Travel Guide to Whitehawk
Going to Whitehawk on Saturday? Here's Simon Grier's guide that originally appeared in our last home programme.
The town: Suburb to the east of Brighton originally built in the 1930s providing modern housing to replace cramped back-to-back terraces in the town centre. With gardens, electricity, gas and water the houses themselves were a big improvement, although the distance from the town centre reportedly made life difficult for the rag and bone men who relied on the horse and cart to make their living. Whitehawk was further remodelled in the 1970s and 1980s.
The ground: The TerraPura Ground, East Brighton Park, Off Wilson Avenue, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 5TS. Sponsorship has relieved it of its former name The Enclosed Ground, which neatly describes its physical location nestled beneath a picturesque hill. When we last visited it was a fairly ramshackle home to a team that had quickly risen up the pyramid but the need to meet a Conference South ground grading has since seen significant numbers of seats installed at both ends, originally used at the Withdean Stadium when it was Brighton's temporary home.
Directions: The number 7 bus runs from Brighton station to Roedean Road, about a 15 minute walk from the ground. The 1 and 21 also go from other parts of the town centre or a taxi is about £15. Car parking is £2.
Our record there: Officially we've only visited once but physically we've been twice. On our first visit we were 2-0 up with about 12 minutes to play, heading for an impressive win considering Whitehawk were top of the league and would eventually go on to win it, when the floodlights failed for the second time in the match. The League declined to let the result stand or even allow just the last 12 minutes to be played out on another day, demanding instead a replay from scratch. Inevitably Whitehawk won, although some Ks fans had good fun by turning up in miners' helmets.
Players to watch: James Fraser, who had a brief spell with Ks near the start of last season, is likely to be a major threat pulling the strings in midfield while right-back Aaron Goode will be very familiar to Ks fans. Striker Jason Williams also played for us last season.
Recent form: Sixth in the league after a strong start, the game marks the start of a tough run of fixtures for Ks with Tonbridge, Worthing and Folkestone all coming up too. The game could be quite open though, with a total of 21 goals scored in The Hawks' six league games.
Crowd: Not that big numbers wise but certainly making an impact and likely to be loud in support of their team. The Whitehawk Ultras have drawn comparisons with Dulwich and Clapton fans for their colourful banners and anti-discriminatory political stance. They have certainly grown their fanbase in the last few years - it was Whitehawk who The Wealdstone Raider originally taunted, "You've got no fans!" in the famous viral clip and subsequent number 5 hit single but their average attendance this season is a respectable 276.
Drinking: What was the only pub in the vicinity of the ground, The Whitehawk Inn, is now a community learning centre. Brighton Marina, around a 20 minute walk away, has some fairly generic chain-style pubs and bars but most fans will be better off drinking in Brighton town centre. The Evening Star on Surrey Street is a cosy real ale den five minutes' walk from station, owned by the excellent Dark Star Brewery. Craft Beer Co, The Brighton Bierhaus and the somewhat grungy East Street Tap are all well recommended for craft beer, Brewdog and Wetherspoons both have branches and Ye Olde King and Queen is an enormous tudor-style pub that shows live sport.
Food: Similar story to the drinking, with little around the ground other than a chippy on Whitehawk Road. The marina has all manner of high street chains including Pizza Express, Nando's, Five Guys and Las Iguanas while the beach offers fish and chips and the vibrant town centre pretty much anything you can think of.