TUESDAY 20th OCTOBER 2020 – 7:45PM

Welcome to The Dripping Pan for tonight’s Pitching Inn Isthmian Premier League game with Merstham. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

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Good evening and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for tonight’s Isthmian League Premier game between the Rooks and Merstham. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Merstham and hope they have a safe and speedy journey home. And most importantly, with external events becoming more and more worrying by the day, to enjoy the game whilst we can.

It is amazing how things can change in just 10 days in football. In that time we have seen the Premier League introduce a ludicrous Pay Per View idea, try to float the idea of entrenching their power base by offering the Football League and Women’s Elite clubs a sweetener and the number of games postponed due to COVID increase dramatically. Within the club we have seen both our Men’s and Women’s teams win at home 1-0 then grab a point each from tough away games.

Our game at potters Bar was a strange one. They had produced some decent results of late, none more son that spanking Cray Wanderers 3-0 and I think we would have all been happy with a point at 2:55pm especially with Alex Malins and Nic D’Arienzo missing. But a rash, dare I say, stupid challenge on Jude Arthurs in the fifth minute saw them reduced to ten men and a minute later we were celebrating taking the lead thanks to Bouwe’s header. I can’t imagine what their management team would have thought of the needless red card so early in the game.

We looked strong, controlled and calm in the first period and should have scored again before the break but come the second period we seemed to lose some of that confidence and allowed the home side back in the game. Their equaliser wasn’t a surprise although we could and should have gone at won it at the other end in injury time.

This league is shaping up to the very competitive and so far I’d say that Bowers & Pitsea have looked the strongest side we’ve played, yet we got a point from them. We know that Worthing, Horsham and Cray Wanderers will be at the top or there abouts, but we also know that other clubs have invested in their squads and that will translate into results too – Cheshunt and Bishop’s Stortford for instance. Our strategy of building on youth with the likes of James Beresford, Brad Santos and Tegan Freeman combined with the experience of Aaron Cosgrave, Ronnie Conlon and Leon Redwood won’t have us winning every game but you can be assured that we will get stronger as a squad after every game.

There’s been some movement in and around the squad in recent weeks. Merrick Lewis-James has gone back to South Park, who could guarantee him a first team spot whilst Eddie Wakley has joined us to bolster our defence with Kiran and Nic missing. Alex Malins is also back in the fold.

Enjoy the game and Come On You Rooks!


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Hugo Langton gives Stuart Fuller his thoughts ahead of today’s game. Click the play button below to hear the interview:

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You can get full updates from today’s game, including team line-ups, goals and substitutons, in the panel below. It will automatically update throughout the game. Data supplied by FootballWebPages.

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#1. Who plays their home games at the Westminster Waste Stadium?

#2. Whose ground is called the Camping World Community Stadium?

#3. If you were at the Crucial Environmental Stadium, who would the home team be?

#4. Lewes have already played at the LA Construction Stadium this season but who against?

#5. The Whiskey Bible Stadium is the home ground for which club?

#6. Which team play their homes matches at the BuildKent Stadium?

#7. The CVS Van Hire Stadium is the home ground for which club?

#8. The Len Salmon Stadium boasts a 3G pitch but who plays their home games there?

#9. Which club now plays regularly at the R & D Advisors Stadium

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The meanest defence in Women’s Football

On Sunday our Women’s side headed to Chesterfield to play Sheffield United and came away with a hard-fought but impressive 0-0 draw. That makes Simon Parker’s side unbeaten in four Championship games and rise to fifth in the table, four points behind leaders Durham with a game in hand. The shut out was also the team’s fourth in a row and no team in the top two divisions has conceded less. Their next game is on Sunday 1st November when Liverpool come to the Dripping Pan.

Good luck to our Under18s
Unfortunately, the fixture computer decided that our Under18s FA Youth Cup Final Qualifying Round at Dover Athletic takes place tonight as we are doing battle with Merstham. So keep an eye on our Twitter feed as we will try to bring updates from The Crabble Ground. Last week Dale Hurley’s squad beat Eastbourne Borough Under18s 2-1.

Rooks on the road after Sussex Senior Cup and FA Trophy draws
The Rooks have been drawn AWAY to Little Common FC in the 2nd Round of the Sussex Senior Cup, the game likely to take place next Tuesday 27th October at 7:45pm. Little Common groundshare with Eastbourne United at The Oval. In the FA Trophy, The Rooks will make the long trip to Lowestoft Town, now plying their trade in the Southern League Premier Central Division. The game will be played on Saturday 31st October, kick off 3pm.

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Ronnie comes close to opening the scoring in the first half with this effort, tipped over by the Margate keeper
At the other end, Margate’s best chance fell to John Ufuah just before half-time but he put the ball high into the Philcox Stand
The deadlock was broken when James Beresford’s cross was met by Luke Blewden…
…whilst it wasn’t the cleanest of headers, the ball sailed over the Margate keeper and into the net
The players thank the Philcox for their part in the win, getting behind the team for 90 minutes
And in return the fans show their appreciate for a solid performance and three points

More photos from the game by James Boyes can be found here.

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Ian Townsend’s Isthmian Premier League update from Saturday’s games.

The Pitching In Isthmian Premier Division started with Cheshunt deservedly at the summit after delivering some superb performances, but they had perhaps their biggest test yet as they travelled to undefeated Bishop’s Stortford. The Blues showed why they were undefeated when Tom Richardson put them ahead after nineteen minutes to the delight of most of the four hundred and twenty one spectators, and Richardson got the next goal too, a minute from time, to send the Blues up to third and leave the Ambers just above them.

In third place at kick off, Worthing travelled to from one seaside to another, as they visited Margate. Draw specialists Gate gave their fans amongst the four hundred and thirty five present something to cheer as they went ahead just before the half hour, Richard Afrane-Kesey- newly arrived on loan from Charlton Athletic – with a debut goal. A more familiar name on the scoresheet is that of Mo Diallo, and the Worthing man got his fifth of the campaign with the equaliser five minutes before the break.

Another familiar name then gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time, Ricky Aguiar with that one, and nine minutes after the break they made it three, Dayshonne Golding with the third. The Mackerel Men take their familiar place at the top of the table- even more impressive given they haven’t been able to play at home yet due to pitch problems.

Carshalton Athletic started the day in second, two points behind the leaders. The Robins travelled to Hornchurch, to play against an Urchins side fighting against a rising tide of injuries- but it was the depleted hosts who went ahead six minutes before the break, new signing Charlie Ruff making it rough for the Robins (sorry. We’re here all week). The four hundred and forty four in attendance had little else to shout about until twenty three minutes from time, and then had a great deal to shout about as Chris Dickson made it two with his third of the season- and the month. The same player got number three fifteen minutes from time, and an own goal rubbed salt in the Carshalton wounds and made it four with ten minutes remaining. The Robins slipped to fourth, the Urchins are up to fourteenth.

If Cheshunt v Stortford wasn’t our match of the day, then a strong shout needed to go to Haringey Borough v Cray Wanderers. Borough knew that they could go top with victory if other results went their way, and they got their noses in front after twelve minutes, Alfred Bawling with the goal. Wands, of course, had an unbeaten record stretching back nine months until two recent defeats, and they were quickly back into the match as Ben Pritchard levelled before the half hour, and then went ahead with twenty one minutes remaining as Ben Mundele scored for the second time this week. Rhys Murrell-Williamson made it three fourteen minutes from time, and Wands went above their hosts into fifth.

Enfield Town, who started the day in fifth, were on the road to Tolworth, where they faced Brazil’s favourite amateurs, Corinthian-Casuals, in front of a crowd of four hundred and two. The South American contingent- and those from Surrey- would have been happiest when Jerson Dos Santos gave the hosts the lead on fifty eight minutes, and even happier when the same player made it two thirteen minutes from time. Casuals are up to twelfth, Enfield slip to seventh.

Leatherhead and Folkestone Invicta met at Fetcham Grove in front of four hundred and eighty nine spectators. Neither side had had the start they would have liked to the season, although the Tanners looked to be back on the right road with three matches unbeaten before their narrow defeat at Enfield last time out- and they were very quickly ahead in this one, Crossley Lema opening the scoring in the very first minute. We then had fifty five minutes with no further score before Andrew Briggs made it two-nil, and that result saw the side in green up to eighth whilst Invicta slip to sixteenth.

Horsham welcomed Brightlingsea Regent and six hundred spectators to the Camping World Community Stadium. The visitors won the last time they came to Sussex, in Lewes on September 26th- but they were soon behind in this one as Thomas Day put the Hornets ahead in the eighteenth minute. It was two-nil in the thirty second minute as Will Miles trotted up from the back to score, and then the attackers got into the action as first Chris Smith and then Rob O’Toole found the net to make it four. Horsham end the day in tenth, Regent slip to twenty first.

At Nyewood Lane we had Rocks versus Rocks, as East Thurrock United arrived to face Bognor Regis Town. The Sussex Rocks were ahead just before the half hour through Ashton Leigh, and then further ahead six minutes later as the same player made it a brace. It was three before half time, Tommy Leigh this time, before it was back to Leigh Mk. One as Ashton got his hat trick from the spot ten minutes after the break, delighting most of the five hundred and eighteen who were watching on. Bognor climb to eleventh, United still wait for their first victory.

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In 1897 Merstham FC were founder members of the Redhill & District League, and playing in the Redhill & District League Division Two by the 1905/06 season. In the early 1920s, the club moved to its present location in Albury Road. The club’s first major success was winning the league in 1927, and in 1930 added the East Surrey Junior Cup to their trophy cabinet. In 1935 and 1936 Merstham won the Redhill League Premier Division back to back, a record later repeated in 1950 and 1951. The club applied for intermediate status and joined the Eastern Section of the Surrey Intermediate League. In the 1952-53 season Merstham won the title at their first attempt.

Merstham continued to play in the Surrey Intermediate League until they gained senior status in 1964 and joined the Surrey Senior League, winning the title in 1971/72. In 1978 they joined the London Spartan League and finished third in their first two seasons. They also won the Surrey Senior Charity Cup and the London Spartan League Challenge Cup in the first season, adding the East Surrey Charities Cup the following year.

In 1984/85, Merstham joined the Combined Counties League and were runners-up in the league in 1987/88. The following year they reached the fourth round of the FA Vase losing to Billericay Town at home 2-3, but did win the League Cup beating Chipstead 2-1 after extra time. The 1990/91 season saw floodlights erected and an official ‘Floodlight Opener’ against Crystal Palace, whose side included the current England Manager Gareth Southgate. The 1995/96 season brought some success to Merstham, as they finished fourth in the League, and the reserves won the Reserve League Challenge Cup.

The 2000/01 season was Merstham’s most successful for nearly a decade. They reached the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and finished eighth in the league. The 2002/03 season saw AFC Wimbledon join the league and their visit to Merstham attracted 1,582 fans, a record home attendance for a league game. Silverware returned to Merstham in the 2004/05 season when they beat AFC Guildford 3-0 in the final of the Premier Challenge Cup and they also won the East Surrey Hospitals Charity Cup.

The 2005/06 brought disappointment when Merstham were denied promotion to the Ryman League because their stand was delivered two weeks late! For the 2006/07 season Manager, Mick Sullivan, built a side that finished second in the league, and won the Premier Challenge Cup. In the league, they notched 100 goals, nearly a quarter of which were scored by striker Kwabena Agyei. The Southern Combination Cup was shared between Merstham and Staines Lammas when a fixture date couldn’t be agreed. The final of the ESHCC against Redhill was delayed until the start of the 2007/08 season which Merstham won 3-2.

The 2007/08 season, Mick Sullivan’s seventh, brought the Club into a new era with a treble winning side, a fantastic run in the FA Vase and, more significantly, promotion to the Isthmian League South as they finally finished top of the CCL after two seasons as runners up. After losing on the opening day of the season, Merstham then went undefeated for the rest of the season, winning 35 times and drawing six, finishing with 111 points and 114 goals. In 2008/09, Merstham’s first season in the Isthmian League Division One South, they finished 8th, narrowly missing out on the play-offs.

The 2014/15 season was to be the best in the Club’s history. Merstham gained promotion to the Ryman Premier Division by winning the play-offs in style and were also runners-up in the Surrey Senior Cup. They finished fourth in the Ryman League Division One South, scoring 107 goals. In the Play-Off semi-final Merstham won on penalties 5-4. At Folkestone, in front of 1,465, Merstham won promotion beating the home side 3-0.

The 2015/16 season saw Merstham attaining their highest position in the Football Pyramid finishing 10th in their first season in The Isthmian Premier. This was helped by 20 goals from Charlie Penny and 14 from Fabio Saraiva, who were both snapped up by Conference side Woking after the Moatsiders beat them in the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup. The season finished on another high when they trounced Godalming Town 4-1 in the final.

Merstham’s second season in the Ryman Premier League was full of drama. The Moatsiders reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. They achieved this with some of the finest football ever seen at the Moatside. The loss of skipper Fabio Saraiva and Charlie Penny to Woking was a blow, but after one season prolific goalscorer, Charlie Penny, returned to the Moatside and scored twice in his first game back. However, a serious injury during the FA Cup game against Ebbsfleet finished his season. The obvious highlight of the season was facing Oxford United which saw a record-breaking crowd of 1,920 packed into the Moatside. Unfortunately, Merstham seemed a little overwhelmed by the occasion losing 5-0.

During the close season Manager Hayden Bird made wholesale changes to his squad. Assistant Manager Mick Sullivan left the club and was replaced by Merstham player/coach Tutu Henriques. In 2017/18, Merstham celebrated their 125th anniversary, finishing 12th in the league, and for the second time in four years won the Surrey Senior Cup.

The 2018/19 season saw the club just miss out on promotion to the Conference South. A strong league campaign saw the Moatsiders qualify for the play-offs with a fifth-place finish. In the play-off semi-finals they produced a superb performance to beat Carshalton away 2-1 and reach the play off final away to Tonbridge. In a scrappy, niggly game, which saw two players sent off, the Moatsiders went down 1-0. After that defeat, Hayden Bird decided to join Kingstonian, but he took the entire first team squad with him. Former Tooting & Mitcham Manager, Frank Wilson, was appointed in June 2019 and set about building a brand-new team. The new team struggled to maintain their Premier League status and when the season was finally brought to a premature end, with all records being expunged, Merstham were in a relegation dog fight.



Frank Wilson – Manager
Frank joined Merstham at the start on the 2019/20 season and had his work cut out after the entire first team squad left to join Kingstonian in the summer. He is best known at this level for his spell at Tooting & Mitcham, where he won the old Division One South title in the 2016-17 campaign, and also led the club to the London Senior Cup.

Barry Hayles – Assistant Manager/Forward
Barry is a striker and assistant manager to Frank Wilson. He began his illustrious career in the Spartan League, before playing for Stevenage Borough, Bristol Rovers, Fulham, Sheffield United, Millwall, Plymouth Argyle, Leicester City, Cheltenham Town, St Albans City, Arlesey Town, and Truro City. He had player/coach roles at Chesham United, and Windsor, before joining Merstham. Barry made over 200 appearances during his spell at Fulham, scoring 44 league goals and helping them to two promotions. He was capped ten times by Jamaica at international level.

Matte Pierson – Goalkeeper
Matte was a trainee at Brentford, and signed for Hampton & Richmond before Frank Wilson took him on loan at Tooting & Mitcham, making the move permanent in 2016. Matte was one of Frank Wilson’s first signings at the Moatside and justified the manager’s faith in him by winning the Player of The Year award last season.

James Richmond – Defender
James is seen as a strong, commanding defender, with vast experience at Step 3, and was one of Frank Wilson’s first signings at Merstham. He originally signed James towards the end of 18/19 Season, during his brief spell at Kingstonian, bringing the experienced player over from Burgess Hill Town, where he had been a key figure for the previous three seasons.

Sol Patterson-Bohner – Defender
Sol worked with Frank Wilson during his time with Tooting & Mitcham. Seen as a rugged, uncompromising, and vastly experienced defender, he joined Merstham in the close season. Sol’s previous clubs include Whyteleafe, Walton Casuals, Walton & Hersham, Leatherhead and Dulwich Hamlet.

EJ Mensah – Defender
Nominally a central defender EJ is equally at home at full back, where he has started the season, but is considered versatile at the back. He started his senior career as a scholar at Barnet, before spells at Braintree and Hitchin. EJ joined Merstham at the start of last season.

Bertie Lloyd – Defender
Bertie joined Merstham in pre-season after completing his degree in Biology at Bristol University. Originally spotted by Tonbridge Angels, the tall centre-back joined Merstham after a deal was reached with the Angels.

Elliott Bolton – Midfielder
Elliot signed on loan from AFC Wimbledon’s Academy, which he joined at the age of 7. Elliot impressed in pre-season, seen to have two good feet, and the ability to spot a pass even under pressure.

Ryan Healy – Midfielder
Ryan is an experienced player who joined Merstham in pre-season. He spent three years at Carshalton before spells at Westfields and South Park.

Joedon Gougas-Cowin – Midfielder
Joedon is a young player who operates in a wide role. He joined Merstham in pre-season from Tonbridge Angels with Bertie Lloyd (above).

Calvin Ekpiteta – Midfielder
Calvin signed for Marstham in January, and scored on his debut from the bench. A winger, he signed from Aveley after a spell at National League South side East Thurrock United. Calvin also had stints at Bishop’s Stortford, Oxford United, Dartford and Grays Athletic. He is regarded as a powerful player with an eye for goal.

Yannick Monga – Midfielder/Forward
French-born Yannick is comfortable both in midfield and up-front. His career began at Carquefou in France, before joining FSV Luckenwalde in Germany. On moving to England he had a spell at East Thurrock United, before joining the Moatsiders last term.

Karim Kamhouri – Midfielder/Forward
A close season signing, Karim has played for Banstead, Horley Town, and Carshalton Athletic mainly as an U23. He then had spells at Staines Town and Stevenage.

Omar Folkes – Forward
Omar is a familiar face to Merstham supporters, having spent the 2016/17 campaign at the Moatside. Omar is another player that played under boss Frank Wilson at Tooting. He re-joined Merstham for the 2019/20 season.

Bobby Mills – Forward
Bobby’s career began at Crystal Palace, before joining AFC Wimbledon where he was a prolific goal-scorer for the club’s U18s side. He joined Bromley from the Dons, and after a loan spell at Hampton, joined the Moatsiders just before the lockdown ended last season prematurely.

Dylan Cascoe – Forward
Dylan joined the Moatsiders in pre-season, after a short spell in the USA with the Atlanta Silverbacks. He has previously played for Leatherhead, Walton Casuals, Harrow Borough, and most recently, Westfield.

Shola Ayoola – Forward
Shola started out at Dublin-based Cherry Orchard FC before being spotted and signed by Stoke City in 2015. After impressing in their U16s, he appeared for their U23s, where he made his debut against Newcastle United. Although used mainly as a substitute, Shola made ten appearances, scoring three goals. Shola is Nigerian-born, but has represented the Republic of Ireland at U18 level. He joined the Moatsiders from Worthing last December, and finished the truncated campaign as leading goal-scorer.

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Our first five games of the season saw us lose them all and hitting the bottom of the league. That certainly wasn’t in the plan nor did our performances in some of those games warrant zero return. Results since have certainly been better although we are under no illusion this will be a tough season in a very competitive league.

However, spare a thought for the fans of Stoke Gabriel Football Club who ply their trade in the South West Peninsula League Premier Division East, step 6 of the English National League structure. The club hail from the beautiful village of the same name in Devon on the banks of the River Dart, playing their home games at the modest Speedwell KIA Stadium.

The club have played ten games as of the 19th October and lost the lot. I am sure there are other clubs that have yet to get a point (Ossett United in the Northern Premier League North West for instance or Mangotsfield United in the Southern League, South Division) but it is the nature of the defeats that have see them hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Having been in 16th place when the 2019-20 season was curtailed by COVID-19, the club has seen personnel changes during the summer with players, coaches and committee members moving on, meaning that the squad is built around the club’s Under18s side.

“You can’t win anything with kids” – the famous line uttered by Alan Hansen on the opening day of the 1995/96 season after Manchester United’s Class of 92 had been beaten by Aston Villa. Never has such a true sentence been uttered in the case of Stoke Gabriel.

They kicked off the season with an away game at Torridgeside. They lost 14-0. In their first home game of the season against Crediton United they did better, keeping the score down to 13-0. Since then they have lost all eight games. There was a glimmer of hope last week that new signings would have a positive impact as they restricted Ivybridge Town to just three second half goals but on Saturday they finished with ten men due to injuries against Plymouth Marjon who scored ten unanswered second half goals to make the final score 14-0.

Whilst they recorded their biggest defeat of the season so far against third from bottom Bovey Tracey, they did get off the mark themselves in the 18-1 defeat and followed it up with another goal in the 9-1 defeat at Elburton Villa. Their star players so far? Seventeen year old goalkeeper Josh Organ, naturally.

Whilst the young squad is finding life at the senior level tough, they are more than good enough playing at their own age level, winning three of their four league games so far.

The village has an approximately 1,000-year-old yew tree in the churchyard of The Church of St Mary and St Gabriel, a church which has stood since Norman times. Legend has it that if you walk backwards seven times round the yew’s main stem you will be granted a wish – I think now may be the time for the fans to start walking around that tree!

Stop press….on Saturday they scored another goal! Unfortunately, opponents Ilfracombe Town scored 17 (seventeen). Match of the match was that teenage keeper Josh Organ again.

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It costs as little as £40 to become an owner of Lewes FC. For that, you not only get the inner glow of helping your local community-owned football club, but you get great discounts from dozens of retailers in the Lewes area and nationwide. You can join instantly by clicking the button below.

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German football is much admired across the world for the atmosphere, the beer, the sausages and of course, the stadiums. In pre-COVID times it was the most visited league structure, bar England, and a favourite destination for many of us who look the opportunity of a weekend full of football once in a while.

The German league system is not too dissimilar to ours here in the UK. On top of the pyramid sit the level 1 Bundesliga and the level two 2. Bundesliga, both organized by the professional German Football League. The two top flights then are followed by the level three 3. Liga, the lowest full professional division in Germany, managed by the German Football Association itself.

The professional level four Regionalliga is divided into 5 regional divisions, these typically organised by one or two of the five regional associations of the German Football association, these being the Northern German Football Association, the Northeastern German Football Association, the Western German Football Association, the Southwestern Regional Football Association and the Southern German Football Association. For Bavaria, the Bavarian Football Association, a member state association of the Southern German Football Association, runs their top division under their own jurisdiction. This is similar to our National League system. You may hear terms such as Oberliga and Landesliga – these are the steps below level five and would be the equivalent county leagues.

So in summary, win the Landesliga and you move up to the Oberliga, then to the Regionalliga, Liga 3, Bundesliga 2 and then the Bundesliga. Sounds tough, but that is the exact round that current Bundesliga leaders Red Bull Leipzig took, actually starting down in Nordostdeutscher Fußballverband Regionalliga (after they bought SSV Markranstädt in 2009) and Champions League qualifiers Hoffenheim, who started in the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg in 2000.

Whilst the Bundesliga has the highest average attendance for any major football league in the world at nearly 43,500, the attendances down in the Regionalliga is still impressive, with some clubs averaging crowds (pre-COVID) of 3,000 or more. Some of the better supported clubs are those that have fallen on hard times and dropped down the leagues from the glory days in the Bundesliga such as Rot-Weiss Essen, Alemannia Aachen and FC Saarbruecken. Some of the stadiums are reminders of days gone by when tens of thousands used to watch the teams.

Here’s our pick of the five best clubs to visit (post-COVID) if you have a chance in the lower German leagues.

Alemannia Aachen – It is still head-scratching how Alemannia are still playing in the fourth tier of German football. In 1968/69 they were runners up to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, last playing at the top level in 2006/07. They play at the Neu Tivoli, a fantastic 33,000, very yellow, stadium on the edge of the town which is rarely full these days but when it is, the atmosphere is electric. Aachen is nestled into the border with Netherlands and France about 30 minutes west of Cologne.

Türkgücü München – Who? I hear you ask but the ambitious Bavarian club, whose routes are based on the Turkish immigrants in Munich are certainly making a big and bold statement as they start life in the third tier of German football by moving into the 58,000 all seater Olympic Stadium (below). It has been near ten years since the stadium was used in earnest but has been kept in good nick. It was of course the venue for the 1972 Summer Olympics and also for the most famous every English national team away win in 2000 when the Three Lions won 5-1. Located in the north of the city centre, with its own U-Bahn stop and opposite the BMW Museum.

Wuppertaler SV – I’d anticipate most of us have travelled to a game on a bus, train or even tram but how many have arrived by Monorail? Wuppertaler may be a Regionalliga side, playing in the West division, but they are world-class when it comes to public transport access to their Stadion am Zoo ground (the zoo is located next to the ground). The hanging monorail was opened in 1901 and provides quick and easy access from the town centre to the ground. In 1950 the Althoff Circus organised a publicity stunt by putting a baby elephant on a train. As the elephant started to bump around during the ride, she fell out of the car and into the river below. The elephant, two journalists, and one passenger sustained minor injuries. Wuppertal is 20 minutes from Dusseldorf by train so makes it an easy weekend destination for the Football Tourist.

FC Homburg – Not to be confused with Hamburg or Bad Homburg (where the Homburg hat favoured by Sir Winston Churchill originates from), Homburg is a large town in Saarland in the South-West corner of Germany with little claim to fame, unless you count the home of Karlsberg (NOT Carlsberg) Beer or the Schlossberghöhlen (caves to me and you). The football team have bounced around the lower leagues since their formation just over 100 years ago although did play two seasons in the Bundesliga in the mid 1980’s which did lead to games against Hamburg (their last meeting for your information came in the German Cup in 2001 when Hamburg won 5-2). What sets them apart though is the picturesque and atmospheric WaldStadion (below) which is located a 15 minute walk from the town centre.

VfB Lübeck 1919 – Home of the Hanseatic League, a sort-of Champions League of trading cities in the middle ages and a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its amazing Gothic brick architecture. It is a perfect city for a weekend break, especially in the run up to Christmas with their famous markets. A short train ride from Hamburg (Ryanair fly to Lubeck airport and naturally call it Hamburg) it also boasts a football team who always seem to be down on their luck. The club have never reached the Bundesliga and have only rarely filled their 18,000 capacity Stadion Lohmühle (below), but the city, based closed to Hamburg and Kiel is a great weekend away.

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The application window for candidates to apply to join the board of Lewes Football Club closed at midnight on Friday 16th October. There were three positions available, with Stuart Fuller, Ed Briggs and Jon Ruben coming to the end of their three year terms.

Three applications were received by the end of the nomination period and so all three candidates will be elected to the board, subject to passing the Football Association’s Directors Test.

The new and returning directors are:-

Stuart Fuller – Having already served on the board for nine years, this is the last term that Stuart can stand for, according to the rules of the club. Stuart has been club Chair for the past five years and is focused on our Football Operations and is part of our FanCom board group that focuses on aspect such as ticketing and our COVID-19 preparations

Ed Briggs – Ed now enters his second term on the board and has been instrumental in a number of the commercial deals the club have signed, none more so that our deal with kit partner Kappa. Ed’s focus will continue to be on our commercial revenues as well as working within the Football Operations group.

Trevor Wells – A warm welcome to our newest board member, Trevor Wells, who has been part of the Men’s Vets for awhile and will bring a strong background from the commercial world and a focus on building our match day experience.

Full details of each of the candidates statements will be published on the website in due course. Just a reminder that the AGM is being held next Thursday, 29th October from 7pm. Details of how you can join the meeting will also be published on the website shortly.

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i. The Red Zone for players and officials and staff members only who are adhering to strict COVID protocols.
ii. The Amber Zone “Fries Side” which includes the Mountfield Road bank and the Philcox Stand – and importantly, the loaded fries hut.
iii. The Amber Zone “Pies Side” – which includes the seated stand and the Ham Lane stand – and importantly, access to the pies via the Hatch.
iv. Seating in the main stand will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis – there is no seating advance allocation.
v. Seating will incorporate social distancing – fans who wish to sit in family/friend ‘bubbles’ may do so; ‘bubbles’ must maintain distancing, as marked on seats; fans are asked to use gangways responsibly to maintain social distancing.
vi. Matchday stewards and volunteers will be on hand for seating arrangement advice – fans are kindly asked to follow their guidance
viii. The Rook Inn will be divided into two sections – accommodating Pies and Fries sides of the ground, with no access between the two areas.

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Two weeks ago, our Club President and Lewes legend, Terry Parris, was a guest on TalkSport to talk about the trial that the Diadora Isthmian League ran some twenty five years ago, replacing throw-ins with kick-ins. We’ve wrote in the programme about this before but for our new fans, here’s the background to the trial and what actually happened (which may explain why a year later throw-ins were reintroduced!).

On Saturday 5th March 1994 at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, the footballing policy makers, IFAB, met to discuss a number of tweaks to the laws of the game. Many will not know that it is not FIFA alone who make up the ridiculous laws, but actually the International Football Association Board, which is made up of representatives from the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish Football Associations as well as FIFA. Item number 6 on the game, proposed by FIFA was “Experiments with the Laws of the Game”. A very ominous sounding item indeed.

In that graveyard shift after a heavy lunch of Fondue and Rosti they revealed their plans to revolutionise our beautiful game. First up was the agreement that the Golden Goal would be used in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in the USA. And then came the radical idea to replace the throw-in with the kick-in. You can imagine the scene around the table as the rest of the room picked their jaws up off the floor and sniffed the water to see if it had been swapped with vodka.

But FIFA were deadly serious. The vote was passed on the proviso that it would be trialled in a number of leagues and volunteers were sort. Of course the FA, playing goody two shoes, put both hands up and agreed that they would take part in the trial.

Fast forward three months. It was a quiet day in the manager’s office at The Dripping Pan where player/manager Terry Parris was sitting with his feet on the desk, cup of tea in one hand, Cadbury’s Caramel in the other. “Post”, comes the shout from downstairs and the Lewes FC manager heads off to see what has arrived. One letter among all of the bills stands out, postmarked from The Diadora Football League, the-then name for the Isthmian League.

Fast forward three months. It was a quiet day in the manager’s office at The Dripping Pan where player/manager Terry Parris was sitting with his feet on the desk, cup of tea in one hand, Cadbury’s Caramel in the other. “Post”, comes the shout from downstairs and the Lewes FC manager heads off to see what has arrived. One letter among all of the bills stands out, postmarked from The Diadora Football League, the-then name for the Isthmian League.

Terry opens the letter and reads the contents, dropping his Caramel into his tea. The league had been chosen to be one of the “trial” leagues that would be replacing throw-ins with kick-ins. Checking the date of the letter to make sure it wasn’t 1st April, he read on:-

“A kick may replace a throw-in”, “The ball must be stationary before a kick is taken”, “A player cannot be offside from a kick-in”, “a goal cannot be scored from a kick-in”. From the outset any fool could see how it would change the game for the worse.

The Diadora League would be the English FA’s guinea pig. During pre-season training clubs concentrated on a different style, giving life to the oft-maligned target man style of play. Teams would launch the ball as far upfield as possible from a kick-in, knowing that they couldn’t be caught offside. The kick-in in the final third became more potent to the attacking side than a corner or a free-kick. Teams changed their recruitment policy, and looked to play down the wide channels to force defending teams to concede “kick-ins” in dangerous territory. It was also a nightmare for goal keepers who now had to not only contend with crowded penalty areas from corners.

At the end of March 1995, each club was asked to complete a questionnaire on the success of the trial. The results were taken by the FA to the next IFAB meeting at Turnberry hotel in April where the “experiment” was discussed. Unsurprisingly, the idea was banished to the filing cabinet marked “stupid ideas” along with the Anglo-Italian Cup, the string for a cross bar and Malcolm McDonald’s England career.

What comes around, goes around so I am sure at some point it will be discussed again. If it is, then Terry will don his Bukta tracksuit once again and become our Kick-In Coach.

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The Oval
The area was originally known as the Gilbert Recreation Ground and now called Princes Park, which was owned by the local council, who had planned to develop it into a sports arena with an athletics track and a grass cycle track surrounding the grass pitch. Plans were made in 1951 to build a stand and a terrace, which was opened in September 1955 when Eastbourne United hosted a game against Queens Park Rangers.

Floodlights were first installed in 1958 and inaugurated with a match versus Eastbourne F.C. in front of a gate of 4,100. More floodlights were supplemented in 1966 when Eastbourne United were playing in the Athenian League; these were installed at a cost of £5,500 and were officially turned on 25 October 1967 with a friendly game with West Ham United. A third set of floodlights was officially opened on 18 February 1980 by former manager Ron Greenwood with another friendly game with Millwall.

The great storm in 1987 destroyed one of the covered terraces; this was not repaired as the council’s insurance did not cover storm damage. The local athletics club left the site in 2003 to a new facility to the north of the town. Today, the pitch is fenced in with one small stand along the side.

The social club sits behind the main stand and offers food and drink. Little Common moved from their ground in Bexhill to The Oval in 2017 although it was announced in 2019 that there are plans afoot to move back to Bexhill in the next couple of years.

How to get to the Oval
From Lewes is should be a 30 minute drive, depending on traffic. Head east on the A27, following it onto the Polegate bypass. At the Golden Jubilee Roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the A22. At the roundabout with the A2290, take the first left then a right at the roundabout where Tesco is on your right hand side onto the A259. Channel View Road is on your left hand side opposite Co-Op. The entrance to the ground is opposite Sidley Road. Parking is on the streets in this area.

If you are coming by train then the ground is a half-hour walk from Eastbourne Station through the centre of the town and onto Royal Parade. Opposite the Redoubt Car Park bear left into Sidley Road and walk the length of that for the ground.

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“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”

Lewes 2000 FC Limited. Registered in England and Wales with Company Registration Number 03790979. Lewes 2000 FC Limited is 100% owned by Lewes Community Football Club.

Honorary President Terry Parris
Chairman Stuart Fuller
Directors Ed Briggs, Charlie Dobres, Karen Dobres, Stuart Fuller, Steve Keegan, Galia Orme, John Peel, Ed Ramsden, Roger Warner, Trevor Wells
Club Secretary John Peel
Match Secretary David Evans
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager Warren Lane

Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres

Life Members
Mr and Mrs Brook, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox RIP, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris, Terry Parris, Jimmy Quinn, P. Swaysland, Steve Ibbitson, Jason Hopkinson, Steve White, Martin Elliot, Kevin Fingerneissl, Kevin Powell, David and Barbara Arnold, Roger and Cathy Feltham, Ethel Treagus, Roy Dartnell RIP, Ron Moore, Derek Southouse, Ray Smith, Ken Carter RIP

Manager Hugo Langton
First team coach Dale Hurley
First team physio Katie Joynes
Goalkeeping coach John MaCrae
Under-18s Manager Dale Hurley
Under-18s Assistant Manager Craig Stevens
Under-18s coaches Jake Legrange and Johnny Buggy

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editors Paul Sheppard and Stuart Fuller
Progcast Designer Barry Collins
Club Photographer James Boyes

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Carshalton Athletic

Tuesday 3rd November 2020 – 7:45pm

Tickets on sale here