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”


Droylsden AFC

Date: Tuesday January 24 2012
Ground: The Butcher’s Arms
Comp: Conference North
Match: Droylsden AFC 3 Eastwood Town 3 HT: 1-0
Johnson 31, 62 Gardener 90 : Burge 63, Haggerty 66, 75
ATT: 175
Additional: Entrance £10.00, Programme £2.50

The Butcher’s Arms in pictures
Ground Statistics (marks out of ten, maximum 40)
Character 7, Structures/Terracing 7, Hospitality 7, Backdrop/Scenery or aesthetics for larger stadiums 7
Total 28

Droylsden FC was one of the few remaining sub 40 milers I had left. Afterwards I wished I’d taken the 40 plus miles route of the M6 and M60, as the direct route was excruciating. It may not have been tortuous but it sure was torturous. The A6 through Hazel Grove and Stockport must be the slowest and most irritating road in the UK. The number of traffic lights was extraordinary and made the already slow traffic more stop-start than a Scalextric game between a couple of trigger happy five year olds. All within the backdrop of 30mph limits and speed cameras every few hundred yards. However far it is by motorway, it has to be better. I arrived at the Butcher’s Arms in bad time and stressed out, my jaws hurting from having gnawed on the steering wheel for the last half hour. Continue reading “Droylsden AFC”

AFC Telford United



Date: Saturday Oct 02 2010
Ground: New Buck’s Head
Comp: Conference North
Match: AFC Telford United 1 Worcester City 1 HT: 0-1

ATT: 2,508
Additional: Entrance £11.00, Programme £2.00, Coffee/Tea £1.50
New Buck’s Head in pictures

Really smart new ground worthy of the league. However, the trip was marred by silly pettiness and over zealous stewarding. Kids have to go through a different turnstile to their parents – how utterly ridiculous. Also, at this level you shouldn’t even notice stewards; it is the Conference North after all – not the Premier League, nor even the top non-league league. However, they were abundant and very unfriendly. One told me to stop taking videos (I wasn’t). When I told him I was just taking photos I thought he was going to offer to settle it in the car park. So what if I was taking videos?! They were staring at the crowd with unwarranted concern and hostility, it really was overkill – every now and then you’d see one sprinting along the terrace, like they were on an SAS manouevre. Get some perspective. I know there was a very impressive 2,000 + crowd but this is non-league and the only idiots in the crowd were the ones stewarding it.

Stalybridge Celtic

Date: Monday December 28th 2009
Ground: Bower Fold
Comp: Conference North
Match: Stalybridge Celtic A Southport A  HT: 0-0 ATT: 
                Abandoned on 85 minutes scoreline 0-0 due to floodlight failure

Additional: Entrance £10, Programme £2.00, Coffee/Tea £1.00

Bower Fold in pictures

This should have been a classic. This was the game of the day in the Conference North. Stalybridge were fifth, but with enough games in hand to go top. They were the form team, playing the current leaders, Southport. Their last defeat was at Southport, so there was a revenge element also. Continue reading “Stalybridge Celtic”