Kent Invicta League
Sheppey United 7 Lewisham Borough (Community) 0 (att 208)
This wasn't the game I was aiming for, but it always pays to have a plan B. My intention, after the academy game at Crystal Palace, was a 2pm kick off at Gravesend-based Guru Nanak FC, but a late finish to the morning match, plus heavy south London traffic, meant I'd have missed the first few minutes. Instead, I headed further into Kent for a 3pm game.
Sheppey United's Holm Park is a ground I was keen to get to anyway. It recompleted the Kent Invicta League, and means I'm now down to just two grounds to complete the English non-League pyramid down to "step six" (some 47 divisions).
Sheppey doesn't feel much like a step six club, and are surely destined to climb higher. Few teams at this level can attract more than 200 paying spectators for a home game against struggling opposition, and the whole set up has a buzz about it.
The home fans will have gone home happy after a win that was all too easy. Sheppey were 4-0 ahead by half time, and could easily have got into double figures. Credit for Lewisham Borough though, as they never gave up, and they contributed to an enjoyable, if one-sided, 90 minutes.
Whether Sheppey can win promotion this season remains to be seen, there's some good sides in the Kent Invicta League at present and they're currently fourth. The ground must be compliant already, it's fully enclosed with a seated stand on the near side and a covered area behind one goal. There's hand standing all around, a decent clubhouse, refreshment hut, and even a club mascot (a tiger, not sure if they roam the isle of Sheppey).