Grier's Guide to Leatherhead
The match: Leatherhead v Kingstonian, pre-season friendly. Saturday 30 July, 15:00.
The club: Long-standing Isthmian stalwarts and rival of Ks. They're synonymous with Chris Kelly, 'The Leatherhead Lip', who starred as they reached the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1974-75. He later played for us before becoming manager and then chief exec. The rivalry between the two clubs was enhanced in 1985 when we pipped them to promotion after they were deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player.
The town: Smallish town in Surrey which made a pleasant temporary home for us in 2017/18. Local residents include the actor Michael Caine.
The ground: Fetcham Grove, Guildford Road, Leatherhead, KT22 9AS. With covered terraces at either end as well as all down one side it's a decent ground for this level, with an assymetric and slightly chaotic character to it. The facilities are good and we were warmly welcomed during the season we played there.
Directions: The 465 stops close to the ground, taking about 45 minutes from Kingston via Surbiton and Chessington. The station isn't on a line to anywhere in the RBK but you can change at Raynes Park. There's a good-sized car park at the nearby leisure centre.
Our record there: It's fair to say Fetcham Grove was not a happy hunting ground when we shared there, with Leigh Dynan regularly getting frustrated by its boggy playing surface. Our last visit was an entertaining 3-2 win on New Year's Day.
Tickets: £5 adults; £3 concessions; £2 U16s; U12s free. You can buy them online at https://leatherheadfc.ktckts.com/event/lfc2223h25/pre-season-friendly-leatherhead-v-kingstonian (with an extra booking fee) or on the turnstiles.
Players to watch: Aaron Lamont joined from Ks last winter and made an immediate impact, winning their player of the year award and becoming club captain. Summer signings include veteran striker Dave Tarpey, whose former clubs include Woking and Barnet.
Recent form: After a bad first half of last season they were desperately unlucky to be relegated on points per game after finding some late season form, with Merthyr then controversially given a Southern League reprieve ahead of them when Walton Casuals folded. Their highlight of pre-season is an impressive 3-2 win over Dorking Wanderers in the Surrey Advertiser Trophy.
Crowd: The derbies with Ks tend to pull in a good crowd - Leatherhead have a reasonable-sized support and we tend to travel well there ourselves. At next week's AGM they'll vote on becoming supporter-owned.
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 big beer garden. 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: 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.