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... and he's previewing the 2004-05 season


In his own inimitable way. He's abusive, he's mis-informed, and he talks b*llocks, and that's why we love him! Remember to check his other mis-deeds out here


Billericay - Folkestone Hampton - Northwood Salisbury - Yeading


Billericay Town

‘Ricay hail from Essex. Not the scuzzy bit near Romford, but near the posh bit where all the Cockernee Gangsta types retire to when the boy done good drive their 4x4s and get shot in country lanes. Never been myself, but I understand that they’re a lively bunch who have a healthy hatred of Aldershot.

Braintree Town

The Iron’s club shop sells Groundtastic magazine. That’s it – you don’t need another reason to go.

Chelmsford City

Sound so grandiose with the suffix “City”, don’t they? Well, I’ve got some news for you – you’re not a city, you’re a suburb of Brentwood, you slaaaggg. That’s thing with Essex, you’ve gotta talk da talk. Groundshare with ‘Ricay.


This lot play in orange and threw away the Northern Division to Yeading. Don’t know anything else about them apart from they play somewhere above London and under the rainbow. I’ll let you know if I find anything else out.

Dover Athletic

They could have been a contender. Went as high as third in the big non-league league, lost an FA Cup Replay to the Rebels on their own patch, then it all went pear. Have a big support, and a nice ground (The Crabble) perched on the side of a small mountain in suburban Dover.


A small-town side who have benefited from a large cash injection, and the know-how of ex-Saints substitute David Hughes (a man who once said of Ken Monkou on local radio “sometimes you wish he’d just open up his legs and go for it”). They play at Ten Acres, handy for Southampton Airport and the M27, and not too far away from The Cricketers, where a certain Horseman used to drink in his college days…

Folkestone Invicta

With two bars in opposite corners, a proper walk-in club shop, cover behind one goal and a steep terrace behind the other – I could be in love. A lovely ground, but no so much fun when you’re losing 4-0 on a Monday (yes, Monday) night, all because your goalkeeper has forgotten what he’s wearing gloves for. A fair trek, but could be handy as a staging post for a Saturday night jaunt to France.

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Hampton & Richmond

Like something out of a Carry On film, the Beaver’s play just next to Bushy Park, along the road from Hampton Wick. Draught Budweiser and nice burgers are a saving grace, as the small stand behind the goal seems prone to attracting the local village idiots trying to goad visiting fans. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see Bertie Beaver (or his sister, Betty) on the pitch before the game.

Harrow Borough

Not renowned for having a big fan base, Harrow share their “borough” with Wealdstone, who seem to attract the louder fans. A non-descript team, with non-descript things to say about. I have heard it’s on the hill, though.


They bottled from going up to the Conference South, letting Basingstoke off the hook. I’m not sure where I’d rather have gone: Hampshire’s roundabout capital, or the home to the Met Police’s college? We played them a few years ago in the showpiece competition that was the Puma Cup, losing narrowly to a late goal – unfortunately for Hendon, since then, they have failed to capitalise properly on that glorious success and didn’t use it as the springboard it should have been. We were also the victims of a Walter Mitty character claiming to have been Hendon chairman a few seasons ago – but don’t let that prejudice our views of them! Their ground has hosted TV cameras recently with Bravo’s Fash FC, but they are planning to move somewhere else soon – just make sure you turn up at the right ground!

Heybridge Swifts

Way, way out in the Essex swamps, on the very eastern edge of the British Isles (it’s practically Belgium!) lies a little town called Maldon. Just a little bit north of there, on the way towards Tiptree (where they make jam, apparently) is a tiny village called Heybridge. And on the outskirts of that village is a football ground, home to Heybridge Swifts: a Barton Rovers for a new generation. A friendly enough bunch, they hosted Worthing in an epic FA Cup tie last season – a lovely bar and a nice covered terrace down the far end. Mind and get your Aftershock orders in early this time – they’d run dry of red by half-time!


Kingstonian fans still seem to be under the delusion that they are still a big club, as evidenced by them singing “what’s it like to see a crowd” at last season’s league cup (crowd: 300). A woefully inept surrender to Lewes in the play-off final means they will be slumming it with us oiks. Used to have a nice ground, but are now squatting in it. Nice big bar, mind. Made it to Wembley two years in succession with the Trophy, and finished third in the Conference one.


B*ggered if I know anything about this lot. They’ve probably changed names a dozen times in the last ten years, which is what makes all these East London clubs with about 20 fans so tricky to pin down. Expect them to be called something like “Stratford Woods” or “Becontree, Upminster and Wanstead Avenue” by around Christmas.


We continue our tour of posh London suburbs (no, I’m not still talking about Leyton) with this visit to Pinner. A small ground next to a cemetery – which always boasts far more atmosphere than the "stadium" itself. One of those clubs that suffers from having a bar in the car park, rather than en suite, and a small one it is two. Have a pedigree for unearthing useful players and selling them on (Yaku, Fitzgerald) – whether this will continue now their old manager’s moved on is yet to be seen.

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Salisbury City

In a straw poll of “the best places to get smashed off your face drinking scrumpy and annoying the locals by constantly singing Wurzels songs in the Isthmian Premier”, Salisbury edged into first place. Expect to see at least one Worthing fan smashed off his face on scrumpy singing about his brand new combine harvester then. Tragically, as is the case with oh so many Southern League clubs, the stadium is a monument to the medium of breezeblock. And only has two sides. And is quite a way out of the town. Still, Salisbury has the biggest Waitrose known to man – bear in mind the parking’s a problem though, with all those Massey Fergusons in the way.

Slough Town

Come lovely bombs and fall on Slough… well, almost. It was bulldozers that put an end to Sluff’s old home, and they now squat at Stag Meadow in nearby Windsor. They were quite handy last season, scoring silly amounts of goals, but they now have to build a new strikeforce.

Staines Town

No matter how many times they wash those shirts, they still have “Staines” on the chest! Ho, ho, ho – it’s the way I type ‘em. Staines play at the Wembley of Middlesex. Oh, okay, Wembley is in Middlesex. Well, you know what I mean. They actually play on a rough patch of grass next to a grazing paddock for horses, a bit of corrugated iron covering some rough stone steps, and a ridiculously posh “health and lifestyle” club, with plasma screens in the bar and over-priced Guinness. Strangely only choosing to put seats in one-third of the available stand space, they’ve still had the blind optimism to build a ticket office window. They’ve got a lovely shed for their tractor, too,

Tonbridge Angels

Not Tunbridge as in Wells, but the place next door. No idea where the "Angels" bit comes from, unless they go in for Corinthian-esque tactics of missing penalties and the like. All I know is this is likely to be our Boxing Day/Easter Monday derby, and therein lies a problem – do we go via Lewes or up to the M25? Hardly going to conjour up the intense rivalry of the games against the Green Slime, or the frenzied vitriol of recent games against the Pikies, is it? They get big crowds, even bigger than us, so there must be quite a few of them.


So, the league pits us against the toilet-smashing, seat-ripping, gutter-tearing, baby-eating Wealdstone again. Actually, things might be a bit nicer now – the Stones are moving to shiny new lego-brick ground at Prince Edwards Playing Fields, and have old rivalries to renew with the likes of Hendon and Harrow, and a Worthing supporters team duly trooped up to north-west London last summer to be summarily humiliated by all-comers in a Stones’ run tournie. Here’s to sharing a few real ales at several of fine establishments in the town.

Windsor & Eton

Had Div 1 South in the bag, then threw it away big time. Do a nice line in big bald thugs at centre back. The ground and the bar aren’t up to much, but there’s plenty of fun to be had in the town itself. Two stalemates last season, when the Rebels really should have won both of them – could be a close thing again this year, but I can’t see the Royalists sustaining any challenge in this higher league. Prince Phillip HRH is their President – wonder if we’ll see him in the pie queue at half-time?


Err, that’s us, you muppet. What do you need to know about us for? Surely you know enough already, dontcha?


Rhymes with Reading (the party capital of the Home Counties) rather than reading (what sultry librarian types do), and play at the bottom end of an industrial estate, where pizza delivery boys fear to tread. Apparently, their clubhouse makes a fortune doing lunches out of all the film luvvies and act-tors (dahling!) who hang around the industrial units opposite, but I can’t see it myself. The Gents toilet window is handily placed for keeping an eye on the action if you’re the right height. I like to think of it as my own personal Executive Box.

Cheshunt – nope. Didn’t find anything else out.

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7th Feb 2004