Wick 0 VCD Athletic 2 aet
The Sussex county league is one of my favourites with scenic views and interesting countryside never too far away. So when this draw came out at the beginning of July, I was keen to choose a new ground in the area. Now I may sound like a stuck record, but once again a simple journey across London was turned into a mad rush as the whole Victoria line was closed for maintenance. When is this weekend disruption ever going to end? There was a direct train from Victoria to Littlehampton although you had to be careful as it split at Haywards Heath and I could have ended up in Portsmouth. The most enjoyable part of the journey was a young lad with his Dad sitting behind me with the boy testing his father’s football knowledge with a quiz from a book. Needless to say, I sat there & tried to answer the questions myself- I have to say I didn’t do too badly. The ground is a 20-25 minute walk from Littlehampton station but is very straightforward. I have recently become the proud owner of the Good pub & Good beer guides and was pleased to tick off the ‘Dew drop inn’ with a pint of Seafarers that barely touched the sides. It amused me that I was drinking Seafarers served by a barman who looked remarkably similar TO Captain Birdseye. The pub was a little ‘homely’ with only a handful of locals playing bar billiards. I was getting slightly concerned as the rain had started to fall. It had rained all day Wednesday & was torrential on the Friday before the game. But the game was on and the pitch was absolutely fine although there was standing water on the goal line. The ground was nice enough although it didn’t have the stunning views of some Sussex grounds. There was a covered area on both sides with some bench style seating on the near side. Fir trees stand behind the near goal and there is a good sized kitchen/tea hatch. You have to go up a flight of stairs in the clubhouse to reach a bar that overlooked the pitch. This set-up reminded me a little of Newark Town. The game itself was extremely even although scrappy early on. The tie improved once the Wick manager was sent off for dissent. Both sides had great chances to score with both keepers equipping themselves well. So extra time arrived & VCD finally broke the deadlock in the second period of extra time, a second was added with the last kick if the game.
A bit of a damp squib but any new ground ticked off cannot be bad.