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Kingfield Stadium, Woking
v Crawley Town
Friday, December 26th, 2008, 3pm
Blue Square Premier League
John Hubble

We were spending Christmas with the in laws in Sandhurst so after arriving on Christmas Eve from Solihull where we live and then going through the usual activities on Christmas Day (eating & drinking) I was in the mood to get out for some fresh air on Boxing Day.

On looking for a game to see and having already been to all the local League grounds (Aldershot, Reading and Wycombe), I looked at the fixture list and noted Woking were at home…and only 12 miles down the road, against Crawley who were doing well in the league. Although I had already been to a number of current Blue Square Premier grounds,when  the teams were in the Football League, I hadn’t been to one that wasn’t or indeed in Woking’s case, hadn’t. So in that respect it was a first 'Conference' ground for me.

I set off just after midday and noting from the Club website, that parking near the ground was quite restricted, I decided to park in a town centre car park for a fiver. The journey from Sandhurst to Woking was straight forward with less traffic than normal I would guess, with it being Christmas. Having parked in a small multi storey, I was in two minds as to either get to the ground and have a pint there or visit one of the town centre pubs before making my way to the ground. I decided on the former as it was a 15/20 min walk predominantly downhill.

The ground is tucked away from the town centre at the bottom of a steepish hill and in a very picturesque area, with numerous trees/houses and located in a more upmarket area than you’d find most at most football grounds. There is a small car park located just inside the main entrance which is for players, match and club officials I presumed. On entering I asked a steward if alcohol was served in the ground. He asked who I supported and I said Birmingham City which obviously threw him somewhat. As I was not an away fan he said it would be fine to enter the club bar behind the main stand .I paid, bought a programme (which looked a good read…and was) went to the club shop which is very tiny but well stocked with club clothing/shirts etc and also current season programmes. The club bar is fairly bland and basic but there was a big sky sports screen on the wall so I bought a pint (Carlsberg £2.50 v reasonable for Surrey) and watched the Stoke-Man Utd game. The bar filled during the game and the atmosphere was good with a very friendly local family feeling you obviously get at clubs at this level. Went outside, bought a pastie from the vending caravan just by the turnstiles and decided to stand behind the goal which was a long stand covered and where the main home support seem to congregate.

The ground is quite basic apart from the stand behind the opposing goal which is a modern large construction quite out of sync with the rest of the ground. The 'main' stand is in fact a couple of very small stands put together with terracing on either side which looks a bit disjointed (a bit like the main stand at Watford albeit on a smaller scale) The other side is an open terrace where the 150 or so Crawley fans stood.

The game itself was pretty none descript…a 0-0 draw, lots of huff and puff but not much finesse as you would expect at this level, very few scoring chances for either team although Crawley were the better team throughout. A sending off for either side spiced things up …something need to on a freezing cold day. The only singing as such was from the Woking fans but even that was the incessantly boring 'Come On Woking, Come on'…which I’ve found on my travels is usually sung only by teams who either haven’t got a song of their own or can’t be bothered to sing anything else.

I left just before the final whistle due to walk ahead back to the car park and also because I was frozen stiff and hoping the walk would warm me up. Got back to the car park and back to Sandhurst in good time.. just as tea was ready!!

All in all a good day out .The fans were friendly, many families and its nice to go to a game at this level and relax without the tensions associated with watching your own team. I haven’t any intentions of 'doing' the conference grounds.. I still refer to the league as the conference..old habits I presume, but certainly would not rule out another visit to Woking or indeed visiting other grounds in this league.

Are you an away or general football fan who has visited Kingfield recently?
If so why not submit your own Football Ground Review of the stadium and general day out?

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