The 2020-1 FA Cup First Round draw gave us something new to embrace; pitting us against Concord Rangers for the first time. Now, it almost came as a shock to us once we learned that somewhere as small as Canvey Island is home to one football team. To learn it’s home to the Beach Boys too is mind-blowing. To a point. But that’s where this side are from. And, after starting out in county competitions, 2008 saw them step up into the Isthmian League; the club very much one that was on the rise.
Not that the Beach Boys were hanging around. After two seasons, they won promotion to the Premier Division. Three years later, another promotion took them into the Conference South. It seems they had reached their level with that move upwards. But 2018-9 did end up with them finishing in a playoff place. It’d only be the status of their ground that ultimately denied them a shot at the Conference National. It’s a pain that we can relate to lads, it really is…
Concord Rangers: The Facts
The Aspect Arena
Thames Road, Canvey Island, Essex, SS8 0HH
OK, let’s go. The story of the Beach Boys is one that begins in 1967; the origin being that Albert Lant and a team of boys would play friendly matches near Concord Beach. Things were made more formal and the name of the club is derived from said beach. The first move for this fledgling club was to compete in what was called the Thundermite Boys’ Football League, before moving on to the Vange and District League in 1973; winning a few honours along the way.
Up until this point, they weren’t a Saturday team. That all changed in 1979; joining the Mid-Essex League. Just under a decade later, the Beach Boys stepped up to the Essex Intermediate League. Title success in 1991 earned them a place in the Essex Senior League; a competition they’d win three times in 17 years as members. The last of those titles came in 2007-8, which saw the Beach Boys promoted into the Isthmian League for the first time. And since then? Well, they did reach National League South.
How to get to Concord Rangers – Travel Information – Distance: 57 miles
You have two options for making this trip by road. You can either go across to Ware and down the A10 (shorter) or you can head down the A1(M) and across (faster). It’s not too much of a difference really. The end result is the same, and that’s heading clockwise on the M25. And you’ll be doing this until you reach Junction 29.
At Junction 29, exit the M25 and take the A127 towards Southend. After about 12 miles, get in the left hand slip lane to leave the A127. Take the third exit at the roundabout and join the A1245, which will soon become the A130 after you follow the filter lane across a second roundabout shortly after.
You then simply have to stick with the A130, with a number of roundabouts on your way. It’s not until you’re in the heart of Canvey Island that you need to think about things. At a roundabout with Thornley Bay Road, turn right. Just 0.1 mile after that, turn right again; this will be Thames Road and will lead down to the ground.
There does seem to be a small car park at the ground. But we don’t know what happens if it fills up. We imagine local street parking will be available.
Services to: LONDON LIVERPOOL STREET
Benfleet station isn’t all that close to the ground. If you want to do this one by rail, you will have to use other modes of transport too. The club itself suggests a cab is one option and costs about a tenner. Or you can catch a bus to Thornley Bay Road and walk it in. That is going to take you around 5-10 minutes.
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