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Brightlingsea Regent 2
Gould (54'), Brothers (85')
0 Kingstonian
Brightlingsea Regent

Grier's Guide to Brightlingsea

The town: Small coastal town in north-east Essex, traditionally dominated by the fishing and shipbuilding industries. It made the news in 1995 because of the 'Battle of Brightlingsea', a ten month-long series of protests over the export of live animals through the town. Most of the protesters were locals and the media and authorities were reportedly surprised by how many of them were female, elderly and middle class - in contrast to their usual stereotypes of animal rights protesters. 

Where: The Taydal Stadium, North Rd, Brightlingsea, Colchester, CO7 0PL. A quirky ground with a welcoming clubhouse and a number of small stands dotted around it.

Directions: Already the most distant ground in the league now that Suffolk has become Southern League territory, railway engineering works mean that going by public transport would be somewhat intrepid. Replacement buses go from Newbury Park, way into East London along the Central Line, to Witham before you get a train to Colchester and then the 62 bus to Brightlingsea. Alternatively there's a National Express coach from Stratford to Colchester but either way it will take at least four hours door-to-door. So most fans will come by road but that in itself could take about two and a half hours, round the M25, along the A12 and then along some tight country roads to reach Brightlingsea.

Our record there: Last season was our first and only visit and Regent ran out 2-0 winners, the game being most notable for being Craig Edwards' last in charge of Ks. Regent have also won on both of their visits to the locale of Kingston, winning 1-0 at Fetcham Grove last season in swamp-like conditions and then 3-2 at King George's Field in a chaotic start to this year's campaign.

Recent form: A few weeks ago we might have considered ourselves a heavy favourite, with us chasing promotion and Brightlingsea deep in the bottom half. No more though - a good run of form has seen Brightlingsea up to 12th, one place above us, while the six straight defeats that marked the end of Leigh Dynan's reign have us rooted at the bottom of the form guide.

Players to watch: ex-Chelmsford striker Billy Hunt has scored 18 for Brightlingsea already this season. Harvey Hodd scored two against us on the opening day of the season, including a fine effort from the corner of the penalty box.

Crowd: Not the largest fanbase but their ultras punch above their weight noise-wise - the contingent they brought to Fetcham Grove last season were particularly vocal.

Drinking: The long journey and difficult public transport doesn't lend itself to much time in the pub but if you do have the chance, the nearest one to the ground is the Cherry Tree which has both a dart board and a pool table. There's also a cluster of pubs on and around the High Street about a ten minute walk away, of which Google rates The Railway Tavern the highest. Unfortunately the station it was attached to closed in 1964.

Food: Mac's Plaice fish and chips, just round the corner from the ground, was a hit last season with Ks fans and looked popular among the home supporters too. Good food, friendly service and a fishy pun name - what more can you want?

Photo courtesy of Brightlingsea Regent's Twitter account @Brightlingseafc

Published Wednesday 20th February 2019