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Lewes 1
Hammond (64')
2 Kingstonian
Sow (15'), Bennett (27')

Grier's Guide to Lewes

When: Saturday 7 March, 3.00pm

The town: Delightful historic town set in the rolling hills of the South Downs. Well known for its annual bonfire celebrations which take over the town with an incredible display of light and noise. The different bonfire societies always try to outdo each other - our favourite is Waterloo due to their red and white hooped colour scheme. Effigies are burned every year, with last year's including Neptune (to highlight plastic pollution in the sea), a TV licensing van (to protest against the possibility of over-75s losing their free licenses) and Boris Johnson (now becoming a regular having also featured in 2016 and 2018).

The ground: The Dripping Pan, Mountfield Road, Lewes, BN7 2XA. Perhaps the most picturesque ground in the league with views over the South Downs. It has a large covered terrace at one end and a smaller open one at the other, along with a long main stand.

Directions: Exactly an hour from Clapham Junction and about a five minute walk from the station - go left and then left again. There's a small pay and display car park outside the ground as well as those for Sussex Downs College and Priory School further along Mountfield Road. Lewes' website warns that the town's traffic wardens are 'keen'.

Our record there: Last year saw Kim Harris take charge on a caretaker basis when Dean Brennan's reign came to an end after just five games. A cobbled-together Ks side lost 3-0 without ever looking like threatening. We've had far happier visits in the past though, with late winners sending the Ks fans delirious on a couple of recent visits - Paul Vines and then Ricky Sappleton were the men whose late strikes led to much spilt beer on the terrace behind the goal.

Recent form: At time of writing Lewes are propping up the league's six and eight game form guides, with a run of only one point from their last eight games dragging them dangerously close to the drop zone. But as the league's draw specialists, we've only won three of our last ten ourselves.

Players to watch: Lewis Taylor has joined the Rooks on loan from Dorking Wanderers - Ks fans will remember him as the man who scored the famous winner away to Glenn Tamplin's Billericay. He's a powerful box-to-box midfielder and a real goalscoring threat.

Crowd: Lewes' crowds are among the highest in the league and Ks fans tend to travel to there in good numbers which can make for a great atmosphere. Most of Lewes' fans are also shareholders under their successful community ownership scheme.

Drinking: The town is proud of its local brewery, Harvey's, and Harvey's Best can be found in nearly all of Lewes' pubs. The closest pub to the station is The Lansdown, where if the weather is decent Ks fans are likely to be spilling onto the street as kick-off approaches. Most of the pubs in town are fairly traditional, particularly the centuries-old Lewes Arms, although the recently opened Patch Beer Cafe bucks the trend by focusing on modern craft beers rather than cask ale. A few of Lewes' pubs, including the Lewes Arms, feature the local game toad in the hole, which involves trying to throw brass coins ('toads') into a small hole in a table - much harder than it sounds.

Food: There's decent fare on offer at the ground and in most of the town's pubs. Lewes is fiercely independent-minded so don't expect to find fast food chains - the mere prospect of a drive-through McDonald's opening produced an outcry last summer. Instead, Lewes features many small independent cafes such as Patch, Carafe Coffee Roasters and Bun + Bean, which specialises in veggie burgers, coffee and craft beer.

Published Monday 2nd March 2020