Seeking Nessie

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Monday 9th August 2021 ko 19.00

Inverness & District Amateur League-Premier Division

LOCH NESS 2 (Ingram 35 Fraser 90p)

MARYBURGH 0

Houston sent off 90 (DOGSO- handball on goal-line)

Att c70 at Bught Park Pitches, Inverness

Free Entry

I’d lined up 5 games during our stay in the Highlands and really didn’t expect to add to my list. This wasn’t going to be a groundhopping tour, more a holiday with a match taken in where convenient. I am though part of a Scottish Football WhatsApp group and they pointed out this fixture. Since Bught Park is less than a mile away from where we were staying it would have been rude not to have come along ! Continue reading

Fishing

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Saturday 7th August 2021 ko 15:00

Highland League

FRASERBURGH 6 (Young 24 P Campbell 28 Butcher 64 Beagrie 72 Meekings 75og Barbour 82)

BRORA RANGERS 2 (Gillespie 3 J Macrae 13)

A Macrae sent off 87 (2nd booking)

Att c300 at Bellslea Park

Entry £10

Teamsheet – Free (I asked a committee member)

It was Saturday morning and the M90 was misbehaving. The satnav was telling me my margin for error was shrinking alarmingly and I was tired. Some folks go on holiday to relax, while I use that map exclusive to groundhoppers, that somehow makes Fraserburgh on the way from Hamilton to Inverness! There were no end of games we could have watched that really were on the A9 north but I’d seen photos of Bellslea Park….. Continue reading

Negotiation

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Tuesday 3rd August 2021 ko 19:45

Spartan South Midlands League Division One

STOTFOLD 4 (Lee-Spavins 36 84 90 Ryan 73)

LETCHWORTH GARDEN CITY EAGLES 1 (Summers 9)

Att 317 at New Roker Park, Arlesey Road

Entry £6

Programme £1

It’s part of human nature that groundhoppers will tend to make a beeline for a newly-opened ground. My wife Robyn doesn’t quite see the point, she correctly points out that grounds facing the bulldozer ought to be the priority. To some extent we do indulge in a spot of “Beat the demolition gang” but the new ground dash is an odd one! Continue reading

Escape To Victory

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Saturday 31st July 2021 ko 15:00

Eastern Counties League Premier Division

WHITTON UNITED 2 (Lucraft 36 Davis 70)

SWAFFHAM TOWN 1 (Linsdell 90)

Att 65 at King George V Playing Field, Whitton, Ipswich

Entry £7

Programme £1

With pyramid football restarting for the first time since December I’ll admit to approaching the whole thing with mixed feelings. I’d greatly enjoyed going “Off the beaten track” to find games, but regular travelling partner Chris Garner was correct, it was time to do some “Normal” hopping, and he had an idea… Continue reading

Going Weird (again!)

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Tuesday 27th July 2021 ko 19.45

Pre-Season Friendly

FLEET SPURS DEVELOPMENT 1 (44)

FLEET TOWN YOUTH 2 (32 43)

Att c30 at Wavell Ground, Queens Avenue, Aldershot

Free Entry

If the last few months since lockdown have been about one thing its the idea to go weird early! I should explain; since lockdown ended in April very little football was played by clubs in the recognised pyramid, so I’ve used the time to try to dig out some gems that perhaps have been overlooked by some. As my wife Robyn and her family would testify, I am all about pushing myself and others out of our comfort zones! But normal English non-league pyramid football starts again this coming weekend, so there was just enough time to go weird one more time!

Continue reading

Disappointment?

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Saturday 24th July 2021 ko 15:00

Pre-season Friendly

GILLINGHAM TOWN 3 (Paterson 4 Samuel 40 43)

CHARD TOWN 1 (Parris 15)

Att c46 at Harding’s Lane

Free Entry

On one level this was the most straightforward a reason for attending a game as you could imagine. Gillingham Town moved from their old ground at Harding’s Lane at the end of last season to a purpose built ground around 200 yards away at Woodwater Lane. In fact so close are the two grounds that you pass by the old to get to the new. That proved to be of some benefit…. Continue reading

The Forge

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Tuesday 20th July 2021 ko 19.45

Pre-season Friendly

CATHOLIC UNITED 1 (Trialist 39)

WHITE ENSIGN 6 (Woodward 1 13 45 Locke 6 Reynolds-Blanche 28 71)

Att c60 at Len Forge Centre, Southend-on-Sea

Free Entry

There are some grounds that ought to be on every groundhopper’s bucket list, there are some that you’d barely count as a tick, and there are one or two that for little or no reason contrive to intrigue you. For me, Southend’s Len Forge Centre definitely fell into the latter. Continue reading

Polo

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Monday 13th July 2021 ko 19.30

Pre-Season Friendly

FLEET SPURS DEVELOPMENT 0

THATCHAM TOWN YOUTH 5 (30 33 61 75 78)

Att c25 at Polo Fields, Queen’s Avenue, Aldershot

Free Entry

Being from Oxford I’m used to the idea that there are two sides to the city- the Town and the Gown. While there is a geographical element to it the divide is largely psychological- I can drink in the students’ pub, but I usually choose not to. But in Aldershot the divide is between military and civilian, and the divide is far more physically demarcated than in my home town. Continue reading

The Mumbles Mile

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Saturday 10th July 2021 ko 14:00

Welsh Cup 1st Qualifying Round

MUMBLES RANGERS 1 (E Smith 1)

March sent off 56 (foul & abusive)

PENLAN CLUB 2 (Fisher 56 Edwards 72)

L Otten sent off 77 (serious foul play)

Att c100  😉 at Underhill Park.

Without question Welsh clubs have suffered tougher Covid restrictions than their English counterparts; it does take a remarkable turn of events for me to have not seen a game in Wales since a visit to Afan Lido back in December 2019! Many Welsh teams hadn’t played a game since the first UK lockdown in March 2020, and just to make life more complicated there was a restructuring to the footballing pyramid in Wales too! Continue reading

The Home Ground

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Saturday 3rd July 2021 ko 11:00

Pre-Season Friendly

BENFLEET 2 (37 57p)

REDBRIDGE 3 (Trialist 24 34 38)

Att 22 at Woodside, Manor Road

The count may have switched over to the 2021/22 season but in truth my close season was from December to April so a pre-season friendly didn’t feel like, well, pre-season even if both of the clubs hadn’t played a game this year. Then there was the strand of the hobby that doesn’t like friendlies to consider. I’d normally prefer a competitive game, but the friendly does throw up a opportunity, and I don’t just mean the chance to visit Britain’s first mini roundabout, opened in 1970…. Continue reading