A FA Trophy First Round match at Kingsmeadow, Kingston Upon Thames.
It was such a narrow entrance that the coach had trouble trying to turn in, holding up the traffic and making several shunts.
I had a wander around the outside of the ground in the drizzle. Football grounds are always quite depressing places when empty.
However, as we arrived, about 1pm, activity was beginning to get underway, with the first of the Press team starting to set up.
The shot, captured with my compact, amused me in that everyone seems to be doing something different, using a laptop, writing with a pen, texting on a phone, talking into a mic, staring into space waiting for inspiration. Love it.
The stadium is owned by AFC Wimbledon (the ‘fake’ Dons) and shares the facilities with Kingstonian, so the lighting is pretty good and its well maintained. Despite the rain, the pitch seemed quite well drained and playable.
Opponents were Kingstonian, Ryman League team in front of a crowd, if that’s the term, of 508 supporters, about half of whom came from Dartford. It was the first really wet game, and an away game to boot. Mark Arber suffered a broken jaw in the last home match, so Semi Ajayi has come in on loan and got his first game with the team. Unfortunately he gave away a penalty to Kingstonian in the first few minutes of the game, which Marcus Bettinelli saved. At one point the match was held up because of a squirrel running around! Hope he wasn’t burying nuts. Last home match, there was a frog hopping around in the half time interval. No shortage of wildlife around London, then.
Jacob Erskine scored a goal for Dartford in the first half, and Kingstonian had a player sent off. In the second half, Dartford scored 3 more goals, and kept out Kingstonian’s efforts. The damp conditions didn’t seem to affect the Dartford Supporters or the players. Even the burger van catching on fire didn’t distract.
Being late November, it was dark at the start of the second half.
The draw for the next round takes place on Monday 26 November, so that’s something to look out for. Dartford have drawn a home game on Saturday 15th December 2012 3:00pm KO against either Merthyr Town or local team Tonbridge Angels.