United doing ‘all we can’ to make grade

Bexhill United Football Club is hoping to lay a hard-standing spectator path behind the western goal at The Polegrove (SUS-150701-093953002)
Bexhill United Football Club is hoping to lay a hard-standing spectator path behind the western goal at The Polegrove (SUS-150701-093953002)

Bexhill United chairman Bill Harrison is hopeful the football club’s promotion quest won’t be scuppered by ground grading issues.

On the field the Pirates currently occupy the second of the three promotion places in Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two with a third of the season to go.

And Harrison says that off the field the club is doing everything it can to ensure its ground at The Polegrove complies with the requirements for Division One.

He said: “I would be very disappointed if we didn’t (get promotion because of ground grading). We’re trying as hard off the pitch as the players are on the pitch. We’re doing everything we possibly can.”

The Sussex County League’s ground grading committee is due to visit The Polegrove tomorrow (Friday), after which Bexhill should receive further recommendations regarding what needs doing.

“They’re coming on Friday to inspect it again and we just have to go from there,” continued Harrison. “I can’t see there being too many problems.

“The entrance gates have been repaired by the council, we’ve done the railings that had to be done, everything’s going along as we hoped it would be.”

One key issue facing Bexhill is possessing hard standing around three sides of the pitch. There has always been a concrete path along the southern side and this season the club has laid a temporary material behind the eastern goal on matchdays, enabling it to play in the national FA Vase competition for the first time.

Bexhill are now in the process of submitting drawings to landowner Rother District Council for a path behind the western goal.

“At some stage there’s got to be a path at the other end,” Harrison went on. “That path would have to be tarmac or equivalent, and that’s going to be a bigger issue with the council and the cricket (fellow grounduser Bexhill Cricket Club) and everyone else that’s involved.

“That could prove tricky, but we’re doing all we can to make sure the ground is up to standard so if we are in a position to go up that would be the case.

“There’s no reason for us not to move the barriers back and put the path there, and the path then wouldn’t affect the cricket outfield.”

Bexhill’s crosstown rivals Little Common were denied promotion to Division One in summer 2013 for ground grading reasons. Bexhill last played in Division One as Bexhill Town in the 1993/94 season.