Halls Athletic v Chipstead

2.45pm  25 March 2017

Kent County League, Division One West
Halls Athletic 1 Chipstead 1 (att 22)

This was plan C when I left Sevenoaks. Plans A and B and had been Gravesend-based Kent County League sides Guru Nanak and Punjab United, but an accident approaching Dartford meant the M25 ground to an all-to-familiar halt.

I exited the motorway at the junction for Gravesend, but the London-bound road was the only route moving so I headed that way and entered Dartford from the west.

The problem was that Halls' ground, next door to Dartford FC, was close to the M25 and I could see gridlocked traffic on the approach. In the end I abandoned my car about half-a-miles's walk from the ground and arrived, breathless, moments after kick off.

It can be hard to get into a game in those circumstances, although I pleased not to still be stuck in traffic. A check of the league table on my phone revealed visitors Chipstead were top, but they showed little sign of that on the pitch.

They did score the first half's only goal, but an error by their keeper allowed Halls to get a deserved equaliser after the break. The home side looked the better of the two but there were no more goals.

Halls Athletic (usually known as just Halls AFC but their badge reveals what the A stands for) play on the artificial 'community pitch' at Dartford FC's Princes Park. I'd expected the usual dull 3G set up, but was pleasantly surprised to find a small seated stand on one side, making it one of the better grounds of its type.

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