The Facts Of Life

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Saturday 23rd July 2016 ko 11.00

Pre-season Friendly

ANDOVER TOWN 1 (Robertson 84)

WARMINSTER TOWN 1 (Shinn 28)

Att 32 at Sparsholt College, near Winchester

It’s a fact of footballing life that by and large groundhoppers and pre-season friendlies don’t mix, and its a view I have a lot of sympathy with. Games played at half pace with no cards and roll-on/off substitutes aren’t many people’s idea of what football is about, so in the summer months you have to be creative! And this game had plenty to enthuse.

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The Pub Team That Isn’t

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Saturday 16th July 2016 ko 13.00

Pre-season friendly

NEW INN AFC 7 (13 17 32 41p 47 48 77)

SEVERN TUNNEL NPC 3 (65 75 90)

Att 35

Entry FREE

No Programme

The feeder leagues to the Welsh League are manna from heaven for the groundhopper. There’s a multiplicity of villages steeped in history (mainly in coal mining and steel production) and in the case of the league these two clubs play in, the Gwent County League, programme production is mandatory.

Mind you if the printed word is a deal-breaker for you I’d phone ahead before travelling, print runs do tend to be low, often in single figures. It’s seen as a chore by the majority of the clubs, little more than a means of avoiding a fine from the league! Continue reading

The Balancing Act

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15th July 2016

United Counties/ Peterborough & District League Hop 29th-31st July

It’s just about to get busy…. as one half of GroundhopUK-  the organisers of this year’s event I don’t think there’s ever been an organised groundhop this early, not that that’s a bad thing, long days, and hopefully warm weather are things to be enjoyed and taken advantage of. This will be the third event the two leagues have done, so now is good time to step back for a minute and look at how it all works. Continue reading

Bearing Fruit

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Saturday 9th July 2016 ko 15.00

Pre-season Friendly

SOLIHULL MOORS 1 (Hayden 68)

OXFORD UNITED 1 (Thomas 54)

Att 620

Entry £10

Programme £2

For a newish ground Damson Park is far more interesting than you’d expect. It’s only been a football ground since 1998, when the stadium was constructed from the remains of a golf driving range. Have a closer look at the cover behind the goal and imagine practicing your swing… The afternoon proved to be far more interesting than the mere location though. Continue reading

Fade Out

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Monday 16th May 2016 ko 19.00

North Berkshire League Division One

ABINGDON TOWN 3 (Davis 17 50 Pinkerton 90p)

KINTBURY RANGERS 3 (Allsopp 43 Collins 52 Mahoney 65)

Att 23

Entry FREE

No Programme

Some time ago I told the sad story of Mile Oak Rovers & Youth and how I came to witness their final ever game. Now this tale does have the distinction of me not knowing for certain that this was to be this club’s last game, but I do remember the nagging doubt. The biggest difference here is though is Abingdon Town’s long and illustrious history.

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The Saints

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Saturday 2nd July 2016 ko 14.30

Pre-season friendly

PLYMOUTH MARJON 1 (Donovan 42)

PLYMOUTH PARKWAY RESERVES 1 (45)

Att c30

Entry FREE

No Programme

When you’re based in Devon for the weekend and there’s only one game available, it was entirely logical to head to the University College of Plymouth St Mark & St John, which if nothing else proved to be a good deal more interesting than the tie looked at first glance!

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His and Hers

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Saturday 25th June 2016 ko 18.00

FA Women’s Super League Division 2

BRISTOL CITY WOMEN 4 (Farrow 18 43 Emslie 28 42)

OXFORD UNITED WOMEN 1 (Umotong 25)

Att 475

Entry £8

Programme £2

Part of the fun of being one half a footballing relationship is when your two favourite sides meet, or in this case the women’s versions! Pondering that last phrase that is rather a British sounding statement, in the UK there’s only Glasgow City that plays high-level football without having an equivalent men’s team. That wasn’t always the case though and I do wonder how many home fans realised that the roots of their women’s team are rather unusual to put it mildly? Continue reading

Tastes of Stockholm

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Stockholm 1st to 2rd June 2016

This year’s visit was different, for the first time I convinced a significant other to come with me. On one hand it wasn’t too difficult to convince Robyn, all I had to do was show her the photos I took last year but this year we were a little short of time so my task was to condense the best of Sweden’s capital into a little over a 48 hours. Continue reading

More Of The Good Stuff

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Sunday 5th June 2016 ko 16.00

Division 5 Södra Uppland

ROSERSBERGS IK 1 (Lyngbrant 34p)

FANNA BK 1 (Abbas 88) Smedlof sent off 68 (2nd booking)

Att 121

We left the countryside and narrow-gauge railway and headed back to the Swedish Hop’s eventual terminus at Arlanda Airport. The planes flying over the top of Råbergsvallen seemed to me a horrible reminder of what was shortly going to finish. My girlfriend Robyn was half-asleep, half gazing in wonder at the scenery so whatever occurred at our final game I knew that at least from her perspective, her first trip to Sweden had been a success. The last sign back to Kårsta disappeared as we reached the E4 motorway and we headed north. Continue reading

Heart

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Sunday 6th June 2016 ko 13.00

Division 5 Södra Uppland

GoIF KÅRE 1 (Zachrison 64)

UNIK FK 0 Holm sent off 81 (violent conduct)

Att 126

Sweden’s countryside is so friendly, even the bus shelters talk to you (If you push the button on them)! Following Swedish hop tradition it seemed, we followed the Roslagsbanan narrow gauge railway, but this time to its terminus at Kårsta, although there are plans to reinstate the line right through to the heritage lines further north-east to Rimbo. We were at the furthest outpost of Stockholms Lan (Stockholm County) and our coach bumped down a track at the edge of the village but what we were to find at the end blew us all away. Continue reading

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