Here we go again with another groundhopping blog, this weekend it was time to tick Kiln Brow, the home of the Lobsters, Redhill FC.
I have had quite an FA Vase themed week! From the current holders Chertsey on Tuesday, to my first game of this years Vase between Redhill and Raynes Park Vale on Saturday…
I was thoroughly excited to be going to another cup tie as there is always something palpably different about cup games in England, whether it’s the FA Cup, League Cup, FA Trophy or FA Vase, there is just that atmosphere that everyone wants to win, badly.
It is over a year since I last went to a cup game, when Corinthian Casuals upset Chelmsford City in an FA Cup qualifier, but this time there was not much scope for an upset, as we had two sides in the same division (the Combined Counties Premier).
Anyway, we made our way through Dorking and Reigate (two places that I’m not particularly familiar with so it was nice to drive through them) and made it to the ground at what I would say is the perfect time.
We were in at 14:35, which gave us time to get some food, find our position for the game and take in the ground before kick off, so I will make a note that 25 minutes is the optimum amount of time to spend in a ground before Kick off!
My first impression of Redhill FC is that it is a lovely little club. We received another nice welcome, along with an excellent programme that I have added to my collection. The atmosphere was relaxed and there was certainly a buzz around the place pre kick off.
But by far the highlight of Kiln Brow was the burger and chips that I had…
The burger was a solid 9.5/10, combined with some lovely chips that you’d get in a chip shop, and a chilled coke can, wow it was honestly really nice. It was so nice that I genuinely considered getting more at half time, but I managed to restrain myself…
I’m sure you have not clicked on this football blog to hear about food, but I just needed to give Redhill full marks for their efforts, something which their players were hoping to do over the next 90 minutes.
I don’t think the game could have got off to a worse start for the hosts though as they conceded in what could only have been the first or second minute.
I really hope my university lecturers aren’t reading this (they definitely aren’t) but I was looking to complete opposite direction when the goal went in, so I’ve got pretty much no idea what happened, unprofessional I know, but Raynes Park Vale took an early lead nonetheless.
The game then turned into a really lively cup tie for the rest of the first half. Redhill looked threatening going forward, and they seemed to be making a lot of headway down the left hand side. But whenever they got into a final third the final pass was just lacking, and they often found themselves in good situations but almost didn’t quite know what to do once they got there.
For me their biggest threat was their number 9 (Aidan Brown I believe, but please correct me if I’m wrong!). His style of play really reminded me of Alex Lacazette, he held the ball up well, took some lovely touches and made some excellent runs, but that still wasn’t enough to breach the away sides’ deep block.
The first half was actually really entertaining despite the fact that I missed the only goal, and at half time it felt as if the game really could go either way.
As we got underway for the second half Raynes Park managed to push Redhill back a bit, and the pattern of the game changed as it was now more of a midfield battle. But the pattern soon took another swing, in a very strange manor.
Redhill’s Kayo Koney came in with a pretty strong challenge, that the referee deemed to be a yellow card, but a good two minutes later he then showed him a red, so he must’ve talked himself into a second yellow. But now Redhill were down to ten and in big trouble.
The resulting free kick led to a golden opportunity for Raynes Park, well it looked like a pretty good chance from where I was stood which was at the other end of the ground, but they failed to take it.
The Red Card obviously angered the home side, and a few more strong tackles came flying in, which were greeted by some more bookings from the referee. But this is why we love cup football! The passion!
Raynes Park looked the most threatening side for much of the second half, but as we reached the last ten minutes, Redhill managed to get control of the game again.
This made for a really interesting end to the game, as Redhill were pushing for their equaliser, even throwing their keeper up at one point!
Just as I said previously, they really lacked that cutting edge in the final third, which meant the visitors could defend quite comfortably and in the end there were no real threats on their goal.
As the referee blew his whistle there were cheers from the away side and groans from the home side. Both had put a lot of effort into a very attritional cup tie, it wasn’t one for the football romantics, but it was your typical English cup tie, which is all you can ask for when you pay £8 instead of £14.95…
It is a tough result for Redhill to swallow, but I thought they played pretty well, and I almost found myself getting frustrated as they played some excellent stuff to get into the final third, but they just couldn’t covert it.
I had a very pleasant time at Kiln Brow, and even when the game hit a bit of a lull in the second half, I could just daydream about my pre-match burger!
We made our way back and realised that we have now seen a 1-0 game two weeks running, I feel that elusive 0-0 is sneaking up on me….
That’s all for this weeks blog! I hope you enjoyed reading, remember to follow us on Twitter @GroundhoppersG1 and RT this post!
- GROUND: Kiln Brow
- GAME: Redhill FC 0–1 Raynes Park Vale
- COMPETITION: FA Vase
- GROUND NUMBER: 82
- WOULD I GO BACK: Yes, for a burger
- TICKET PRICE: £8
- HOPPER: George