As a teenager I attended Hull v Portsmouth, mainly to travel on the short piece of railway that linked Hull Paragon station to the ground. A few years ago I watched Brighton v Hull at the temporary stadium in Withdean, Brighton. I spent a long time campaigning against a stadium being built out of town, favouring the vast derelict area beside the main train station – but I lost that one. So now it was time to see the new home of the Albion, and it was arranged by Miriam, who is from Barnsley and intended to be there, with her Dad.
Met up at the Evening Star for a drop of Hophead before catching a train to Falmer. No special trains, or extra carriages provided, but they seemed to let normal folk onto and off the trains first, then allow us supporters to take up any space left. It worked fine for us on this occasion, but it must be a shock to the ordinary travelling public. Quickly walked with the masses to our bar/food area behind and below the Visitors’ stand – a bare concrete space with catering cabin, helped by real beer – but nothing memorable.
Into the seating area to watch and be deafened by the warm-up events on the pitch, and music and announcements over the tannoy.
The game itself was not great. Brighton won, breaking a long run of losses, but both teams were scrappy, missing many chances to score.
19,841 folk present, so we delayed joining the departing throng by getting into Dickies bar for a pint of Harvey’s Best.