Grier's Guide to Whitehawk
When: Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 7.45pm
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.
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. There are lots of seats 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: Our most memorable visit was our first but officially it didn't happen - 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. Inevitably, Whitehawk won the replayed match. Last season they grabbed a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Players to watch: They had a few ex-Ks last season but all seem to have moved on now, or at least not to have played in the opening friendlies. Veteran Dean McDonald has signed over the summer and Henry Muggeridge tallied an impressive 18 assists, alongside 8 goals, last season.
Recent form: Relegated from our division last year, The Hawks will be looking to bounce back from Isthmian 1 South East. Pre-season started for them with a 1-1 draw with Eastbourne United and a 3-2 win at Newhaven.
Crowd: 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 crowds have improved significantly since those days and they averaged a respectable 318 last season.
Drinking: What was the only pub in the vicinity of the ground, The Whitehawk Inn, is now a community learning centre. Luckily the centre of Brighton has masses of choice. The Evening Star on Surrey Street is a cosy real ale den five minutes' walk from station. Craft Beer Co, The Brighton Bierhaus, The East Street Tap and Brewdog all offer craft beer, there's plenty of choice in The Laines, or Ye Olde King and Queen is an enormous mock Tudor pub that shows live sport. If you're not that bothered about getting out in time for the game, The Hobgoblin has an excellent escape room above it.
Food: Similar story to the drinking, with little around the ground other than a chippie on Whitehawk Road. The nearby 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.