Chalvey (WMC) Sports v Sandhurst Town reserves

3pm  25 February 2017

Hellenic League, Division Two East
Chalvey (WMC) Sports 8 Sandhurst Town reserves 2 (att 21)

The third tier of the Hellenic League, divisions two east and two west, used to be just for reserve teams, but in recent years a few ambitious clubs have entered first elevens as a step on the ladder into the non-League pyramid.

Chalvey moved from the East Berkshire League and are flying high at the top the table. There's no doubt they could compete at a higher level, but to do so will inevitably mean leaving the basic facilities at Chalvey Recreation Ground.

I do think it's a shame when if clubs are forced into groundshares, which are often unsustainable in the long term, just to step up a level, but there's no doubt the current ground falls some way short of the requirements for 'step six' football.

The pitch is roped off most of the way around (the far side was left open) and a pair temporary dugouts are put in place for matches. There's a tea bar in a building that houses the changing rooms, which also has a covered standing built onto it, although the view of the pitch from there would be obscured.

Overall it was a better set up that I'd expected, and the club officials I spoke to were very friendly. Apparently the prospects for promotion and/or a groundshare for next season are still being decided.

Chalvey stayed firmly on course for the league title by demolishing Sandhurst's reserve side, although the size of the defeat was a little harsh on the visitors. Sandhurst took the lead, but the hosts came back and had a 3-1 advantage by half time.

Sandhurst again threatened to make a contest of it by scoring the second half's opening goal, but it wasn't long before Chalvey again extended their lead. Three goals in the final five minutes gave the final score a lopsided look.

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