Saturday 26 February 2022

Lydd Town - The Lindsey Field

Lydd Town FC
The Lindsey Field
Dengemarsh Rd
TN29 9JH

01797 321904

Ground Number 1041
Saturday 26th February 2022
Lydd Town 0-4 Tooting Bec


The club was established in 1885 and for the first part of their history played in the  South Eastern (Ashford) League. They were champions in 1959, moving up to the Kent County League. They finished as Division 1 runners-up in 1965, earning promotion to the Premier Division in the process. They coped well with the step up and won the league title in 1970 and 1971. A couple of runners-up spots followed but in 1984, a new Senior Division was created and made the top tier but despite a 4th place finish, Lydd Town were not invited. They weren't left out for long and the next season, they won the title again and earned promotion to the Senior Division without losing a game. Again the club were a great success, finishing as runners-up twice before winning the title three times in succession at the start of the 90s. Another restructuring followed in 1992, and again, Lydd Town were dealt a harsh blow, as despite being reigning champions, they were placed in Division 1 East, again winning it at the first attempt. However, they were denied promotion due to ground grading issues but won the league again in 1994, this time being able to go up after remaining unbeaten all season. They were runners-up again in 1996 but results went awry in the mid-2000s and they were relegated to Division 1 East in 2006. Results did not improve and they were relegated to Division 2 East in 2009. In 2011, they finished as runners-up to Saga Sport & Social. They were elected to the newly established Kent Invicta League at step 6, which effectively gave them a three-division promotion. They finished as runners-up to Hollands & Blair in 2014 and a couple of seasons later, the league was integrated into the SCEFL D1 where the club remains to this day.

Lydd Town have an unremarkable record in the FA Vase and have only progressed to the 2nd Qualifying Round twice. Ironically, one of their defeats was to Tooting Bec in 2020 with them going out after a penalty shoot-out. The club has never played in the FA Cup, but they have won a number of local competitions. These include the Les Leckie Cup on seven occasions, the Eastern Floodlit Cup on three occasions and the Rye Charity Cup in 1910. The small town of Lydd has a population of around 6,500. Not a lot has happened there to be honest, but there was a notable incident around 75 years ago. In September 1940, one of four young Dutchmen who had landed on the coast between Hythe and Dungeness in a rowing boat was arrested for spying shortly after drinking at the Rising Sun pub. Three of the four were hanged at Pentonville Prison.


As usual, I'd be primarily using public transport on a Saturday. I'd narrowed it down to a number of options, namely Cambridge University Press, Bournemouth, Hailsham Town and Lydd Town. The latter completed the SCEFL D1 and was the favourite, although some of the connections were a bit tight and I'd be relying on a half-hour bus journey for the last leg of my journey. They were facing Tooting Bec, a far easier place to get to and when I enquired about whether they were running a team coach, they confirmed that they were. Seats were available at a reasonable cost of £15 and so I booked on, thinking that it would save a bit of hassle. The only downer was that I'd be missing out in some decent pubs in Rye, but that could wait for another day. The only downer was that there was barely anything of note in Lydd, but I would also be saving a bit of cash. There was a small doubt about the game going ahead, as they had issues with the electricity at the ground which led to the cancellation of the game on Tuesday. I sent a message to them, but they failed to respond, at least when I started typing my blog four days later on Saturday morning. Their Twitter account was not the most prolific and I do wonder why some clubs don't embrace social media more in this day and age. I had conformed with Tooting Bec on Friday night and I'd have an additional person with me as Colin had decided to come along too.

For that reason, I decided to go from Amersham and that would also give me a bit more time in bed. Not that I got much sleep, after a restless night, I woke around 7 when my alarm went off. I dawdled a bit and as a consequence, was later than I'd have liked leaving. I had to defrost the car too but I still met Colin as arranged at 7.45 outside the station. We got our train at 7.50 as arranged and were on our way. We were at Tooting Broadway by 9.20 and went in the JJ Moons Wetherspoons for a drink. I had a couple of pints of Black Dragon and that helped the day go smoothly. We then got the train to Morden, stopped at Lidl before the 118 bus. Colin had only hopped the ground a few weeks ago, so for once, I wasn't doing all the research. We were there 20 minutes in advance and so I got the £15 fare from Colin and transferred the £30 to Tooting Bec FC. I was pleased to be helping out a club and we had a brilliant chat with the coach driver who was an AFC Wimbledon fan. We also shook hands with the Tooting Bec gaffer and I was really willing them to win. The coach was a small one and was pretty full, although at least it made economic sense for the club. We left about 11.10, picking up a couple of players along the way whilst I cracked on with my blog. We had a stop a Lenham for the toilet which was most welcome, though I was annoyed that my power brick had stopped working. Luckily, the coach had ports to top me up. A quiz was played on the coach and it was a nice atmosphere. We were at the ground at 1.30. My research had turned up nothing special, so I went straight in and got a half-pound burger and chips for £6.50. This was nice and filling, not especially gourmet but typical football ground food that would soak up a few pints. I had one of the cans I'd got earlier before kick-off but the place was very quiet and not many turned up in the end.

Lydd Town were in terrible form and their last win came on January 15th as they won 4-2 at Westside.Since then, they'd drawn 2-2 at Faversham Strike Force and at home to Greenways. They'd also lost 4-0 at home to Sutton Athletic, 1-0 at Lewisham Borough and 2-1 to both Croydon and Sporting Club Thamesmead. They were 15th, whilst Tooting Bed were a lofty 3rd. They were unbeaten for a fair while, with their last loss a 3-1 defeat at home to Stansfeld on January 8th. They'd beaten both Staplehurst Monarchs United and Larkfield and New Hythe 3-1 at home.They'd also beaten Bridon Ropes 3-2. They'd drawn 2-2 at Lewisham Borough and 1-1 against Kent Football United, Lewisham Borough and Bridon Ropes. Tooting Bec started brightly and a free kick from the right smashed against the bar after two minutes. They took the lead after 9 minutes, a low ball from the right was put home at the back post by Eddie Mbango.Tooting continued to dominate but Lydd had a goal disallowed for offside following a rare break on 28 minutes. The visitors finally extended their lead on 62 minutes, a lovely strike from Alex Keating found the top corner from the edge of the area.  It was another brilliant strike on 73 minutes, this time from Nick Thompson which I was lucky enough to get on camera. Four minutes later, the rout was complete when a shot was cleared off the line and Conor Turner tapped home from close range.
It has been a decent game and a deserved win for Tooting Bec. We stood behind the away dugout in the second half and had a good chat with the management team. It was also a good day and so after the game, we headed back to the coach. We had an hour and twenty minutes wait after the game , one of the drawbacks of coming by team coach but overall I thought it was a good decision. Sadly, the news coming from our own team was not so good as Wycombe had led twice only to lose 3-2 up at Accrington Stanley. There was of course the foreboding Sunday, but there was an evening to relax before that. Maybe it would not be so bad anyway, with a lot of the toxic crowd in during the week, what with it being half term. I estimated that if I was lucky, I might even make it home in time for Match Of The Day. As an afternote on the following Monday, I missed MOTD and Sunday was as evil as ever. But it was a brilliant day with a great team and there was much joy and merriment on the coach home.



THE LINDSEY FIELD is a well-kept venue, around ten minutes from Lydd town centre. There's plenty of parking at the ground and reasonable food and drink facilities. The ground itself is smart but basic with concrete paths around three sides and two arena stands providing some cover. There's some nice scenery around too and overall, it's a good place to visit.

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