Molesey Preview

Wendesday night’s defeat against Dorking Wanderers hurt. It was the first time we had lost back to back league games since September, albeit we have just played the top two in the division who between them have only lost 11 times in 70 games. Ironically, our best form this season has come away from The Dripping Pan where we have taken more than 50% of our points and have the fifth best record in the league. That form will be put to the test as we head to Molesey on Saturday followed by the re-arranged trip to South Park on Monday.

Darren still has injury concerns over Jamie Brotherton (calf) and Ronnie Conlon, whilst Lloyd Cotton is suspended (corrected). Matt George suffered a minor ankle knock on Wednesday night but will be fit for Saturday, as too will Charlie Coppola as the Rooks go looking for three vital points to pull themselves back into the play-off race.

How’s this season been for Molesey?
Molesey come into the game in 19th place in the league on 33 points, 11 clear of the relegation places and probably with enough of a gap to not be thinking about the drop.  Since we played them in November they’ve won four times but also been involved in some remarkable games including a 5-4 last gasp win against Hastings United and a 8-2 defeat at Tooting & Mitcham United.  At home they have won five games this season and drawn eight.  They’ve averaged two goals per game at Walton Road, conceding almost as many.  They’ve conceded 86 league goals so far, the fifth most in the league.

When did we last play Molesey?
Few will forget the game at the Pan back in November when somehow the match was allowed to be played to a finish despite the pitch becoming unplayable and both sides questioning the referee’s decision to continue.  During the dry first half Lewes looked in total control, scoring twice thanks to a Jamie Brotherton penalty on ten minutes and then a Jonté Smith strike on 38 minutes.  However, after the break the rain started to fall in monsoon proportions, making the playing surface like a paddling pool.  Molesey got themselves back into the game in the 65th minute when Ashley Lodge scored and then ten minutes later Tom Windsor equalised.  Even then, with both benches calling for the referee to abandon the game, the man in charge continued, playing no additional time at the 90.

Last Six Games (League only)

Lewes     W 2 D 1 L 3 GS 9 GA 12 PTS 7
Molesey  W 2 D 0 L 4 GS 6 GA 16 PTS 6

About The Walton Road Stadium
The ground sits in the middle of a residential area although the tall trees on two sides give it a real rural feel.  Facilities are relatively basic with one main stand which houses the offices and the bar (no alcohol outside though) and a couple of covered stands behind each goal.

For those who like a bit of Non-League trivia then The Walton Road Stadium was used as the location for the football club in the film Bend It Like Beckham.

How to get to The Walton Road Stadium
For those who have made the journey to either Hampton & Richmond Borough or Metropolitan Police over the past few seasons then you are just a mile or so from Moseley, which sits almost equidistant between the two grounds as the crow flies.

Head around the M25 until junction 10 with the A3 then head London bound.  After a couple of miles take the exit for the A244 and head towards Esher.  When you get to the junction with the A307 turn right and head towards Sandown Park racecourse.  At the Scilly Island roundabouts head north on the A309 towards Hampton Court.  At the roundabout with Embercourt Road, turn left and then right at the end of the road (opposite Imber Court) into Ember Lane.  This then becomes Esher Lane.  Once you cross the River Ember/Mole turn left into Walton Road and the ground is a few hundred yards down the road on the right hand side.  There’s plenty of free street parking around the ground.  Journey time from Lewes is about an hour and 15 minutes for the 58 mile each way trip.

Bear in mind there is a big meeting at Kempton Park Racecourse from 12pm so traffic may be busy if you are approaching from the north of the Thames or via the M3.

The nearest station is Hampton Court which is a ten minute walk away.  Come out of the station and cross the main road and head down Bridge Road.  Follow that until the junction with Walton Road and then follow that until you see the ground on the left hand side.  Alternatively, Esher is about a twenty minute walk.  Head north on Ember Lane, following it around the right hand bend then to the left, past Imber Court.  Then as driving instructions.  Hampton Court is in Zone 6 (about an hour and 45 minutes with a change at Clapham Junction – £23.50) whilst Esher (slightly longer journey by 5 minutes but more trains from Clapham Junction – £28.70) is actually one stop outside the zonal map.

Admission at The Walton Road Stadium
Admission this season is £8 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior citizens, students and Under18s), and accompanied under 18s are charged £2.

Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is the Poyntz Arms which is a Shepherds Neame pub which looks a bit dodgy from the outside but is decent inside.  The Albion Hotel in Bridge Road is popular and does have a couple of ales on tap whilst the Bell is just off Esher Road in Bell Road if you are coming that way.  Esher has some decent pubs such as The Bear whilst close to Imber Court is Marney’s Village Inn which is very popular.