Grier's Guide to Horsham
The club: The Hornets were founded in 1881 but spent their first century or so in the Sussex League and the lower reaches of the Isthmian, only reaching the Premier Division for the first time in 2006. The following year they reached the 2nd round proper of the FA Cup for the first time, drawing live on TV with Roberto Martinez's Swansea side that won League One that year. They had a difficult period after selling their ground in 2008 and struggling to get planning permission for the new one but they're now finally in their new home and back in the Isthmian Premier.
The town: Market town between London and Brighton that allegedly saw Britain's last ever wife sale in 1844, for a price of 30 shillings. Famous residents include Harry Enfield, Holly Willoughby and pop/rock band The Feeling.
The ground: The Camping World Community Stadium, Worthing Road, Horsham, RH13 0AD. Horsham sold their town centre Queen Street ground and then endured 11 years of groundsharing while fighting for planning permission for the replacement. Like many modern grounds it's out of town, is tidy but compact and has a 3G pitch. It won Groundtastic magazine's best new ground award for the 2019/20 season.
Ticket prices: £11 adults, £6 over 60s/students/U18s, £2 U16s. The game is all ticket - they're available at https://horshamfc.ktckts.com/brand/match-tickets
Covid security: All fans will need to provide their track and trace contact details when buying online. Horsham have produced a video detailing their safety measures (https://youtu.be/cfpjvVwV0CA), which include cones to socially distance the queue, temperature checks on arrival, 2m spacing markers on the terraces and social distancing measures in the bar. Nonetheless with a maximum 600 crowd possible (they averaged 596 last season) in a not particularly large ground, it won't be the easiest game of the season in which to keep your distance from others.
Directions: The ground is a mile and a half south of the town centre, just off the A24. Only players and officials can park at the ground unless you have a blue badge, in which case you can contact Horsham to reserve a space. For everyone else, parking is at the Hop Oast park and ride site a five minute walk away, RH13 0AR. By train Horsham is 45 minutes from Clapham Junction, although the journey back will take longer and require a change at Gatwick. The 98 bus will take you the two miles to the ground - if the 22:04 runs to time after the game, it should get you to the station at 22:17 for the 22:25 back to Gatwick or London. A cab would be safer though because if you miss that train it will be hard to get back to Kingston - and things might be tight if the game goes to penalties after the 90 minutes.
Our record there: Our first visit to this ground but our record away to Horsham is generally good, with just one defeat from ten competitive games. A memorable 3-2 win in 2010 saw Gary MacDonald head an injury time winner after two Bobby Traynor penalties. Unusually it was Carl Wilson-Denis who won them both rather than Dean Lodge.
Players to watch: Attacking midfielder Reece Hall joined from Ks over the summer and will want to make his mark against us. Box-to-box midfielder Lewis Taylor is also familiar to Ks fans, best remembered for *that* winner at Glenn Tamplin's Billericay in 2017.
Recent form: Horsham were just outside the playoffs when last season was abandoned so this is a tough cup draw for Ks. They won five and lost three in pre-season and opened their league campaign with a draw at Leatherhead.
Crowd: Like many clubs, getting their own ground after a long period of groundsharing has been a huge boost for them. Last year their average crowd was 596, second only to Worthing in our league. The game could easily sell out, so buy sooner rather than later if you want to be sure of a ticket.
Drinking: The ground is well outside the town but is near to the Boars Head, a country pub with a small outside terrace and typical pub food. In the town centre, our favourites from past visits include The Bedford near the back entrance to the station and spacious gastropub The Black Jug. The Anchor Tap has opened more recently and looks promising for craft beer but The Queens Head near the old ground, where many Ks fans used to go, has now been sold for housing.
Food: The tea bar at the ground will be open with social distancing measures in place, with the Boars Head and a 24-hour Shell garage the only other options near the ground.