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

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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

Roxonian

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Tuesday 18th December 2018 ko 19.45

Southern League- Premier Division South

HARROW BOROUGH 2 (Kearney 11 87)

BEACONSFIELD TOWN 1 (Morgan 4)

Att 127

Entry £10

Programme £2

In the great unwritten book of groundhopping tactics, the idea of using 3G pitches as insurance against bad weather is fairly well entrenched. It seems, unfortunately, to have replaced the rule of having a knowledge of well-draining pitches for those times. I was navigating my way around a rain-lashed M25, when I got notification that my intended destination- Sittingbourne, was postponed. It was time to consider my options, and simply going home wasn’t one of them! Continue reading

The Uninitiated

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Tuesday 11th December 2018 ko 19.45

Isthmian League Premier Division

CORINTHIAN CASUALS 2 (Hannigan 31 Mfula 72)

TONBRIDGE ANGELS 1 (Turner 49)

Att 173

Entry £10

Programme £3

It was a last-minute decision to head to Tolworth, so Robyn’s question wasn’t exactly unexpected.

“Who are the Corinthian-Casuals?” she asked, but for once, my decision wasn’t how to give her enough information, it was more of a question of what I could get away with leaving out! Continue reading