Regular readers of TheColdEnd may recall past visits to Kent in 2017 for Ramsgate v Greenwich Borough in the Kent Senior Cup and in 2016 for Whitstable Town v Oakwood in the FA Cup so this year was no different as I managed to squeeze in two games and two new grounds over the past few weeks.
Firstly on Tuesday 24th July Deal Town entertained Ramsgate in a pre-season friendly local derby which was well attended by fans of both clubs. Deal are most famous for lifting the 2000 FA Vase when they defeated Chippenham Town 1-0 in the last final at the old Wembley Stadium. Their Charles Sports Ground is great place to watch the game with stands on two sides and a decent bar on one side. This match saw Step 5 (Deal currently play in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division) against Step 4 (Ramgate play in the Bostik League South East Division). The difference in this game was forward/winger Kyron Lightfoot (formerly of Faversham Town and Cray Wanderers) who scored two impressive goals for The Rams.
The best news for Deal Town recently has been off the pitch as the club have secured a 99 year lease on their ground which had been due to run out in 2026. The seafront and beach is well worth a visit - It's a lovely place to be especially when the sun is out.
Deal started their season proper yesterday with a 2-2 draw at AFC Croydon Athletic. Their next games come at home against Hollands and Blair on Tuesday before an eagerly awaited Emirates FA Cup game against Bostik South East Division side Whitstable Town.
The Rams start with a league trip to VCD Athletic next weekend.
KYRON LIGHTFOOT SCORES RAMSGATE'S FIRST GOAL OF THE GAME
Then on Saturday 28th July I was a Winch's Field to see an all Bostik League pre-season friendly as Premier Division Tonbridge Angels visited South East Division Herne Bay. The Bay's ground is well equipped and wouldn't look out of place in the Premier Division - the covered terraced stand at the far end of the ground would generate a great atmosphere when filled with fans.
The Angels really did like to be beside the seaside as they ran out 0-7 comfortable winners even though they were missing recently signed Alex Read and Craig Stone. Liam King (most recently of Walton Casuals) was a replacement and it was a good day for him as he scored a first half hat-trick - He has now officially signed for Steve McKimm's side and will feature in the Bostik Premier for this season. It was 0-5 at half time and could of been more as Angels had hit the post as well as they were in total control of the game.
The Tonbridge goal-scorers were Joe Turner (2), Tom Beere (2 / one pen) and Liam King (3 / one pen).
Jared Small (another former Harlow Town player who joined The Angels this summer with Alex Read) looked good on the right hand side of midfield. I think they will be up in the race for the play-offs and possibly the Premier Division title this season - they will certainly be very tough to beat!
Herne Bay had a good spell in the second half but were unable to really trouble Jonny Henly in The Angels goal.
Tonbridge Angels open their Bostik Premier season with a trip to Merstham next Saturday before a midweek home game against Lewes.
Herne Bay start their South-East Division campaign with a local derby game at Faversham Town. Like Deal the seafront and beach is well worth a visit if you are in town for a game.
A GOOD CROWD OF 131 PEOPLE SAW THE GAME AT WINCH'S FIELD WHICH HAS A GREAT 'OLD SCHOOL' NON-LEAGUE FEEL TO IT - WELL WORTH A VISIT.
TOM BEERE SCORES HIS PENALTY
LIAM KING SCORES HIS PENALTY