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Tooting & Mitcham United 1
8 (45' pen)
4 Kingstonian
Skura (4'), Gogo (23'), Cook (64'), Cadogan (70')
Tooting and Mitcham United

Grier's Guide to Tooting and Mitcham United

The match: Tooting & Mitcham United v Kingstonian, pre-season friendly. Tuesday 2 August, 19:45.

The club: Isthmian members since 1956, they've played Ks many times over the years. Their honours include two league titles, nine Surrey Cups and an FA Cup fourth round appearance in 1976.

The town: Although often referred to as 'Tooting' after the host club, it's some distance from the home of Citizen Smith and foodie's favourite Tooting Market. The ground is actually on the borders of the more suburban Mitcham and Morden.

The ground: Imperial Fields, Bishopsford Road, SM4 6BF. It's a good ground with decent sized terraces behind both goals, although without backs they can get quite cold and don't hold the sound as well as some. It has a Conference South ground grading should we ever challenge for promotion.

Directions: With no direct route to the RBK most public transport routes go via Wimbledon. Head there from your nearest station and then it's six stops on the tram to Mitcham. The 118 bus from Morden stops nearby, which may be an easier route for some. You can park at the ground but the drive can be a bit of a slog through the rush hour (or Saturday afternoon) traffic. Head off the A3 at Tesco New Malden then through Raynes Park and Morden.

Tickets: £10 adults; £5 concessions; £1 U16s. An arrangement where Ks season ticket holders get into their games for half price applies only to the league, so everyone has to pay full price for this friendly.

Our record there: We've visited a few times since they moved there in 2002, with a mixed record. Highlights include holding off a late fightback to win 3-2 on Boxing Day 2009 and a fine Allan Tait volley in a 4-1 win in 2011.

Recent form: Winless in eight pre-season games so far, including a young side losing 10-3 to AFC Wimbledon, they might be even more alarmed by their form than we are by ours. Last season they were 15th in Isthmian 1 South Central.

Players to watch: Goalkeeper James Shaw returns to the club and has recently blogged about his return. At 31 he's the oldest player in a squad he calls young, raw and hungry.

Crowd: They're traditionally well-supported and there were some great atmospheres at games between the two teams in the 2000s as we battled each other for promotion. Their average last season was 231.

Drinking: The ground has a decent sized bar with live sport on TV. The Casuarina Tree is the nearby pub, also serving Indian and Sri Lankan food. Ks fans have often drunk in Wimbledon before our previous visits, where there's a wider range of pubs.

Food: Rather than your standard non-league burger van, The Shak is a proper takeaway serving Caribbean food from within the ground. There's also a chippie and a chicken shop in a row of shops near the ground.

Published Sunday 31st July 2022