Walton Casuals v Taunton Town

3pm  9 February 2019

Southern League, Premier Division South
Walton Casuals 0 Taunton Town 1 (att 238)

When I began watching non-League football in the 1980s Walton Casuals were a curiosity, as the only first team playing other clubs' reserves in the Suburban League. They'd moved to the Surrey County Premier League by the time I visited in 1992, and their progress since then has been huge.

I was one of fewer than 20 people who watched them beat British Telecom in 1992, on a ground next door to the site of the newly-developed Elmbridge Sports Hub where they now play. As far as I could make out, the site of the old pitch is now an athletics track, with the new football ground right next door.

The venue is dominated by a large seated stand, with a clubhouse facility behind the seats at the top. The rest of the ground is open flat standing, but there's plenty of room for further development and a base that's been laid behind the dugouts on the far side suggests more spectator accommodation is imminent.

The ground is also home to Walton and Hersham, once the town's main club but now playing two divisions lower. Unless the banners and signage around the ground are changed depending who's at home then it's very much Walton Casuals' ground.

Casuals' rapid progress in recent years may be stalling a bit this season. Relegation remains a possibility after a comfortable but unspectacular loss to league leaders Taunton, who scored the only goal midway through the first half.

Walton passed the ball around nicely enough, making the most of the excellent 3G surface, but in the first half they rarely made any meaningful inroads into Taunton's defensive third of the pitch. The home side were more direct after the break, but even then chances to level the score were fleeting, and Taunton were largely untroubled.

No comments:

Post a Comment