The Belmont Ground
Ground Number: 279
Saturday 29th June 2013
Whitstable Town 0-4 Dagenham & Redbridge
Luckily the Faversham v Gillingham game kicked off at 1PM, so that left open the opportunity to go to another game. Being that it was still in June, I thought I was going to struggle. Originally I had been planning on going to Ashford v Gillingham (they had sent another XI to the Kent League side) but that was 30-40 minutes away. By luck Whitstable Town were also at home and they were only 15 minutes away, so I decided to go there.
So after an entertaining game, we dashed out the exit to avoid the queues. We saw several others with the same idea, including Gillingham manager Martin Allen who was off to Ashford. For most of the people doing 2 games it was a quick drive down the A2 to Whitstable, getting there bang on 3 and missing only a few seconds of the action.
I had been told by fellow hopper Laurence that they were issuing a programme, however upon getting there, they had sold out. Instead I got a copy of the team sheet, which is good enough for me. The game was a lot more one sided than the previous one, with Whitstable going down without a whimper and barely registering a shot. They were managed by former Gillingham player Nicky Southall and had finished around the bottom half of the Ryman Division 1 South. On this showing, they will do well to better that in the coming season.
The visitors Dagenham and Redbridge had faced a similar struggle to stay up at the end of the season, only securing survival in the last handful of games. They had lost long time boss John Still in the spring, after he opted to join Luton Town in the Conference.
In front of a crowd of 301 and blazing hot sunshine, Dagenham grabbed a comprehensive 4-0 win, without really getting out of second gear. Louis Dennis opened the scoring with a curling shot after 20 minutes. Medy Elito doubled this on 38 minutes as he converted a penalty following a handball in the area. Trialist Bradley Goldburg got the third on 75 minutes, he had spent last season at Hastings and was part of their FA Cup run which took them all the way to the 3rd round. The 4th and final goal was scored by Ian Gayle with a powerful header.
Even though the second game had not been as good as the first one, it was still nice to see 2 games in one day, especially after being starved of footy for so long. I did discover when I got home that I had become quite sunburnt from spending all day out, and was a bit sore for a few days, but I didn't mind! We were thinking of going to Canterbury City or Herne Bay's grounds on the way home, but both were quite a detour and it had been a long enough day already. In the end, I made good time home and after dropping Anwar at the bus station in Wycombe, I was back home by 7PM.
THE BELMONT GROUND is pretty decent for this level, and is a traditional ground just like the previous days one at Faversham. A main stand holding around 200 had the nice touch of having the club name painted on the roof, and looked like it had been there years in a real old style font. There was also a more modern area of covered terracing behind each goal. I had some chips from the tea bar which were OK, nothing special. There was a good choice of stuff to chose from, probably as good as you will get at this level. The clubhouse was as you would expect, and there was no club shop that I saw. As for the surrounding area, I am unsure, but it looked to be in the middle of a housing estate.