Beckenham Palace

In the past two seasons I have been to close to two hundred games.  Some have been as placid as a certain lake in New York State which has a film named after it; others have been full of colour and choreography such as the derbies of Copenhagen and Stockholm, whilst a few are talked up and yet deliver so little in the way of atmosphere such as West Ham versus anyone at Upton Park.  Yet it seems the place these days to get your slice of hostility is in non-league football.

After the events of Saturday at Lewes where a handful of Wealdstone fans decided that they would ruin the Rooks 126th Birthday Party, and then blame it on the home club for daring to serve alcohol during the game I thought that would be my fill of trouble for the next few years.  But last night the spectre raised its head again.

A last minute decision saw an opportunity open up for a midweek game.  Beckenham Town of the Kent Hurlimann League had come away from Ryman League Worthing on Saturday in the FA Cup with a great draw and the replay, just 6.4 miles from TBIR Towers was being attended not only by Jamie Cutteridge but also by Damon and Simon from the Real FA Cup. Blogging law dictates that I had to attend. Continue reading

A new beginning…

It may have escaped your attention but a revolution has been going on down on the south coast.  Last week, amongst all of the noise coming out of South Africa, a long drawn out story eventually had a happy ending.  Lewes FC became a Community club.  This move from private ownership to a Community Benefit Society had been under negotiation for some time, coming off the back of a turbulent few years for the Rooks which resulted in some last gasps saves from winding up orders in the past 6 months.

This was no “Glazer Out” take over, nor did the fans turn up at the ground in strange coloured scarves wanting their heritage back.  As with most things relating to Lewes it was done in a dignified manner, with scarmongering kept to a minimum.  Nor will the vast majority of the fans be saying good riddance to the old directors.  On the contrary they were responsible for the clubs rise up the non-leagues in the past few years.  They invested their own money in the club to help get Lewes on the map, and to a large extend achieved this very means.  Ten years ago when Martin Elliott and Kevin Powell stepped in, the club were in the old Ryman Division Three with basic facilities.  Today the ground, in my opinion, is one of the nicest to watch a non-league game at and has real character, mixed with some half decent facilities, and of course has witnessed non-league football at the highest level. Continue reading