Ground: Catons Lane
Location: Saffron Walden, Essex
My twenty-fourth new ground of 2015 was on Monday 28th December at Catons Lane in Saffron Walden, Essex. The match was Saffron Walden Town vs. Hadleigh United in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division.
Catons Lane is on the northern outskirts of the town and is part of a small sports complex including a mini football pitch, basketball court and playground. The venue is 2.5 north-east of the nearest railway station at Audley End and has been home to the club since 1890.
On the south-east side of the ground there is an all-seater stand by the half-way line with three rows of seats built into the grass bank. The 147 seats are split into 3 sections with two 60 seat sections separated by 27 seats in the middle of the stand which double as dugout replacements for the two teams. The stand includes a strip of hard standing directly behind the seats. The rest of this side of the venue is uncovered hard standing. From here the pitch slopes down towards the north-west side of the ground. The north-west area of Catons Lane also has a stand by the half-way line which dates back to 1937. This stand consists of three rows of wooden benches with a gangway in the middle leading to the players dressing rooms within the stand. To the north of this stand is a smart clubhouse with a food outlet attached and a building for club officials next to this.
The south-west section of the ground is uncovered except for a small stand behind the goal. This structure consists of 40 seats with a flat area behind this and at the back of the stand 4 progressively thinner rows of concrete terracing. The north-east end of the venue is the only area with no seating. Instead a number of demountables take up this area with a roof extending out from these buildings to cover the area directly behind the goal. The top corner of this is where the turnstiles are situated.
Result: Saffron Walden Town 0-3 Hadleigh United
Division: Eastern Counties League Premier Division