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Kingstonian
Leatherhead

Grier's Guide to Leatherhead

When: Tuesday 17th December, 7.45pm

The town: Smallish town in Surrey which made a pleasant, if somewhat distant, temporary home for us in 2018/18.

The ground: Fetcham Grove, Guildford Road, Fetcham, Leatherhead KT22 9AS. With covered terraces at either end as well as down one side it's a decent ground for this level, with the kind of asymmetric and slightly chaotic character you don't tend to see so much in modern grounds. 

Directions: As pleasant as Leatherhead is, this was the biggest sticking point for Ks fans when we shared there. Midweek, the journey can take as long as an hour from Kingston with traffic on the long drag between Bridge Roundabout and Malden Rushett often painfully slow. The station is not on a line to anywhere in the Royal Borough but at least the 465 bus is well-timed for getting home midweek, leaving at 21:56. If you are relying on the trains, remember there will be fewer than usual due to the ongoing South Western strike.

Our record there: It's fair to say Fetcham Grove was not a happy hunting game for Ks when we shared there, with Leigh Dynan regularly getting frustrated by its boggy playing surface. Last season we lost 2-1, an Alfie Doughty goal not proving enough for us to avoid a defeat.

Players to watch: Striker Ibrahim Olutade, on loan from Maidstone, has already struck 13 times this season in just 15 games and is clearly going to be a handful for the Ks defence. 

Recent form: One place above us in the league in 14th, the contest ought to be a good test of how sustained our recent improvement is going to be

Crowd: The derbies with Ks tended to top the 400 mark - Leatherhead have a reasonable-sized support and we tend to travel well there ourselves.

Drinking: The Running Horse, five minutes' walk from the ground, is undoubtedly the pre-match favourite with Ks fans. The welcome is warm and it offers good food at a reasonable price, Surrey Hills beer on tap and a pool table and dart board in the lounge bar. It dates back to 1403 and legend has it that Queen Elizabeth once spent the night there when flooding made the River Mole impossible to cross.

Food: Some decent options around town for the hungry Ks fan. The Five Rivers on Bridge Street is an excellent curry house with good service and an interesting menu. The food in the ground is decent too including the gourmet burger and, unusually for football, a Thai noodle dish. 

 

Published Monday 16th December 2019