I decided to attend this Isthmian League South East game just the day before, and arranged to meet a friend there. The Homelands ground is in Kingsnorth and has lots of parking.
Entrance cost £10 for adults and the excellent match day programme was £2. The ground has a huge main stand complete with bar, hospitality boxes and plenty of toilet facilities. There is also a club shop and a hot food stand.
Ashford came out to the sound of a song in their name which sounded like it had been recorded by the Clash! There are covered stands behind each end which were busy and it added to the atmosphere in the ground. The sign on top of one of the stands proudly declares the sponsor backs “the nuts and bolts” after Ashford’s nickname from its origins as a railway engineers club.
Before the match both teams had been quite evenly matched having made good starts to the season. A win would push one of the teams into the promotion places.
The game was exciting and both teams played good passing football. After 6 minutes Sevenoaks were 0-2 up with goals from Frankie Sawyer and Tyrell Richardson-Brown.
Immediately, in the 7th minute, Ashford pulled one back with a Tommy Fagg tap-in from close range. Ashford couldn’t quite pull it level in the first half, due to good saves from the Sevenoaks keeper, Ben Bridle-Card.
After the break Ashford dominated and eventually Bode Anidugbe equalised, after a fumble by the keeper. The game then became an end to end battle, with both teams having close chances. The pressure inevitably caused some arguments on the pitch and on two occasions tempers spilled over.
As the 90th minute started, the game looked to have ended in a stalemate, but as we left the stadium, Sevenoaks snatched a 3-2 victory, with an added time winner from Thomas Ripley.
This was a great ending to a really good match at a great club. The 3g pitch, complete with rubber chippings, was a great surface for two teams who wanted to play fast, attacking football. This ground is well worth a visit and has a real atmosphere.