Friday, 23 March 2018

Carshalton 'Preview'

Those of a nervous disposition are advised not to look up details of Carshalton's current form, it doesn't make for pleasant reading. Expectations are therefore lower than they were on our recent visit to Walton on Thames but, with a fair smattering of U12s in the travelling squad again, anything could happen. No pressure lads.

Normally it's a case of wanting a win come what may but, with relegation not on the agenda, if you were Vance would you be preparing for next season? Probably, it seems the sensible thing to do. As far as tomorrow is concerned there's only one result that really matters and that's the one in Alderney.

The Llama Express arrives in Carshalton around Noon tomorrow and the first stop will be the Sun on North Street. Out the station door, turn left then right onto North Street and its a few minutes down on the left. Very nice pub that caters for all types and ages with a decent choice of ales and food.

From there we'll be visiting the Hope on West Street. From the Sun you simply cross North Street, follow a cut through them turn right onto West Street and the Hope is on the right. From the station turn right out the door, then left onto West Street. This is a real community pub, owned and run by members of the local community with plentiful ales and food available.

The ground is a short walk up West Street (ie turn right out of the Hope or the station) to a mini roundabout where Colston Avenue is the turning off to the left. Ground is a short walk down on the right.

There's a lot more to traipsing around following Guernsey FC than football, as you'll know if you recognise this:


If you know where this is and what makes it special to some of us send your answers on a postcard.....

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

A look back at our first visit to Carshalton

If you're coming over on the club day trip this weekend and wondering about how to while away the time until 3 o'clock, this is what happened the first time we went to Carshalton....

"Carshalton Athletic P Guernsey P

The day started well with the Llama Express bang on time and speeding towards Clapham Junction to collect GFC's only celebrity fan, 70s throwback Dirk Diggler. Nobody expected Dirk to make this trip but, at great expense to himself, he cancelled the housewives special shoot that had been arranged for months at the last minute so he could get his GFC fix.

On the way one or two mutterings came through the ether about a broken aeroplane but not a dickie bird of an announcement from the club so the Llama Express continued to thunder through past North West London's finest landmarks. Then just as we were pulling into platform 17 at Clapham Junction GFC's super efficient communications team stopped taking selfies for a moment and broke the news. The rumours were indeed true, there was to be no match.

A quick call to the Mark 2 Llama Express, on a stopover at St Pancras whilst the passengers took a much needed refreshment break (as one of them had travelled from Birmingham for the match) and a decision was made. We would continue on to Carshalton. Not before a brief diversion to the Falcon at the junction with Lavender Hill, however, where a distraught Diggler was revived with a soothing pint of Bath Ales Forest Hare. Very pleasant it was too.

Then a short train ride to Carshalton where we were due to meet up with the Mark 2 contingent. On alighting at Carshalton just before Noon we happened upon Septuagenarian GFC fan Chesham Jean, who'd set off from home at 8.30 to make the 12.45 kick off. Jean was visibly shocked when the Diggler broke the news about the match to her which made Dirk himself distraught once more.

So we headed off to the Windsor Castle for a soothing pint of Ringwood's Forty Niner (Guinness for Jean) to calm the moustachioed one's fraught nerves. Not long to wait until the Mark 2 Express disgorged it's passengers and we all settled down for a pint of Hopback's Summer Lightning (it was good).

Meanwhile we'd learnt of Leicestershire Ash having trucked through the night to reach the Midlands where he was just about to get on a train when he heard the news. He decided not to use his £76 rail ticket, choosing to take the odd restorative or two in his local. Dorset Tony didn't hear the news until he was about 8 miles short of Carshalton, so he turned around and trundled back to the land of the Knob. Still it meant a few hours off the cider which can only be a good thing once in a while.

Leaving Windsor Castle we entered the Racehorse where we all enjoyed a Dizzy Blonde (the Robinsons variety I hasten to add). I should probably also add that Jean went skipping back to the station after leaving the Windsor Castle. Amazing what Guinness can do to a 75 year old.

Sadly the route back to the station meant we had to pass the Hope. Run by the same chap that has the Traf in Merton and for some reason we couldn't walk on by. Two in there, taken in the garden out back enjoying a lovely bit of Autumn sun. Firstly Hopcraft's Citraic. Read the description on the pump clip and you think 'tropical fruit? Takes me back to vodka and Umbongo by the neck at the Cow's Horn all those years ago'. But no, one of the finest beers I've had in a long time.

We finished the afternoon with a pint of High Wire pale ale from the Magic Rock Brewery. One of the finest beers I've had in a long time.

So no football, which was a bit annoying at first to be honest, but a good day out nonetheless."

Looking back it was a bit of a quiet one compared to some we've had, like Spalding eh Bob....

ARS End (all being well)

Never been keen on the ARS with its ludicrous leaning towards athletics and egg chasing, not to mention the alarming lack of urinals. Alarming to me at any rate. So it was some relief to see that that plans that had previously only been known to a few thousand were finally made public this week.

I was so pleased to read the expertly embargoed press release that I put the prescription opioids aside for a couple of hours to concentrate on this......

Concern about parking amongst local residents is understandable but misplaced. Nobody will be parking among you because the CPO means you will be relocating to what's left of the Vale. Thereby creating plentiful parking space for the flaccid hordes struggling to comprehend the notion of walking a mile or so to watch a football match.

This season has been somewhat difficult. Let's face it, if it wasn't for the restructure at the end of the season relegation would be a serious probability/possibility (depending on your level of optimism). A particular low point was the hammering at Hythe Town where the day was only saved by Diggler forgetting his spectacles earlier in the day, thereby forcing us into a hasty post match return to the fleshpots lining the Folkestone harbour side.

More recently however we've seen a young prospect called Rihoy score a couple of crackers at VCD Athletic and, on an evening when we were expecting a sound thrashing, a splendid backs to the wall display by the Torteval Under 12s at Walton Casuals.

There are of course many worse things in life than relegation from Step 4, the reward for which is entry to the FA Vase. Who remembers this....

Carshalton on Saturday. Let's Hope for some Sun.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Sausage Baguette

Yes I know we've got 2 wins on the trot, Rocco scored in his last game at the ARS for a few months and, cor blimey, a clean sheet to boot. But let's not get carried away just yet.

Whyteleafe on Saturday. Never a dull moment down there but don't tell anybody about the sausage baguettes from the tea bar. They're darned good and tend to sell out, so be quick. Decent cluhouse as well, usually with real ale and food available.

To get to the ground you need to walk the mean streets of Whyteleafe. The lack of meanness will hit you full in the face but there's leafiness aplenty. Not too many boozing opportunities however. There's the Whyteleafe Tavern at 208 Godstone Road, which is passable for a pre-match refresco, but better still is the Radius Arms a few doors away at number 205. A micro-pub that's been open 18 months serving proper beer and fruit based drinks gleaned from apples and grapes. No Europiss however.

Trains from London leave from London Bridge or Victoria and arrive at Upper Warlingham or Whyteleafe. Fastest service is Victoria to Upper Warlingham which leaves at 23 or 53 minutes past the hour (there's just a few minutes walk between Upper Warlingham and Whyteleafe stations).

A note of caution, there's due to be a strike affecting Southern services at the weekend, so it might take you a little longer than expected to get there. Don't take it out on the railway workers though, they've got your best interests in mind.

Hopefully we'll see Rocco for a last hurrah before he selfishly buggers off to see a bit of the world whilst his knees are still up to it. If not, I'm sure he knows we wish him well 'til the next time (and beyond).

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A cat called Gareth.

Since we were last here we've had a few ups and downs, mainly downs unfortunately.

The trip to Bromley for the match against Cray Wanderers wasn't quite what you may have read elsewhere. There was little sign of any ambition to win on the night, although we did have the odd chance to nick something from the game. Mainly it was about 2 rows of 4, staying fairly close and frustrating what looked like a talented Cray side.

There was a lot of defensive discipline on show though and that's why we left the ground in a fairly upbeat mood after a 1-0 defeat.

Very nice clubhouse at Bromley, complete with its own cat. Gareth is his name. Like GFC at the ARS, Cray make absolutely sweet fa from it but they are hopeful of a home of their own at some point. Plans are at an advanced stage but stuck in the mire of endless referrals to this, that and the other.

Upbeat thoughts soon took a nosedive with a disappointing home draw against Godalming Town. The real downer was the double leg break suffered by Chris Tardif. 1F is always worth a good few points over a season so this is a real blow to hopes of maintaining Step 4 status, particularly given the seemingly never ending problem of getting a full squad out for matches.

It got worse still a few days later with Jack Domaille suffering knee ligament damage that will keep him out for a prolonged period.

Fingers crossed for a reasonably trouble free recovery for both players.

The gloom was lifted slightly with a somewhat rare 3 points against Sittingbourne last weekend, this despite a degree of profligacy in front of goal that, if we're not careful, could become as worrying as our frailty at the other end.

Good to hear there was decent support from the Garenne, us Manelanders need to pull our socks up in that respect when we go to Whyteleafe on Saturday.

Tomorrow it's Chipstead at the ARS, another must win. So get your arse to the ARS and sing yer 'earts out for the lads. OK, you won't be able to talk on Thursday nut, between you and me, your work colleagues don't really want small talk with you so it'll save embarrassment all round.

With new kit recently arrived at Ormering Towers hopefully these ramblings will start to become a little more frequent than they have been of late. There are a few things to be said after all.

Keep it green (and keep the faith).

Allez les Verts!!

Carshalton 'Preview'

Those of a nervous disposition are advised not to look up details of Carshalton's current form, it doesn't make for pleasant reading...