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
|100FgC Squad#87 Steve Horton - Crusaders|
|Neil Edgar - St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|Jim McAlwane - Desborough Town|
|100FgC A8 Simon Langton - West Ham United|
|100FgC Squad#155 James Little - Bad Gastein|
(After a bar Stewards inquiry picture no.6 has been disqualified)
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Maltby Main 0-2 Widnes
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round
Saturday 10th September 2016Maltby is a former mining town and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire. It is located about 6 miles east of Rotherham town centre and forms a continuous urban area with Hellaby, separated from the rest of the town by the M18 motorway.
(Population almost 17,000)
Maltby is mentioned in the Domesday Book as "by-malt", and for centuries a very small village, until coal was discovered in the area in the late 19th century. Maltby Main Colliery was the last surviving pit in Rotherham, established in 1910 and closed in 2013.
This year is the centenary of football in Maltby as the Maltby Main colliery team formed in 1916.
Sheffield Association League winners 1925-26 1926-27
Played in Yorkshire League from 1949-1955
Original club disbanded in 1965.
Malty Main Welfare FC formed in 1970
Yorkshire League 1973-1982
Founder members of the Northern Counties East League in 1982
Promoted to its Premier Division in 1989-90
(NCEL Grounds 27/44)
Record attendance: 1,500 v Sheffield Wed, June 1991 (friendly)
All the amenities are in one building at the paying entrance to the ground. On one side is a covered enclosure called the Gary Wilby Stand alongside a seated stand which sits in between the dugouts, filled with wooden benches with room for around 150 spectators.
The other three sides are open with hard standing, with one side bordering the neighbouring cricket ground, so if the football is shite you can turn around and watch the cricket instead. If you're in need of a pre-match bevvy the Maltby Miners Welfare Club is just across the road from the ground.
Maltby Main v Widnes
(NCEL Premier 13th v NWCL 1st Division 11th)
FA Vase 1st Round Qualifying
This Vase tie looked to be heading into extra time as both sides lacked quality in front of goal, until the visitors clinched it late on. On 77 minutes Jason McShane ran onto a throw in and fired in from close range, before they wrapped it up in the last minute. Kevin Towey beat the out rushing ‘keeper to the ball and kept his composure to pick his spot between the two defenders. A disappointing performance from The Miners, but a good finish to the match from Widnes, which sets them up with a home tie against Chadderton in the 2nd Qualifying Round.
WFC 2(McShane 77 Towey 90)
Top Bloke - Kevin Towey(Widnes)
Pin badges £4 (although I didn’t purchase one as nobody could be chewed to get one from the office)
121 miles door-to-door
I decided to drive to an FA Vase tie at the closest ground I hadn’t previously been to. The journey to Maltby is pretty straightforward found just off the M18, so I arrived in the town at 2pm, which allowed plenty of time to check into the Queens Head before the game. The return journey went smoothly, by the time I reached north Yorkshire I picked up Radio Newcastle, so I could listen to the Toon match and be back home by 7 o’clock.
Matchday Web Album - 25 pictures from Muglet Lane
East Kilbride Thistle 3-2 Carluke Rovers
Central District 2nd Division
Saturday 3rd September 2016
East Kilbride is the largest town in South Lanarkshire, which lies on high ground on the south side of the Cathkin Braes, about 8 miles southeast of Glasgow. East Kilbride grew from a small village with less than one thousand inhabitants to Scotland's first new town in May 1947, which now has a population of almost 75,000 amongst its subdivided residential precincts.
The town takes its name from St Bride, an Irish saint who founded a monastery for nuns and monks in Kildare, Ireland in the 6th century. Dál Riatan monks introduced her order to Scotland.
Birthplace of Jim and William Reid who formed The Jesus & Mary Chain in 1983. I saw the band for the first time in over 20 years in February 2015, when they performed their debut album Psychocandy live. They were just as loud with an immense frenzy of feedback as when I saw them back in the day, so much so that my ears were bleeding for a week!
East Kilbride Thistle formed in 1968.
The Jags won the Scottish Junior Cup in 1983, beating Bo’ness United 2-0 in the final at Ibrox Stadium, and are another previous winner that sport the classic black and white striped jerseys.
Central League A Division champions 1974–75, 1975–76, 1979–80, 1981–82
Cup honours include;
West of Scotland Cup winners 1974
Evening Times Trophy 1974–75, 1975–76, 1981–82
Central Section League Cup winners 1974–75, 1982–83, 2002–03
17 Maxwell Drive
Scottish grounds visited 80 Scottish Junior grounds 33 Lifetime Junior Cup winners 26/28
The ground has one main stand which is filled with school type chairs, although the enclosure is mostly redundant as the view is blocked with containers and is set back from the pitch.
The changing rooms are in the corner next to the paying entrance and refreshment bar. The dugouts are at the far side, with most of the ground made up of grass banking.
East Kilbride Thistle(7th) v Carluke Rovers (3rd)
Central District Second Division Matchday 2
Weather: Heavy rain forecast didn't materialise, but we just had the odd spit.
A cracking game which saw the lively Carluke striker Ian Watt twice give his side the lead in the first half, but The Jags pegged them back with a fabulous volley from Phil McCabe and Andy Gibson levelling with just 24 minutes gone.
The second half was terrific end to end stuff with the decisive goal coming from Andy McFadden, who finished off a breakaway move with a curled effort from the left into the far corner. An entertaining encounter and full marks to both teams for going shit or bust throughout the whole ninety minutes.
EKTFC 3(McCabe 13 Gibson 24 McFadden 65)
CRFC 2(Watt 4,18)
Top Bloke - Phil McCabe (East Kilbride Thistle)
Programme £1(The Jag Mag ...what an ace name for a programme)
Golden Goal £1
0824 Northern Rail Newcastle to Carlisle/1003 Virgin Trains Carlisle to Glasgow Central
1840 Glasgow Central to Carlisle/2128 Carlisle to Newcastle
Train to East Kilbride (30 minute journey) - 1218 there/1555 back.
Honest Paul accompanied me for my latest trail of the Scottish Holy Grail. We reached Glasgow at 11.15 and on arrival had a 'Spoons breakfast in the Sir John Moore on Argyle Street. Mark Wilkins had also travelled north, so he met us for a pint before the three of us went our separate ways, as Paul had a tobby around Glasgow and Mark headed to Wishaw Juniors.
When I arrived in East Kilbride I called into the town centre for a pint in the Hay Stock, before getting to the ground around 20 minutes before kick off. My arrival at Showpark was met with suspicion, as I was vaguely accused of being up to no good as I took the picture, as you can see at the top of this post. (I’ll reveal more in the book)
We all met up again later on in The Horseshoe Bar around 4.30pm. After a few bevvies I introduced Paul to the fab Laurieston bar on Bridge Street, before we caught the train to Carlisle. We had plenty of time to call into four lively pubs in the town before catching the last train home.
Another enjoyable day out and now there's just two clubs left on my Scottish Junior odyssey at Irvine Meadow and Arthurlie, so fingers, toes and whatever else crossed that the fixture gods are on my side for my next ventures north.
Matchday Album of 20 pictures from the Showpark.
540. High Flatworth
Wallsend Labour Club 4-0 Alnmouth United
Northern Alliance Division One
Wednesday 24th August 2016
High Howden Social Club joined the Northern Alliance for the 2012-13 season, changed their name after relocating to Wallsend Labour Club during the 2014-15 campaign. Last season a 4th place finish in the Division Two was enough to earn their place in Division One for this term.
Home matches are played on one of the three pitches on High Flatworth, found at the entrance of the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate found just off the A19. The club use the furthest pitch from the changing rooms, which runs parallel with the A193 road between Wallsend and North Shields.
Labour faced Alnmouth United who were also promoted last season from Division Two, winning the game with ease with two goals in each half. After 13 minutes Chris Chan capitalised on a defensive mix up to fire in, before Ryan Ferrier latched onto a long ball to double the lead ten minutes later.
Alnmouth had an opportunity to get themselves back into the game from the penalty spot just before halftime, but the number nine smacked his effort against the crossbar. Wallsend finally extended their advantage when Chan bagged his second on 72 minutes and wrapped the points late on, when Ferrier played in Ryan Storey to race in on goal and fire in the fourth.
WLC 4(Chan 13,72 Ferrier 34 Storey 87)
Top Bloke - Ryan Ferrier(Wallsend Labour Club)
541. Scotswood Sports & Social Centre
Grainger Park 6-2 Gateshead Redheugh 1957
Northern Alliance Division One
Saturday 27th August 2016
A rare visit to the west end of Newcastle for a match as Grainger Park FC are based in Scotswood, playing on a fully railed off pitch at the Sports & Social Centre on Denton Road.
The club also joined the Alliance in 2012, and after four seasons in Division Two won promotion last season, finishing as league runners-up to Gateshead ‘A’.
The match with Gateshead Redheugh 1957 was a bit of a goal fest with Chris Robinson starting off proceeding with a thumping effort in the 2nd minute. Chris Garwood headed in a corner just after the half hour mark, before Dylan Howourth reduced the arrears for Redheugh. Just before the break Robert Jefferson restored the two goal advantage staying onside and prodding the ball in past the oncoming ‘keeper.
Another free header from Garwood, this time from a free kick made it 4-1 on 62 minutes, shortly before Andy Gowing finished off a good exchange of play from the home side. Gowing completed his hat-trick with a simple tap in to bring up the half dozen, with Jordan Pearson grabbing a late consolation for Redheugh.
GPFC 6(Robinson 2 Garwood 33,62,78 Jefferson 43 Gowing 69)
GR1957 2(Howourth 37 Pearson 84)
Top Bloke - Chris Garwood(Grainger Park Boys Club)
542.Seaton Burn Recreation Ground
Seaton Burn 1-3 Grainger Park
Northern Alliance Division One
Wednesday 31st August 2016
Seaton Burn joined the Northern Alliance in 2005-06, winning promotion from Division Two in their debut season. After four years in Division One they were relegated in 2010, but return this season after a 3rd place finish last term.
Seaton Burn is a former mining village just off the A1, 7 miles north of Newcastle city centre. The Recreation Ground is at the north entrance to the village, the ground catering for football, cricket and crown green bowling, with the changing room pavilion in the centre.
Seaton Burn faced Grainger Park, who I was watching for the second time in the space of a few days, and akin to their match on Saturday, they took an early lead when Robert Jefferson fired home a 4th minute penalty.
The visitors looked well in command when Jefferson grabbed his second on 34 minutes, with a good finish as the ball fell to nicely his feet, after he initially blocking a shot with his back! The home side halved the deficit when Connor Towes was on hand to redirect a shot past the ‘keeper from close range, which set up an intriguing second half. The game was finally poised and could have gone either way, with Kevin Quigley producing two breathtaking saves in the Grainger Park goal, to deny the hosts a well deserved equaliser. The match was finally settled with two minutes remaining, when a spell of late pressure saw Thomas Young bundle in a Robinson cross to claim the three points, and at this early stage, they're looking good for back-to-back promotions along with Gateshead 'A'
SBFC 1(Towes 39)
GPFC 3(Jefferson 4pen 34 Young 88)
Top Bloke - Kevin Quigley(Grainger Park)
Nelson 1-4 Bishop Auckland
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 20th August 2016
Nelson is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Pendle in Lancashire, 4 miles north of Burnley on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.(Population just under 30,000)
Following the opening of the East Lancashire Railway in 1849, the railway company built a station for the community in between Burnley and Colne. When it came to naming it they couldn’t use the nearby village of Marsden, as there was already a station by that name in Yorkshire. The railway then decided to name it after the Nelson Inn, a coaching stop dating from the early 19th century, named after the famous naval hero. Nelson is probably the only town in England that originates from a public house, growing and developing as a mill town during the Industrial Revolution.
Birthplace of ex Man Utd and Norwich midfielder Mike Phelan and actor John Simm( Life on Mars, The Village, Sex Traffic, State of Play) An actor who I’ve got a lot of time and respect for because he picks his TV & film roles carefully and doesn’t appear in any old shite!
Also the birth town of work colleague, fellow Red Dwarf fan and my own personal car mechanic Davy Leverett. We have served Her Majesty's postal service over a combination of 60 years and have worked together in the same Delivery Office for over a quarter of a century.
Nelson FC formed in 1881
The Admirals were founder members of the Lancashire League in 1889, played in the league until the First World War. (champions: 1895–96)
Two seasons in the Central League between 1919-1921
1921 Founder members of Football League Third Division North (champions: 1922–23)
Lancashire Combination 1931-1936 and 1946-1982 (champions: 1949–50, 1951–52)
North West Counties League 1982-1988 1992-present
(NWCFL First Division champions: 2013–14)
Also played in the West Lancashire League 1988-1992 while their ground was upgraded to NWCFL standard,
Nelson originally played on a pitch behind the Golden Ball pub moving to the Park Ground by the 1890s They moved to Seedhill around 1905, which was enhanced when they joined the Football League with a large 2,000 capacity wooden stand built in 1922. The club's highest attendance at the stadium was 14,143 for a Third Division North match at home Bradford Park Avenue on 10 April 1926. Nelson played their final home game at Seedhill on Sunday 28tj March 1971 when a four figure gate witnessed the first Sunday fixture at the stadium, beating local rivals Clitheroe 5–3.
(Pyramid Non-League grounds 261 NWCL grounds 7/44)
Opened: August 1971
Along one side there is a shallow wooden stand with four rows of green seating in the centre section, with standing room at the sides. The dugouts are on the opposite side, with the changing rooms in the far corner, next to the clubhouse. New floodlights have been added and the dugouts replaced to meet ground grading on 2013.
Nelson v Bishop Auckland
(North West Counties Premier Division v Northern League Division 1)
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Bishops came back from an early setback to book their place in the FA Cup 1st qualifying round. Only 69 seconds had ticked by when a right wing corner was headed home by Richard Cowan to give the Admirals a dream start.
Just before the break the visitors finally drew level when good work by Hoganson teed up Andrew Johnson to slot the ball home, before they took full control in the second half. Michael Hoganson floating in a 20 yard free kick on 49 minutes, followed by Jeff Smith volleying home from a left flank corner soon after. Andre Bennett capitalised on some sloppy defending to wrap the game up and set up a home tie with Evostick North side Ossett Albion.
NFC 1(Cowan 2)
BAFC 4(Johnson 43 Hoganson 49 Smith 56 Bennett 76)
Top Bloke - Michael Hoganson (Bishop Auckland)
Pin badge £3
Meat & potato pie with coffee £3.50
108 miles door-to-door
Straight there and back today. After work I drove down to Katie’s house to meet her and Lee, swapping cars so I could catch up on my sleep. At the ground it was good to finally meet longtime Facebook friends Mark and Ryan Watterson, who had travelled up from Sheffield.
A really enjoyable day, loved the quaint ground and a good game of cup football. Not only that but my football bet kopped and the Toon even won an away match, so as far as Soccer Saturday's are concerned, what's not to like! (Ryan's blog)
Edit I wrote this in the car on the way home. Just I finished there was a rattling noise and a burning smell coming from Katie’s car. After investigation we couldn’t find what the problem was, so gambled on taking a steady drive up the A1 for the last 70 miles home. Thankfully we got back without breaking down but poor Blossom will have to go to the car doctor tomorrow.