Tag Archives: Combined Counties Premier Division

Croydon FC

3 Nov

24 October 2012

Combined Counties Premier Division

Croydon FC 03 v  Horley Town 01 (att c.50)

Croydon Arena, Croydon

Team Talk. Croydon. It’s a bit like Holland. There are loads of trams and everyone’s selling drugs. Cliches? On here? No chance.

Whilst we’d love to perpetuate the stereotypes of South London’s great metropolis but instead, we thought we’d go for the novel approach of talking about football and our trip to watch “The Trams”.

Croydon FC changed to a transport-based nickname (from the Blues) a few years back due to their ground’s immediate proximity to the jewel in the Transport for London crown, Tramlink, made famous by this woman:

Mercifully, there was no sign of that or any other hideous cow at Croydon FC. The club has been in existence since 1953 with the aim of providing the newly built sports arena with a senior team for the good people of the Norwood/Croydon borders to cheer on. Thanks to an awkward Surrey Intermediate League team of the same name, the team were forced to use the moniker Croydon Amateurs FC until 1973.

Croydon FC have historically flirted with the Atheanean and Spartan Leagues and had found refuge in the good ol’ Isthmian League, where their 32 year tenure ended in 2006 and the club moved into the Kent League.

Croydon also possess a unique triple-crown; having won the Kent, Surrey and London County Cups. Quite how a team can flirt between FA regions, I don’t know, but it seems to be something a few clubs (the Hamlet included) have tried in the past. I guess some people really like midweek football.

Park the bus.  Croydon FC share a privilege usually only reserved for clubs higher up the pyramid: their ground has its own dedicated station. Arena Tramlink stop is located right outside the ground and is easily reached from East Croydon Station.  However, if you’re feeling frugal (as my fellow Pigeon Stander was) or fancy a ride of the Overground, you can give the Trams a miss and walk to the Arena from Norwood Junction station in about 15 minutes and hop on the Ginger Line.

Homefield advantage. Following our trip to Ladywell Arena, we once again found ourselves at a football match in an athletics stadium. However, unlike Lewisham Borough’s humble home, Croydon Arena is in a far more advanced state and feels, oddly more suited to football than any other sport.

Upon arrival you’ll be greeted by a classic turnstile where, after handing over £8 (including a nicely put together programme) and a quid for a shot at glory in the golden goal (typically, we were unsuccessful), you’ll be in a vast expanse of a courtyard. From here there is virtually no view of the pitch, although a sign bearing non-league football’s most foreboding words will be just in front of you:

In the history of unwelcome signs, this ranks up there with “Ken Dodd’s Sex Festival”

The main stand upon which this hateful sign is displayed is host to the dressing rooms and rather substandard directors’ box, although, for a council facility to include any sort of directors’ box is pretty good going. It’s also unusual for an athletics track to have a marked area for the player’s walkout.  However, at Croydon, they have the best bloody entrance to the field of play any footballer could wish for: a stoic guard of otherwise redundant high-hurdles.

Would anyone fall at the first hurdle?
No.

Hurdles weren’t the only piece of athletic apparatus in the Arena as the obligatory Throwing Cage dominated one end of the park. More on this later. Behind this bit of surely unnecessary kit (seriously, who in this country is ever going to take up the hammer??) was a large single storey building which we desperately hoped housed the bar referred to in the programme. It didn’t. Instead, our casual glance through the window ended with us seeing rather too much of a moonlight yoga class…at least…we think that’s what it was.

On the far side of the pitch are three, count e’m, THREE, pigeon stands, each more glorious and pigeony than the last. Being sociable types, we avoided the two with people in them to stand around in the empty one. As with the main stand, these stands were in good shape and looked like the cleaner, smaller brothers of the Toilets Opposite Stand (aka the original Pigeon Stand) at Champion Hill.

Watching the actual game at Croydon Arena is tricky. Pitch-level views aren’t great. Unlike South London’s other athletic track grounds at Erith and Ladywell Arenas, where you can get pretty close to the action, Croydon keep you a good 20m away from the pitch. Being so detached from the action is a bit annoying, so stick to the elevated terrace or main stand if you’ve got a vested interest in watching the game.

The “Yoga” Hut.

Prawn sandwiches. With no bar or clubhouse, we were forced to find solace by the tea hut. Luckily, it was an excellent if freezing cold nook for a half-time refuel. Riddled with cold, thirst and hunger, I was delighted to be supping a decent cup of tea and chowing down on a proper old fashioned cone of chips. Both were top class and easy on the wallet. Sadly, the burger was a little more underwhelming; although considering it was cooked in a fryer under a main stand, it was never going to beat MEATliquor so it’s certainly not a complaint.

…and the game. Well, having stated that Croydon was much like Holland, I was expecting Total Football. Sadly, it was a little more like your standard Step 5 mid-table battle. Horley were the better placed side but apart from a breakaway opening goal from the ever-so-slightly overweight Leroy Hyett, they never really dominated.

Croydon equalised just before half-time thanks to a goal from the Portuguese master, Claudio de Almeida. I can’t tell you much more than that because we were in the process of walking round to the tea bar and our view was obscured by the hammer net. An observational hazard but woeful timing on our behalf.

Er….Goal?

The second half was a fairly cagey affair for the first 40 minutes but, with time running out, the Trams seemed to find an extra gear and pulled ahead thanks to a lovely pass by Danny Davenport which Taylor Smith just managed to get his boot to. The clichés kept rolling and Karl Doughlin put the icing on the cake with a stoppage time goal for Croydon to lift them into a rather more healthy league position.

Man of the match. Now, at 7:45pm, a ballboy is probably hard to come by [insert lazy Jimmy Saville jokes here]. Not a problem for Croydon FC, who have charged a fully grown man with the responsibly of fetching errant passes and wayward shots.

It would be a fairly brutal task at a normal ground, but at an athletics track where you’re being asked to cover three sides of the pitch, it’s a heck of a challenge. Still, this Kramer-esque ballman did a splendid job was hopping fences, rooting through apparatus and sand pits with scant reward (although he did get into the boardroom at half time). A Pigeon Stand salute to you, sir.

Post-match rubdown. Obviously, this is a Council funded ground so it’s in pretty reasonable shape and despite the lack of a bar (which, as a sick joke, is even advertised in their programme and on their website), it was a nice evening out. Out of the three athletics arenas we’ve visited, Croydon definitely comes closest to looking like a genuine football ground and with a strong Isthmian League pedigree, that’s no surprise. Being so close to Palace probably doesn’t help the Trams attendances but I was pleased to see nearly 50 people turn up on a Champions League night. Let’s be honest, that’s more than some clubs get on a sunny Saturday in April.

I’d recommend a trip to the arena; there’s trams, tea and a trifecta of pigeon stands…oh, and did we mention the trams?? In the words of Croydon’s programme editor, Simon Hawkins, Ding Ding! Ding Ding!

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Chessington and Hook United

21 Apr

Chalky Lane, Chessington

9 April 2012

Chessington & Hook United 0   v  Molesey  1 (circa  60)

Team talk. Taking full advantage of the long Easter weekend, and scheduling that saw some Combined Countries games kicking off at 11:30am, we decided to hit up two games in south west London. In the afternoon we would visit Corinthian Casuals (report to follow) leaving us at an early kick off at Chessington and Hook United in the morning. Regular readers of this blog will know that we did a double header last year when we saw VCD Athletic and Dartford. The decision to visit these games saw us miss a massive 6-0 win for our own Dulwich Hamlet. This lead to a pact that we would never again visit other London teams when Dulwich are at home, in case the curse of Edgar Kail struck again. Dulwich were not playing today so we thought we would be able to head south west without adverse consequence.

Chessington & Hook United in its modern guise resulted from the alliance of Chessington United Football Club and Hook Youth/United in 1986. The Club gained senior status and promotion to the Combined Counties in 1997 and have been there ever since. The 2010/11 season saw Chessington finish 6th in the CoCo, a record for them.

This season the team has failed to building on the impressive finish of last, and are currently relegation threatened towards the foot of the league.  Today’s opponents were play-off hopefuls and Pigeon Stands favourites the Molesey Moles.

Park the bus. Chessington’s Chalky Lane arena (no doubt named after Rick Stein’s dead dog) is a 15 minute walk from Chessington South (zone 6) main line station. Trains run every half hour or so from London Waterloo and take just over half an hour.

Home advantage. The visit to Chessington had fun written all over it. The ground is pretty much across the road from Chessington World of Adventures (the southern equivalent of Lightwater Valley), which is signposted from the station. It’s also right next door to the headquarters of SEGA arcades. Even though we chose to visit on a day when the wind was up and it never stopped raining, surely Chessington and Hook would not fail to deliver on the fun factor! Or would it?

A world of adventure or pain?

Chalky Lane is little more than a narrow lane off a major road which leaves you with that weird feeling of being in the middle of suburbia one minute and then in a more rural setting the next. The rural atmosphere was reinforced by the sound of distant trails bikes motoring around throughout the game.

The Club prides itself on the fact that it is maintained on a purely voluntary basis. All the Committee members, trainers, managers, ground staff and adult helpers are unpaid, as are the players (in fact the players pay a fee to play for the team). This is not surprising as the Chalky Lane ground screams makeshift. You approach the pitch via a narrow walkway bounded by high timber fences. There is no turnstile so we paid a fella sat next to a white plastic box (£7 in, no program – seemed a bit steep to us).

Welcome one and all

Once in, all the usual stuff (club house, toilets, burger bar) is located at the south end. There is also a large pigeon stand at this end that looks to have been formed from bits of scaff and sheeting – a real A-Team job (BA would be proud). We spent most of our time at this end as (a) it was chucking it down and everywhere else looked grim and (b) we found ourselves next to a guy who looked just like Swiss Tony of Fast Show fame, which was far more entertaining than the match.

Pitty the fool

Swiss Tony

The rest of the ground is basically a pitch with a fence running around it and a small covered seating area on the east side. The ground is open on the north side, which led to us getting even more battered by wind and rain. Easily the best thing about the ground is the UPVc conservatory dugouts (with home and way painted on the inside). Unfortunately they were not kitted out with wicker furniture.

East stand inside

UPVc dugouts

Fat lino anyone?

Prawn sandwiches. The inside of the club house is the usual 70s social club vernacular – which I always find strangely cosy. There is a dart board for a few half time games of the arrows.  Didn’t have the beer as it was a morning kick off, but it looked to be standard fare.

Burger hole

There is a burger bar outside that also sells a selection of icepops.  The guy behind the counter told me with surprise that the icepops always went down well and that he had even sold a couple during the first half – it was NOT a day for icepops!

…..and the game. Considering the poor weather and the bobbly looking Chessington pitch we knew this would not be a classic. Chessington were an unknown quantity to us, but we knew that Moseley were a team who like to pass it about. These conditions would not suit them.

So the first half was a scrappy affair during which Moseley went one up. We have no idea who scored as there was no programme available to buy at the ground. Chessington always looked second best but had their moments. Fair play to the Moles though, who against all odds managed to play some nice stuff in the second half. They deserved their second goal, which was a wonder chip over the keeper from 25 yards by Lewis Ackerman. He definitely meant to do it, but looked as shocked as everyone else that it went in. No Premier league showboating here, no sir.

A mole sitting on a pole

Man of the match. It would be cruel to give this to the train driver who took us away from Chessington. But this really was one of those days where you wish you’d just stayed at home. I guess Swiss Tony is in with a shout purely for keeping our spirits up.

Post game rub down. Not a favourite visit. The conditions certainly didn’t help – but I personally found little to recommend a trip to Chessington and Hook. Comparisons with the set up at Moseley are completely unfair as the clubs have come from different places leaguewise. Let’s just say that I am not Chessington and Hooks biggest fan…. but this is!!

Massive fan

Molesey FC

18 Mar

10 March 2012

Combined Counties Premier Division

Molesey FC 01  v  Farnham Town 00  (att c. 75)

The Herds Renault Stadium, Molesey

Team talk. It’s March and that means the highly anticipated return of white matchballs, undoubtedly the second best colour of matchball after orange Tangos, as they bring with them the promise of sunshine.  Taking full advantage of the glorious, if not still bloody freezing weather, we hightailed it over to deepest south west London to see what was going down at Molesey FC.

The Mighty Moles of Molesey started life in their current form in 1953 when they joined the Surrey Senior League. Their first and last major success came just five years later, when the team lifted the league title.

After some all too familiar sideways moves from the Athenian and Spartan Leagues, Molesey landed a place in London’s leading non-league ranks, the Isthmian League, where it remained until relegation to the Combined Counties Premier in 2008.

The Club is responsible for launching the career of 80s and 90s hero Cyrille Regis who top-scored for Molesey in the 86-87 season. The club also welcomed family man and facial furniture pioneer, Neville Southall, as manager-cum-director in 2003 under the dubious reign of shady South African businessman Norman Clark whose meddling and misdemeanours undid the good work of current Dulwich Hamlet suit, Martin Eede, and set a course that ultimately led to the end of club’s 30 year run in the Isthmian League and into the sticky situation they find themselves in today.

The elusive Regis 92 Panini. How you escaped my grasps, I'll never know

Molesey are facing the financial dire straits, the second worst type of dire straits after Knopffler and co. Luckily, the club’s plans to build a small number of houses on waste ground at the back of the stadium were approved by the Council’s planning sub-committee last week. Whilst the decision will be met with derision from the Daily Mail reading NIMBY neighbours, Molesey’s Save the Moles argues that this is the best way to keep the club in the area, and the club continue to seek a secure future.

Unlike their trials and tribulations off the field, Molesey have been in good form on the pitch and sit 7th, with games in hand on all of the teams above them. While Guildford have all but secured the title for a second season in a row, Molesey look like they’ll be finishing towards the top of the table for back-to-back years after last season’s 3rd place nearly saw Molesey return to the Isthmian League.

Gracing the away dressing room on this day were Farnham Town, a side who have no fewer than 96 names on their Available Players roster, a list more dubious than Russia’s electoral register. Edgar Neubauer, Prudence Goodwyfe and Humphrey Boa-Gart are all accounted for. The dead have risen and they’re playing for Farnham Town.

Park the bus.  Molesey play at the snappy-titled Herds Renault Stadium (presumably named after Jean-Pierre Herds Renault, Molesey’s French international…maybe not) in West Molesey, which from what I observed runs seamlessly into East Molesey. The nearest station is Hampton Court (45 minutes from Waterloo) so if you like the idea of visiting the home of a rotund, bearded gentleman but don’t want break into my flat, you can always pop into the palace before the game.

The Ground is located about 15 minutes walk from the station, or less than 5 minutes on the 461 bus which leaves from the station entrance.

Homefield advantage.The Herds is a classic example of a great non-league ground. Once through the classic turnstiles (a mere £6 for adults), you’re greeted by a small table, a smashing-looking dog (and its owner) and a merchandise shed. Baulking at the £2 for the programme, I was reassured after finding out that it came with a free Molesey FC coaster. Here at the Pigeon Stands, we love free stuff so this was a gigantic plus point.

Coasting to victory...sorry

The merchandise shed was a small but marvellous treasure trove of fob key rings, programmes (including some proper rarities) and a fine array of Molesey shirts through the ages. Unlike the recently erected Dulwich Hamlet Megashed, which operates more like an over-the-counter kiosk, the Molesey shed, was open for supporters to awkwardly shuffle round. Brilliant.

Unusually for a step 5 club, Molesey has a covered stand on all 4 sides, the main stand offered excellent elevated views of the action but as usual we were drawn to the ends, both of which feature quality pigeon stands. The Mick Burgess Stand is a little on the tatty side, although not as dilapidated as the sign might suggest, and the other end seemed nameless.

Along the other flank was an unusual low-roofed stand that seemed less inviting as it involved negotiating a path around a couple of sets of floodlights and some sort of trawler’s net to keep the ball in the park. These are commonplace behind the goals before, but I’ve never seen one on a flank before, let alone in front of the stand and up against the barriers. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement of Molesey’s strikers.

Prawn sandwiches.Beveraging opportunities were plentiful at the Herds Renault. Despite a foreboding sign on the turnstiles which implies that beer is not an option once inside the ground, we were delighted to find that not only was there a lovely bar selling a range of Samuel Smith’s beer, but also a dartboard. Sport of kings. Alongside this was a small display board summarising the club’s history.

Abandon all hope...

Outside, there was a nice wee patio for patrons to enjoy the early March sun and sink a beer as well as some sort of party shack. As is mandatory for the Combined Counties Premier, there was also a BBQ pit although in spite of the glorious weather, the sausages remained uncooked.

A canteen is located at the foot of the main stand and served the usual array of stuff as well as rare treat, orange squash. It’s like being at the tennis except, y’know, actually entertaining. As if my purchase couldn’t get any sweeter, I was also presented with a Save the Moles sticker, yet another freebie!

…and the game. Molesey play a fairly no nonsense style and don’t look to do anything too clever. They set up in a traditional 4-4-2 and stuck to it rigidly. Their defence looked stellar throughout and apart from a couple of minor lapses in concentration, their goal remained relatively unthreatened. The only goal of the game came after about 10 minutes when predator, Arnie Tawonezvi terminated all hope for Farnham Town, with a barbaric strike from a corner I was delighted to (Kindergarten) Cop a picture of the goal….

Arnie Tawonezvi: Goalmouth Predator

The rest of the match was played out fairly routinely. Molesey sat back but were unable to really benefit from the counter attack. While James McShane looked promising up front, he plays rather flat and seemed reticent to try anything new. Farnham him a few half chances and force a couple of saves from Wester Young in the Moles’ goal. In the end, Molesey deserved the win, but considering the amount of goals which have been inundating the Combined Counties of late, I was a tad disappointed that we had landed a mono-goal afternoon.

Man of the match.Nobody knows what the future might hold for Molesey town. Despite their planning permission, the future is unknown; perhaps this is the reason why they club are turning to Simon Lock for an evening of Mediumship. We’re hoping he’ll be able to summon Edgar Kail to tell us all where he’s buried his treasure.

All aboard the MediumShip

Post-match rubdown. I found Molesey an excellent afternoon out and a real gem in the Combined Counties Crown. It’s a great local team in a nice bit of town, run by a family who clearly love the club. After years of chaos, chairlady Tracy Teague has helped the club find a degree of stability off the field whilst manager, Steve Webb, longest serving in the division, continues to help the team grow sustainably.

In spite of this, the club’s future is anything but secure and there is a lot of hard work ahead to ensure they keep their head above water and most importantly, remain in Molesey. Speaking on behalf of the club’s Save the Moles Campaign, Club spokeswoman Debbie Harry (hopefully the Debbie Harry) noted that the ground at Molesey doubles up as a community centre, a church and a school; it is clearly the epitome of a community asset, indeed, they are the epitome of a non-league football club. I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to the Moles and help to ensure that they don’t burrow into football’s undergrowth forever.

You didn’t honestly think we’d get through this without some sort of lazy reference to moles, did you?

Banstead Athletic

20 Mar

19 March 2011

Combined Counties Football League Premier Division

Banstead Athletic 04 v Dorking 01 (att – up to 50 )

Merland Rise, Tadworth, KT20

Team talk. Banstead Athletic were formed in 1944 and enjoyed almost instant success in the Surrey non leagues until the mid 1960s. Current President Gordon Taylor was part of the 1964/1965 Surrey League title winning team. This was the last time that the club won a league title. The current Director is Terry Molloy, who is better known as the actor who played Dr Who’s evil arch-nemesis and creator of the Daleks, Davros. Not to be confused with Harry Enfield’s kebab selling alter ego Stavros.

Davros with the Banstead centre half

With this evil overlord director in mind, the team are bravely managed by the duo of Bobby Knock and Russell Harmsworth, or Terry’s henchmen if you will. Bobby Knock can only be described as the joker in pack, listing his previous clubs in the match programme as “Stringfellows, Easy Streets, Cats Whiskers, and Tiffanys” and his marital status as (perhaps unsurprisingly) “ok”.

The club’s position in the Combined Counties Premier Division is certainly no laughing matter. The team sat in 18th place in the league at the start of play today. As Dorking were in 20th place the game was set to be a real bottom of the table dog fight.

Despite the lowly league position Banstead had improved of late. With impressive wins against Chessington (4-0) and Ash Utd (3-0) the team would be hoping that the 2-0 away loss in their last game at Hanworth was just a blip in their otherwise improved form. Dorking were comprehensively beaten 7-1 by high flying Camberley Town in their last game and would no doubt be looking to bounce back.

The previous Tuesday’s game had been called off due to a waterlogged pitch so whether the game would go ahead was touch and go due to heavy rain the day before.

Park the bus. Banstead sits on the edge of Epsom, in an area that can best be described as “where country meets city” that even the TFL bus people do not regard as London (evident from the change in bus operator, bus stops and bus colour from red to black).

Regardless of the semi-rural location, Banstead is within the M25 (just!) and was therefore due a visit from the Pigeon Stand guys. The ground is perfectly accessible in just under an hour from central London and the nearest station is Tattenham Corner in zone 6.

Home advantage. Banstead Athletic have a ground just moments away from the famous Epsom Downs race course, located close to a leisure centre and other local entertainment venues that included the “Phoenix Centre” (Brain Potter would be proud).

The Phoenix Centre

Arriving at the ground entrance we were a little confused by the large notice board advertising the fixture “Today’s Game: Banstead Athletic v Your Mum”. It turned out that this was just the local youths messing around and that the “Your Mum” addition was not a change of fixture or a nickname for Dorking FC.

Change of fixture

The club car park doubled as storage for some smart looking old style Routemaster London buses and also served as a spill out area for locals having a pre match al fresco drink at the club house to make the most of what was a gloriously sunny day.

All aboard

The ground itself has two old-school turnstiles. The change was £7.50 for entrance and a programme.

Around the pitch there are two small covered pigeon stands and a small main stand with some seating, including reserved seating for visiting directors and the press. These seats had been commandeered by local youths, or perhaps they were members of the press providing minute by minute updates to a local newspaper via text message.

Around the ground

Main stand

Seating main stand

End pigeon stand

Prawn sandwiches. There is a nice little club house with a well stocked bar. The club house has something of the gentleman’s club feel about it (perhaps not the type that Bobby Knock likes to visit). This is due to all the timber wall panelling, the framed jockey shirt and picture of a horse. The club house doubles as a venue for hire and was to be the settling for “a night with the stars” after the game. We assume that this was a “stars in their eyes” type event where participants could dress up as their favourite singer and pelt out a number of two. Unfortunately we couldn’t hang around for this, but it sounded like good fun. Much effort had also clearly gone into setting the room up.

Club house

The stage is set...

Unfortunately food was a bit thin on the ground as the burger van was closed and the ice cream van that could be heard circling the ground for almost the entire game never stopped off. Thankfully some wrapped sandwiches had been prepared and were for sale at the club house.

…..and the game. We were at the ground early and got the chance to have a chat with the referee before the game. He was a nice chap who was looking forward to what he hoped would be an entertaining game of football. It is sometimes easy to forget that referees are extremely likely to also be fans of the game who also want to see a good game of football.

Reflecting the respective positions of the two teams, I guess it is fair to say that this was not to be the free flowing spectacle that the referee had hoped for. The game was a scrappy affair, one of moments rather than a game to savour as a spectacle. In fairness, Dorking’s first goal was a brilliantly timed run by their forward followed by fantastic composure to round the keeper and put the ball into the open net. Banstead’s third goal was also something to behold, a lob from the best part of 40 yards. While others may question whether it was as shot or a cross, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt and say it was a stroke of genius.

What was more impressive than this goal was the ability of the Dorking players to get the words “fuck” or “fucking” into every sentence. Now I am well aware that football is a sweary game. I am also guilty of yelling the occasional expletive from time to time, normally to turn around to meet the disapproving stare of a parent whose child has been potentially scarred by my careless language. But, the Dorking guys really are something else.

So relentless was this that we assume that the players of Dorking have been struck down by some unfortunate version of footballers tourettes . The worst example of this was a poor unfortunate midfielder who, on delivering what was an admittedly poor cross, felt the need to punch his own face and call himself a “son of a fucking bitch”. It was not confined to just the players, even the management could not help themselves. Early in the game they called the whole Dorking team a “bunch of lazy fuckers”. These are the funniest examples, otherwise it was just an absolutely relentless tirade of “fuck me’s”, “fuck you’s”, and just plain old “fucks” from beginning to end. These were aimed at the other team, themselves, team mates, linesmen, and our referee friend. At the conclusion the Dorking players were so worn out by their cursing endeavours that they collapsed on the pitch. Fans of the club could have a really great (and expensive) time inventing a drinking game based on the swearing of their team.

Dorking goalkeeper calmly discusses performance of a team mate

Ol' dirty Banstead

Man of the match. For me, this game only went ahead because of the hard work and dedication of the Banstead groundsman. He worked tirelessly right up until kick-off to make sure that the pitch was in a state that was playable. He then disappeared like the modest unsung hero that he is. We saw you Brian (generic groundsman name). Bravo sir, bravo.

Tireless worker

Post game rub down. An enjoyable visit to a club that, despite problems on the pitch and what looked to be a low attendance, clearly had people behind the scenes willing to work their socks off to make sure that the club carries on. I guess this is the case with most non league clubs. However, this commitment is particularly valuable in an area such as this, where there are so many non league clubs for the fair-weather fan to choose from where, frankly, you can see better football for the same price. While 4-1 flattered Banstead today, we expect they will beat the drop and hope they are able to improve and do better in coming seasons.