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Address: Mill Lane,
Capacity: 3,000 (522 Seated)
Small in size, but an excellent, modern sports facility.
Sharing its name with the adjacent Meadowbank Park, the Meadowbank Ground site first became home to Dorking Football Club in 1953. Dorking FC’s time at Meadowbank came to an end when the ground was deemed unsafe in the 2010s. Dorking FC would dissolve in 2017 following financial issues.
Elsewhere in the town, Dorking Wanderers Football Club had been formed in 1999, initially joining the Crawley and District League. Wanderers were initially based at Big Field Brockham before moving to Westhumble Playing Fields in 2007. Their move to their current Meadowbank home came in July 2018, with the ground undergoing major refurbishment work which saw the site converted into a community sports facility. A 300-seater stand, two covered standing areas and a 3G pitch were all installed. Dorking Wanderers’ first game at the Meadowbank Ground was a friendly against Sutton United on the 17th July 2018.
Expansion work has been completed at Meadowbank Ground since Dorking Wanderers moved in, and the site also now contains the headquarters of the Surrey County Football Association.
Location and Getting There
The Meadowbank Ground is located in the heart of Dorking, less than a quarter of a mile north of Dorking Town Centre. Meadowbank Park and Meadowbank Playpark are both a short distance east of the football ground, with the Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre directly to the south.
Coming to the Meadowbank Ground by car is certainly possible.
There is a very small car park outside the ground’s South Stand which is best to avoid. The recommendation instead is to make use of the St. Martins Walk Car Park (Mill Lane, RH4 1FX) that is a very short distance south of the football ground. Parking here costs £1 per hour and has a maximum stay of three hours. Time your arrival right and you should be able to park here throughout the duration of the match.
Street parking should certainly be possible to find within Dorking instead though.
There are three railway stations within Dorking.
The main station is Dorking, served by Southern and South Western Railway. It is located around half a mile northeast of the football ground and walking from here takes between 10 and 15 minutes. Exit the station along Station Approach and onto London Road (A24). Follow the A-Road south until it becomes Deepdene Avenue and London Road turns off to the west. Continue to head down London Road until you reach a fenced off footpath on the right which is next to a sign for Tutts Close. This path takes you past Pipp Brook, past the Meadowbank Playpark and over to the football ground.
A different railway line that passes through Dorking has two stations on it, Dorking Deepdene and Dorking West. Both are served by Great Western Railway. Dorking Deepdene is slightly south of Dorking Station and the route to the football ground from here is the same as the previously mentioned one.
Dorking West is the closest of the three railway stations to the Meadowbank Ground, a journey of less around 10 minutes on foot. The route sees you exit the station along Station Road and eventually onto Chalkpit Lane. Head slightly north from here and you will see a sign for a public footpath in between some bushes. Following this footpath will bring you around the northern side of the Meadowbank Ground and eventually down to its Main Entrance.
The closest bus stops to the Meadowbank Ground are the White Horse Stops on the High Street (A25). There are served by multiple bus services within the town and you can simply walk up Mill Lane from here to the ground’s Main Entrance.
Outside the Ground
The Main Entrance for the Meadowbank Ground can be found on its southern side, which is also where the Main Stand can be found.
This southern side and southeast corner is filled with buildings that contain club facilities, the clubhouse and the headquarters of the Surrey County Football Association.
Heading through the small car park outside will bring you over to the turnstiles which grant supporters access inside.
The West End of the Meadowbank Ground is very bare. Vegetation is in place right up behind it, though there is a narrow footpath a little further out that lets people walk behind the houses on Portland Road and Willow Mead.
There are no turnstiles on this side of the football ground; fans based here instead make use of the Main Stand Turnstiles to the south and then walk around to this side of the pitch once inside.
Like the West End, the North Stand at the Meadowbank Ground has nothing of major note apart from vegetation and a footpath right outside of it.
Access to the northern side of the football ground usually comes from the Main Stand Turnstiles to the south. Fans then walk around to this side of the pitch once inside.
Meadowbank’s East End is on the same side as the Meadowbank Park and Meadowbank Playpark.
There is a footpath a little away from the stand which fans walk along, and part way along this footpath is the route which leads up to the East End Turnstile. The Dorking Wanderers Fan Zone is located next to the turnstile, and near to here are club buildings that include a café and part of the Surrey County FA headquarters. This East End Turnstile is the entrance for away fans on a matchday.
Inside the Ground
The Meadowbank Ground’s southern side includes the Main Stand.
Taking up a space about the same length as the centre circle, it is a single-tiered stand that consists entirely of red seating. Space up behind the back row is taken up by Dorking Wanderers’ matchday camera. The seating area is slightly above ground level and accessed by small staircases down at the front.
Your view from anywhere inside the Main Stand is perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof.
Large, transparent windshields are in place at either end which provide protection from the sides but also allow the whole of the pitch to be seen whilst inside.
East of the Main Stand is the Meadowbank Ground’s Clubhouse, where major club facilities including the changing rooms and tunnel can be found.
To the West of the Main Stand is a small, covered standing terrace.
Views from inside here are clear due to the absence of supporting pillars, but windshields are not in place at either end. Fans are freely welcome to stand anywhere else along the southern side of the pitch, with the exception being the space in front of the Main Stand the space in front of the small, covered terrace.
You will find overhead protection to be minimal, however.
The West End at the Meadowbank Ground is incredibly basic.
It consists simply of uncovered pavement behind the western goal. Home fans are freely welcome to stand anywhere in the West End but will find overhead protection minimal. There is a simple fence at the back of the West End and nets above here which are in place to prevent loose shots from flying out of the ground’s vicinity.
The North Stand, similar to the West End, is incredibly basic.
It consists simple of uncovered pavement, though a major feature here is the presence of the two dugouts The pavement immediately behind these dugouts is therefore narrower than the pavement either side of them. Home fans are freely welcome to stand anywhere on the northern side but will find overhead protection minimal. There is a simple fence at the back of the West End and nets above here which are in place to prevent loose shots from flying out of the ground’s vicinity.
The East End of the Meadowbank Ground contains two stands, split in the middle by space that leads to the East End Turnstile and Dorking Wanderers Fan Zone. The more northern of the two stands is a covered terrace known as The Bank. Views from inside here are perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above. Windshields are not in place at either end, however.
The more southern of the two stands contains a single-tier of red seating. Views from inside here are perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above. Windshields are not in place at either end, however.
Fans are also freely welcome to stand in the uncovered space on this side of the 3G pitch.
Away fans at the Meadowbank Ground are based in the East End. Situated behind the eastern goal, this East End includes a stand of covered seating and a stand of covered standing terrace. Both stands offer clear views from anywhere inside, but do not have windshields in place at either end. Exactly how much of the East End gets given to supporters depends on the expected allocation.
Away fans make use of the East End Turnstile outside the East End and located next to the Dorking Wanderers Fan Zone.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Fan Zone on the eastern side of the Meadowbank Ground (Home and Away Supporters)
-The Healthy Kitchen on the first floor of the Club Buildings (Away Supporters Normally Welcome)
-The Lincoln Arms (Station Approach, RH4 1TF) (Home and Away Supporters) (Located by Dorking Station and Dorking Deepdene Station)
-The Spotted Dog (42 South Street, RH4 2HQ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in central Dorking)
-The Surrey Yeoman (220-222 High Street, RH4 1QR) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in central Dorking)
The rise and growth of Dorking Wanderers has been complemented by the rise and growth of their current home. Meadowbank has been used for football in Dorking since the 1950s, but since Wanderers moved to the site in 2018 it has been developed into a small but very practical community facility. Stands have been installed on its eastern and southern sides, and its so far undeveloped western and northern sides could well have stands installed further into the future.
It will be interested to see just how much further the Meadowbank Ground has grown a few years down the line.
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