Grier's Guide to Bowers and Pitsea
The match: Bowers and Pitsea v Kingstonian, Isthmian League. Saturday 24 September, 15:00.
The club: Bowers United and Pitsea FC merged in 2004, playing in the Essex Senior League. They won promotion to Isthmian 1 North in 2016, also making the semi-finals of the FA Vase, and then the Premier Division in 2019.
The town: Pitsea, where the ground is, is a small town with a long history, now joined to Basildon after the latter was expanded as a new town in the 1960s. Bowers comes from Bowers Gifford, a village in between Pitsea and Benfleet.
The ground: The Len Salmon Stadium, Crown Avenue, Pitsea, Essex, SS13 2BE. A tidy ground with a decent-sized main stand, a good covered terrace behind one goal and a smaller one behind the other. Mark Anderson cited it at the recent fans' forum as being the sort of ground we hope to end up with.
Ticket prices: £12 adults; £8 over 65s; £3 12-16 year olds; free for under 12s.Tickets can be bought online in advance (https://bowersandpitseafc.ktckts.com/) but can also be bought on the turnstile.
Directions: Pitsea station is half an hour's walk away, although buses 5, 5A and 5B will take you there from either Pitsea or Basildon. Both are on the line from Fenchurch Street and West Ham. By car it's about an hour and a half from Kingston if traffic is OK - head round the M25 and over the Dartford Crossing and then take the A13 towards Pitsea. There's a car park at the ground, with more spaces at the nearby Eversley Centre on Crest Avenue if it gets full.
Our record there: Last season was our first visit. Bryant Bilongo was the difference-maker, unlocking the home defence with a fine piece of skill and a perfect cross for Daniel Ajakaiye to finish from close range.
Recent form: Just outside the relegation zone after a slow start to the season, including a 4-1 loss to Corinthian-Casuals on the opening day.
Players to watch: Left-back Toby Ajala and midfielder Freddy Moncur are both ex-Ks, counting themselves among the 64 players we used in the 2018-19 season.
Crowd: Not among the highest in the league but it was a friendly place to visit last season.
Drinking: There are no pubs particularly near the ground - the nearest is gastropub The Gun Pub, though it's still a bit of a detour from Pitsea station. Basildon town centre has The Beehive, which has Sky Sports and a good-sized outdoor area, a Wetherspoons and a pool hall/bar a close walk from the station.
Food: A small row of shops on Rectory Road, about a seven minute walk from the ground, includes Martella's, a chippie. If coming from Pitsea station there are fast food options including Subway, KFC and a few pizza places.