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Address: Stonebridge Road,
Capacity: 4,769 (2,179 seated)
The football ground with two Main Stands.
Currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Kuflink Stadium, Stonebridge Road dates back to 1905.
The ground began life as the home of Northfleet United Football Club formed in the 1890s. Built on land acquired from the local cement company, Northfleet would play here for four decades, though they like the rest went without serious, competitive football during the First and Second World Wars. By 1946, Northfleet United found themselves in danger of folding and merged with another local club, Gravesend United, who dated back to 1893. The merged team became known as Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club, choosing to retain the red and white home colours of Northfleet United, as well as their Stonebridge Road home.
Gravesend & Northfleet’s first game came in August 1946, a 3-0 win against Hereford United with more than 5,000 reportedly in attendance. A stadium record of 12,032 would be present for an FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Sunderland in February 1963.
Gravesend & Northfleet took their current Ebbsfleet United Football Club name in 2007. Stonebridge Road took the sponsorship name PHB Stadium in July 2014, and has held its Kuflink Stadium sponsorship name since 2017.
Fellow Kent team Gillingham Football Club briefly used Stonebridge Road for matches back in 1961. Dartford Football Club were based at here as part of a groundsharing agreement between 2000 and 2006. The Fleet however have not left this site since first arriving.
Location and Getting There
Stonebridge Road gets its traditional name from the street which passes by its western side.
The ground is based in the heart of an industrial estate in Northfleet, around one mile northwest of the town’s centre. The River Thames is around 400m away to the northeast at its closest point.
The ground’s industrial location does make parking cars possible, but you will need to be careful where you go. The main road (Thames Way) which passes right by the stadium is a Clearway and any cars parked will be doing so illegally. There are plenty of side streets around Stonbridge Road but a number of these can be tight and fill up quickly with cars on a matchday. My recommendation would be to head slightly south towards more central Northfleet and check for legal parking on the residential streets around here. Ebbsfleet United recommend at the Ebbsfleet International Station to the south. Car Park C is its secure, northern car park and costs just £3 per vehicle.
The nearest railway station to Stonebridge Road is Northfleet, served by Thameslink and southeastern. Walking from here to the ground takes less than 10 minues on a simple route. Exit along Station Road and marge onto Hamerton Road, heading north until you join Stonebridge Road (B2175). Turn left here and head up to the roundabout, passing all the way over it and continuing along Stonebridge Road until you reach the football ground.
Ebbsfleet International Station is also close to the football ground, part of the high-speed southeastern service which runs from London St. Pancras to the likes of Dover Priory, Ramsgate and Margate deeper into Kent. Walking from here to the ground can take around 20 minutes. Exit the station to the north and get onto Thames Way, heading north from the roundabouts onto the A226. Follow this road north and you will soon come to Stonebridge Road.
Gravesend Station, much further over to the west, has services which run on the same line as Northfleet or Ebbsfleet International. If based here, Ebbsfleet United recommend taking the Number 480 or Number 490 bus services which will drop you off near to Stonebridge Road.
Outside the Ground
Stonebridge Road’s location within a packed industrial estate affects how much of its exterior can be accessed. You are only able to walk right along the outside of two stands, the larger one being the Main Stand to the west. It is the newest part of Stonebridge Road, dating back to 2017.
Its modern exterior uses a dark-coloured brickwork base with red panels and glass windows higher up.
Ebbsfleet United's club shop is around the centre of the exterior. Its main door is closed on matchdays, and fans are instead encouraged to use the Main Entrance door and immediately turn left to enter the club shop.
The stand's Main Entrance is followed by three ticket booths.
The turnstiles for the Main Stand are those used by all home supporters. They can be found in the ground's southwest corner, at the end of a red wooden wall. There are eight of these turnstiles in total.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the North Stand, otherwise known as the Swanscombe End.
Provided the gates are open, you are able to walk along the exterior of the stand, though there isn’t much to look at. It is simply a grass bank with the stand’s rear wall perched atop of it and a metal exit staircase at one end.
Head all the way along this exterior though and you will come to a small car park. The Swanscombe End Turnstiles are in place to your right.
The East Stand at Stonebridge Road is the Old Main Stand. With a warehouse and its surrounding land right up behind it, you are not able to walk along this stand’s exterior unless you are already in the ground’s perimeter.
The Old Main Stand’s exterior is dominated by red corrugated iron and features a worn corrugated iron roof. The former entrance for Players and Officials is still marked back here.
Entrance into this side of Stonebridge Road comes through the aforementioned turnstiles by the New Main Stand or up by the Swanscombe End.
Stonebridge Road’s South Stand is otherwise known as the Plough End after a pub that used to be in place behind it.
The space behind is now mainly taken up by a car wash and you are therefore unable to reach the stand’s red concrete and corrugated iron exterior unless you are already within the football ground’s perimeter.
Entrance into the Plough End comes via turnstiles in the ground’s southwest corner, at the southern end of the New Main Stand.
Inside the Ground
The New Main Stand consists of several blocks of red seating, with its two central blocks containing blue VIP seating. The back wall of the stand is very tall and leaves the roof high overhead, windows to club offices, the main bar, and hospitality suites are visible on the other side of the windows. Stonebridge Road’s dugouts are built into the front of the stand, with the tunnel in between them and the changing rooms located inside. Fans use the walkway behind the seating area to get from one end of the stand to the other, with staircases leading down to ground level exit gates and the Plough End's outer concourse.
With no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above, your view of the pitch from anywhere inside the New Main Stand is perfectly clear. There are no full windshields in place at either end, though the angled ends of the stand’s roof do aid in sideways protection for the outermost seating blocks.
The Swanscombe End consists simply of uncovered standing terrace, with three rows of metal bars in place for fans to lean on. An electronic scoreboard sits atop the stand’s back wall.
Views of the pitch from inside the Swanscombe End are perfectly clear, but with no roof overhead your protection from any wind or rain is minimal.
The Old Main Stand straddles the middle third of the pitch. It consists of a single tier of red seating that is incredibly tight. You will not get very much leg room.
The old dugouts and tunnel still remain in place in the middle of the stand, with the seating blocks elevated slightly above ground level.
Supporting pillars run at regular intervals across the front of the stand and these will impact your view of the pitch as a result. Walls at either end of the Old Main Stand do provide a good level of sideways protection, and the outermost seating blocks are purposely designed to only include seats where views of either end of the pitch are possible.
Between the Old Main Stand and the Plough End sits a small section of uncovered standing terrace. It provides a clear view of the pitch for those inside, but minimal protection either overhead or from the sides.
The Plough End is a converted terrace which consists of a single tier of red seating with a red triangular roof overhead.
Views of the pitch from inside this stand are almost perfect. There are however occasional supporting pillars up at the back of the seating area which can affect those based right at the back of the seating area. Both ends of the stand remain open for access and you can find a large advertising board in place down at the front of either end of this stand.
When segregation is in place, away fans are housed behind the goal in the Swanscombe End. This is a uncovered terrace which has rows of metal bars running across it for fans to lean on during matches. You are provided with a clear view of the pitch in front of you, but only a back wall of the stand to provide any level of overhead protection. Fans are in turn given a small section of the Old Main Stand to the east, which provides very limited leg room and partially restricted views of the pitch.
Access to this side of Stonebridge Road comes through northern turnstiles. Head up round the ground’s northwest corner, through a set of metal gates, and head all the way along the grass bank exterior of the Swanscombe End. You will come to a small car park and the northern turnstiles are on your right.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Club Bar (Stonebridge Road, DA11 9GN) (Home and Away Supporters Welcome When Segregation Isn’t In Place) (Located at Stonebridge Road)
-The Rose Pub (1 Rose Street, DA11 9EQ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Northfleet Station)
-The Wheatsheaf (62 New Road, DA11 0AE) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Gravesend Station)
-Ye Olde Leather Bottle (DA11 9PH) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near central Northfleet)
Stonebridge Road remains a good mixture of the young and the old. The New Main Stand is a nice modern, practical design. The Old Main Stand opposite still carries the character of a ground that has been in use for well over a century. Travelling supporters are likely to not be fond of that open away end, but it is a feature commonplace with many lower level football grounds across the country.
The New Main Stand is one of the first steps in a complete revamp of Stonebridge Road, an upgrade which will bring the entire ground up to modern day standards, creating a fully enclosed venue. The Plough End is anticipated to be next on the agenda, followed by the classic Old Main Stand and then the Swanscombe End to the north.
It will be intriguing to see how this ground on the banks of the Thames looks when that project finally comes to its conclusion.
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