Reversals

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Saturday 13th October 2018 ko 11.00

Bedfordshire League Division One

BEDFORD ALBION 9 (Kelly 3 Babbington 17 30 44 50 Wright 23 Lewis 35 39 Sidhu 64)

SANDY 0

Att 149

Entry FREE

Programme £2

It was an uncommonly early start for the Bedfordshire Hop. An unfeasibly strong coffee jolted the senses before driving from Oxford to Wavendon to pick up Chris Garner (anything eastbound seems to involve him!) before heading to Biddenham to meet organiser Craig Dabbs for a spot of role reversal.  Continue reading

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The Dry Run

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Tuesday 9th October 2018 ko 19.45

Spartan South Midlands League- Premier Division Cup 2nd Round

CRAWLEY GREEN 1 (Silford 52)

BIGGLESWADE FC 3 (Cookman 35 Marsh 47 Coles 60p)

Att 53

Entry £6

Programme £1

Sat, as I often am at my PC I had a problem. I’d spotted an interesting weekend away involving flights to and from Luton Airport, but getting there on a Friday looked rather tight for time, especially during rush hour, with Robyn having no holiday allowance left at work. Then I spotted Crawley Green had a midweek game- it was time to try a dry run… Continue reading

Is Vic There?

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Sunday 9th October 2018 ko 14.00

Western League Division One

BRISTOL TELEPHONES 1 (Goulding 60)

KEYNSHAM TOWN 2 (Shorney 27 38)

Att 310

Entry £6

Programme £1

There was no secret as to why the final game of the 2018 Western Hop was always going to be the most popular amongst the groundhoppers. Bristol Telephones are only in their second season in the Western League having won the Gloucestershire County League in 2017 so many would target this game, and this game alone in order to re-complete the league. By means of an example, the BTRA Ground, Stockwood Lane was to be my only new ground of the weekend! Continue reading

Fairfax

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Sunday 7th October 2018 ko 11.00

Western League Premier Division

BRIDGWATER TOWN 1 (Ellis 74)

BRIDPORT 0 Martin sent off 70 (Serious Foul Play)

Att 371

Entry £6

Programme £1

 

Sunday dawned and with it the longest drive of the hop, from our base in Almondsbury to Bridgwater. It was odd driving one of our 3 minibuses, full of hoppers but utterly incapable of going more than 60 mph! The extra time on the M5 did give me time to consider what we’d be likely to find at Fairfax Park. Continue reading

The Insurance Men

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Saturday 6th October 2018 ko 19.45

Western League Premier Division

CRIBBS 2 (Dowdell 4 Wanjah-Smith 83)

HENGROVE ATHLETIC 1 (Fear 74)

Att 227

Entry £6

Programme £1

I remember well my feeling of unease when I first visited Cribbs six years ago. Back then the ground and club were very much the works side of insurance company Friends Life, and as couple of years earlier that firm in its guise as AXA had turned me down for a job twice! It’s strange how things work out isn’t it, if on either occasion I’d have got the job, there would have been a fairly high chance that I’d have moved to Bristol. Now given my fiancee Robyn is from Bristol that would have been handy, but we didn’t meet for another 6 or so years… and if I’d moved then would we have ever met? Continue reading

Planning Gain

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Saturday 6th October 2018 ko 17.00

Western League Premier Division

HALLEN 0

SHEPTON MALLET 3 (Willmott 45 Pollard 59 Morgan 77)

Att 218

Entry £6

Programme £1

Given one or two groundhoppers’ predisposition for getting their geography in a twist I ought to make it clear that this in the Hallen, which is the other side of the M5 from Bristol and not the club playing at the World’s oldest football ground- that’s Hallam! And while we were never ever going to visit the Hallen Centre on the Northern Counties East Hop, we could have easily have visited back in the day on the Hellenic Hop, the club are based in, and affiliated to the Gloucestershire FA, and it took until 2000 to prise themselves away and into the more logical Western League. That isn’t the limit of the club’s adventures though! Continue reading

Knee Deep In the Hoopla

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Saturday 6th October 2018 ko 14.15

Western League Premier Division

CLEVEDON TOWN 1 (Camm 12)

BUCKLAND ATHLETIC 3 (Johansen 30 Bush 72 Richards 85)

Att 213

Entry £6

Programme £1

Without wishing to be in any way disparaging to the good folk at Clevedon Town, the Western Hop’s visit to the Hand Stadium was the one I was anticipating the least. That was for two reasons, I’d visited twice before, during their Southern League days, and that the ground is still relatively new, being opened in 1992. Of course, life being as contrary as it is, it turned out to be one I’ll remember the most! Continue reading

Titan

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Saturday 6th October 2018 ko 11.00

Western League Division One

LONGWELL GREEN SPORTS 2 (Brittain 2 Keary 36)

WELTON ROVERS 3 (Hunt 28 Seviour 54 77)

Att 213

Entry £5

Programme £1

When we started the Western Hop back in 2015 we actually passed Longwell Green Sports on our way between Bitton and Oldland Abbotonians. Whilst amusing myself with the knowledge that we’d succeeded in convincing a hopper that the latter club was so named because comedian Russ Abbott was a secret benefactor (He actually recorded it in his blog before rapidly deleting it!) we passed the ground and I wondered why we weren’t visiting there and then? Continue reading

Bris (tol)

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Friday 5th October 2018 ko 19.45

Western League Premier Division

BRISLINGTON 2 (Taylor 40 Biggins 71)

ODD DOWN (BATH) 3 (Lloyd6 79 82)

Att 262 

Entry £6

Programme £1

For as long as I visit grounds of the Western League I will always think of the late Mark Edmonds, That goes double for the Western Hop, the idea he had, that every year Chris Berezai and try our best to make the most of his legacy for the clubs he set out to help.  It puts us under a good kind of pressure, and that goes for everyone involved that remembers Mark. This year it was lovely to see his widow Sarah joining us all for this hop, mainly based in and around Bristol, and I hope she feels we did Mark’s idea justice.  Continue reading

The Nest

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Saturday 29th September 2018 ko 15.00

Eastern Counties League Division One North

LAKENHEATH 1 (McCabe 3)

MARCH TOWN UNITED 3 (Cooke 7 Gillies 45p Mattless 74)

Att c100

Entry £5

Programme £1

One of the most welcome additions to the Eastern Counties League roster this season has been Lakenheath. I’d had a fair few hoppers recommend, The Nest or The Pit, depending on who you talk to but for no good reason I’d not managed to visit. I’m glad I did go but I do wonder whether I caught the club at a real crossroads. Step 6 will alter just about everything for Lakenheath FC, both as a club, and a place to watch football.  Continue reading