The Cold End ventured to the edge of Suburban South-East London and Kent. I was down in Chislehurst to see two games as Glebe hosted Sittingbourne at 1pm on one of the back pitches at The Queen Mary University of London Sports Ground which is next to their Foxbury Avenue home.
This was followed by Stansfeld, who also play at Foxbury, hosting Bermonsdey Town on a pitch at the adjoining University College London Chislehurst Sports Ground.
Glebe FC were formed in 1995 as youth team named Glebe Globetrotters initially based in West Wickham which is around 7 miles away from where the club call home now. An adult team was formed and they joined the Step Six Kent Invicta League (now the Southern Counties East League Division One) and were promoted to the SCEFL Premier in 2017. They initially ground shared with Holmesdale but have played at Foxbury since 2014.
Last season was the best in their history finishing in third place of the SCEFL Premier and also reaching the Fourth Round of the FA Vase. They parted company with Manager Harry Hudson in February who is now in charge of Isthmian South East Division side Sevenoaks Town. Luke Rooney has been the new man in charge since April with the 31 year old former professional player recruiting a number of new players. They will be amongst the favourites for the SCEFL Premier for 22/23 so to play Step Four Sittingbourne was a very good test for them.
The Brickies finished in 10th place of the Isthmian South-East Division in the 21/22 campaign which was their best finish since 2012/13 when they finished 9th - Their manager Darren Blackburn who had been in charge since March 2020 left the club at the end of the season and has been replaced by Nick Davis.
Davis is a former Sittingbourne player and had been co-manager from September 2013 to July 2014 and as manager from October 2014 to January 2018. He has also been Manager of Ramsgate and was boss of VCD Athletic for the 20/21 and 21/22 seasons.
It was a very competitive game between two evenly matched teams with some tough tackles flying in at times.
Sittingbourne looked the more dangerous going forward and scored two goals in the second half both after good work on the left hand side of attack. The first was a driving run by Sittingbourne's second half substitute Henry Dajafungo who cut it back for another sub Harry Stannard to score from close range. Dajafungo then got a second goal from close range to make the score 0-2.
The home side played well but found former Romford and Coggeshall Town keeper Matt Cafer in good form in the Sittingbourne goal. It's the first time I've seen him play live and he looks a very good keeper - He's very good with the ball at his feet and distributes it well which will be a major plus for the Kent side this season.
It's early days of course but I would say both Glebe and Sittingbourne fans have much to look forward to for the forthcoming season.
Sittingbourne line up - Matt Cafer, Donvieve Jones, Ben Gorham, Harrison Pont, AJ Dyche, Matty Warner, Harry Miller, Alex Addai, Jimmy Witt, Bagasan Graham, Harry Harding.
Subs - Chris Elliot, Adbul Osman, Lewis Chambers, Harry Stannard, Henry Dajafungo.
At 3pm it was a very short stroll across to the adjoining sports ground past two cricket games which were also taking place to see a 'Bermondsey Derby' of sorts as Stansfeld hosted Bermondsey Town.
Stansfeld FC were established in 1897 as "Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club Football Club" by John Stansfeld who was a local Doctor and philanthropist. He started the Oxford Medical Mission in the Bermondsey Area along with the football club. In his later life he became an Anglican Priest and was the vicar of St Anne's Church in Bermondsey.
They played in the Kent County League until 2017 when they merged with Eltham Palace who were playing in the SCEFL Division One at Foxbury. They played under the name of Eltham Palace for the 16/17 season before being renamed Stansfeld FC from the 17/18 campaign.
They join Step Five football for the first time in their history following the Division One title win last season. The club operates further teams under the name of Stansfeld O&B in the Kent County League.
Bermondsey Town were formed in 2013 playing Sunday football and have since joined Saturday football playing in the Surrey South Eastern Combination and the Bromley and South London League were they finished 4th in the John Cooper Premier Division last season and have made the jump up to the SCEFL Division One for the 22/23 season. They currently groundshare with Fisher FC at their St Pauls Ground.
Like the previous game this was also a competitive one with both sides playing some good football. It was 0-0 at half time with Stansfeld taking the lead from a penalty in the second half. Credit to Bermondsey who equalised with a well taken goal from the edge of the box a short while later.
As it customary with pre-season games both sides made a number of changes in the second half with Stansfeld scoring two late goals to make the final score 3-1.
Check out the highlights of the Stansfeld v Bermondsey Town game below.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF STANSFELD v BERMONDSEY TOWN