Seaside Essex Xile has his next look at the delights of League 1 stadia, with Sunday’s Sky opponents Brighton being next in line.
And people slag off our two sided ground?
For those who have never visited the Withdean the current ‘temporary` home of BHA it really is an experience. The ground is an actual athletics stadium and after every match has to be restored to such. I was sat there watching the goal posts being taken down and replaced with a hammer throwing net within 10minutes of the end of the game.
The ground apart, and they are due to move to the promised land of Falmer (no not the 70`s jeans makers back garden) Brighton away is still an enjoyable trip with some very happy and also some very not so happy memories.
Some one once sang that memories were the corners of their mind. For me personally I`ll lay claim to fame that for an ex Pool player – step forward Rick Holden that I provided him with his funniest Pool memory.
The Goldstone ground was a fantastic ground to visit. Something very 50`s about the way that people could stand on top of their shed and look directly into the ground. In the 90`s after various trips there Pool were actually winning a game. 2 mins to go Pool desperately hanging onto the lead and the ball comes behind the goal, for an Albion corner. No multi balling in them days. Caught promptly by yours truly and having had a fair quantity of Sussex ale I proceeded to run up and down the terracing between the seats holding the ball. In the end the ref blew for full time. A fabulous Pool victory aided by myself.
Now the last time I was at the Withdean we had Murph`s miss a 2nd min pen and Pool players and the manager sent off, cumulating in a 4-0 defeat.
Now thanks to Hastings Exile we have a good link on the Brighton staff and we will have the pleasure of watching the game sat amongst the ‘homers` (let`s hope if we get a pen we`re not shouting ‘doh` again), and the players bar at the end. I say bar last time it was bottles of bud from a milk crate and Bobby Zamora gloating at us.
How Do I Get There?
Its an early kick off on a Sunday thanks to our national coverage on Sky. Train services will be affected, nearest station is Knobend Park (that`s Pr*st*n Park for the pc brigade) a 10-15min walk. Accessible from 3 Laandon stations: Kings X, Victoria and Laandon Bridge.
By Car M23 A23, a couple of miles outside the city centre use the A23 off Laandon Rd. Park + Ride to the ground.
And To Drink Please…
Town centres a god bet for the full range of pubs, not much drinking time this Sun though, although there is a pub called the Sportsman outside the ground.
The Away End (An End?)
If you ever wanted to know what`s it like watching a Pool game from the Gene Kelly stand then be prepared to have your dreams come true. Away fans have been moved and now sit opposite to our previous visits.
The Plod And The Lesser Plod
We`ll be sussed as soon as the game kicks off but I`ve never experienced any trouble at a Brighton away game. I expect the Stewards to leave me sat in my seat despite the local vocals and last time round they safely escorted us to the players bar. Plod will have a low profile come Sun. I don`t expect many Pool to travel due to it being live in your home / alehouse.
Fear Factor Rating – 3
And finally if you thought we`ve been shafted by the chairmen over the years spare a thought for Brighton fans. Sold the Goldstone for a pittance, ended up playing at Gillinghoof for home games, by the time they moved to the Withdean the Goldstone land had been resold for a massive profit, non of which went to the club.