Sealed with a kiss


When we met Brentwood Town for our first ever league meeting back in September, manager Dean Holdsworth led his side to a 5-1 win, probably the lowest point Lewes hit this season to and one that contributed to manager Steve Brown decided to quit a few days later.

Six months later and we would be travelling to Essex still in a desperate position, but with hope in our hearts.  Neither Steve Brown nor Dean Holdsworth would be in the respective dugouts.  Brown has yet to return to management, whilst Holdsworth has swapped his Sugar Hut sponsored bench coat for a leather chair and a spot behind a big wooden desk at The Macron Stadium.

Holdsworth was a business consultant for the Sport Shield Consultancy who finally took control of Bolton Wanderers earlier this month, when he was appointed Chief Executive.  Based on their desperate league position, facing relegation to Football League One and without a manager after the departure of Neil Lennon last week.  Relegation to the Ryman League South may not have been so bad considering the huge task in front of Holdsworth.

FullSizeRender (10)Brentwood Town face a dilemma of their own as to whether they can make the necessary investments in the ground to bring it up to the required standard to remain at this level.  Work needs to be completed by the 31st March, which would include a significant increase in the number of seats at the Brentwood Centre.  Failure to reach the standard could mean relegation back to the Ryman League North.  So currently sitting in the relegation zone, do they invest with the hope they can win their games in hand and reach safety or take the penalty and build again next season both on and off the pitch.

Lewes were without talismanic striker Jonte Smith who was away on international duty with Bermuda in the Caribbean Cup.  We would have to win this one with our youngsters to the top of their game, on a pitch that would make our passing style more difficult than normal.  But when your backs are against the wall you need to come out fighting.

Brentwood Town 0 Lewes 1 – The Brentwood Centre – Saturday 19th March 2016
Coming away from an away game with three points is great, but to win convincingly is always better.  In the grand scheme of things this win may mean nothing for either side, but try telling that to the players, management, the board and of course the fans who saw a great team performance and a fully deserved win.  The key moment was Henry Muggeridge’s 51st minute goal.  Instead of describing the pivotal moment, just follow the action for yourself below.  Until next week I bid you a great weekend.

Bad, Thriller? Beat It MJ – this was Off The Wall


“The demons squeal in sheer delight
It’s you they spy, so plump, so right
For although the groove is hard to beat
It’s still you stand with frozen feet
You try to run, you try to scream
But no more sun you’ll ever see
For evil reached from the crypt
To crush you in it’s icy grip.”

Sixty years ago, the second domestic game played at Wembley Stadium each season featured the likes of Willington, Pegasus, Crook Town and Walthamstow Avenue. Today, these teams can be found in the backwaters of the lower divisions of the English Non Leagues (in Walthamstow’s case they actually went through various mergers and can now be said to be part of Dagenham & Redbridge FC) but in the 1950’s they were responsible for filling our national stadium with crowds of 100,000.

Let me take you back to 1953 when Sir Winston Churchill was smoking his cigars and giving his ‘V’ signs on the steps of 10 Downing Street. Just eight years after the end of the war, football was going through a boom period. The British public simply couldn’t get enough of the beautiful game. Fortunately it was still considered to be the people’s game and so admission was affordable for all, and not just those who liked a prawn sandwich or two (in those days hospitality would have been a pint of Mild and a Woodbine, possibly with a banana thrown in). With just two competitions for professional clubs to play in (The League Cup was still seven years away, whilst European competition would not feature until 1955), Non League, or amateur football had a huge following. Back then, the second biggest cup game in England was the FA Amateur Cup Final. Continue reading

Four seasons in one day…


For my regular readers from California, Brentwood is not just a posh suburb in West Los Angeles, once the home of the world’s most desirable women, Marilyn Monroe. It is also a small commuter town just on the outside edge of the M25. Do not be confused that the wide palm-lined, posh houses and exclusive country clubs are interchangeable between California and Essex. Orange juice is almost on tap in LA; in Essex Orange juice is the default colour of the girls fake tan.

Ever since Lewes had been drawn against Brentwood Town in the FA Trophy (sponsored by Carlsberg lest we forget), I’d been looking forward to this trip more than my annual visit to Los Angeles. Well, nearly. Playboy Mansion (have I ever told you I’ve been there?) or Kelvedon Secret Nuclear Bunker? Difficult toss up I’m sure you will agree. One is full of hidden secrets down below, and the other is a secret nuclear bunker…boom boom. But I still get a wee bit excited about visiting a new ground, and The Brentwood Sports Arena ticked that box.

I’d only been to the town once before – a job interview in the Forte Posthouse just off junction 28 of the M25 but had never sampled the delights of the home of The Only Way Is Essex. With cup fever gripping Lewes, we came in expectation rather than hope. Brentwood Town had been mainstays in the Ryman League North for a number of seasons, one level below Lewes. Whilst the Rooks league form had been patchy to say the least, this was the cup and the smell of Wembley was in our nostrils. Not that horse-shit, greasy burger smell but the whiff of a day out in the sunshine and a chance to wear our rosettes and hold young George’s tinfoil cup up with pride. Continue reading