The New Normal

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Saturday 1st August 2020 ko 12.00

Friendly

PITSEA TOWN 11 (Goggin 45 47 62 85 Gentry 67 M Lewis 68 Richardson 74 Lunn 80 82 L Pellin 83 R Phillips 86) 

SOUTHMINSTER UNITED 0

Att c20 at Post Office Sports & Social Club, Gardiners Lane South, Basildon

Entry FREE

The Covid 19 pandemic had given me and many others a 140 day opportunity. Yes, there was no live football to watch, but there was time in abundance. Time to work on the house, time to develop other interests, time to spend on loved ones, and also time to reflect. Continue reading

Gay Times

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Friday 2nd March 2007 ko 19.45

League 2

SHREWSBURY TOWN 0

Asomoah missed penalty 90

BRISTOL ROVERS 0

Hinton sent off (2nd booking) 90

Att 4,227 at Gay Meadow, Shrewsbury

Entry £15 (Main Stand)

Programme £2.50

Oddly it was surprising I was there. Groundhopping legend Martin “Spud” Hollands phoned to ask whether I was going and preemptively ask for a lift from the station to Gay Meadow. I wasn’t planning on going, but with the ground going at the end of the season a revisit wasn’t even close to being a wasted journey. Continue reading

The Other Ossett

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Wednesday 26th September 2007 ko 19.45

Northern Premier League Challenge Cup First Round

OSSETT ALBION 4 (Kelsey 7, 32 78p Newton 15)

HARROGATE RAILWAY ATHLETIC 2 (Ryan 64 Hobson 74)

Jones sent off (2nd booking) 69

Att 69

Entry £6

Programme £1.50

Thank heaven for bank training courses. Thirteen years ago I’d just joined a major UK bank’s commercial department and was spending a week on a training course. I was based in a 4 star hotel in Sheffield, and once the day’s work was done there was little else to do but find a beer or ten somewhere. Unless of course you were a groundhopper…. Continue reading

Vanilla

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Saturday 30th July 2011 ko 15.00

Scottish League Cup 1st Round

PARTICK THISTLE 1 (Cainey 28)

Paton sent off 47 (DOGSO)

Balatoni sent off 78 (DOGSO)

BERWICK RANGERS 3 (Gray 34 Noble 73 P Currie 78p)

Att 1,255

Entry £10

Programme £1.50

I’m sure there’s little truth in the story about a traveller taking a taxi from Glasgow airport and the cabbie asking whether his passenger was Celtic or Rangers. The response of “Well I like Partick actually” elicited the response “Ah you like your football vanilla then?” While the tale does Partick Thistle a massive disservice there is the kernel of an alternative truth in it. Continue reading

Auf Wiedersehen Pet

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Sunday 13th February 2011 ko 13.30

2 Bundesliga

FORTUNA DÜSSELDORF 3 (Beister 45 Langeneke 52 64p)

FC INGOLSTADT 1 (Leitl 49p)

Att 20,700

Entry €24

Programme €1

Parking €3.50

In a sense this piece completes the triptych of my first independent groundhopping trip that started at Cambuur Leeuwarden and took in Spakenburg before hopping over the border to Düsseldorf to finish our weekend. As I said previously I knew nothing of how to groundhop abroad, so as  we headed east I wondered how we’d finish our weekend. We crossed from the Netherlands to Germany and immediately spotted a police car checking number plates ( a portent of a future trip to Banik Most?).  I marvelled at how close Düsseldorf is to the border and how I was completely unable to get the theme to “Auf Wiedersehen Pet” out of my head. Continue reading

Leckwith

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Saturday 24th February 2007 ko 14.30

Welsh League Division One

GRANGE HARLEQUINS 1 (Karnouniaris 59)

U.W.I.C. 1 (Makas 56)

Att 47

Entry £3

Programme £1

There is a parallel to be drawn here. If you go to a game at the newish Cardiff International Athletics Stadium you’ll see the Cardiff City Stadium beyond the stadium and to the left with the Millenium Stadium in the background. So back in 2007 there I was sat in the stand at Leckwith stadium with Cardiff City’s Ninian Park beyond and to the left with the Millenium Stadium in the background. So Leckwith and the new Athletics Stadium are on the same footprint then? No, not quite….. Continue reading

I am The Walrus

Saturday 22nd August 2009 kop 14.30

Cymru Alliance

C.P. BETHESDA ATHLETIC 1 (Davies 84)

FLINT TOWN UNITED 3 (S Thelwell 14 PD Williams 45 Beck 86)

Att 54

Entry £3

Programme £1

In the days of the Welsh Alliance hop there was one club that GroundhopUK notably failed to visit and that was Bethesda. There was nothing sinister it it, the club suddenly folded just before the final hop in 2015, although the rejigging of the event to cover their absence did indirectly cause a real schmozzle at Llanllyfni when the league told us all we were watching a cup game, when that wasn’t quite the case. That is to be regretted but I had further regret, I knew just how lovely Maes Meurig is. Continue reading

The Kink

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Saturday 3rd January 2009 ko 15.00

Scottish League Division One

DUNDEE 1 (Paton 67)

DUMFERMLINE ATHLETIC 0

Att 5,033

Entry £17

Prog £2

Back in the day I used to have use of a holiday cottage in a Highlands village called Insch, near Aviemore. Looking back it was an rustic place, it had internet but no phone, central heating or gas. We used to have to decommission the place when we we left! But it did allow ample opportunity to visit no end of Highland League grounds! But Christmas 2009 did give me a problem. Continue reading

Methil No More

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Saturday 25th July 2009 ko 15.00

Scottish Challenge Cup 1st Round

EAST FIFE 0

FORFAR ATHLETIC 2 (M Fotheringham 28 K Fotheringham 78)

Att 446

Entry £13

Programme £1.50

“Do we not love her?
Do we not say we love her?
Do we have to roam the world
To prove how much it hurts?
Bathgate no more
Linwood no more
Methil no more
Irvine no more!”

“Letter from America” Reid/Reid

I do think Methil gets a bad name. The Proclaimers’ song that dovetails the Highland clearances with de-industrialisation in the 1980’s cites the Fife town as an example of deprivation. Heck, even the football club doesn’t bear the town’s name! Even Jim Kidd, the most lyrical of Scottish groundhopppers described New Bayview as thus,

Continue reading

The Saga

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Tuesday 23rd December 2008 ko 19.45

FA Cup 2nd Round Replay

DROYLSDEN 2 (Newton 31 55p)

CHESTERFIELD 1 (Lester 35)

Lester sent off 84 (violent conduct)

Att 2,824 

Entry £5

Programme £1

On one level I knew exactly why I was at the Butchers Arms Ground in Manchester’s eastern suburbs. Leaving aside the groundhopper’s insatiable urge to collect football grounds I was happy to escape a Milton Keynes office, and the kind of job where you inwardly measure every minute you’re on duty. So to Droylsden I drove, and all because any FA Cup tie is interesting and a potential upset involving a Conference North club against a League 2 outfit looked attractive. However, if you know what had happened in the month prior to the tie you’ll know just how much of an understatement that last sentence is! Continue reading