Tudor Sports FC
Sidcup Conservative Club
0208 300 2897
Ground Number: 773
Saturday 12th May 2018
Tudor Sports 0-4 Staplehurst Monarchs United
Kent County League - Premier Division
TUDOR SPORTS - A BRIEF HISTORY
The current Tudor Sports side was founded in 2001 and was initially known as Erith 147. They joined the Kent County League in 2006, starting in Division 2 West. They always stayed in the top half of the table and in 2012, a runners-up spot behind Bexlians was good enough for promotion to Division 1. They celebrated their inaugural season with another runners-up spot, this time behind Fleetdown United. They've been in the step 7 Kent County Premier Division ever since and in 2016 merged with Tudor Sports, also taking their name. Their best finish so far has been 7th which they achieved in 2014, though they will be beating that this season as they sit 5th. Recent form has been inconsistent, winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 2 of their last 6 games. 9th place Staplehurst Monarchs United will provide a tough test, sitting 3rd in the form table and winning 4 out of their last 6 games.
The original Tudor Sports FC was founded a year later in 2002. They started out in the South London Alliance League before joining the Kent County League in 2006. Starting in Division 2 West, they earned promotion to Division 1 West as champions in their first season. Four seasons were spent here before 3rd place behind Farnborough OBG and Eltham Palace in 2011 saw them promoted to the Premier Division. Their debut season saw them finish a best-ever 5th. They couldn't keep the form going ever and in 2016 they finished bottom of the Premier Division. The club immediately joined the South London Alliance and following the merger, they became the club's reserve side. This season, the league was renamed the Bromley & South London League and the club's reserve side currently top the table.
My season with Wycombe and most of Non-League down to step 6 might have packed up for the season but that didn’t mean there was a lack of choice. There were still plenty of action at step 7 and below and I drew up a list of 20 feasible options, the best of which was Thorne Colliery. It was a fair trek though and so I decided to do something on the train. It boiled down to two options- Peckham Town and Tudor Sports. In the end, the latter won as it had a nice micropub and a Wetherspoons nearby. I was loathe to use my car, which had been a pain in the backside once more. I’d already had a few incidents with minor encounters with wildlife causing expensive damage to the weak bodywork and the badly made Renault was at it again. I’d had to cancel a trip to Swanwick Pentrich Road at the last minute due to the wishbone snapping. The damage had also seen the bodywork bend and now the wing was rubbing against the door and another bill on top of the £470 I had paid so far (including two new tyres) and the Green Flag call out. I was getting fed up with my car, though it was nice inside with leather seats and Bluetooth, it was very poorly built on the outside and I'd regretted not sacking it off and getting another car ages ago. I was pleased that it was drivable though, as I'd turned up at work saddle-sore and tired after cycling to work for the past two days. As it turned out, the second part of the repair didn't bost as much as I'd first feared - £150, but it was still nearly 3 weeks wages for the whole lot.
I’d had a quiet evening the night before, so I woke on the day of the game feeling pretty decent. After having breakfast and getting ready, I left at 9.45, parking up near Amersham station and getting the train into London. After changes at Finchley Road and London Bridge, I got to Sidcup around midday. Normally I’d have stopped at London Bridge and gone to Borough Market but today, Sidcup would provide enough for a decent pre-match. I was peckish by now and not wanting to eat on an empty stomach, went to the local Co-Op and bought a bag of crisps. A couple of handfuls of these shoved down my gob, I headed for my first stop, The Hackney Carriage Micropub. This was a great place and with a huge range of ciders, I was able to choose 2 in my favourite style of dry. First up was a pint of Outcider by Eltham Gold, this kicked off my afternoon very nicely as it had plenty of flavour. Next up was even better, a pint of ‘Fighting Cider’ by Chant. The barman/owner had warned that only one person had liked it so far, but for me, it was excellent. Very dry and not one to sling back at a rapid rate, it was one to savour and enjoy. Luckily, I had plenty of time and when I left at 1pm, there was still plenty of time until kickoff. Drizzly rain interrupted my mile walk to Wetherspoons, typical after it had been sunny all week whilst everyone was stuck in work. I got to The Tailors Chalk ok though and although fairly scruffy, it was decent. I had a pint of Black Dragon cider along with Doombar pie, chips and mushy peas for about 9.50. So from there, it was to the ground.
More rain saw me get there at 2.30, there were no programme or entry fee. After getting some pictures of the ground I settled down under the cover. The visitors were the better side and they took the lead on 37 minutes, netting from inside the area. The lead was doubled a couple of minutes into the second half, a smart lob from the Staplehurst number 10 from a tight angle. The game was sealed on 80 minutes, a good ball into the area was put away with a neat finish for 3-0. Tudor Sports briefly flourished, a goal a few minutes later was ruled out for offside. A few minutes from time, it was 4-0, a low angled finish produced a scoreline that did not flatter the visitors against the underwhelming hosts.
The weather continued to be abysmal, with a wet walk back to Sidcup station. I considered getting a Chinese but decided to wait, getting to the station at 5.05. I had 10 minutes wait for the train, but I was at least able to take shelter in the waiting room. For once, all the connections were good and I made rapid progress towards home. Even with the half-hourly service towards Amersham, I only had to wait for 2 minutes to get my train. I got back to the station at 7 and fifteen minutes later I was back home. Normally, I'd be killing time until Match Of The Day, but tonight, it wasn't on, with all the games being played on Sunday. I had a game the following day too, Hampton & Richmond Borough v Braintree Town in the Conference South play-off final. I'd be up at 4 am for work, so I was aiming to get to bed by 9. I wanted to get my blog done though and so completed it whilst catching up on my YouTube subscriptions.
The ground is situated on Oxford Road and is part of the Sidcup Conservative Club. It's an excellent venue for step 7, there is a decent sized stand with space for around 200, fifty of which are seated. Across the other side of the pitch is a smaller area of cover, for around 50. Overall, it's a nice venue, but plenty of character but the lack of hard standing and floodlights prevent it being a step 6 venue, which is a shame.
At the ground is a bar, though I didn't check it out. You'll be well served by the town though, which is less than 10 minutes away. The pick here is the Wetherspoons, The Tailor's Chalk as well as a MIcropub, The Hoppers Hut. Back near the station, just under a mile away, is my favourite place of all, The Hackney Carriage Pun. Around 25 ciders, plus ales are available and there are plenty of takeaways, both here and in town.