The Donkey

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Tuesday 10th January 2016 ko 19.45

Southern League Division One Central

MARLOW 1 (Poulton 2)

ASHFORD TOWN 0

Att 122

Entry £8

Programme £1

There are many reasons why you’d want to visit the Alfred Davis Memorial Ground, but may I suggest a detour first to the Compleat Angler? The pub-cum-hotel claims to be in Marlow but since it’s on the Berkshire side of the William Tierney Clarke-designed suspension bridge over the Thames, I reckon it’s in Bisham! Wherever it is, the view over to All Saints Church is spectacular, and its also a high-class place to grab a pre-match beer. Of course the Compleat Angler also happens to be where in 1870 Marlow FC were formed.  Continue reading

Start Spreading The News

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Saturday 7th January 2016 ko 15.00

FA Cup 3rd Round

ROTHERHAM UNITED 2 (Ward 51 Adeyemi 90)

OXFORD UNITED 3 (Taylor 41 Edwards 80 Hemmings 88) Maguire missed penalty 36

Att 5,618 (1,292 away)

Entry £13

Programme £2

It’s a tradition that families gather round the radio or television to listen to the FA Cup draw. Everyone has their list of clubs they’d love to see they’re team play, but top of my list was, perhaps, a slightly unusual one. I wanted my side to play Rotherham away.
My reasoning was entirely selfish, the New York Stadium (it lies on an island called New York, would you believe), was the only stadium I needed to re-complete the 92 Football League and Premier League grounds. It would have been reasonably straightforward to blast up the M1 to get it done one midweek, but the story of Rotherham United’s homes is a tale that requires telling with attention to detail.

Continue reading

Can’t touch Diss

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Monday 2nd January 2017 ko 15.00

Eastern Counties League – Division One

DISS TOWN 2 (Blakely 34 Webb 74)

DEBENHAM LEISURE CENTRE 1 (Dixon 68)

Att 151

Entry £6

Programme £1

It was regular travel companion Chris Garner that suggested this one. I was scanning the fixtures without success when he pointed out that since the last Eastern Counties League club we’d visited was the Ghosts of Fakenham Town, the next really ought to be Diss Town. He was of course entirely correct, even if you do need to be aware of the music of the The Specials to understand his joke! Continue reading

An F Please Bob

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Friday 30th December 2016 ko 19.46

Hellenic League Premier Division

FLACKWELL HEATH 7 (Rapley 3 37 71p Bayliss 33 Thompson-Wheeler 55 Blount 60 72)

HENLEY TOWN 1 (Gardner 12) Griffiths sent off 72 (2nd booking)

Att 98

Entry £6

Programme £1

It had been years since my last visit to Wilks Park, in fact I think the last visit was during a Hellenic Hop game vs Oxford City Nomads. The league had spent our entire stint on its patch telling everyone that the Nomads weren’t Oxford City’s reserves, but City manager Mike Ford was at the game so a hopper sidled over and asked him. “These guys?” he replied, “Well basically they’re our reserves!” You can fool some of the people… Continue reading

Ghost Train

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Wednesday 28th December 2016 ko 19.45

Eastern Counties League Premier Division

FAKENHAM TOWN 3 (Glover 21 Cary 24 Jarvis 52)

KIRKLEY & PAKEFIELD 4 (Eagleton 42 King 51 Lopez 66p Stone 79)

Att 45

Entry £5

Programme £1

It has to be said that the Norfolk town does have an intriguing nickname, there can’t be many, if any places who answer to, “The Ghosts!” The name references a poem by Robert Bloomfield, “The Fakenham Ghost,” but this was no ordinary apparition, it was the ghost of a donkey! Talk about “Drop the dead donkey!” Continue reading

The Reason Why

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Tuesday 27th December 2016 ko 19.45

Southern Combination Division One

STEYNING TOWN 3 (Finney 14 Romain 51 63)

STORRINGTON 1 (Searle 83)

Att c90

Entry £5

Programme £1

Let me tell you a story. Almost exactly two years ago 3 of us travelled from Oxford for a Sussex County League game at the Shooting Field.  I’d phoned ahead as the weather had been wet, and the club were extremely keen to get the game on, as they’d put on a sponsors and players’ party in the clubhouse afterwards. We reached the pretty town, had Fish & Chips, and walked into the ground just as the referee called off the game due to a waterlogged pitch.  Continue reading

Lordship

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Tuesday 27th December 2016 ko 14.00

Southern Combination Division Two

WORTHING TOWN LEISURE 0

LANCING UNITED 3 (Page 45 Meason 57 61)

Att 60

Entry FREE

Programme £2

I must admit when planning this day I saw Worthing Town Leisure’s fixture and assumed the club was another quasi-reserve team and looked elsewhere for my middle game. As is always the case a little more research reaped rewards. Continue reading

Understanding

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Tuesday 27th December 2016 ko 11.00

Southern Combination Division One

BILLINGSHURST 3 (Hawkes 25 O’Sullivan 74 Barber 90)

MIDHURST & EASEBOURNE 0

Att 83

Entry £5

Programme £1

The nature of groundhopping can be inherently selfish, it is your own count of grounds visited after all, but just occasionally you see an opportunity where you can help. The more grounds you clock up you realise that other people will read a set of fixtures the same way. Here there were no end of opportunities to clock up 3 games in day, but when you looked at it a little closer you could see that the majority would start their day at Billingshurst. Continue reading

The Strawberry Line

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Saturday 24th December 2016 ko 14.00

Somerset County League Premier Division

YATTON ATHLETIC 3 (Copeland 8 Morris 42p Walters 65)

MIDDLEZOY ROVERS 4 (Conway 9p Temlett 10 Wright 16 Williams 48) Turner sent off 42

Att 42

Entry FREE

No Programme

From Banwell I struck north and traced the route of the embankments of a long abandoned railway. The Cheddar Valley Line ran from Yatton to Cheddar and Wells until its closure in 1963, and became known as the “The Strawberry Line” due to the large quantities of the fruit it carried, bound for markets in London.  Continue reading

Camp Banwell

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Saturday 24th December 2016 ko 11.30

Somerset County League Division Two West

BANWELL 6 (Evans 2 M White 20 53 57 61 Bobruk 37)

1610 TAUNTON UNITED 1 (Barrance 6) Elsley sent off (Foul & Abusive Language) 87

Att 32

Entry FREE

No Programme

Free Coffee!!

Yes, I know it was Christmas Eve, but it was also Saturday, and there weren’t anywhere enough football matches on. There was Stokenchurch in the Hellenic but I was promised to Bristol in the morning, so my attentions turned to the Somerset County League. Continue reading