Glebe 1 Deal Town 1
I had originally planned to visit Harefield but hadn’t realised they had been relegated. For reasons I won’t bore you with, I looked at the draw again and decided to visit Glebe from the Kent Invicta league.
No more than five minutes from my house and a lady rushed over to me seemingly in a great flap, only to ask me when the grey bins were collected. I politely replied and also pointed out that the bin was actually black but to be fair, had seen better days and went on my way.
The train in to London was made more entertaining by the guy sitting opposite me playing games with an 8 year old lad he was travelling with.
“Okay, he said. I’ll say a word and you then have to say another word that starts with the last letter of my word.” The boy nodded his head.
“Sunny” Said the man
“Bummy” replied the boy.
I actually laughed out loud and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of their games.
I caught the tube to London Bridge which has suddenly been changed beyond recognition. I found myself outside, was directed up an escalator and eventually found what appears to be a new station entrance. Being in good time, I sat on a wall only to be immediately approached by a European gentleman.
“Do you know the way to Tower Bridge?” he asked.
“I’m not the best person to ask, it’s taken me 10 minutes to find platform 7” I replied.
He took a second to compute, smiled kindly at me and went off to ask someone else. I’m not sure our British sense of humour always translates.
It was a short journey to Chiselhurst station and for once I had remembered to do a street view before I left so knew exactly where I was going.
What I didn’t know was that the pavement had been dug up for at least half a mile. I had to walk on compacted mud with bits of concrete at odd angles, loose stones, assorted cones and trip hazard twigs. It’s not the worst walk to a ground I’ve ever had (Yes, Milton United, I’m talking about you), but it was less than pleasant. The A222 was horrendous, nose to tail for the entire mile and a bit I walked along and hardly seemed to be moving at all.
I eventually turned off on to Foxbury Avenue which was like a tranquil paradise after the main road, it’s a reasonably long path that takes a few minutes until I turned a corner and reached the ground. I was about 90 minutes early and was delighted to bump into another match on an alternate pitch.
It’s fair to say that the players were at the later end of their playing lives, in the 35 minutes I watched, the goalkeeper went off with a calf strain, there were various other substitutions and players were constantly grabbing runs and sprays from the touchline. When the referee blew his whistle, I was shocked to see that it was only half time. I couldn’t bare to watch the second half, it would almost have been a case of last man standing.
The clubhouse at Glebe is really nice, loads of TV screens showing the midday match and a nice bar. I never spotted any hot food but having had a cooked breakfast, I settled for a pack of Roast Ox crisps.
The ground itself is in great nick. I well prepared, flat pitch, a small stand on the near side and a very new looking fence surrounding three quarters of the ground. You could not walk behind the far end or on the far side was my only quibble, I guess it’s because it has no hardstanding. The club are making real efforts to continually improve the ground and they should be commended, it’s a really neat little set-up.
The game itself was no classic, Deal were from a step higher and when they scored on 24 minutes, I expected them to pull away and win comfortably. But Glebe equalised out of the blue on 37 minutes and it was deadlock after this with very few chances.
Extra time came and only exploded into life in the last 5 minutes. Glebe should surely have been awarded a penalty when the Deal keeper flattened a striker but neither a penalty or a booking for simulation was given, it had to be one or the other! Then Deal hit the underside of the bar and claimed that the ball had bounced over the line, didn’t look like it to me!
A draw was a fair result.
It really is worth a visit to Glebe, a club on the up with some really nice, hard-working people driving the club forward.
I wish them well!