Darren Freeman’s squad head to the suburbs on Saturday for their first ever league meeting at Phoenix Sports. Last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Greenwich Borough took the Rooks back to the top of the league, after a week’s hiatus due to the Carshalton Athletic game being postponed. It was a well deserved, if hard fought win although another clean sheet, the fifteenth of the campaign so far, keeps our title as the best defensive record in the league.
Few fans will need reminding of our one and only trip to Phoenix Sports, back in September 2015, when Steve Brown’s side lamely went down 2-0 to Sports in the FA Cup. Since that day the Rooks have suffered relegation whilst Sports have been shunted from the North Division to the South.
After a positive start that saw Phoenix Sports win three of their first four games and climb to fourth in the table, their season has been a real mix of inconsistency. Impressive wins on the road at Whyteleafe, Corinthian-Casuals and Hythe Town have been tempered by with home defeats to East Grinstead Town, Faversham Town and South Park. For the best part of December and January they actually sat in 7th place, still holding onto the chance of a Play-off spot but four defeats in their last five has seen them fall away. Last Saturday they went down 2-1 to Horsham, whilst their last home game saw them lose 5-2 to Whyteleafe. Their record so far this season against the top six has been mixed – they have taken four points off Corinthian-Casuals and two from Carshalton Athletic but overall only 7 points from those 11 games, including the 1-0 defeat to The Rooks back in November. They have recently lost impressive wide-midfielder and goalscorer Christie Pattison to Carshalton Athletic.
Darren has the luxury of choosing from the same squad as last weekend with Matty George continuing to make good progress and likely to be named on the bench again. Alex Malins and Stacey Freeman both continue their rehabilitation. Top scorer Billy Medlock will be looking to break his 2017 goal-drought that has seen him go 7 games without finding the net against one of this former sides. The Rooks have the joint best away record in the league, although have played one less game than Corinthian-Casuals, having won ten and drawn three of our seventeen games on the road so far.
Our last meeting – November 2017
The Rooks ground out a 1-0 win back in November at the Pan on a damp and dismal night with Charlie Coppola’s first half cross-shot securing all three points.
About Phoenix Sports Ground
The ground is modest to say the least with two small covered newish stands on one side and hard standing around the rest of the pitch. There is a well-appointed club house behind the south goal and food is services from a hatch next door.
How to get to The Phoenix Sports Ground
Head up the A23/M23 then anti-clockwise on the M25 until junction 1A. Then take the A206 exit. At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A206 and follow this for 3.1 miles. At the roundabout with the A2000 take the 2nd exit onto Perry Street, then after 0.4 miles turn right onto Mayplace Road East. Carry on over the roundabout and then you will see the ground on the right. Distance from Lewes is around 70 miles and should take around 75 minutes. There’s a small car park at the ground otherwise it is free street parking.
The nearest station is Barnehurst which is served by trains from London Charing Cross and London Bridge on the Dartford line via Bexleyheath. Come out of the station, turn left and follow Barnehurst Road for half a mile before turning left into Maypole Road East. The ground is half a mile down the road on your left-hand side.
Alternatively, you could arrive via Crayford on the Sidcup line from London Charing Cross and London Bridge. Exit the station via Station Road and at the roundabout take the 1st exit and follow the A207. Continue onto Crayford High Street (A2000). At the roundabout go north into Perry Street then take the first left into Manor Road. Follow until the end then turn left into Mayplace Road East and the ground is on your right. It’s about a 25-minute walk with a nice uphill slog towards the end. Caution – don’t be fooled by the floodlights you can see from Crayford station – that’s Crayford Stadium, home of the greyhound racing track. However, they are open for racing on a Saturday morning from 10.30am and do an excellent breakfast and entrance is free.
Admission at The Phoenix Sports Ground
Admission this season is £9 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior citizens, students and Under18s), and accompanied under16s are free.
Fancy a beer?
If you come via Crayford then you are in luck as it is blessed with some decent pubs, none more so than the excellent micro-pub, the Penny Farthing on Waterside. As you walk up towards the ground then the Dukes Head and the One Bell are also worth a stop if the walk uphill is proving too much of a challenge. If you come via Barnehurst then The Red Barn is on the way from the station to the ground. The Prince Albert in Bexleyheath Broadway is also recommended although a little bit of a trek away.