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Leamington 1
Edwards (31')
0 Kingstonian

Grier's Guide to Leamington

The town: Leamington Spa is a Midlands town near to Coventry and Warwick. Its spa waters were known to the Romans and then lost for centuries before being rediscovered in Georgian times. It's also where the modern rules of tennis were first drawn up, at Leamington Tennis Club in 1874.

The ground: The Phillips 66 Community Stadium, Harbury Lane, Leamington Spa, CV33 9SA. A neat and relatively modern stadium, it has seated stands on both sides of the pitch and a covered terrace behind one goal.

Directions: Well outside the town itself, to the south, it's a short drive from junction 12 of the M40, just under 100 miles from Kingston. In the evening rush hour it might take up to three hours. Trains take around an hour and a quarter from Marylebone but with no public transport covering the 3.5 miles to the ground you'll need a cab and, bearing in mind the game could go to extra time and penalties, it will be hard to get back to London at any sort of decent hour. The supporters club will have a coach going - details here: https://www.kingstonian.com/news/coach-for-potential-fa-trophy-replay/973

Our record there: For the seventh time this season - which feels like it must be some sort of record - Ks are facing a completely new opponent. We last visited Warwickshire in March 2001, losing 2-1 to Nuneaton Borough in the Conference despite an Eddie Akuamoah goal.

Players to watch: Perhaps more a case of players not to watch, as both sides have just lost their top goalscorer and much will come down to which side can adapt better to losing such a key source of goals before such a big game. Leamington's 22 year old former striker Josh Marsh has signed for Forest Green Rovers, now a Football League club, while Louie Theophanous has left Ks and joined Romford.

Recent form: 15th in Conference North with fairly mixed form, although they made a massive statement in the Trophy by destroying AFC Telford 5-0 in the last round.

Crowd: An impressive average crowd of 524, although it may be somewhat inflated by the large away followings that some of the big clubs in Conference North now bring.

Drinking: The bar at the ground is likely to be your best bet as there are no pubs anywhere nearby. If you do have time to explore the town centre there's a cluster of pubs a short walk east from the station.

Food: Again there's nothing particularly close so it's probably easiest to eat at the ground. If you can't wait that long though, you'll pass three service stations on the M40 at junctions 2, 8a and 10. In the town centre, Libertine Burger won a National Burger Award last year and made the news when food blogger Kate Ovens successfully devoured a 50 oz, nine patty cheeseburger in just over 20 minutes. Your fellow Ks might not thank you though if you have that and then go home on the coach. 


Published Monday 13th January 2020