A reasonably entertaining game but one which the hosts won too easily and the result was never in doubt.
In a month when the cost of football has been high on the agenda of fans with Liverpool fans voting to walk out of a game in protest against a potential £77 ticket cost for next season, and some championship clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday charging away fans £36, it is good to see a non league initiative to pay what you want. Building a fan base takes time but one has to start somewhere and Didcot Town are starting this saturday.
Football is an exciting sport generally and live matches bear no comparison with sanitised TV games. Many fans would consider going to games weekly but there is little incentive or collaboration between teams to make this happen. A few non league teams in recent years have given discounted entry to season ticket holders of league clubs, Hampton and Richmond are one example.
Looking at some of the crowds in the lower echelons of the Ryman league for example. On March 8th at a midweek game Haringey Borough attracted a crowd of 22 which was lower than their crowd of 35 last saturday, and last saturday in Ryman North 6 of the 8 games with reported crowds had under 100 spectators. In Ryman South a few crowds were also fairly dire with Chipstead attracting 48 spectators and a similar number at Molesey.
There is clearly room to increase the fan base at many of these clubs. Didcot v Bashley deserves a decent crowd.
With all the insanity that surrounds professional football it made a nice change to watch a competitive if somewhat bad tempered affair at the lovely War Memorial Ground in Carshalton. There are ample match reports on this game so I will suffice to say that a penalty in the first 5 minutes by Carshalton was matched by an equaliser in almost the final minute. South Park also found time in the first half to have a penalty saved by the impressive Luke Colquhoun.
Here is the story of the game in photographic terms. Enjoy.
A few photos from an entertaining game that really might have been a draw. The floodlights were the poorest I have personally ever photographed under and their variability of light meant the pitch was in essence a huge chessboard where only some areas could realistically be used to get photos from. A crowd of 96 souls braved the chilly evening to watch the game.
The great thing about non-league football is the ability to get up close to players and spectators alike. Stand where you want to and talk with whom you like. For me Carshalton is one of the friendliest places to watch football and always a good matchday experience. Decent burgers too. The new 3G pitch adds a little more interest to the visit. A few photos just to give a flavour.