Ask most people what are the two closest grounds in England and most will immediately think of the two Nottingham clubs separated only by the River Trent, or some will argue that it is the two Liverpool giants with just Stanley Park lying in between. In fact neither of those answers are right. When it comes to a relatively senior level of football, then Horsham and Horsham YMCA hold the honour with their grounds backing right onto each other. Blackpool Wren Rovers and Squire Gates would throw up their own claim to the contrary, but as Rovers play quite a way down then the two Horsham teams are certainly the closest when it comes to a high standard of football.
With Horsham moving from their historic Queen Street/Atspeed Stadium, I'd made my way down to Sussex to see them take on Ashford Town (Mx), review here, but before that game couldn't resist popping next door to see their neighbours Horsham YMCA and their Goring's Mead ground.
Horsham itself is a very nice town, and the two grounds are testament to this, Goring's Mead especially, with it maintained to a high standard. Unusually it seems as wide as it is long, with both ends having a thin strip of hard standing. On the far side from where you come in is the Victor Gladwish Stand, which has four rows of seating raised from pitch level and covered by a cantilevered roof (although a floodlight pylon in front of the stand helps restrict the otherwise perfect view!). Interestingly, the seats come from the former home of Brighton & Hove Albion (The Goldstone Ground). On the opposite side of the ground is a small, covered section of terracing set quite a way back from the pitch and fairly shallow. With no windshields and pillars blocking the view, then it's fair to say that it isn't the most well thought out stand in the world, but it adds a little bit of character to the ground.
Overshadowed by its larger neighbour it would need some improvements doing if the club were to aim to rise higher through the pyramid, especially when you consider that the likes of Dover and Dartford play at the same level, never mind higher, but as it is then it is a good little place to visit, and credit goes to the groundsmen (both of whom were hard at work when I was there) for keeping it at such a standard when you see other grounds neglected to a far greater extent.