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Grier's Guide to Aveley

The match: Aveley v KIngstonian, Isthmian Premier. Saturday 26 November, 15:00

The club: The Millers have yo-yo'd a bit between Isthmian Premier and Isthmian 1 North in recent years but they're currently on an upswing since moving into their smart new ground in 2017.

The town: Small town just outside of London which was home to John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace.

The ground: Parkside, Park Lane, Aveley, South Ockendon RM15 4PX. A modern new ground to replace their old Field Mill - it has a good main stand with the bar at the top offering views of the pitch. There's not much on the other three sides and, like most new grounds, it has an artificial playing surface.

Tickets: £12 adults / £8 seniors / £5 U16s.

Directions: A short way from junction 31 of the M25 just over the Dartford Crossing, with plenty of parking available at the ground. If you're taking public transport the easiest way is probably to get the train from either Fenchurch Street or West Ham to Rainham, from where the 372 bus takes you to the middle of Aveley.

Our record there: We've visited three times for friendlies against Aveley and their tenants Grays but never in a competitive match. A couple of memorable visits to Aveley's old ground saw Dean Lodge come off the bench to inspire a dramatic comeback in a 4-3 win; and Kenny Ojukwa score a screamer to win an FA Trophy replay.

Recent form: Having won Division 1 North last season Aveley are flying on their return to the Premier. At time of writing they're fifth in the league, only two points off the top, and they've just got a crucial 1-0 win over title favourites Hornchurch.

Players to watch: Top scorer George Sykes has scored 11 already this season, having bagged 20 in their promotion last season. 

Crowd: At their old ground Aveley tended to be one of the lesser-supported clubs in the league. But like many clubs who move to a new ground they've had a major boost. Their average this season is 437 and it will probably feel a bit different to our past visits.

Drinking: There are three pubs on Aveley High Street, about a ten minute walk from the ground. The Old Ship is a traditional pub with old fireplaces and stained glass windows, listed as a CAMRA heritage pub. The Top House shows live sport on TV and has live music. The Crown and Anchor is another traditional pub and has the largest beer garden of the three.

Food: Again the High Street is the best place to head, where the choice includes Essex Chef (fish and chips), Ming Long (Chinese) and the delightfully named Taste of Aveley (curry). 

Published Saturday 19th November 2022