Brighton & Hove Albion continue their preparations for the 2018-19 season with a game away to AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
After playing out a 1-1 draw away to St Gallen last weekend at Kybunpark, the Seagulls will now travel to south London for a match against Neil Ardley’s men.
This weekend’s opponents are the first club formed in the 21st century to make it to the Football League. Having been formed in 2002, the side won six promotions within 13 seasons to go from the ninth to the third tier of English football.
The club’s first-ever game against Sandhurst Town FC in the Combined Counties League attracted nearly 2,500 spectators before a rise through the non-league pyramid culminated in promotion from the Conference National after a penalty shootout win over Luton Town in the play-off final in 2011.
The side won promotion via the League Two play-offs in the 2016/17 season after a victory over Plymouth Argyle at Wembley Stadium, and have since established themselves in the third tier, finishing 18th in the league last season.
Who’s in charge?
Neil Ardley made over 200 appearances for the club between 1991 and 2002 in their Premier League days, scoring 18 league goals.
He was appointed to the dugout as manager in 2012 with Neil Cox as his assistant after leaving Cardiff City and his position as manager of the academy – a role he had held since 2007, being a key figure in the development of young players at the club.
He secured the side’s league status on the final day of the season and subsequently led them to promotion via the play-offs four seasons later.
What’s the stadium?
The club share the Cherry Red Records Stadium with Chelsea FC Ladies, and up until 2017 with Isthmian League side Kingstonian – the ground has a capacity of 4,850.
Chelsea FC bought the stadium off the club in 2015 to use it for their women and youth sides, as well as aiding the financing of AFC Wimbledon’s redevelopment of Plough Lane.
The new development will be 200 yards away from the old site of the original ground that was used since 1912 and demolished in 2002.
The ‘New Plough Lane’ will be constructed on the site of the old Wimbledon greyhound track and construction began earlier in this year in February.
The new ground will see the construction of an initial 11,000-seater stadium, with the potential to expand the capacity to 20,000 – there will also be 602 new homes, retail space and a squash and fitness club.
How do I get there?
The Cherry Red Records Stadium
From outside London - M25 Junction 10, take the A3 northbound into London. At the exit for New Malden/Worcester Park, turn off and take the left into Malden Road (A2043) towards Kingston Follow this to the next roundabout. Take the first exit into Kingston Road (A2043 still) and the stadium is one mile on the left.
If you are travelling using a sat nav or GPS to the stadium, the club address is KT1 3PB.
The nearest rail station is Norbiton, which is less than a mile away from the stadium.
Trains run from Waterloo every 15 minutes via Clapham Junction and Wimbledon (terminating at Shepperton or Strawberry Hill). Leave the station via the back exit, and take the first left onto Norbiton Avenue.
Follow the road round to the left and then turn right onto Gloucester Road. Take a left on to Cambridge Road and walk 400 yards until you reach the stadium on your right.
Where to park…
The car park at the Cherry Red Records Stadium is free to use, but can be full up to 90 minutes before kick-off - street parking is available in the local area.
There are several parking spaces for visitors with disabilities, and while these are available for a longer period than the rest of the car park, they are not unlimited and cannot be reserved.
Follow it live:
The live match centre will also be available to supporters throughout the afternoon here on the club's website.
Supporters will then be able to read a full match report from the contest at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on BrightonandHoveAlbion.com, with post-match reaction also available after the final whistle.