No.18 - Sat 15th November 2014; Kent Invicta League;                                         2pm at Glentworth Sports Club; Lowfield Street; Dartford; Kent; DA1 1JB 


Matchday images (60)

Kent Football United (2) 3  Seven Acre & Sidcup (1) 1

'It's raining goals''

Today I’m making a rare hopping excursion from Racing HQ down to Kent (well it doesn't happen that often these days) to take in an eagerly awaited Kent Invicta League clash at Kent Football United FC for the visit of Seven Acre & Sidcup.


The club is easily reached after coming over the Queen Elizabeth Bridge toll by following signs to Dartford and taking the ring road. The ground itself is literally a stone’s throw from the town centre located (five minutes drive from the railway station) and is found along Lowfield Road. It is also within earshot of the Princes Park home of more illustrious neighbours Dartford FC (who were playing at home against Southport in a Vanarama Conference Premier fixture).


The team was originally formed as Erith & Dartford Town Football Club in 2010. They were accepted into the Kent Invicta Football League for the inaugural 2011–12 season and made their debut in the FA Vase. After previously sharing with VCD Athletic, Kent Football United Football Club is now playing its first team matches at a new venue, the basic but homely Glentworth Sports Club. Much detail of the move has been reported in the local press and the following (edited article) appeared on the Kentish Football website back in April 2014:


Kent Football United are delighted to announce that the club will be leaving VCD Athletic after three seasons to play at their own ground in Dartford. The Kent Invicta League side will move into their own ground on 17th May at the Glentworth Sports Club, Lowfield Road, the former home of Kent County League side Borough United. An agreement was reached with the Glentworth Sports Club last Friday with Sam MacNeil and Maria Tompkins in attendance to finalise the deal that will see the club play Kent Invicta League football at their new ground.

Development work will commence on the ground on 19th May and will include pitch levelling and creating one adult pitch and two mini soccer pitches. It will also include one floodlit mini soccer pitch and one floodlit training area. The ground will also include handrails, advertising boards and dugouts around the first team pitch, along with a covered hard standing area for 200 people, which the club has acquired through a local corporate sponsor.
The current dressing room facilities will be refurbished and facilities already available include clubhouse, bar, hot and cold refreshments.

MacNeil, the club’s first team manager and youth development officer, said: 'What a fantastic opportunity for our club to really push on and assert ourselves in the local community. When you look at clubs like VCD and Phoenix Sports they have that identity because of their own ground acting as a landmark – we can now do the same.  Obviously this is excellent for the senior side as it will allow us to be in control of development and creating something from a blank canvas that works for us. In addition, it is great news for the 12 youth teams we will have next season'.

'Kent Football United will now have a central hub for all their training and matches with excellent facilities for hosting opposition teams. By having our own private ground it will allow us to increase our revenue hence making the everyday running of the football club a lot more comfortable and thus allowing us to venture into developing our current schemes like the Fingerstips Goalkeeper School and Excel Soccer Academy for children in Year Reception and Year 1'.

'Furthermore, it will now allow us to create an U21s next season which will be playing in the Kent U21 NRG Development League and will share an alternate week slot with our Kent Invicta League side. The club has been actively selling advertising boards to local companies for the past two months with the money going into a facility development fund ready for May 19th and obviously the boards stored up ready to erect up at the ground.

The ground has a fantastic potential which is what we saw when approaching the Glentworth over a potential agreement'.

'I am aware Borough United used the ground before us some time ago and so at least County level football has been played there. On site there are already training lights which we will be refurbishing and re-erecting allowing us to use the site beyond the normal weekend availability – and open it up to midweek training for all our teams.
The development of the ground facilities will be ongoing from May 19th to try and ensure we are ready to host Kent Invicta League football from the second week in August – a lot of work to do! 
I would like to personally thank VCD Athletic for the past three years and the offer of a ground share extension but the opportunity for us to have our own private football ground to cater for the whole club was an offer too good to turn down. This will ensure the long term stability and development of the football club and that is what we want'.

'Over the past three years we have not had the success on the field in the Kent Invicta League that we may of hoped for – despite making progress this season and being competitive. However, off the field developments like this show our commitment as a club to developing and growing bigger in the future. Our youth section is building up and we are receiving assistance from the Kent FA in terms of funding; we also hope to be successful in our application for the Grow the Game Fund to assist with the running costs of the Under 21s'.


Treasurer Tomkins added: 'It is brilliant, the opportunity to all play under one roof together as a club is what every club strives towards; and being able to build something in the future that we can be proud to call our own for Kent Football United'.

A short driveway leads to an unmade car park with the large well appointed Glentworth Sports Club (adorned with flags along its low roof) to the left and the playing area away to the right. The ground which meets the KIL grading criteria is still in the early stages of redevelopment and renovation (with building materials, a cement mixer and excavator randomly strewn about the site) and its ramshackle appearance will certainly appeal to the discerning hopper who prefers this quirky set up to the more modern but rather bland Atcost style arena. 


The ground is bordered by housing in the neighbouring residential area to give it a more enclosed feel. At present perimeter fencing surrounds parts of the pitch with assorted advertising boards fastened to it. Although there is no cover a couple of recently built dug outs straddle the half-way line on the nearside. Plenty of long grass, weeds and nettles still occupy the ‘terracing’ and the area closest to the entrance where some haphazardly arranged wooden changing rooms for the players and referee currently stand alongside the Glentworth Sports Club. As you’ll appreciate a bit of TLC is certainly called for here!!


Today’s game played in dull showery conditions was a thoroughly entertaining affair. For the record the hosts won by a deserved 3-1 score-line to give the club three much needed points in their bid to climb away from the lower reaches of the table. A crowd of 28 was in attendance including a large number of hoppers many of whom were disappointed not to receive a matchday programme (which I assumed was a stipulation for all KIL fixtures?). Upon arrival a rather non-committal gateman wasn't sure whether the club was producing bits of paper. Right up until kick-off he hesitatingly fended off requests for one - surely if your club is not intending to issue programmes, just come clean and say 'no'!


I was lucky to be joined pitchside today by mega FGIF contributor Keith Aslan who had travelled up to Dartford by train from his new base in Broadstairs. This was Keith’s fifth choice game having seen his other options (mostly in Essex) fall victim to the affects of the recent bad weather. He remarked on how refreshing it was to see the game start on time (well three minutes early to be precise!). Keith kindly bought me a much needed half-time cuppa from the pavilion where a range of tasty hot meals were on offer pre-match. From our vantage point behind the goal we could just about make out the lights from Dartford FC and at sporadic intervals could hear chanting coming from terraces at Princes Park. My Sky Football app kept us informed of the other scores and interestingly that the Conference Premier game at Macclesfield (v Lincoln City) had been postponed not due to bad weather but that the visitors hotel had caught fire in the hours leading up to the game. Being a couple of anoraks we'd definitely never witnessed such a call off in our travelling careers before! Nice to meet up Keith!


A visit to Kent Football United FC and the Glentworth Sports Club comes highly recommended. More details about the club itself and the league in general can be found by clicking on the links below! Have fun wherever you go!'.          

FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) Blake (19), Adebayo (45+3, 70) and (A) Ecuyer (pen 28) 

Attendance: 28; Admission: £5; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.


edited on 17/11/14