Sunday, 3 February 2013

Carshalton Athletic - War Memorial Sports Ground

Carshalton Athletic FC
War Memorial Sports Ground
Colston Avenue

020 8642 8658
Matchday Number: 239
Saturday 2nd February 2013
Carshalton Athletic 1-2 Hendon
Ryman Premier

Wycombe were not playing until the Monday and so with mates being at other games, I had free choice of where to go. I had fancied going to Carshalton for sometime and combined with the fact that there was a retro games shop in Croydon that I fancied visiting, this seemed like the ideal choice. Also in the week, Hendon, todays visitors had taken Wycombe youngsters Junior Morias and Lee Angol on loan, to add to their ever growing list of players to have played for both clubs.

On the day I woke up at 8, before having a bath, lazing about for a bit and watching Soccer AM. Eventually at 10.40 I left and after navigating the M25 and Croydon's slightly confusing road system and signposting I was parked up as intended by 12.20. I went round various shops, getting some grapes, some deodorant, some aftershave and 3 games for my Sega Dreamcast. By the time I got back to my car it was 1.15 and it was just a short drive to Carshalton, arriving just after 1.30. I had done my research pub wise and found 'The Hope' which was brilliant. I tried a couple of new ciders - Gwatkin Stoke Red and Crisp Moonshine. But after a pint of each I needed some food to balance it all out and so searched for local takeaways on my phone. A local cafe did the job with black pudding and chips for £2.20 which was just what I needed.

After paying to get in and getting a programme for £2 I took a look around and got some pictures. Carshalton were bottom of the table and it showed in the opening half with Hendon going 2-0 up pretty early on. It was Wycombe loanee Lee Angol who opened the scoring after a defence splitting pass left him with a fairly easy chance to score. The lead was doubled on 19 minutes when more poor defending left Sean Sonner unmarked to give Hendon a commanding position. This seemed to spur Carshalton into action and they ended the half the strongest. They got their reward when Nathaniel Pinney pulled one back from the penalty spot.

At half time I went to a local shop to get a paper and some chocolate popcorn, returning just as the teams were kicking off for the second half. The second half started brightly with former Wycombe youth team Elliot Braithwaite headed narrowly wide from a free kick and loanee Junior Morias game close as well. Earlier I had chatted to a Hendon official whoi said that Morias and Angol had done really well in their short time at the club. The last half an hour of the game petered out without much incident and in the end Hendon ran out deserved winners, pushing them up the table. After the game it was a nice clear drive home and I was back by 6.15 in time for a Chinese meal with the family.

The WAR MEMORIAL SPORTS GROUND is one of the more traditional venues in non league. There is cover along all 4 sides with one end and a side completely covered. At the other end is a small area of covered standing with the rest open. Completing the ground is a seated stand holding around 400. I'd imagine this would be enough for Conference South standard, sadly the club look to be exiting the Ryman Premier in the opposite direction.

There is a tea bar that does a good range of food, up there with the better ones. The club shop has a decent range of stuff, but sadly no programme shop as was the case a few years back. The clubhouse is of a decent size and shows live sports on big screens.

There is plenty to do nearby, a brilliant pub called The Hope and a good cafe nearby which are better than what is on offer inside the ground. This makes for a good day out, and it's just a short walk from the train station too, as well as plenty of free parking in the ground.

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