The Reckless Guide to... Brighton & Hove Albion.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Barnet FC
Tuesday 22nd August 2017
Kick off: 7.45pm
The Stadium: American Express Community Stadium Village Way, Falmer, E Sussex, BN1 9BL
Telephone: 0344 324 6282
Club Colours: Blue and White
Nickname: The Seagulls
Chris Hughton has been at the helm since December 2014, previously he had management experience at Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich. His 16 year playing career was mainly at Tottenham but he had spells at West Ham and Brentford. He won 53 Republic of Ireland caps too.
Brief Directions by road:
The stadium is in Falmer on the outskirts of Brighton, very close to the University of Sussex and University of Brighton campuses. M25 onto M23. At the end of the M23, continue onto the A23, towards Brighton. At the roundabout at the junction with the A27, take the A27 towards Lewes. After around four miles you will see the stadium on your right hand side. Leave at the A27 and take the slip road sign posted Falmer (B2123). At the top of the slip road turn right crossing back over the A27 and the entrance to the stadium is down on the right. These directions are courtesy of BHAFC. Parking is a no go at the stadium for away fans and a large area around the stadium is a no parking zone. Details helping with this can be found further down in the guide.
Directions by train:
The railway station of Falmer is adjacent to the stadium and is about a 10 minute train journey from Brighton station. Brighton station is served by trains from London Victoria, Kings Cross & London Bridge.
All you need to know about getting to and from the stadium can be found here.
Eating and Drinking locally:
If you have the time the seafront is by far the best option. The Swan is the nearest to the ground about 15 minutes walk and for league games it is home fans only. Inside the ground the bars are very good and the range of drinks very reasonable.
Since 1997, when the club left the old Goldstone Ground, the club have shared with Gillingham for two seasons and been at their “temporary home” the Withdean which was simply a modified Athletics stadium in a very rural location and rather picturesque. I used to advise brollies and pac a macs (you could purchase both of these necessities on the seafront in the numerous £1.00 shops).
This new ground was built in 2011 and has room for 31,000 all seated.
You could be mistaken that you might be in Huddersfield when you first glimpse the stadium they are similar but only from the outside! The main stand area is three tiered while opposite the East stand has two. The administrative offices are in this stand. Both end the end stand are single tiered and the South East corner will be our home for the evening. Leg room is impressive as are the padded seats.
Crystal Palace, end of.
On the night - £15.00 adults and £7.50 concessions.
Advance - £10 adults and £5 concessions
Our Last Meeting & Memories:
Our first meeting was in the FA Cup in 1926 and not even I went to that! We met Brighton at the Withdean in the League Cup in 2008, losing 4-0.
In our first 10 years as a Football League club between 1991-2001, we met the Seagulls on 12 occasions, winning four drawing two and losing six, with the double game winning 1997-98 season the highlight.
A brilliant 3-0 win at the Priestfield Stadium thanks to goals from Lee Howarth, Steve Searle and Paul Wilson followed up with a 2-0 win at Underhill courtesy of goals from Howarth again and Phil Simpson.
However the 3rd round FA Cup games between the clubs in 1982 when Barnet were struggling in the APL and Brighton were riding high as a Division One club (then the top echelon) will always be remembered.
The first game at Underhill finished 0-0 in front of over 4,000 on the boggiest pitch in the world. Playmaker Colin Barnes, defender Graham Pearce and an almost juvenile Gary Phillips were the stars of the afternoon and the Bees went very close to the upset of the round.
In fact I make no apologies by reiterating that Sumo was just incredible that day. In the return game at The Goldstone Ground in front of 16,000 we again did ourselves proud but ran out 1-3 losers. A Gary Sargeant goal was celebrated in huge style by the travelling band of Barnet fans – about 3 times the normal home gate number made the journey and Brighton seafront was a wash with amber and black during that afternoon. Oh to relive the excitement of my reckless youth again and was I really that terrified being chased by about 300 Brighton hooligans towards our hired 16-seater minibus? No, not really, it was all part of being a football supporter in those days.
Overnight Stay Factor:
Where do I start? 10/10 for this one as Brighton is the perfect place for a short break to take in a Barnet away game with so much to enjoy. Firstly architecture and the Royal Pavilion.
It is simply a stunning piece of George IV building work design-based on the by gone glory of the British Empire ruling India. More architecture now and the West Pier “a derelict masterpiece of late 19th Century design”. Built in 1866 with plans for refurbishment and joined by its sister The Palace Pier, 30 years younger but still as vibrant as ever. Here you will find the typical English seaside experience with rides, candy floss, toffee apples and chavs. On the stretch of promenade between the two piers lies numerous, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs.
I could go on and mention Vintage Motorcars, the first electric railway built in this country, the thriving gay colony of Kemp Town, the nudist beach, the quaint bohemian shopping areas, The Marina, the walks on the South Downs, Devils Dyke but space is limited Reckless. A day off for this midweek fixture is a must at least while the weather is still being kind to us!
Autograph hunter’s dream! Music first... one of the most fascinating people I have ever met, Genesis P-Orridge of the band Throbbing Gristle fame comes from these parts as does the band The Levellers and Fat Boy Slim (Norman Cook). One of my all time favourite DJ’s Annie Nightingale used to have a pad in Hove!
Sport…Boxer Chris Eubank, Olympic Athlete Steve Ovett can be found jogging on the prom and from the entertainment world…”Where’s me washboard?” comedian Max Miller, Mark (Ron Weasley’s Dad) Williams, Zoe Ball, Paul McGann and Steve Coogan have all been spotted over the years in the local £1 Shops.