Groundhopping

The battle of Walton-On-Thames…. Walton Casuals v Swindon Supermarine

Hello!

Welcome back to another edition of groundhopping on our site, and I must start with an apology….

In my previous blog I promised a new tick this weekend, but unfortunately that was not the case in the end as I couldn’t get tickets for AFC Wimbledon which I was planning on going to. Luckily I did end up at a ground that has not appeared on this blog yet.

This week I was taking my dad and little brother groundhopping, and therefore we needed to go local to them, and the closest ground to them is the Elmbridge Sports Hub.

Anyway, we left for the game shortly after watching Mo Salah score an outrageous goal against Watford, and this got us in the mood for a good game of football!

At the Casuals!

We arrived at the ground and went and found our seats in the stand, which by the way has some very comfy seats, and we had an excellent view from in there.

This game was poised to be a really good one, Walton Casuals sat 11th in the table, while Swindon Supermarine were 12th, this was the main reason I picked this game as it looked as if it would be an enthralling game.

The game got off to a good start, both sides were looking to get the early breakthrough which made for a pretty open first 20 or so minutes. Despite the game being fairly even in the opening exchanges, there was nothing even about the style of play exhibited by both sides.

Walton looked to move the ball quickly and fluidly, with most of their play going through their number 10 and two wingers, and they often got into good areas, but struggled to fashion any gilt-edged chances.

The visitors played in a completely different way, looking to use their physicality, with long balls or powerful runs through the midfield. This made for a really interesting watch for much of the first half.

The first real chance of the game came towards the end of the first half, where the Casuals once again got in down the side, but the drag back found its way to James Comley, who blasted over the bar, should’ve buried it!

The Casuals no doubt had the best of the first half, and would’ve wanted to grab the initiative before the break, but unfortunately for them, it was the visitors who did just that…

A whipped cross from the Supermarine right, somehow found its way to Ryan Campbell, who rifled in a good finish from just outside the six yard box. Slightly against the run of play, Supermarine had the lead going into the interval.

The first half was pretty physical, with some tough challenges flying around, and a few flare ups between opposing players, but you come to expect this in such a tight encounter!

A new angle on the second half.

The second half began and the game followed a similar pattern to the first 45, Walton were pushing forward with some nice interchanges between their front four, while Supermarine now looked to soak up the pressure and hit on the counter when possible.

We had moved for the second half too, from the stand to behind the goal Walton were attacking, which gave us a front row seat of the first scrap of the second half, between Swindon’s keeper and Walton’s number 10, the game was bubbling nicely!

Just after the hour mark, the Casuals got their opportunity to get back in the game, after Adam Liddle was clearly fouled in the box, and the referee duly pointed to the spot.

It was Rohdell Gordon who stepped up and dispatched the penalty towards the top corner, just evading a good dive by the keeper, 1-1 and it was game on!

To be honest with you, the pattern of the game changed after the equaliser, while Walton continued to look better in possession and going forward, neither side really sustained a lot of pressure on the opposing goal.

The main highlight from the remaining half an hour was a few yellow cards that were handed out after some committed challenges in the final exchanges.

Set pieces were the main source of danger for the visitors.

The visitors could’ve won it in the dying seconds of the game but David Pratt fired his shot straight at the keeper.

The game was brought to a pretty abrupt end when the referee blew for full time without signalling any added time (either that or he didn’t add any time on.) It was quite a bizzare end to probably the most physical game I have seen in a long time but it was a good game nonetheless.

The referee got quite a bit of stick from both sides following the final whistle, which I always find a bit of surprise, especially in this case where I thought he managed the game pretty well considering how physical it was. The man in black let the game flow quite a lot, and for me got the penalty decision 100% right.

If this game was played in the Champions League I’m sure the referee would’ve stopped the game every 30 seconds, but it was good that our man on the day didn’t.

So I was a bit disappointed to see the reaction to his performance at the end of the 90 minutes.

Anyway, it was a thoroughly enjoyable game at a nice little set up they have got there at Elmbridge Sports Hub, and I’m sure both sides will have a successful season if they continue to play with such passion for the cause.

That’s all for today’s blog, thank you all for reading, next week I’ve got an exciting new Football League tick to come!

  • GROUND: Elmbridge Sports Hub
  • GAME: Walton Casuals 1-1 Swindon Supermarine
  • COMPETITION: Southern League Premier South
  • GROUND NUMBER: 91 (retick)
  • WOULD I GO BACK: Clearly!
  • TICKET PRICE: £10
  • DAYS SINCE LAST 0-0: 970
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