Tunbridge Wells FC

9th February 2013

FA Vase 4th Round
Tunbridge Wells 1 v Dunston  0
Gate: £6
Atten: 580

View all Photos from Tunbridge Wells (35)

Ground: On big match days, like today, this is a decent non league ground which has a certain charm about it.Upon entering i could feel the buzz around the place.The pitch slopes downwards towards the far end, where it drops away sharply behind the goal. The slope of the pitch is underlined by the staggered roofing of the original committee facilities and original clubhouse/changing rooms that stands on the half-way line, and the two covered stands,added later on either side, of brick and wooden construction. Combined, these extend virtually the whole length of the eastern touchline and, although they are not especially elevated, they do nevertheless give the stadium its main definition. The steep terraces when packed offer a certain charm. All set within a leafy environment, most enjoyable. 7/10
Vase Fever !
Match:The atmosphere created by the crowd was excellent. This was a typical Vase game in all respects, North v South, big crowd, muddy pitch, two teams doing their very best,both in search of fulfilling dreams of a visit to the promised land. Both teams going toe to toe. But as usual there could be only one teams going through and today the holders Dunston went out. They huffed and puffed but 'Wells stood firm and fully deserved their win. This game was being played at the fourth time of asking but although i only arrived at half-time, i was sort of hoping for extra time to allow me more minutes of this fascinating game. But what i did experience, i thoroughly enjoyed in my favourite competition of them all ! 8/10

The whole cast were present today, Princess, Linda, Big A, Bird, and Onion Bag and what a palava it was ! from start to finish ... some 14 hours later !
Looking back the writing was on the wall right from the very start . Big A was late getting out of bed and kept us waiting with his faffing about and snail paced walk. We were already late in taking Princess up to her University Open Day at Roehampton. In theory that should be straight forward enough, go there, quick tour, short lecture, ask a few questions, view accommodation etc gone by 1pm at the very latest , straight to football and a new tick - home by 6pm .... happy days ? ...... but no , things did not go like that. After a slow journey we arrived as the tours were in full flow. We attended the welcome talk and every second word they used to describe the place was 'fantastic', they must of used the word about 50 times, the only time they did not add the word 'fantastic' was when they mentioned the student fees !!! As the lecture for Princess went on the clock was ticking its now past 1pm and the little minx was asking questions in order to delay our departure as she knew i was itching to get my football fix. She should know by now, that saturday is football day ! Princess found it quite amusing, i am glad SHE did !. Then she faffed around wanting to have a 'final' look around only to add salt in my football wounds.

We got back in the car, woke Linda up and off we went. Now i knew Kingstonians were at home only a few miles away against Cray Wanderers but as i saw them play last week at Bognor, I decided to swerve and head to Tunbridge Wells for a Vase game. 1hour 45 mins later we were only 6 miles down the road  in South Wimbledon. I was still 31 miles away and kick off was 15 mins away... no chance. Roadworks, slow cars, traffic lights, rain were not helping.I was getting updates from the ground from a hopper friend who said how relaxed he was and how he had arrived in plenty of time... cheers buddy ! To cut the story short i finally made it to Tun Wells at Half Time, the lady on the gate felt so sorry for me she let me in for free - my only highlight of the day.

As i had not eaten since 7am that morning, tired, cold, wet and hungry Princess insisted we go to Pizza Express for dinner as she loves the place and the food is 'great'. We parked up at the top of town in the multi story car park (not cheap) only to find the restaurant was all the way at the bottom a good half an hours walk away, the problem being we were half way there so turning back made no difference as we had walked so far already. Upon arrival at this 'great' eatery we learned "no tables for at least an hour" ...... grrrrrr !

Thanks a bunch Princess !! - a 45 minute walk because you love pizzas !! only to find out no tables for at least an hour ! followed by a 45 minute walk back to the car only to be served rubbish and over priced with surly staff !!!
So to kill time we walked all the way back and drove down some 45 minutes later only to be served the thinnest thickest pizza of all time. "yes sir" said the manager with his beguiling smile .... "That is a deep pan, thick pizza"  ...... "No it is not" i replied ..... it was the thickness of a five pound note. The taste was bland with little toppings, the waitress was a surly filly and they insisted i payed the full amount. By then it was 9.10pm i had been on the road for 13 hours and still had more to come, so we paid and left in disgust.
my "deep pan and Thick" pizza !!!

It had been a long and painful day, and the patience had been tested on more than one occasion.
But as i drove back home i glanced in the rear view mirror to see Princess and Big A fast asleep and at peace again, and totally oblivious to the fact that i had just heard on the radio, that the ground i should have visited all those hours ago ... Kingstonians , had won 9-3 !

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