First electronic bulletin
Issue 13 AUGUST 2002
Sorry for the lengthy delay in bringing out this last issue for the 2001/2 season. Not only have I been very busy at work, I am also trying to move house – combine that with the onset of the cricket season and watching the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games and I have had even less spare time than normal.
One benefit of this delay is that I am now able to bring you the fixture list for 2002/3. Also, in the FA Trophy we have been drawn at home to Harrow Borough and, in the Surrey Senior Cup, away to Walton & Hersham. We are exempt for one qualifying round in the FA Cup.
Summary 11th in Ryman League Premier Div.
Winners Suburban League Champions Cup
Surrey Premier Cup
Southern Youth League
Four home games were arranged:
10th July v AFC WIMBLEDON W 4-0
16th July v LEICESTER CITY L 0-4
18th July v BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION L 0-1
10th Aug v CRYSTAL PALACE XI
As you may have seen on TV or in they papers, July 10th was the first ever game for the new AFC Wimbledon club, formed by disillusioned followers of Wimbledon FC. They are going to ground-share at Kingstonian and have been elected into the Combined Counties League. This friendly attracted the unbelievable gate of just over 4600, and it was an extraordinary night.
EARLY SEASON FIXTURES
17 Aug H Hampton & Richmond
20 Aug A Grays Athletic
24 Aug A Bedford Town
26 Aug H Harrow Borough
31 Aug A Canvey Island
03 Sep H Ford United
07 Sep A Billericay Town
10 Sep H Chesham United
14 Sep A Kingstonian
21 Sep H Aylesbury United
24 Sep A Heybridge Swifts
This is a really clever mid-week fixture, well done the computer !
There is now a web-site dedicated to this former players’ association. The address is: www.communigate.co.uk/london/sufcfpa
In addition to newsletters, I will also put brief match reviews on the site during the season and any other news items. You will still receive your printed newsletter.
Our 2-2 draw with Billericay preceded one of the strangest matches of recent years. We began brightly at home to Grays in the league cup and could easily have been three up before they mounted a worthwhile attack. As it was, they opened the scoring after 15 minutes and missed a couple more, whilst we missed another hatful before Rob Haworth's equaliser. 1-1 at half time but it could easily have been 6-3. We began the second half in similar fashion but were left reeling after three goals in five minutes. Even then we still continued t o waste chances as Grays ran out 7-1 winners, our heaviest competitive home defeat in recent memory. It has to be said, that despite our bright spells we were well and truly beaten and our defence resembled an Afghan tribesman facing a cruise missile.
Sanity was restored when Westfield visited us in the Surrey Senior Cup. They put all eleven players behind the ball and worked hard to limit our space. We didn't play well though, after 1 2-week lay off, but were not in any trouble and won 2-0 with strikes from Haworth and Akuahmoah. The trip to Bedford, our first visit there, started badly when the coach failed to arrive. On a blustery day we defended much better than of late and were well worth a 1-0 win, courtesy of Scott Corbett's 52nd minute strike, although Haworth also missed from the spot.
We won 2-1 at home at Maidenhead with late goals from Mison and Timothy, it was an entertaining U’s performance marred by the absence of any adventure from the visitors, who got close to an undeserved victory. Corbett and Wingfield then hit the target in a 2-1 win over Basingstoke, who looked a shadow of the team they had been in September. We drew 2-2 away to a physical Enfield team (Corbett and Haworth) before our youngsters got over-exposed away to Hitchin. We played well without taking our chances and could not cope physically on defence, with Haworth and Akuahmoah netting in a 4-2 reverse. More embarrassing was a 3-0 home defeat by Tooting & Mitcham in the Surrey Senior Cup, when the first goal seemed to decide the game and they emphasised the difference with two late strikes.
After a scrappy game, the last place you want to go is Croydon Sports Arena, so that’s where we headed on the Saturday, on a day dominated by near gale-force winds. Eddie Akuahmoah’s tap-in opener saw him sustain what appeared to be a really painful injury (later revealed as a back spasm) and after a 10-minute delay Croydon equalised within 5 seconds of the re-start. Matt Fowler netted a late winner. Phil Wingfield and Matt Gray wee on target in a 2-1 win over Hendon before we embarked upon another disastrous run, ending the season as we began it by going ten games without a win.
Defeat at home to champions-elect Gravesend, by 1-0, was not a disgrace nor a surprise, and we were a shade unlucky in losing by the same score at Aldershot, where youth teamer Nick Bailey made a big impression. We lost 2-0, at Chesham, where it was encouraging to see six teenagers on the field at the same time. We then entertained Kingstonian with what is believed to be perhaps the youngest team we have ever fielded. 0-0 was a fair result but our kids looked the more advanced. We then dominated the possession at Heybridge, but did not create a single chance and lost 2-0. We would have lost in the return against K’s as well, if it hadn’t been for Akuahmoah’s wonder-goal, a mazy individual effort, that salvaged a late draw. We drew 0-0 at home to Purfleet and lost 2-0 at St Albans before travelling to title-chasers Canvey Island. The home team were nervous, but it has to be said that our young side rose to the occasion. We went behind to a dodgy penalty, deservedly levelled through Haworth and then saw Tommy Dunn save another spot-kick, before Matt Gray twice roasted their defence only to see the chances go begging. We ended with two homes games. Against the strongest-ever Grays side it ended 2-2, Mison and Gray finding the net, before we finally ended our sequence in our last home game, beating Hampton & Richmond 2-0. It must be said that our visitors were very poor, but we fully deserved our win with goals by Gray and Haworth.
We then entertained Middlesex Wanderers in a memorial game for Ralph Carr.
We have two new lotteries helping to raise income:
THE GREAT WEATHER GAME costs just £1/week, payable by standing order, with daily chances to win up to £10,000, and…LUCKY STRIKER , which runs like the 200 Club, It costs £5/month to enter, payable annually in advance by cheque or by standing order. If you would like to help us by entering either lottery, please call me to ask for an entry form.
Despite JR's pre-season hopes, this season was over before it had started and soon became a relatively risk-free opportunity to give valuable experience to our highly promising group of youngsters. It should be borne in mind that at least three and up to seven of these players were with the first team squad at all times, meaning that the reserve and youth teams were also forced to call on players that were young and inexperienced even by their needs.
It is therefore all the more praiseworthy to record the achievements of this group of players, many of whom featured regularly in both the reserve and youth teams:
Suburban League Premier Division: 3rd
Suburban League Champions' Cup: Winners
Surrey Premier Cup: Winners
Southern Youth League, Central Division: Winners
Southern Youth League overall Champions (after play-offs)
FA Youth Cup 3rd round, with wins away to Plymouth Argyle and Cardiff City
This eruption of youth was personified by Paul Honey who, at 19, was voted Player of the Year by the Supporters and the Football Club and also won the Ralph Carr Young Player of the Year Award. Other award winners were:
Reserve Team Player of the Year Darren Beale
Youth Team Player of the Year Nick Bailey
Clubman of the Year Clive Soper
Although Paul Honey was not qualified to play youth football this season, his success aged just is clear justification of the faith being put into this section of the club. Matt Gray played the second half of the season in the first team, where he was later joined on a regular basis by Nick Bailey and Nick Drew. Graham Tydeman also featured. After capturing the Central Division title for the 3rd year in a row, the play-offs saw us capture the overall Southern Youth League championship for the first time since 1989. Many of the squad will still be eligible for youth football next season and there are more promising players in the under 16s and under 17s.
Following the success of an ad hoc side earlier this year, it has been decided to enter a Veterans XI in the Surrey Over-35s cup next season, under the guidance of John Rains. Let me know if you would like to be considered.
If any of you are on e-mail and don't mind giving me your address, I will list them in the next issue to enable you to contact each other directly. I will also be able to send out additional news via e-mail. You can e-mail me on
The first response I have had is from John Faulkner at email@example.com
WHERE ARE THEY NOW ?
Keith Waldon is now working for the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), although we doubt his salary compares with Chairman Gordon Taylor’s !
Although we are still lacking the finer details, the prolonged FA exercise to establish what structure the clubs would like for the non-League Pyramid has finally produced a result. In typical FA fashion though, the “winning” option did not even receive the most votes ! That honour went to the creation of two new divisions below the Conference, but the FA considered that the number of yes votes in favour was insufficient to support such a radical change. (This was never talked about in advance, though). So we are ending up with change without change. ie the retention of the three feeder leagues but with defined boundaries between the Southern and Isthmian Leagues and, hence, the movement of several clubs between these leagues. The boundaries, of course, haven’t been announced and already the Southern League is unhappy at the prospect of losing several top clubs (presumably Dover, Crawley & Welling).
With a small surplus collected over three years, the SUFPA will not charge a membership fee this season !