How Worthing, Bognor, Horsham, Hastings and Chichester fans helped Sussex rule south-east football crowd tables

Sussex football fans... you’re doing your local clubs proud.

Worthing v Bognor at Woodside Road drew the season's biggest Isthmian League attendance - and the return fixture was well up in the crowd stakes too / Picture: Tommy McMillan
Worthing v Bognor at Woodside Road drew the season's biggest Isthmian League attendance - and the return fixture was well up in the crowd stakes too / Picture: Tommy McMillan

The county’s teams dominate the top of a table produced to show which sides throughout the Isthmian League are the best supported.

In terms of average attendances across all Isthmian divisions, five of the top seven clubs are from Sussex, including Hastings United, who are not even in the premier division.

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Eight of the top ten best-attended games in the league were in Sussex - with a top-ten whitewash for the country only prevented by a couple of big occasions hosted by Guernsey.

Hastings' promotion push drew big crowds to the Pilot Field / Picture: Scott White

And three of the top seven biggest average attendance increases recorded are by Sussex clubs, with Horsham, Chichester City and Hastings all seeing big rises in numbers flocking to see them.

The four Sussex teams in the Isthmian premier are all in the top five for average attendances at that level, while in the south-east division, three of top ten list of those with biggest average attendances are from Sussex.

For the number-crunching we must thank Isthmian League and non-league stalwart Ian Townsend, who has put the report together.

He said: “With so many postponements and so much terrible weather impacting on our abandoned 2019-20 season it’s no surprise that attendances were down a little on the previous campaign.

Horsham have had big numbers coming to their new ground / Picture: Steve Robards

“But we still had much to sing about! So, with thanks to Football Webpages and Non League Matters, here are the numbers that matter- remembering that some clubs didn’t get to play some of the matches which would have been expected to pull in the biggest crowds.

“Worthing have the largest average attendance, and the Mackerel Men also feature in 11 of the top 20 best attended matches across the league.

“Guernsey are in second place, and perhaps had they got to play more home matches - they only played 13 - could have challenged Worthing for top spot. The Green Lions take six of the top 20 spots.

“The increased average attendance table shows that the following factors lead to greater attraction - a new ground, promotion, or - to put it simply - winning lots of matches!

“Horsham managed all three of these, for example, and their attendances increased by an incredible 231 per cent. Winning the FA Vase and getting promotion boosted Chertsey Town by 137 per cent, while Chichester City grew their home support by 82 per cent after promotion.

“Anyway, for those of you who like figures, here you go. Eyes down, look in, and try not to get number blindness!”

Largest average attendance (whole Isthmian League)

1 Worthing 892

2 Guernsey 810

3 Hastings United 607

4 Horsham 596

5 Bognor Regis Town 540

6 Folkestone Invicta 514

7 Lewes 476

8 Carshalton Athletic 423

9 Haringey Borough 388

10 Bury Town 375

11 Enfield Town 364

12 Leatherhead 357

13 Herne Bay 351

14 Margate 316

15 Felixstowe and Walton United 312

16 Chertsey Town 308

17 Hornchurch 303

18 Burgess Hill Town 302

19 Kingstonian-295

20 AFC Sudbury-291

Best attended matches (whole league):

1 Worthing 3 Bognor Regis Town 0, 26th August 2019: Attendance 1684

2 Worthing 0 Folkestone Invicta 1, 15th February 2020. Attendance 1410

3 Bognor Regis Town 0 Worthing 3, 1st January 2020: Attendance 1236

4 Hastings United 0 Ashford United 3, 8th February 2020: Attendance 1189

5 Worthing 3 Lewes 1, 13th August 2019: Attendance 1150

6 Worthing 2 Cheshunt 0, 25th January 2020: Attendance 1128

7 Guernsey 0 Whyteleafe 0, 28th December 2019: Attendance 1106

8 Guernsey 1 Whitehawk 2, 12th January 2020: Attendance 1104

9 Worthing 4 Wingate & Finchley 2, 7th March 2020, Attendance 951

10 Worthing 3 Horsham 0, 26th December 2019: Attendance 937

11 Worthing 1 Cray Wanderers 2, 8th February 2020: Attendance 932

12 Guernsey 0 Chichester City 3, 8th February 2020: Attendance 916

13 Horsham 3 Lewes 0, 1st January 2020: Attendance 913

14 Worthing 6 Merstham 1, 11th January 2020: Attendance 905

15 Worthing 3 Brightlingsea Regent 0, 19th October 2019: Attendance 867

16 Worthing 1 Potters Bar Town 1, 29th February 2020: Attendance 854

17 Herne Bay 3 Whitstable Town 0, 1st January 2020: Attendance 831

18 Guernsey 3 VCD Athletic 1, 6th October 2019: Attendance 812

19 Guernsey 0 Hythe Town 0, 7th December 2019: Attendance 811

20 Guernsey 2 Herne Bay 3, 18th January 2020: Attendance 809

Biggest attendance increase (percentage, whole league)

1 Horsham up by 231%

2 Chertsey Town up by 137%

3 Chichester City up by 82%

4 Cray Valley PM up by 45%

5 Whitstable Town up by 38%

6 Maldon & Tiptree up by 38%

7 Hastings United up by 36%

8 Ware up by 35%

9 Hornchurch up by 33%

10 Herne Bay up by 32%

11 Romford up by 32%

12 Cheshunt up by 30%

13 Haywards Heath Town up by 30%

14 Guernsey up by 28%

15 Tooting & Mitcham United up by 26%

16 Hanwell Town up by 22%

17 Chalfont St Peter up by 21%

18 Grays Athletic up by 18.5%

19 Westfield up by 18%

20 Tilbury up by 15%

Best attended matches (premier division)

1 Worthing 3 Bognor Regis Town 0, 26th August 2019: Attendance 1684

2 Worthing 0 Folkestone Invicta 1, 15th February 2020. Attendance 1410

3 Bognor Regis Town 0 Worthing 3, 1st January 2020: Attendance 1236

4 Worthing 3 Lewes 1, 13th August 2019: Attendance 1150

5 Worthing 2 Cheshunt 0, 25th January 2020: Attendance 1128

6 Worthing 4 Wingate & Finchley 2, 7th March 2020, Attendance 951

7 Worthing 3 Horsham 0, 26th December 2019: Attendance 937

8 Worthing 1 Cray Wanderers 2, 8th February 2020: Attendance 932

9 Horsham 3 Lewes 0, 1st January 2020: Attendance 913

10 Worthing 6 Merstham 1, 11th January 2020: Attendance 905

Best average attendance: (premier division)

1 Worthing 892

2 Horsham 596

3 Bognor Regis Town 540

4 Folkestone Invicta 514

5 Lewes 476

6 Carshalton Athletic 423

7 Haringey Borough 388

8 Enfield Town 364

9 Leatherhead 357

10 Margate 316

Best attended matches (south-east division)

1 Hastings United 0 Ashford United 3, 8th February 2020, 1189

2 Guernsey 0 Whyteleafe 0, 28th December 2019: Attendance 1106

3 Guernsey 1 Whitehawk 2, 12th January 2020: Attendance 1104

4 Guernsey 0 Chichester City 3, 8th February 2020: Attendance 916

5 Herne Bay 3 Whitstable Town 0, 1st January 2020: Attendance 831

6 Guernsey 3 VCD Athletic 1, 6th October 2019: Attendance 812

7 Guernsey 0 Hythe Town 0, 7th December 2019: Attendance 811

8 Guernsey 2 Herne Bay 3, 18th January 2020: Attendance 809

9 Guernsey 2 Hastings United 2, 30th November 2019: Attendance 808

10 Guernsey 1 Phoenix Sports 2, 5th January 2020: Attendance 795

Best average attendance (south-east division)

1 Guernsey 810

2 Hastings United 607

3 Herne Bay 351

4 Burgess Hill Town 302

5 Whitstable Town 289

6 Whitehawk 249

7 Ashford United 242

8 Hythe Town 226

9 Ramsgate 204

10 Faversham Town 203

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