Next at the Grove

We host Forest Row in our next SCFL game this Wednesday at Fetcham Grove, Home of Leatherhead FC.

After playing ‘The Frow’ three times last season, you would say we are familiar opponents, but like us, with several changes coming in and out of their squad this should be a great game.

Why not join us at the Grove for our first mid-week game under the lights?

Up and Running

Up and Running

Another difficult fixture faced us today with an away game at last year’s play-off semi-finalists, Seaford Town. And for our supporters the second long journey in a week. When we arrived a similar pitch awaited us with hotter temperatures than last week.

Our formation changed slightly from last week’s defeat and we found ourselves behind after 6 minutes to a goal from Seaford after a smart turn and finish from their striker; it was not the start we were looking for. However, we were soon back on level terms after a great finish from Jubril Adamson who beat their central defenders for pace and left the goalkeeper flat-footed as the ball nestled in the net. Only a few minutes later we were ahead after a superb volleyed finish from Tiago Andrade; the ball fell to him on the edge of the penalty box and his finish was sublime, again the goalkeeper had no chance with the shot. 

For the rest of the first half, no team really got into the ascendency and it was being played out in searing heat even though there were plenty of opportunities for the players to take water breaks either official or unofficial, the game took on an attritional sense.

We entered the dressing room at halftime with that precious halftime lead. The heat never dissipated throughout the whole match and with the hard pitch, there was little chance of a free-flowing game. The second half produced very few chances for either side and all the players who took part should be congratulated for playing in the intense heat.

So we registered our first win of the season at a very tough place to go. The team played well and showed incredible game management to see the game out in the latter stages. 

We move to our next fixture at home to Forest Row this coming Wednesday; it would be great to see a good attendance as we try to build on this success. Come on you Salts

Tiago Andrade looks to add to our lead in the first half.

Not the start we wanted…

This season’s opener saw us travel to a fellow playoff participant from last season, Shoreham FC. We traveled with some optimism after a good pre-season; however, it was not the start that we were looking for.

The pitch was, as many pitches will be at this time of the season after the drought we have all been suffering, not conducive to free-flowing football.

We started with the same formation we had been using during pre-season and as predicted it was challenging for either team to get a foothold in the game.

We started on the front foot and should have been two-nil up early on after two opportunities falling to Athan Smith-Joseph who was unable to trouble the Shoreham goalkeeper. Firstly, after a great run from Smith-Joseph, he couldn’t hit the target. This was followed up when the ball dropped at his feet from a corner but again couldn’t direct the ball on target.

In the 9th minute, we fell behind after a mix-up in the defence, and Shoreham’s number 11 (Heath) was able to pass the ball into the net from 18-yards. As the half was coming to a close we fell further behind after another mix-up between our goalkeeper and center-back. This was never a good time to concede and on the balance of play was harsh.

The second half was predominately played in the Shoreham half with the home side’s game plan to defend at all costs. However, midway through the second half, we did score what was felt to be a legitimate goal but was ruled out for offside. It was tight, but this time the goal was ruled out.

We had a late sight at goal as Richard Pingling caught the ball sweetly 20 yards out, only for the ball to crash off the crossbar and behind. 

As the game wore on Shoreham were reduced to relying on numerous breakouts from defence and in the 91st minute, it proved successful as Ross Myers passed the ball into the empty net after a quick counterattack.

Of course, it is very disappointing to lose on the first game of the season and yes, there is a lot to do on the training pitch before our next match, which will be an equally challenging away trip to Seaford Town. However, you cannot win the ‘league on the first day of the season’. We need to regroup and learn from this defeat and move forward.

FA Promotion & Relegation Process Announced

The FA have published the promotion and relegation protocol for the non-league pyramid and we are as we were last season.

2 will be promoted from the Southern Combination League Division One. The eventual Champions and the winner of a four-place play-off.

Last season, Champions Roffey and play-off winners Midhurst & Easebourne were the first teams to go up in this fashion.