Welcome to The 100 Football Grounds Club

Welcome to Shaun Smith's Groundhopping blog ...
 'The 100 Football Grounds Club'(est.2006) ... the original internet ground logging website.
Check out my blog reports and pictures from over 400 different football grounds in the A-Z Matchday Index

site updated on post date

✔526 Laing Park

Carnoustie Panmure 0-5 Bonnyrigg Rose
East Region Superleague
Saturday 14th May 2016
Carnoustie is a small town which sits at the mouth of the Barry Burn on the Angus coast between Dundee and Arbroath. (population of over 11,000)
There are a few variations on the origin of its name, suggestions include various Gaelic derivations, an Anglic origin 'Craws Nestie', referring to the large number of crows that inhabit the area, however the best, but more unlikely possibility is 'the Cairn of Heroes', which refers to a battle fought there in 1010 between Malcolm II and the Danish Vikings. The Battle of Barry took place at Lochty Burn in the vicinity of the area which is now occupied by the High Street. The Viking onslaught was led by Camus, who fled to the hills, but was slain and buried by Robert de Keith at Brae Downie. Carnoustie has a street named after him and the Camus Cross is said to record his resting place.
Carnoustie is the former home of the linen producing Panmure Works and once a popular tourist seaside resort, benefited from the 19th century fashion for sea bathing. Following the arrival of the railway, it was promoted as the "Brighton of the North" a tagline which they definitely wouldn't go with in the 21st century for a few obvious reasons.
Home to the the famous Carnoustie Golf Links course which first hosted The Open Championship in 1931, and will again play host for the eighth time in 2018.  The course has historically proved a magnetic challenge for golfers of all standards, giving the nickname of “Car-nasty” by the Americans, due to its difficulty and the added hurdle of the adverse Scottish weather. 
Formed in 1936, Carnoustie Panmure Football Club are nicknamed “The Gowfers” due to the town's well-established links to golf. 
Scottish Junior Cup winners 2003-04 and runners-up in 2000-01.
Both finals finished goalless and were decided on penalties, losing to Renfrew (6-5) and winning the trophy three years later against Tayport (4-1)
League titles include the Dundee Junior League on 7 occasions, five times during the 1950s and twice in the mid-sixties.
6 Tayport Premier Division titles, including 4 years on the bounce between 1975–76 - 1978–79, 1980–81 and more recently in 2003–04.
Currie (Findlay & Co) Cup: 1971–72, 1975–76, 1977–78, 2002–03, 2006–07
North End Challenge Cup: 2001–02, 2004–05, 2006–07, 2007–08
Also won plenty of honours in other Tayside cup competitions.
Laing Park
Pitskelly Road

Capacity 1,500
(Scottish grounds visited 73  Scottish Junior grounds 27 Lifetime Junior Cup winners 20/27)

This is the club’s third ground, having started life playing on a park pitch next to the slaughterhouse until 1947, when they moved to Westfield Road. In 2004 they relocated to a brand new facility at Laing Park, which at the car park entrance is signed as Pitskelly Park, the name only used by the local council. The changing rooms, refreshment bar, club office and dugouts are all down one side at the pay entrance, with the rest of the ground made up of grass banking.
Carnoustie Panmure(13th) v Bonnyrigg Rose(1st)
East Region Superleague Matchday 24/28
0-1 Wayne McIntosh (7’)
Poor clearance from the ‘keeper fell straight to McIntosh who capitalised by firing in from the edge of the box.
0-2 Kieran McGachie (17’)
Deep left wing cross from the left by Donaldson was met by a peach of a header, which rattled in the stantion of the goal.
0-3 Lewis Turner (39’)
The goalkeeper pulled off a good save to deny McIntosh but Turner was on hand to net the rebound.
0-4 Jonathan Stewart (73’)
Ball in from the left met by a superb volley from just outside the box.
0-5 Dean Hoskins (90+3)
Right flank corner kick from Gray met with a strong header from 12 yards.

Entertainment 8/10
Top Bloke - Wayne McIntosh (Bonnyrigg Rose)

Bonnyrigg have one hand on the Superleague, needing only one point from their last two matches to be officially crowned champions. Nearest challengers Kelty Hearts would need Rose to lose both matches and win their remaining four fixtures, plus overturn a 20 goal deficit.

Admission £5
Programme £2
Pin badge £2
Coffee £1
Mince pie £1.30
Tea 80p
The Gadabout
200 miles door-to-door

Departed Newcastle on 0743 East Coast train, arrived in Edinburgh at 0920. 
Returned on the 1900, back in the house for 9pm.

A huge “thank you” to James  Little(Squad #155) who made the longest trip for my book a helluva lot easier by picking me up in Edinburgh at 11.30am and driving the 73 miles up the M90 towards Angus. We stopping off for a refreshment break just off the A90 at the Glencarse Hotel and made good time allowing us a visit to the Corner Hotel in Carnoustie before kick off. The return journey went smoothly so I was back in Edinburgh with an hour to spare before catching the train home.  
I’m delighted to have now ticked off the furthest grounds in my Scottish Juniors quest. I'm now beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel to finally complete this enjoyable project.

A more in depth write up on Carnoustie, the football club and my matchday will hopefully feature in my forthcoming book ‘From the Toon to the Scottish Joons’ (if published)

Ground no.526 Laing Park - Matchday Web Album (28 pictures from Carnoustie Panmure)

✔524 Newbiggin Sports Centre

This visit to AFC Newbiggin was initially intended to form the latest part of my Around The Alliance series. Regular readers will know that I usually visit 3 Alliance grounds in quick succession and write a report on the matches in one post. 
After Newbiggin, the next match was at Blyth Isabella, who I visited earlier in the season at their old pitch before they moved to Cowpen Park. On Saturday I drove up to Blyth for their game with Cramlington Town and found the place deserted. I quickly nipped around to Isabella in case they were playing at their old ground but still no sign of any pending football action. Yesterday I contacted the Northern Alliance on Twitter to ask what had happened and they informed me that unfortunately Blyth have resigned from the league, which follows on Longbenton FC who recently revoked their membership from Division One.
Northbank Carlisle was to also feature as part of the trilogy, but their derby fixture with Carlisle City has been moved from the original date, meaning I probably won’t be able to make the rearranged fixture, so to keep everything up to date here is my blog from my visit to Newbiggin Sports Centre last Wednesday night.

AFC Newbiggin 2-2 Walker Central
Northern Alliance Premier Division
Wednesday 4th May 2016
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is a small town with a small fishing port on the North Sea coast in Northumberland. The town was once a coal mining community and also an important port for shipping grain. Newbiggin is found 19 miles up the road from my abode and just under 3 miles east of Ashington.
The football ground is found at the back of the Newbiggin Sports Centre, with a railed off pitch and dugouts on the edge of Long Park.

AFC Newbiggin were formed in 2010, joining the North Northumberland League. After winning the league in 2012-13 they joined Division Two of the Northern Alliance. The club climbed to the Premier Division after twice gaining promotion, finishing league runners-up two years in succession. 
The town has been represented in the Northern Alliance before, back in 1987 when Newbiggin Central Welfare were members until they folded in 2005.
Both sides went into this game sitting comfortably in mid-table and shared the spoils with Walker Central taking an early foothold in the match with two goals in four minutes. On 19 minutes Paul Bell fired in a cracking right foot drive, which was hit so hard it uprooted the side netting. This was quickly followed by a mazy run into the box from Paul Mills, who fired home via a deflection off the defender. 
Newbiggin quickly halved the deficient when a cross from the left was headed home by Andrew Carr and they finished the first period strongly after their slow start. The second half was an open affair with the next goal crucial in deciding the result. The pivotal goal arrived halfway through the half, when the hosts were awarded a penalty after a trip on Andrew Carr. Ross Muter made no mistake from the spot-kick to make it all square and they should have won it, but they missed a sitter, wasting a golden opportunity with the last kick of the match. 

Matchday Stats
AFCN 2(Carr 23 Muter 67pen)
WCFC 2(Bell 19 Mills 23)
Top Bloke - Josh Willis(AFC Newbiggin)

✔525 Stockton Town's New 3G Ground

Horden CW 0-6 Stockton Town
Wearside League
Friday 6th May 2016

I initially visited Stockton Town at Bishopton Road West in their first season in the Wearside League in September 2010, as part of my Wearside League Wanderings series. They finished 10th in their debut season following by a 3rd place in 2011-12. Since then the club have dominated the league,  finished champions this season for the fourth year running and also winning the grand slam of league, Shipowners Charity Cup, Monkwearmouth Charity Cup, League Cup last season.

New 3G ground( yet to be named)
Bishopton Road West
TS19 0QD

English Non-League grounds visited 259

Stockton Town applied for promotion to the Northern League last year, but despite clinching a hat-trick of league titles, their promotion application was withdrawn due to legal matters with the ground. However the club were successful in their ground grading inspection earlier last month, with a new 3G pitch, standing enclosure, floodlights and handsome team dugouts already in place at the opposite side of the complex from their old pitch. The development will also include new changing rooms, 120 capacity stand, hospitality and toilet facilities, which will be added over the forthcoming months.

Although this is Stockton’s first match at their new ground, this Wearside League match was classed as an away fixture, due to Horton CW’s current situation with their ground, having to play all their matches away from Welfare Park. 
Also the game was moved to Friday night so the Stockton players could go to the big promotion clash at Boro on Saturday lunch time.

The Gadabout
33 miles door-to-door
A1/A177 going, A19 coming back

At the game caught up with Lee Stewart, who had trousered me a rare programme and also spoke to  Paul Johnson (Squad #121) and the man that never has a quite night in - Peter Ford (AF 25)

Horden CW (5th) v Stockton Town(1st)
Wearside League Matchday 36/34
Kick Off 7.30pm
Admission £3
Programme £1

0-1 (27’) Stephen Roberts
Square ball from the right knocked in from close range.
0-2 (29’) Chris Dunwell
Free header from eight yards wrong footed ‘keeper.
0-3 (61’) Tony Johnson
The two subs linked up with a low cross by Priestley from the right poked home from six yards
0-4 (67’) Kallum Hannah(penalty)
Trip on Johnson in the box. Penalty comfortably converted.
0-5 (77’) Chris Stockton 
Defensive error seized on by the number 11, who curled a neat effort into the far corner.
0-6 Tony Johnson  (85’) 
Well timed run to stay onside, one-on-one with ‘keeper produced a confident finish.

Entertainment 7/10
Top Bloke - Chris Stockton(Stockton Town)

✔523 The Mechanics

AFC Blackpool 3-1 Squires Gate
North West Counities League - Premier Division
Tuesday 3rd May 2016

You can catch up with my previous visits to this part of the world in my blog archive, attending games at Blackpool, Squires Gate and more recently AFC Fylde.

Blackpool Metal Mechanics founded in 1947, changing name to Blackpool Mechanics
Fylde District Football League 1947-1959
Division Two Champions 1950-51
West Lancashire League 1959-62, runners up, then league champions two years running.
Lancashire Combination 1962-1982
North West Counties League founder members 1982-present
Division Three winners 1985-86
First Division winners 2010-11
The club amalgamated with Squires Gate Junior FC to form AFC Blackpool in May 2008.
The Mechanics
Jepson Way
Common Edge Road

Capacity 2,000 (250 seats)

Non-League grounds visited 258 NWCL 5/40

The club kept their link with their Blackpool Mechanics history by naming the Jepson Way ground "The Mechanics" There’s covered terrace enclosures behind each goal.  A seated stand filled with tangerine seats on one side, sandwiched in between the team dugouts. Also a few rows of seats outside the clubhouse benefiting from the overhanging roof.
AFC Blackpool(22nd) v Squires Gate(18th)
North West Counties League Premier Division Matchday 40/41
Kick off 7.45pm

1-0  Mark Thornber (28’)
Ball played in from the right met with a first time effort from just inside the penalty area.

2-0 Aaron Fleming (50’)
Fabulous direct free-kick, fired in from 30 yards from the right flank.

3-0 Jack Williams (67’)
Nice through ball, outpaced the defender and slid the ball past the oncoming ‘keeper.

3-1 Daniel Penswick (74’)
The Blackpool ‘keeper pulled off another cracking save, the resulting goal mouth scramble saw the ball fired in from close range.

Entertainment - 7/10
Top Bloke - Aaron Fleming(AFC Blackpool)

This win took The Mechanics off the foot of the table and now there’s only a three point gap between 18th and 22nd, so going into the last week of the season it’s any three from five for the drop between Squires Gate, Silsden, AFC Darwen, AFC Blackpool and Alsager Town. 

Admission £6
Programme:none issued
Pin badge £3
Cofffee £1
The Gadabout
145 miles door-to-door
Travelled with Katie & Lee in Blossom(aka the Katiemobile) 

We arrived in Blackpool just before 5pm, so plenty of time to go to the 3 previously uncharted Wetherspoons pubs in the town centre. After drinks and food in The Layton Rakes and The Albert and the Lion, we stopped off at the fabulous Velvet Coaster on route to the match. Nowadays it’s just a matter of a fact that we see someone we know at a game, so the “Stalker of the Week” award went to Tony Morehead (100FgC AF60) who travelled up from Manchester after seeing my post on FriendFace. A really cracking evening, with no pain in the arse motorway diversions heading home,  so I was back hyem for 12.45am.

Ground no.523 The Mechanics - Matchday Web Album (31 pictures)

Pic of the Week Cup 2016 - Round 2

Peter Miles - OFK Belgrade

Chris Bedford - Horton

Paul Paxford - Teignmouth
Jamie McQueen - Borussia Dortmund
Matt Harrison - AS Trencin
John Blair - Carloway

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