Bootle


DSC05038GROUNDHOG DAY!
Tuesday 2nd February 2016 7.45pm
North West Counties League Premier
Bootle 2 Atherton Collieries 5 ht: 1-0 att: 86 Ent: £5 Prog: £1 Coffee £1
Ellis 3, Hamilton 88 : Cover 55, Ayres 59 (pen), Truffas 66, Holt 78, Sherlock 87

from the Delta Taxis Stadium

ghIt was Groundhog day – the annual celebration of this blog. In Pennsylvania, the groundhog known as Punxsutawney Phil, was teased out of his lair by blokes with beards and top hats, to read selected writings of my substantial oeuvre. To top things off, the evening’s football was to be my landmark 400th ground. Originally planned for Nelson, we swerved off the M6 to the hastily arranged fixture of Bootle v Atherton Collieries. Google maps had the ETA for Nelson at past kick off, so we took advantage of a game arranged not 24 hours previously, after the Collieries’ original game at AFC Blackpool was postponed due to floodlight failure on the Monday.
Continue reading “Bootle”

Barrow Town


Barrow Town (23)Monday 28th December 2015 3pm
East Midland League Premier
Barrow Town 2 Anstey Nomads 2 ht: 1-1 att: 103 Ent: £5 (prog free with Ent) Coffee £1
Asanti 31, Schulz 67 : Coore 27, Dale 83

from Riverside Stadium (pictures here)

Barrow Town (7)Once more east along the A50 and my fourth East Midland League team of the season, taking my tally to 9/20 for the division. Barrow Town hail from Barrow-upon-Soar in Leicestershire, near neighbours of Quorn FC, the two Loughborough sides and Leicestershire Senior League side Sileby Town. Continue reading “Barrow Town”

Radford


DSC04509Saturday 5th December 2015
East Midlands League
Radford 2 St Andrews 1 ht: 1-0 att: 65 Ent: £5, Prog £1, Coffee £1
King 34, 72 : Darby 4

from Selhurst Street (picture here)

DSC04441Once again to Nottingham for fresh stadium meat. This time Radford; the place not the person. Hearing the name Radford immediately evokes memories of the iconic seventies football scene; Ronnie Radford hitting a straight-as-a-die 30 yarder into the top corner for non league Hereford, on the cut-up Edgar Street pitch, against Newcastle United. His arms aloft, white shirt riding up his back like it was two sizes too short, kids in Parka jackets frolicking on the pitch, in the most genial pitch invasion ever. Continue reading “Radford”

Loughborough University


DSC04440Tuesday 1st December 2015 7.45pm
Evostik Division One South
Loughborough University 2 Heanor Town 2 ht: 1-1 att: 114
Ent: £FREE Prog £FREE Coffee £1
Webb 45, 82 : Debrouwer 39, 90

from Loughborough University Stadium (pictures here)

20151015_083251After three grounds at the higher end of the pyramid it was nice to sink back under the comfort blanket of step five and the highest placed university team in the whole of non league. Mind you, for a step five club they have a new ground that would be the envy of any in the pyramid. A few years ago a brand new facility was built for the University with a large 300 seater stand and smart seven step terrace spanning the other three sides. Continue reading “Loughborough University”

Solihull Moors


Solihull Moors (24)Saturday 28th November 3.00pm
FA Trophy 3rd Round
Solihull Moors 1 Boston United 0 ht: 0-0 att: 319
Ent: £10, Prog £2, Coffee £1
Gibbins 80

from Damson Park (pictures here)

Solihull Moors (5)After two grounds from the Northern Premier, I was going even higher this Saturday, to step two and a couple of Conference North teams in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Trophy. In the last few years I’ve shied away from Conference grounds, believing it to be the worst value for money of any division. To me you have a double whammy – the trickling down of uniform blandness from the league, everything from the programmes to the coffee with the concomitant high prices and officious stewarding; mixed with the lack of atmosphere and the sometimes dreadful football of the lower leagues. It’s not even high scoring. Continue reading “Solihull Moors”

Marine


Marine AFC (22)Saturday 14th November 2015 3.00pm
FA Trophy Round Two
Marine 2 Kidsgrove Athletic 2 ht: 0-1 att: 274 Ent: £10 Prog: £2, Coffee £1.40
Nicholas 59, Whyte 69 : Malbon 36, 53

from Marine Travel Arena (pictures here)

Marine AFC (1)I’d wanted to do Marine for a few years and now the opportunity arose to watch my preferred local side for the season, Kidsgrove Athletic, in the second round of the FA Trophy. Marine have an interesting history, dating back to 1894. There are called Marine, rather than Great Crosby, Crosby or Brighton-le-Sands because the businessmen and former students who set the club up met at the Marine hotel on the Mersey seafront at Waterloo. They’re one of a few clubs who have played at their current venue for over 100 years; since 1903. The ground used to be known as Rossett Park, before becoming the Arriva Stadium and more recently the Marine Travel Arena
Continue reading “Marine”

Ramsbottom United


Ramsbottom United (27)Saturday 7th November 2015 3pm
Evostik Premier League (step three)
Ramsbottom United 2 Rushall Olympic 1 ht: 1-0 att: 203 ent: £9, prog £1.50 coffee: £1

Tolley og 27, Payne 84 : Benbow 54

from Harry Williams Riverside Stadium (pictures here)
Ramsbottom United (1)In German there is an excellent word, Weltschmerz, which describes the belief that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. Often I find the idea of a new non league ground and day out disproportionately exciting to the reality that unfolds, which can be for many reasons; bland venue, poor match, disappointing pre-match drink or sometimes for no discernible reason. Actually I find an inverse relationship between how excited I am before a game and the subsequent enjoyment. Continue reading “Ramsbottom United”