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

✔559 Salts Sports Association

Salts FC 0-1 Lower Hopton
West Riding County Amateur Premier Division
Saturday 18th March 2017

Saltaire is a Victorian model village built in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire woollen industry. The village name is a combination of the founder's surname and the River Aire. Salt relocated five separate mills from Bradford to a new large textile mill near Shipley, handily placed beside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the railway. The new village also provided his employers with a better living and working environment. Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001 and an Anchor Point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage

Sir Titus Salt formed the football club during the 1930’s and provided the Salts Sports Ground for his workers. The history of Salts FC has been lost in the annals of time, but there’s records of the club playing in the Yorkshire League between 1955 and ‘65 and playing in the FA Amateur Cup during the 1950s.
In 2009 the club merged with Shipley Juniors and now run four seniors sides and two Sunday teams, as well as junior teams at all age levels with over 500 players on the club roster .The Alpaca currently play in the Premier Division of the West Riding County Amateur League, after finishing runners-up in Division One in 2011-12.

Salts Sports Association
The ground is found along the riverbank and canal, with tennis courts, bowling green, the clubhouse and the cricket pitch before you come to the football ground at the far end. There is now two full size pitches at the ground to accommodate the growing club, so when I arrived  there was already a match taking place at the far pitch, with the 3rd XI playing AFC Colne in the League Cup. Each pitch has a covered enclosure on one side, with the new changing room block and tea bar facing the ground closest to the cricket field where the 1st XI play. Because of the grounds close proximity to the River Aire there is a big net pitchside to retrieve any wayward balls out of the water.

The ground was famously used as the setting for the home of Barnstoneworth United in the fictional BBC TV series Ripping Yarns, which starred Michael Palin. In the episode ‘Golden Gordon’ the once successful Yorkshire Premier League club, had falling on hard times, now getting gubbed in every game. One of their fans, Gordon Ottershaw (Palin) comes home after every defeat and smashes the furniture in fury.(we’ve all had this urge) After an 8-1 defeat by an elderly team ("Eight One - Eight bloody One! - And even that were an own goal!") it’s decided that the club will be disbanded and the ground sold to a scrap dealer, so it’s Gordon endeavour to keep the club alive.
The episode is also immortalised in the Half Man Half Biscuit album ‘McIntyre, Treadmore and Davitt’ which uses a still from the show as the album cover.
Salts FC (7th) v Lower Hopton(5th)
WRCA Premier Division Matchday 18/14
2.30pm ko

A well balanced match with not too many clear cut chances was settled twenty minutes from time. A spell of good pressure from the visitors saw them hit the crossbar before a free kick from the left was headed home by Aiden Schofield. On 78 minutes a scrap broke out which resulted in the Lower Hopton big number nine receiving his marching order, after throwing a punch. Salts couldn’t take advantage of the extra man as the visitors held on to gain the three points.

SFC 0 LHFC 1(Schofield 70)
Programme £1
Coffee £1

I like fanny. I like alehouse. What's not to like?
The 0748 Transpennine service from Newcastle to Leeds was the first of eleven trains I boarded, spending the morning taking advantage of my £7 Northern Trains Rail Rover to tick off a few Wetherspoons pubs in Batley, Morley and Bramley. 
I headed across to Saltaire for 1 o’clock and enjoyed a nice wander around the village, with refreshment breaks at Fanny’s Ale & Cider House, Cap & Collar and the impressive ‘Hop’ 
After the match I had time to call along to Bingley for a drink, plus a few in Shipley before heading back to Leeds for the 1818 train back to the Toon. This was my first solo jaunt since October, so I made sure I enjoyed an ace day out, ticking off 5 new ‘Spoons, 3 GBG pubs and supping 8 new ales. Of course the main attraction was the final destination, as Saltaire is a splendid place and is somewhere that I’ll definitely revisit sometime in the future.

Matchday Web Album
(20 pictures from Salts FC)

✔558 Stokeld Stadium

Carlton Town 2-0 Teversal
Nottinghamshire FA Senior Cup - Semi-Final
Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Carlton is a suburb in the east end of Nottingham in the borough of Gedling.(Population almost 7,000)

Sneinton FC formed in 1904 changing their name to Carlton Town in 2002.
Sneinton won the Notts Alliance on four occasion, the first of which in 1905-06. 
Joined Central Midlands League in 1995.
Central Midlands Supreme Division champions 2002-03
Northern Counties East League 2003-2007
Division One winners 2005-06
Promoted to Evo-Stick League Division One South after 3rd place finish in 2006-07
4th place finish in 2008-09 and runners-up in 2011-12, lost play-off semi-finals in both seasons.

Evostick League grounds. 29/68
Capacity 1,500

The club have played at Stoke Lane since the early 1990s. The Chuck Fowler lounge and changing rooms block, clubhouse, picnic tables, offices and dugouts, are all down one side at the turnstile entrance side of the ground. There is a stand behind one of the goals filled with a mixture of 164 yellow and blue seats, with the rest of the ground open with hard standing on three sides. The ground was renamed the Stokeld Stadium after former chairman Bill Stokeld
Carlton Town (19th Evo-Stick South) v Teversal (15th NCEL DIV 1)
Notts FA Senior Cup semi final
7.45pm ko
Weather: light rain

A goal in each half booked The Millers a Notts Senior Cup final date with Basford United at Meadow Lane. They opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Danny Gordon fired home a penalty after Niall Davey was upended in the box. 
The tie was sealed early in the second half when a corner kick from Gordon was turned into his own net by Daniel Camm at the near post.

Matchday Stats & Spondoolicks
CRFC 2(Gordon 16pen Camm 49OG)
Entertainment 5/10
Top Bloke - Danny Elliott (Carlton Town)
Admission £5
Programme £2
Pin badge £3
For the first time in what seems like an eternity I was reunited with the “NE Celeb Groundhopping Couple” for a midweek jaunt. 
We arrived at The Freeman in Carlton at 5.30 for bait and beer, before the short ten minute drive to the ground in Gedling. 
These midweek trips meant it’s back to burning the candle at both ends, getting into bed at 1am then up again for graft at 5.20am.
I don't mind this at all, because of changes at work, midweek matches are now the easiest way for me to bag a new ground.
Matchday Album. (14 pictures from Stoke Lane)

On the Trail of the Scottish Holy Grail

My first book 'On the Trail of the Scottish Holy Grail'  AKA "From the Toon to the Joons" is now available to purchase via Amazon in both paperback and kindle editions. 

How would you celebrate a significant birthday? Host a massive party? Travel abroad on a luxurious holiday? Cross something off your bucket list? Well how about something a bit different, like marking your 50th birthday by incorporating your favourite hobby with a common thread over the previous five decades. In 2015 Shaun Smith set upon his first of many trips from Tyneside to Scotland, visiting the clubs which have won the prestigious Scottish Junior Cup during his lifetime, a trophy which has been contested for since 1887 and is affectionately known as “The Holy Grail of Scottish football” The author reviews the history of each club, exploring the old pit villages, satellite towns and industrial areas from where they are based. The book look at his matchday ritual, OCD collecting, his musical passion and is semi-autobiographical, with links to his past as a long suffering Newcastle United fan. So follow Shaun’s progress of visiting 22 grounds in 22 months as he heads north of the border from the Toon to the Joons on the trail of the Scottish Holy Grail.

✔557 Hull & East Riding Sports Ground

Sculcoates Amateurs 8-1 Goole United
Humber Premier League 
Saturday 18th February 2017

Sculcoates Amateurs AFC was founded in 1947.
The club were founder members of the Humber Premier League in 2000-01, winning the title in 2006-07, 2007-08, 2010-11 and are the current champions, with a fourth league win last term.
The club are based at the Hull & East Riding Sports Club. The football ground is at the far side of the cricket pitch, roped off with wooden dugouts at one side with the changing rooms within the pavilion. 
Humber Premier League Matchday 19/22
2pm ko

This was my first match in the Humber League and I found it a decent standard, with some talented players on show. I was impressed with the Goole United number nine Ryan Whitlam, who made a lively start to the game before opened the scoring after 20 minutes, with a superb turn and curled shot from a tight angle. 
That goal gave the league leaders an alarm call, quickly turning the game around with two goals from Andy Finnerty, who ventured forward from left back to get on the end of two right wing crosses. 
Seconds before the half time whistle Siben Sani danced through the defence to make it 3-1 and from this point the result was never in doubt.
Scully spent the entire second period camped in the Gooley half, quickly extending their lead with a neat turn and shot from Eleazer Ezekiel. The Sculcoates players were queuing up to test the visiting ‘keeper with Michael Leng, Tom Bowman, Sam Tucker and another for Ezekeil adding to the score line before they finally declaring on eight. 

Matchday Stats
SAAFC 8(Finnerty 26,40 Sani 45 Ezekiel 48,82 Leng 61 Bowman 67 Tucker 77)
GUFC 1(Whitlam 21)
Admission & programme:none
The 2017 European City of Culture was the latest destination in our regular weekends away visiting the GBG pubs of Yorkshire. We arrived in Hull at 1.30pm, so nicely timed for my match at 2 o’clock, while the breadknife ventured  into the city centre to get the lay of the land. The early kick off meant we were out on the lash early, with our pub crawl starting at the Admiral of the Humber, before calling into The Mission, Head of Steam, Minerva Hotel  Ye Olde Black Boy, The Three John Scotts, Ye Olde White Harte, George Hotel and the Hope & Vine. Afterwards we staggered back to the guest house, which we finally managed to locate after losing our way due to consuming far too much ale.

Bevvy Almanac
Best pub - Ye Olde White Harte, 
Best bevvy - Head of Steam;
Sleeping Brew Tea ‘Pale Ale’ (4.4%)****

✔556 Eastbourne Sports Complex 4G

Darlington 1883 Reserves 4-1 South Shields Reserves
Wearside League
Saturday 28th January 2017

Horden Colliery Welfare were giving a lifeline in the summer from Darlington 1883 FC. The club which formed back in 1908 were forced out of Welfare Park by Horden Parish Council, playing last season’s remaining home fixtures at Grayfields in Hartlepool.  The 30 mile relocation allows the club to continue as well as developing young talent at Darlington, which provides a stepping stone to the first team.

 I featured the Eastbourne Sports Complex in Wearside League Wanderings - part five, when I saw Darlington Cleveland Bridge play on the main pitch in August 2010. (This was the day when I met one half of the #NECelebrityGroundhoppingCouple for the first time)
In October 2016 a new state-of-the-art £512,580 4G grass pitch was opened, financed by a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. The pitch has floodlights with spectator standing down on side and runs parallel with the main ground. 

Darlo Ressies were up against South Shields, another new reserve side in the Wearside League this season. The hosts took a two goal lead when Joseph Smith poked in a left wing cross after a quarter of an hour, followed by Derek Cooper-Wade touching in a free kick five minutes later. A cracking right foot volley by Ryan Bolam halved the arrears on 26 minutes, then when the home side were reduced to ten men it was looking good for Shields to pick up at least a point.
Kurt Matthews restored the two goal cushion just 26 seconds after the restart, before Nathan Stevenson was on hand to fire in a fourth just after the hour mark. The match turned out to be a convincing win for the ten men and a miserable afternoon for the visitors, which was summed up on 64 minutes when a penalty kick was easily saved by the Darlo ‘keeper. 

Matchday Stats
Kick off 2pm Admission £3
D1883RFC 4(Smith 15 Cooper-Wade 20 Matthews 46  Stevenson 62)
SSRFC 1(Bolam 26)