Fulham at Withdean on Friday was an entertaining 90 minutes. The rain held off and it was a nice evening. We played what will be close to our starting XI in the season to come
Kuipers, Whing, Butters, Lynch, Rents, Robinson, Hammond, El-Abd, Cox, Revell & Forster. We also saw Fraser, Elphich, Elder, Savage & Loft get a run out.
The crowd was bigger than I expected (3,6.. with about 800 from Fulham who were in the family stand and east stand and not the usual away end).
We started superbly with Robinson tucking home from close range after a scrammble at a corner. We played some great flowing, passing football and matched Fulham for most of the game.
Just before half time Fulham equalised, but the forward looked off-side to me.
Second half was also evenly matched, Fulham showed glimpses of good football and went 2-1 up went Smertin smashed the ball in from a rebound straight through Kuipers legs to win the match.
It was a good entertaining match - Fulham played 2 different teams, but used all the new signings and first team players. Considering they have spend #16m close season and we have spent #75k I think we put up a good display.
Billericay on Saturday was basically the players that didnt get a full run out on agianst Fulham and a few of the youngsters/back up players. Sullivan was injured in the warm up so the starting XI was (I think) Winterton, Fogden, Fraser, Elphich, Mayo, Hart, Chamberlain, Oatway, Loft, Elder & Gatting. Savage replaced Hart at half time.
There were a few other subs with Oatway, Loft, Fraser and Elder going off but I dont know who replaced them!
The pitch slopes dramticaly down from one side to the other. The ground was OK with two small partially covered terraces behind each goal. One side was half seated and half standing. The other had a small main stand and once agian another covered terrace next to it.
The food bar served excellent bacon or steak sandwiches and the chips were nice and crispy!!!
The first half was played out in either heavy heavy rain or bright sunshine. The second half was played out in glourious sunny weather and also a slightly improved performance.
The pluses for me were Fogden, Elphick, Fraser and Savage all looking a step above the rest. Poor old Charlie looked well off the pace.
We had several good chances but the keeper saved well from an Elder header and also a good shot from Gatting (who looks very short on confidence at the moment).
Elder got a good round of applause when subbed - I would guess at a crowd of around 250, with about 50 brighton. The bizare part of the game saw 5 players booked in a 2 minute spell, all started by Fraser running 20 yards to get involved in a minor dispute. He was booked and then immediately subbed by Wilkins who was hobbling round with his leg in a big plaster cast.
Still the highlight of the day was an excellent club house with cheap beer (plus the excellent bacon sarnie!) and a clear drive home so I was back dropped back home by 6.15pm.
The football definitely wasnt much of an event, but as it was only #5 to get in, not too bad!
Looking forward to Saturday - especially the legends match.