The Rooks heads off to Crayford on Saturday looking to retain their unbeaten league record and their top of the table spot. Darren once again has a strong squad to choose from with the only injury doubt being Jamie Brotherton who was rested against East Grinstead Town last Saturday. Whilst Charlie Coppola limped off in the first half last week, he is in contention for a start again.
How’s this season been for VCD?
It’s been a mixed bag for VCD so far. After losing their first three games, they bounced back with strong performances against Ashford United, Thamesmead Town and Walton Casuals, then losing five in a row. In their last Bostik League game they gained a very credible 3-3 draw against Whyteleafe. Last Saturday they exited the FA Trophy with a home defeat against Bedfont Sports.
They come into the game in 12th place, having won four, drawn one and lost six so far. Their home form is won 2, drawn 1 and lost 3 scoring 11 and conceding 16. We currently have the best away record in the division, having won four and drawn one of our five games on the road so far, scoring ten and conceding four.
The man to watch is Kemo Darboe who has scored nine so far this season including one last week against Whyteleafe.
How was last season?
After relegation from the Premier Division at the end of 2016, VCD struggled
to make an impact on the Isthmian North league last season, averaging just over
a goal a game. They failed to score in
nineteen of their league games, including a long run in midseason without a
goal. They were the 0-0 draw
specialists, recording eight in the league.
As at the time of writing Keith McMahon has not announced any new
signings although expect to see some familiar names who seem to do the circuit
of Kent-based clubs in time for the new season.
Isthmian League North Division – 15th – P 46 W 15 D 11 L 20 GS 53 GA 76 GD -23 PTS 56
FA Cup – Second Qualifying Round – Lost away to
Egham Town 2-1
FA Trophy – First Qualifying Round – Lost away
to Ware 3-1
Kent Senior Cup – Quarter Final – Lost away to
Dover Athletic 4-0
Isthmian League Cup – First Round – Lost away to
Chatham Town 1-0
When did we last meet
We met VCD Athletic in the 2015/16 season when we both ended up being
relegated from the Isthmian Premier League.
In our first meeting of the season we drew 0-0 at Oakwood then in the
return game at the Pan we were leading 2-0 until a poor refereeing decision led
to a red card for Lloyd Cotton for handball and VCD took advantage with our
bogeyman (we have a few to be fair) Rikki Sappleton scoring twice to give the
visitors a share of the points. In fact,
in our four meetings with VCD, we’ve yet to beat them with three games ending
Oakwood is a great little ground, set in a natural reserve in and among the
spreading commuter belt of South-East London.
You enter at the highest level of the ground and a long path takes you
down to a small covered stand. Views from the terrace as you enter are great
and in the sunshine there’s few better places to watch the game. Apart from the covered stand it’s hard
standing for the rest of the ground. The
teams enter the battle field through a long-fenced area connected to an old
cricket pavilion. In the distance you
can see (and often hear) the ground of Phoenix Sports, their local neighbours
and friendly rivals. There’s a club
house outside the turnstiles which is accessible at half-time.
How to get to Oakwood
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 0.8
miles turn right onto Old Road and the ground is 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.
Nearest station is Crayford which is served by trains from
London Charing Cross and London Bridge on the Dartford line via Sidcup. Exit
the station via Station Road and at the roundabout take the 1st exit and follow
the A207. Continue onto Crayford High Street (A2000) and then continue onto Old
Road. The ground will be on the right-hand side. It’s about a 20-minute walk
with a nice uphill slog towards the end.
Caution – don’t be fooled by the floodlights you can see from the
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
Admission at Oakwood
Admission is £9 for Adults, £5 for Concessions and free for Under16s.
Crayford 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.