Rye United 3 Cove 0
After very recent trips to Dover & Hythe, I found myself heading to the same part of the country yet again, it sometimes just works out like that.
I almost had nothing to complain about with my first train journey, it was only 2 minutes late and I was prepared to ignore the station guard screaming like a Banshee for people to stand behind the yellow line. But with Christmas looming and the World and his wife heading to London, First capital connect either ignored, didn't consider or weren't able to adapt to this and only ran a 4 coach train. Needless to say we were crushed in like sardines and at times like this, the British are t the best with great camaraderie and humour. I almost enjoyed it despite the crush.
As usual, once I reached London I had no further problems and made my way down to Rye in comfort.
The moment I arrived in Rye I took a shine to it. In only a minute or two I was walking along cobbled streets with fascinating buildings around every corner. There are loads of eateries, historic churches and towers littered all over the place, quaint shops with real character and plenty of tourists lapping up the interest and exploring all the little nooks and crannies.
I selected the Mermaid Inn for lunch which is a 12th century building which was restored after an attack by the French and has rumoured smuggling connections. It is actually a hotel although there were many people just there for lunch and tourists kept walking through the archway to explore.
I ordered the Sussex best bitter and a ham hock with honey-mustard mayonnaise ciabatta and on a glorious afternoon, elected to sit outside. The bar was also serving mulled wine in half pint glasses which looked and smelt gorgeous although a little to early in the day for my taste.
The food arrived in no time and was a very nice although the mayonnaise was a little too subtle in taste for me and the meal was grossly over-priced for what it was.
I continued to explore the town for a good while after my lunch and really wished that I'd had more time.
The ground was easy to find and is situated right next to the cricket pitch and no more than a 10 minute walk from the station.
Not the greatest of grounds although I've seen a hell of a lot worse. A small clubhouse which unusually had a couple of plush looking black sofas in front of a fruit machine. There is a small stand on the far side and also a small covered standing area. The far end is tree lined and hardstanding is only along the far side. The look of the ground is spoilt somewhat by a sort of white sheet that spreads the length of the near touchline, I guess this is to stop people watching the games for free as it is right next to the open cricket field.
Interesting to see 3 Eastern Europeans officiating the game. They took absolute torrents of abuse from both sets of players, from a neutral point of view, I thought that the vast majority of decisions were accurate and sensible, this was a feisty game that very nearly got out of control but the referee kept his head and didn't show any red cards when a lot of officials would have.
Cove gave Rye a good game but were clearly second best. I did fear that fog was going to cause a problem once it got dark but it was actually smoke drifting over the far end of the pitch although nobody seemed to know where it was coming from.
Rye scored after 30 mins with a nice header and added a couple more midway through the second period.
This was ground number 403 for me and possibly the most interesting down that I have yet visited. I'm planning to take the wife for a weekend break to have a proper look around (In the off-season of course).