Frimley Green 0 Arundel 3
I was on holiday for the first qualifying round so was eagerly awaiting this weekend. Always so many matches to choose from at this stage. My criteria is a) Ground I haven't visited, b) Team that play at a fairly low level - The big boys will keep c) Somewhere that takes my fancy. Frimley Green had a nice sound to it, so I decided to give this a go.
After a glorious late summer, I woke up to thick fog! Seriously, couldn't see the other side of my street. I had visions of another Newbury or Friar Green & Epworth, but it had burnt off by mid-morning and turned out to be a lovely warm late Summer's day.
I've recently got myself a Network rail card, valid for a year and costing only £20. One month in and I've already saved about £13. Why have I never done this before? Definitely the railcard for Groundhoppers.
The journey was passing with out incident, I reached Reading in plenty of time for my last leg of the journey until, 10 minutes before due to leave, the train to Farnborough North was suddenly cancelled due to there being no driver, You would have though they'd have thought of that! Platform 4A was suddenly full of stranded passengers being given zero information. You could see the terror in the station staff as hundreds of people descended on them asking when the next train would be. The staff suggested that various other services might make extra stops and then they found an excuse to disappear into their offices never to be seen again. Being a seasoned travellor, I went to the information desk. They atleast were honest, no trains would be stopping & I'd have to wait another hour. So a 1 hour 20 minute wait on platform 4A, people have had and lost jobs for shorter times! One of the things I like about these trips, is taking in a bit of the town before games and having a nose round, this would now not be possible as I'd only have 30 mins to find the ground once I arrived. So lunch was a disappointing Tuna & cucumber sandwich on the platform followed by a double decker. I did have the pleasure of seeing a floppy haired guy missing his train by seconds and then proceeding to have a Basil Faulty style hissy fit on the platform before storming off, very amusing!
My mate from Somerset was able to make this game & met me at Farnborough North station, I therefore cannot tell you how easy it was to walk, I can tell you that we drove up most roads in Farnborough & Frimley trying to find the ground. On finding our way, I have to say that Frimley station is only about a 10 minute walk from the ground and probably a better destination than Farnborough North.
The ground is in a recreation area consisting of playing fields & tennis courts. It's a really nice setting on a sunny day.
On entering the car park, the first thing I saw was a bride in full wedding dress just standing amongst the cars, not what you really expect at a non-league football match. It turned out there was a reception in the clubs function room. It was a bit surreal watching a game with people walking around in formal dress, although the young ladies in stunning dresses were certainly easy on the eye.
There's a grassy mound just over the far side of the ground along with some benches. these are outside the ground but give a perfect view. There were at least 20 people watching the game from there, a real shame for the club who would have gained an extra £70 if they'd come through the turnstile.
The pitch was bumpy and on quite a severe left to right slope. The clubhouse has a quite small bar area & reasonable sized function room. If you go round the back of the clubhouse and through the gate at the far side, there's a 30 yard covered area, this was a bit dark and damp for my taste, although we did on investigating this area, stumble across the tea bar. I never saw this tea bar advertised anywhere & I think we were her only customers.
The game itself was OK, but a bit one-sided with Arundel winning at a canter. The first goal came on 23 mins, the keeper spilling a 22 yard shot to HUCKETT who slotted home with ease. Frimley Green battled valiantly, but were always on the back foot. The second goal came on 48 mins, a midfielder toe-poked a shot which the keeper saved well, but the rebound fell to BOXALL who couldn't miss. The final goal came on 72 mins, scored by a substitute who'd been on about 30 seconds. Again a snap shot was well saved but the rebound hit the substitutes knee and luckily rolled into the net.
An enjoyable start to this seasons Vase and definitely a ground to visit in warm weather.