Cheadle Town
Clitheroe
Congleton Town
Crawley Town
Curzon Ashton
Darlaston Town
Droylsden AFC
Eastwood Town
Eccleshall
Ellesmere Rangers
Flixton
Foley FC
Florence Colliery
Glossop North End
Gornal Athletic
Gresley FC
Guiseley
Hallam
Hanley Town
Haughmond
Holbrook Sports (FA Cup)
Holker Old Boys
Hyde United
Irlam FC
Kettering Town
Kidsgrove Athletic
Knutsford FC
Kinsley Boys
Leek Town
Loughborough Dynamo
Maine Road
Market Drayton Town
Matlock Town
Meir KA
Mickleover Sports
Middlewich Town
Milton United (Staffs)
MMU Cheshire
Mossley AFC
Nantwich Town (WS)
Nantwich Town (JA)
New Mills
Newcastle Town
Northwich Victoria
Norton United
Ossett Town
Parkgate FC
Parkhouse FC
Pelsall Villa
Phoenix Sports & Social FC
Quorn FC
Rocester
Runcorn Linnets
Runcorn Town
Rushall Olympic
Scarborough Athletic
Shawbury United
Sheffield
Shifnal Town
Skelmersdale United
South Normanton Athletic
Stafford Rangers
Stafford Town
Stalybridge Celtic
Stocksbridge Park Steels
Stone Dominoes
Styal FC
Sutton Coldfield Town
Tamworth AFC
Thoresby Welfare
Tideswell United
Tintwistle Villa
Tipton Town
Trafford FC
Tunstall Town
Vodafone Stoke
Walsall Wood
Warrington Town
Wednesfield
West Didsbury & Chorlton
Whitchurch Alport
Willenhall Town
Winsford United
Witton Albion
Wolverhampton Casuals
Woodley Sports
Worcester City
Worthing

LEAGUE (PAST & PRESENT)

Accrington Stanley
Arsenal (Highbury)
Aston Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion (Goldstone Ground)
Bristol Rovers (Memorial Stadium)
Burton Albion
Coventry City (Highfield Road)
Crewe Alexandra
Dagenham & Redbridge
Doncaster Rovers (Belle Vue)
Doncaster Rovers (Keepmoat)
Everton
Hereford United
Luton Town
Manchester City
Milton Keynes Dons
Morecambe
Peterborough United
Port Vale
Rotherham United
Shrewsbury Town
Stoke City

DEFUNCT

Eastwood Hanley
Eastwood Hanley Revisited

FOREIGN GROUNDS

AS Cherbourg
Olimpico de Totana
UD Horadada(Cartagena FC)

OTHER GROUNDS

3 Welsh Grounds
Beausejour Stadium
Millenium Stadium
Wembley (Old)
Wembley (New)

FOOTBALL OTHER

The 92 Club
Book Review
Goal Nets & Stanchions
Groundhog Day
My Favourite Year
Subbuteo

LINKS TO OTHER SITES

you may be interested in these other blogs and websites below.

TRANSLATE THIS SITE

Get the Google Site Translator widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox!

WSC Mention