Grier's Guide to Chertsey Town
K's have a 5pm kick-off on Saturday 10th July when they visit the 2019 FA Vase winners, here's Simon's guide to Chertsey.
The game: Chertsey Town v Kingstonian, pre-season friendly. Saturday 10 July 2021, 17:00.
The club: The Curfews were founded in 1890 and briefly reached the Isthmian Premier, their highest ever level, in 1995. The mid-2010s were a tough time that saw them languishing near the bottom of the Combined Counties Premier but in 2018/19 they bounced back spectacularly, winning a league and FA Vase double under the management of Dave Anderson.
The town: Small town that originally grew up around Chertsey Abbey, founded all the way back in 666 AD. The church bell used to signal the town's curfew, giving the football club its nickname. This weekend the town will be enjoying the annual Black Cherry Fair, where the entertainment includes stalls, music and a keepy uppy competition. With thousands of visitors expected, the unusual 17:00 kickoff time has been set to avoid a clash.
The ground: 28 Alwyns Lane, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 9DW. A fairly small ground but there's cover behind one goal and a compact main stand.
Directions: By train it's 26 minutes from Surbiton, changing at Weybridge, leaving a half mile walk to the ground. By car head through Hampton and then turn left at the water works before going through Shepperton. Alternatively it's close to junction 11 of the M25. The ground only has a small car park.
Tickets: £5 adult, £3 concessions, £1 U18s. You can buy them online here or pay cash on the gate.
Our record there: Our last visit was in 2017 when Chertsey, then-managed by Kim Harris and struggling badly in the Combined Counties, dumped us out of the Surrey Cup in an embarrassing manner. It was near the start of the collapse in form that saw Tommy Williams' time at Ks come to an end.
Recent form: They were sixth in Division 1 South Central when the Isthmian League was curtailed last season. Their opening pre-season friendly saw them beat Walton and Hersham 4-1.
Players to watch: Tough-tackling midfielder Kevin MacLaren captained Ks under Williams and is now The Curfews' player-manager. He had a long and successful career at Hendon under Anderson before joining him at Chertsey to captain the Vase-winning side. Ex-Ks utility player Scott Day is also now at Chertsey.
Crowd: It felt pretty desolate for that Surrey Cup defeat but it's clear that since then they're a club revitalised. 1,680 crammed in to see them beat Northwich in the Vase semi and last season they regularly achieved a crowd of 400 - the maximum allowed under the Covid rules of the time.
Drinking: The closest pub to the ground is the Olde Swan, with cosy decor, pizzas and pub food. Slightly further away The Crown and Thyme at the Tavern both have beer gardens - the rule of six will still apply indoors.
Food: The walk from the station to the ground will take you up Guildford Street where options include Subway, pizza, kebabs and a chippie.