The Waltons

Isthmian League Cup, 2nd Round
Walton Casuals FC v Walton & Hersham FC
Tuesday, 28th October 2013, 7.45pm
Waterside Stadium
Entrance £8, Programme £2
Distance 6 miles, Attendance 104
As the Baldwin sisters were sending out invitations for a lavish ball deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, nearly four thousand miles away in deepest Surrey folks were planning a couple of Walton get-togethers of their own.
The_Waltons_1974Oblivious to the shenanigans across the pond – as the Second World War came to a close – in the League of Corinthians, fifty year old “Grandpa” Walton FC was cosying up with Esther; or neighbouring Hersham FC as they were more commonly known. A few years later, on the other side of town, a group of ex-servicemen were casually forming an outfit which would eventually rival old man Walton.
Starting out in the county’s local intermediate league, the casual servicemen climbed the mountain and now sit proudly in the same division as the folk from Stompond Lane. Though both found it tough under foot last season – thanks to a reprieve for Walton the younger – they remain together in the level six, Isthmian League South.
Whilst not without successes, like their Virginian counterparts the Waltons have a rather modest family silver collection. Both sides could fill a small cabinet however the one they’re both missing, is the Isthmian League Cup. Only ever won once by a Surrey side, the League Cup is a big draw for many clubs at this level and, for the winners of tonight’s local contest is an away tie at Kingstonian.
131028 The Waltons (2)Parking in the Xcel Centre next door, one gets a good impression of the scope for possible sporting development of this area; there’s a copy of Elmbridge Council’s plans for this land located in the large bar overlooking the Waterside pitch. If they come to fruition, the casual half of the Walton family will indeed have fallen on its feet.
Scanning around the ground, as usual sport-branded Surrey was out in full force with a fine array of local club coats accompanied by a smattering of premier league hats. Even better, and the best thing about football in Walton, is that despite the relatively small crowds, fans always turn out in club colours, or as one away fan described the scene as he entered the bar “all the usual reprobates are here I see”.
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The night was dark as the play kicked off. The Orange and Black stood behind one goal, Red and White remained to the pitch side, and Yellow got hoofed around the somewhat undulating surface.
The Stags, or Walton the Younger, may have been riding high in the league but like in all local derbies, or cup games for that matter, form gets thrown out the window. The first shot came from the Walton Senior’s Swans’ Julian Owusu and sailed just over the bar as Martin Dynan endeavoured to muscle him off the ball. With “Come on you stags” ringing out, a casual corner then came to nothing, prompting me to assume that the Ks regulars (hanging out with Walton Junior’s orange folk) might not be too concerned about their upcoming opponents. That was of course before visiting captain Mark McLeod put through a couple of fine balls and a long range effort was fired wide of the post.
131028 The Waltons (30)As the pace increased, so did the complaints. Jamil Okai sped past three before going down, then took the freekick quickly – whilst the other Waltons bemoaned the decision – teeing up Dave Francis who rifled a low shot off the far post. The pair repeated the feat, almost exactly, ten minutes later. If they didn’t rue these misses then, they soon would.
Samad Kazi failed with his first serious attempt but moment later, broke clear, wrong footed the keeper and slotted home. The senior Waltons were ahead but in truth, the game was so even I and others around me were surprised anyone had scored. Moments later Kazi was in the thick of it again. A 50-50 challenge left both players on the ground and home fans unexpectedly singing “You dirty southern bastards” at the other half of town. Somewhat more unexpectedly Kazi’s treatment resulted in McLeod being subbed off for Warren Gladdy.
131028 The Waltons (47)wNext up Kazi is pushed down in the box, Sol Patterson-Bohner gets shirty with the ref, Juan Onieva steps up, Kieron Sanderson saves and, more players find excuses to shout, a lot. Not wanting t be left out, visiting keeper, Dane Buss, makes two brilliantly saves before Liam Flanighan’s rash challenge on Onieva earns a yellow card; not the first or last of the night. Thankfully the ref, realising the both game needed cooling off and my fingers needed warming up, blew for the break.
With the first Bovril of the season on board, I went back out for more Walton on Walton, or Stags vs Swans as the Americans might prefer. By now the red and orange shirts were becoming a bit of a blur but, thankfully the home side – in the marginally lighter hue – hadn’t given up just yet.
Okai again muscled goalwards but didn’t pass when the opportunity was begging for it. Dynan, Francis and Jamal Jimoh all looked to be doing well, though two were withdrawn in a bout of substitutions which made little difference to the game. Still Younger Waltons dominated whilst the Senior Waltons relied on the break, and in between, mistakes littered the play.
131028 The Waltons (10)wUnlike others Dynan made up for his mistake with a game saving tackle whilst the ref had to point out a few errors of his team mates. The ref then made the mistake of awarding the Swans a freekick after their sub Andy Lomas had stood on Dynan’s head and, Chris Grayland came up with the misquote of the night. When “Av-it!” would been more apt, as his team mate hoofed the ball off the toes of a defender – out the park and towards the river – he yelled, “I love that pressing”.
In the flurry that followed the visiting Waltons obstructed a freekick to slow play down, shouting reached a crescendo and, the ball was launched upfield for some head tennis. First Grayland heads it back almost the distance it’s just travelled, the defender miss-heads it, Owusu heads twice as he advances on goal then, runs through and slots home.
131028 The Waltons (41)wAt this point, the home side shots on target could be considered as nothing short of casual. As if to support this view Okai drove the ball across the area and every missed it and, Connor French headed over with an open goal before him. Still the (five) fans behind the goal sung encouragement and, still their side pressed forward. When the opening eventually arrived, it was not only a consolation but the last touch of the game and, their first shot on target (my estimate). Despite the entertaining second period, it was all too little too late for the young ones.
Without dominating, Old boy Walton left with the spoils and, I left safe in the knowledge that I’d rather have been here than that over-hyped London derby in the other league cup. Aptly for the Home Counties, the final whistle was followed by cordial  handshakes, before we all went our separate ways cold, tired and in need of sleep. If nothing else Walton was the winner on the night.
Good night, John Boy
Good night, everyone

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This entry was posted in 2013-2014, Isthmian League, Isthmian League Cup and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Waltons

  1. shaun ellis says:

    Enjoy the blogs, but any chance of putting the match result at the top of the blog? thanks.

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