Alfold 0 Nottsborough 1
Where: The Recreation Ground, Dunsfold Road, Alfold, Surrey GU6 8JB
Surrey FA Premier Cup Second Round
Overview: A newly-floodlit venue for me to visit so I set off on the 150-mile round- trip from home. This was little more than a park pitch just six months ago but Alfold have created a very good Step 6 ground in rapid time with room for further improvements in the future. I saw an interesting county cup tie against Southern Amateur League (SAL) opposition in Nottsborough FC. The SAL operates in Amateur Football Alliance (AFA) circles outside of the national Non-League Pyramid. Many of the players involved have decent jobs so they don’t need to get paid to play for senior clubs, preferring a more social level of football with their friends. But the AFA is a good standard, shown by the fact that Nottsborough are the current Surrey FA Premier Cup holders.
History: Located 10 miles south of Guildford, Alfold is a small village with a population of just over 1,000. The football club was founded in the early 1920s. It joined the Southern Combination League Division Two in 2015 and spent two years in the lower reaches of that division before being promoted to Division One at Step 6 for the current season. They are currently challenging for promotion again to the Premier Division.
Ground description: Over the years, Alfold played on five different pitches before moving to its current location at The Recreation Ground. It is situated at the end of a dark country lane with the cosy clubhouse providing a warm welcome. Alfold was awarded a £47,771 grant from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund in August 2018. This money went towards a number of improvements at The Recreation Ground, including: new hardstanding, pitch perimeter and boundary fencing, dugouts, a pay box, a seated covered stand for 50 spectators, floodlights and storage units.
The total project value for all of this work was £73,771 and everything was completed ahead of schedule thanks to the efforts of the club’s hard-working band of volunteers. Alfold had previously received a £67,000 grant from The Football Foundation towards excellent new changing rooms. The club has also made provision to install more seating and covered accommodation if it wins promotion to the Southern Combination League Premier Division at Step 5 of the Non-League Pyramid.
Programme details: Twenty pages with a cover price of £2. It contains a history of the visitors, Alfold players’ sponsorship details, editorial notes, line ups, league table, appearances and goal scorers.
The match: A very tight affair with Dan Barber scoring the only goal for Nottsborough in the 49th minute.
The people: It was a pleasure for me to meet Alfold chairman, Colin Chaplin, secretary Wayne Mouring and president Graham Chaplin. These three, very friendly guys have provided a combined total of more than 100 years of loyal service at the club since they were teenagers.
Tony Incenzo is a reporter for talkSPORT Radio and Sky TV. You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo
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