Gander Green Lane
(Sutton United)

Address: Gander Green Lane,
Sutton,
Surrey,
England,
SM1 2EY

Capacity: 5,013 (765 Seated)

Sutton United

Not the place you’d want to go if you like being right up against the pitch, but that is what can help make a visit here memorable.

Otherwise known as the Borough Sports Ground, the Gander Green Lane site dates back to the 19th century when it was used for allotments. The football ground was first opened on the site in 1912, consisting of a small pavilion on its northern and a turnstile entrance in the northwest corner. Trees surrounded the other three sides of the pitch alongside a residential building called Strawberry Lodge that could be to the west. The lodge had been demolished by 1937.

When the ground first opened, it became home to Sutton United Football Club, who played their first game here against Guards Depot Football Club in the FA Cup. The initial tenancy lasted only one season however, with Sutton leaving Gander Green Lane in 1913 as Sutton Adult School had formed their own team and were using the ground instead. Sutton United would return to the site in 1919 however and have remained here ever since.

In July 2002, following the relocation of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes, Gander Green Lane hosted the first match ever played by the newly formed AFC Wimbledon. Sutton United won the friendly fixtures 4-0 in front of a crowd of over 4,600.
Since April 2015, Gander Green Lane has also been home to Sutton Common Rovers Football Club, a semi-professional team founded in 1978 that are also from Sutton.

The ground was also one of several host venues used for the 2018 ConIFA World Football Club. ConIFA is the international football association for teams that are not affiliated to FIFA, such as Abkhazia, Cascadia, Tibet, Tamil Eelam and Székely Land.
Gander Green Lane played host to six games in total, including quarter finals which saw Barawa face Northern Cyprus and Kárpátalja face Cascadia.

Location and Getting There

Gander Green Lane’s name comes from the road which is a little away from its western side. The ground is located in the London Borough of Sutton, around 11 miles south of the Centre of London. Sutton Green is around 0.5 miles away to the northeast, Nonsuch Park is around one mile away to the southwest and Morden Park is around 1.5 miles away to the north.

I would normally recommend against coming to London-based football grounds by car, but Gander Green Lane is one of the more reachable ones.
There is a car park outside its southern side, but this is for permit holders only.
Whilst there are plenty of residential streets surrounding the ground, plenty have a residents parking scheme in place. You can reach Sutton United’s home by car, but you may well have to find yourself parking a fair distance away and set for a lengthy walk to reach the ground itself.

A much easier way of reaching Gander Green Lane is via public transport.
The nearest railway station is West Sutton, served by a Thameslink line that runs between Sutton and Luton via London St. Pancras. It is a short distance south of the ground and walking from here takes under five minutes along Gander Green Lane.

If you have the option of coming to Gander Green Lane by car or train, I would definitely recommend the latter.

Outside the Ground

Heading to Gander Green Lane from West Sutton Station will likely send you through a small opening between the houses. Heading down this road brings you to the ground’s southwest corner, and then on from there to the South Stand.
Considered the Main Stand, its exterior contains a number of brick and concrete buildings that hold Club Offices, Hospitality Areas, and a bar inside, as well as the ground’s Main Entrance in the centre. Adjacent corners meanwhile have a concrete wall and metal fence running along them with multiple advertising boards attached.
There are two sets of turnstiles along the southwest corner and southern side of Gander Green Lane. Fans in the Main Stand itself will typically use the smaller set of turnstiles that are at the far end of the Club Office buildings and near to the ground’s southeast corner. The larger set of turnstiles are in the ground’s southwest corner and typically used for those in the terraced areas to the south and west of the pitch. Head up the access road from off the road called Gander Green Lane and you will be brought straight up to them.
The space immediately outside the Main Stand’s exterior holds the ground’s permit-only car park.

In a clockwise direction from the Main Stand is the West Stand, better known as the Gander Green Lane End after the road out beyond it. With housing located right up behind it, accessibility into this part of the ground is limited.
The turnstiles for this side of Sutton United’s home are based in the ground’s southwest corner and are also used by those in the southern terraces. Head up the access road from off the road called Gander Green Lane and you will be brought straight up to them.

The northern side of Gander Green Lane is known as the Recreation Terrace (Rec Terrace for short). This is because of Collingwood Rec. which is located out beyond it.
There is a footpath running along outside the Recreation Terrace, though you aren’t able to see too much of the stand’s exterior from here. The path leads off from the road called Gander Green Lane and heading along it will bring you to some turnstiles by the ground’s northeast corner. These turnstiles however are for a different part of the football ground and not the Recreation Terrace.
Turnstiles for the Recreation Terrace are instead the same ones in the ground’s southwest corner that are used by those in the Gander Green Lane End and the southern terraces. Head up the access road from off the road called Gander Green Lane and you will be brought straight up to them.

The East Stand is better known as the Collingwood Road End after the road that is located out beyond it.
With grass, trees and Sutton Skate Park right up behind it, access to this side of the football ground is limited.
You can get to it from off the road called Gander Green Lane by heading along the footpath which passes by the Recreational Terrace and Collingwood Rec. Head all the way along this, and you will come to a set of turnstiles by the ground’s northeast corner. It is these turnstiles which give fans access to the Collingwood Road End, and they are typically reserved for away supporters to use.
If you continue along the footpath and past the northeast turnstiles, you will eventually come to a railway bridge and Collingwood Road itself.

Essentially, access to the football ground comes via one of two routes from off the road called Gander Green Lane.
If you are a home fan, you will use the access road which is the more southern route.
If you are an away fan, you will use the footpath which is the more northern route and passes alongside Collingwood Rec.

Inside the Ground

Gander Green Lane’s interior has a rather unusual shape to it.
Whilst the pitch is rectangular and the dimensions you would typically expect to find, there is a lot of space immediately around it as there was once an athletics track in place. What this essentially creates is an interior that has straight sides and curved corners, with none of the stands or terraces being right up against the pitch itself.

The Main Stand rather unusually runs along half the length of the pitch but is located off-centre from the half-way line.
It consists of a single tier of seating which is elevated above ground and accessible via small staircases at the front and sides. The outer blocks in this stand are coloured blue, with the central blocks coloured red and for executive use. Considering Sutton United play in yellow, the colour scheme can appear odd, although this is because the seats were donated to the club by Chelsea.
The ground's Control Box is located up at the back, with the tunnel right down the front and the changing rooms based inside. Gander Green Lane’s dugouts are housed out in front of the Main Stand, much closer to the pitch.
There are supporting pillars coming down regularly towards the front of the seating area, and these will restrict your view slightly if you are sat behind them. The pillars will not your restrict your view if you are sat in the front two rows of each block, though the view in general doesn’t feel that great as you are a fair distance away from the pitch.
Windshields are not in place at either end, with just small walls offering protection from the sides.

Heading west from the Main Stand brings you to a section of uncovered standing terrace that swings round to include the ground’s southwest corner.
There are rows of yellow metal bars in place for fans to lean on, and the terraced area goes further back the nearer you are to the southwest corner itself.
Views from this part of Gander Green Lane are clear, albeit you can still feel a fair distance back from the pitch even if you are stood on the very front row.
Protection from the elements is minimal however with no roof in place overhead.

Sutton United’s Club Shop is positioned between the southwest corner and the Gander Green Lane End.

The Gander Green Lane End consists of a few rows of covered standing terrace.
This stand only runs along approximately two thirds of the width of the pitch however, and you able to walk both in front of it and behind it. There is a row of yellow metal bars in place down at the front for fans to lean on.
Your view from anywhere inside the Gander Green Lane End is perfectly clear, though you can feel a fair distance back from the pitch even if you are stood on the very front row.
Windshields are not in place at either end, though small walls do help give some protection to those inside.

The northwest corner contains a curved section of uncovered standing terrace, similar to what you can find in the ground’s southwest corner.
This terraced section has a row of yellow metal bars in place at the front and the back, with a staircase also in place at the back that leads down to the facilities in place behind it.
Views from this part of Gander Green Lane are clear, albeit you can still feel a fair distance back from the pitch even if you are stood on the very front row.
Protection from the elements is minimal however with no roof in place overhead.

Prior to Sutton United's promotion in to the Football League, there was a very small section of uncovered terracing between the northeast terrace and the Recreation Terrace. Affectionately nicknamed the 'Shoe Box' by fans, the stand was demolished in the summer of 2021 due to its small size being deemed inappropriate for Football League use.

The Recreation Terrace consists of several rows of covered standing terrace that run along approximately half of the length of the pitch.
There is a row of yellow metal bars along the front for fans to lean on, and positioned atop the roof is the gantry which holds the matchday camera.
Your view from most of the Recreation Terrace is clear, although poles attached to the front of the camera gantry do come down to the ground below. These poles can slightly restrict the view of those stood in line with the half-way line. The stand as a whole can also feel a fair distance back from the pitch even if you are stood on the very front row.
Windshields are not in place at either end, though small walls do help give some protection to those inside.

The ground’s northeast corner contains open space which leads up to the turnstiles and the pathway alongside Collingwood Rec.

The Collingwood Road End consists of several rows of covered standing terrace and runs along approximately two thirds of the width of the pitch.
There is a row of yellow metal bars along the front for fans to lean on.
Your view from anywhere inside the Collingwood Road End is perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above. This is also the side of Gander Green Lane that is located the closest to the pitch, with the east goal just a few metres in front of the stand’s front row.
There are no windshields in place at either end however, and protection from the sides is therefore minimal.
The remaining space on this side of the pitch is available as uncovered standing, and fans can often position themselves along the perimeter fence on clear matchdays.

Gander Green Lane’s southeast corner has a two-storey portacabin-like building in place, on top of which you can often find a large electronic screen.
There is a curved section of uncovered standing terrace next to this, which has a row of yellow metal bars in place along the front for fans to lean on.
Views from this terraced section are clear, albeit you can feel a fair distance back from the pitch even if you are stood on the very front row.
Protection from the elements is very limited however with just a back wall providing cover. The portacabin structure could potentially help a bit here though.

Away Fans

Away fans are typically housed behind the goal in the Collingwood Road End.
This is a few rows of covered standing terrace that runs along approximately two thirds of the width of the pitch. The remaining space next to it is often made available as uncovered standing terrace, including a section that is by a two-storey portacabin in the southeast corner.
Views from inside the Collingwood Road End are clear with no supporting pillars coming down from the roof. Protection from the sides is minimal however.
This interestingly is the side of the football ground that is actually closest to the pitch, with the other sides of Gander Green Lane being noticeably further back as there used to be an athletics track in place long ago.

Sutton United can additionally offer a few seats in the Main Stand on the southern side of the pitch.
The Main Stand contains an elevated seating area that is accessible via small staircases down at the front and sides.
Supporting pillars down towards the front can restrict your view slightly, but will not get in your way at all if you are sat in the front two rows.
The Main Stand is a fair distance back from the pitch however, and protection is very limited from either side.

Away fans enter Gander Green Lane via turnstiles in the ground’s northeast corner.
To reach them from off the road called Gander Green Lane, you will need to head north and turn right onto a footpath that runs alongside Collingwood Rec. Heading along this will eventually bring you to the turnstiles on your right.
Do not head along the access road off Gander Green Lane, as this leads to the southern side of the ground and the turnstiles for home supporters.

Matchday Pubs

Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Social Club behind the Main Stand (Away Supporters Welcome, though could be different for High-Profile Games)

-All Bar One Sutton (2 Hill Road, SM1 1DZ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located north of Sutton Station)

-The Crown Sutton (285 High Street, SM1 1LD) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Sutton and west of Gander Green Lane)

-The Gander (2 St Dunstan's Hill, SM1 2UE) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)

-The Moon on the Hill (5-9 Hill Road, SM1 1DZ) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located north of Sutton Station)

-The Railway (32 Station Way, SM3 8SQ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Cheam Station)

Overview

It’s fair to say that Gander Green Lane is not the place to go if you like being right up against the pitch. The former presence of a running track has created a rather unique layout that includes straight sides, all four of which are covered, and curved uncovered terracing sections in each corner.
The ground’s away end interestingly offers what is the closest stand to the action on the pitch.

It can be a little tricky to navigate around, with home fans essentially staying to the south of its exterior and away fans staying to the north.
With a train station incredibly close by however, this is one of the most easily reachable football grounds anywhere in London.

Gander Green Lane really is like nothing else around.

Back To Home                                                      Back To League Two