With practically no football left in the London area, I had the Tony Kempster forum to thank for this visit to Merton, of the Southern Amateur League Second Division. My visit was on 30th May, for an end of season friendly. A Merton FC Club XI were taking on a visiting Dutch amateur side from Den Bosch, OSC 45.
This wouldn't normally be a ground I'd visit, and it was certainly basic...as basic as it's possible to get. A pitch on a public recreation ground. But they are a proud old club, happy to compete at the level they're at, with seven teams!
When I arrived the home players were bringing the goals out.
This is the main building, changing rooms & clubhouse. Very 'local authority'!
Behind this they have a small bar, where I had a brief chat with a friendly home official, who made me feel very welcome, even though I wasn't with either club.
This is the chap at work, making the nets secure.
There were even some of those 'groundhopper types' present! ;-)
As you can see from the openness, & the jogger in the background, this really is a public park.
A bit of action, with the club building in the background.
A welcome break for the players at half time.
A photo that sums up the delightful amateur ethos. Presumably so poor that they can't even afford new goalnets! But the pride & spirit of the club clearly shows, as the ones they have are in club colours.
Another bit of action, with the 'hoppers' looking on.
The home team line up at the end.
And the obligatory joint team photo. Marvellous!
And personalised corner flags too! You don't see them in the Ryman League!
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