Groundhopping

Gegenpress finding its way into the Ninth tier?…. Cobham FC v Spelthorne Sports

Hello! I’m back with another entry into my groundhopping diary, just three days after my last!

I absolutely love a bit of midweek non-league football action, so I decided that I would spend my Tuesday night at Cobham FC. I know Cobham very well, but I had no idea where their ground was before last night, but it is conveniently located just down the road from the Waitrose I have spent a lot of time in!

After a long days work, I was absolutely buzzing to whizz up the A3 and get my 79th ground under my belt, and after I had a lovely dinner (Pork Chops for those wondering) I was on my way.

Once I had picked up all my fellow Combined Counties enthusiasts, it was time to find this ground that I somehow had never noticed. Once we had parked up and walked to the Reg Madgewick stadium, it was just about time for kick off, which conveniently happened just as we came through the turnstile.

Just like Saturday in Portsmouth, I was greeted by a very friendly lady on the door and then a very friendly gentleman as we walked in, which is always nice.

That is probably one of my favourite things about non-league football to be honest, everyone seems genuinely happy to see you come along, and it is always nice to feel welcomed.

Anyway, we made our way to our viewing spot for the evening, which ended up being behind the goal on the far side of the ground, and it was from there where I witnessed one of the most impressive displays by a team at this level.

Our view for the evening

I should have mentioned earlier that this game was between Cobham and Spelthorne Sports, in the Combined Counties Premier Division, but it really could have been Liverpool v Arsenal from the night before!

From start to finish this game was full of intensity, quality and tenacity, most of this was delivered by Spelthorne, but Cobham played their part too.

The two teams played with pretty much opposite philosophies, the home side looked to keep the ball and methodically build up play, whilst the visitors wanted to win the ball high up and break at pace, which they managed to do with good effect especially in the second half.

The first half lacked any really clear cut chances, but The Spelly took the lead with an excellent finish from Lewis Flatman, who cut in from the right hand side of the box and curled in an excellent low finish.

Cobham really struggled to progress the ball up the pitch, and this was testament to Spelthorne’s spellbinding press. The work rate from the whole team was phenomenal and they made it so hard for Cobham to play through the lines, it really was straight out of the Jurgen Klopp manual.

I was fully expecting this high intensity game to stop after about an hour, as it normally does at this level of the game, but this was when the away side doubled their lead with another impressive goal, shows how much I know!

Spelthorne’s Conor Lee won the ball and drove into the box, shrugging off claims of handball, and he calmly slotted the ball into the net past the onrushing goalkeeper. This sparked wild celebrations from the whole team as they recognised that their hard work was not going to waste.

Spelthorne celebrate their victory

In truth they could have had two or three more as the second half went on as they started to really pick Cobham off on the counter. Some of the link up play between their forwards was sublime and they really stamped their authority on the match.

Their second half performance really was a joy to watch, even when they were cruising their standards did not drop, and they continued to put pressure on every Cobham player.

The home team had to feed off scraps for the majority of this game, but from where I was standing they didn’t actually play badly at all. It was so tough for them to beat the press of Spelthorne, but when they did they got in some promising positions but they just couldn’t quite find the final pass.

The final whistle blew at 2-0 to Spelthorne, and it was a comfortable win made possible but some excellent performances across the pitch meaning their keeper had almost nothing to do.

I would definitely say that both sides really contributed to a really pulsating evening of football, and I for one thoroughly enjoyed it.

Interestingly this is the first away win I have seen this year, so maybe this will turn the tide for 2020? Maybe only good things can happen in a year after I’ve seen an away win?

Hopefully!

Anyway, I was genuinely really impressed with Cobham FC and the Reg Madgewick stadium, they had a decent bar and it just really had the feel of a typical non-league ground, I will certainly be going back, hopefully to see a win for the Hammers!

I would be very surprised if Spelthorne don’t make a decent challenge at the top of the Combined Counties this year, especially if they play like that every week, but we all know how unpredictable football is…

That’s all for today’s blog!

Make sure you go and follow us on Twitter @GroundhoppersG1 and share the post!

  • GROUND: Reg Madgewick Stadium
  • GAME: Cobham FC 0-2 Spelthorne Sports
  • COMPETITION: Combined Counties Premier Division
  • GROUND NUMBER: 79
  • WOULD I GO BACK: 100%!
  • TICKET PRICE: £7
  • HOPPER: George

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