Following the debacle that surrounded Brentford in the final day or hours even of the transfer window that saw the club sell 3 of the team that played the previous week to Birmingham ( making a total of 14 new signings for Harry Redknapp), followed by the Rooney drunk driving story, and completed by the frankly dire Malta v England game ( how exactly is Southgate the best English manager? Who decided this and were they residing in an asylum at the time? Nice guy but zero motivational skills, as demonstrated by his team last friday). Some sanity was needed. And where else to go than non league football and per chance it was FA cup day, the Preliminary round.
The FA cup is as important financially to the smaller non league clubs as it is to the footballing giants with prize money for winners in this round £1925 for the 160 winners. Many clubs at this level have crowds that might be as low as 50-100, so this is serious money.
Carshalton are a great small club playing in the Bostik League South and I usually capture 4-6 games a season. Pagham Town play in a lower league , Southern Combination Premier so were the underdogs. Entrance was 10£ and a programme was 10p. Thats right. Carshalton are experimenting with e-programmes to one’s phone and the cost of the text is 10p. Some are in favour of this and some not. Frankly I like the idea as clubs should not be subsidising programmes, as they do, in the paper format. In theory also the programme should be 100% uptodate. Curiously the only thing missing from the programme were the teams! Just blank pages. Teething issues I guess.
Free parking at the ground, decent burgers and a clubhouse, newly renovated , make a visit to Carshalton a pleasant experience. The football also is good. They play good football under their player/manager Peter Adeniyi. The ground also boasts one of the best non league terraces in UK.
The game itself clearly mattered a lot to Pagham Town who by half time were 2-0 up and with a high work rate thoroughly deserved their lead. Something might have been said at half time in the Carshalton dressing room as within a few minutes the score was 2-2. In the end the fitness and the skill of Carshalton showed as they won the game 5-3.
This was good honest football. No unpleasant chanting. Cheap burgers. Football in the sun. High work rate from both teams and some of the finishing at this level was sublime. There were a few young Carshalton players to keep an eye on here.
A really good day out and with no nonsense either.