Chips rarely threatened the Stones goal.
By David Barber - Monday, 10 September, 2012
The superfan saw more FA Cup action at the weekend.
My FA Cup journey this season has now taken me to all four corners of Godalming. I’ve already seen ties at Wembley (two), Wokingham, Barking, Warlingham, Redhill, Uxbridge, Chipstead and Godalming. That’s nine matches in the current competition and 413 altogether.
Saturday’s First Round Qualifying tie was played in the Surrey village of Chipstead, an eleven-minute train ride from Purley. To get to the Chips’ ground in High Road I had to walk across a golf course – looking right and left all the time – and then along a winding country lane with huge tractors coming round every blind corner.
I think I did well to make it to the ground in one piece. Chipstead and Maidstone United are level on points in the Isthmian League’s Division One South but it was by no means a close game. The Stones scored twice in each half in their 4-0 victory and could have had a few more. Walking round during the interval, I bumped into a former FA colleague who is now retired and watched the second half with him.
I’d never been to Godalming Town before. I’m not sure why. Their Cup match yesterday was a 2pm kick-off against Dulwich Hamlet, a club with a great history, and it drew a crowd of 311.
I’ve never owned – or ever expect to own – a mobile phone, iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPlod (for police use), Blackberry, Cranberry or Gooseberry. The person sitting next to me on the train to Farncombe was texting and didn’t stop for a second during a journey that lasted 48 minutes. Is that normal?
Sitting directly behind us was a lady with her young daughter who had the same name as a famous football team. Here’s a clue: it was either ‘Chelsea’ or ‘West Bromwich Albion’.
The walk from Farncombe station to Godalming’s Wey Court ground took just seven minutes. They’d enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, with a 100 per cent record in the Southern League’s Division One Central, and they started very promisingly against Hamlet. A couple of headers cleared the bar by inches but it was the visitors who took a 23rd-minute lead, their left-back striking a peach of a shot from distance.
Godalming were level before half-time and went 2-1 up with one of the best free-kicks I’ve seen in years. A substitute defender, Antonio Simeone, hit a left-footer that looked to be going high and wide but at the last moment curled into the far top corner. The bemused ‘keeper didn’t seem to move at all. Hamlet’s attempts to save the tie were frustrated until an 88th-minute penalty handed them a lifeline. One of their subs blasted it home and there’ll be a replay tomorrow.
I would normally go but England v Ukraine at Wembley takes precedence.
Games this season = 28
Games in total = 6,323
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