Football By (and in) Coventry

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Wednesday 6th December 2017 ko 19.45

FA Vase 3rd Round Replay

COVENTRY UNITED 3 (Rankine 80 Morris 90og Mussa 90)

BROMSGROVE SPORTING 3 (Clark 4 Gregory 18 Cowley 40)

AET Bromsgrove won 4-3 on penalties

Att 205 at Butts Park Arena, Coventry

Entry £7

Programme £2

There can’t be many clubs in the Midlands as groundhopper-friendly as Coventry United. Easy parking (for £2), midweek games on a Wednesday, and an informative Twitter feed. In fact so hopper-friendly are they that earlier this season the league version of this fixture was scheduled for a midday kick-off allowing for all kinds of doubles. Now okay it probably took 20-30 off of each the attendances on the North Berkshire Hop that day and as event organiser that was a shame, but there was no malice in it. As organiser sometimes you have to simply shrug your shoulders and make the best of it. And there are so many reasons to like Coventry United. Continue reading

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Hangar 146

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Tuesday 5th December 2017 ko 19.45

Friendly

ROYAL AIR FORCE 2 (Campbell 57 Harbottle 67)

HALESOWEN TOWN 0

Att c40 at RAF Cosford Outdoor Stadium

If you’re roughly my age you’ll remember RAF Cosford as where the UK Indoor Athletics Championships were held in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember the sound of athletes feet against the wooden boards as they ran around the steeply banked 200 metre circuit. Here Seb Coe set the indoor world record for the 800 metres at 1:46.00 in 1981. You’d like to see that wouldn’t you? Continue reading

The Wrong Floodlights

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Saturday 2nd December 2017 ko 14.00

Combined Counties League Division One

SHEERWATER 5 (Rideout 30secs 6 Wilson 3 Machay 35 76)

AC LONDON 1 (Silva 69) Dallal sent off (DOGSO) 35

Att c40

Entry £4

Programme £1

Sheerwater is of course the home of mod band The Jam. Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler were all residents of this 1950’s suburb of Woking before hitting the big time with their first single “In the City.” It is a typical commuter town’s suburb with the community’s facilities all at the southern edge but within all of that the local football club has a real problem.

Without doubt the pressure is increasing on those Step 6 clubs whose grounds fail ground grading. The reasons for failing are varied, sometimes it’s because the ground isn’t enclosed and a common one is lack of floodlights, but Sheerwater’s reason is unusual, they do have floodlights, it’s just that they are the wrong ones! Continue reading

Ambivalence

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Wednesday 29th November 2017 ko 19.45

United Counties League Division One

BUCKINGHAM TOWN 3 (Osei-Addo 26p Wreh 67 79)

POTTON UNITED 2 (Murrell 38 Webb 74)

Att 77

Entry £4

Programme £1

It’s been over 4 years since Buckingham Town moved into the Irish Centre in Bletchley and over 6 since they were evicted from their spiritual home, Ford Meadow back in Buckingham a rather distant 14 miles away. My reader might remember my surprise when I visited here 2 years ago at just how much the place had been improved since the club had taken on the pitch following the demise of Bletchley Town. Home in Buckingham Town’s case though, isn’t necessarily where the heart is. Continue reading

The Youngest Of The Old

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Saturday 25th November 2017 ko 15.00

League 1

SOUTHEND UNITED 1 (Cox 19)

OXFORD UNITED 1 (Thomas 22)

Att 6,797 (566 away)

Entry – Complimentary

Programme £3

It would be a mistake to lump Roots Hall into the category of venerable UK football grounds. I’ve covered visits to the likes of Fulham and Brentford here, but Roots Hall has only been home to Southend United since 1955, although the original Southend United did play games on a pitch on this site on formation in 1906. But until 1988 when Scunthorpe United moved from the Old Showground to the hideous Glanford Park, Roots Hall was the youngest ground in the Football League. Continue reading

Micawber

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Wednesday 22nd November 2017 ko 19.45

Southern Counties East League Premier Division

ROCHESTER UNITED 1 (McGeeham 88)

DEAL TOWN 4 (Miller 39 Coyne 42 Smith 68 Paxman 78)

Att 52

Entry £7

Programme £1.50

Committee commitments had seen be unavailable since the Forgeside game and Wednesday is seldom a good day to find a game at a ground that I haven’t previously visited, and can get to after work. But in the spirit of Wilkins Micawber, something did turn up, and in Charles Dickens’ home town too! We’ll artfully ignore the fact that Rochester actually play in Strood… Continue reading

Spectacular

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Saturday 18th November 2017 kop 13.30

Gwent Central League-Langdon Cup 2nd Round

FORGESIDE 1 (Tidball 4)

CLYDACH WASPS RESERVES 0 

Att 10

Entry FREE

I’d had a lousy week, and all of my plans for the weekend had crumbled into dust. I really couldn’t raise the enthusiam to head anywhere, and I’ve got Robyn to thank for this trip. She suggested I drop her at her Mum’s in Bristol then head off to “Something Welsh, you usually find something amazing there.” At that point, the penny dropped. Continue reading

Learnings

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Friday 10th November 2017 ko 19.45

Essex Senior League

BARKINGSIDE 2 (Toke 45 Ogborn 75)

CLAPTON 3 (Coblah 40 Reed 48 87)

Att 275

Entry & Programme £5

I’d first heard the Essex Senior League were looking at hosting a “Groundhoppers Event” a month or two ago on Peter Dudley’s excellent “Grassroots Footy Show” on East London Radio. There, league secretary Michelle Dorling outlined the idea, and made it clear that the idea needed fleshing out before they could commit to it fully. Very much with my GroundhopUK hat on I wondered how we could help. Continue reading

The Hero & The Villian

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Tuesday 31st October 2017 ko 19.45

Spartan South Midlands League Division One

CODICOTE 0

BALDOCK TOWN 6 (Coley 14 A Barker 45 Hoy 47og L Barker 54 Coppin 63 Robertson 82)

Att 73

Entry & Programme £5

If ever a home of sport was named after a hero it’s Codicote’s. The John Clements Memorial Ground is named after the local schoolteacher who, in 1976 saved several schoolchildren from a hotel fire during a school skiing trip in Italy. He refused all advice as to his own safety and eventually succumbed to smoke inhalation. He was posthumously awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian award for gallantry. It was to be an evening of contrasts though.    Continue reading

To Budge?

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Saturday 28th October 2017 ko 12.30

Scottish Premiership

HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN 1 (Lafferty 24)

RANGERS 3 (Miller 43 65 Windass 72)

Att 32,852 (14,102 away) at Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Entry £30

Programme £3.50

The home of Scottish Rugby Union certainly sees a lot more football than its English equivalent does. Be it Celtic using it for 2 European qualifying matches in 2014 when Celtic Park was in use for the Commonwealth game, or Edinburgh giants Hibs and Hearts have used it for friendlies, or when Easter Road, or Tynecastle has been either unsuitable, or out-of-use. This time round, it was Tynecastle’s turn to be unavailable, but for bizarre reasons! Continue reading