Welcome to Squeeze Gut Alley


Whitstable, home of England’s biggest village green (despite the fact it is a town), Alan Davies and TV’s worst comedian, Harry Hill.  Twinned with Mölndal in Sweden and “just good friends” with Sisimuit in Greenland.  And the final venue for my 2012/13 football season.  Yes, you may say it is nearer to the start of next season than the end of the last, but I play by the official rules.  UEFA told me over a coffee a few weeks ago (not all of UEFA but someone who works there) that the season ends on the 30th June each year, and so despite not seeing a game for over 4 weeks, today I bow out of the 2012/13 season having seen a grand total of 93 games.  Not quite the high of 2011/12’s 105 games, but even still – pretty bloody impressive if you ask me (which of course you are).

9169370130_c7c86a7f41_bWe all dream of fixtures falling into place for the Best.Day.Ever and here we are at the end/start of the season with a double-header of Ryman League South v Football League teams, separated by just a few miles, or one stop on the train.  Alas the lack of match action in the past few weeks has driven us to the extreme.  I wasn’t the only one who had seriously looked at the World Stool Ball this weekend before I stumbled across Dagenham and Redbridge’s visit to the Kent seaside.  As 80/1 outsiders for the nPower League Two title next/this season with Betfair.com, Dagenham & Redbridge will hope for a season similar to the start of next season rather than the end where they were in freefall. Add into the mix Gillingham’s first run out of the season at Faversham Town and it was a day better than hospitality at the FA Cup Final, or a free ticket for the All-German Champions League Final.  Probably. Continue reading

Derby Day part 5 – While Shepherd Neame watched their flock by night


Kent is one of the poorest counties in England when it comes to derbies at the moment.  Last season the high point was the first Ebbsfleet United v Dartford derby for over a decade, whilst Ashford Town’s demise meant that the game versus Maidstone United fell by the wayside.

There are teams dotted all around the county but rarely do they pop up in the same league.  We’ve been waiting for a juicy “Thanet” derby for a few years now, but Margate have stubbornly refused to go down, or Ramsgate go up so we will have to keep on waiting. But one game that gets the pulses racing in these parts is the Neame derby.  The Shepherd Neame derby aka Faversham Town versus Sittingbourne.

The brewers have been based in Faversham since 1698 and are one of Kent’s finest exports today with their Master Brew, Spitfire and Bishop’s Finger beers known the world over.  But few outside the county will know where the brewery is, let alone where Faversham is.  They should be ashamed of themselves for a town that once could boast to be the capital of England and today is home to England’s oldest person, 112 year old Violet Wood.  The town also hit the headlines in November when it was discovered that the copy of the Magna Carta they had turned out not to be a £10,000 replica, but a £20.1million original.  The things you find in your attic!  Neither town can decide if Sir Bob Geldorf lives close by, although I am not sure if they are embarrassed or trying to brag this one.  According to the website Knowhere.co.uk, Marlon Brando once dined in a restaurant in Faversham, or at least someone who looked like him.  Pass the butter madam. Continue reading