The Bees are on the road, once again, in Vanarama National League action – travelling to Dover Athletic on Saturday afternoon (15:00 KO).
We have created this Away Guide packed full of all the information you need to know ahead of the trip to Kent.
Crabble Stadium, Lewisham Road, Dover, Kent, CT17 0QJ
White and black
Andy Hessenthaler is the current Manager of Dover Athletic, after joining the Club in 2018 from Eastleigh FC.
A playing career at Charlton Athletic, Dartford FC, Dagenham and Redbridge, Watford FC, Gillingham FC, Hull City, Barnet FC and Dover Athletic saw him clock up over 700 career appearances.
He branched into Player-Managing in 2000 with the Gills and enjoyed a three-year spell at Dover before returning to Priestfield in 2010.
Managerial stints at Leyton Orient, Eastleigh FC followed before taking charge of Dover again in October 2018, when he replaced Chris Kinnear.
BRIEF DIRECTIONS BY ROAD
At the end of the A2 you will come to a large roundabout. Take the 4th exit down Whitfield Hill towards River.
At the bottom of the hill, take the 1st exit at the roundabout and continue on this road. At the traffic lights, make a sharp right into River.
Follow the road downhill and under the railway bridge. When you get towards the top of the hill, turn left into Crabble Stadium.
There is free parking at the rugby ground near to the entrance of the Crabble complex.
Street parking is plentiful, although be prepared for an long walk up the steep hill to the Crabble Stadium itself.
There is a choice of two stations for Dover Athletic. Kearsney (the nearest and around a 20 minute walk) and Dover Priory (about 2 miles away).
Kearsney is on the London Victoria line via Canterbury and is less frequent than the London Charing Cross via Ashford train which travels directly to Dover Priory.
Taxis are really the best option as both stations are a fair walk from the ground.
EAT AND DRINK
The Social Club welcomes home and away fans. The Cricketers is the pub closest to the Crabble Stadium and has been a reliable pre-match venue for years.
Dover Priory Station offers the chance to visit the Golden Lion on Priory Street which is also worth a visit. The Eight Bells is the local Wetherspoons outlet closest to this station which can be found on Cannon Street.
The low main stand occupies the whole of one side of the ground, and was built in 1951. Both the River and Town End terraces are covered with structures.
The fourth side accommodates the Social Club which has some open terrace areas and the Family Stand which sits at the south end of the ground between the halfway line and the corner flag.
We will be allocated the Dover Street End Terrace.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS AND MEMORIES
Our last visit was in September 2018, when goals from Jack Barham and Byron Harrison saw the Bees win 2-1.
We have battled both versions of Dover and, in fact, the original club was a very frequent opponent during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
It doesn’t get much better as an 11-year-old than watching your team thrash another team away from home 0-6.
That game in the 1971/72 season – decorated with goals by Lou Adams (3), Paddy Powell (2) and Les Eason – was the start of our journey to Wembley and ultimately the FA Trophy final defeat by Stafford Rangers.
Our successful run up to winning the Club Call Cup in 1989 included a fine 5-1 victory over Dover Athletic at home. That game featured goals from Nicky Ironton, Paul Shinners, David Sansom and Nicky Evans, who got two.
A few ex-Bees have left their mark at the Crabble Stadium in the past. Giuliano Grazioli made his considerable experience count towards the team’s success recently.
Tony Lynch spent a couple of spells on-loan here and became quite a cult hero.
Past Manager Chris Kinnear played in a couple of Barry Fry’s early squads and powerful midfielder Robert Codner had a brief spell here too before becoming a Football Agent.
Cricketing legend Wally Hammond, referee David Elleray and England’s first ever football Captain Cuthbert Ottaway (1872) were born here.
Enjoy the match, ‘Reckless’