Chatteris Town's West Street ground is one I've been wanted to visit for a number of years and yesterday I managed to tick it off as I saw their pre-season friendly game versus Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Potton United.
Chatteris Town are one of four teams in the local area who have played higher up the pyramid in year's gone by. I visited Warboys Town in January 2022 and have yet to go to Somersham Town or Ramsey Town but they are on my list!
The Lilles were formed in 1920 and have played at West Street since 1932. They were members of the Eastern Counties League from 1966 through to 2001 with a highest placed finish of third in the 67/68 season when Great Yarmouth Town and Lowestoft Town finished above them. A crowd of 2,000 people saw their game against local rival's March Town United at the end of the 87/88 season which the visitor's won 0-5 to clinch the league title.
The ground is fantastic with an iconic main stand which unfortunately is currently out of bounds and in need of repair - something which their Manager Laurence Revell has told me the club are actively seeking funding for it's refurbishment for. It would be amazing to see the historic stand back to it's former glory sooner rather than later.
Revell is a former Potton United, Cranfield United and Huntingdon Town manager and took Chatteris Town to the North Cambridgeshire Junior Cup Final in 2022 which they won 3-2 in front of 511 supporters at March Town United's ground. He joined Raunds Town as boss in the summer of 2022 but returned to Chatteris in November where he has been since.
West Street also has a very nice clubhouse and bar as well as The Stewart Taylor stand which is a stand on the opposite side of the ground to the main stand. The covered area is named after a famous loyal supporter who watched many games and was loved by everyone - He sadly passed away in 2018
There is also some cover by the clubhouse behind the goal - It was definitely well needed by the supporters who were there yesterday in the rainy conditions.
The club are looking to return up the pyramid and the glory days of the Eastern Counties League - Their local rival's (from 9 miles up the road) March Town United are currently a Step Five club so there is no reason why The Lillies can't rise upwards once again. Obviously it's going to take a huge amount of hard work both on and off the pitch - one thing they have in their favour is a very successful youth set up.
After finishing last season in 9th place of the Cambs County League CSI Senior B Division they have have made the lateral move across to The GCE Hire Fleet Peterborough & District League Division One just one step below Warboys Town and Ramsey Town in the Premier Division.
This was a very entertaining game for a pre-season friendly with Step 5 Potton United doing everything but score in the first half which ended 1-0 to Chatteris Town - The home side really did defend well with many impressive blocks and tackles put in. I think their goal would of been a little bit more hotly disputed if it had been a league game with points on the line - I think it's about 70/30 on social media as to people thinking it was or wasn't a foul on the Potton keeper before the ball went over the line!
In the second half it was Potton who ran in five goals - Manager Gary Jackson looks to have a very impressive squad of players for the forthcoming season.
You'll find some match highlights and photos below - There are loads but West Street is an amazing place and goes straight into one of my most favourite non-league grounds visited.
Potton United host Ampthill Town on Thursday evening and then visit to Hatfield Peveral next Saturday in their last pre-season game. On Tuesday 1st August they start their SSMFL Premier campaign visiting Shefford Town & Campton before their Road to Wembley begins with a trip to Desborough Town on Saturday 5th August.
Chatteris Town make the short trip to Huntingdon Town next Saturday. Their league campaign starts on Wednesday 16th August with a trip to Wisbech Town Reserves. They then host Eunice Huntingdon on Saturday 19th. Then on Wednesday 23rd they host Glinton & Northborough under the lights at West Steet before a trip to Stilton United on Saturday 26th. It's back to midweek football for their final game in August when they host Cardea on Wednesday 30th.
match highlights - short
match highlights - long
AROUND THE GROUND