Saturday, 28 October 2017

Hartlepool United F.C. - Victoria Park

Hartlepool United F.C.
Hartlepool United FC.
Victoria Park Stadium
Clarence Road
Hartlepool
County Durham
TS24 8BZ

Official Website:

Ground Number: 57
Date: Saturday 20th October 2017
Score: Hartlepool United F.C. 1-1 Sutton United F.C.
Competition: Vanarama National League
Attendance: 3,097

After groundhopping to Raynes Park Vale on Tuesday night and seeing one of the most boring 6-0 games ever, it was time to go back on the road for another long Sutton away game and this weekend is one of the furthest away games in our calender as we face Hartlepool United which is near enough 300 miles away.
The train tickets for this game were originally over £250 and we were thinking twice about going but a few days later Virgin had a sale on and they were down from £250 to £100 and that price is a bargain so we decided to book them seeing as they are very cheap and we would be travelling by Grand Central, a train company I have never travelled with before.
After booking the train tickets, I started to become more excited for the game as the weeks approaching the game were getting nearer as we had booked the train tickets around a month ago. Many Sutton games passed but Hartlepool away was seeming like a game I was more excited for than games like Chester away.
The days approaching the game were quite busy as we had quite a few assignments to do for college as October is generally a busy month for coursework so we can be a bit more chilled out for the run up to Christmas. Friday arrived and I was feeling very tired as I was woken up at 6am for college but thankfully it wasn't a normal long college day for me because today we were on a trip to Thorpe Park.
I spent the day doing the normal things you do at Thorpe Park, waiting in long queues for rides and spend a lot of money on food and drink but you cant ever beat a day out at Thorpe Park. We left Thorpe Park at 3:40pm and we got back to my college at 4:30pm and me and few other friends walked up to Ewell East Station and got the train and I got off at Mitcham Junction then got the tram and walked home.
By the time I had gotten home, I had enough time to have a quick shower, had dinner and get ready as my dad was coming to pick me up at 7pm. Tonight's dinner was chicken fillets, chips and veg. After having dinner, I had a shower then got my things ready and then my dad picked me up at 7pm and once we were back at his house, I laid in bed watching YouTube and before going to bed at 10:40pm, I had some time to look into the history of Hartlepool United.
Hartlepool United were founded in 1908 as Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company. The club's nickname is 'Pools' and the 'Monkey Hangers'. The club currently play in the Vanarama National League and they currently play their home games at Victoria Park which has a capacity of 7,858 and there are 4,180 seats. The club started out in the North Eastern League. In 1921, the club joined the original Football League and were competing in the Division 3 North until the end of the 1957/58 season when they were put in the Division due to Division 3 being split into two.
The club returned to Division 3 for the 1968/69 season but only spent one season in the league. Between 1992 and 1994, the club spent two seasons in Division 2 but they were relegated back down to Division 3 at the end of the 1993/94 season. When the Football League we changed in 2004, Hartlepool were placed in League One. They were relegated to League Two at the end of the 2005/06 season but they bounced back after one season in League Two. At the end of the 2012/13 season, they were relegated back down to League Two and at the end of the 2016/17 season, they were relegated to the National League.
I woke up on Saturday morning at 5:30am and I was feeling incredibly tired this morning but I got straight out of bed, had a quick wash, got dressed and then had some breakfast bars as I was feeling very hungry. We left my dads house at 6am and drove up to South Wimbledon and then topped up my Oyster Card and got on the tube. It was quite busy for a Saturday morning but within 30 minutes, we was at King Cross St Pancras and we followed the signs for the Euston Road exit as it is a shortcut.
Once we arrived at Kings Cross itself, we got our pre-paid tickets then went across the road for a McDonalds breakfast and I had my normal order of two sausage and egg mcmuffins. We then walked back into Kings Cross station and then went in WHSmith and got a meal deal and I decided to get pasta, wotsits and a protein strawberry drink. Whilst eating my pasta, we saw Keith, Luke, Ryan, Theo and Darryl and we all had a chat as we waited for our platform to be called and after talking for a few minutes our platform was called.
It seemed like all the Sutton fans were on the same train and we were all in the same carriage and luckily enough, we were sitting opposite two other Sutton fans, both called Andrew and we had some Arsenal and Tottenham fans sitting opposite us and they talked to us about our cup run from last season. Luckily enough, my mobile data was actually working which I was surprised about because my mobile data tends to not work on Virgin Trains.
After being on the train for about 40 minutes, my dad remembered that he had packed a deck of cards in the flag bag and we asked both Andrew's if they wanted to play and they did so we played some rummey and blackjack and this helped pass the time and we were so focused on the cards, we didn't even realise how far we had gone and we were pulling into York, which is the most North I have ever gone but when we left York Station, every second we were going more North, the further North I have ever been was increasing. We stopped at Thirsk, Eaglescliffe and Northllerton before arriving into Hartlepool at 11:30am.
We then went in the local Wetherspoons for a drink and something to eat with the other Sutton fans. A pint of Pepsi for me as they didn't have any Coca-Cola or any sugar-free Pepsi. We also ordered lunch in Weatherspoons and I went for a classic fish and chips with peas whereas my dad went for a jacket potato. The fish and chips tasted really nice and if you are looking for somewhere to eat or drink, I would recommend going in the Wetherspoons.
After finishing our lunch in Weatherspoons, we headed to Victoria Park and it only took us around 5 minutes to walk to the ground. We then went in one of the bars inside the ground and watched the Chelsea vs Watford game. We managed to get a match day programme behind the bar and it was £3 which is quite reasonable. The supporters coach arrived at 1:20pm and Tony came and sat down with us. I noticed that my phone was on 45% battery and there was a plug socket so I charged my phone whilst we were in the bar so I had enough battery for taking pictures during the game.
We then left the bar at 2pm and walked round to the club shop to find out that they didn't sell any Hartlepool pin badges and this annoyed me because it meant I would have to put it on my list of badges I need to buy online or find at our club shop back at Gander Green Lane. I then paid £10 to get in as a concession/student and I then walked to our stand and clipped up the flags then took some pictures of the ground.
Victoria Park has a capacity of 7,858 and there are 4,180 seats. The ground is a traditional compact ground that was greatly improved in the mid 1990's, with the construction of two new stands at one end and at one side. One of these the Cyril Knowles Stand (named after a former manager) was opened in 1995. It is a small single tier covered all seated stand, raised above the ground level. The other modern stand is the Town End which as opened shortly later. It is a covered terrace that is the home end. Opposite is the Rink End Stand which is a small covered all seated stand which houses away supporters. On the remaining side is the Niramax Stand  that has covered seating to the rear and open terrace to the front. This stand does not run the full length of the pitch and has an odd mix of orange and green seating, that clashes with the club colours. It was opened in 1968. The ground has a set of four tall traditional floodlight pylons. (Description of Victoria Park is sourced from Football Ground Guide). 
After taking some pictures of this really nice looking ground, I started to I really like because of how it has some traditionalism yet a modern look to half of the ground. Jason soon arrived and he had left his house at 5:30am this morning and he had drove all this way and he had his small Sutton flag with him so put it on the seats near my one and I then had a quick read through the match day programme and I noticed they made a mistake because they said we were founded in 1989 and if we were, it would have meant we would have played Coventry in the FA Cup 3rd Round in the same year we were founded but obviously we were not founded in 1989, we were founded in 1898 but it was probably a typing mistake!
By the time I had finished having a quick read through the match day programme, the teams were coming out and there was a roar from the 93 travelling Sutton fans and not much of a loud applause from the 3,000 or so Hartlepool fans. Sutton were kicking up the other end which didn't really bother me too much but we definitely looked like the better side during the first 30 minutes as we were creating quite a few chances but Hartlepool's goalkeeper was on hand to keep Sutton at bay. The deadlock was broken just 6 minutes before half time as Hartlepool shot the ball at Jamie Butler and he saved the shot but the ball slipped out of his hands and there was a Hartlepool player in the right position and scored and with 6 minutes left of the first half, it was 1-0 to Hartlepool. Sutton tried to get a goal back before half time but it remained 1-0 at half time.
Half time and we found ourselves one nile down even though we had dominated the game so far and we should realistically be 2-1 up. We walked over to the burger van to see what food they had on offer and they had steak pies so I decided to get one of them and my dad got a pie as well but a different one but his pie was much larger which slightly annoyed me but the pie was quite cold and tasted really bad so I was quite thankful that my pie was smaller but I should have gotten a cheeseburger but if there is a pie on offer, I'll always go for that!
Onto the second half and Sutton continued to dominate the game and were continuing on from their great first half performance and we were creating chances but it honestly felt like one of those long away games where you wouldn't score. At times during the game, we were letting Hartlepool into the too much and they hit the post and were unlucky not to go 2-0 up. Hartlepool had sung no songs so far but as soon as it hit the 85th minute, they started to make some noise and ended up singing "we're on our way to the Football League" which is alright is you're in the top 7 in March but not if you're midtable in October! Into added time and there was 5 minutes added on but with around 2 minutes of the added time gone, Sutton midfielder Craig Eastmond got tackled heavily and there was a another 5 or so minutes added on as it took a long time to get Craig off the pitch. 
Sutton's luck finally arrived in the 9th minute of added time when Aswad Thomas crossed the ball into the box and the ball was given to young striker Tommy Wright and he volleyed the ball into the net and with seconds remaining, it was 1-1 and I ran down along the stand to celebrate with the players and it is the most I have ever celebrated when seeing Sutton score a goal in the league! The game finished Hartlepool United 1-1 Sutton United. We clapped the players off for their excellent performance and then took the flags down and then chanted whilst we walked back to the station.
We got back to the station at 5:15pm and I got a Twist chocolate bar from the vending machine and then we was joined by the other Sutton fans including the two Andrews, who had gotten themselves fish and chips for dinner. Our train back to Kings Cross arrived at 5:55pm and once again, we was sat with all the Sutton fans and we found out that Jeff Stelling who presents Sky Sports and supports Hartlepool screamed when we equalised and someone put it on Twitter and we must have played it over 100 times on the train as it was very funny!
We then played cards for the remainder of the journey and with about 90 minutes left of the train journey, we walked to the buffet car and got something to eat and for me, it was just a croissant and it was actually really tasty. We pulled back into Kings Cross at 9:30pm, then said goodbye to everyone then got onto the Northern Line back down to South Wimbledon, then walked back up to the car and drove home and we got back to my dad's house at 10:30pm feeling very tired and I went straight asleep. I would recommend to Hartlepool United because it is a good ground with some friendly fans but just avoid the pies!
Rating:
Stadium: 9/10
Bar: 7/10
Food and Drink: 5/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Friendliness: 8/10
Value For Money: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Monday, 23 October 2017

Raynes Park Vale F.C. - Grand Drive

Raynes Park Vale F.C.
Raynes Park Vale F.C.
Grand Drive Stadium
Grand Drive
Raynes Park
London
SW20 9DZ

Official Website:

Ground Number: 56
Date: Tuesday 17th October 2017
Score: Raynes Park Vale F.C. 0-6 Worcester Park F.C.
Competition: Combined Counties Division One Cup
Attendance: approx. 40

Raynes Park Vale, a team that is around 15 minutes from my house and yet a team I have only been to twice. I first went there in April 2015 to watch Guildford City win 1-0 and then later on in April 2015, I watched Molesey F.C. beat Raynes Park 2-0 and Molesey were crowned champions of the Combined Counties Premier. I have never really liked going to Grand Drive because the attendance is rarely over 100, there is nothing much of an atmosphere and the stadium is one of the worst I have ever been to but none the less, I needed to re-visit Grand Drive as I needed to do my blog on my trip there.

For the past few months, I have been trying to find a Tuesday night when Raynes Park are home so I can finally go back there to do my blog. A few weeks ago, my friend Jason who went with me to Chipstead, Wrexham and a few other games said that he was going to watch Raynes Park Vale on a Tuesday night in two weeks and asked if we wanted to come and seeing as Sutton weren't playing and I needed to re-visit the ground, we said "we would love to come along".
There wasn't really any build up to the game during the week before as I was concentrating on college and I had Paulton Rovers away on Saturday which you can read about in my previous blog post. I said to Tony who is a fellow Sutton supporter, that we are going to Raynes Park Vale on Tuesday night and we asked if he wanted to come along and he said that he hadn't been to Raynes Park Vale before so he said "yes I'd love to come along".
By the time Tuesday had arrived, I was feeling a little bit of excitement that I could finally tick off Grand Drive for a re-visit and for another ground I needed to write about. I woke up on Tuesday morning at 7:30am and got dressed, had a wash then went downstairs for breakfast. I then spent some time doing coursework before setting off for college at 12pm. I arrived at college at 1pm and college was quite chilled this afternoon as we only had two lessons and they were both for typing up coursework.
I finished college at 4:30pm which was a bit early and seeing as my dad was picking me up from college and he wasn't here yet, I went into the Starbucks in my college and got a chocolate frappuccino and then walked to the car park as my dad was waiting there. We then went to McDonalds for dinner and weirdly I wasn't very hungry but that was probably because I just had a frappuccino but I got a quarter pounder meal. I also had a chance to look at the history of Raynes Park Vale whilst I was in McDonalds.
Raynes Park Vale were founded in 1995 and they were formed via the merger of Raynes Park FC and Malden Vale FC. The club currently play their home games at Grand Drive which is located in Prince George's Playing Fields in Raynes Park and they currently play in the Combined Counties Division One. The club joined the Combined Counties League and have stayed there ever since and in their 22 year history. The club reached the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round in 2014/15 season and reached the FA Vase First Round in the 2007/08 season. At the end of the 2016/17 season, they were relegated from the Combined Counties Premier to the Combined Counties Division One.
We finished our McDonalds at 5:30pm and seeing as we weren't picking Tony up until 6:20pm, we decided to go back to my dad's house for 20 minutes to let our dinner go down. We went back to my dad's and watched a bit of Pointless and Eggheads and by the time that had finished, it was nearly 6:15pm so we left my dad's and the drove round the corner to pick up Tony who was already waiting outside for us. We then drove to Grand Drive and it only took around 10 minutes as it is only just up the road from my dad's house.
We parked in a side road near the ground and then walked to the ground. We arrived at Grand Drive at 6:40pm and we went straight inside the bar as it was cold outside. The bar itself is quite large but has basic facilities such as a TV, pool table, toilet facilities and the main bar area where you can buy food and drink. We each got a drink inside the bar and I decided to go for a coke seeing as they didn't have any coke zero, my dad got a coffee and Tony got a glass of blackcurrant juice. After finishing our drinks, we went outside and after waiting for a few minutes, Jason arrived and when the turnstile opened, we paid to get in and it only cost £3 for me and the match day programme was free. We then walked round the ground to take some pictures.
Grand Drive is a very simple and small ground and only has a capacity of 1,500. There is a small stand alongside the pitch and it has wooden benches inside and can hold around 150 people. Behind one of the goals is a very small covered terrace which can hold around 20 people and behind the other goal is a tiny wooden shelter which was built for the ball boys. The rest of the ground is open with no cover.
After walking round the ground to take some pictures, Jason gave me a Chipstead FC programme from their previous home game as my blog on my trip there was put in their programme and Jason was able to get the club to save me a copy. The teams then came out and I took some pictures of the teams to add to my groundhopping photo collection. The first half started and I was thinking to myself that this level of football compared to what I am used to is not the best and I would hate my team (Sutton United) to be playing at this level.
We got speaking to some other Sutton fans that were at the game tonight and the famous Geoff Martin was here and he was the person who wrote the Sutton song 'Back On The Shoebox Terrace Again' which was released on iTunes and has over 3,000 views on YouTube. After getting slightly distracted by talking to Jeff, Worcester Park took the lead and there was a small cheer from ourselves as we were supporting Worcester Park tonight. Raynes Park Vale were not creating many chances and they were not playing very good football. Worcester Park were awarded a penalty just before half time and they scored and it was 2-0 to Worcester Park at half time.
We went inside the bar and to only find out they had no food available apart from a packet of crisps but they had hot chocolate which was something. The last time I was here, I did have a bacon roll and it was quite nice so if you manage to come on a day when there is hot food, them I would get a bacon roll but I would bring your own food with you. The hot chocolate tasted horrible and it tasted really weak and I only ended up having 2 sips before throwing it away. My dad managed to get two small chocolate bars from the bar as well and my one was melted, so the food and drink is very bad at Grand Drive!
We then headed back outside to find that the second half had already started but the score was still 2-0 so we didn't miss anything. We walked round to the other goal and a few minutes after going behind the goal, Worcester Park made it 3-0 and by this time, Worcester Park had killed the game off because Raynes Park Vale didn't even look like scoring. Worcester Park then got two quick goals and with around 10 minutes of the game left, it was 5-0 to Worcester Park and they managed to get another goal before the end of the game and it finished Raynes Park Vale 0-6 Worcester Park.
We walked back to the car feeling happy that I had re-visited Raynes Park so I could do this blog and I am happy that I will not have to go back there for another few years because it is a very bad ground and the overall experience is very average. My dad dropped me off home and then I went straight to bed. I wouldn't recommend going to Raynes Park unless you live in the local area or unless it is a ground you really need to tick off.
Rating:
Stadium: 4/10
Bar: 6/10
Food and Drink: 3/10
Atmosphere: 4/10
Friendliness: 9/10
Value For Money: 7/10
Overall Rating: 5.2/10

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Paulton Rovers F.C. - Winterfield Road

Paulton Rovers F.C.
Paulton Rovers F.C.
Winterfield Road Stadium
Winterfield Road
Paulton
Somerset
BS39 7RF


Ground Number: 55
Date: Saturday 14th October 2017
Score: Paulton Rovers F.C. 2-3 Sutton United F.C.
Competition: FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Attendance: 601

One of the best things about being a supporter of a non-league club is the excitement of possibly getting into the 1st Round of the FA Cup and possibly getting a draw against a League One or Two side and could massively help the finances of your club and this was something that my team (Sutton United) experienced last season as we made it to the 5th Round of the FA Cup and ended up losing 2-0 at home to Arsenal.
After pulling off results against Forest Green Rovers, Dartford, Cheltenham, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United, our club was one of the main talking points of English football last season and now we had the chance to possibly redo it all again but our first opponents in the FA Cup were Paulton Rovers of the Southern League Division One South and West (3 leagues below Sutton). Just before the draw for the 4th Qualifying Round, my fellow groundhopping friend Joseph (runs YouTube Channel `Groundhopping FC`) was talking about who we wanted and he said "would you go Paulton if you got them?" and I said "yes of course".
Funnily enough, we got Paulton away in the draw but I was really happy that we had got them because I wanted an away draw to a team I have never been to before and that is exactly what we got. As soon as the draw was finished, I called my dad and told him who we got in the draw and he as also really happy with the draw and I was very excited for the game but I had just under two weeks until the game. Weirdly the two weeks running up to the game went quite fast but that is probably due to me because focused a lot on college at the moment and time flies when you are distracted.
Sutton beat AFC Fylde at home 3-2 in the National League on Saturday which put us into good spirits for Paulton away next Saturday. The week running up to the game was mainly spent doing coursework in college which was good as it helped me take my mind off the game even though I wasn't massively excited for the game yet. Friday arrived and I was still yet not very excited but I woke up at 6:30am as I had college at 9am and I was doing coursework all day and I finished college at 4:15pm and I got the bus home and by the time I got home, I was starting to get more excited for the game as I didn't have to worry about college this weekend.
I had a quick shower when I got home and then got my things ready as I was going to be sleeping round my dad's tonight. My dad arrived at 7:30pm and we got back to my dads at 8pm and then had some dinner and then watched Birmingham vs Cardiff on TV and Birmingham won 1-0. I then spent some time on my phone and I then spent some time looking into the history of Paulton Rovers F.C. before going to bed.
Paulton Rovers F.C. were founded in 1881 and their nickname is `The Rovers. The club currently play their home games at Winterfield Road, the ground has a capacity of 2,500 and there are 253 seats. The club also currently play in the Southern League Division One South and West. The club originally started out playing in the Western Football League and then were playing in the Somerset County League and the Western League again throughout the 1960's, 70's and 80's. The club had some strong finishes in the 1990's and they were promoted to the Southern League Division One South and West in 2004.
In the 2009/10 season, Paulton made it to the 1st Round of the FA Cup and got drawn at home to Norwich City and the game was televised but Paulton lost 7-0 in front of 2,070 people. At the end of the 2013/14 season, the club managed to get promoted via the play-offs to the Southern League Premier. At the end of the 2015/16 season, Paulton were relegated down to the Southern League Division One South and West which is where they still currently play.

I woke up quite early in the morning at 7am and my dad was still asleep so I went on YouTube on my phone and this helped pass the time and my dad woke up just before 8am. He then went and had a shower and I also had a quick shower after he was finished and we got dressed and then had breakfast which was muffins. We then got all of ours things ready before leaving my dads at 9am. We then drove up the road and picked up our friend Tony and then drove to my Uncle Ben's house and we then drove up to Worcester Park and picked up my Uncle Kevin and his girlfriends son Mikey as they were also coming with us. We drove up to the M25 and stayed on there for about 15 minutes and then joined the M3. Whilst driving along the M3 in convey, we decided to stop in Fleet Services.
I myself got a chocolate frappuccino from Starbucks and my dad got a coffee, Tony got some snacks from WHSmith and Ben, Kevin and Mikey got some breakfast from Burger King. We then left Fleet Services at 10:45am feeling quite confused because Google Maps said it would take us just 2h 30m to get to Paulton and yet we had been on the road for nearly two hours and we were only at Fleet but we continued our journey to the West Country.
We then joined the A303 and we had to quickly stop in the services just before Stonehenge as Mikey needed the toilet but we was back on our way within a few minutes. There was a lot of traffic up by Stonehenge and we was stuck in the traffic for around 15 minutes but it soon cleared. We were in some really deep country roads going towards Paulton and there wasn't a single sign for Paulton. As we continued to drive through the countryside, we started to pass through some towns such as Frome but with about 3 miles to the ground, there was a sign for Paulton Rovers FC and we then saw a couple of signs for Paulton and we finally arrived in the small town of Paulton at 1:35pm after being on the road for over 4 hours.
We parked up and went inside the bar. The bar is very big and has a lot of facilities such as TV which has Sky Sports, dart boards and pool tables and this is everything I look for in a bar. We watched the Liverpool vs Manchester United game and I had a can of coke as they didn't have any coke zero. After having a small drink, we headed into the ground and it cost £2 entry for me which is very reasonable and we then clipped up my flags and then walked round the ground to take some pictures.
Winterfield Road has a capacity of 2,500 and there are 253 seats. The ground has quite a lot of cover and there isn't much open space in the ground and has a very compact feeling. The ground is very traditional and doesn't have many new or modern features. The main stand looks like it was opened some time around WW2 and next to this small and traditional seated stand is a newer stand which holds around 150 seats. Opposite the two seated stands is a covered terrace that is quite narrow and doesn't provide the best view of the pitch. Behind one of the goals is a large covered terrace and behind the other goal is a narrow uncovered terrace. The ground is very good for the level and could definitely fit in the National League South.
After walking round the ground, we went to the tea bar and got something to eat and drink, I went for a cheeseburger and a Dr Pepper which cost around £4. They also sold Paulton Rovers pin badges in the tea bar and seeing as they were only £2, I decided to get one. We then walked round to the covered terrace behind the goal and eat our cheeseburgers. The burger itself was really nice and I would defintely recommend getting a cheeseburger if you ever find yourself at Paulton Rovers. Dan (another Sutton fan) came round and he wanted to put up his 18ft flag as well and seeing as he couldn't climb on the terrace to get it, I volunteered so I climbed up on the terrace and clipped his flag and by the time I had done that, the teams were coming out and there was a loud roar from the 600 or so people inside the ground.
We started chanting as the teams shook hands and both teams clapped their fans and it almost felt like Sutton had took more fans as we had taken at least 200 and it felt like we had outnumbered Paulton away from home but I think the attendance was split from around 60% Paulton fans and 40% Sutton fans. Thankfully, Sutton were kicking towards our end that we had clipped our flags up which was a relief as we didnt have to bother about taking them down, walking round to the other end and clipping them back up.
Sutton started the first half very strong as they were clearly looking like the team that were 3 leagues above Paulton and were creating a lot of chances and were giving Paulton many chances to get into the game. Sutton deservedly took the lead in the 10th minute by winger Kieron Cadogan as he was put through by Craig Eastmond and the U's were 1-0 up and the travelling Sutton loyal went wild. After Sutton going 1-0 up, Paulton seemed to feed on Sutton's confidence and they were awarded a corner which lead to Paulton scoring as they scored from a shot after the ball was passed a few times.
Paulton then seemed to be much back into the game and this wasn't good news for Sutton because Paulton were starting to gain more possession and we were letting them play their style of football and they were looking dangerous. Sutton did have a few chances to go back into the lead but Paulton's goalkeepers kept the score at 1-1.
Half time and it was 1-1 and so far, we were letting Paulton get into the game too much and were letting them play their style of football and we knew that we would have to show them why we are in the National League. We took the flags down and then walked round to the other end which is open and has no cover and I wasn't really looking forward to it because the Sutton loyal would be more spread out and there wouldn't be much of an atmosphere but we kept our spirits high. The fence behind the goal was too high for me to reach and was impossible to climb so my Uncle Ben got my Uncle Kevin on his shoulders and he clipped the flag up and I put my smaller flag on the pitch side barrier and by the time we had set both flags up, the teams were back out ready for the second half.
Sutton started the second half with a lot of confidence and it seemed like Paul Doswell had really motivated them during half time to not let Paulton play their game and it benefited Sutton and Kieron Cadogan got his second goal of the game in the 49th minute and Sutton were showing Paulton why we are the side that are three leagues higher. 5 minutes later, Sutton defender Louis John scored a great header that went right in the bottom corner and with it only being the 54th minute, it seemed like that was game over but it is never game over in the FA Cup.
Sutton continued to dominate the next 15 minutes but Paulton then seemed to start getting back into the game and with only 13 minutes to go, Jamie Butler dropped the ball and Paulton got the ball and rolled into the back of the net and with just over 10 minutes remaining, Paulton had got themselves back into the game. Paulton continued to press on and so did Sutton to try and finish off the game but Paulton were unlucky to find the equaliser and it finished Paulton Rovers 2-3 Sutton United and we were through to the FA Cup 1st Round.
We walked out of the ground feeling very happy that we were in the draw for the next round of the FA Cup. We walked back to the car and then waited for my Uncle Ben as he was parked in the car park inside the ground. We only had to wait 20 seconds but we followed him back down all the country roads and within about an hour we were back at Stonehenge. I was feeling very hungry by now and I really needed the toilet so we stopped in the small services we stopped at earlier and I went to the toilet and then got a Burger King.
I eat my dinner and we then set back off and then joined the M3 and within another hour or so, we was back on the M25 and we got back on the A3 and then we went our separate ways at New Malden. Ben dropped Kevin and Mikey off home whereas we dropped Tony off home and we got back to my dads house at 10:15pm feeling not very tired but we had really enjoyed our day at Paulton Rovers and I would recommend going there if you live within an two hours drive from the ground.
Rating:
Stadium: 8/10
Bar: 10/10
Food and Drink: 8/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Friendliness: 10/10
Value For Money: 10/10
Overall Rating: 8.3/10