THE LONG WALK FROM SWANLEY STATION IS DOWN THIS COUNTRY LANE FROM THE VILLAGE OF CROCKENHILL...
YOU THINK THE GROUND WILL NEVER APPEAR BUT THEN THE HIDDEN GEM OF NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL POPS UP IN THE FORM OF WESTED MEADOW - THE PROUD HOME OF CROCKENHILL FOOTBALL CLUB
For many non-league fans and players up and down the country it was a return to football today as teams from Step Seven and down were allowed to have supporters watching their pre-season games with social distancing measures in place.
For a special day I made a rare journey South of the River to Wested Meadow and wasn't disapointed as the home of Crockenhill Football Club is one of the best football grounds I have ever visited. I would describe it as 'wonderfully old fashioned' with 'heaps of character'. The bar area is amazing with near enough ever inch of wall dedicated to historic pictures of Crockenhill teams and matches along with shirts and memorabilia from other clubs up and down the country. If you haven't visited I can highly recommend a trip. The walk from Swanley station and back I made was worth every minute - It's around 30 minutes each way!
IT WAS A WONDERFUL DAY IN KENT WATCHING THE CROCS
The modern day Crockenhill were formed in 1946 with the ground previously being used by a club called Crockenhill United. The bar is actually a converted Nissen hut which was built on the site during World War II as it was a base for a Barrage Balloon. The ground was made famous in film in 2018 when The Bromley Boys was filmed there.
Tony Cascarino, who was born locally in St Paul's Cray, started his career with The Crocs in 1980 and 1981 before moving to Gillingham.
Todays game saw Crockenhill, who were in thirteenth place of the Kent County Premier Division when the football season was halted in 19/20, entertained Belvedere who were in eigth place of Division One (West).
It wasn't a classic game played in very hot conditions but it was nice for the crowd of around 30 to 40 people to see some football being played catching up with friends and also for the players to get back to a competitive game. The Crocs ended up 1-0 winners via a well taken goal on the counter-attack in the first half.
Crockenhill FC have a number of scheduled pre-season friendly games coming up as follows including two games at home next Saturday! - Please check with the club before travelling -
Wednesday 5th August - PADDOCK WOOD - 6.45pm
Saturday 8th August - NEW ASH GREEN - 11am
Saturday 8th August - BEARSTED RESERVES - 2pm
Saturday 15th August - Red Velvet - 3pm
Saturday 22nd August - Rochester United - 3pm
Thursday 27th August - APD FC - 6.30pm
Saturday 29th August - SC THAMESMEAD - 3pm
I'm not sure at present of Belvedere's full pre-season fixture list - they do have a game against K Sports Reserves on Saturday 15th August.