Abbey Rangers 3 Egham Town 0 - Combined Counties League, Premier Division North
Abbey Rangers Football Club was established in 1976, initially as a youth club and was named after the nearby Chertsey Abbey. Subsequently the club joined the Surrey & Hants Border League, winning Division one in 2004-05. In 2006 the club joined the Guildford & Woking Alliance and won Division One at the first attempt. The following season after finishing as runners up in the Premier Division, promotion to the Surrey County Intermediate League (Western) was secured. Via a further move to the Surrey Elite Intermediate League, Abbey Rangers gained promotion to the Combined Counties League in 2014. Promotion to the Premier Division was secured that first season.
Stand-up comic, William Evans (our good friend from Spurs), is said to be a former player for Abbey Rangers and I will confess that since I learned of this, I decided that a visit would be necessary. The club play their home matches at Addlestone Moor with the nearest railway station being Addlestone. The walk from the railway station is fairly straightforward and takes a little over fifteen minutes. The only real obstacle being crossing the busy A317 Woburn Road, along which it appears you are only eligible to drive along it, if you are travelling fast.
There are no public houses or other refreshment facilities on the direct route from the station. However, exiting the station in the other direction would satisfy as it leads to the main town centre. The excellent clubhouse building at Abbey Rangers is situated behind the near goal as you enter the ground and includes a superb refreshment bar “The Dugout”, along with a licensed bar. Here I was able to watch the second half of Everton v Aston Villa, having a choice of three screens.
Many of the regular Abbey Rangers fans opted to watch the match in front of the clubhouse with their pints. The main spectator viewing areas are two covered seated stands and a further covered standing are. All of which are located along one side, which also contains the dugouts. The remainder of the ground is railed off, with hardstanding along the opposite side but not the far end.
I was struck by the community feel to the place. It was already busy when I arrived around 1:15 and there had been early football activity for youngsters. Outside the main playing area there are other pitches, including a 3G facility and the club is clearly ambitious, having already taken great strides.
A glance at the league table in the matchday programme revealed Abbey Rangers in third position and visitors Egham Town in fifth. Therefore, a decent match was anticipated. On a chilly afternoon it was the hosts that took the early initiative and were soon ahead, courtesy of a fine strike by Archie Vincent, Further goals (a brace from Mo Diakite) ensured a comprehensive lead for the hosts at the break
There were no further goals in the second period despite the best efforts of both sides. Egham Town will have been frustrated with their afternoon, with good build up play unrewarded. The final whistle blew around 16:55 leaving just enough time to get back to the station and cross the bridge to the London bound platform.