Winning ugly

Southwick 4-0 Broadbridge Heath Two clubs from the Sussex County League Second Division go to battle in the Sussex County Football Association Royal Ulster Rifles Charity Cup 2nd round. Not a glamour time, perhaps, but a match which piqued my interest. Firstly, I have traveled along the Coastway West railway line in and out of Brighton more times than I could possibly ever remember and, as such, am very familiar with the sight of Southwick’s Old Barn Way stadium. A short way west of Fishersgate Station, its south side is separated from the railway line by just a low wall and a high net to stop errant balls hitting passing trains. Further to this, I recently discovered during the course of a discussion of non-league matters (in fact, it was with your usual correspondent on these pages, namedropping fans) about the issue of Southwick’s dwindling support – their average attendance last season was a gloomy 35, their lowest just 18 – a figure which, one hopes, did not include the players. I felt the time was right to finally go into the ground and make up the numbers. Thirdly and finally, I feel I should admit that what ultimately sealed the deal for me. Whilst watching the SCL Division 1 contest between Shoreham vs. Eastbourne United Association FC would have been the more convenient for me, the fact is...

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