Sunday 26 March 2023

Ground #382 - Leicester Road Stadium

Date: 25th March 2023
Ground: Leicester Road Stadium
Location: Hinckley, Leicestershire

My seventh new ground of 2023 was on Saturday 25th March at Leicester Road Stadium in Hinckley, Leicestershire. The game was Hinkley Leicester Road vs. Boldmere St Michaels in Northern Premier League Division One Midlands.

Leicester Road Stadium is located to the east of Hinckley, outside the town itself. It is parts of a sports complex with Hinckley Rugby Club and Hinckley Cricket Club next door to the south. The ground has additional space for grass pitches to the north and has a cage 3G pitch bordering the western end. The eastern area has a large car park and access to the road from which the stadium gets its name. The venue is 2.5 miles north-east of Hinckley railway station. Leicester Road Stadium was opened in 2004 as the new home for Hinckley United. The club was dissolved in 2013 with phoenix club Hinckley Leicester Road purchasing the ground.

The main stand takes up the middle third of the southern side of the ground. This all-seater structure is the only one at the venue and has a capacity of 732. There is space for hospitality at the back of the stand whilst there are two sections carved out for the dugouts at the foot of the stand. The interior of the stand also includes a gym, sports massage and physiotherapy areas. To the east of this is a two-storey clubhouse building including a bar. This building has a food outlet facing towards the pitch and the area in front of this has space for uncovered standing with drinks tables dotted about. To the west of the main stand is another smaller two-storey building.

The eastern end has the largest structure at the venue with a 14 row covered terrace taking up most of this end. There are toilets contained underneath the terrace whilst the back of the stand doubles as the main entrance to the ground and an events space. There is another large covered terrace taking up almost all of the northern flank of the pitch with 11 rows of standing on offer. The most basic area is the western end which is a thin area of uncovered flat standing with a dressing room building behind and a digital scoreboard appended to the south-west corner of the building. This end is currently fenced off and not in use. The ground hosted National League North football for the first nine years of its existence so is very large for the attendances Hinckley LRFC currently achieve. However, the club have recently been advancing up the league ladder and have a venue fit for them to continue this progression.

The game saw Hinckley LRFC who were sat comfortably in lower mid-table in their first season at this level up against Boldmere St Michaels who were in 4th position inside the play-offs but on the hunt for a result to strengthen their position. The game started to form with the visitors scoring in the 21st minute - a ball over the top resulted in a footrace between an away attacker and the keeper but they arrived at the same time causing the ball to spill to the feet of Owen parry who knocked into the empty net. It was a quiet first half with Boldmere edging it spending a fair amount of time in and around the Hinckley box but generating little more than half chances. The second half saw a real turnaround with Hinckley on top. They equalised in the 58th minute - Dom Brennan received the ball on the right and fizzed the ball across as he reached the byline with Jordan Burrows poking in on the line. The turnaround was made in the 73rd minute when a corner to the back post was headed into the six-yard box by Danny Jenno and Andre Williams steered home. Boldmere attacked in the closing minutes but couldn't get on even terms. It was a deserved with for Hinckley after a battling second half display.

Result: Hinckley Leicester Road 2-1 Boldmere St Michaels
Division: Northern Premier League Division One Midlands
Attendance: 126

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