AFC Blackpool


dsc01741Saturday 18th February 2017 3.00pm
North West Counties League Division One (step six)
AFC Blackpool 0 Ashton Town 5 ht: 0-2 att: 76 Entrance: £6 Prog £1 Coffee £1
– : Robinson 41, Ablewhite 45, 64 (pen), Tyrer 86, Munro 90

from The Mechanics, Jepson Way, Blackpool
dsc016632The choice was between AFC Blackpool and Nelson, two of the four I’ve left to visit in the NWCL. Three of them are exactly the same distance away, to the mile. The two mentioned and Squire’s Gate. The other, Carlisle City, is a light year away.

I plumped for the lower division offering at Blackpool, attracted by the lowly positions of both teams. Blackpool were fourth bottom, but visitors Ashton were miles adrift in bottom place, 16 points under the relegation zone, with their only win in 26 coming at today’s reverse fixture, a 3-0 win on 20th August. Other than that they’d recorded two draws and 23 losses. Continue reading

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Birstall United


dsc01523Monday 2nd January 2017 3.00pm
East Midland League
Birstall United 0 Aylestone Park 4 ht: 0-1 att: 64 Entrance £4 Programme £0.50 (but none published today) Coffee £1
Missed pen (65) : Laywood 34 (pen), Carline 54, Jepson 70, Tyers 80

from Meadow Lane
dsc01404The first outing of 2017, but the game I ended up going to was not on the agenda when I set out. I was set to go to Coventry Copsewood v Southam United, looking for a thumping home win, but had to divert as my traffic-enabled satnav told me the journey time was 2hrs 20 minutes, due to… well actually fairly typical M6 conditions, even on a non workday. The suggested alternative route added 20 miles to the journey, but anyway it became a point of principle to eschew the constipated north south route. So once again I headed out on the untrammelled A50, west to east, a driver’s paradise. Continue reading

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Bedworth United


dsc01357Thursday 29th December 2016
Northern League Division One South
Bedworth United 5 Loughborough Dynamo 1 ht: 2-0 att: 172
Cavanagh 9, Parrott 22, Christie 55, Creaney 57, Jeys 66 : Demidh 74

from The Oval (Entrance £9, Programme £2, Coffee £1)

dsc01318Bedworth United have not appeared on my radar much over the years. They’re one of those border clubs that change between the Southern League and Northern League, dependent on the new geographical mix of clubs. In 2014-15 they were promoted via the play-offs to the Southern Premier. Last season they were relegated from the Southern Premier, but joined the Northern League Division One South. Despite not knowing anything about them, I’d chosen The Oval for this rare Thursday night action. Continue reading

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Three Men and a Blaby


bwafc-programmeSaturday 17th December 2016 15.00
East Midlands League Premier
Blaby & Whetstone Athletic 5 Ellistown & Ibstock 1 ht: 4-0 att: 40 Ent: £5 Prog £2 Coffee £1
Lane 3, Ireland 13, Bates 24, Preston 31, 79 : Thorpe 70

from Warwick Road

dsc01276Blaby & Whetstone Athletic continued my collection of EML grounds, now 18 out of 22. The EML has quickly become my favourite league, mostly for the attacking style of play adopted by most teams – it’s easily the highest scoring league for me personally – I’d bet it was in the top five of Step Six leagues nationally. Just this season, in my three previous jaunts to Holwell Sports, West Bridgford and Radcliffe Borough I’ve seen a 2-5, 4-4 and 5-1 respectively. Continue reading

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Berliner FC Dynamo


dsc01050Sunday 23rd October 2016 1.30pm (German Local Time)
Regionalliga Nordost (Step Four)
Berliner FC Dynamo 5 FC Schönberg 95 2 ht: 2-1 att: 612 Entrance €12 Programme €2 Coffee €1.50 Beer €2

Rockenbach de Silva 29, Göwecke 33, Srbeny 59 (pen), 70 Pröger 61: Dippert 35, Steinwarth (pen) 53

from Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark

20161023_132927There are three Berlin clubs in the North East Regionnaliga. Two of them were at home on the Sunday; after we arrived on Saturday afternoon for four days’ family holiday in the German capital – Berlin AK07 and Berliner FC Dynamo (the other, FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, were away). The big clubs Berlins Hertha and Union of the 1st and 2nd divisions respectively had played on the Saturday.

Despite Berlin AK07 being the older club, Berliner FC Dynamo’s fascinating history and quintessentially East European ground with comcomitant communist era floodlights decided it for me. Continue reading

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Brymbo


dsc00685Saturday 24th September 2016 2.30pm
Welsh National League Premier Division
Brymbo 2 Llay Welfare 0 ht: 1-0 att: 35 (hc) Entry: £1.50 inc. programme Coffee £1
Bradshaw 25, McKenna 89

from The Crick, Tanyfron
dsc00608You can’t get a more Welsh sounding name than Brymbo, so why does Billy Connolly say it in my head? Brymbo also sounds like it could be Frodo’s great grandfather, with his father being Bilbo and grandfather Bungo.

Brymbo FC are the last Welsh National side with a stand I’ve left to do. As far as I know the others I haven’t done are railed pitches. The Steelmen were founded as Brymbo Steelworks FC in 1943, have won the Welsh National League no less than fourteen times and have played at Cymru Alliance level (step two).

wnl-grouns-done

Welsh National League grounds I’ve visited

Continue reading

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Overton Recreational


dsc00448Saturday 17th September 2016 2.30pm
Welsh National League Premier Division
Overton Recreational 1 Brickfield Rangers 8 ht: 0-5 att: 46 (hc) no entry no prog coffee £1

from Overton-on-Dee Recreation Ground

Something always tempts me over to Wales on a spare Saturday, even though the only nearby grounds I have left to visit, have little about them, except great views in some cases. Even though the Welsh National League is tier three of Wales (one of four tier three leagues), the standard of grounds plummets sharply to the asymptote of pitch with goals. Continue reading

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