Tag: Whitehawk

Whitehawk Revive Their Brighton City Aspirations

The upward ascent of Whitehawk Football Club has been one of the great curiosities of football on the south coast of England over the last five years or so. As recently as 2009, the club was in the lower reaches of the Sussex County League Division One, just another of a morass of football clubs who straddle the divide between being semi-professional and amateur, scratching by an existence on crowds that could seldom be counted in more than dozens, never likely to do any harm, never likely to cause any great shakes. It’s a familiar enough story near the...

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The Mid-Life Crisis Of A Football Supporter

Ageing hits us all in different but familiar ways; loss of hair, loss of memory, loss of physical abilities… loss of memory. With football fans, as in ‘fanatics’, the ageing process manifests itself in feelings I experienced this week. My team, Ryman League Kingstonian, were playing at a ground to which I’d never been and which was relatively straightforward to get to (or so I thought… see below). And yet… I didn’t want to go. For years, I had a 100% attendance record at Kingstonian matches – some years including pre-season and mid-season friendlies where a “Kingstonian XI” would give “fringe” or “squad” players a game. It would also include whatever mindless cup competition the powers-that-be could concoct (remember the “General Motors Assurance Corporation Premier Inter-League Challenge [GMAC] Cup”? – nicknamed the “Jesus and Mary Chain Trophy”…well, it was the late eighties). I was helped in this ‘cause’ by the fact that Ks played in regional football for all but three of those years. The Ryman Isthmian League consists of teams in England’s South East. And the exceptions were rare, allowing extensive pre-planning of trips; Yeovil Town spent two periods in the league in the 1980s and 1990s – a map of League grounds then resembled the “exclusion zone” around the Falklands in 1982, with Yeovil as the General Belgrano…miles to the west of their adversaries. But even in our...

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Whitehawk FC: Nouveau Riche Out-Muscle The Old Stagers

After nine months and thirty-nine matches, then, it all came down to ninety minutes on the final day of the season in the Ryman League Division One South yesterday. That it did came down to an incident on the opening day of the league season. Whitehawk FC played an ineligible player in their first match at Maidstone United and were deducted three points for their troubles. Had this not happened, they would already have been crowned as champions of the division. As things stand, though, they take the field at East Brighton Park for their final home league match of the season against Chipstead knowing that, although they need a win to guarantee winning the league title, their fate is at least in their own hands. As such, there is now need for anybody at East Brighton Park to be frantically checking their mobile phones for score updates from elsewhere this afternoon. Should they slip up, Dulwich Hamlet can lift the league title if they can win against second from bottom Burgess Hill Town, but Burgess Hill need a win to safeguard themselves from relegation. Should both Whitehawk and Dulwich fail to win, then third placed Bognor Regis Town can lift the title with a win away to Maidstone United. It’s the sort of convoluted state of affairs that statisticians love. For Whitehawk supporters, however, all that matters is...

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Final Day Shoot-Outs In The Ryman League

It is not that often that league title races are open enough to go to the final day of the season with the whereabouts of the championship trophy still undecided, but this season two of the divisions of the Ryman League will end with five clubs still hoping to win automatic promotion as champions of their division. In the Premier Division, the race is already over with Billericay Town having clinched the title and promotion to the Blue Square Bet last weekend, but the two divisions below this, no less than five clubs will go into the final day with the hope amongst hopes that they could still avoid the play-offs and lift a piece of silverware.  In the Division One North it is a straight two-way battle between Leiston and Enfield Town, but even this is a race that perhaps should have been over sooner. Leiston had managed to pull clear a little at the top of the table, but they then stumbled and last weekend travelled to North London to play an Enfield side that had been doggedly hanging on in their slipstream. In front of a season-high crowd of 602 and with the clock ticking past ninety minutes the score was goalless. It looked as if Leiston were going to hang on for the point that they needed to secure the title, but a penalty in stoppage...

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