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[Football] The Non-League Football Thread- 2023/24 Edition



MattBackHome

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2003
11,719
due to the weather (which annoyingly cleared by about 11:00) there were barely any games on in the whole of Sussex on saturday. Had intended to go to Selsey but ended up at Lewes. Write up to follow
Looking forward to this write up, particularly given the utter allergic reaction that this Rooks team gets any time they take a lead.
 




stewart12

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2019
1,579
so yes, ground number 14 on saturday was the Dripping Pan, home of Lewes for their Isthmian Premier League clash with Canvey Island.

I had intended to save Lewes for a while but due to the dearth of action in Sussex on Saturday we ended up here, partly because my father in law is originally from the Canvey Island neck of the woods so hey-ho

The Dripping Pan is very different to most Sussex non league grounds and it's perks are well documented. The beer selection is obviously outrageous, you've got the beach huts, a sumptuous terrace etc. It's all very cool and almost like someone used AI to create a perfect non league ground. Along with the aforementioned terrace, this ground has a pretty big seated stand which has padded seats AND CUP HOLDERS!!!! There is also a small uncovered terrace opposite the sexy one and a two level hard standing area.

It's town centre location (also VERY close to the train station) means that there is an abundance of top tier pubs within a 10 minute or so stumble from the ground. In the ground the clubhouse itself isn't massive but it has a bit of a micropub vibe. As I said before, the beer selection is ridiculous and on par with any of your craft beer pubs.

I would like to know from regulars though, do they actually do Bovril here? I couldn't find it listed anywhere? Are they too cool to stock it or do you have to ask for it in code or something? To be honest I was mainly on the beers so wasn't actually up for one on Saturday.

The game was a bit mad. Almost nothing happened in the first half, then Lewes went 1-0 up before Canvey equalised shortly after. Then Lewes grabbed what appeared to be a last minute winner and somehow managed to throw it away with their Essex visitors scoring a free kick equaliser right at the death.

My laptop is playing up so no photos this week I'm afraid!
 


keaton

Big heart, hot blood and balls. Big balls
Nov 18, 2004
9,648
so yes, ground number 14 on saturday was the Dripping Pan, home of Lewes for their Isthmian Premier League clash with Canvey Island.

I had intended to save Lewes for a while but due to the dearth of action in Sussex on Saturday we ended up here, partly because my father in law is originally from the Canvey Island neck of the woods so hey-ho

The Dripping Pan is very different to most Sussex non league grounds and it's perks are well documented. The beer selection is obviously outrageous, you've got the beach huts, a sumptuous terrace etc. It's all very cool and almost like someone used AI to create a perfect non league ground. Along with the aforementioned terrace, this ground has a pretty big seated stand which has padded seats AND CUP HOLDERS!!!! There is also a small uncovered terrace opposite the sexy one and a two level hard standing area.

It's town centre location (also VERY close to the train station) means that there is an abundance of top tier pubs within a 10 minute or so stumble from the ground. In the ground the clubhouse itself isn't massive but it has a bit of a micropub vibe. As I said before, the beer selection is ridiculous and on par with any of your craft beer pubs.

I would like to know from regulars though, do they actually do Bovril here? I couldn't find it listed anywhere? Are they too cool to stock it or do you have to ask for it in code or something? To be honest I was mainly on the beers so wasn't actually up for one on Saturday.

The game was a bit mad. Almost nothing happened in the first half, then Lewes went 1-0 up before Canvey equalised shortly after. Then Lewes grabbed what appeared to be a last minute winner and somehow managed to throw it away with their Essex visitors scoring a free kick equaliser right at the death.

My laptop is playing up so no photos this week I'm afraid!
You have to go the tea and pie window for Bovril I believe, they certainly used to have it
 








stewart12

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2019
1,579
what a goal, and a terrific win given everything has gone on
 


stewart12

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2019
1,579


stewart12

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2019
1,579
Ground number 15 on Saturday was the much maligned Withdean Stadium for AFC Varndeanians against Crowborough Athletic in the SCFL Premier League.

In the words of Vito Corleonne "Look how they've massacred my boy". The council or Freedom Leisure or whoever has really let this place go since the Albion left. It's quite sad really.

For those who haven't been since 2011, the North Stand is all that remains from our time there. There are no turnstiles, food vans or anything like that. The only facilities for fans are a small tea bar in the North Stand next to the PA box.

In terms of that one stand, it's big by non league standards and is possibly the largest in all of Sussex non league? (citation needed, but it does stretch the entire length of the pitch which sets it apart). And, having been built in the late 90's before the Albion moved in, is relatively new. You get a good view of the pitch and there's the ability to stand at the back in what is I guess a concourse.

However

It is absolutely riddled with pigeon droppings. In parts there are actual mounds of it. It's absolutely disgusting in places. Do they still do school sports days here?! Surely it's a health hazard?!

Anyway, after popping in to the sportsman for a Guinness, I strolled up to the entrance. Worth noting that the Varndeanians volunteers are lovely. Hard to see though how they've got to the SCFL Premier really , as they seem a bit of an outlier....in the attendance league on the SCFL website it says that they've averaging about 100 a game but the vast majority of the crowd on saturday were away supporters. Admission was £8 which included a free programme.

There's no bar or hot food or anything there but I did get a Bovril which was £1.50. I took up a seat close to the halfway line in what was perhaps once upon a time Des Lynams seat or some hot shot like that.

Not a huge amount happened in the game up until injury time which I'll get onto in a moment. Crowborough absolutely bombarded the Varndeanians goal and the home sides keeper was having an absolute stormer. It was 0-0 at half time. This was all to be expected with Crowborough part of the incredible multi team title race and Varndeanians down the other end of the table.

At the break I decided to take a stroll around the running track, because why not? It was of course a special thrill to see the dugouts, which I'm pretty sure are the same ones that the likes of Mark Mcghee and Martin Hinshelwood once graced.

The second half went the way of the first right up until the end when the home side went ahead in the 93rd minute before Crowborough, who had had about 75 shots on target up until that point finally managed to score in the 95th minute. Absolute scenes which sent the away fans into ecstasy.

It's a real shame with this place. Particularly frustrating as the Albion, who at the time didn't have a pot to piss in, spent a fair whack on turning Withdean into a passable football ground, and since they left whoever owns it has seemingly washed their hands of it (washed their hands of it but certainly have NOT washed the pigeon excrement).

Give it a bit of a spruce and I think it would be fine but it really is a pretty rough place now. From a non league perspective, the lack of.....anything really- no clubhouse, no hot food or anything like that, makes it a pretty poor experience.

I did of course get a bit of a nostalgia hard on though
 
Last edited:




jackalbion

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2011
4,003
Ground number 15 on Saturday was the much maligned Withdean Stadium for AFC Varndeanians against Crowborough Athletic in the SCFL Premier League.

In the words of Vito Corleonne "Look how they've massacred my boy". The council or Freedom Leisure or whoever has really let this place go since the Albion left. It's quite sad really.

For those who haven't been since 2011, the North Stand is all that remains from our time there. There are no turnstiles, food vans or anything like that. The only facilities for fans are a small tea bar in the North Stand next to the PA box.

In terms of that one stand, it's big by non league standards and is possibly the largest in all of Sussex non league? (citation needed, but it does stretch the entire length of the pitch which sets it apart). And, having been built in the late 90's before the Albion moved in, is relatively new. You get a good view of the pitch and there's the ability to stand at the back in what is I guess a concourse.

However

It is absolutely riddled with pigeon droppings. In parts there are actual mounds of it. It's absolutely disgusting in places. Do they still do school sports days here?! Surely it's a health hazard?!

Anyway, after popping in to the sportsman for a Guinness, I strolled up to the entrance. Worth noting that the Varndeanians volunteers are lovely. Hard to see though how they've got to the SCFL Premier really , as they seem a bit of an outlier....in the attendance league on the SCFL website it says that they've averaging about 100 a game but the vast majority of the crowd on saturday were away supporters. Admission was £8 which included a free programme.

There's no bar or hot food or anything there but I did get a Bovril which was £1.50. I took up a seat close to the halfway line in what was perhaps once upon a time Des Lynams seat or some hot shot like that.

Not a huge amount happened in the game up until injury time which I'll get onto in a moment. Crowborough absolutely bombarded the Varndeanians goal and the home sides keeper was having an absolute stormer. It was 0-0 at half time. This was all to be expected with Crowborough part of the incredible multi team title race and Varndeanians down the other end of the table.

At the break I decided to take a stroll around the running track, because why not? It was of course a special thrill to see the dugouts, which I'm pretty sure are the same ones that the likes of Mark Mcghee and Martin Hinshelwood once graced.

The second half went the way of the first right up until the end when the home side went ahead in the 93rd minute before Crowborough, who had had about 75 shots on target up until that point finally managed to score in the 95th minute. Absolute scenes which sent the away fans into ecstasy.

It's a real shame with this place. Particularly frustrating as the Albion, who at the time didn't have a pot to piss in, spent a fair whack on turning Withdean into a passable football ground, and since they left whoever owns it has seemingly washed their hands of it (washed their hands of it but certainly have NOT washed the pigeon excrement).

Give it a bit of a spruce and I think it would be fine but it really is a pretty rough place now. From a non league perspective, the lack of.....anything really- no clubhouse, no hot food or anything like that, makes it a pretty poor experience.

I did of course get a bit of a nostalgia hard on though
Really good review on the ground ONCE AGAIN. However I’ve had a chat with them before at the ground as it’s my nearest club, and they can’t do anything with the facilities due to it being owned by the council, who’ve left it to rot really, i believe they are looking elsewhere for options but none have presented yet.
 


Cowfold Seagull

Fan of the 17 bus
Apr 22, 2009
21,610
Cowfold
Ground number 15 on Saturday was the much maligned Withdean Stadium for AFC Varndeanians against Crowborough Athletic in the SCFL Premier League.

In the words of Vito Corleonne "Look how they've massacred my boy". The council or Freedom Leisure or whoever has really let this place go since the Albion left. It's quite sad really.

For those who haven't been since 2011, the North Stand is all that remains from our time there. There are no turnstiles, food vans or anything like that. The only facilities for fans are a small tea bar in the North Stand next to the PA box.

In terms of that one stand, it's big by non league standards and is possibly the largest in all of Sussex non league? (citation needed, but it does stretch the entire length of the pitch which sets it apart). And, having been built in the late 90's before the Albion moved in, is relatively new. You get a good view of the pitch and there's the ability to stand at the back in what is I guess a concourse.

However

It is absolutely riddled with pigeon droppings. In parts there are actual mounds of it. It's absolutely disgusting in places. Do they still do school sports days here?! Surely it's a health hazard?!

Anyway, after popping in to the sportsman for a Guinness, I strolled up to the entrance. Worth noting that the Varndeanians volunteers are lovely. Hard to see though how they've got to the SCFL Premier really , as they seem a bit of an outlier....in the attendance league on the SCFL website it says that they've averaging about 100 a game but the vast majority of the crowd on saturday were away supporters. Admission was £8 which included a free programme.

There's no bar or hot food or anything there but I did get a Bovril which was £1.50. I took up a seat close to the halfway line in what was perhaps once upon a time Des Lynams seat or some hot shot like that.

Not a huge amount happened in the game up until injury time which I'll get onto in a moment. Crowborough absolutely bombarded the Varndeanians goal and the home sides keeper was having an absolute stormer. It was 0-0 at half time. This was all to be expected with Crowborough part of the incredible multi team title race and Varndeanians down the other end of the table.

At the break I decided to take a stroll around the running track, because why not? It was of course a special thrill to see the dugouts, which I'm pretty sure are the same ones that the likes of Mark Mcghee and Martin Hinshelwood once graced.

The second half went the way of the first right up until the end when the home side went ahead in the 93rd minute before Crowborough, who had had about 75 shots on target up until that point finally managed to score in the 95th minute. Absolute scenes which sent the away fans into ecstasy.

It's a real shame with this place. Particularly frustrating as the Albion, who at the time didn't have a pot to piss in, spent a fair whack on turning Withdean into a passable football ground, and since they left whoever owns it has seemingly washed their hands of it (washed their hands of it but certainly have NOT washed the pigeon excrement).

Give it a bit of a spruce and I think it would be fine but it really is a pretty rough place now. From a non league perspective, the lack of.....anything really- no clubhouse, no hot food or anything like that, makes it a pretty poor experience.

I did of course get a bit of a nostalgia hard on though
As you so rightly say the old Withdean stadium has gone into nsteady decline since the Albion moved out twelve years ago.

I was there with Horsham YMCA a couple of months ago, so sad to see the place in such a neglected state, the Varndeanians secretary ap;ologised to me before kick-off, saying l'm so sorry that the grass is so long, the council were supposed to come and mow it this week, but didn't turn up!

I also had the pleasure of seeing Lewis's big brother Carl Dunk line up at centre half against us, a much slower, overweight, and gobbier version of his brother!,
 


Surf's Up

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2011
10,164
Here
Went to The Beacon to see Hassocks v Eastbourne United on Saturday. Tight, competitive game as you'd expect from the two teams at 4 and 5 in the table, but alas no goals.
 




Dick Knights Mumm

Take me Home Falmer Road
Jul 5, 2003
19,610
Hither and Thither
As you so rightly say the old Withdean stadium has gone into nsteady decline since the Albion moved out twelve years ago.

I was there with Horsham YMCA a couple of months ago, so sad to see the place in such a neglected state, the Varndeanians secretary ap;ologised to me before kick-off, saying l'm so sorry that the grass is so long, the council were supposed to come and mow it this week, but didn't turn up!

I also had the pleasure of seeing Lewis's big brother Carl Dunk line up at centre half against us, a much slower, overweight, and gobbier version of his brother!,
Taught his younger brother all he knows.
 


stewart12

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2019
1,579
Really good review on the ground ONCE AGAIN. However I’ve had a chat with them before at the ground as it’s my nearest club, and they can’t do anything with the facilities due to it being owned by the council, who’ve left it to rot really, i believe they are looking elsewhere for options but none have presented yet.
yeh I was definitely intending it as a dig at the council rather than the club really. I remember from when the Albion were there it was so restrictive about what we could and couldn't have.

I think ultimately it's just not a football ground is it. I do think clearing the pigeon shit would be a really great starting point

So I played for their youth team YEARS ago when they were known as Old Varndeanians (I'm assuming it's essentially the same thing?). They were a saturday league team back then, quite remarkable that they've got up to the SCFL Premier really. It would be great to see them with a ground that they can call their own. but as we know, space for football grounds is not easy to come by in B&H
 


stewart12

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2019
1,579
As you so rightly say the old Withdean stadium has gone into nsteady decline since the Albion moved out twelve years ago.

I was there with Horsham YMCA a couple of months ago, so sad to see the place in such a neglected state, the Varndeanians secretary ap;ologised to me before kick-off, saying l'm so sorry that the grass is so long, the council were supposed to come and mow it this week, but didn't turn up!

I also had the pleasure of seeing Lewis's big brother Carl Dunk line up at centre half against us, a much slower, overweight, and gobbier version of his brother!,
Carl played centre mid on saturday and like his brother was attempting hollywood passes almost at will. Unfortunately wasn't overly successful.
 




Surf's Up

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2011
10,164
Here
Surely Withdean could be cleaned up, perhaps have some moveable additional seating provided and re-opened for the Albion women???
 


stewart12

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2019
1,579
I'm trying to remember what Withdean was like immediately before it was renovated for Brighton's use in 1999. I think there was a smallish uncovered stand on the north side and not much else? I know there was a stand on the west side but pretty sure it had been demolished several years prior. The South Stand has what looks like the foundations of some sort of stand
 


jackalbion

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2011
4,003
yeh I was definitely intending it as a dig at the council rather than the club really. I remember from when the Albion were there it was so restrictive about what we could and couldn't have.

I think ultimately it's just not a football ground is it. I do think clearing the pigeon shit would be a really great starting point

So I played for their youth team YEARS ago when they were known as Old Varndeanians (I'm assuming it's essentially the same thing?). They were a saturday league team back then, quite remarkable that they've got up to the SCFL Premier really. It would be great to see them with a ground that they can call their own. but as we know, space for football grounds is not easy to come by in B&H
The clearing of the Everest size mountain of pigeon shit, would certainly be a very simple thing the council could do, I understand the club not wanting to do that.
 


Krafty

Well-known member
Apr 19, 2023
1,583
Come and see us at Horsham YMCA, sit in the main stand and your seat will have came straight out of the south stand at the Goldstone!
And so I did.

HORSHAM YMCA 2-1 Peacehaven & Telscombe (Saturday 9th March)
Like @stewart12, I visited a non-league ground that has Albion history. The main stand at Gorings Mead has seats that came from the south stand of the Goldstone!

The ground is located at the end of a residential street, off the main road. There are two stands: the main stand and a terraced stand on the other side of the pitch. Of course, I had to sit in the main stand as requested.

Food and drink is served inside the clubhouse; the entrance is to the side of the main stand. There is a bar in one room and a kitchen serving food in the other. It's a modern, open space. I went for the chips (£2.50) which were alright.

Horsham YMCA took on Peacehaven & Telscombe in the SCFL Premier. The first-half was uneventful and it was 0-0 at the break.

The second-half, however, was the complete opposite. Peacehaven & Telscombe took the lead shorty after the break but Horsham YMCA immediately responded with a good header. Both sides had chances but the goalkeepers were playing a blinder. Eventually, Horsham YMCA scored the winner from a penalty although I didn't see why it was given. In celebration, one of the YMCA players accidentally kicked the ball towards the Peacehaven keeper. I believe the keeper then hit the YMCA player with his elbow, in retaliation, which caused a scuffle amongst the players and coaches. It nearly escalated out of control. The referee gave yellows to several players but no red cards 🤷‍♂️

In the end, it was a good win for Horsham YMCA who are six places below Peacehaven & Telscombe. It's a great football club for the local community and I would highly recommend visiting, especially with its Albion connection.

Thank you to @Cowfold Seagull for suggesting this and good luck to YMCA for the rest of the season!

IMG_E2773.jpeg
IMG_2776.jpeg
 
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Dick Knights Mumm

Take me Home Falmer Road
Jul 5, 2003
19,610
Hither and Thither
Some BIG games this weekend in the SCFL Premier featuring some favourites on here. Crows v YMCA, Eastbourne Town v Shoreham, Pagham v The Dockers, and the Barrowmen v Eastbourne United. It's tight at the top of the Premier but with an almost full set of fixtures tonight it can all change.

If you're looking for a match - you will be welcome here:
CC028563-3621-4829-8B4A-5BC44645A1FF (1).png
 


Cowfold Seagull

Fan of the 17 bus
Apr 22, 2009
21,610
Cowfold
Some BIG games this weekend in the SCFL Premier featuring some favourites on here. Crows v YMCA, Eastbourne Town v Shoreham, Pagham v The Dockers, and the Barrowmen v Eastbourne United. It's tight at the top of the Premier but with an almost full set of fixtures tonight it can all change.

If you're looking for a match - you will be welcome here:
View attachment 178981
Yep tightest it's been at the top for a good few years, whether YM do you any favours at Crowborough or not, is entirely down to which team turns up, capable of the odd big win, but all too often we just capitulate.
 


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