Tooting & Mitcham United
3,500 (Seats 612)
Address: Bishopsford Road, Morden, SM4 6BF
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Terrors
Year Ground Opened: 2002
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Black and White Stripes
Although a relatively modern ground, having opened in 2002, it does have a bit of character from the striking striped exterior of the Main Stand, to the odd-looking terrace covers at each end. The smart-looking Main Stand on one side of the pitch, is all seated and covered. It is free of any supporting pillars, meaning that supporters get a good view of the playing action. There is a glassed frontage area at the back of the stand for club offices and the stadium announcer. The Main Stand runs for about half the length of the pitch and sits astride the halfway line. The roof of the stand is pitched quite high up as it is attached to a large building behind, which almost extends the full length of the pitch. Normally such buildings located so close to the stadium would normally be a bit of an eyesore, but this building has a modern look and does not look out of place. The team dugouts are located in front of the Main Stand, on either side of the Players Tunnel. The other side of the ground is mostly a strip of a flat standing pathway that runs behind the pitch perimeter fence. Towards the middle, it does have a couple of concrete steps and some old railway sleepers for fans to stand on.
Both ends are virtually identical being two good sized terraces that are tall and have a portion of cover behind each goal. The covers on each of these ends are quite striking with their angled cantilevered roofs. Although they do provide some cover on a largely open terrace, then oddly they do not have any retaining back wall and hence are open to the elements, meaning that wind and rain can blow into the stand from the rear. The stadium has a set of eight floodlights four of which run down each side of the ground. The Imperial Fields Ground was renamed the KNK Stadium in early 2018 in a corporate sponsorship deal.
Tooting & Mitcham play in the BetVictor Isthmian League South Central Division, the eighth tier of English football. This is at Step 4 below the Football League and two Leagues below the National Leagues North and South.
Normally visiting fans are made welcome and a sign of this is that fans are very rarely segregated at the ground. Imperial Fields must be the only ground that has a fast food outlet on one corner called the Shak which sells Carribean Food. It offers matchday specials, so if Jerk Chicken or Goat Curry takes your fancy then this is the place to head for. If you are more traditional in your food tastes, then inside the ground you can sample a range of Pukka Pies; Steak, Chicken and Mushroom, Beef and Onion (all £2.50) and Sausage Rolls (£1.50).
There is a small club bar inside the Main Stand, that is accessed from the car park. The bar which has a large screen and shows televised sports normally welcomes visiting supporters and is open throughout the game. And at this level, you are allowed to take your beer out to pitchside to watch the match! Just under a ten minute walk away from the stadium on London Road in Mitcham (and close to the Mitcham tram stop), is the Casuarina Bar & Restaurant. The bar shows Sky & BT Sports and also has a beer garden. If arriving at Mitcham Junction Station that not too far away on Carshalton Road is the Crown of Mitcham which also offers reasonably priced food. The Imperial Fields Ground is about a twenty five minute walk from the pub. On reaching the top of the station approach, turn left and the Crown is further down this road on the right.
Leave the M25 at Junction 8 and take the A217 towards Sutton and London. Keep on the A217 for just under 11 miles passing Sutton and Cheam and then towards Mitcham. Just before reaching Mitcham itself, the entrance to Imperial Fields is on the right side of the A217, opposite a BP Petrol Station. There is a fair sized car park at the ground which is free, otherwise street parking, on side roads off the A217.
The nearest railway station is Mitcham Junction which is just over a mile away from the Imperial Fields ground, or around a 20 minute walk. However from Mitcham Junction, (which is served by trains from London Victoria), you can take a tram to Mitcham. From the Tramlink stop the ground is about a five minute walk away. Just walk up the exit path from the tram stop to the main road, where you turn left. The entrance to Imperial Fields is further along this road on the left.
The nearest tube station is Morden and is around a 20-25 minute walk away. It is situated on the Northern Line.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
Over 60’s £5
Under 16’s £1
Official Matchday Programme £3
2018-2019: 212 (Isthmian League South Central Division)
If you require hotel accommodation in Surrey or Central London then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Just input the relevant dates and click on “Search” below or on the hotel of interest on the map to get more information. The map is centered on the football ground. However, you can drag the map around or click on +/- to reveal more hotels in London.
Official Website: www.tmunited.org
If there is anything that needs to be updated or if you have something to add to the Guide to the Imperial Fields in Mitcham then please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tooting & Mitcham United v Wingate & Finchley
Isthmian Premier League
Saturday 10th February 2018, 3pm
Andreas Lemonides (Wingate & Finchley)
Dulwich Hamlet v Gloucester City
National League South
Saturday 25th August 2018 3pm
Myles Munsey (Groundhopper)
Reasons for visit
Another ground to add to my growing collection of National League venues. But there was a lot more to my visit than just ground ticking. I have been very pleased to see this historic club reach level 6 of the football pyramid. Therefore a visit sooner or later was anticipated and with the forecast good I set off for leafy South London suburbia to see the Hamlet in action. After a slow start at this level, I was eager to see how they got on.
An easy journey from London Victoria to Mitcham Junction. I did not pursue the tram option (saving that for later) but instead found an attractive walking route to the ground that takes a little longer (25 minutes), but is delightful at least in the latter stages. Arriving from London turn left out of Mitcham Junction station and follow the slope up to the main road. Turn left again and follow the road down. Cross to the opposite pavement at the lights – you need to – and carry on to the ‘Crown’ pub. Turn right and shortly after crossing the river Wandle turn right again. Follow the cycle and path to the stadium along the river. This section is surprisingly rural as the path meanders along the banks of the watercourse.
The KNK Stadium is a ground that looms large, is modern and therefore not a world-beater for the style. It does not, however, overpower you. What I liked though was the way in which it settles well into the surroundings and more to the point the friendly supporters and staff who made me feel most comfortable. It does have proper terraces though and this for me makes all the difference even if I did sit in the very comfortable main stand. This had excellent legroom (lack of is my usual complaint) and a perfect view of the action. Dulwich are a well-supported club and it was nice to see those terraces thronged with pink and blue. Naturally, they changed ends at half time which of course at this level is a tradition.
Before the game
There is a small café on Mitcham Junction station which suited my needs admirably. When finished I made my way to the ground along the pretty route just described. I noticed some high ground to the side of the stadium and spotting a vantage point for photographs investigated the possibilities. The spot afforded a splendid view out over the pitch and over to the big stand opposite (yes a few non-payers do gather there) and got chatting to some fans sat up there soaking up the sun. I paid a mere £5.00 for entry (OAP rate!) and purchased a programme and a ‘donations please’ team sheet. Once inside I met a German couple from Hamburg for whom Dulwich is their second team. Oddly they were carrying an inflatable palm tree and a blow-up pink flamingo. Well, I suppose pink has to come into it somewhere. My palm tree decorated casual shirt suddenly gained acceptance!
The chill of autumn was noticeable every time the sun disappeared but when it emerged it was bordering on hot. Ominously the programme notes focussed on ‘good play – failure to kill the game off’ for the home side in their first few outings. And that regrettably was the outcome. Neither dull nor a thriller, the whole affair was settled just as I had resumed my seat after half time. A neat header from Noah Smerdon on 47 minutes decided this one. Dulwich had chances, but the final ball was lacking and too many easy crosses were gobbled up by the confident hands of Matt Yates. So 1-0 to Gloucester but it could easily have gone the other way.
My Photographic Vantage Point In The Distance
In order to make the 17.21 train back to Victoria, I selected the tram option which is quick and easy. I comfortably made the 18.30 from Paddington back home to Newbury.
Again a thoroughly enjoyable day out even if the game was a little flat at times. Dulwich are having a bit of bother adjusting to this level one feels. I sincerely hope they will soon climb that table. The dog count was two this time around and plenty of pints balanced on the front rail. Give me National-League South (or North) any day!
The pink strip does take a bit of getting used to and there is probably a pub quiz question in there somewhere about pink strips. So be it – I like a bit of variety.
Dulwich Hamlet v Crystal Palace
Thursday 11th October 2018, 7pm
Andy Wilkins (Neutral)
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the KNK Stadium?
I had never been to the KNK Stadium and given I had finished university quite early that day, so I decided to make the most out of having a travelcard to see a Premier League side take on Dulwich who are in a bit of trouble financially as they're still locked out of their Champion Hill home.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I got the DLR from Cyprus to Canning Town, Canning Town to Waterloo on the Jubilee and then up to Bank via the Waterloo and City Line before meeting a friend of mine. We walked to Moorgate to get the Northern Line down to Morden which took around half hour if not a little longer. The train was a tad busy but it waned off after the Clapham stops. After arriving at Morden, I got the 118 bus to the ground which took all of 5-7 minutes and the stop is just across the road to the ground so it wasn't a problem walking any further as such.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
I didn't do anything before the game but both fans seemed friendly. Dulwich have got a great reputation for being welcoming to other spectators and this was no different. I paid £5 admission as a concession.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the KNK Stadium?
I was somewhat impressed with how good the floodlights were and as for the ground, its got three good built up stands whilst the far side lets it down for me in stadium rating. The pitch also looked very good given the fact that there is always a team playing on the surface every week might've made it look a little worn out in areas but not yet thankfully.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was a good one with Palace defeating Hamlet 5-0 respectively but Hamlet did give themselves a good account. The stewards were there physically but they didn't cause any trouble and the atmosphere was a great one given the Dulwich fans were chanting about how they hope to return to Champion Hill soon. Whilst Crystal Palace fans were also in good voice and for a friendly. It was arguably the best atmosphere I've been in for a game like that. I didn't get any food due to not being really too hungry and I wasn't that keen on getting a wrap. The toilets seemed decent to use at half time and the people in the tea bar seemed nice. I would argue in due respect that paying £1 for a bar of chocolate is a little extreme but then again, London prices for you there. The attendance was around 1,200.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
I got away easily. I had to wait 10 minutes for the 118 bus back to Morden but by 9.20pm, I was back on the Northern Line to Bank and back to my town outside of Southend, Essex by 11.30pm via the train.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A good night out and one I would do again if possible. Not that expensive of a day out to make and Dulwich fans yet again continue to make a great show of themselves. I wish nothing but the club all the best as always. I was a little exhausted come full time given I had put up a lecture beforehand but it was still a nice to do a rare occurrence of Thursday night football halfway through the season. Go and visit Dulwich before they return to Champion Hill is all I can say at the moment.