Saturday, February 10, 1996

Sudbury Town FC

Sudbury Town 4 Trowbridge Town 3 - FA Trophy 3rd Replay

Sudbury is a small market town in Suffolk. It is located on the River Stour near the Essex border, and is 60 miles north-east of London. Evidence of Sudbury as a settlement originates from the end of the 8th century during the Anglo-Saxon era, and its market was established in the early 11th century. Its textile industries prospered during the Late Middle Ages; the wealth of which funded many of its buildings and churches. The town became notable for its art in the 18th century, being the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough, whose landscapes offered inspiration to John Constable, another Suffolk painter of the surrounding Stour Valley area. The 19th century saw the arrival of the railway with the opening of a station on the historic Stour Valley Railway, and Sudbury railway station forms the current terminus of the Gainsborough Line. During World War II, US Army Airforce bombers operated from RAF Sudbury.

Market Hill, Sudbury

Sudbury F.C. were in existence in 1884 but were not officially established until 1885, when they were founder members of the Suffolk FA in the same year. In 1900 they merged with Sudbury Wanderers to form Sudbury United. In 1908 they were renamed Sudbury Town and entered a team into a third league, the Colchester & District League, for the 1908–09 season. The club initially played in Belle Vue Park before moving to Friars Street in 1891, a ground shared with the local cricket club. However, this arrangement was felt to be holding the club back, and in 1951 a limited company was formed to purchase a nearby water meadow for conversion to a new ground that became the Priory Stadium. The site was raised several feet in an attempt to prevent further flooding, although it was not entirely successful. The wooden grandstand from Friars Street was disassembled and moved to the new ground. The club began the 1952–53 season at the new ground, with the first match of the season being a 6–0 win over Clacton Town reserves on 6 September. The record attendance of 4,700 was set on 11 May 1978 in a testimonial match against Ipswich Town just five days after Ipswich had won the FA Cup. The record may have been beaten by the FA Vase semi-final against Hungerford Town, for which the official attendance was 4,320, but unable to cope with the amount of people attending the match, the club had simply opened the gates and allowed everyone in. Plans were made to relocate to a new ground, the Brooklands Stadium, in Great Cornard during the late 1980s, but failed to come to fruition.

Site of the Priory Stadium (top left of picture)

This Pieman visit Sudbury by train. The journey from London Liverpool Street involved changing to a connecting service at Marks Tey. This 3rd replay between Sudbury Town and Trowbridge Town saw the home side win an absorbing contest 4-3 after extra time.

Attendance: 368
Programme: £1:00

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