The Rooks head to South Park on Tuesday night hoping to return to winning ways after two consecutive draws in the Bostik League South, which has given Corinthian Casuals the opportunity to leapfrog them into top spot in the table.
Darren Freeman has fielded the same starting XI in the last four Bostik League South games although there are a few players carrying knocks. Bouwe Bosma was forced off on Saturday after a late challenge by Thamesmead’s Leon Smith and will need assessing before the game, whilst Alex Malins is definitely out. Ronnie Conlon played with a strapping on his thigh on Saturday but came through the game without any problems, whilst Jonte Smith’s two goals will give Darren a selection headache.
How has this season been for South Park?
Inconsistent is the word that sums up their performance so far. They started the season with two wins, scoring nine goals without reply and then won three of their next four to be near the top of the table in the first few weeks. However, they have suffered some big defeats, none more so than the two games against Corinthian-Casuals which saw them ship 11 goals, whilst Brentwood Town scored seven against them in the FA Trophy. On Saturday they recorded an impressive 3-0 at Sittingbourne with prolific scorer Chris Smith bagging a couple.
They’s played the least amount of home games in the league so far, winning two and drawing two of their seven games at King George’s Field. Chris Smith and Jack Mazzone are the dangermen, having scored 21 goals between them so far this season.
How was last season?
South Park recorded another record breaking season, finishing in their
highest ever league position and reaching the Second Round of the FA Trophy
where they travelled to Prenton Park to play Tranmere Rovers. Manager Malcolm Porter will look to
strengthen his squad and keeping the never-say-die team spirit that took them
to success last season.
Isthmian League South Division – 8th – P 46 W 24 D 4 L 18 GS 95 GA 80 GD +15 PTS 76
FA Cup – Second Qualifying Round – lost at home
to Leiston 4-1
FA Trophy – Second Round – lost away to Tranmere
Surrey Senior Cup – Second Round – Lost away to
Isthmian League Cup – Semi-Final – Lost away to
Billericay Town 4-3
When did we last meet
It was a case of one win apiece last season, with both away sides coming
out on top. At the Pan in September the
Rooks took an early lead from an Alex Malins header but conceded three at the
other end, with the unfortunate Stacey Freeman putting through his own net
twice, sandwiched between a Kieran Lavery header.
After four postponements, the two sides finally met again in
March with the Rooks winning 3-0 in a stormy affair that saw Matthew George and
Kieran Lavery sent off and a host more players yellow carded. James Hammond scored
one of the goals of the season to open the scoring in the first half. Jonte Smith added a second before Hammo added
a third in injury time to keep the Rooks play-off challenge alive.
About King George’s
You certainly get the country feel at King George’s Field with rolling
hills on one side of the pitch and a cricket field at the north end. The ground has two small modern temporary
stands behind the south goal, with capacity for around 50 or 60 people, whilst
the modern changing room block offers some cover from the elements. There is a tea bar at the far end of this
building. The clubhouse is at the
entrance to the sports ground where the car park is – you are free to wander up
there at half time and re-enter the ground once fed and watered. It is a decent size affair with some good
beers and large screens with Sky Sports.
The ground is dominated by the huge tree behind one goal
that gives the club its badge.
How to get to King George’s
The best piece of advice I can give you is use your SatNav or Google
Maps! The ground is hard to reach once
you have left the M25 junction 8 and followed the A217 Reigate Hill down into
the Town Centre. Continue to follow signs
for the A217 as you go around the one-way system. The road will pair off to the left and follow
that the turning left into Bell Street.
After about a mile take a right into Park Lane East then the 6th road on
your left into Whitehall Lane and the ground will be on your right. Parking is available free of charge either on
the cricket pitch or in the tarmac car park.
Total travel time from Lewes is around 50 miles, approximately 38 miles
The nearest station is Reigate but it is a good 2-mile walk
so a taxi may be the best option. If you
are going to walk then head down London Road into the centre of Reigate, then
walk through the Castle Grounds and down the A217 straight ahead opposite the
Market Stores pub. Carry on for a mile
before you take a right into Park Lane East.
Then sixth left into Sandcross Lane and then take the right-hand fork
for Whitehall Lane and the ground. You
will need to make at least one change (Gatwick Airport) to reach Reigate –
travel time is around 80 minutes and will cost approximately £13.40 return.
Admission at King
Admission is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior
citizens, students and Under18s), and accompanied under 12s are admitted free.
Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is the Barley Mow in Eastnor Road, a few-minutes
walk from the ground. The best pub close
by is probably the Roe Deer in Croydon Road in the centre of Reigate, whilst
the Yew Tree on Reigate Hill is also worth a visit if coming by train. Next to the station is the Prince of Wales
which is a Shepherds Neame pub.
Kick-off on Tuesday night is 7:45pm.