The Fallen Idol

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Monday 3rd January 2022 ko 15:00

Isthmian League – South East Division

WHITEHAWK 0

Splatt sent off 61 (violent conduct)

Malins sent off 84 (violent conduct)

THREE BRIDGES 1 (Leighton 20)

Leighton sent off 61 (violent conduct)

Stone sent off 61 (violent conduct)

Villavencio sent off 90 (serious foul play)

Att 424

Entry £10

Programme online only, non downloadable

Teamsheet FREE

It was Good Friday 2001 and my girlfriend of the time decided I was going to have Easter away from football. She decided we were going to Brighton and booked a campsite near to the Marina, at one end of the Volks Railway. I immediately negotiated a pass out on the Monday to watch Brighton & Hove Albion beat Darlington 2-0 at the Withdean Stadium to celebrate the League Division 3 (now League 2) Championship.

But this was a couple of days before all of that, and after we pitched the tent the girlfriend dived into a book not to be heard of for the next couple of hours at least, so I went for a walk and soon heard the unmistakable sound of players warming up. I’d stumbled on Whitehawk’s Enclosed Ground and had a happy afternoon watching Whitehawk’s Reserves lose 2-1 to Hassocks Reserves. In fact I enjoyed myself so much I returned the next day to watch the first XI lose 1-0 to Pagham in the Sussex County League. I honestly don’t remember what the ex-girlfriend made of it all, only that in the here and now I know Robyn my wife would have loved it. Continue reading

Tornados!

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Monday 3rd January 2022 ko 11:30

Southern Combination Division Two

RUSTINGTON 5 (Howard 19 67 73 Irish 37 38p)

WORTHING TOWN 0

Att 63

Free Entry

The alarm went off, and I quietly cursed the Southern Combination making use of the Bank Holiday by scheduling the vast majority of their fixtures in the morning leaving all manner of opportunities for doubles. In fact the surprise was so few other groundhoppers were at our first game. Continue reading

More Than A Feeling

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Tuesday 28th December 2022 ko 15:00

National League North

BOSTON UNITED 1 (Elliott 72p)

BRACKLEY TOWN 3 (Ndlovu 20 90 Armson 31)

Armston penalty saved 69

Att 2,138 (46 away)

Entry £16 (seat-main stand)

Programme £3 (superb)

Teamsheet/raffle £1

Boston United and I go back a little way. As an Oxford United fan York Street seemed to be where our failing club seemed to send players that didn’t quite fit in. There was Simon Weatherstone who did well for the Pilgrims, his brother Ross who didn’t and aging striker Phil Gray who manager Steve Evans commented “He (Gray) had an ambition to play for Boston, I however had an ambition to send him back to Oxford”

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Family Ties

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Monday 27th December 2021 ko 14:00

Somerset County League-Premier Division

CLUTTON 0

MENDIP BROADWALK 9 (Hickery 8 37 Whittle 23 39 Caton 55p 80 Haggett 70 Biggins 82 Lutwama 85)

Att 85

Free Entry

After Chilcompton Sports there was absolutely no question as to where Robyn and I were heading. For one thing just about every other game in and around the Mendips had fallen foul of waterlogged pitches, and for another I had for the first time ever in my time groundhopping a family interest in who I’d be watching. Continue reading

The Cure

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Monday 27th December 2021 ko 11:30

Somerset County League Premier Division

CHILCOMPTON SPORTS 3 (Curtis 4 57 Edwards 81)

WESTFIELD 1 (Baber 27)

Att c120

Free Entry

I’m fairly certain no medical book advises that the cure for a post-Christmas hangover is the Somerset County League, but oddly it worked for me! Robyn and I had spent Christmas with family in Bristol, and while it was time to head back to Oxford, there was an intriguing double to complete in the Mendips beforehand; but as ever there was a catch… Continue reading

Self Raising

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Sunday 26th December 2021 ko 15:00

National League North

GLOUCESTER CITY 0

LEAMINGTON 0

Att 1,366 

Entry (Unreserved seat, “City Stand” bought in advance) £13

Programme £2.50

Teamsheet FREE

It wasn’t completely inevitable that I’d be watching Gloucester City. Post Christmas football seems to involve a dual lottery, firstly that of waterlogged pitches, and secondly Covid postponements. As is becoming a tradition these days Robyn and I spent the second half of Christmas Day with family in Bristol, and while I’m sure I could have found two games to do on Christmas Sunday, I probably needed the lie-in more. And Gloucester’s pitch did mean that the first half of that lottery would probably fall in my favour. Of course if you know the history of Meadow Park, you know the irony of that last comment! Continue reading

In Defence Of the Atcost

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Tuesday 21st December 2021 ko 19:45

Cymru Premier

FLINT TOWN UNITED 3 (Roberts 27 Cadwallader 75p 76)

Weaver sent off 87 (2nd Booking) 

CAENARFON TOWN 4 (Hayes 21 Hughes 22 Edwards 41 Donohue 45p)

Simpson sent off 62 (Serious Foul Play)

Att 453

Entry £8

Programme £1 (re-issue from postponed game- cover price £2)

Teamsheet FREE

There are always those grounds that somehow evade your attention, and perhaps top of my list was Flint Town United’s Cae-Y-Castell. A lot of that was due to the pandemic and before that it slipped through the net despite a mixture of the Welsh Alliance Hops and a concerted effort around 15 years ago to visit as much as I could along the North Wales coast. So with both Robyn and I having finished work for Christmas and Robyn never having visited North Wales before, we took advantage of the Cymru Football App’s accuracy, and a twice postponed fixture. Continue reading

Underground, Overground

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Thursday 16th December 2021 ko 16:00

London Underground League Division Two

WATERLOO & CITY 5 (Mohamed 37 59 69 James 43 Jarvis 70)

JUBILEE 0

Att 9 at Pitch 1, Market Road Pitches, Caledonian Road, London

Free Entry

There is something iconic about the London Underground. Whether its Harry Beck’s topological tube map, or Frank Pick’s Charles Holden designed Art Deco stations on the Piccadilly Line there is so much that is quintessentially English. Perhaps that’s why the London Underground League has developed something of a cult following amongst groundhoppers.

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University

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Tuesday 14th December 2021 ko 19:45

Gloucestershire FA Challenge Trophy 2nd Round

HARTPURY UNIVERSITY 6 (Baidoo 22 48 66 Bam 38 63 72)

BOURTON ROVERS 0

Moore sent off 68 (2nd booking)

Att 81

Free Entry

At my stage of my groundhopping “Career” I’ve got to a point where a floodlit new ground midweek has to be worked on. The limiting factor is my two-hour window opportunity from finishing work at 5:30 at Oxford, and in planning the week in question I was quietly contemplating a mad dash to Selsey.  If everything that needed to behaved I’d have arrived a couple of minutes before kick-off. It wasn’t ideal, but there was nothing else new that I could get to, but then this popped up. Continue reading

The Ghost

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Sunday 12th December 2021 ko 10:30

Burton & District Sunday League Division Two

THE MOUNT 0

McIntosh sent off 80 (DOGSO)

TL DARBY 4 (Lynn 36p 80p Lord 51 Morris 87)

Att c20 at Gresley Old Hall, Church Gresley

Free Entry

With Robyn and I staying with GroundhopUK’s Chris Berezai in Long Eaton after the York City game, there was time to take in a Sunday League game before heading for home. There are advantages of having friends in the area, and since Newhall United secretary Dan Bishop picked this game for Chris, Robyn and I to watch I’ll wonder whether he picked this game because I’m a season ticket holder at Oxford United! Continue reading