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Fans have been urged to get to the Dripping Pan early on Boxing Day for what has been described as a “traditional Christmas cracker” of a festive match against Sussex rivals Bognor Regis Town.

A gate in excess of 1,000 is expected and although extra turnstyles are being opened for the clash, Lewes FC chiefs are recommending people arrive well before the 3pm kick off time.

Lewes FC director Charlie Dobres said: “Bognor have got decent travelling support and the Brighton game is not on (Boxing Day) now.” And with Crawley playing away in Portsmouth and Eastbourne Borough’s home game being against a club from outside the county (Havant & Waterlooville), Mr Dobres said: “Lewes against Bognor is probably the biggest game in Sussex on Boxing Day now. It’s a classic, traditional Boxing Day match, East Sussex v West Sussex. Bognor have had a good season and Lewes are coming into the game off the back of some good form – particularly that great 6-3 win over Concord last weekend. So it should be a cracker and we’re expecting a fantastic crowd.”

The Ham Lane end turnstyles will be opened, and away Bognor fans have been advised to enter from that end to help ease congestion, although home fans are also able to enter via that entrance as there is no segregation for the match.

Club secretary Kevin Brook said: “We can’t predict what the crowd is going to be exactly but it’s going to be fairly substantial – and if everybody turns up at five to three there are going to be delays in getting in. So we ask people to arrive nice and early.”

Seats are still available on tomorrow’s supporters coach to Wealdstone. Priced at £15 each return (£12 for members, £10 for children), the coach will leave Lewes at 10.45am. To book your seat, call 01273 470820 or email martin@lewesfc.com