Grier's Guide to Brightlingsea Regent
The match: Brightlingsea Regent v Kingstonian, Isthmian Premier. Saturday 4th March, 15:00.
The club: Formed in 2005 by a merger of Brightlingsea United and Regent Park Rangers, they started off in Division 2 of the Essex and Suffolk Border League. Six promotions later they reached the Isthmian Premier in 2017.
The town: Small coastal town in north-east Essex, traditionally dominated by the fishing and shipbuilding industries. It made the news in 1995 because of the 'Battle of Brightlingsea', a ten month-long series of protests over the export of live animals through the town. Most of the protesters were locals and the media and authorities were reportedly surprised by how many of them were female, elderly and middle class - in contrast to their usual stereotypes of animal rights protesters.
The ground: North Road, Brightlingsea, Colchester, CO7 0PL. A quirky ground with a welcoming clubhouse and a number of small stands dotted around it.
Directions: By far the most distant ground in the league now that Suffolk has become Southern League territory. By public transport you'd normally get a train from Liverpool Street or Stratford to Colchester and then the 62 bus to Brightlingsea. But with rail replacement buses running between Newbury Park (East London) and Witham, it's hard to imagine many Ks fans will be intrepid enough to attempt that. By road it could take about two and a half hours, round the M25, along the A12 and then along some tight country roads to reach Brightlingsea. The ground has a small car park or you can park in the streets nearby.
Tickets: £12 adults / £7 senior citizens and students / £4 12-18 year olds / £1 under 12s. Cash or card are accepted on the gate.
Our record there: Two wins and two losses from our previous visits, the most memorable being our 2-0 defeat in 2017 that was to be Craig Edwards' last as manager.
Recent form: They're currently one of the four sides in the drop zone, looking to escape at our expense - this will be a crucial game in our battle for Isthmian Premier survival. (Ed: Since this was written, Brightlingsea manager Brett Munyard left the club by mutual consent, so recent form will most probably be completely irrelevant.)
Players to watch: Former Ks man Jason Banton has recently joined Brightlingsea - the 24th club of his career, having also played for Sittingbourne and Herne Bay since leaving Ks at the end of last season.
Crowd: Not the largest fanbase but they punch above their weight noise-wise - the contingent they've brought to our home games have been particularly vocal.
Drinking: The nearest pub to the ground is the Cherry Tree, which has a small beer garden and also does afternoon tea. There's also a cluster of pubs on and around the High Street about a ten minute walk away, of which Google rates The Railway Tavern the highest.
Food: Mac's Plaice fish and chips, just round the corner from the ground, has generally been a hit with Ks fans. Good food, friendly service and a fishy pun name - what more can you want?