THE RECKLESS GUIDE TO...
The Vanarama National League
Saturday 19th January 2019
Kick Off: 3.00 pm
Stadium: Ironmongery Direct Stadium, Cressing Road, Braintree, Essex, CM7 2ED.
Telephone: 01376 345617
Club Colours: Orange and Blue
Nickname: The Iron
This will be tinged with personal fondness of my dear old friend Haken Hayrettin who is the caretaker Manager at Braintree and has been since October 2018 – this is his second spell at Cressing Road. Hak was a Bee for 4 seasons and was part of the brilliant Conference winning squad of 1990-91. For the reunion party a few years back in the Durham Suite, 'H' was the first to answer my emails and texts to the players. After leaving Underhill and a short loan at Torquay he won another Conference title and an FA Trophy Medal with Wycombe Wanderers. A serious knee injury then put pay to his full time playing career and he later played at Harrow Borough, Boreham Wood and Rushden & Diamonds.
His first taste of management was at Waltham Forest and has also been in charge at Thurrock and Grays. He was number 2 to John Still at Luton for three seasons between 2013-16. He is still very fond of our club and has made no secret that he would love to be a part of it again one day.
Brief Directions by Road:
M25 to junction 27 and up the M11 north to its junction 8 (Stansted Airport). Take the A120 east (Colchester) for approx 16 miles until you reach the Galley Corner roundabout – it has one of those unmentionable Scottish sounding hamburger thingys! Turn left into Cressing Road where you will find the ground on the left after ¾ of a mile entry via Clockhouse Way.
There is a small car park at the ground which fills up very early and sometimes is open only to officials and VIPs. Local street parking is unrestricted.
Directions by Train:
Braintree station is situated just under a mile away from the ground. It is served by trains from London Liverpool Street. It is a fairly complicated 20-minute walk to the ground from the station (around the houses) so a cab is made for sharing don't you think?
Eating and Drinking Locally:
The social club is available for away supporters unless segregation is in force. Access is from within the ground.
Very little on offer close to the ground I am afraid. The nearest pub is the Orange Tree in Cressing Road a three-minute walk away. The Mulberry Tree (which also a Premier Inn/Brewers Fayre alongside if you fancy an overnighter) can be found at the aforementioned Galley Roundabout although it is a twenty-minute walk to the ground from here. The Toby Carvery and a pre-match Roast in Notley Cross Braintree CM77 7AJ ticks the boxes for me.
If arriving by train then you may care to visit a Wetherspoons outlet called the Picture Palace on Fairfield Road, which is only a five-minute walk away from the station. This converted former cinema is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. The Wagon and Horses on South Street is also a goody.
The ground was first opened way back in 1923 but major upgrading began in the early 1980's. The current main stand recently extended, straddles the halfway line and has room for 550 with open terracing either side, the opposite is the centrally covered Cressing Road Terrace holding around 1,100. The open Quag End to the right is a fairly new terrace – uncovered now but the original terracing did have cover – and this area is usually allocated to visiting fans. However, the Cressing Road side terrace is offered as an alternative should a large visiting contingent attend. The Clubhouse Terrace at the far end completes the layout and has also been recently overhauled and is also uncovered. The ground capacity is just over 4,000 in total.
This fixture is a category B game -
Under 18's (may require ID) £6.00
Our Last Meeting & Memories:
Our last competitive visit was in September 2014 and a point in a 1-1 draw thanks to John Akinde. For our visit on August Bank Holiday 2013 the 3-0 win, courtesy of Mark Byrne, Jake Hyde and Keanu Marsh-Brown put us top of the table – 4 weeks later however we were 12th! A Previous visit to Braintree was in September 1990, FA 2nd Qualifying Round – Braintree 0-2 Barnet with Roger “Harry” Willis scoring both.
Keep your eyes open for Steve Harley (he of Cockney Rebel fame), actors Rupert Everett and the late Malcolm McFee (Peter Craven in Please Sir! and once Landlord of the Wagon and Horses pub) and keep your ears out for the sounds of Prodigy the hardcore techno and rave band from the 1990's. Liam Howlett and Keith Flint started a few fires in the area as kids!