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Raynes Park Vale 4
4
Williams-Bowers (13'), Gallagher (20', 72', 79')
0 Kingstonian
0
Raynes Park Vale FC

Grier's Guide to Raynes Park Vale

The match: Raynes Park Vale v Kingstonian, pre-season friendly. Tuesday 19 July, 19:45.

The club: Formed in 1995 by a merger of Malden Vale and Raynes Park FC, with the latter's history beginning as the works team of the Southern Railway until it was axed as part of the notorious Beeching Cuts. They've been in the Combined Counties League ever since, achieving a best-ever third place last season.

The town: Suburb nestled between Kingston and Wimbledon, presumably familiar to most Ks fans. Famous residents have included actor Oliver Reed, rugby player Danny Cipriani and kids' TV presenter Dave Benson-Phillips.

The ground: Grand Drive, Raynes Park, SW20 9DZ. Given the weather forecast for extreme heat, be aware that it just has the one, fairly small, covered grandstand.

Directions: It should be simple, just a ten minute walk up Grand Drive from Raynes Park station, which is easily reached from all the borough's stations. But given the likelihood of the railway breaking in the hot weather, you might want to consider alternative routes. Buses 57, 131 and K5 all go to Raynes Park, or if driving you can park at the ground.

Tickets: £5 adults; £3 concessions; £1 U15s

Our record there: Just two previous visits in pre-season friendlies, a 1-1 draw in 2008 and a 2-1 win in 2009. The latter saw us a give a debut to unknown triallist Christian Jolley; he went on to excel for us that season before going on to have a successful career in League Two and the Conference National.

Recent form: Their friendly results so far include an impressive 3-1 win away at our new landlords, Tooting and Mitcham United.

Players to watch: They're skippered by former Hampton 'keeper Billy Bishop. Jordan Gallagher scored an impressive 39 goals last season. Ex-Ks midfielder Reece Williams-Bowers is listed on their website, although didn't play in their first two friendlies.

Crowd: An average crowd of 101 last season. Whoever makes it on Tuesday is likely to be most focused on staying cool in the heat.

Drinking: Opposite the station is Green King pub the Raynes Park Tavern, with pub grub and sport on the big screen. The Cavern Freehouse often has live music, though perhaps more relevantly their Facebook is keenly advertising that they have air conditioning. The Wetherspoons that was also there has now closed down.

Food: Options near the station include a chippie, a Greggs and various other takeaways.


Published Saturday 16th July 2022