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Sutton Town 

Est. 1885

Venue

The Hosiery Mills, Huthwaite Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield Tel: 01623 405660

Ground Capacity

2500

Home Strip

 Away Strip

Seating 250

Record Attendance

11,200 - at The Avenue Ground v Reading - F.A.Cup 2nd Rd -1930

406 - at The Hosiery Mills v Notts County - July 2004

Who are ya? The Snipes
What Division are you in?  Step 7 - Central Midland Supreme Division
Websites www.pitchero.com/clubs/suttontownafc/
www.suttontownafc.co.uk
http://unofficialsnipes.piczo.com/?cr=2

 

You must have come in a taxi

 From M1 Jnc.28 - Take the A38 (Mansfield) for 1.2 miles. At traffic lights, turn left into B6027 Common Road. Continue for 1.1 miles. At traffic light junction (White Hart Pub at junction) turn right onto B6026 Huthwaite Road. After 0.6 miles, turn right into The Fieldings (next to the Clarence House Nursing Home). The Ground is on a side path leading down to the , . There is a car park available outside the Hosiery, otherwise it's street parking at the top of the lane.

From Mansfield - Take the A38 (M1) Sutton Road for 3.7 miles. At traffic lights, turn right towards Sutton town centre on the B6018 Kirkby Road. Continue for 0.5 miles. At roundabout take first exit onto Spring Road. Continue until you reach a T junction. Turn left onto Lammas Road. Take right fork towards B6026 Huthwiate Road. After 0.8 miles, turn left into The Fieldings, just after the Clarence House Nursing Home. There is a car park available outside Mansfield Hosiery Mill, otherwise it's street parking at the top of the lane.

   Stagecoach East Midlands No.1 (Mansfield Woodhouse - Huthwaite) passes the Ground. Alternatively, you can catch a bus into Sutton, and walk to the Ground. Services into Sutton include TrentBarton Rainbow 3 (Nottm-Mansfield), No.91 (Mansfield-Derby), No.41 (Mansfield-Nottm) No.141 (Sutton-Nottm); Stagecoach East Midlands No.17 (Forest Town-Annesley), No.18 (Mansfield-Annesley), No.92 (Mansfield-Derby), No.95 (Chesterfield-Mansfield); Doyes No.99 (Alfreton-Mansfield); Roadcar (Newark-Retford).

      Mansfield 4.4 miles - From here catch one of the above buses from the Bus Station next to the Train Station into Sutton. As an alterntive, those who fancy a bit of a stroll can get off at Sutton Parkway - 2.8 miles. Walk up Kirkby Foll Road, then turn left onto Station Road. Continue straight on through to Forest Street, then down Lammas Road. Continue along Huthwaite Road, and the Ground is on your LHS.

For a map of the location, Click here.

 

My garden shed is bigger than this

On entering The Fieldings, what strikes you initially is how modern everything is. The smart housing estate, the Mansfield Hosiery Mill, the impressive cricket facilities and most importantly of all, the football ground. Yet, the story of Sutton Town Football Club is draped in deep historical rhetoric, and a fair bit of chaos.

Founded in 1885, Sutton Town Football Club initially played at the rear of a public house, decked out in red caps, white jerseys, white shorts and black socks. After playing friendly matches for a few seasons, Sutton joined the Notts & District League in 1890 and won the Championship in successive seasons in 1906 and 1907. Two years later they captured their first Notts Senior Challenge Cup, a feat they would repeat on a further 16 occasions, equalling the record set by Nottingham Forest.

Shortly after joining the Derbyshire League, Sutton Town made their first move to the New Cross Ground, sharing with the now long defunct Sutton Cricket Club.  In the 1920's they would be on the move again, this time to the Avenue Ground behind the Pot Makers Arms on Mansfield Road. The Ground also had a greyhound-racing track, which was in use up to the 1970's, when the site was redeveloped. Whilst residing at The Avenue, the Snipes, nicknamed after the bird featured on the coat of arms of the former Sutton-in-Ashfield Urban District Council, embarked on the most successful period in their history. Between 1929 and 1934 they won the Derbyshire Senior League for three seasons in a row. Having disposed of Rochdale in the first round of the FA Cup in 1930, they lost to Reading in the second round in front of their biggest ever recorded crowd of 11,200. 

Following the Second World War, the Snipes were revived at a new ground on Priestsic Road, with a playing surface that was the envy of all around, including football league clubs. Crowds of over five thousand came to see the likes of the then non-league Peterborough United, North Shields, Ashington and Scarborough, as well as local rivals like Worksop Town. In the 1959-60 season Sutton enjoyed more success in the FA Cup before going out to 3-0 away to Hull City. During this era, the Club almost made the Notts Senior Cup its own property. Between 1955 & 1977, they captured the trophy on no less than 13 occasions, including a record four occasions on the trot between 1971-75.  Unfortunately events then took a turn for the worst. The Priestsic Road Ground, adjacent to the town centre, was never owned by the Club, and the Landlord sold out to a property developer. An ASDA superstore now stands on the site. 

The Club almost folded as a result, but East Kirkby Miners Welfare came to the rescue and allowed the Club to play on their Lowmoor Road Recreation Ground home, in the neighbouring town of Kirkby-in-Ashfield. At the time, the Ground was in a state of disrepair, and certainly not suitable for a club of Sutton Town's pedigree. However, the Snipe's, grateful for their very existence, gradually turned it into a stadium, with a pitch wall surround, new dressing rooms, floodlights, and boardroom and office facilities. When the Midland League joined forces with the Yorkshire League the Snipes became founder members of the new Northern Counties East League Premier Division, winning the NCEL Cup in 1986. They were all set for promotion to the Premier League when finishing runners up to North Shields, but on inspection, their Lowmoor Ground failed to meet the grading requirement. The 1992-93 season saw Sutton Town forced to change their name to Ashfield United, the issue being forced through a deal with the District Council. However, the new name did nothing for the future of the Club, as it was forced to fold in 1997, when East Kirkby Miners Welfare reclaimed the Lowmoor Road site.

Sutton Town Football Club had apparently disappeared forever. However, those connected with the Snipes were determined not to let that happen. In June 2000, North Notts Football Club was formed, playing its football at a site on the edge of Sutton at the Hosiery Mills Ground, off the Huthwaite Road. They aimed to follow in the proud tradition set by there predecessors, Sutton Town. In its first ever campaign, North Notts won the Central Midlands Premier Division title. They also embarked in a successful FA campaign, reaching the first round proper before going out to Barrow Town. In the meantime North Notts Chief Executive Eric Hetherington had successfully negotiated with the FA and former Sutton Town chairman Roy Gregory to
acquire the 'Sutton Town' and 'Ashfield' names with the intention on renaming North Notts with a title more identifiable with its Sutton-in-Ashfield base. North Notts supporters were asked which name should be adopted and the overwhelming answer was Sutton Town Football Club. Some traditionalist supporters of the old Sutton Town were less than pleased with what they viewed as the hijacking of their Club by North Notts. However, there could be no arguing that the Snipes were back in business.

Since their 'resurrection', events both on and off the pitch were taking a turn for the better - but this is Sutton-in-Ashfield, where nothing is ever that straightforward. The Snipes gained promotion to the NCEL Division One & reached the final of the Central Midlands League Floodlit Cup. In 2004, they won the NCEL Division One and were promoted to the Premier League. Meanwhile, the neatly appointed facilities at the Hosiery Mills Ground have continued to be upgraded, with Defence Secretary & local MP, Geoff Hoon, opening the new look facilities in September 2004. Events then took a turn for the worst off the pitch. With the club's debts spiralling out of control, the Snipes took the decision to drop out of the NCEL, move back to the CML and assume the almost identical name of Sutton Town AFC.

Working your way down towards the entrance to the Ground on the Mansfield Hosiery Mills side of the Ground, you are immediately drawn to the elegance of the fascia of the stadium. A huge sign on the claret dominated entrance gates

One of the main additions to the Ground is the 200 seater stand behind the Kirkby End goal. Built in May 2004, this small construction occupies a third of the area behind the goal. The stand is fully covered by a flat cantilevered roof held aloft by eight black steel trusses connected to an intricate webbed frame.  There are four rows of seating, split into three sections, with the front and sides of the stand open to the elements. The Club have applied a personal touch by keeping in line with club colours when decking out the seating. The bottom two decked out in claret seating, the higher rows in light blue.. Weaving its way around the back of this stand, and continuing around the entire south, west and north of the Ground is a 12 foot high green meshing fence to prevent the loss of too many footballs to the residents of Sutton.

The grandeur of the new stand, officially opened by a visiting Notts County team, constants sharply with the Snipe's other stand. Running along part of the east side of the ground, this is a more crude affair, basically consisting of a corrugated roof held aloft by a series of scaffolding posts. Fifty seats were installed in the summer of 2004 under the roof in order to improve this covered area in line with higher NCEL standards. The Stand can also accommodate over 350 standing spectators on stepped terracing. Further along the east side of the Ground towards the half-way line sits an unusual cabin structure, presumably for press accommodation on matchdays.

The Snipe's have their own changing facilities, club shop and clubhouse all located near the entrance in tightly packed porter cabins. Supporters can also use the neighbouring Mansfield Hosiery Mills Social Club. This luxuriously appointed facility is owned by Mansfield Hosiery Mills Cricket Club, offering excellent bar facilities.  

 

On either side of the ground are three modern steel poled floodlights. Dominating the skyline, each directs two high powered clusters towards the Hosiery pitch. On the west side of the Ground, the Snipe's have installed two basic, wide berthed dug outs. The home dug out spells out the club's name, whilst the the way dug out states its purpose.

The rest of the ground offers concreted hard standing, in front of which a smart four-foot high white concrete wall circumnavigates the entire pitch, with a touch of claret added behind each goal. Built in 2003, this was funded, along with improvements to disabled access, with a 10,000 grant from the Football Foundation.

Future Plans

Hemmed in as it is by new houses on two sides and with a steep wooded slope behind one goal and the cricket ground behind one length, it is hard to see how the Club will find the room to develop the ground much further than they already have.

 

Additional Photography

   

                                  

 Click on a thumbnail to view a full size picture.

Christopher Rooney - permission required for photo & text usage

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