The Alternate


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Monday 3rd May 2021 ko 18:00

Thames Valley Premier League: Premier Division

FINCHAMPSTEAD 4 (J Payne 15p Vallance 22 Hunt 73 Day 77)

MARLOW UNITED 1 (Goode 65)

Att c42 at Arborfield Recreation Ground

Free Entry

I still have some affinity for this part of the world even though its been well over twenty years since I lived in Henley-on-Thames. Back then the modus operandi was driving through Wargrave and Twyford to Winnersh, then via Sindlesham to Arborfield. I suppose I associated Sindlesham with the Nirvana Health Spa that the ex-wife seemed to love going to but objected every time the monthly membership payment left her account! Continue reading

The Somerset European Superleague


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Saturday 3rd May 2021 ko 15:00

Somerset County League Junior Supplementary Cup Group Stage

HUTTON FC 5 (Dearnley-Bright 44 47 63 Popperwell 78p N Blake 88)


Att c25 at Springwood Gardens, Hutton, Weston-super-Mare

Free Entry

With Robyn visiting family in Bristol I’d long since made a mental note to simply head south in search of a game. The route out of the south of Bristol, heading towards Weston-super-Mare will always hold great significance for me. We got married in Blagdon, drank no end of Butcombe beer and Thatchers cider and Lee Hatherall our photographer is based in Weston! Perhaps it was inevitable I’d visit Hutton. Continue reading

The Bonus


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Tuesday 27th April 2021 ko 18:30

North Berkshire League Division One

GROVE RANGERS 1 (Faircloth 42)

DRAYTON 3 (Harrison 2 Jacks 61 Wilde 82)

Jacks penalty saved 77

Att c30 at Grove Recreation Ground

Free Entry

Now I know what you’re thinking, didn’t we pay Grove a visit on the 2015 North Berkshire Hop? You’d be right, but we actually visited them at their original ground at Wasbrough Field. That lies around 200 yards north of their normal home at the Recreation Ground, and the game got moved there because the rugby club didn’t want football fans in their bar. I’d have thought our money was as good as theirs but I regarded the switch as something as a groundhopper’s bonus and planned to visit the Recreation Ground at later date, but circumstances got in the way. 

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Pass, Move, but Grin?


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Saturday 24th April 2021 ko 15:00

Central Midlands League Division One South



Jones penalty saved 73

Savage sent off (Foul & Abusive) 84

Goodband sent off (Foul & Abusive) 84

Att c25 at Bulwell Hall Park, Nottingham 

With Robyn and I meeting GroundhopUK’s Chris Berezai for a lunch and a chin-wag it was close to inevitable that we’d end up at a Central Midlands League game, it does pay to be attending the game with the fixture secretary. The issue the league has for next few weeks is which of their clubs’ grounds counts as a public space? Most of the leagues I’ve watched since Lockdown#3 that simply hasn’t an issue. There was absolutely no question though of Bulwell Hall Park in Nottingham being anything other than public land. Continue reading

The Owls Revisited


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Tuesday 20th April 2021 ko 18.30

North Berkshire League Division One
EAST HENDRED 4 (Parrott 5p 9p L Eltham 59 B Eltham 82)

HAGBOURNE UNITED 3 (Smith 25secs 67 MacDonald 79)

Att 26 at Mill Lane, East Hendred

Free Entry

My attendance here was due to one thing really, Hendred chairman Steve Mulford invited me! Most will remember the club from their beautifully presented game on the 2015 North Berkshire League hop, the club managing to produce of all things, an Owl display and a quite amazing array of food and drink. It is a matter of regret that I hadn’t been back since.

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Saturday 17th April 2021 ko 16.30

Cambridgeshire County League Senior Cup Group D

COTTENHAM UNITED 2 (Males 32 Course 81p)


Att c60 at King George V Playing Field, Lambs Lane.

Free Entry

The FA’s edict that that matches shouldn’t clash with the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral did create an unwitting opportunity for groundhoppers like me. It wasn’t difficult to find a game beforehand, and there was ample time to travel from Barton Mills westwards for around 30 miles. Continue reading



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Saturday 17th April 2021 ko 13.00

Cambridgeshire County League Junior Cup Group F

BARTON MILLS 2 (Walker 45 Sheehan 85p)

missed penalty 71

THE EAGLE (ELY) 3 (Pekala 29 31 Wojtowitz 60)

Att 13 at Barton Mills Village Green 

Entry FREE

For the worst of reasons there were no end of opportunities to watch two games this Saturday. With the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh scheduled for 3pm clubs were advised by the FA to play their games in such a way as to avoid clashing with it. Many leagues opted for a blanket approach with all games starting simultaneously, but an exception was the Cambridgeshire County League where a significant minority of clubs opted for later kick-offs. Continue reading



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Saturday 10th April 2021 ko 15.00

North Bucks & District League – Premier

TOWCESTER TOWN 5 ( Parker 9p Dixon 70 72 Kirby 82 85)

CITY COLTS 2 (16 37)

Att c25 at Islington Road, Towcester

Free Entry

I’m not sure why, but Lockdown Mark 3 seemed to have more of an impact on me than the other two. There was the salve of the UK’s successful vaccination programme which at least gave us some light at the end of the tunnel and it was gratifying to see news of so many of the hopping fraternity receiving their first jabs. Nevertheless I was saddened to hear of the death of Hull-based hopper Phil Grayson from Covid-19 during this period of lockdown- it showed that while we are heading in the right direction, we are still a long way from having this accursed virus beaten. Continue reading

The Compromise At Havelock Square 


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Saturday 26th March 2011 ko 20.00

UEFA European Championship Qualifying Group B

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 2 (McGeady 2 Keane 21)

FYR MACEDONIA 1 (Tričkovski 45)

Att 30,000 at Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin

Entry €45

Programme €5

Parking €5

It had been a highly convivial afternoon in Newry but as I thrashed the tiny hire car on the motorway back to Dublin the tension was building. On one hand any trip to any capital is going to involve traffic, and we’d made the decision already to use both of Dublin’s toll roads (costing a total of €4.70) just to get there on time. Another problem was the fact that even though we’d been in Ireland since Friday morning, we still didn’t have tickets.

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Border Hopping


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Saturday March 2011 ko 15.00

IFA Premiership

NEWRY CITY 1 (McCann 73)


Att 198

Entry £9

Programme £2

For a border that has been subject of so much upheaval the act of crossing from the Irish Republic to the United Kingdom on the A1/N1 is something of an anticlimax. The first thing you notice is that the yellow dashed line on the left hand edge of the road suddenly becomes solid and white, then there’s a sign informing you that from now on all distances and speeds will use miles, not kilometres as their basis. Other than that the only other clue is adverts for business who’ve set up to take advantage of whatever tax differentials exist between the two countries. You can see an example in the one of the photos.

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