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

✔590 York Road

Maidenhead United 0-3 Gateshead
National League
Saturday 11th November 2017
 Maidenhead is a large town in the county of Berkshire in England's Silicon Corridor, along the M4 motorway west of London. The area around the present town centre was a small Roman settlement called Alaunodunu, however its name derives from Saxon times, where the riverside’s first "New wharf" or "Maiden Hythe" was built.
(Population nearly 74,000)

The club was founded in 1870 as Maidenhead FC playing their first-ever fixture in December of that year, against Windsor Home Park at Bonds Meadow, close to the River Thames. On 16th February 1871 they played their first game on the York Road site against Marlow, which the The FA have acknowledged is the "oldest senior football ground continuously used by the same club”
The Magpies were one of the original 15 entrants for the first-ever FA Cup competition in 1871–72 and they reached the semi-finals the following season, losing to Oxford University.

Maidenhead were founder members of the Southern League in 1894, before dropping into and winning the West Berkshire League in 1902-03. They also played in the Berks & Bucks League and joined the Great Western Suburban League in 1904.

In 1918 the club merged with Maidenhead Norfolkians, winning the league title and changing their name to Maidenhead United.
Spartan League 1922-1940 champions 1926-27, 1931-32, 1933-34
Corinthian League (founder members) 1946-1963 champions 1957-58, 1960-61,1961-62
Athenian League 1963-1973
Isthmian League 1973-2004
Conference South 2004-2017 (apart from Southern Premier League in 2006-07)
National League South champions 2016-17
 York Road
(Current National League grounds 21/24)

Capacity 4,000 (550 seats)

Record Maidenhead attendance -  7,989 v Southall (Amateur Cup) 7th March 1936
Ground record attendance -  8,277  Slough Town v Wycombe Wanderers, Berks & Bucks Senior Cup Final, Easter Monday 1947

The Railway Stand opened in 2014, comprising of seven rows of black and white seats, with a capacity of 550. There is covered terracing being both goals. The Bell Street end is split into two separate sections, with the club name painted onto the back wall of the terrace. The East Terrace has a section of cover in the middle with the terracing continuing around to meet the stand. The entrance side of the ground, has the changing rooms, dugouts, terracing and the Stripes supporters bar, with a 3G training pitch encased in what looks like the foundations of an old stand.

Lest We forget

Maidenhead United(11th) v Gateshead(18th)
National League Matchday 19

Weather:dry, sunny
Att.1,377 (117 away)
In the battle of the National League’s two heads, it was the Heed who nutted the three points,producing a compelling away performance.
Gateshead were quickly out off the traps, going two up in the first eight minutes through a decisive right foot finish by Luke Hannant, quickly followed by a Scott Barrow shot which rattled the crossbar, but fell nicely to Danny Johnson to side foot home.
The Tynesiders went close to increasing their lead through Barrow and Johnson, but it wasn’t until after the break they added a third. It was O’Donnell who again provided the assist to Hannant with a similar goal to his first, firing across the keeper into the left hand post.
Full marks to the Magpies, who had most of the possession and kept plugging away in search of a reply, but the Gateshead defence was solid and looked more likely to add a fourth than concede one.
In the 146 year history of York Road, Gateshead are the most northerly club to ever play at the ground, so it’s fitting that the long journey for the Heed Army was rewarded with a fabulous display.

Matchday Stats
GFC 3(Hannant 5,50 Johnson 8)
Top Bloke - Luke Hannant (Gateshead)
Entertainment 8/10

Admission £15
Programme £3
Pin badge £4
Coffee £1.50

0650 from Newcastle to King's Cross, arriving at 1045.
Returning on the 2000, back at 0005. (extra hour on each journey due to engineering works at Grantham)

After arriving in that London, it was a quick tube via the Hammersmith & City line to catch the westbound train from Paddington. On route to Maidenhead I stopped off in Slough for something to eat. Unfortunately Chasers* was closed so I settled for lunch at the Moon & Spoon instead.
I arrived in Maidenhead at 1.15, with plenty of time for a pub crawl, calling into The Bell and The Maiden Head before meeting Simon, Tony plus a few more of the Heed supporters in The Bear. We still had time to nip in The Corner House before the match, so we were fully tanked up by kick off time.

Happy Birthday Mr Carter
The match was a joy, and the support and vocal backing from the Heed Army was the best I've experienced for a long time.
Afterwards we called into the Conservative Club which is just outside the ground. As proud Socialists, myself and Simon wouldn't normally frequent such a place, but as the hostelry is in the Good Beer Guide, I was only there for the ale!
I stopped off in Ealing on the way back to Paddington to complete a 'Spoons hat-trick at the Sir Michael Balcon, and arrived back at Kings Cross in plenty of time.(unlike
my last visit to these parts) After a bit of a break from this 'hopping malarkey, it was good to be back in the groove, with a cracking day "darn sarf!"

* Hope you got The Office reference.
Maidenhead pubs on The Completist

✔589 Laurence Jackson Sports Village

Guisborough United 2-4 Redcar Town
North Riding Saturday Challenge Cup
Saturday 14th October 2017

Guisborough Three Fiddles joined the Teesside League in 2016, playing home games at the King George V Playing Fields. This season they joined the newly formed North Riding League, which is a new step 7 division covering North Yorkshire, County Durham and Redcar & Cleveland. The new setup has a Premier Division, First Division, plus a Under 19s Sunday league.

Prior to this season the club changed their name to United and a new home at the Sports Village, within The Laurence Jackson School. The sports centre has a main hall, squash court, fitness suite, activity room, athletics track and a 3G football pitch which opened last September. The pitch is a basic 3G cage, with a separate standing area down one side. In November 2016, Middlesbrough Academy manager Dave Parnaby and Boro defender Ben Gibson officially opened the new pitch, with funding provided from the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund.

Guisborough United v Redcar Town

North Riding Saturday Challenge Cup 1st Round
2pm kick off

Redcar Town came back from a two goal deficit to reach the next round of the cup. The home side made a cracking start, taking the lead in the third minute through Lewis Reeve, then quickly doubled their advantage when Liam Cooper dribbled his way into the box before producing a neat finish.
Redcar finished the half strongly and got themselves back in the tie, when a right wing cross was fired home by Ryan Bennions from close range. The visitors bossed the second half, grabbing an equaliser just before the hour mark when a corner kick was nodding in by Jordan McDonald. In the 74th minute good work from Bennions set up Stuart Poulter, then just before the final whistle a right wing cross was headed back to Bennions to poke home his second and his side’s fourth.

Matchday Stats
GUFC 2(Reeve 3 Cooper 14)
RTFC 4(Bennions 32,89 McDonald 59 Poulter 74)
Entertainment 7/10
Top Bloke - Ryan Bennions (Redcar Town)


49 miles door-to-door via the A19

Made this a double ticked trip by also marking off another Wetherspoon pub(#337) The Ironstone Miner opened earlier this year and completes the 43 ‘Spoons pubs in the north-east of England.

✔588 Mexborough Athletic Sports Ground

Swinton Athletic 10-0 Brinsworth Whitehill
Sheffield County Senior League Cup
Saturday 7th October 2017

Swinton Athletic FC was founded 1946 and were successful in local football, winning the highly acclaimed Montagu Cup five times. The club later established themselves in the Sheffield & Hallam County Senior League, reaching its Premier Division after winning the First Division title  in 1996-97. The team folded in 2004-05, becoming Dearne/Swinton and then Dearne Colliery Welfare, before two former Athletic players reformed the club in 2009. Swinton Station Athletic was set up by Andrew Billups and Martin Rouane, based from the Station Hotel in the town. The new structure also included a reserve side in the Doncaster Premier League and the club branched out with a junior section founded in 2010.

A return to the Sheffield County Senior League in 2010, saw them win promotion to the First Division at the first attempt, then under the Swinton Athletic name in 2012, the club won promotion to the Premier Division in their debut season. In 2014-15 they were crowned Premier League champions and have finished runner-up over the last two seasons.

The club are based at the Miners Welfare in Swinton, but since their promotion to the Premier League, the first XI play home matches at the Mexborough Athletic Sports Ground, which meets the appropriate ground grading. The reserve side and the over 35’s teams still play two miles away at the Miners Welfare. The ground is shared with the cricket club, with the teams using the changing rooms in the impressive looking pavilion. The main stand is on the far side, decked out in six rows of magnolia coloured seats, with the front row replacing the use of dugouts. The stand still has the name of previous residents Mexborough Athletic on the facade. There is large sections of terracing each side of the stand which runs behind both goals, with the opposite side roped off from the cricket pitch.
 Swinton is a suburban town within the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham,  on part of the west bank of the River Don, directly west-southwest of Mexborough. (population about 15,550)
The town was once an international centre of ceramics and the world renowned Rockingham Pottery, which manufactured their defining rococo porcelain during the 19th century. The original village of Swinton lay between the Roman Ridge, extending from Wincobank to the north east of Sheffield to Mexborough and the south west Roman road from Doncaster, where there was a Roman fort and the minor settlement of Danum.

Swinton Athletic v Brinsworth Whitehill
Sheffield County Senior League Cup
3pm ko


In over 40 years of watching football this is only the fourth time I’ve seen a team hit double figures*. The onslaught got under way after five minutes, when Enzo Guarini fired in a left foot shot, before his quick run and cross teed up Jake Ford to fire in from the edge of the box to double the advantage. It was 3-0 to Swinton before half time, after a left wing cross found Justin Greenwood, who laid the ball off to Mark Clare to finish in style. Greenwood got on the score sheet after the break, grabbing a brace and also setting up Clare’s second in between to make it a round half dozen with just over an hour gone.
Regan Kelly got in on the act, staying onside before producing a confident finish to make it 7-0, just before the best goal of the game, when a cross field pass found Greenwood,who chested the ball on to Clare, to volley into the roof of the net. Greenwood fired in from a right wing cross to complete his hat trick and just before I ran out of fingers, Ryan Doxey made it ten to finish off the Brinsworth Whitehill rout.
SWFC 10 (Guarini 5 Ford 16 Clare 39,57,74 Greenwood 49,61,77 Kelly 61 Doxey 84)
Top Bloke - Justin Greenwood (Swinton Athletic)
Entertainment 10/10 (had to be ten!)

Following on from my earlier match at Doncaster Rovers Academy, I caught the train to Mexborough just after 2pm. The journey only takes 12 minutes, so loads of time for a drink and another ‘Spoons tick at the Old Market Hall, before strolling up to the ground. While in the pub I used the Wi-Fi to check if there was any GBG pubs in the town, picking out the Imperial Club and Brewery for a post match drink before the 1720 back to Donny. The pub turned out to be a belter! I regret not having more time to sample more of their selection of Imperial and guest beers. A fabulous day was rounded off with a pint in The Leopard before catching the 1803 back to Newcastle. The splendid day in South Yorkshire when everything ran like clockwork, which made up for my pissed off day in Cumbria last Saturday.
*Previous tenners
Crook Town 1 Newcastle United 10 (Barcelona Cup) 20-11-03
Gateshead 11 Brandon United 0 (Durham Cup) 22-9-10
Ollerton Town 12 Welbeck Welfare 0 (Central Midland League North) 23-2-16

✔587 Cantley Park

Doncaster Rovers U-18 1-1 Port Vale U-18
EFL Youth Alliance Cup
Saturday 7th October 2017

Cantley Park is the biggest park in Doncaster extending to 104 acres with open parkland and woodland. The pavilion in Cantley Park was opened to the public during Summer 2011 and was built using funding obtained through Livability, Section 106 and Football Foundation Funding in partnership with Bessacarr Football Club.The facility includes 8 team changing rooms with showers, 3 referee changing rooms, 3 junior changing rooms and a training or meeting room with full kitchen facilities, available for hire to the community.

Doncaster Rovers training ground is at the north end of the park. At the entrance is the main car park and the changing room block, with the pitches behind surrounded by woodland. The Academy team use the left hand pitch which has dugouts at one side and is roped off to spectators.

Doncaster Rovers U-18 v Port Vale U-18

Youth Alliance Cup (Northern Group 6) Matchday 3

11am ko
Weather: nippy and windy
The thing about Academy matches is you’re usually guaranteed a competitive game with 100% commitment for both teams.  Rovers were the better side in the first half and broke the deadlock just before the break, when Myron Gibbons latched onto a through ball before out stripping the defender and firing in on 42 minutes. Donny had chances to double their advantage, but Vale were always in it and they leveled on 76 minutes, when a quick break was finished off by Kyle Johnson, who got on the end of a good right wing cross. The draw keeps Port Vale at the top of Group 6, with seven points from three games.
Matchday Stats
DRFCU-18 1(Gibbons 42)
PVFCU-18 1(Johnson 76)
Top lad - Brandon Horton (Doncaster Rovers)
Entertainment 6/10


0725 Virgin train from Newcastle arriving in Doncaster at 0853.

An early morning start allowing plenty of time for a lovely cooked breakfast in The Tuck Inn, before catching the 57 bus to Cantley just before ten o’ clock. When I arrived at Cantley Park, the complex was a hive of activity with young’uns playing football on every pitch and a few spectators already gathering at the training ground for the Academy match. After the game the return bus into town was spot on time, so a pint in the Corner Pin and then a train ticket to Mexborough, for my second match of the day at Swinton Athletic.

✔586 Gilwilly Recreation Ground

Wetheriggs United 3-2 Sedbergh Wanderers
Westmorland League Division 1
Saturday 30th September 2017
 The club was born in 1963 when a group of schoolboys from Wetheriggs Rise in Penrith formed their own football team, entering the newly formed Keswick and District U-18 League in 1964-65. In 1968 they had a successful application to join the Westmorland League Division 2, becoming league champions in their debut season.

The club amalgamated with Penrith United to become Wetheriggs United in 1995.
First Division Champions ten times;
1971-72, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1999-00, 2001-02-2005-06(six titles on the bounce, as there was no competition in 2000-01 because of foot and mouth) 2010-11
Westmorland Senior Cup winners 1984, 1986 and 2007 and other honours include the Benevolent Trophy 9 times and the High Sheriff’s Cup on seven occasions.
Wetheriggs moved from Southend Road playing fields during the 1980-81 season to another Council owned pitch on the Gilwilly Recreation Ground in the Castletown area of the town, known locally as "The Rec".

In 2010 after a lot of hard work and fundraising they raised £54,000 to bring the old changing rooms up to FA standard. The enclosed ground is on the edge of the town centre, just a ten minute stroll from the rail station.

Wetheriggs United(7th) v Sedbergh Wanderers(10th)

James Cropper Westmorland Association Football League Division 1 matchday 8
2.30 ko
A brace from Alex Johnson set Wetheriggs on their way to three points, racing through the Wanderers defence unchallenged to fire home in the 16th and 22nd minute.
Sedbergh worked hard to get themselves back into the game and halved the deficit  when a shot from Dale Metcalfe took a wicked deflection to wrong foot the ‘keeper with just over an hour gone. Hopes of a comeback were quickly diminished when Joe Henderson restored the two goal lead a minute later and they missed further good chances to increase their lead.
In the 87th minute a corner kick was met by a good stooping header from Robert Moffat to make it 3-2, and with time running out they almost snatched an equaliser which would have been harsh on the hosts.
Matchday Stats
WUFC 3(Johnson 16,22 Henderson 63)
SWFC 2(Metcalfe 62 Moffat 87)
No admission
Coffee 50p


This game was supposed to be part of a Cumbrian double with a match at Carlisle United Academy in the morning. Unfortunately the club didn’t announce on their website or on twitter that the match with Fleetwood Town was being switched from  Creighton Rugby Club to the training pitch adjacent to Brunton Park. So, after a wasted bus journey down to Garlands and back, I had a pint in Carlisle then caught an earlier train to Penrith, having plenty of time to visit a couple of pubs before the match.
I was really pissed off on not doing a double, as I’ve set myself a challenge of trying to get to 600 grounds before Christmas. (December 23rd - West Ham v Newcastle) The Groundhopping Gods have conspired against me lately, so it looks like I’ll have to abandon this task and just go with the flow.