The beautiful game returns

Credit: Liam McAvoy

July sees the much anticipated return of football to our grassroots pitches across the district and with Corinthian FC joining Sevenoaks Town FC in the Isthmian League South East Division it could get quite exciting.

Crockenhill, Ide Hill and Otford United will go head-to-head once again as they prepare to reignite their rivalry in the Kent County Premier Division. Some not so friendly pre-season fixtures will see who is ready and who still needs to work on their fitness. Here is our independent review on our top-flight clubs.

Isthmian League South East Division
Sevenoaks Town FC have every reason to be hopeful going into their fourth season in the Isthmian League South East Division and the squad will be looking forward to getting back on the pitch in competitive games once more.

Sevenoaks will play no less than seven pre-season friendlies at their home ground this season, and the pick of the bunch has to be on Wednesday 28th July versus Conference South side, and local rivals, Tonbridge Angels.
A good run of results can make all the difference in this league and Sevenoaks are quite capable of doing just that. A good run in the FA Cup wouldn’t hurt the team or the supporters either this season, the more football the better.

Sevenoaks Town FC spokesperson, Katie Le Sbirel, said: “At Sevenoaks Town FC, the new season is eagerly anticipated after the 2020/21 season was disrupted by lockdown. We hope next season will start as normal in August and, barring any Covid-19 complications, spectators will be allowed in at Greatness Park for all home matches.

“Sevenoaks Town runs 64 teams, including the men’s and ladies’ first team, a Veterans and four disability teams. They participate in many different leagues which will kick off in August, with pre-season starting in July.
“Sevenoaks Town are in the process of planning to build a new clubhouse at Greatness Park, with the aim of improving the facilities for the Sevenoaks Town community, supporting all users of the club’s amenities.

“The clubhouse will provide accessible open space and with it, STFC are improving the car park, which will mean parking spaces are marked, making it much easier for users to access. The goal is to make Sevenoaks Town FC and Greatness Park a welcoming place for everyone to visit.
“We’re looking forward to next season and seeing everyone back at Greatness Park!”

Website: www.sevenoakstownfc.co.uk
Twitter: @SevenoaksTownFC
Venue: The Bourne Stadium, Greatness Park, Sevenoaks.
Cost: Adults £8, Concession £5, Under-16’s £1.

Corinthian FC played in the same league (SCEFL) for over 12 years which definitely gave them an edge over their opponents who went up and down the league. However, now they are the team who have been promoted, it will be interesting to see how they start the new season.
With eight matches scheduled they will definitely be in the running when the campaign starts in earnest. A short tour up to Billingham Town and Hebburn Town will surely see them right when they go on their travels this season.

Website: pitchero.com/clubs/corinthianfc
Twitter: @CorinthianFC
Venue: Corinthian Sports Club, Gay Dawn Farm, Fawkham.
Cost: Adults £8, Concession £5

Kent County Premier Division
Crockenhill FC will start another season in the Kent County Premier Division and will be hoping for a much improved performance after finishing in a disappointing 13th position in 2019. They sometimes take a while to get going, so all eyes will be on their results at the start the season. Expect them to upset some big teams along the way.

Website: crockenhillfc.co.uk
Twitter: @CrockenhillFC16
Venue: Wested Meadow Ground, Swanley
Cost: Free

KCL Division One West Champions in 2019 propelled Ide Hill FC to the highest level in the clubs 98-year history, however due to Covid-19 they are yet to complete a full season in the KCL Premier. Ide Hill will gain points from unlikely sources but may come up short against better opposition this term. We expect some storming performances throughout the season though as they will look to consolidate their position in the topflight for another year.

Website: idehillfc.co.uk
Twitter: @IdeHillFC
Venue: Wrotham School 3G, Wrotham
Cost: Free

Much like their neighbours Crockenhill, Otford United FC have enjoyed several years in the Kent County topflight and we expect them to keep Premier status for another term. A new manager and coaching staff will encourage those players who may have been overlooked in past years. Otford are a well-established club and have been known to play some stunning football on their home ground over the years. It’s important for them to keep that home advantage if they have ambitions of winning the league.

Website: otfordunitedfc.com
Twitter: @OtfordUnitedFC
Venue: Otford Recreation Ground, Otford
Cost: Free

 

UPCOMING PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES FOR JULY/AUGUST 2021
Thursday 8th July

Billingham Town v Corinthian – 7.45pm at Bedford Terrace

Saturday 10th July
Erith Town U23 v Crockenhill – 3.00pm *
Hebburn Town v Corinthian – 3.00pm at Hebburn Sports & Social Ground
Ide Hill v Lydd Town – 12.30pm at Wrotham School
Sevenoaks Town v Canterbury City – 3.00pm at The Bourne Stadium

Tuesday 13th July
Snodland Town v Crockenhill – 7.45pm *

Saturday 17th July
Corinthian v AFC Uckfield – 3.00pm at Gay Dawn Farm
Ide Hill v Fleetdown Reserves – 3.30pm at Wrotham School
Sevenoaks Town v Erith & Belvedere – 3.00pm at The Bourne Stadium

Tuesday 20th July
Corinthian v Greenways – 7.45pm at Gay Dawn Farm

Wednesday 21st July
Sevenoaks Town v Lewes – 7.30pm at The Bourne Stadium

Saturday 24th July
Corinthian v AFC Croydon – 3.00pm at Gay Dawn Farm
Crockenhill v Greenway Aces – 1.00pm at Wested Meadow
Red Velvet v Ide Hill – time TBC at Metrogas FC, Thamesmead
Sevenoaks Town v Hollands & Blair – 3.00pm The Bourne Stadium

Tuesday 27th July
Barking v Corinthian – 7.45pm at Mayesbrook Park Stadium

Wednesday 28th July
Sevenoaks Town v Tonbridge Angels – 7.30pm at The Bourne Stadium

Saturday 31st July
Corinthian v Leatherhead – 3.00pm at Gay Dawn Farm
Crockenhill v Bexley – 3.00pm at Wested Meadow
Ide Hill v Minster – 3.30pm at Wrotham School
Sevenoaks Town v South Park – 3.00pm at The Bourne Stadium

Tuesday 3rd August
Corinthian v Ebbsfleet United – 7.45pm at Gay Dawn Farm

Saturday 7th August
Crockenhill v Welling Park – 3.00pm at Wested Meadow
Ide Hill v Belvedere – 2.30pm at Ide Hill Recreation Ground

*Venue is unknown. Please check club websites for any updates. This list should also include Otford United FC whose pre-season fixtures are currently unavailable.

• Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing would like to wish all our teams a successful season. May you do great things this year!