With the planned Rockwell development on Charlton’s riverside still causing controversy, The Charlton Champion took a Saturday afternoon trip to see one of the last remnants of the ropeworks that used to occupy the site – its old football team.
The side, which survived the closure of the last part of the factory in 1996, has bounced around minor leagues for years, recently settling into Division 1 of the Southern Counties East Football League – the 10th tier of English football (six promotions away from the Football League). They finished a decent fifth last season and are currently in third place.
The Ropes’ modest home is at Meridian Sports & Social Club on Charlton Park Lane – there’s a clubhouse and bar, and a little stand by the pitch. The ground is shared with Meridian VP, who play in the same division.
We got to see the Ropes in cup action on Saturday – a London Senior Trophy first round match against South Kilburn FC of the 11th-tier Middlesex County League.
And we got some value for our £5 admission – after Bridon Ropes edged their opponents 1-0 in the first half, they ran rampant after the break and ran out 8-0 winners over the North Londoners, featuring a hat-trick from winger Henry Dasofunjo scored in just eight minutes.
The Ropes won this trophy in 2014 and from what we saw today, have every chance of doing it again this season. If you’re lacking a football fix or are waiting for the Addicks’ hated owner Roland Duchâtelet to exit The Valley, it’s well worth a trip up to Meridian Sports Ground to see them in action – they are next at home on Saturday 3 November, with a league match against Phoenix Sports Reserves.
Words: Darryl Chamberlain
Photos: Neil Clasper
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