We’re midway through the season, at which point, anything is still possible in this eventful campaign. “Look at our run in!” these final games had the potential to be part of a great escape. Whitehawk away on Easter weekend certainly had ‘Brighton Weekender’ written all over it. Hotel booked and arrangements sorted months in advance for this ‘six pointer’. The time is nearing and, oh, we’re already relegated.
But, OH! Four-day weekend. Weekend in Brighton it still is.
So whilst a bumper away day(s) that almost had nothing to do with football was on the cards, we certainly made the most of it. With Vossy back home with mumps, a 10am train from Victoria meant that TSOF, consisted of Cameron, Goddard and myself, who made it in good time to meet the trio from Durnovaria, consisting of Steve, Fuge and Phil. Whilst we waited for the dorch lot, we had our first pint of the day (11am) at literally the first pub we saw opposite the station, where we were greeted by a very talkative Irish barman who greeted us with a lame comparison to Goddard’s resemblance to the Proclaimers. We then headed to Wetherspoons (I know, right?) for a spot of brunch and then wandered up to the hotel. En route to our accommodation, we spotted a yard sale being held by a woman named Wendy, that included a cuddly toy that Cam picked up, (who we chose to name after its abandoned owner) and would, unbeknownst to us, become the official mascot of the entire weekend and would embark on a journey most toy birds could only dream of.
We dropped our shit off and headed for a couple of pints at the nearby Audio bar. A few more followed in town, before popping in a cab to the delightful Whitehawk estate. Arriving was like entering into another world from the city of Brighton, with picture-esque views and a football ground that resembled a shed with fencing surrounded by countryside that is not too dissimilar to our very own Dorset. We picked a spot in one of Whitehawk fake stands, climbed the scaffolding to hang the flag and sung our teams praises and exchanged some actually-quite-decent banter with the Whitehawk “ultras” behind their goal.
As for the game… well, it was shite. We were… well, shite and not even an AWH penalty save could put any gloss on a 3-0 defeat to another… well, shite Skrill South side. Our new mascot, Wendy, had its own little tour of the place, even making it onto the pitch at the end and posed with the players post-match. More pints in the club bar consumed, where we laughed at Steve King’s horrendous choice of footwear, before we headed back into town to do the traditional tourist thing of walking along the pier, flying the flag off it and having tinnies on the beach.
We headed back to the pad to change before entering town for the evening session, accompanied by Wendy of course.
The night consisted of a couple of standard busy pubs to begin with before heading to the aptly titled, and one of my favourite bars in Brighton, The Dorset. A few pints and top rockabilly vibes were consumed in there, whilst Wendy was thrown around the pub for various photos (the theme of most of the night) before heading to a couple more pubs whose names escape me, until we landed at The Blue Man bar, where we enjoyed the night until 3am.
I say, enjoyed…. Fugey found the nearest couch and fell asleep, whilst we took great pleasure in finding as much shit lying around the bar as we could and stacking it up on the big man. Meanwhile, we cracked on with dancing, drinking, taking turns to chat up a quite hot girl who turned out to be only just 18, gate crashing the Arabian themed party downstairs, jumping on the sofas playing the bongos [really quite badly] and swinging off the hunting horns trying to pull them off the ceiling in a drunken re-attempt at ‘doing a Lewes.’
Fortunately, being the charming bastards we are, the barman had no problem with us and in fact poured us complimentary shots that had Cameron literally running straight out the door thinking he was going to hurl, and inviting us round the bar to pose for photos with Wendy. Time was called on the friendliness and free shots when he promptly found one of our stickers slapped up on the mirror behind the spirits. What was he expecting?!
Upon leaving, we headed for some food in Burger King, which involved a very heated yet hilarious debate/argument between our Stevie and Phil over the court case of AFC Bournemouth and former Brighton and Hove Albion star Steve Cook. “NOT GUILTY!”
So after a brief and uncomfortable sleep, coinciding with a cold shower as there was no hot water, we headed back into a very wet Brighton for some breakfast. In fact, the very same Spoons we costumed 24 hours earlier. [Ed – not the “cultured” greasy spoons that Brighton has to offer, much to Fred’s disgust in the cab]
Following that, we developed our Sunday session at the nearby Molly Malone Irish pub, to catch the Liverpool game… followed, by the Arsenal game… followed by the United-Everton match; meaning we’d in a sense become the Premier League loving, armchair fans we’ve always detested! Those of us who had any money remaining in our bank accounts bought the rounds in, whilst discussions hungeroverly flicked between mixing up Poole Town’s Sam Clarke with Osama Bin Laden, classifying being a BNP sympathizer and a Tory as the hallmarks of a “cunt” and Tom making the point that “It’s about time we starting playing local youngsters more, because there’s so much quality since the Station pub has closed down.”
Phil, bizarrely, parted ways an hour before the other Dorch lads, which for a five hour journey back to Dorchester seemed a little brave – but he probably had the right idea, and Steve and Fuge later missed their intended train after Steve went running in the other direction to have a photo with Barry Ferguson.
A superb weekend (despite the result, obviously) which remarkably we all (including our mascot!!) made home in one piece. Just one more fixture to go now, away at Ebbsfleet, before we embark on pastures new. The likes of thriving towns such as Biggleswade, Arlesey, Redditch, St Neots and Poole to visit next season brings us nothing but excitement. And hangovers. FR.