The Other Pitch

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Monday 28th January 2019 ko 20.00

Middlesex Premier Cup- Quarter Final

KENSINGTON BOROUGH 0

HAREFIELD UNITED 6 (Clifton 9 Pacquette 30 49 Farhall 73 82 Shaw 90)

Att 47 at Pitch 1, Middlesex FA Ground, Rectory Park, Northolt

Entry & Programme £5*

I’d had no intention of returning to Northolt so soon. I’d paid the Middlesex FA Ground a visit soon after it opened last July, and while it does precisely what the local FA needs it to, I wasn’t exactly prioritising a trip to a caged 3G pitch facility whether or not you categorise ticking of the “other” pitch as a new ground. But then Talksport’s Tony Incenzo spotted this fixture, and what else was I going to do on a Monday? Continue reading

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The One We All Wanted

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Saturday 26th January 2019 ko 13.30

Norfolk Senior Cup Quarter Final

U.E.A. 0

SWAFFHAM TOWN 3 (Pearson 5 Castellan 65 75)

Att c60 at University of East Anglia Playing Fields, Colney Lane, Norwich

Free Entry

It’s probably common knowledge that GroundhopUK and the Anglian Combination have agreed to work together to stage an Anglian Hop in 2020. If you’d have told me even at the start of this season I’d get to write that, I’d have laughed at you. We’d tried, and tried again but each time received a firm, but polite “No” from the league. I’d mentally filed the idea along with the Highland League Hop in that folder marked “Nice idea but it’ll never happen” but then Twitter intervened! Continue reading

From Berinsfield to Barcelona

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Sunday 13th January 2019 ko 18.30

La Liga

FC BARCELONA 3 (L Suarez 19 59 Messi 52)

SD EIBAR 0

Att 71,039

Entry €64

Robyn and I alighted the metro at Les Corts, and immediately wondered which way to walk to get to the Nou Camp, unlike say Bayern Munich and Fröttmanning station it isn’t immediately obvious where to go. Online maps and free mobile roaming helped and 10 minutes later we were contemplating something of a dilemma. Continue reading

Peanuts & Crackerjack

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Sunday 23th January 2019 ko 12.00

Tercera Divisio Grup 5

C.E. L’HOSPITALET 1 (Rodri 24p)

TERRASSA FC 1 (Arranz 61) Yaya sent off 78 (2nd bk) 

Att c400

Entry €10

Teamsheet FREE

Maybe its the groundhopper’s OCD, but there is something rather satisfying about riding the train all the way to end of the line. Here it was Barcelona’s metro, and the red line’s terminus of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat in the south-west of the city. On the face of it it was an odd place to have a terminus, in the middle of a car park, but the hospital is a major one, and the the football ground beyond has it’s own story to tell. Continue reading

Montjuic

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Saturday 12th January 2019 ko 20.00

Quarta Catalina Grup 15

CE APA POBLE SEC B 2 (Petrykov 12 Pereira 46)

CE BARCELONA BARCINO 2 (May 41 79)

Att c60 at Camp de Futbol Municipal La Satalia, Barcelona

Free Entry

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia which is an autonomous region of Spain. That’s a remarkably easy sentence to write but it doesn’t do justice to the position Barcelona finds itself in. The independence movement is still very prominent, and the 10 minute walk from Urquinaona metro station to our hotel near the Gothic Cathedral summed up the position neatly. You pass by the offices of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior with a riot van and two heavily armed policemen outside at all times. The offices are surrounded by stucco apartment blocks and on many of the balconies banners are being flown with the Catalonia flag and pro-independence banners. For some having bi-lingual signs everywhere isn’t enough. It isn’t difficult to draw parallels… Continue reading

Adur

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Tuesday 8th January 2019 ko 19.45

Southern Combination Division One

SOUTHWICK 0 

SELSEY 2 (Coates 55 Miller 77) Jefkins sent off 38 (2nd booking)

Att 35

Entry £5

Programme £1

I’m not sure how I managed to miss this place. 35 years ago I regularly used to visit my aunt in Hove (actually) and since she owned a beach hut in Shoreham we regularly took the train from Hove and given that the line runs behind Old Barn Way, I must have passed here many many times. Somehow I managed to contrive to miss Southwick’s home, but I can assure you, that wouldn’t happen on a train now! Continue reading

East Isn’t West

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Saturday 5th January 2019 ko 15.00

Northern Premier League- Premier Division

NORTH FERRIBY UNITED 0

MARINE AFC 2 (Doyle 46 Cummins 88)

Att 181

Entry £10

Programme £2

In groundhopper parlance a “Vulture Job” is heading to a ground that is possibly not going to be there for much longer. Normally it’s because the club is moving to a new ground, and you could argue that this is the case with North Ferriby. However it isn’t certain that North Ferriby are on the move, and if they do move it will certainly be without the agreement of their supporters. Continue reading

Southbound Again

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Tuesday 1st January 2019 ko 15.00

Isthmian League Premier Division

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 1 (ter Horst 9)

MARGATE 0

Att 629

Entry £11

Programme £1.50

Remember my assertion that every hopper has their own point of pain? Or putting it another way the ground that despite their best attempts remains stubbornly unticked? For years mine was the most northerly senior club in the UK, Wick Academy that took 3 cars, 2 hotels and 3 visits to see a game there. But another club, almost as far south as you can get from Wick took nearly as much pain to visit there. Here’s the story of Folkestone Invicta and I.  Continue reading

Red Roar

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Friday 28th December 2018 ko 19.30

Northern League Division 2

REDCAR ATHLETIC 1 (Callender 90)

BILLINGHAM SYNTHONIA 1 (Kelly 37)

Att 319

Entry £5

Programme £1

“Hello, what’s your name?”

“Would you like a go?”

It was half-past midnight at a god-forsaken service station less than half-way back to Oxford. We were sat eating a barely digestible burger each and someone had forgotten to switch off the nearby Peppa Pig children’s ride, and every single minute it advertised itself. To three hoppers far from home it seemed to taunt rather than attract. I allowed a grim smile, you do need a common sense bypass to be a hopper! Continue reading

Comparisons

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Saturday 22nd December 2018 ko 15.00

Gloucestershire County League

ROCKLEAZE RANGERS 1 (A Boyer 41)

PATCHWAY TOWN 2 (Snook 55 Finn 84)

Att 34

Entry & Programme £2

If you’ve travelled southbound on the M32 over the last few months, you’ll have no doubt spotted a couple of sports grounds being built. On the left is Frenchay based Dings Crusaders RUFC’s new Shaftesbury Park (The Dings was a former slum area in Bristol near to Temple Meads) and I’ll be keeping close eye for an association rules games played there! The other side of the motorway, close to the intersection with the M4 is Hillside Gardens, and there’s more to the place than meets the eye! Continue reading