FGIF INBOX 2016-17 


Tuesday 18th April – TT No.59: Keith AslanI liked the place, hard standing all the way round, with the tea bar, also serving food, situated at the top of a small slope behind the goal with a good view of the game…’. NEW GROUND ALERT! Leicester Locomotion. Find out about Keith’s visit to Leicester Nirvana (v Kirby Muxloe) in the United Counties League Premier Division fixture played yesterday… now added to the Reports page…to read this must-see review click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Tuesday 18th April – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from AFC Sudbury (v Needham Market) in the Ryman League Premier Division played on 17/04/17… now uploaded in the new FGIF album gallery…

Tuesday 18th April – TT No.58: Steve Hardy – ‘The venue was the Bermuda Phoenix Centre in the Nuneaton suburb of Bermuda Village’. Check out Steve’s report following his visit to watch Athletic Sparta (v Christ the King 3rds) in the Coventry Alliance Division Four fixture played on 15/04/17… to find out more go the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17

Tuesday 18th April – TT No.57: Keith Aslan – ‘The ground is a fifteen-minute walk from the delightfully named tram stop Besses o' th' Barn’. Prestwich Pilgrimage! Read all about Keith’s visit to Manchester to watch Prestwich Heys (v Charnock Richard) in the North West Counties Division 1 played on 15/04/17…to find out more go the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17

Tuesday 18th April – Latest Images: Gary Spooner – Cracking Saturday Treble! Don’t miss Gary’s outstanding match day photos following his hopping bonanza with games attended at: Rossington Main (v Hall Road Rangers) in the Northern Counties East League Division One; Euroglaze (v Wombwell Main Development) in the Sheffield County Senior League Division Two and Athlersley Recreation (v Cleethorpes Town) in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division…all played on 15/04/17 and now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail): Saturday saw me do two and a bit games and finally visit the Crucible for World Championship snooker. A full-on day which saw me arrive home at midnight. My first port of call was Rossington Main where Hall Road Rangers gained a 1-0 victory which saw them move 1 point clear at the top of the table with one game left to play. It was a dour game but the visitors won't mind that at all. As is usual on Hop games the hosts were very welcoming and there was a good attendance to reward their efforts’.

‘My second stop on Good Friday was at the Dorothy Hyman stadium, impressive home to Euroglaze FC who play in the 2nd Division of the Sheffield County League. I arrived at 20 to 2 for the advertised 2 o clock kick off only to find that the game had kicked off at 1.30 and Euroglaze were winning 1-0. Had I arrived in time to see the whole game (as planned) I would have stopped to the end before making my way into Sheffield for the snooker. As it was I stopped until half time and saw Euroglaze add two further goals before departing on a four-mile trip to Athersley Recreation. Dorothy will have to wait for a full visit!’.

‘Following the early kick off at Euroglaze my second game of the day became Athersley Recreation v Cleethorpes Town. Athersley came across as a club with real community spirit and were tremendously welcoming. The food (steak pie, chips and mushy peas) was fantastic and great value for money. The ground is very neat and tidy with a seated stand behind the near goal and two standing areas along the side. On the pitch however, Rec were blown away by Wembley-bound Cleethorpes Town who needed a win to be confirmed champions. This was comfortably achieved and cued (deliberate pun with the snooker to follow the footie) mass celebrations at the final whistle.  From the Rec, it was a short drive to the Crucible and my evening entertainment. Fantastic day out!’.

Tuesday 18th April – Latest Images: WebEdCheck out the ground, action and match day photos from Westmill (v Oracle) in the Hertford & District League Premier Division fixture played on 15/04/17…now uploaded in the new FGIF album gallery…

Tuesday 18th April – Latest Images: Steve HardyView Steve’s superb pictures from a hop to Athletic Sparta (v Christ The King 3rds) in the Coventry Alliance Division Four played on 15/04/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Tuesday 18th April – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerCheck out Gary’s awesome pictures from a hop Gainsborough Trinity (v Salford City) in the Conference North fixture played on 14/04/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail): ‘Mandy and I had a superb hike around Whisby before heading to Gainsborough Trinity where the relegation threatened home side gained a 1-0 victory against play-off contenders Salford City. Excellent ground and a cracking game. A great way to kick off the Easter weekend’.

Tuesday 18th April – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to Marks Tey (v Langham Lodgers) in the Colchester & East Essex League Acorn Invitation Charity Shield Quarter-Final played on Good Friday 14/04/17… now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Tuesday 11th April – TT No.56: Steve HardyThe home team…have a dedicated pitch within the complex, where they have built a small stand and have fully railed the pitch off with very stout wooden posts and rails’. For his second game of the day Steve takes in Upton AA (v Redgate Rovers) in the West Cheshire League Pyke Cup Semi-Final on 08/04/17… now added to the Reports page…to read his must-see review click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Tuesday 11th April – TT No.55: Steve Hardy – ‘You wouldn’t know it was a football training ground either, unless you were looking for it…’ Check out the summary covering Steve’s first game of a Saturday Double with a trip to watch Tranmere Rovers Under 18’s (v Burnley U18’s) in the Football League Youth Alliance North West Division played on 08/04/17… to find out more go the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17

Tuesday 11th April – TT No.54: Keith Aslan – ‘For lovers of scenic grounds, this one is for you with the Quantock Hills providing a wonderful backdrop for an afternoon’s sport. Somerset Strolls! Check out Keith’s inspirational review following a hop to watch Bishop Lydeard (v Westbury) in the Western League Division 1 played on 08/04/17… now added to the Reports page…to read this must-see review click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Tuesday 11th April – Latest Images: Steve HardyCheck out Steve’s cracking pictures from an exciting Saturday Double Hop featuring matches at: Tranmere Rovers Under 18’s (v Burnley U18’s) in the Football League Youth Alliance North West Division and Upton AA (v Redgate Rovers) in the West Cheshire League Pyke Cup Semi-Final both played on 08/04/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Tuesday 11th April – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from a hop to watch Felsted Rovers (v CT 66) in the Mid Essex League Premier Division fixture played on 08/04/17… now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

‘Still feeling the effects of a heavy Spring-cold I didn’t really fancy travelling too far today for my footy fix. You can imagine my relief (in addition to the required dose of Lemsip), when I found out from the excellent Full-Time website that Mid Essex League side Felsted Rovers FC was due to start its game earlier than expected with a 1.15pm kick-off (to accommodate the reserves who were playing afterwards at 4 o’clock) this afternoon. Deciding to avoid the M11 I took a more direct (albeit much slower) stress free route through Haverhill and Finchingfield towards the outskirts of Braintree I managed successfully to arrive in good time at the Memorial Hall recreation ground.

As the venue off the Braintree Road is hidden away behind the village hall you might like me be forgiven upon arrival for thinking that the playing fields are actually on the other side of the road but these beautifully manicured open spaces alas belong to the prestigious Felsted School which dominates the area in both status and size. Better access to the football ground can be found by taking the next turning on the right down the wonderfully titled Jollyboys Lane where a narrow track takes you to the back of the tree-lined field where a smart all weather multi use games area adjoins a much more spacious car park. The changing pavilion and equipment store both fashioned in black painted timber is found inside a landscaped area on the opposite side of the field nestled between a children’s play-ground and the village hall itself. The main un-roped pitch is some 100 yards away and benefits from having a few bench-style seats as well as a couple of mini play shelters dotted around its perimeter which offer some basic spectator comfort. A grass embankment running beyond the far touchline gives a more elevated view of the action a real bonus for the avid amateur snapper.

Helpful club secretary Chris McCulloch (an exiled Yorkshireman from Scarborough) explained that the club (established over 100 years ago) has experienced a particularly difficult campaign, certainly on the pitch. Having been promoted straight from the second up to the premier division (of the six-division competition) at the end of last season, (mainly to increase numbers in the top flight), Chris maintained that the club has found the step up in class has simply been too great especially for his young players. The league table doesn’t lie as they say and despite a gallant effort they have only won one and drawn two of their fourteen matches played so far to remain firmly fixed at the bottom of the rankings. Today’s opponents CT 66 FC (the CT stands for Canvey Town) have in complete contrast enjoyed much more success and with twelve wins under their belt currently sit at the top of the eight-team league. However, despite pouring over these pre-match stats the game was in fact a much closer contest than first expected with plenty of chances created by both teams throughout. For the record the visitors from Canvey Island won by a 2-0 score-line with front runner Darren Godfrey scoring once in each half. The match played in lovely warm, sunny conditions was attended by nearly twenty spectators. I was amazed that there was not a single break in play to allow the players time to hydrate especially considering some were due to turn out immediately afterwards again for the reserves.

A cracking day out and back in Racing HQ just after four o’clock allowing just enough time to put a few quid on a couple of horses in this year’s Grand National. Like my beloved Tigers neither won but it did not spoil a lovely day out. A visit to Felsted Rovers FC in in mid-Essex comes highly recommended.

Tuesday 11th April – Latest Images: Gary Spooner - writes: ‘Alas no pics again this weekend. Took a trip to Twickenham yesterday for Bath v Leicester. Given the current security in London and the fact that it was VERY hot I didn't attempt to gain entry with a bag or a camera. Great stadium, great weather, decent game and a decent day out. Should be plenty of footie over Easter though’

Friday 7th April – TT No.53: Brian Buck – ‘…site this was a decent area, not far from a large manmade lake’. Our super hopper brings us the news from his latest hop, a visit to watch MK Gallacticos (v Mursley United) in the Spartan South Midlands League Division 2 played on 05/04/17… to find out more go the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17

Friday 7th April – TT No.52: Brian Buck – ‘But as things transpired I sat in about the right place to witness the key moments of the match’. Despite some admission problems (for the third and final game of his itinerary) Brian takes in London Bees v Sheffield FC Ladies in the FA Women’s Super League 2 Spring Series played at Barnet FC on 01/04/17…for more go the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17

Friday 7th April – TT No.51: Brian Buck – ‘This turned out to be a decent game, played out in some pleasant unspoiled countryside’. For the second game of his hop Brian takes a trip around the M25 to watch Horsley (v Laleham) in the Surrey Elite Intermediate League played on 01/04/17…to find out more go the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17

Friday 7th April – TT No.50: Brian Buck – ‘…it’s railed off on one side and half way along both goals. The pitch is on a bit of a plateau on the railed off side and therefore the car park is below pitch level’. For the first part of an exciting Saturday Treble Hop Brian heads to the Welwyn playing fields for Welwyn St Mary’s Blues (v Welwyn St Mary’s Reds) in the Hertfordshire & Borders Churches League Division 1 played on 01/04/17… read his review now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Friday 7th April – TT No.49: Keith Aslan – ‘Fully railed with a concrete path, a smashing stand built with metal and wood, and a clubhouse with food and the lunchtime footie on TV. Keith sings the praises of Hollyfields venue for the Holder Cup Final between Bearwood Athletic (v Two Gates) played on 01/04/17… now added to the Reports page…to read his must-see review click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Friday 7th April – TT No.48: Steve Hardy – ‘A lovely welcoming club in a fabulously beautiful part of the world’. With news about some important ground improvements check out Steve’s ace report from a hop to watch Knighton Town (v Bow Street) in the Mid Wales League Division 1 played on 01/04/17… find out more by going to the Reports page and clicking on the TT Index for 2016-17

Friday 7th April – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from a hop to watch Wheathampstead Wanderers (v Shephall United) in the Hertford & District League (Divisional) Charlie Smith Challenge Cup Semi-Final tie played on 01/04/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Friday 7th April – Latest Images: Rob CampionDon’t miss Rob’s pictures from his weekend double hop featuring visits to watch Cambridge University Press (v Milton) in the Cambridgeshire County League Senior Division A played on 01/04/17 and Wykin (v Coalville Miners) in the Hinckley & District Sunday League Division Two on 02/04/17…both now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail): ‘Headed east to Cambridge on Saturday to watch a top of the table clash in the Cambridgeshire League, and attached are 14 photos from...Cambridge University Press 5-1 Milton (Senior Division 'A'). Not a bad game with a bit of ill-discipline costing the visitors. A glorious spring afternoon and a pleasant setting to watch football as well. The full gallery with a further 71 photos are online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p88808904’.

‘My second game of the weekend saw me head down to Hinckley on Sunday morning, and 10 photos are attached from...Wykin 3-1 Coalville Miners (Hinckley & District Sunday League Division 2). This was a battle for the runners-up spot and the home side (in blue) deserved their 3-1 victory. A further 40 can be found online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p970513537 ‘.

Friday 7th April – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerCheck out Gary’s awesome match day photos from a hop to watch Eastbourne United (v Crawley Down Gatwick) in the Southern Combination Premier fixture played on 01/04/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail): ‘Glorious day on the South coast yesterday where I went to the Oval, home of Eastbourne United. Very friendly locals who made me feel very welcome. Excellent refreshment room and an excellent programme as well. New stand to be erected behind goal soon. Hole is there ready as is the stand which looked very strange as it faced away from the pitch. Not the greatest of games but United won 2-1 so the majority of the 101 crowd went home happy. I certainly did after another good day out’.

Friday 7th April – Latest Images: Steve Hardy – View the very best ground, action and match day photos from Steve’s hop to Knighton Town (v Bow Street) in the Mid Wales League Division 1 played on 01/04/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Thursday 30th March – TT No.47: Brian Buck‘…in reality, it’s just a railed off pitch in little more than a public park’. Star hopper Brian travels to Shropshire for Newport Town (v Worcester Raiders) in the West Midlands (Regional) League Division 1 fixture played on 25/03/17...read his review now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Thursday 30th March – TT No.46: Steve HardyThis match took place at the Childwall Comprehensive School Sports Academy in the Wavertree district of Liverpool’. For his first game of a super Saturday Double Steve takes in the morning match at Long Lane (v All Saints) in the Merseyside Christian Football League Division Two played on 25/03/17… find out more by going to the Reports page and clicking on the TT Index for 2016-17

Thursday 30th March – TT No.45: Keith Aslan – ‘The Bluebirds have moved a couple of miles down the road from their home village to comply with Welsh League ground regulations and are playing at Bedwas Rugby Club. Caerphilly Capers. For his footy fix this week Keith attends Trethomas Bluebirds (v Caerau) in the Welsh League Division Three played on 25/03/17…now added to the Reports page…to read his must-see review click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Thursday 30th March – Latest Images: Mark Bembridge Canada based Mark sends us plenty of terrific match day pictures from a hop to watch Campo Libre (v Royal City SC) in the Vancouver Metro Soccer League Division 3 played at Burnaby Lakes Sports Complex West on 25/03/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Mark writes (v E-Mail):I took in another Vancouver Metro Soccer League game today: Campo Libre 1 Royal City SC 3, VMSL Division 3 at Burnaby Lakes Sports Complex West. Saturday 25th March’.

Thursday 30th March – Latest Images: Steve HardyMerseyside Double! View Steve’s cracking match day photos from his inspirational Saturday Double Hop featuring matches at Long Lane (v All Saints) in the Merseyside Christian Football League Division Two and Pilkington Reserves (v Malpas Reserves) in the high scoring Cheshire League Presidents Cup tie…both played on 25/03/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Steve adds (via E-Mail sent on 27/03): re the morning game - ‘Here are the photos from my morning game last Saturday: Merseyside Christian League Division Two - Long Lane 2 All Saints 6. You'll love the goalposts leaning forward at a jaunty angle…’.

Thursday 30th March – Latest Images: Rob Campion Don’t miss Rob’s top pictures from his hop to Ashland Rovers (v AFC Bridgford) in the Notts Senior League Division 1 played on 25/03/17... now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob reports (via E-Mail sent on 26/03):A trip up the M1 to Nottinghamshire yesterday...Ashland Rovers 1-0 AFC Bridgford (Notts Senior League Division 1). A scrappy hard fought win for the home side (in red & black) with the only goal of the game coming inside two minutes. This just leaves Greyhounders to finish the NSL for the 1st time. 10 photos are attached with a further 39 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p699043178 ’.

Thursday 30th March – Latest Images: Gary Spooner – Check out Gary’s awesome match day photos following a visit to watch Dudley Sports (v Haughmond) in the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division played on 25/03/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail sent on 26/03):Headed to Dudley Sports yesterday afternoon where soon to be champions Haughmond clinically demolished the home side. Lovely sunny day and a great afternoon for watching footie!’.

Thursday 30th March – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from a hop to watch Stevenage Community (v Hampstead Heath) in the Herts Senior County League Division One fixture played on 25/03/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘My hop today involved two of the league’s newest clubs playing in the Herts Senior Country League each joining the competition at the start of the current season. A glance at the Division One league rankings shows that each side has experienced contrasting fortunes as they sit at opposite ends of the sixteen-team table...find out more by going to the Reports page and clicking on the WebEds Ramblings 2016-17

Wednesday 22nd March – TT No.44: Brian Buck – ‘I would imagine that in summer and with all the trees in leaf, this would be a lovely place to watch football, or cricket of course’. The second game of the day leads Brian to Langleybury Cricket Club (v Bovingdon ‘A’) in the West Herts Saturday League Division 2 played on 18/03/17…to read his review on the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 22nd March – TT No.43: Brian Buck‘…their half time team talk was in sign language’. For the first part of his inspirational Saturday Double super hopper Brian travels down to South Oxhey for St Albans Deaf (v Northchurch Baptists) in the Hertfordshire & Borders Churches League Division 2 fixture played on 18/03/17...now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 22nd March – TT No.42: Keith Aslan‘…is beautifully situated in the heart of the countryside…fully railed with a clubhouse dishing out burgers and bacon rolls over an hour before kick-off’. Jarvis Jaunts. Our roving reporter heads over to Crowborough in East Sussex to bring us a cracking review from Jarvis Brook (v Cowfold) in the Southern Combination Division 2 fixture played on 18/03/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 22nd March – TT No.41: Steve Hardy – ‘This was a rare opportunity to see a game on the Hagley playing fields in West Hagley, south of Stourbridge’. For his second match of the day Steve attends West Hagley Veterans (v Old Hill Veterans) in the Birmingham Football Veterans Cup tie played on 18/03/17… now added to the Reports page…to read his must-see review click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 22nd March – TT No.40: Steve HardyThe action took place at Brown Westhead Park in Wolverley’. For his first part of an exciting Saturday Double Steve takes in the morning game at Zion Athletic (v Zion City) in the West Midlands Christian League Division One played on 18/03/17… to find out more go the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17

Wednesday 22nd March – Latest Images: WebEd – View the ground, action and match day photos following a visit to watch Lea Sports PSG (v Sundon Park Rovers) in the Bedfordshire County Football League Division Two played on 18/03/17…uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘Lea Sports Football Club was formed in Luton in 1973 by junior school teachers (hence the LEA acronym in the name which stands for Local Education Authority). Despite a new influx of teachers coming into the profession at local schools each year, the team occupied nothing more than a modest position in the lower divisions of the North Home Counties Sunday Football League. As more players joined the club they successfully entered the South Beds Sunday League in 1988-89. The 1992-93 season saw an amalgamation with Stopsley Boys Club, which took the club from four to eight teams and introduced youth football to Lea Sports. A Ladies football team also operated in 1994-95 and notably played in a friendly against Sheffield Wednesday, losing 16-0!

In1995 the club took the decision to move to the recreation ground in the village of Pirton, a venue which offered better pitches and facilities. As was first feared, the move out of Luton led to a reduction in the number of players available and the number of adult teams shrunk back to two. Much greater emphasis was now placed on developing youth football for the children of the village and surrounding areas. In 2006, the club achieved FA Charter Standard status detailing ambitious plans for local youth football. In 2008 a merger took place between Lea Sports FC, Pirton FC and Shillington & Gravenhurst United FC (hence the new name of 'Lea Sports PSG') which extended the youth section even further. To this end the club now offers coaching for youngsters over five with organised teams from under 7’s upwards. Two new adult sides, playing on Saturdays in the Bedfordshire County League, were established in the 2010-11 season. Today regular sessions for children take place every Saturday morning throughout the year at the rec.

After watching the club play twice on my travels last season (whilst taking in games at both Clapham Sports and the now defunct, Kempston Hammers Sports), I thought it was about time to tick them off my ‘to do’ list go and watch them play at home. My chosen game today saw mid table Lea Sports PSG entertain Luton-based Sundon Park Rovers at the Pirton Recreation ground. The venue found off the Hitchin Road is easily accessed from the A1M (at Stevenage) and Hitchin by taking the B655 and heading towards Barton-le-Clay. As you turn right down Walnut Tree Road a sign pointing to the entrance is a bit deceptive. On first impression, it looks as though you are entering the driveway belonging to a private residential property. However, you will find the bumpy track eventually leads down to the playing fields (shared with the local cricket club) soon come into view on the right-hand of the side of the rec. There’s plenty of parking space here alongside the club buildings comprising of the Pirton Sports Club and the football changing rooms. A smart sign affixed to the wall welcomes visitors to the club and advertises training times covering the various age group sides for anyone wishing to join up. The main pitch is marked over to the right beyond a children’s play-ground. Pride of place goes to the roomy old wooden stand which straddles the half-way line on the far side of the pitch. Several old-fashioned park type benches decked out in red paint offers some spectator seating inside – however with the lack of club dug outs most of the subs tend to gather inside here instead.  

The Division Two league fixture was a close contested affair with the hosts edging the visitors by a 3-2 score-line. A dogged Sundon side, who had taken the lead as early as the second minute, fought back after going behind to level matters just after half-time. They certainly didn’t look like a team struggling at the foot of the table until the closing stages when they eventually collapsed late on following a fast break which led to the winning goal. The game played in squally, wet and windy conditions which prevailed throughout attracted fifteen spectators including Keith Redmond an ex UCL referee who was on duty as the assessor today. We managed, between his note making, to catch up on our recent visits and swap stories during the afternoon. Also, standing pitch side was one young home fan who during the second half surprisingly showed me his smart tattoo which portrayed the club crest inked onto his calf. I’m not sure whether this is called devoted loyalty or simple madness – go to the club album in the FGIF gallery and decide for yourself! Although a sign next to the club buildings advertised a tea bar no attempt was made to open this and offer any refreshments. My thanks go to affable and multi-talented Nathan Woodward who not only acts as a hard-working club secretary but doubles up as lino and manager as well. Nathan returned my check phone call with the match details at mid-day. A visit to this friendly well run club comes highly recommended. Another great day out on the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border.

Wednesday 22nd March – Latest Images: Rob Campion – Check out Rob’s superb match day photos from a hop to watch Biggleswade Town (v Hayes & Yeading United) in the Southern League Premier Division match played on 18/03/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail sent on 19/03): ‘Headed east yesterday to avoid the rain as none was forecast, but the wet stuff started at kick-off and did not stop for the duration of the game. Annoying as all the photos were taken from the shelter of two of the stands’. The match details are as follows: Biggleswade Town 6-0 Hayes & Yeading United (Southern League Premier Division). Functional if somewhat bland ground, though the car park and access road needs tarmacing as it is full of pot holes. The game was pretty one sided as the score suggests, with the home side number 11 scoring a hat-trick of penalty kicks. 12 photos are attached with a further 32 more online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p254858430’.

Wednesday 22nd March – Latest Images: Steve Hardy – Don’t miss Steve’s terrific match day photos covering his super Saturday Double featuring games at Zion Athletic (v Zion City) in the West Midlands Christian League Division One and West Hagley Veterans (v Old Hill Veterans) in the Birmingham Football Veterans Cup …both now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Steve adds (via E-Mail): ‘…on a personal note, Zion Athletic (v Zion City) in the West Midlands Christian League Division One was another champagne job for me, as I have now completed the Christian League. That noise you can hear is the bottom of a barrel being scraped!’.

Friday 17th March – TT No.39: Brian Buck – ‘The ground itself is right next to the busy A14…a fence has been put up to block up most of the view (of drivers passing by). Read all about Brian’s strategic hop to watch Bedric’s Worth (v Thurston Reserves) in the St Edmundsbury Football League Division One fixture played on 11/03/17…  

Friday 17th March – TT No.38: Steve HardyThis address may seem familiar to some of you, and that is because it is the former home of the Manchester City Academy’. Only a stone’s throw from the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Steve brings us a valuable review from the Platt Lane Complex in Fallowfield (3G) for Govan Athletic (v Breightmet United) in the Manchester Football League Division One fixture played on 11/03/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Steve adds (via E-Mail): Here is my article from yesterday's trip to Manchester. Yes, it was another 3G pitch, but you could walk round all four sides, so not too bad at all’.   

Friday 17th March – Latest Images: Rob Campion - Check out Rob’s ace pictures from his second game of a ‘Gloucestershire Double’ with a visit to Longlevens AFC (v Henley Town) in the Hellenic League Premier Division match played on 11/03/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob reports (via E-Mail): ‘I managed a double yesterday, though only photos at one of them. First up was an under-21 game in Droitwich Spa between Droitwich Spa BG and Kings Heath Concorde. An awful game that ended 2-2. I then headed south to Gloucestershire and picked up a friend in Cheltenham before heading to Longlevens AFC v Henley Town (Hellenic League Premier Division) 8-3. The club play at a tidy little ground in the eastern suburbs of Gloucester, and they are one of the most welcoming clubs I have ever visited. They take a real interest in first time visitors and have a guest book for you to sign. They insisted on giving us tea and coffee before the game and at half time and a slice of cake as well.

A really enjoyable day out to a club that all football fans should put on their ‘to do’ list. Just a shame that the locals do not get behind them as I counted just 23 people in attendance. Attached are 18 photos with a further 68 of the ground and game online
@
http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p47724776 ‘.  

Friday 17th March – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from Hickling (v Runton United) in the North-East Norfolk League Division One played on 11/03/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘Despite a couple of major hold ups on route to my footy fix in the Norfolk Broads, my patience (and a lot of luck) was rewarded with a most memorable (and high-scoring) hop that was well worth all the aggro on Saturday afternoon. A serious collision involving several cars on the eastbound A47 Norwich ring road just after mid-day threatened to scupper my chances of reaching the picturesque village of Hickling, the destination for my footy fix. Just as I was about to lose hope of getting to the game, fast acting emergency service personnel at the scene set up a diversion to ease the long tail back that had built up and finally got the slow-moving traffic back up and running smoothly again. However, moments after leaving the dual carriageway at Acle, another hold up (due to ongoing roadworks) meant I was once again sat in a stationary queue, this time waiting for the temporary traffic lights to change (which they did several times). It was touch and go but I managed to get through them and complete the final leg of my journey to arrive (in a bit of a cold nervous sweat) with ten just minutes to spare before the 2.30pm kick-off!

The village of Hickling is about twenty miles south-east of Cromer and lies three miles east of the Broadlands town of Stalham. The nearest railway station is at Worstead for the Bittern Line which runs between Sheringham, Cromer and Norwich. Comprising of two main parts, Hickling Green and Hickling Heath, the village attracts the many tourists who come on boat trips and moor up at the staithe. On the edge of the Hickling Broads it is possible to reach Catfield Dyke, Potter Heigham and even Great Yarmouth by inland waterways. Because it leads to the sea the waters are slightly tidal and, depending on the time of year, the water levels can heavily rise or fall. There are many thatched huts dotted along the broads, one of the oldest being Turner's Hut.

Hickling Football Club plays its games on a playing field located on a beautiful landscaped site incorporating the Hickling Barn HQ off Mallard Way. The facilities here are housed in an impressive modern building constructed not only to replace the old outdated hall but to act as a new hub for the local village residents. Completed in 2012 to look like a traditional Norfolk barn (if you ignore the solar panels), it provides a wide range of social and sporting activities for community use. For football the changing rooms are found at the back some two hundred yards from the main pitch marked out on the far side of the field. Although the playing area is not roped off and there are no pitch side facilities to speak of, visitors here will not fail to be impressed by the wonderful old mill located behind the top goal which makes for a stunning back drop to the action.

The 19th-century grade II listed windmill on Hickling Heath was built in 1818 to a design known as a tower mill, a tapering circular building some eight storeys high used for grinding wheat for flour. In the 1860s this also included a bakery until production ceased in 1904, at which time the sails and fantail were removed. After several changes of ownership, the mill in 1934 came into the ownership of the Forbes family, who carried out major cap renovation in 1989. Otherwise Hickling Mill is one of the few windmills in the country to have been preserved in a largely unrestored condition. It still contains almost a complete set of main machinery and many of the original timber fittings and three sets of millstones.

Today’s game was going to be an intriguing contest with the bottom placed hosts entertaining high flying Runton United for a NENL First Division league game. The visitors from Cromer arrived on the back of a terrific unbeaten run (going back three season). So far in 2016-17 they had won all their games and had also reached the Norfolk Junior Cup Final where they will play Anglian Combination side UEA at Carrow Road in April. As you’ve probably guessed my choice of game was planned not just to tick of a new ground but hopefully see a few goals in the process. I wasn’t to be disappointed either as Runton quickly took control of the game scoring their opening goal inside the first minute before adding another seven without reply to lead 8-0 at the break. There was no respite for Hickling as they were penned into their own half for much of the second half as Runton went on the rampage and worked hard to build up their lead. They were relentless in scoring another ten goals before the hosts managed to get on the scoresheet themselves converting a penalty late on after the referee spotted some pushing in the area. For the record the game ended 1-17 to Runton making this the highest ever number of goals I have ever seen in a game – some thirty odd years since I started this wonderful hobby. Indeed, the score could have been more with no fewer than four goals being disallowed for offside infringements. This broke my previous total of fifteen goals coincidentally set only a few weeks back when Harston Bostocks beat Bottisham 14-1 in a Cambs County League Division 5B league match!

The game played in mainly dull and overcast conditions on a bumpy but well grassed surface attracted eighteen spectators. Neither programmes nor refreshments were available. Despite the gulf in class between both sides credit must go to the Hickling players for persevering throughout. Praise must also go to match referee Ryan Starkey (secretary of the Great Yarmouth & District League) who, after only taking up the whistle two years ago, officiated in a firm and fair manner allowing the play to flow as much as possible. I was also indebted to Hickling secretary and defender Martin Hale who texted me with the important match details mid-morning before setting out. It goes without saying that a visit to this friendly, welcoming club situated in the picturesque Norfolk Broads comes highly recommended.                           

Friday 17th March – Latest Images: Steve HardyIt’s 3G this week for Steve as he brings us match day pictures from Govan Athletic (v Breightmet United) in the Manchester Football League Division One fixture played on 11/03/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Friday 17th March – TT No.37: Keith Aslan – ‘The ground is exactly what you would expect, an Atcost stand and the foundations for another one adjacent which will contain seats, but no sign of any sitting down material at present. Stockton Strolls! Check out Keith’s excellent review as he recompletes the league with a hop to the North East for Stockton Town (v Billingham Town) in the Northern League Division 2 fixture played on 04/03/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Friday 17th March – Latest Images: Rob CampionPhoto avalanche! Rob brings us a must-see selection of match day pictures featuring some of his recent visits over the last month covering James King Blisworth (v Medbourne) in the Northants Combination Premier Division played on 04/02/17; Three Horse Shoes (v Dunton & Broughton United (Sunday)) in the Hinckley & District Sunday League Division 1 on 05/02/17; Outwell Swifts (v Cambridge City Reserves) in the Cambridgeshire County League Premier Division on 18/02/17; Warton Club (v Edingale Swifts) in the Tamworth & District Sunday League ES George Memorial Cup 2nd Round on 19/02/17 and Coventrians (v Enville Athletic) in the Midland Football League Division 3 on 04/03/17…all now added to the FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via several E-Mails sent on 08/03): ‘Finally got my new laptop sorted and this is the first of several e-mails of photos from the previous month. On 4th February - James King Blisworth 1-0 Medbourne (Northants Combination Premier Division). 8 photos are attached with a further 42 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p478226172’.

‘5th February - Three Horse Shoes 3-8 Dunton & Broughton United (Sunday) (Hinckley & District Sunday League Division 1). Headed down to Hinckley and the hosts (in red) lost their unbeaten record in emphatic style. Defences were none existent as the two teams rattled in seven goals in the opening half hour. 8 photos are attached with another 42 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p408144654’.

‘18th February - Outwell Swifts 1-2 Cambridge City Reserves (Cambridgeshire County League Premier Division). Spent my 40th birthday on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. This was the furthest I could get to from Leicester within the time constraints I had, due to needing to be home by 5.30pm. 12 photos are attached with a further 41 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p437940618’.

‘19th February - Warton Club 1-2 Edingale Swifts (Tamworth & District Sunday League E.S. George Memorial Cup 2nd Round). Headed to the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border and caught up with the visitors. Despite going a goal down at half time the Swifts (in yellow) turned things around in the second half to progress to the next round. Decent game despite the pitch being awful. 8 photos are attached with a further 29 online @  http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p213503185 ‘.

‘The final set of photos comes from Saturday 4th March - Coventrians 0-1 Enville Athletic (Midland Football League Division 3). A case of plan B with Ashland Rovers called off. The home side tweeted that it was game on so didn't bother looking for any alternative fixtures. Easy run down the M69 to the northern suburbs of Coventry. Awful game of football - probably the worst I have seen this season. The biggest surprise was there was actually a goal scored, as there were very few chances created by both sides. Basic set up with it being a public park. The club rope off one side and have a couple of sets of portable dugouts. Hot and cold drinks are available and the club also have a few lines of merchandise for sale, which includes pin badges. 9 photos are attached with a further 34 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p370012481’.  

Friday 17th March – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerIt’s the lure of the oval ball as our senior photographer Gary brings us a cracking selection of match day pictures from a rugby league hop to watch London Skolars (v Toronto Wolfpack) in the Kingstone Press League 1 fixture played on 04/03/17…now added to the Rugby League Album in the FGIF gallery…

Gary adds (via E-Mail): ‘After working yesterday morning I made it to the New River Stadium for London Skolars v Toronto Wolfpack. For the Wolfpack it was their first ever league game following their cup game at Siddall last week. The Skolars open just the main stand which was rammed yesterday with a record attendance of 1542 including many northern based Rugby League fans and a fair few Canadians. Skolars had gone to town with a beer festival, a barbecue and pre and post-match entertainment from the Bryan Adams Experience. Admission was £10 in advance and £12 on the day. A programme was issued which was vastly overpriced at £3. It was not as good as many non-league football programmes which you would generally not pay more than £1 for. The game was ridiculously one sided with the Wolfpack winning 76-0 but there was a good atmosphere to the day and an enjoyable time was had’.             

Friday 17th March – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos taken at Cockers (v North Elmham) in the Central & South Norfolk League Dick Davey Ambulance Cup Round 3 tie played on 04/03/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘My visit to Cockers Football Club was eagerly awaited as it meant that I had finally done the set, having ticked off all the clubs playing in the three divisions making up the Central & South Norfolk League. It also made up for a previous discounted visit here at the start of last season when prolonged heavy rain during the day led to the abandonment of a league fixture against Walsingham United just an hour before the early evening kick off. The club itself is based in the village of Swanton Morley which is located some five miles to the north of Dereham and reached by taking the B1147. The ground is found off Manns Lane where a long gravel driveway takes you to the car park and adjacent (and rather unusually shaped) village hall which caters for many local sports and social activities. The players have access to a couple of changing rooms at the side of the building.

Pride of place here is the ‘must see’ traditional red phone box which stands forlorn at the end of the car park. It’s all quite surreal because the box has been converted into a unique book exchange facility or as the note on the door says ‘Swanton Morley’s Phone Box Library’. An article which appeared in the Eastern Daily Press (October 2015), reveals that the old village call box has been given a new lick of paint and new windows. The parish council decided to take ownership of the kiosk which sat outside The Angel pub just over a year ago, buying it for the princely sum of £1. According to BT, the call box had just £1.80–worth of use over a whole year and it was starting to look faded and unloved.

Parish council clerk Faye Le Bon said they asked people for ideas for what it should be used for and suggestions ranged from turning it into a village information point, or possibly somewhere to store a defibrillator. “Someone even suggested painting it blue and turning it into a Tardis,” she said. “But I don’t think even Swanton Morley parish council has the technology for time travel. “When the idea of a book exchange was put forward it was clearly the favourite.” The box was moved from The Angel site to a new home at the village hall on Manns Lane which would give people in the village easier access and parking. New shelving is gradually filling up with books that people have donated for others to borrow completely free of charge. Mrs Le Bon said: “All we ask is that they remember to return them at some point. Nothing has to be signed in or out as it works completely on an honesty basis.” Books currently waiting to be borrowed include genres from horror to history, gardening to autobiographies, and there are also plenty of children’s books.

Back to the football. The main adult pitch used by the first team is marked out beyond a smaller youth pitch on the far side of the tree-lined playing field. Although there is no cover or dug outs, spectators standing on the far touchline will appreciate the large wind turbine towering above the village hall on the opposite side of the field. Both ends of the ground are bordered by fences and hedges to give it an appealing enclosed feel. If you look beyond the goal to the right you might just catch a glimpse of the All Saints parish church partly hidden between the surrounding trees.

Today’s game features a match in one of the league’s many cup competitions, the Dick Davey Ambulance Cup. This is contested to provide extra playing opportunities in a league that has seen its membership drastically fall (like many others up and down the country) over recent years. Cockers from division three (bottom one) welcome local rivals and division one (top) side North Elmham FC to Mann’s Lane for a third-round tie. Despite their relative lowly league position Cockers have been in good form recently with some encouraging results bolstered by the addition of several new players that have joined from neighbouring team Beetley Bees FC (who have recently left the league for disciplinary reasons).

The derby game sees the form book turned on its head as the hosts prevail over their more illustrious opponents and win a thrilling game by a compelling 2-1 score-line. It’s a frantic finish as the visitors score late on but cannot find an equaliser with the Cockers defence holding firm on to their well-deserved lead. A crowd of twelve is in attendance for the game which is played in warm sunshine on a sticky playing surface that has been sanded in both goal mouths and around the centre circle. My thanks go to club secretary Mrs Sue Clarke for her invaluable help in confirming the match info before I left Racing HQ at mid-day. Although she didn’t attend, her husband Mick (complete with his specially knitted woolly club hat), was at the game and told me he will pass the message on when he gets home!  Another great day out marking a memorable occasion. Hopefully another new club or ground will soon provide a further opportunity for me to take in a game in what is a terrific competition, one of my favourites. I can’t believe it is almost six years ago since I attended my first match in the league at Bridgham United FC back in April 2011. How time flies!!

Friday 3rd March – Latest Images: Mark BembridgeSince his recent move over to Canada, Mark brings us plenty of stunning match day pictures from a hop to watch Vancouver Whitecaps (v New York Red Bulls) in the CONCACEF Champions League Quarter-Final second leg tie played LAST NIGHT…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Friday 3rd March - WebLog Update: Simple Pieman Read all about Steve's hop to watch Folkestone Invicta (v Harlow Town) in the Ryman League Premier Division played on 25/02/17…now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/folkestone-invicta-fc.html

Wednesday 1st March – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerOur senior star snapper brings us a cracking selection of match day pictures from a fantastic Belgium Weekend Double Hop featuring matches at KV Kortrijk (v Waasland Beveren) in the 2 Jupiler Pro League fixture played on 25/02/17 and SK Eernegem (v KSKV Zwevezele) in the 1st Provincial League West Flanders on 26/02/17…both sets now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail): ‘Mandy and I took a trip to Belgium this weekend and as usual, managed to get a couple of footie games in. Saturday night saw us head to the Guldensporen Stadion, home of KV Kortrijk. The visitors were Waasland Beveren and the two teams provided an entertaining game in a decent stadium with a decent atmosphere. Admission was 20 euros for a seat.  There was no programme. Half time refreshment was a waffle for 3 euros which was piping hot and absolutely delicious’.

‘Sunday afternoon saw us at the Gemeentelijk Sportcentrum, home of SK Eernegem where top of the table KSKV Zwevezele were the visitors. Not such a good game with the visitors staying top courtesy of a 1-0 victory. Excellent little ground with a stand on one side, covered standing on the other and a large clubhouse filling one end. Very friendly locals including one who took the trouble to find us at the end and wish us a safe journey home. Admission was 7 and a half euros and a free teamsheet was available’.

Tuesday 28th February – TT No.36: Keith Aslan Fully enclosed with a small stand which did its job when the predicted rain arrived’. Dorset Dawdles! Read about Keith’s painstaking hop to watch Balti Sports (v Holt United) in the Dorset Premier League match played on 25/02/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 28th February – TT No.35: Steve Hardy‘…beating storm Dottie by moving the game to a leisure centre…three miles away’. Read more from Steve’s alternative 3G hop to watch Awsworth Villa (v Sandiacre Town) in the Notts Senior League Premier Division match played at the Kimberley Leisure Centre on 25/02/17… go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 28th February – Latest Images: Mark BembridgeView Mark’s awesome match day pictures from a hop to watch Canadian side Nanaimo United (v Lakehill United) in the Vancouver Island Soccer League Division 2 match played at Merle Logan Turf on 25/02/17… now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Tuesday 28th February – Latest Images: Rob CampionCheck out Rob’s ace ground pictures taken at Bedford Town (v Barton Rovers) in the Southern League Central Division fixture played on 25/02/17… now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob adds (via E-Mail): ‘Decide to pass on the match photography yesterday with the weather forecast and instead headed somewhere with cover. Bedford Town 1-1 Barton Rovers (Southern League Division 1 Central). Decent ground and attached are 11 photos’.

Tuesday 28th February – Latest Images: Steve Hardy – Alternative 3G weather buster! Don’t miss Steve’s match day pictures following a visit to watch Awsworth Villa (v Sandiacre Town) in the Notts Senior League Premier Division match played at the Kimberley Leisure Centre on 25/02/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Steve writes (via E-Mail): ‘Another week, another 3G pitch! We were only allowed to stand in one spot in the cage, and I couldn’t take shots from all four sides like I normally do’.

Tuesday 28th February – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Isleham United (v Upwell Town) in the Cambridgeshire County League Division 2B played on 25/02/17… now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘Only a stone’s throw from Racing HQ, this was the nearest new ground I had not yet ticked off my hopping list! As expected, the short eight-mile journey was completed comfortably in just under twenty minutes. Isleham United Football Club plays at the local recreation ground found on a grassed playing area at the junction of the Mill Street and West Street and is close to the centre of the village. Facilities here are first class and served by an impressive community centre called The Beeches. Funded by the parish council and opened less than two years ago, the well-appointed complex is used for a wide range of sporting and social clubs providing activities for both adults and children. It also hosts business conferences and caters for wedding receptions in purpose built accommodation that features a large function room and adjacent bar lounge within its premises. The football club use some spacious new changing rooms which are hidden away at the back of the centre, located next to a large metal outdoor equipment container.

The tree-lined recreation ground has several pitches marked out within its perimeter to cater for many of the club’s teams. Apart from adult football there is also a strong youth section here and upon arrival the place was buzzing with youngsters (and their parents) after a midday training session (on one of the smaller pitches on the far side of the field) had just finished. Although I had confirmation that the match was on before setting out, I couldn’t immediately see any goal posts in place for today’s game. However, it wasn’t long before my fears were allayed when I spotted several home players wheeling them out over to one of the (two) main pitches in front of The Beeches. Phew! There are no dug outs or cover around the un-roped pitch which has a fairly strong slope running along its length between the goals.

Today’s game saw the visit of Wisbech-based Upwell Town to the recreation ground for a league match. With both sides sitting close to mid table a close division 2B fixture was in prospect. For the record, it was hosts Isleham who won by a 2-0 score-line with both goals coming in the first half of what turned out to be quite a scrappy affair spoiled in part by the swirling wind and showers which gathered throughout the afternoon. A crowd of just seven attended the game and refreshments including hot drinks were available from the bar area at half-time. On a personal note, it was a nice surprise to catch up with the Isleham skipper Neil Parr who I had not seen for over twenty-five years since he had been a (very well behaved) pupil in my Year 9 PE lessons at Newmarket Upper School – gosh, how time flies!! A visit to this friendly club comes highly recommended to all hoppers….

Tuesday 28th February – Latest Programme News: Steve HardyFGIF’s programme ‘meister’ brings us a mouth-watering list of the latest clubs to issue this season…featuring English, Ladies, Sunday and Welsh football teams…it’s essential info for all paper chasers out there… go to the Programmes link and then click on the Programme News tab for more...   

Tuesday 28th February - WebLog Update: Simple Pieman Read all about Steve's hop to watch KAA Gent (v Tottenham Hotspur) in the UEFA Europa League - Round of 32 1st Leg played on 16/02/17…now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/kaa-gent.html

Wednesday 22nd February – TT No.34: Steve Hardy – a railed off pitch and a small covered standing area to keep the rain off spectators…that is about it really’. Enjoy the second part of Steve’s Rotherham Ramble as he takes in Phoenix (v Retford) in the Central Midlands League North Division fixture played on 18/02/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 22nd February – TT No.33: Steve Hardy – ‘. I went to the match thinking I would be watching on one of the outside pitches, but to my delight I found it had been switched to the main pitch at Parkgate FC’. Read all about the first part of Steve’s Rotherham Double Hop with a visit to Rotherham United U18’s (v Hartlepool United U18’s) in the Football League Youth Alliance – North West Division (at Parkgate FC) played on 18/02/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 22nd February – TT No.32: Keith AslanAs village grounds go they don't come much better than this one, fully enclosed and railed, a covered stand, part seated, and floodlights’. Tideswell Travels. Don’t miss Keith’s cracking review from a hop to watch Tideswell United (v Harworth Colliery) in the Central Midlands League North Division played on 18/02/17… go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 22nd February – Latest Images: Steve HardyIt’s a Rotherham Double for Steve as he brings us plenty of terrific pictures from Rotherham United U18’s (v Hartlepool United U18’s) in the Football League Youth Alliance – North West Division (at Parkgate FC) and Phoenix (v Retford) in the Central Midlands League North Division…both played on 18/02/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery...

Wednesday 22nd February – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerCheck out Gary’s superb selection of match day photos following a trip to watch West Bromwich United (v Sikh Hunters) in the West Midlands Regional League Second Division match played on 18/02/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail): ‘Short trip to Birmingham and the Hadley Stadium yesterday for a 2 o’clock kick off between West Bromwich United and Sikh Hunters. Not the best game but an impressive ground for this level and a bargain £2 admission which included an excellent 16-page programme. Hot drinks were available and most welcome. Despite the warmer weather, it was still very cold! The small band of supporters and club officials were very friendly and welcoming. The early kick off meant I was back in the car in time to hear the mighty Cobbs grab an excellent away point and the Lions grab a last gasp winner against Leicester. Excellent day out!’.

Wednesday 22nd February – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from a hop to watch AFC Oaklands (v Hampstead Heath) in the Herts Senior County League Division One fixture played on 18/02/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘After spending a season playing at Under 21 level, AFC Oaklands is now plying its trade in the HSCL Division One this campaign. Made up of students attending Oaklands College in St Albans (a requirement of the club) the team has made a terrific start so far and currently sit just outside the top three promotion places in the sixteen-strong division. First team manager John Highton explained that the young side has received excellent coaching with many of the players following sports related courses at the college. This not only helps to give them a good grounding but uses the advantage of sports science data to help improve their performance’.

‘The club plays its games on the vast playing field located at the rear of the Smallford Campus site. Travellers intending to make a visit should enter the college along the South Drive (off the A1057 Hatfield Road) which takes you through and around the college grounds and into the main Sports Zone (signposted) and car park (free on Saturdays). From here it’s a bit of a trek to walk down to the fields, passing the main centre on your right and two 3G floodlit pitches (used for hockey) to the left. The club plays on a partly roped-off pitch over to the left-hand side of the field (alongside an adjacent rugby pitch). There are two perspex dug outs positioned close to the half-way line on the far side. As you would expect there is no cover at pitch-side’.

Today’s game saw the visit of league leaders and fellow newcomers Hampstead Heath to the college. Attended by almost twenty spectators including affable Ilford based hopper (and proud grandad) Geoff Combes, the game was played in sunny conditions on an excellent well-grassed grassed surface. We both enjoyed a thoroughly captivating game of football that saw the lead change three times. Despite taking a lion’s share of the possession in the second half Oaklands just couldn’t find a way through the resolute Hampstead defence and it was the visitors’ Simon Lawrence (the hat-trick hero) who nicked the winning goal following a quick counter attack only three minutes before the end, to make it 2-3. It was a great advert for the league and on this showing both clubs should be involved in the promotion race come May. Neither refreshments nor programmes are available for matches.

Another superb day out. I can recommend a visit to this newly formed club to all ground collecting neutrals. For the record, hoppers may be interested to know that Hampstead Heath play its home games at the Toms Lane recreation ground in Bedmond on the outskirts of Watford. Although the roots of the club and majority of its players hail from North London, they must play home games in Hertfordshire to be able compete in the league’.

Tuesday 14th February – TT No.31: Keith Aslan – ‘Good setup, Atcost stand on the far side, nearside is a large grandstand with bar and changing rooms, a la Slough but this one's finished’. NEW GROUND ALERT! It’s Melksham Maraudings for our senior reporter. Find out more from Keith’s top notch summary following a visit to Melksham Town (v Clevedon Town) in the Western League Premier Division fixture played on 11/02/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 14th February – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from a trip to watch Sutton Heath Saxons (v Tattingstone United) in the Suffolk & Ipswich League Club Colours Cup Quarter-Final tie played on 11/02/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd reports: ‘I made the long cross-county journey from Racing HQ over to the outskirts of Woodbridge using a route that was almost in a straight line (as the crow flies) between home and destination. From the A14, I joined the B1078 (at Coddenham) before taking the B1053 at Melton and using the Heath Road for the final stages. The club plays its games in the neighbouring village of Hollesley and not Sutton Heath (an area covered by the vast Rendlesham Forest and Woodbridge RAF base). It’s a remote location which is understandable as you are only a few miles from the sea (Hollesley Bay) on the Bawdsey peninsula! I was indebted to local Ipswich-based NLM forum poster PinewoodSte who had visited the club for a match back in December (see below) and his notes are spot on. A narrow driveway takes you up to the recreation ground which is bordered on all sides by trees. To the left is the village hall (with toilets and changing rooms for the visitors) and the playing field with a lovely old wooden changing pavilion (for the hosts) ahead. The main pitch is marked at right angles with a smaller training pitch running parallel. Opposite is a small grassy embankment with a children’s slide built into its side. Apart from a couple of wooden benches placed behind the goal and next to the far touchline, there is little else on site’.

Sutton Heath Saxons Football Club is competing in only its second season in the SIL. Formed just seventeen months ago, it will allow the younger players to continue representing the club when they reach adult status. Today’s game saw visitors Tattingstone United arrive at the recreation ground for an eagerly awaited SIL Club Colours Cup tie which had now reached the quarter-final stage. As PinewoodSte recalls, it was quite a notable occasion when the teams last played here before Christmas in a league match (both sides are in division three), with no less than four red cards been brandished (all to the away side) in a feisty game that ended 3-3. As a consequence, the league had appointed a more experienced referee (ie. who normally officiates in the Senior (top) division) for this game. Indeed, apart from a small skirmish towards the end there was no obvious grudge shown between the players and for the hopping neutral this was a superb contest. For the record, it was the Saxons who progressed through to the semis, coming from behind to equalise with just five minutes of normal time remaining before scoring a goal in each half of extra time to make it 3-1. The game played in a mixture of cold, wet, windy and sleety conditions was watched by twenty or so spectators. I was really grateful to Lindy Norling for her offer of a hot cuppa or two during the afternoon which she dispensed from the kitchen area of the home dressing room’.

‘I was also made to feel very welcome by all the home committee members and helpers including Chairman Mark Green and his wife as well as Colin Knight who confirmed the match details before setting out at mid-day. A visit to this remote footballing outpost is recommended to all hoppers. On a personal level I was chuffed to tick this ground off as it completed all the venues used by clubs playing in the Suffolk & Ipswich League – I still have a few teams left (those that ground-share with others) but these might have to wait a bit longer before I decide to watch them play!’.     

Tuesday 14th February – Latest Images: Gary Spooner – It’s rugby union action for Gary this week as he brings us plenty of superb match day photos from a hop to watch Leicester (v Gloucester) in the Aviva Premiership fixture played on 11/02/17…now added to the Rugby Union Album in the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary adds (via E-Mail): ‘Avoided the weather lottery yesterday with a trip to Welford Rd. Over 20 years since my last trip and a lot of rebuilding since then!’.

Tuesday 14th February – TT No.30: Steve Hardy‘…a new team in the league this season, based on the outskirts of Leek at The Birchall Playing Fields in the shadow of the massive Britannia Building Society headquarters’. It’s a local hop for Steve as he takes in the Staffordshire County Senior League match at Staffordshire Moorlands (v Congleton Rovers) in a Division Two North game played on 04/02/17… go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 14th February – TT No.29: Keith Aslan – ‘I liked 'Digital Deadline Park' (yes that's really what it's called), (and) although everything is temporary, it is all pleasing to the eye.’. Melton Meanderings! Don’t miss Keith’s positive review from his hop to watch Melton Town (v Stewart & Lloyds) in the United Counties League Division One played on 04/02/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 14th February – Latest Images: Steve HardyCheck out Steve’s ace match day photos from a hop to watch Staffordshire Moorlands (v Congleton Rovers) in the Staffordshire County Senior League Division Two North fixture played on 04/02/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Tuesday 14th February – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from AFC Barley Mow (v Wimblington) in the Cambridgeshire County League Division 2B fixture played on 04/02/17… now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

‘Travellers may be interested to know that AFC Barley Mow is playing its home games this season on the 3G floodlit facility at Hinchingbrooke School along the Brampton Road in Huntingdon. It’s an impressive site set in acres of beautiful countryside with the lovely Hinchingbrooke House (former home of the Cromwells) and Park close by. After leaving their previous base at Sapley Park, the club now use the impressive artificial playing surface which is situated behind the school buildings next to the sports department and adjoining grass pitches. The cage itself is only a short walk down from the purpose built wooden changing rooms and accessed along a smart walkway bordered by a neat fence. Other adjacent sports pitches including a handball court, a shot-putting area and hockey practise site all run parallel behind the main cage on the far side. There is plenty of room for spectators to watch the action from inside the confines of the cage with a wide space between the touchlines and the main outer fence. The school, dating back to 1565, sits at the top of a steep landscaped embankment and provides a superb backdrop to the action. To get there visitors can either park in the main school car park and walk down to the playing area or pay £1 at the new barrier and drive to a second car park which is a bit closer to the sports facilities’.

After only two seasons in the CCL the Huntingdon-based club find themselves well placed in Division 2B after gaining promotion from 3B and winning three cup competitions last campaign! Today’s game saw an enthralling league fixture against mid table Wimblington. Despite going a goal down in the early stages the Bears (as they are depicted on the club crest) came back to win 5-2 and maintain their push for promotion by consolidating runners-up spot behind hot favourites to win the title, Little Downham Swifts. The game played out in front of just nine spectators (including of vociferous home fans) was a great advert for the Cambs County League. As expected, neither programmes nor refreshments were available. I was indebted to club secretary Tom Peattie who not only confirmed the match details but also made me feel very welcome throughout my visit. Travellers should note that the club kicks-off its home games at 3pm, a time allocated to them by the school sports centre department, being the only afternoon slot when the 3G facility is freely available for matches. Another tick off my CCL list and a useful 3G option for all hoppers looking for an alternative if the weather is particularly bad’.

Tuesday 14th February – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerLeicestershire-Derbyshire border football hop! It’s a fantastic Saturday Double as Gary brings us loads of terrific match day photos from a trip to watch Moira United (v Derby Singh Brothers) in the Midland Regional Alliance Divisional Cup tie and then Gresley (v Newcastle Town) in the Northern Premier League Division One South both played on 04/02/17… now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail sent on 05/02): ‘Yesterday saw a local double.  First up were Moira United of the Midland Regional Division who kicked off against Derby Singh Brothers at 1 o clock. Moira have an excellent ground for their level with covered standing on two sides of the ground though one side is used a s a dugout. Admission was free but there was an excellent programme on sale for £1. Refreshments were also available. The game saw United taking on a team from the division above. They were not embarrassed with the score-line looking more emphatic due to two very late goals by Derby Singh Brothers. The attendance, comprised mainly of hoppers was around 30. An excellent start to the day and a visit is highly recommended’.

‘From Moira, it was then a quick three-mile dash to Gresley FC. No holdups encountered and I was inside the ground at around 7 minutes to three. Gresley is a fantastic hotch-potch of a ground that never fails to impress me despite many visits. Football has been played at the Moat since 1909 and although Gresley are no longer Rovers it holds many memories and has a feel of history and character. Alas on this occasion Gresley were very poor. Had they scored a late penalty to steal a point it would have been very unjust on Newcastle Town who were by far the better side and deserved their one goal victory. The attendance was 273. An excellent day out with two games and I was back home at half past five!’.

Friday 3rd February – TT No.28: Steve Hardy At present, the football team play on a roped off pitch on the far side of Rase Park, which has a very impressive stand down one side’. Read all about Steve’s positive review from a hop to watch Market Rasen Town (v Ruston Sports) in the Lincolnshire League fixture played on 28/01/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Friday 3rd February – TT No.27: Keith Aslan – ‘The ground is pretty much what you would expect at this level with the addition of a new changing room block...’. Barnetby By-Ways. Check out Keith’s excellent review from a hop to watch Barnetby United (v Brumby) in the Scunthorpe & District League EC Surfacing Shield Semi-Final tie played on 28/01/17… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…  

Friday 3rd February – Latest Images: Mark BembridgeCanadian Connection! Check out Mark’s superb photos from PCOV Europa (v 13th Legion) in the VMSL (Vancouver Metro Soccer League) Division 2 played on 28/01/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Mark adds (via E-Mail):I moved to Canada so finding footy is a rarity, especially as the MLS is out of season. But I found some games in the Vancouver Metro Soccer League and here's a link to photos. If you can download them and put on FGIF please. The game details are: PCOV Europa 0 13th Legion 4, played on 28th January 2017 at the Andy Livingstone E Turf in the VMSL Division 2’.

Friday 3rd February – Latest Images: Steve HardyIt’s Lincolnshire League action for Steve as he brings us the essential match day pictures from Market Rasen Town (v Ruston Sports) in the fixture played on 28/01/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Friday 3rd February – Latest Images: Gary Spooner Our star snapper brings us plenty of cracking match day pictures from a hop to Skegness Town (v CBG Humbertherm) in the Lincolnshire League played on 28/01/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail): ‘A trip to the seaside for Mandy and I yesterday. We visited the Vertigo Stadium, the new home of Skegness Town FC. The pitch at the new ground is not yet ready for use so The Lilywhites are currently playing on an adjacent 3g pitch. This meant there were several hoppers in the attendance of 72. Viewing is down one side of the pitch only but there was plenty of room for spectators. Top of the table Town overcame CBG Humbertherm with the ease that the score-line suggests but credit to the CBG team who never gave up and carried on playing until the final whistle. Hopefully the pitch will be ready for use next season and if as expected, Skegness win the league, this will allow them to be promoted into the Central Midlands League’.

Friday 3rd February – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Wicken (v AFC Christchurch) in a Cambridgeshire County League Division 5B fixture played on 28/01/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘There are some football watching days when even your best hopping strategy needs a bit of luck to make it work. Over the last couple of years, I have been trying to tick off all the clubs playing in the Cambridgeshire County League (you’ve probably guessed that already looking at my recent itinerary history!). Given the fact there are no fewer than thirteen divisions in the entire competition (from Premier, Senior A and B right down to 5B), it’s no mean feat to tick off the club grounds that that make up the constitution. I have made my life a bit easier by just watching First teams (apart from Cambridge City Reserves) when selecting my chosen games. As you work your way down through the CCL pyramid divisions, it can sometimes become a bit more difficult with less first team sides (and more reserves/A teams) available to choose from. Take this Saturday for instance. In Division 5B there are only three first teams making up the twelve-team division: AFC Christchurch; Marchester United and Wicken. After a bit of prior planning and checking the forthcoming fixtures for each club I found (to my delight) that Wicken FC were playing at home (against AFC Christchurch) in their next game. This was an ideal opportunity to get in an all first-team game and a new ground tick at the same time!’.

However, when it came to confirming the important match details, I seemed to hit a bit of a proverbial brick wall. I discovered from a phone call late on Friday that the secretary of the home club (listed in my Cambs County League club directory) had in fact resigned. He couldn’t help me out as he had no idea of his replacement at the club. When I realised I had no contact information available for the visiting side either I was in a bit of a pickle and so decided to consult the hopping oracle that is, Brian Buck. Always keen to oblige, super hopper and Spurs fan extraordinaire, Brian quickly provided me with a possible contact name and number for the visitors. Despite my best efforts, I still couldn’t get through and waited until Saturday morning before trying again. Without any further luck, it left me not knowing whether the game was on or not, meaning I had to forget it or risk going, picking a back- up just in case the worst happened. I decided to re-jig my itinerary, leaving Racing HQ slightly earlier than necessary so that I could reach another (Plan B) game in time. Thankfully, Isleham United FC (only a few miles just up the road) were also at home which came in handy! When I arrived in Chapel Lane my worst fears were soon allayed though as I quickly spyed both sets of players already out on the pitch warming up ahead of the 2pm kick-off. It was game on. For the record, it was Wicken who won the contest by 4-2. Played in bright but cold conditions on a bobbly, well grassed pitch, the highly competitive match attracted a dozen or so spectators’.

‘Wicken itself is made famous by the expansive Wicken Fen, a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve and a Special Area of Conservation, owned and managed by the National Trust located to the west of the village. It is one of Britain's oldest nature reserves and includes fenland, farmland, marsh, and reed bed areas. The site is noted for its plants and invertebrates as well as the many breeds of birds returning each year. It is particularly popular with visitors and can be enjoyed from a series of boardwalks (made from recycled plastic) which cover the site’.

‘The football club is easily reached from the main A142 (Ely-Newmarket) road by turning at the Downfield roundabout (on the outskirts of Soham) following the A1123. As you approach the High Street continue past the Maids Head pub before turning right into Chapel Lane. The basic but scenic ground, partly hidden by trees, is based 200 yards down here on the left (on the crown of a bend). Access through a small kissing gate takes you around the back of the lovely ramshackle pavilion (with veranda, tea room and changing facilities including plenty of old framed team photos attached to the wall). There’s plenty of seating too with many picnic benches dotted around in front of the building. A caged multi use games area incorporating tennis court also runs parallel. The un-roped pitch is bordered by trees and housing along both sides with spectacular views of the renown flat Fenland landscape running for miles behind the furthest goal. To add a touch of colour the corner flags and goal nets are decked out in green, the same as the club strip. Another cracking local trip and one off the list now leaving just ten grounds still ‘to do’!’.

Thursday 26th January – TT No.26: Steve HardyThe 3G pitch is actually just behind the Port Vale FC ground…’. NEW GROUND ALERT! Check out more from Steve’s much awaited hop to watch Staffordshire LA (v Foley Meir) in the Staffordshire County League Division One fixture played on 21/01/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Thursday 26th January – TT No.25: Keith Aslan – ‘While not a particular fan of new builds I quite liked this one, six tiers of covered terracing behind each goal, a stand on the far side and on the nearside are the changing rooms and a very impressive grandstand, or it will be when it's finished!’. NEW GROUND ALERT! Slough Strolls. Read all about Keith’s uplifting trip to watch Slough Town (v Chippenham Town) in the Southern League Premier Division match played on 21/01/17 now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Thursday 26th January – TT No.24: Steve HardyThe new set up is a floodlit 3G pitch inside a cage, on Priory Road in Dudley. There are no spectator comforts at all, although you are allowed inside the cage to stand in a designated area near the entrance to the pitch’. NEW GROUND ALERT! Read more about Steve’s visit to the West Midlands for Team Dudley (v Wem Town) for a West Midlands Regional League Division One fixture played on 14/01/17… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Thursday 26th January – Latest Images: Rob CampionOur star snapper brings us some superb match day photos from Bottesford (v Sutton Bonington) in the North Leicestershire League Premier Division match played on 21/01/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (on 23/01 via E-Mail): ‘With there being no danger of postponements I stuck to plan A on Saturday and made my way to the northerly outpost of Leicestershire football for Bottesford 2-4 Sutton Bonington (North Leicestershire League Premier Division). The club play their home games on Belvoir Road in the centre of the village just after the cricket club, and is as basic a setup you can get. There is literally nothing at all for spectators, while a porta-cabin has been converted into changing rooms. There is a cafe/take-away around the corner on High Street that sells food and drink, plus the village is home to numerous pubs. The club also have another site in the village on Nottingham Road that houses their junior sides, and in time when a clubhouse is built hope to move their two adult’s sides there. Attached are eight photos from the game with a further 34 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p354062811 ‘.

Thursday 26th January – Latest Images: Steve HardyCheck out Steve’s cracking match day pictures following a visit to Staffordshire LA (v Foley Meir) in the Staffordshire County League Division One fixture played on 21/01/17… now added to the new FGIF album gallery….

Thursday 26th January – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Harston Bostocks (v Bottisham) in the Cambridgeshire County League Division 5A played on 21/01/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery….

WebEd writes: ‘There can’t be many friendlier clubs in the entire Cambs County League! I can honestly say that I really was made to feel very welcome on my trip to Harston Bostocks Football Club on Saturday. My chosen game saw the visit of Bottisham in a Division 5A fixture. My choice of game was not only to record a new ground tick but hopefully to see a few goals in what was going to be an intriguing game. Harston, currently leading the division were (according to their own excellent twitter feed) on a superb unbeaten run and victory today would see the club earn their tenth consecutive win. A glimpse at the stats showed the side had also scored a total of 65 goals in their twelve league games before play today. In stark contrast Bottisham, returning to the league after a year’s break, had found the going tough and had already conceded 100 goals and not won a game or scored single goal on their travels!’.

‘As expected Harston soon found their rhythm and the back of the net. They built on an impressive half-time lead to win the match 14-1 and maintain their position at the top of the table. Despite the score-line credit must begiven the visitors who competed throughout (and scored their first away goal of the season). As one of the Bottisham subs explained they are still very much a young side with most of the players aged twenty and under and are literally still finding their feet. For the hosts, it was their tenth win on the bounce and importantly a step closer to promotion. A crowd of twenty or so, including several away fans, attended the game which was played in lovely sunshine on a decent pitch passed by the referee who arrived early to check that the local ground frost had thawed out’.

‘The club plays its home games at the Limes recreation ground, a large playing field located at the end of a cul-de-sac off the main A10 (turn opposite the local car garage/dealership). A smart gated driveway leads to a car park and a new changing pavilion funded by a Sports Lottery grant which is positioned in the centre of the tree-lined recreation ground. It's a smart well-maintained venue. There are no pitch-side facilities but the club is looking to set up a tea bar at some time in the near future’.

‘I was indebted to hard-working secretary Louis Stern who went out of his way to confirm the match was on by text after my earlier phone call at mid-day. The club is also proactive in promoting itself by selling merchandise including embroidered woolly hats. Indeed, I am now the proud wearer of a Harston Bostocks Football Club hat, handy for the rest of the cold winter weather and of course boosting the club funds in the process. A lovely day out and a memorable one too – in over thirty years of hopping its officially my highest scoring game ever attended, eclipsing my previous best (Buxton v Attleborough Town, 1-13, in the Anglian Combination League Cyril Ballyn Tophy round two tie played on 23/10/10), by ONE goal!!’.

Thursday 26th January – Latest Images: Steve Hardy – It’s 3G for Steve as he takes in the West Midlands Regional League game at Team Dudley (v Wem Town) for a Division One fixture played on 14/01/17…check out his ace images…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Thursday 26th January – Headline-Maker: Gary Spooner – Following our ace photographer’s visit to watch Ely City (v Shepshed Dynamo) in the FA Vase Round 4 tie played on 07/01/17, on-line photos (and coverage) from the game appeared in the local Ely Standard website and newspaper in the days after the match. Access to the article can be found by clicking here. Although the credit appears to show Gary’s name as Hooper (and not Spooner) we are grateful that the company for their enthusiasm for promoting FGIF!

Friday 20th January – TT No.23: Keith AslanThe ground is in the centre of Freeland, opposite the only pub’. Freeland Frolics! Our senior reporter brings us the latest news from a hop to Oxfordshire for Freeland (v Hook Norton) in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup played on 14/01/17… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Friday 20th January – Latest Images: Rob CampionCheck out Rob’s top pictures from a hop to watch Wymeswold (v Sporting Markfield) in the North Leicestershire League Division 1 match played on 14/01/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob adds (via E-Mail): Attached are 10 photos from a top of the table clash on Saturday in the North Leicestershire League Division 1 - Wymeswold 1-0 Sporting Markfield. The hosts (in blue) won a competitive and at times niggly game with a solitary strike around the hour mark. This came after the visitors had a dubiously awarded penalty kick well saved by the Wymeswold keeper in the first half. 40 more photos of the game can be viewed online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p333175568’.  

Friday 20th January – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerOur senior photographer brings us some awesome pictures from a hop to watch Blackfield & Langley (v Portland United) in the Wessex League Premier Division played on 14/01/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…  

Gary reports (via E-Mail sent on 15/01): ‘Yesterday saw a trip to Southampton for three quarters of The Welsh and The Scouse, and I. We headed to potentially the game of the day in the Wessex league where 2nd placed Blackfield & Langley were hosting 3rd placed Portland United and were not disappointed. It was an entertaining and feisty game which saw both sides finish the game with ten men. Blackfield & Langley had a player sent off in the first half whilst Portland had a player sent off in the 2nd half. On the day, Portland were the better side and won 3-1. As is usual at non-league venues we received a very friendly welcome and there were no weather problems encountered which made for an excellent day out’.

Friday 20th January – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Rampant Horse (v Longham) in the Central & South Norfolk League Division 2 fixture played on 14/01/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery

WebEd writes: ‘With the first covering of winter snow making an appearance in racing HQ on Friday morning, I provisionally looked at a couple of 3G options for my Saturday footy fix. My back up games at AFC Sudbury (FAT) and Fisher (SCEL) soon evaporated as quickly as the white stuff when a phone call to the club secretary at Central & South Norfolk club Rampant Horse FC confirmed that the pitch conditions at the quaintly titled Little Snoring playing field were fit enough for the league game against Longham to go ahead'.

'The journey up to Fakenham was made in lovely bright sunshine and despite a few patches of snow dotted around the neighbouring fields there was no reason to worry as the pitch looked in perfect condition upon arrival. The ground is found off Stevens Road, just a stone’s throw from the main A148 (Kings Lynn to Cromer). The facilities as expected are basic with just a small community portacabin-style building (used by the local pre-school play group) doubling up as changing room and toilets. There is only one pitch on site which is bordered by fields on three sides’.

‘Today’s fixture (a local derby of sorts) saw the hosts, bottom of the league table with no wins and only eight goals scored in their eleven games so far, take on an unbeaten (in only six outings) high-scoring Longham side (still in three cup competitions). There was no doubt on paper at least that the visitors would take the spoils with the possibility of seeing a few goals too. Indeed, in the reverse fixture back in September Longham prevailed by an emphatic 17-1 score-line. As expected the visitors won (by 5-0) in a game that really took a while to get going. A strong end to end breeze and a bumpy pitch didn’t help the players in a match that attracted a dozen spectators. Neither programmes nor refreshments were available. Like all my visits to watch games in the competition, this was another enjoyable trip. With only Cockers FC (from Swanton Morley) left to visit before completing the entire set I feel a bit sad that my journey around the clubs in the wonderfully organised C&SNL will soon be over’.

Friday 13th January – TT No.22: Keith AslanThe ground is almost a mile outside the village down a narrow track and is in the proverbial 'middle of nowhere' with not a house to be seen’. Bildeston Bustles! Catch up on Keith’s favourable visit to watch Bildeston Rangers (v Haughley United) in the Suffolk & Ipswich League Bob Coleman Cup Round 3 tie played on 07/01/17… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Friday 13th January – TT No.21: Steve HardyI really like the new set up, and the people running the club were lovely’. New ground tick! Read all about Steve’s upbeat hop to Leicester Nirvava (v Sleaford Town) in the United Counties League Premier Division played on 07/01/17… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Friday 13th January – WebLog Update: Simple Pieman - Read all about Steve's hop to watch West Ham United (v Manchester City) in the FA Cup Round 3 tie played on 06/01/17…now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/west-ham-united-fc.html

Friday 13th January – Latest Images: Rob CampionIt’s Cambridgeshire County League action for Rob as he brings us plenty of terrific photos from Somersham Town (v Royston Town A) in a Senior Division B fixture played on 07/01/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob adds (via E-Mail): ‘With having the Friday night off from work my travels yesterday saw me head east for a game in the Cambridgeshire County League...Somersham Town 1-0 Royston Town 'A' (Senior Division A) With poor light conditions this was a very frustrating afternoon photography wise, and despite the 2pm kick-off the floodlights were switched on at half time. Attached are 12 photos with a further 30 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p541343691’.

Friday 13th January – Latest Images: Steve Hardy – NEW GROUND ALERT! View Steve’s cracking match day photos following a visit to Hamilton Park for Leicester Nirvava (v Sleaford Town) in the United Counties League Premier Division played on 07/01/17...now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Friday 13th January – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerView the superb match day pictures from Gary’s trip to watch Ely City (v Shepshed Dynamo) in the FA Vase Round 4 tie played on 07/01/17…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail on 08/01): ‘It was the magic of the Vase yesterday though not a magic result as my second team took a pasting at the hands of Ely City. I thought the Shepshed performance was disappointing but that was totally eclipsed by the (not so) mighty Cobbs who were 4 down after 24 minutes and ended up losing 5-0! Cracking atmosphere generated by both sets of fans in a bumper crowd of 386 at Ely.  Decent programme and refreshments as well’.

Friday 13th January – Latest Images: WebEdCheck out the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Suffolk Punch Haverhill (v Melbourn) in the Cambs County League John Ablett Cup Round 3 tie played on 07/01/17…now uploaded to the FGIF album gallery…

Friday 6th January – Cambridge City Reserves FC Update: Cliff Heath writes (via E-Mail): ‘Not sure if you have picked up on it yet but Full- Time now showing all future Cambridge City Reserves being played at Barton Recreation Ground. If weather okay and this is confirmed I may well go to there this Saturday. Perhaps Trinity College no longer available to them or Cherry Hinton so the latter will perhaps be back in Cherry Hinton this weekend. Regards, Cliff’.

WebEdCheers for that Cliff. For hoppers interested in watching Cambridge City Reserves FC play ‘home’ games at this new venue please note the following: Barton Recreation Ground, High Street, Barton CB23 7BG. For driver’s the ground is a short distance from junction 12 of the M11. You can also get a number 18 bus from Cambridge City Centre. There are six remaining home games left this season: on 7 January v Linton Granta in the Cambs Challenge Cup (1.45pm); on 14 January v Linton Granta (2pm); on 28 January v Lakenheath (2pm); on 11 February v Eaton Socon (2pm); on 25 February v Hemingfords United (2pm) and on 4 March v Chatteris Town (3pm).

Friday 6th January – Latest Images: Rob CampionCheck out Rob’s top photos from a trip to watch Rossington Main (v Shirebrook) in the Northern Counties East League Division One played on 02/01/17… now added to the new FGIF album gallery…more pictures from the game which ended 2-1 can be viewed online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p786371717

Friday 6th January – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Haverhill Borough (v Wisbech St Mary) in the Eastern Counties League First Division fixture played on 02/01/17…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘I made the short 30-minute cross country trip from Racing HQ to the New Croft for this crucial 3pm Eastern Counties League fixture played on the club’s new 3G pitch. Borough overcame a poor Wisbech St Mary side to win comfortably by an emphatic 6-0 score-line and consolidate their fifth placed position at the top of the Division One table. The match played in bright, sunny but increasingly cold conditions attracted some 65 spectators including hoppers George from neighbouring Yeldham and a certain Mr Tram from the North West amongst this number. A basic 24-page programme (a bumper double issue covering the Boxing Day match against Team Bury FC thrown in for good measure), sold for £1 and a wide range of hot and cold refreshments were available from a well- stocked club room/tea bar next to the entrance’.

‘Hoppers who haven’t yet watched a game here yet should note that Haverhill Borough FC play on an entirely separate floodlit 3G pitch adjacent to the main (grass) one used (next door) by ECLP side Haverhill Rovers FC. As part of the Haverhill Sports Association complex there are two separate ground entrances at the New Croft each used independently by the respective clubs. To watch matches played on the 3G spectator access is through a pay booth on the left which leads to a small tea bar building and the pitch itself. The facility is surrounded by a tall perimeter mesh fence with a separate barrier around the pitch. Viewing is only possible on two sides here: along the near side touchline where there is a small cover (standing only) with an all seater stand (for 30+) beyond the half-way line and, also, behind the goal to the right. Two perspex dug-outs used by the coaches and subs are found on the opposite side. Interestingly a small rectangular digital display clock (with time and temperature gauges) is attached to one of the floodlight pylons along here. Fans share the centrally located club buildings with access to the hall, function rooms, toilets etc’.

‘I found this to be a very friendly club run by many hard-working committee members including secretary, ace photographer and extremely pro-active twitter feeder Gary Brown who replied promptly to my E-Mail a few days earlier confirming all the match details. He explained during the game that the club is scheduled to play most of its home games on the new 3G facility although there may be occasions when the grass pitch is used in the event of a double booking by the public on the artificial surface’.

Sunday 1st January - TT No.20: Keith Aslan - 'The ground is fully enclosed, railed on two sides with an interesting brick built stand, double sided which formed another stand facing an adjacent pitch'. Wulfrunian Walkabout! Read the first report of the new year following Keith's visit to watch Old Wulfrunians (v Wyrley) in the West Midlands League Division 1 played on 31/12/16...now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Sunday 1st January – Latest Images: Gary Spooner Final footy pictures for 2016! Don’t miss Gary’s awesome ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Pershore Town (v Coventry Copsewood) in the Midland League First Division game played yesterday… now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary adds (via E-Mail): ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! Short trip to Pershore yesterday where Mandy and I saw a comprehensive victory for Copsewood’.

Friday 30th December – Happy New Year: WebEd - May I take this opportunity in wishing all readers and our dedicated and hard-working team of contributors a very Happy New Year! I hope that you continue to enjoy your travels throughout 2017...please remember to get in touch with your inspirational news, reports and photos to put onto the site or drop us a message on our twitter feed...as always it will be very much appreciated. Have fun wherever you go. Cheers, Martin!! 

Wednesday 28th December – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerOur snapping supremo brings us his latest set of superb footy pictures from a festive hop to the South Midlands to watch Biggleswade FC (v Montpellier) in the South Midlands League Division One fixture played on 27/12/16… now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail): ‘Plan B yesterday after I aborted an attempt to meet The Welsh and The Scouse at Broxbourne as I managed just over 50 miles in 2 hours on the M1. Plan B was Biggleswade v Langford.  Bumper crowd of 165 at the home of Biggleswade Town for a tasty looking local derby that saw second v fifth at the start (and the end) of play.  No suggestion of the final score-line when Langford took an early lead either though it was only the Langford keeper's heroics that prevented a bigger winning margin’.

Tuesday 27th December – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerBoxing Day Midlands Double! Check out Gary’s stunning match day photos from Lye Town (v Tividale) in the Midland League Premier Division and Boldmere St Michaels Sports & Social Falcons (v Montpellier) in the Midland League Division Three both played on 26/12/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail): ‘It was a Boxing Day double for me yesterday. First up was a visit to Lye Town. What a superb ground! As a fellow hopper observed whilst standing on the banking behind the far goal "This is one of the best views in football". First half was fairly uneventful but the second half was decent with 2nd place Lye coming from behind to beat 2nd bottom Tividale by 2 goals to 1. A nice touch from Lye was the lady carrying round a massive tray full of mince pies and offering them to all spectators’.

‘From Lye, it was a short journey to Boldmere Sports and Social. It is not often that you see ex-Premier League players playing at step 8 but that was the case here as visitors Montpellier included Lee Hendrie and Julian Joachim in their team. Montpellier were far superior and comfortably won 2-0. Mention must be made here for the clubhouse coffee. Just 70p and piping hot - excellent!’.

Tuesday 27th December – Latest Images: WebEd – View the ground, action and match day pictures from a local hop to watch Soham Town Rangers (v Bury Town) in the Ryman League North Division fixture played on Boxing Day 26/12/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘A last minute decision was made at midday to attend this one. The short twenty-minute drive from Racing HQ was completed in good time for my first visit to Julius Martin Lane since Rangers had moved into the Ryman League ranks. The local-ish derby saw a strong Bury Town side secure a comfortable 4-1 victory – in truth this could have been more given the chances they created, particularly in the second half. Rangers have found the going tough off the field having lost several personnel including the management team over the last few weeks and will need time to re-build their side if they hope to avoid relegation. The North Division match played in bright, sunny conditions attracted over 250 spectators, the largest home crowd recorded for a home match this season. A newsy, 24-page programme was issued for the game, priced £1’.

‘The ground is well appointed for this level. There's a splash of green and white (the club's colours) around the place with covered standing at both ends and a smart 100-seater stand positioned near to the half-way line. A tea bar operates close to the main entrance in the corner with a busy club house found further along the same side. The open far side consists of hard standing along its entire length. Another great afternoon’s entertainment. It was also nice to take some pictures at one of my favourite local clubs. It was brought to my attention during the game that both Mildenhall Town and Newmarket Town (members of the ECL) have applied to move up to the Ryman League. If they are successful either could be playing here next season’.   

Tuesday 27th December – TT No.19: Keith Aslan – ‘As you would expect from this level the pitch has a rope and that's about it’. Stokenchuch Saunterings for a Christmas Eve Special! Don’t miss Keith’s excellent review following his pre-Christmas hop to watch Stokenchurch (v Henley Town Reserves) in the Hellenic Division 2 East played on 24/12/16… visit the Reports page by clicking on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Friday 23rd December – Seasonal Greetings: WebEdMay I take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very Happy Hopping Christmas. I would like to thank all our dedicated hard-working and loyal contributors for their continued and much-valued support to the site over the last year. Here’s hoping that you all manage to find some festive footy action on your travels wherever you go. If you enjoy going to a game or perhaps visiting a new ground please let us know as we would love to hear about it. Best Wishes, Martin

Thursday 22nd December – Cherry Hinton FC Update: Cliff Heath writes (via E-Mail): ‘Just a note to say thanks for writing about Cherry Hinton FC playing at St Catherine’s college. They played there again last Saturday against Hardwick and I was able to attend. Had you not mentioned it on your website I would not have known they were playing the odd match there. From what I was told the work is almost complete at their home ground now the lady who was serving the tea told me they were working on it last Saturday! Believe it or not I have not been to Cherry Hinton so look forward to seeing them on their proper ground in the future’.

Wednesday 21st December – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to the London Stadium for West Ham United (v Hull City) in the Premier League fixture played on 17/12/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: 'An opportunity to watch the Tigers play at the new London Stadium was just too good to miss. Having purchased our tickets over the phone from the KCOM a couple of weeks prior to the game we decided to travel from Cambridge by train and tube (Central line) to reach the ground in Stratford. It’s only a short walk from the Westfield Shopping Centre with easy to follow directions up to the Olympic Park. For the travelling fan the facilities in the main the concourse are excellent and more akin to those found in a luxury hotel. Once inside, the seats offer plenty of leg room with a great view of the action. Sadly, for away fans, there is a big gap between the lower and upper tiers at the end behind the goal. Since West Ham United FC moved into their new ground there have been many negative comments about the effectiveness of both the police and stewarding but we found there was a really good security presence both inside and outside the stadium, at all times. The only negative was the long and convoluted walk we had to make after the game had finished taking us around the stadium twice before reaching Stratford tube station (a 10 minute walk which lasted three quarters of an hour!!)'.

'Today’s game was a real relegation dog-fight with only three points separating both sides before kick-off. Despite hitting the post three times and having two shots blocked off the line Hull could not take their chances and eventually went down 1-0 to a hotly disputed penalty conceded with just fifteen minutes to go. It’s frustrating to see the referee shake his head following the claims by home players only to change his mind and then point to the spot. The result now sees the Tigers drop to the foot of the table and it will be nothing short of a miracle if they manage to survive relegation come May. A newsy glossy 100+-page programme containing everything you would expect sold for £3.50'.

'Despite the result, it was another terrific day out. A trip to the new London Stadium comes highly recommended for the football ground collecting neutral. Amazing to think that the attendance, which included 2000 Hull City fans, was only 56947 more than the crowd watching Mott MacDonald beat Meldreth 5-2 in a Cambs County League game just one week ago…'.    

Wednesday 21st December – TT No.18: Keith Aslan – ‘This is a nice venue with a brick stand incorporating the changing rooms, and most importantly, containing a tea bar replete with bacon rolls’. Framlingham Flittings. Making a rare hopping trip by car Keith heads to Suffolk to watch the Eastern Counties League fixture at Framlingham Town (v Cornard United) in a First Division match played on 17/12/16. Read all about his visit on the Reports page by clicking on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…. 

Wednesday 14th December - WebLog Update: Simple Pieman Read all about Steve's hop to watch Mossley (v Prescot Cables) in the Northern Premier League, Division One North fixture played on 10/12/16…now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/mossley-afc.html

Tuesday 13th December – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerMega Hopping Bonanza! Gary brings us plenty of breath-taking ground, action and match day pictures from his weekend trip to France and Belgian featuring: RUFC Calais (v US Lusitanos St Maur) in the CFA Groupe B played on 10/12/16; ground photos from Stade Pierre Lamstaes, the home ground of US Bray Dunes and KWSC Lauwe (v SVD Kortemark) in the 1st Provincial League West Flanders on 11/12/16…all now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail): ‘A shopping and hopping cross Channel trip this weekend. After shopping on Saturday afternoon, it was hopping on Saturday night as lowly Calais took on high flying Lusitanos at the Stade de l'epopée. In 2000 Calais made worldwide headlines by reaching The French Cup Final as a fourth-tier side. The current stadium was opened in 2008 and is around 12,500 capacity all seater. Admission was 6 euros and parking directly outside the stadium was free. Only around 200 die hard supporters were present on Saturday night. The game initially went to form with Lusitanos taking an early 3 goal lead. Calais had been clueless up to this point and looked dead and buried. Even a Calais goal just before half time looked to be just a consolation effort. Don't know what the Calais manager said at half time but it must have been the team talk of all team talks. A rousing second half saw Calais start to play and launch wave after wave of attack. At 3 all the comeback was complete. A header rattled the post which would have given the hosts a deserved victory. It was not to be and an excellent game ended all square’.

‘Sunday morning saw Mandy and I heading to Bray Dunes for a very bracing stroll along the beach and the dunes. En-route I spied a football game in progress at a ground with a decent looking stand and clubhouse. Would have been rude to drive straight past without stopping! Ground is Stade Pierre Lamstaes, the home ground of US Bray Dunes. No idea who the two teams playing were. Just stopped long enough to take a few snaps before our morning stroll’.

‘Footballing highlight of the weekend was a trip to Belgium to the home of KWSC Lauwe. Cracking ground and a superb welcome from the locals. Once again, a bargain 6 euros admission. Not the best of games but the home fans were happy with a 2-0 victory thanks to 2 second half goals’.

Tuesday 13th December – TT No.17: Keith Aslan – ‘The stadium has what is commonly known as a 'wow' factor, you won't ever have seen floodlights like these before. A football league ground in all but name…’. Fylde footsteps. NEW STADIUM ALERT! Keith brings us an uplifting review from his hop to the Blackpool coast for AFC Fylde (v Brackley Town) in the FA Trophy 1st Round proper tie played on 10/12/16… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Tuesday 13th December – Latest Images: Rob CampionFootball with a difference! View Rob’s superb match day photos from Old Reptonians (v Kings College Wimbledon) in the Arthurian League Arthur Dunn Cup Second Round tie played at Repton School Derbyshire on 10/12/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob reports (via E-Mail): ‘Hopefully you enjoyed the footy today and didn't get too wet. Stuck to plan A and made the drive to the 16th century Repton School for...Old Reptonians 5-2 Kings College Wimbledon (Arthur Dunn Cup 2nd Round). Both teams are members of the Arthurian League and OR's play their league games in the Northwood area of Middlesex, but for games in the Arthur Dunn Cup it is preferred that home ties are played at the actual school itself. These means that for northern and midlands schools they can draw on a greater pool of players, and certainly in OR's case they can put out a stronger side. On the footballing side of things, it was a decent game of football with some good players on show. 12 photos are attached with a further 56 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p575580976’.

Tuesday 13th December – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from Mott MacDonald (v Meldreth) in the Cambridgeshire County League Division 3A played on 10/12/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘Founded in 1989, Mott MacDonald is recognised as a global engineering firm and is responsible for providing construction and management solutions to a wide range of building and consultancy projects. Major initiatives to date have included work on the Channel Tunnel; Hong Kong airport; Wembley Stadium; Soccer City in South Africa and Crossrail UK to name but a few. In Cambridge (one of the UK branches) much work also involves developing education and training opportunities for the company and its workforce'. 

'With plenty of chances this was an excellent end to end game of football to warm up the cockles of any neutral on such a miserable winter’s day. After going a goal down in the opening five minutes, the hosts fought back to lead 2-1 at the break. Within two minutes of the restart they had added another before Meldreth pegged back a second to make it 3-2 mid-way through the half. Mott MacDonald showed why they currently sit at the top of the table scoring twice more in the closing stages to win 5-2 and consolidate their league position. Played in heavy rain and in dull light from the kick-off the players contributed to making this an excellent entertaining game on what was a slippery but well-drained surface in front of a handful of spectators'.

'The club (made up of company employees) plays its home games at the impressive Impington Sports Centre complex and situated next to the local village college. It is located about a mile or so from Histon FC and is within easy reach of the A14. On match day the players change in the sports centre before walking over to the recreation field on the other side of the main driveway. The main pitch is bordered by some tall trees which dominate the site. There are no spectator facilities here although a couple of concrete strips used for cricket net practise offers some hard standing'.

'On a personal note hopper extraordinaire Brian Buck tweeted me a couple of days ago to say that this was a ground that he had NOT yet ticked off in his long and distinguished ground collecting career. Feeling rather smug I wonder if this is some sort of achievement…the joys of hopping and all that!!'

Wednesday 7th December – TT No.16: Steve HardyFacility-wise, the club has two small stands, one on each side of the pitch. There is a rail on all four sides and hard standing on all bar behind the far goal from the clubhouse end’. Read more from Steve’s ace report covering ambitious Wythenshawe Town (v Garswood United) in the Cheshire League Premier Division fixture played on 03/12/16… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Wednesday 7th December – Latest Images: Steve HardyIt’s Cheshire League action for Steve as he takes in the Premier Division game at Wythenshawe Town (v Garswood United) played on 03/12/16…check out his terrific match day pictures…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Wednesday 7th December – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerOur senior photographer takes in the exciting FA Vase match at Sun Sports (v Hoddesdon Town) in the Third Round tie played on 03/12/16…don’t miss Gary’s magical match day hop pictures…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail): ‘FA Vase action yesterday at a very cold Sun Sports. The hosts won 3-1 and the mass celebrations as the 3rd goal went in as full time approached confirmed the passion of the Vase and what it means to the teams and players entering’.

Wednesday 7th December – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from a hop to watch Cherry Hinton (v Sawston United) in the Cambridgeshire County League Premier Division played at St Catherine’s College Sports Ground in Cambridge on 03/12/16… now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘For the second week in a row I stayed local and took in a tasty Cambridgeshire County League fixture. Once again, my chosen game did not fail to impress as a skilful Cherry Hinton side took on Sawston United in a thoroughly entertaining Premier Division fixture. Seemingly the hosts were looking favourites to bag all three points when they built up a convincing two goal lead inside the first twenty minutes. Not to be outdone though the visitors fought back strongly and netted twice before the break to make it 2-2. With nothing to separate the sides the Cherries were awarded a penalty only five minutes after the break but this was well saved by the United keeper. Neither team could find a winner and both had to settle for a point each which was, on the balance of play, a fair result. Contested in dull, overcast and increasingly cold conditions on what was an excellent surface, the match attracted almost thirty spectators. A small table set up close to the half-way line was used to dispense hot drinks, snacks and sweets at half-time.

With extensive construction work needed to improve the pavilion and changing room facilities at the club’s HQ in Cherry Hinton, the Cherries have led a bit of a nomadic existence since August having to use alternative venues in and around Cambridge to fulfil fixtures. To date they have played only once in the village this season. This has meant playing their three opening games (all midweek) at Hills Road VI Form College grounds in Luard Road, then playing away for the next consecutive nine matches before using Trinity Old Field (Trinity College grounds home of Cambridge City reserves) last week. Today they were scheduled to use the Barton recreation ground before moving the game late on to the St Catherine’s College sports field in King Street (in the Newnham area of Cambridge).

As most ground hoppers will no doubt appreciate this really is a superb venue. With the benefit of having full time college grounds' staff the pitches on site are always prepared and maintained to an excellent standard. On-site parking close to the ornate changing pavilion is allowed on match day. Surprisingly the pitch was roped on all sides with subs benches as well as some advertising banners attached to sturdy wooden posts set up along the far side touchline. Over the hedge beyond the far goal it was possible to see (and hear!) a rugby match being played at the Cambridge Rugby Union Club on Grantchester Road.

One for the anoraks - this was the fourth different home venue I have seen the Cherries play on – a few seasons ago they also used the Cambridge United FC training ground at Bentley Road (off Trumpington Road). If you like collecting alternative grounds, then keep an eye open for further Cherry Hinton FC ‘home’ fixtures. Although there is no fixed time scale to complete work (mostly confined to the inside the building) on the new club house it is still not certain as to when the club will be back in the village. There could be other ‘hoppertunites to tick off new grounds in the near future – watch this space!’       

Wednesday 7th December – TT No.15: Keith Aslan – ‘Obviously, lots of recent improvement work at Hamble, new floodlights, TWO tea bars, one of which sold some very tasty looking bacon and cheese burgers and, also a mould breaking new stand, one of the very few not built by Atcost!’ Wessex Wanderings! Keith sends us an inspirational report from his hop to Hampshire for Hamble Club (v Baffins Milton) in the Wessex League Division One fixture played on 03/12/16…now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more….

Thursday 1st December – Latest Images: Rob CampionView the superb match day pictures from Rob’s trip to watch Bilborough United (v AFC Clifton) in the Notts Senior League Division One fixture played on 26/11/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail): ‘A nice easy run up the M1 to junction 26, and thankfully I was there early as it kicked off at 1.45pm instead of the scheduled 2pm. 30 more photos can be viewed online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p921439105'.

Thursday 1st December – TT No. 14: Keith AslanThis is Ashford's third game here since the move from their ground share with Ashford United and it is here they are intending to stay for the foreseeable future’. Appledore Ambles! Read more about Keith’s trip down to Romney Marsh to watch Ashford (v Snodland Reserves) in the Kent County League Division 2 Central & East fixture played on 26/11/16… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Thursday 1st December – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a local hop to watch City Life (v Clare Town) in the Cambridgeshire County League Division 2A played on 26/11/16… now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘This was a cracking Cambridgeshire County League Division 2A fixture and a great advert for the competition. In an end to end encounter it was league leaders Clare Town who scored a winner very late on to secure all three points and consolidate their position at the top of the table. It looked as though they had done enough to win the game after scoring in the first five minutes but hosts City Life managed to shake things up by grabbing an equaliser from the penalty spot. The game watched by a handful of spectators was played on a decent surface in mild, sunny conditions. Word must go to referee Simon Dawson who had a superb game and gains top marks. Unlike many officials that I have seen this season Simon actually explained to the players why he had made his decisions. A top-notch bloke!’.

The club, formed back in the late 1990’s, use the facilities over a split site for its home games. They are based at the Chesterton Community College sports centre on Gilbert Road (listed as the address) which is only used for parking and changing. Players, officials and spectators then walk back down the school driveway, cross over the main road and then into Courtney Way where they enter the playing field belonging to the Castle School (beware of the ‘no parking’ restriction here!). The main pitch marked out on the far side of the venue is bordered by trees and fences on three sides. Even though a new pavilion has been built on the site next to the school buildings it is only used by junior Sunday sides and not City Life FC who are more than happy to stick to tradition and make the inevitable ten-minute walk between sites for all home games’.

Monday 21st November – TT No.13: Steve Hardy – I was expecting a lot more of Longlevens’ ground than they actually have’. Gloucester galavant! Our super hopper brings us a terrific and revealing review from a hop to watch Longlevens (v Burnham) in the Hellenic League Premier Division fixture played on 19/11/16… now added to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Monday 21st November – Latest Images: Steve Hardy – Steve makes the long trip down to Gloucestershire for Longlevens (v Burnham) in the Hellenic League Premier Division fixture played on 19/11/16…check out his super snaps now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Monday 21st November – TT No.12: Keith AslanAlthough just an open space that's roped off, surprisingly the changing room block contains a tea bar and a veranda with seats and tables’. Chalvey Canters. Our erudite footy observer and senior reporter brings us the very latest news from his hop over to Slough to watch Chalvey (v Sandhurst) in the Berks & Bucks County Cup tie played on 19/11/16… now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Monday 21st November – Latest Images: Rob CampionDon’t miss Rob’s awesome images following his trip to watch Bingham Town (v Magdala Amateurs) in the Notts Senior League Premier Division played on 19/11/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail): ‘Another Saturday watching a game in the Notts Senior League, and stuck to plan A for a game in the Premier Division...Bingham Town 3-3 Magdala Amateurs. 12 photos are attached with another 40 online @
http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p248440143 ‘.

Monday 21st November – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Sutton Bridge United (v Glinton & Northborough) in the Peterborough & District League Division One played on 19/11/16… now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Sutton Bridge is a village found in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire. It is situated on the A17, equidistant from the towns of Wisbech and King's Lynn. The village itself includes a commercial dock on the west bank of the River Nene over which spans a swing bridge. Today a remarkably hassle-free journey through Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and finally into Lincolnshire took me to the picturesque Bridge Road home of Sutton Bridge United FC for the P&DL Division One fixture against newcomers Glinton & Northborough’.

‘Only a stone’s throw from the lovely ornate bridge, the club plays on the tidy recreation ground behind the well-appointed Curlew Club, a new community centre that incorporates the local police station, amongst other things, within its premises. The lovely tree-lined ground has been used by the club since its formation back in the 1930’s. A small extended brick-built pavilion complete with changing rooms, groundsmen’s equipment store and a cramped tea bar is positioned alongside the nearest touchline of the main pitch which is un-roped for games. One or two wooden seats are also in situ on this side for use by spectators. Travellers are advised not to stand too close to the trees behind the furthest goal following the report of some nesting bees that have been seen swarming around the branches – indeed a notice is firmly pinned onto one of the trunks as a necessary safety precaution and reminder!’

‘Both sides had met already having played each other here in a league cup tie recently which ended 4-3 (after extra time) to the hosts. Again, United prevailed, winning by a convincing 3-0 score-line but the match was much closer than the result suggests. Notably young Matt Eaton scored all three goals for United. He’s certainly in great form, having bagged four last week in a league fixture at Oundle Town (7-2)! Sadly, Glinton are just finding their feet after losing coaching staff and players to other clubs in and around Peterborough. The game expertly refereed by a sprightly Norman Vasey (aged 73!) was played in cold but sunny conditions and attracted about twenty spectators. Hot drinks (50p) were served in mugs by the long-serving committee member and groundsman Dave Earth at the half-time break. Another cracking trip and one highly recommended to fellow ground collectors on the circuit’.        

Monday 21st November – News Update on Unite MK FC (SSML): Brian Buck - writes (via E-Mail): ‘(Following your visit to Pitstone & Ivinghoe a couple of weeks back), visitors Unite MK are actually Wolverton Town renamed, unless you were told otherwise on your visit. Their secretary, Christine Greenwood, although getting on a bit herself these days, is actually the daughter of the former secretary of Wolverton Town & BR, Wolverton Town and Wolverton Town (MK), not necessarily in that order!’

Tuesday 15th November – Latest Images: Rob CampionRob brings us plenty of excellent match day photos from a visit to Aslockton Cranmers (v Team DNF) in the Notts Senior League Division 2 played on 12/11/16...now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob adds (via E-Mail): My 1000th recorded game of football yesterday and I crossed the border into Nottinghamshire for...Aslockton Cranmers 0-1 Team DNF (Notts Senior League Division 2). This game was switched from Cranmers home ground in Orston due to not having any water, and played at Bingham Leisure Centre - a venue I wasn't aware of. I joined Rob Hornby and a couple of other local hoppers for this one. A decent game though the score flattered the hosts (in blue). The visitors were the better side throughout and would have won by a far
greater margin, if not for the excellent saves made by the Aslockton keeper. 8 photos are attached with a further 26 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p486608464

Monday 14th November – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerIt’s local county cup action for our senior super snapper as he heads a short distance to watch Hilton Harriers Athletic (v Stapenhill) for a cracking tie in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Round 2 fixture played on 12/11/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail): Derbyshire Senior Cup action yesterday at Hilton Harriers Athletic who are based in Derbyshire and play in the Staffordshire County League. Opponents were Stapenhill who used to play in the Leicestershire Senior League and are based in Staffordshire! Kick off time of 2pm and less than an hour from home made this an ideal fixture to suit evening plans. As with last week I saw a game where the lead kept changing hands. The first half saw Stapenhill take an early lead only to be pegged back to 1 all at the break. The first half was not great but the second half was brilliant cup tie football. Stapenhill went 2-1 ahead only for Hilton to hit back with two goals. A giant-killing was on the cards as Stapenhill battered the Hilton defence who stood firm. Eventually the equaliser came after which both teams had chances to win the game. 3 all at full time and thankfully for me there was no extra time with the game going straight to penalties. More drama here as Hilton took a 2-1 lead with one Stapenhill penalty saved. Alas for the home side they then had their next three penalties saved whilst Stapenhill scored both of theirs to win 3-2 on penalties. Definitely, a slow starter this one but it ended up a cracking game with the added bonuses of staying dry and getting home in plenty of time for my evening plans’.

Monday 14th November – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and matchday pictures from a trip to watch Wortham (v Cockfield United) in the Suffolk & Ipswich League Club Colours Cup Round 2 tie played on 12/11/16…all now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘Newly promoted Suffolk and Ipswich League side Wortham (from division four) found the going really tough in this intriguing cup tie contested by teams in the lower divisions of the competition. Visitors Cockfield, who currently lead the third division table, put in a cracking and inspired second half performance to run out comfortable winners by a 6-0 score-line. Young forward Luke Spivey who played an integral part in the impressive victory scored four times, including two penalties. The match, played in driving rain and cold swirling winds throughout, was attended by half a dozen spectators. Despite the awful weather conditions the pitch held up superbly and should be one for hoppers to consider on similar days’.

‘I would like to thank Wortham FC chairman Carl Baker for giving me the thumbs up about the fixture (over the phone) before I set out at midday. During the afternoon he explained that, despite results, they have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the SIL so far this season saying how well-run the competition is since his side stepped up from the much more local St Edmundsbury League in the summer. Travellers may be interested to know that the club has now returned to playing its home games at the Wortham Sports Pavilion after a three-year absence when they were forced to move up the road to play their matches at the Hepworth playing fields. Apparently, an infestation of moles on the playing field led to a dispute over the state of the pitch with the local parish council. Although the matter seems to be resolved Carl told me that the pitch has since being taken over by several wild rabbits which have just taken residence in the area; he quipped that any help in catching them would be gratefully appreciated!’

‘The club is reached by taking the A143 from Bury St Edmunds (coming off at the central A14 exit) and then turning down Church Road next to the village sign post (it’s about five miles from here to Diss). A short drive takes you past some heathland before turning left towards the village hall and into a small car park alongside the Sports Pavilion. The smart brick built facility funded by a sports lottery grant incorporates the changing rooms for players and officials as well as toilets. Although some distance from the pitch a veranda provides adequate cover for spectators. A visit here is highly recommended to all ground hoppers and collectors’.

Monday 14th November – TT No.11: Keith AslanMuch is happening at the ground to bring it up to standard for their newly elevated status’. It’s a Plan B Birstall Breather. Check out Keith’s inspirational review from his hop to watch Birstall (v Kimberley Miners Welfare in the East Midlands League fixture played on 12/11/16…now uploaded to the Reports page…click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Friday 11th November – Latest Programme News: John JoyceOne of our newest contributors, Surrey based John, sends us an extensive list of clubs that have issued programmes this season – covers a range of competitions and teams at all levels of the pyramid from both home and abroad…top notch stuff!  Click on  the Programmes link and go to the Programme News tab for more...

Friday 11th November – Latest Programme News: Steve HardyPaper chaser’s paradise! Our programme genius extraordinaire brings us another mouth-watering list of issuers who have published so far this season. Containing sections featuring English, Scottish, Welsh, Ladies and Sunday football clubs it’s a must-see programme update…go to the Programmes link and then click on the Programme News tab for more...

Wednesday 9th November - Website Update: WebEd - FGIF joins the social media revolution! To raise the profile of our site I have set up a twitter account so that we can share our news, reports and photo updates. If you are like-minded please spread the word and remember to send us a tweet if you have been to an interesting game or ground. Alternatively, we can add your twitter feed to the list of followers published on our home page at FGIF@fgif4hop Bring it on!!

Wednesday 9th November - WebLog Update: Simple Pieman Read all about Steve's hop to watch Hadley (v Hertford Town) in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division fixture played on 05/11/16...now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/hadley-fc.html

Wednesday 9th November – TT No.10: Keith Aslan – ‘They play on a pitch outside, part roped, part chained, on the edge of a very large playing field, but separated by a small road that gives it a kind of enclosed feel’. Headington Hikes! Our star reporter brings us a cracking review from a hop to watch Headington Amateurs (v Lynch Pin) in Hellenic League Cup played on 05/11/16…log on to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 9th November – Latest News: Rob CampionOur regular correspondent Rob highlights his latest travel plans: ‘I have had a break from the sport for the past two weeks, hence no photos. Last Saturday (29th) saw me at Newark RFC for a local derby against Southwell, and then on the Sunday I went down to Wembley with my dad for the NFL. This Saturday also saw me attend some rugby union again, and I went to the northern suburbs of Leicester for a game between Belgrave and Olney. Photos of both games can be found on my website in the 2016/17 folder on the main page. For the next few months I plan to alternate between the two sports - mainly to keep things fresh. You should get some more football photos again as I plan to be @ Notts Senior League games over the next two Saturdays, before egg chasing again on the 26th’.

Wednesday 9th November – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerWhat a cracking German double! Don’t miss our senior photographer’s superb match day photos from a terrific and exciting weekend footy double featuring games at SSV Markranstadt (v BSG Wismut Gera) in the Oberliga Sud fixture played on 05/11/16 and RB Leipzig (v FSV Mainz 05) in the Bundesliga on 06/11/16…both sets now uploaded in the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail sent yesterday): ‘Back from Mandy's birthday jaunt to Leipzig where we managed lots of sightseeing, 2 footie games and the main event, Mandy's birthday present - Placebo at the Red Bull Arena.  A superb weekend. First footie game of the weekend was at SSV Markranstadt. SSV's license was purchased by Red Bull in 2009 which enabled RB Leipzig to start life in the 5th tier of German football, the Oberliga Sud. The rest is history and RB now sit level on points with mighty Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga. SSV meanwhile are now back in the Oerliga Sud after winning promotion from the Landesliga in 2012. This game was an ideal choice for Mandy and I as Markranstadt is just 15 minutes by train from Leipzig followed by a ten-minute walk to Stadion Am Bad. The 1.30 kick off was ideal for us to get back to the city in good time to be fed and watered before heading off to the Red Bull Arena where we saw Placebo give a belting performance. Admission was 7 euros for the stand and a decent programme was 1 euro. Souvenirs were available including badges and there were food and beer stalls. More than adequate facilities for the 100 or so in attendance. As for the game, initially we did not have high hopes. SSV had drawn 2 and lost 8 of their opening 10 games, BSG had won just two games and the match was to be played in driving rain throughout. However, it is often that such instances produce a belter and we were served up a classic. BSG went one up only for SSV to equalise before half time. Then in the 68th minute SSV took the lead. The home fans went wild and a first victory of the season was in sight. Meanwhile the BSG fans who were like drowned rats at this stage must have been wondering why they had bothered. The SSV hopes were short lived. BSG quickly equalised before scoring a winner in the last few minutes. The sodden few were overjoyed and celebrated as if their team had just been crowned World champions! In dreadful conditions, there had been umpteen chances, woodwork (or aluminium) rattled on several occasions, blinding saves from both keepers and the lead going both ways. Superb game!’.

‘Our 2nd game of the weekend was at RB Leipzig. Their much-documented formation and rise has made them the most hated team in Germany but the home fans are not bothered as RB won 3-1 to move level on points with Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga. There was a substitute appearance from local lad (born in Scotland but grew up in Melton) Oliver Burke. Admission was 40 euros and a rather poor programme was free on entry. The match ticket also gave free regional transport on the day of the game. Standard food and drink at inflated prices on sale in the ground but at least you can pay with cash unlike a lot of Bundesliga stadiums which operate card systems. Ignoring the politics, it was a good game in a cracking stadium with a great atmosphere’.

Wednesday 9th November – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Cottered (v Mangrove) in the Hertford & District League Centenary Cup tie played on 05/11/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘I took advantage of the newly early scheduled kick-off times with a fairly local trip over to watch Cottered for my first taste of Hertford & District League action of the season. The hosts currently top of the Premier Division were entertaining Hertford-based Mangrove (from Division One) in a Centenary Cup fixture. Cottered, who were struggling to field a full-strength side went down to ten players inside the first five minutes of the game after their player-manager went off injured after pulling a hamstring. Mangrove levelled twice before Cottered scored the winner late on to avoid extra-time. It was a good job too as the temperature had dropped significantly by full time. By sheer quirk of coincidence today’s referee, Mark Taylor, was also in charge of the only two other matches that I have seen in this competition!'.  

'The club, based at the local recreation ground, is situated alongside the main A507 which by-passes the site is only a few miles from both Baldock and Buntingford. The village hall found at the end of the main driveway and car park offers superb facilities but sadly it was closed today (in preparation for a wedding). The main and only un-roped pitch on the far side is bordered by trees (and a children’s playground) on three sides and so has an enclosed feel to it. The local cricket club who share the field has its own pavilion on the opposite side of the venue. A smashing day out and back home before the classified footy results were announced on TV'.

Friday 4th November – WebLog Update: Simple Pieman Check out Steve's hop to watch Bayer 04 Leverkusen Under 19 (v Tottenham Hotspur Under 19) in the UEFA Youth League Group Stage fixture played on 18/10/16...now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/bayer-leverkusen-u19.html

Friday 4th November – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerTasty footy feast! Check out Gary’s magnificent match day photos from a hop to Leicester City (v FC Copenhagen) in the Champions League Group G played on 18/10/16 and an exciting East Anglian Double featuring Haverhill Borough (v Cornard United) in the Eastern Counties League Division One (on the new 3G pitch) and Chatteris Town (v Hemingfords United) in the Cambridgeshire County League Premier Division…both played on 29/10/16…all now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail sent on 30/10): ‘Bit of a mare yesterday when I had no camera (doh!) so had to take pics on my mobile (they're not great). Anyway, when I downloaded yesterday's pics this morning I came across these. Excellent pyro display by the FC Copenhagen fans just before kick-off’. Managed a double yesterday by taking in the early kick off at Haverhill Borough. Highly average game at highly average ground though Haverhill Borough were very welcoming to the hoppers who attended. From Haverhill I travelled to Chatteris Town. Google had told me the journey would take 1 hour and 3 minutes which it did exactly meaning I arrived 5 minutes before kick-off. Parking was available inside the ground so perfect timing. I was very impressed with the ground at Chatteris with the superb wooden stand and covered standing along one side and behind one goal. The club were very welcoming and £2 admission was an absolute bargain for a highly entertaining game. Chatteris took the lead in the first half with a belting long range goal but Hemingfords took the points with two second half goals and they also had a penalty saved in the last few minutes which could have made the score-line more emphatic. Chatteris created several chances to equalise and were oh so close with a rasping shot that left the bar shaking. Great stuff!’.

Friday 4th November  - Latest Images: WebEdNEW GROUND ALERT! View the match day pictures from Pitstone & Ivinghoe (v Unite MK) in the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two fixture played on 29/10/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘For a change I travelled out of East Anglia for my footy fix today. My destination was the village of Pitstone in Buckinghamshire where Pitstone & Ivinghoe was entertaining new club Unite MK in a Spartan South Midlands League Second Division fixture that kicked off at 3pm (for the last time before reverting to 2pm to meet the change in BST). The club now plays at the Pitstone Sports Pavilion, a new venue located on the opposite side of the road and only a stone’s throw from their former home at the local playing fields. Although this is a new ground used by the first team this season it was home to the club’s reserve side last campaign. There is a small car park alongside the pavilion with access to the playing field at one end of the building. With only enough space for basic changing facilities as well as a small kitchen serving refreshments during the game it means that players, officials and patrons must go back over the road to use facilities at the old site for their after-match entertainment. A large metal seat is placed behind the nearest goal for spectators. The main pitch positioned to the left of the field is completed roped off around its perimeter with a smaller junior pitch to the right. Two perspex dug outs are positioned along the far side behind which trains conveying passengers to and from Milton Keynes regularly pass by. A large telegraph pylon runs close to and behind the goal at the far end’.

‘Today’s game which incidentally was an excellent advert for the league saw the visitors Unite MK (apparently made up from ex Wolverton Town players) overcome a strong home side to win by 4-2. The match played in mainly dull and overcast conditions attracted about thirty fans including several away supporters one of whom was videoing the acting throughout and a traveller who lived just over the road. A small four page black and white photocopied programme complete with raffle ticket was sold as part of the entrance fee for the princely sum of £2!! Hot drinks and snacks were also available from the pavilion throughout the afternoon. Although the club is very much seen as a work in progress I can thoroughly recommend a visit here to all hoppers and ground collectors alike. Another super day out!’.           

Thursday 3rd November – Latest Images: Rob CampionIt’s North Leicestershire League action for Rob as he takes in the Division Two fixture at Kegworth Imperial (v CK Dons) played on 22/10/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail): I am still currently getting my football fix in and did get to my planned game this afternoon...Kegworth Imperial 2-1 C.K. Dons (North Leicestershire League Division 2). 10 photos are attached with another 43 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p155504050 ‘.

Thursday 3rd November - WebLog Update: Simple PiemanRead more about Steve's hop to watch Havant & Waterlooville (v Harlow Town) in the Isthmian League Premier Division fixture played on 08/10/16...now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/havant-waterlooville-fc.html

Thursday 3rd November – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerLet the train take the strain! Don’t miss Gary’s inspirational match-day photos from a hop to Scotland for Dundee Violet (v Blairgowrie) in the Scottish Junior Cup Round 2 tie played on 22/10/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail): ‘A long and cracking day out yesterday.  An early train from Crewe saw me arrive in Dundee just before 12.30 where a call to Brian at Dundee Violet confirmed game on. I then walked to the ground with Dundee's hills providing some excellent and much needed exercise. The welcome was superb and throughout the day officials and many fans found time for a chat with the visitor from down south. I can highly recommend the pre-match meals available in the sponsors lounge. First course was a superb Scotch broth with crusty roll followed by steak and gravy, dumpling, potatoes and vegetables. Fantastic! The game was won 4-1 by Violet though it was not quite as easy a victory as the score-line suggests. Trains home were on time and I got back in at 11.30. Great day out and a visit to Dundee Violet is highly recommended!.

Thursday 3rd November – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and match day pictures from Walsingham United (v South Creake) in the Norfolk County FA Primary Cup Round 2 tie played on 22/10/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: After looking at the draw for the second round of the NPC this fixture stood out immediately – not only would it be a new ground for me but both clubs were geographically separated by just a few miles to the north of Fakenham town centre. It meant that there would be no issues with the tie being called off (a fate I had already recently experienced in this competition with the late withdrawal of a side failing to fulfil a fixture probably due to the long distance involved in travelling!). Although both clubs play in different leagues the tie had all the hallmarks of a local derby. It was the homesters from the Central & South Norfolk League who prevailed after beating their opponents from the North West Norfolk League by 4-2. In reality the game was a much closer contest than the score-line suggests with the visitors pulling back for a second time to take the game into what looked like a further 30 minutes of play. An exciting late flurry with two goals scored in the dying minutes saw Walsingham go through and avoid the inevitable need for extra time. The game played in mostly dull conditions attracted almost thirty spectators.

The club plays at the local recreation along the High Street on the far side of Little Walsingham (not to be confused with Great Walsingham). The two parts conjoin to make up the village which is famed for its religious shrines in honour of the Virgin Mary and is a major pilgrimage centre. It is also popular with train enthusiasts who can travel on the mini steam railway up to the seaside town of Holt some five miles away. Incredibly the club has played on the same pitch here since its formation back in the early 1900’s. The site found next to the local school incorporates a smart pavilion which shares with the village hall and adjacent children’s playground. Surrounded by a number of overgrown bushes and hedges on three sides gives the venue an enclosed homely feel. Another enjoyable trip watching a decent game of football in what has become one of my all-time favourite cup competitions’.               

Wednesday 2nd November – TT No.9: Keith Aslan The facilities here are top notch with a large clubhouse, a café serving a wide variety of hot food, an indoor and outdoor bowling green and six football pitches of which only one was in use today. A good Deal. Don’t miss our senior reporter’s magical review from a hop to watch Deal Community Sports (v East Kent College) in the Kent County League Division 1 Central & East played on the 15/10/16… go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 2nd November – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerOur lens meister makes the short but important trip across country to watch Oakham United (v Olney Town) in the United Counties League Division One fixture played on 15/10/16…check out all the superb match day photos now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Wednesday 2nd November – Latest Images: Rob CampionView some cracking photos from Rob’s trip to watch Ashby Road (v Fleckney Athletic) in the Leicester & District League Division One played on 15/10/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail): ‘On Saturday I ticked off one of two remaining venues I had yet to visit in the Leicester & District League - the Ashby Road Sports Club in Hinckley for a division 1 fixture...Ashby Road 2-1 Fleckney Athletic. Average game in which the hosts (in red) took the three points after two mistakes from the stand-in Fleckney keeper. This just leaves a caged 3G pitch in Leicester to finish the league for the first time. Can't wait!!! Ten photos are attached with a further 31 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p589810600’.

Wednesday 2nd November – Latest Images: WebEdCheck out the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Marshland Saints (v Denver) in the North West Norfolk League Second Division Knock-out Cup tie played on 15/10/16…all now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

WebEd writes: 'Whilst heading to this one only a couple of weeks earlier, heavy traffic congestion en-route forced me to make a last-minute change of plan and a necessary detour (I went nearby to Benwick Athletic FC instead). So it was second time lucky that I successfully negotiated the narrow winding, slow moving cross-country roads to reach this veritable Fenland outpost on the outskirts of Wisbech. Today Marshland Saints were taking on league rivals Denver in a closely fought Second Division Cup game. It was a superb tie which required extra time to separate both sides (sitting close to the top of the league table). The visitors came out on top to win by 3-2. The club itself plays at the Marshland St James recreation ground found along Smeeth Road, a long straight approach road running through the village. It’s a truly basic venue which incorporates a small dilapidated pavilion close to the tiny car park located just inside the entrance. The end to end heavily sloping pitch marked out some 200 yards away on the other side of the field is remarkable in that both sides are flanked by a swathe of extremely tall trees which give it a lovely, surreal and enclosed feeling. The scene looked picturesque with the varying shades of golden brown leaves serving as a perfect autumn backdrop to the action. A superb day out’.      

Wednesday 2nd November – WebLog Update: Simple PiemanFind out more from Steve's hop to watch Codicote (v Risborough Rangers) in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One fixture played on 01/10/16...now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/codicote-fc.html

Monday 10th October – Latest Images: WebEdView the ground, action and matchday photos from Ellingham (v Ingoldisthorpe) in the Norfolk Junior Cup Second round tie played on 08/10/16…

now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘After missing out in the last round of the competition (when the visitors Hickling pulled out late on) I was rewarded for my persistence when I retraced my tyre tracks to witness a thoroughly absorbing end to end cup tie between the hosts (Lowestoft & District League) and opponents Ingoldisthorpe (from the North West Norfolk League). Despite going behind Ellingham made a superb comeback by drawing level (twice) and then adding two more goals to lead 4-2 with only five minutes to go. Although the visitors (who had travelled down from the outskirts of Hunstanton) pulled one back to make it an exciting final five minutes of stoppage time, the hosts prevailed to book their place in the third round. Man of the match was awarded to Jack Luckham for netting a superb hat-trick for his victorious side. A cracking day out’.

‘The club based at the Ellingham playing field off Geldeston Road has played here since its formation over fifty years ago back in 1960. It’s only a couple of miles from the main A143 (between Bungay and Beccles) and reached by turning down Church Street (sign posted Ellingham Mill). The main entrance is found opposite a haulage business which stores a large number of wooden pallets on its premises. The tree-lined site which incorporates a make shift car park (on the grass) by the side of the sloping and well drained pitch has a cosy and homely wooden pavilion that includes the changing rooms, toilets, tea bar and kitchen in the nearside corner. Standing behind the left hand goal line affords wonderful views of St Mary's church in the distance. Amazingly Maurice (Mo) Goldsmith a former player represented the team from 1959 – 1992 told me that he turned out in his final season for the club at the ripe old age of 56 years!’         

Monday 10th October – WebLog Update: Simple PiemanFind out more from Steve's hop to watch CSK Moscow (v Tottenham Hotspur) UEFA Champions League, Group Stage Match 2 fixture played on 27/09/16...now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/cska-moscow-fc.html .

Monday 10th October – Latest Images: Rob CampionWeekend Double! Check out Rob’s ace photos from his weekend footy fix featuring matches at Sutton Bonnington (v Bottesford) in the North Leicestershire League Premier Division played on 08/10/16 and Drayton Bassett (v Edingale Swifts) in the Tamworth Sunday League Division One yesterday…both now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Rob adds (via E-Mail): ‘Crossed the border into Nottinghamshire on Saturday, and ticked off one of two venues I hadn't previously visited in the Premier Division of the North Leicestershire League. Sutton Bonington 2-1 Bottesford. Typical village recreation ground that is also used by the local cricket club. A poor game in which the hosts (in blue) deserved the victory. Pleasant afternoon and spent time chatting to the referee’s assessor who I knew. Ten photos are attached with a further 56 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p270647874’.

‘My second game of the weekend saw me head into Staffordshire for a game in Division 1 of the Tamworth Sunday League. Drayton Bassett 1-4 Edingale Swifts. The visitors in yellow were made to work hard for the victory and with it maintained their 100% start to the season. Attached are 8 photos with a further 24 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p270647874’.  

Monday 10th October – Latest Images: Gary Spooner – Our super snapper brings us plenty of cracking ground, action and match day photos from a mouth-watering hop to watch Bala Town (v Alloa Athletic) in the newly revamped Scottish Challenge Cup (sponsored by Irn Bru) 4th round tie played on 08/10/16…now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail): ‘Another trip to Wales yesterday. When I saw the draw for the 4th round of the Irn Bru Cup I was instantly attracted by Bala v Alloa. Welsh League against Scottish League in a competitive fixture! The locals and Alloa fans were also attracted with a bumper crowd including many travelling Wasps. The atmosphere was one of extreme friendliness from both sides. Bala were excellent hosts - unfortunately they were generous on the pitch as well as Alloa won comfortably. Cracking drive through the mountains to Bala and a superbly scenic ground with no less than five stands along one side and a cover behind one goal. 1 o clock kick off for the benefit of the tele meant I was home for 6. Another superb day out’.

Monday 10th October – TT No.8: Keith AslanThe main ground is all finished, and looking good with the stand incorporated into the changing room/clubhouse building’. Axminster Ambulations - NEW GROUND ALERT! Check out Keith’s terrific review from his hop to watch Axminster Town (v Plymouth Marjons) in the Devon Premier Cup tie played on 08/10/16…go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…  

Monday 10th October – WebLog Update: Simple Pieman – Read more from Steve's hop to CSK Moscow U19 (v Tottenham Hotspur U19) in the UEFA Youth League fixture played on 27/09/16...now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/cska-moscow-u19.html.

Wednesday 5th October – WebLog Update: Simple Pieman Read more from Steve's hop to Dynamo Moscow (v FK Sibir Novosibirsk) in the Russian League Division One fixture played on 26/09/16...now uploaded to his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/dynamo-moscow-fc.html 

Tuesday 4th October – Latest Programme News: Steve Hardy Paper-chasing paradise! Our super programme collector brings us his first list of the season featuring some of the clubs that have issued during the opening weeks of 2016-17 campaign…go to the Programmes link and then click on the Programme News tab for more...not to be missed!

Monday 3rd October – Latest Images: Rob CampionIt’s a trip into Cheshire for Rob as he brings us some excellent ground photos from Macclesfield Town (v North Ferriby United) in the National League Premier Division played on 01/10/16…now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Rob adds (via E-Mail): ‘With plenty of the wet stuff across the Midlands, I headed somewhere with a better forecast and decided on...Macclesfield Town 1-0 North Ferriby United (National League National Division). Attached are 24 ground photos’.

Monday 3rd October – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerMemorable Welsh Double! Check out Gary’s superb ground, action and match day photos from his mouth watering trip over the Welsh border for Mold Alexandra (v Llanberis) in the Welsh Cup First Round) and Airbus UK Broughton (v Llandudno) in the Welsh Premier League…both played on 01/10/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Gary reports (via E-Mail sent on 02/10): ‘Cracking double yesterday which saw us miss the worst of the weather as well. First stop was a Welsh Cup tie at Mold where we received a very warm welcome. This game had been in the news earlier in the week with the claim that it would be a world first to have a game in a national cup competition with father, son and daughter as the three officials. A real family affair and mother was in attendance as well taking photos of the big day. The game itself was not great with Mold winning comfortably. Our second game was at Airbus which gave us time for a pub meal at the Offas Dyke, just a couple of minutes from the ground between games. Lovely set up at Airbus and a cracking game with Llandudno's third goal surely a contender for goal of the season on S4C. Added interest with some light aircraft taking off and landing on the runway behind the ground. Superb day out’.

Monday 3rd October – Latest Images: WebEd – Don’t miss the match day photos from a hop to Benwick Athletic (v Parson Drove) in the North Cambs Junior Cup tie played on 01/10/16…now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘The Cambridgeshire County League Division 3B leaders found the visitors from the Peterborough & District League to be tough opponents in this exciting North Cambs Junior Cup tie. With only a few minutes remaining and the score standing at 1-1 the game looked to be heading towards extra time when the away side scored two very late goals to win the match 1-3 in front of a dozen or so spectators. The club do not play in Benwick but are based at the Beech Avenue playing fields in the neighbouring village of Doddington. On site there are three pitches and a smart pavilion incorporating changing rooms, toilets and a kitchen area from where tea (50p), crisps and chocolate bars are dispensed at half-time. Framed photos on the wall show team line ups dating back some twenty years when the club first started playing here. A fun afternoon and another important tick off my CCL list’.  
Monday 3rd October – Latest Images: Rob CampionView Rob’s awesome photos from recent hops to watch Hertford Town (v Brantham Athletic) in the FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round tie played on 24/09/16; Donisthorpe Reserves (v Newhall Social Club) in the Burton & District League Division 4 on 25/09/16 and Leicester Road (v Coalville Town Development) in the Leicestershire & Rutland FA Senior Cup 1st Round tie on 27/09/16…all now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail): ‘I had a free pass on Saturday and went somewhere that is out of reach normally. With too much choice I opted for a trip to the home counties for Hertford Town 3-2 Brantham Athletic (FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round). To see more go to http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p455645055 ’. 

‘The second set comes from a game on Sunday morning, and I ticked off a venue in Leicestershire, that until this season I wasn't even aware of. Donisthorpe Reserves 6-3 Newhall Social Club (Burton & District League Division 4). This wasn't that bad a game with some decent football being played at times. With no 1st team game for the hosts, they fielded a few players who are signed on for both teams. Attached are 10 photos with a further 46 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p565162537’.

 

‘The final set comes from Tuesday night (27th) and a re-visit to the what is now called Leicester Road Stadium for Leicester Road 5-1 Coalville Town Development (Leicestershire & Rutland FA Senior Cup 1st Round). Attached are 8 photos with a further 28 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p175860441. Regards Rob’.

Wednesday 28th September – TT No.7: Keith Aslanhe ground was a pleasant surprise, completely surrounded by a fixed wooden rail’. Sussex saunters! Read all about Keith’s memorable hop to watch Lancing (v Rustington) in the Southern Combination Division Two fixture played on 24/09/16 go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Wednesday 28th September – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerDon’t miss Gary’s superb photos taken during the Isthmian League match at Bowers & Pitsea (v Wroxham) in a Division One North fixture played on 24/09/16… now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail): ‘Should have been the magic of the Vase yesterday but horrendous traffic meant we didn't quite reach Southend Manor and ended up at Bowers and Pitsea instead. It turned out that the traffic did us a favour. Southend Manor was goalless after extra time whilst it was a cracking game at the Len Salmon Stadium. End to end football with lots of chances for both sides. We didn't make the seaside but it was still an excellent day out’.

Tuesday 27th September – Latest Images: WebEd -  View the match day photos from a trip to watch Sporting Rebels (v Langham Lodgers) in the Colchester and East Essex League Premier Division played on 24/09/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘For the second week in a row my failure to prepare properly landed in me in deep hopping water again. Poor planning meant I had to resort to Plan B and it was only a stroke of luck that helped me to find a game in the end!'.

'After checking Google maps at mid-morning ahead of a trip down to Kent for the Vase game at Glebe (Chislehurst) v Deal (my first choice game) I discovered that there were four major separate accidents on the M11 alone. Following much deliberation I finally decided to avoid this hassle and picked a game in the Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division between Brightlingsea-based Cinque Port and Hatfield Peverel instead'.

'However, upon arrival at 2.10pm the place was completely deserted. I couldn't even see any goal posts or pitch markings on the field. This meant moving quickly on to Plan B. Sadly with no back up matches on the drawing board (tut tut) I was in a spot of trouble. To make matters worse I couldn’t get an internet signal on my mobile to check for fixtures. With time running out I phoned daughter Steph for help. Luckily she was still at home and using her tablet she kindly guided me through the murky minor league options on Full-Time website. Together we managed to find a couple of possible options in the Colchester & Essex League (the local competition in the area)'.

'With no real idea where I was heading I hastily tapped the post code into our trusty sat navigator which flagged down the ground location giving a travel time of fifteen minutes to get to the destination. Following loads of narrow back roads, I ended up somewhere in Little Clacton reaching pitch side in time for kick off which had been brought forward by ten minutes. Phew. It must have taken me twenty minutes to stop sweating and then calm down enough to enjoy the match’.

'The game played at the basic but picturesque tree lined Plough Corner playing fields in front of a dozen spectators saw the hosts Sporting Rebels beat Langham Lodgers in a Premier Division fixture by a 4-0 score-line. Not only was it a decent contest for the level but it also meant I managed to get in a new ground (just). What luck - cheers young Steph you’re a star!’

Tuesday 27th September – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerOur lens master brings us the very best match day photos from a local hop to watch Kirby Muxloe (v Boston United) in the FA Cup Second Qualifying round tie played on 17/09/16…now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Gary writes: ‘Following last week’s trip to Germany with Mark it was a very short journey yesterday to Kirby Muxloe and their big day in the FA Cup against Boston United.  Swelled by a large travelling contingent there were 330 to watch an excellent game in which Kirby gave their all but were beaten 2-1 by a team three divisions higher’.

Tuesday 27th September – Latest Images: WebEdCheck out the ground, action and match day photos from a trip to watch Bar 33 (v Beetley Bees) in the Central & South Norfolk League Division Two fixture played on 17/09/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘At 2pm I arrived at the Ellingham playing fields only to find my first choice game between Ellingham (v Hickling) in the opening round of the Norfolk Junior Cup had been called off. To my dismay the gates to the ground were firmly locked up and the place was deserted. I had to think quickly and find a back-up within driving distance from my location on the outskirts of Bungay on the Suffolk border. With matches in the Lowestoft League starting at 2pm and the Anglian Combination at 2.30pm my next best option was to find a game in the Central & South Norfolk League with games kicking off at 3pm. A drive of twenty miles took me towards Norwich along the A146 and A47 before heading south down the A11 for the market town of Attleborough. The Gaymers playing field ground located off a long industrial estate is not easy to find. A small number of porta-cabins next to the car park offer changing facilities with a 200-yard walk to the pitch in the adjacent tree lined field. Unusually the one and only pitch has an enclosed feeling with a four lane athletics tack marked around its perimeter’.

‘The game a great advert for the league was a close well fought contest between two mid table teams. The visitors from Dereham prevailed to win the match by a 4-2 score-line. Sadly, proceedings were marred when a fight broke out mid-way through the second half leading to the dismissal of three players. A crowd of twenty was in attendance at the game played in dull overcast conditions. Although the club (sponsored by a wine bar in the town centre) don’t do programmes or refreshments I was chuffed just to get in a game’.      

Tuesday 27th September – Latest Images: Mark BembridgeDon’t miss more of Mark’s top pictures from his German hop with these cracking photos from Fortuna Dusseldorf (v Fruther Greuth) in the Bundesliga 2 drawn game played on 11/09/16… now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Tuesday 12th September - Latest Images: Mark Bembridge - Check out Mark's magical pictures from his hop to Germany for Bayer Leverkusen (v Hamburger SV) in the Bundesliga match played on 10/09/16...now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Tuesday 12th September – TT No.6: Ian Brown‘The main feature of the ground is the Met Steel stand which runs either side of the half way line and is the most popular vantage point for watching the game’. Read all about Ian’s exciting trip to watch Annagh United (v HW Welders) in the Northern Ireland Football League Championship match played on 10/09/16… go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 12th September – TT No.5: Keith AslanIt's obvious there has been plenty of action here to bring things up to spec. for their higher status with much of the ground brand new.’. Blyth spirit! Check out Keith’s inspirational review from a hop to Blyth Town (v Ryton & Crawcrook) in the FA Vase tie played on 10/09/16…go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 12th September – Latest Images: WebEd – View the ground, action and match day photos from a hop to watch Bowthorpe Rovers (v Dereham Taverners) in the Central & South Norfolk League Division Two fixture played on 10/09/16…now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery…


WebEd writes: ‘On yet another wet Saturday I decided to travel towards Norwich for my weekly hopping fix. My destination was the City of Norwich School (found easily off the A11 along the Eaton Road heading to the city) where league the newcomers Bowthorpe Rovers entertained Dereham Taverners in a Division Two match. As expected the reigning Norfolk Primary Cup winners proved far too strong for the hosts and came away with a comfortable 7-0 victory in a game played out in front of just seven spectators. Neither programmes or refreshments are available. The club plays on the middle pitch (out of three) marked out on the tree-lined playing field which is situated around the back of the main school buildings. It is some 200 yards from the changing rooms and is un-roped. The large trees on site provide ample cover from the worst of the elements.

Thursday 8th September - Non League Programme Database: Steve Hardy - Our programme guru, super hopper and dedicated archivist has now COMPLETELY UPDATED all sections of his extensive non-league programme database featuring 1000's of clubs covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish, Ladies, School and Youth and Sunday football. The impressive catalogue lists include EVERY KNOWN CLUB THAT HAS ISSUED up to the end of the 2015-16 season. Reference to any alterations/additions since last year’s database are handily highlighted in red ink for ease of identification. As you will appreciate an incredible amount of work has gone into making this possible and we are indebted to Steve for his painstaking efforts. You'll agree it's an absolutely fantastic resource for programme collectors and ground hoppers alike. Click on the Programmes link in the menu above and then go to the UK NL Programme Database tab for more... 

WebEd - In addition Steve brings us his first update for 2016-17 with a terrific selection of programme cover scans from some of the recent additions to the database. These include ... York Sunday League club, YORK NOMADS SOCIETY FC from season 1991-92. The programme is numbered volume 3, so they had obviously been issuing for a couple of years before this one; new boys VILLA DINO CHRISTCHURCH, from the Gwent County League this season. The Villa Dino name is from their sponsor's restaurant; the first season of issue for UNITY FC of the Notts Senior League. A rumour of an end of season merger with another local club could mean this is their last season of issue too; a slightly feint issue from AMERSHAM ANGELS of the Home Counties Women's League in 1972, sees QPR Women arriving in Chesham; new Scottish Junior club GARTCAIRN has issued throughout their debut season 2015-16; another new issuer, this time in the Schools and Juniors club section, sees Manchester club DENTON YOUTH U15'S produce an excellent and informative four pager for the visit of Avro U15's; Northern Ireland amateur club NORTEL entertain league side Portadown in the Intermediate cup competition 2008-09. Nortel is one of Northern Ireland's telephone service providers; a very home spun look to this programme from Suffolk & Ipswich League club MARTLESHAM in 1982-83 season. The programme is produced by the Beardshall family, we learn inside that it is edited by Michael Beardshall and typed up by Elsie Beardshall, and finally, a short lived NEW BRIGHTON AFC club next. This lot were formed in 1993 and played in the West Cheshire League before folding in 2012. It's a veritable programme chaser's paradise! Click on the Latest News tab in the Database for more...

Thursday 8th September – Weblog Update: Simple Pieman - Read the mouth-watering report (with photos) from Steve's visit to watch a game at Harland & Wolff Welders (v Warrenpoint Town) in the Northern Ireland Championship fixture played on 03/09/16...for more click on his excellent Weblog Pie and Mushy Peas at the following link/address shown below: http://pieandmushypeas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/harland-and-wolff-welders-fc.html

Tuesday 6th September – Latest Images: Rob CampionCheck out Rob’s latest superb photos taken on his recent travels featuring matches at Melton Town (v Daventry Town) in the United Counties League Division One fixture played on 03/09/16; Stoke Golding Sunday (v the Market Bosworth 2000 (Sunday) in the Hinckley & District Sunday League Premier Division on 04/09/16 and Coventry Sphinx (v Sporting Khalsa) in the Midland Football League Premier Division match last night...all now uploaded to the new FGIF Album Gallery...

Rob writes (via E-Mail) sent today: ‘Even though you already have some of Melton Town FC's new ground, attached are 15 from my visit there on Saturday. The hosts twice came from behind to beat Daventry Town 4-3 in a UCL Division 1 fixtures. The full set which includes a further 50 photos can be viewed on my website @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p834261484.

Part 2 of my weekend football and a first Sunday League game on the season (4th Sept), and I made the short drive to the village of Stoke Golding which is a few miles west of Hinckley for...Stoke Golding Sunday 1-0 Market Bosworth 2000 (Sunday) (Hinckley & District Sunday League Premier Division). A close game as the score suggests, though the visitors in blue deserved their victory. Attached are 8 photos with a further 33 online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p886883273.

The final set of photos comes from a game last night (5th September) and a first visit to the home club since October 2003...Coventry Sphinx 0-5 Sporting Khalsa (Midland Football League Premier Division). 33 more photos can be viewed at the usual place @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p7481002’.

Monday 5th September – TT No.4: Keith AslanThe set up here is very good with a large leisure type complex surrounded by sports fields. The actual ground is little way from the main buildings and separated from everywhere else on the site. It has a rural feel, surrounded on three sides by trees…’. Find out all about Keith’s hop to watch Milton Keynes Academy (v Binfield) in the Hellenic League Cup played on 03/09/16… go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Monday 5th September – Latest Images: Mark BembridgeView Mark’s terrific pictures from a hop to watch St Neots Town (v Stamford) in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie played on 03/09/16…now added to the new FGIF Album gallery…

Monday 5th September – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerGermany Hopping Bonanza. Check out Gary’s awesome match day photos from a trip to watch Arminia Bielefeld (v Union Berlin) in the Bundesliga 2 fixture played on 28/08/16… now uploaded to the new FGIF Album gallery…

Gary writes (via E-Mail sent 03/09/16):Sunday saw us head to the Schuco Arena, Bielefeld. Another glorious hot day. Arminia took the lead. Union equalised. Arminia went 3-1 up. Union went 4-3 up. Arminia equalised. What a game! Two set of passionate fans who both sang non-stop throughout. Superb!’.

Monday 5th September – Latest Images: WebEdGround, action and match day pictures from a trip to Billingford (v Hethersett Athletic) in the Central & South Norfolk League Division One fixture played on 03/09/16…now added to the new FGIF Album gallery…

WebEd writes: ‘This has to be one of the one of the most unusual grounds visited on my local hopping travels in recent years. Found in the centre of a fishing complex, the club plays at the Billingford Lakes, an area popular with anglers and ramblers. Hidden from view it is easy to miss as you approach along the main North Elmham Road. I did twice and eventually called in at the Railway Inn pub to ask for some directions.

The main entrance is marked by a large poster depicting a fisherman displaying his record catch. A long, winding gravel track eventually takes you as far as a couple of porta-cabins and make-shift car park alongside one of the lakes. The main and only un-roped pitch is marked out some two hundred yards from here. It’s very basic to say the least. Strangely a number of straw bales are stacked up behind one of the goals to stop the ball rolling down the hill behind!

The opening game of the season played in heavy torrential rain throughout saw a cracking match featuring two of the newly promoted sides into the top division. The hosts came from behind twice to draw level by half-time. Billingford then added two more goals in the second half to run out 4-2 winners in front of seven (very wet) spectatators.

Since the death of the local landowner, the Billingford Lakes complex has been passed down to his daughter who inherits the site. Plans to improve the facilities include the erection of a modern visitor centre including much needed changing facilities. Despite a good soaking I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday visit'.

Monday 5th September – Latest Images: Rob Campion – View Rob’s superb photos from a trip to watch Dinnington Town (v Welbeck Welfare) in the Central Midlands League Division North played on 27/08/16…now added to the new FGIF album gallery…

Rob writes (via E-Mail): ‘My travels on Saturday saw me head north to avoid the worst of the rain, and this paid off as it (the downpours) did not arrive in South Yorkshire until after half time. Dinnington Town 11-1 Welbeck Welfare (Central Midlands League Division North). 10 photos of the ground and game are attached with another 47 on my website @ the usual place.

I didn't expect as one sided a game as this as the two teams had a combined goal difference of -52 at the start of play, and without a point to their name. Cracking little ground, though I did my best to screw things up by getting up later than planned - I didn't rise from my sack until 1.30pm!!! Luckily the traffic up the M1 was light and I made the 60 odd miles with about 10 minutes to spare’.
 

Thursday 1st September – Barton Town Old Boys FC Non-League Day Promotion: Dean Ross - writes:My name's Dean, I'm contacting yourselves about the club I correspond for - Barton Town Old Boys FC in the NCEL Premier Division. I have some material and would be happy if could promote it on your website in any way. The event is to celebrate Non-League Day on Saturday 3rd September 2016 when we entertain Liversedge Football Club at home in a league fixture’.

‘An exclusive offer for the day is if you bring your child wearing any other football team’s shirt and they get in FREE with every paying adult, wear a Barton shirt or any item of Barton clothing not only do children get in FREE but every adult pays only £3. For the first 50 children aged 5-16 with one paying adult we will be giving away exclusive back to school kits, courtesy of Easy Buy Ltd and Barton Town Old Boys FC!’

‘In addition, the club is going to be hosting an exclusive Q&A session with both the Manager and Chairman of the Swans. This will take place after the match and is scheduled for 6:30pm but is subject to change depending on the day's events. For supporters and fans alike, it's a chance to delve into the minds of the men who help steer the Barton Town Old Boy's FC ship. It is sure to be a great day with a home game and interesting Q&A afterwards so be sure to come down and show your support for the lads and the club!’

WebEd - Dean has sent us a promotional poster – for more click on: http://footballgroundsinfocus.com/BTOBFCPoster.htm.

Details are also available via the club’s facebook site and can found at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/events/934695116660081/.

 

The ground address is: Barton Town Old Boys FC Easy Buy Stadium, Marsh Lane, Barton Upon Humber, DN18 5JD. Dean can also be contacted on his mobile by calling: 07563 901427.

Thursday 1st September – Latest Images: Gary SpoonerEarly Season Soccer Special! Our star snapper brings us a superb collection of ground, action and matchday photos covering matches attended at: SV Wiesbaden (v VfR Aalen) in the Bundesliga 3 played on 30/07/16; Swaffham Town (v Thetford Town) in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division) on 12/08/16; Aylesbury (v Uxbridge) in the Southern League Central Division on 13/08/16 and Borussia Dortmund (v FSV Mainz 05) in the Bundesliga on 27/08/16…all now uploaded to the new FGIF Album gallery…

Gary writes re his foreign trips (via selected E-Mail): ‘My first game of the season was at Wiesbaden. Pics taken on a mobile given tightened security in Germany at the moment. I didn't want to take a camera and a bag on a day trip. Another trip to Signal Iduna Park on Saturday and at the third time of asking, finally a Dortmund victory. The atmosphere created by over 80,000 fans is incredible! Truly a ‘must do once’ experience for all football fans! Position in stadium was too high up but as tickets are very
difficult to get you take what you are offered. No bags allowed in German stadiums at the moment so awkward to take in a decent camera. Although it was a glorious day (with temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius), the sun didn't help (and made it difficult to see the action!)’

Tuesday 30th August – TT No.3: Keith Aslan – ‘New into the league this season there is an enthusiasm about the place with top notch facilities including a large clubhouse, half a dozen changing rooms and the all-important tea bar selling hot and cold drinks throughout the morning’. Read all about Keith’s visit to watch Worthing United Leisure (v Ferring) in the Southern Combination Division Two fixture played yesterday…for more go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17…    

Tuesday 30th August – Latest Images: Rob CampionCheck out Rob’s awesome photos from his early season travels featuring matches at: Hemsworth Miners Welfare (v Tadcaster Albion) in a Pre-Season Friendly) played on 01/07/16; Ravenshead (v Bilborough United) in a Pre-Season Friendly on 16/08/16; Sawtry (v Stilton) in the Peterborough & District League Premier Division) and Wittering Harriers (v Long Sutton Athletic) in the Peterborough & District League Division 1 both on 31/07/16; Highworth Town (v Tadley Calleva) in the FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round) on 07/08/16; Bilborough Town (v Basford United Community) in the Notts Senior League Premier Division on 13/08/16 and Eaton Socon (v Over Sports) in the Cambridgeshire County League Premier Division on 0/08/16…all now added to the new FGIF Album gallery…

Rob writes: ‘I have been to a number of games since that beginning of July including Leicester City's pre-season game @ Oxford United, and took photos at seven so far.

On 10th July Hemsworth Miners Welfare 1-2 Tadcaster Albion (pre-season friendly). 12 photos are attached with a further 44 on my website @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p6223456

A short drive into Nottinghamshire for a pre-season game between two Notts Senior League sides. On 16th July - Ravenshead 1-1 Bilborough United. 26 more photos taken during the 1st half are online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p423463515

I took in two of the groundhop games on the Sunday 31st July: Sawtry 0-2 Stilton United (Peterborough & District League Premier Division). Poor game but full credit to Sawtry and the locals for getting behind this event. Well organised and they were rewarded with an attendance of 534!!! 55 more photos of the stalls and game are online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p160899355

The second of the groundhop games...Wittering Harriers 5-2 Long Sutton Athletic (Peterborough & District League Division 1). 33 more photos can be viewed @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p226148915

After watching Cheltenham Town's opening game back in the Football League, I stayed over at a friend's house and the following day we went to...7th August-
Highworth Town 2-1 Tadley Calleva (FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round). The higher level home side came from a goal down to progress to the next round. Attached are 15 photos with a further 55 online @
http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p788778649

The penultimate set of photos on 13th August. Bilborough Town 2-0 Basford United Community (Notts Senior League Premier Division). The was Town's 1st game at their new home - the Harvey Hadden Stadium, and they had a hard fought win against the NSL new boys. It cost £2 for the admission and a very basic programme is available for 50p. The venue is very easy to get to from junction 26 of the M1. 38 more photos are online @ http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p1069082483.

The final set of photos comes from 20/08/16; with plenty of choice I made a very rare venture into the Cambridgeshire League. In fact the last and only time was the day when I met you @ Longstanton. Eaton Socon 3-0 Over Sports
(Cambridgeshire County League Premier Division) An easy run along the M1, A14 and A1 took me to St. Neots and a tidy little step 7 ground. No admission was charged but programmes were available from the tea hut which cost £1. In time when funds allow the club hope to erect a stand and install floodlights. The game was very comfortable for the hosts who kept their 100% record going, and in truth should have won by a greater margin. A further 52 photos are online @
http://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p364759547. All photos now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Tuesday 30th August TT No.2 – Steve Hardy – ‘A small stand has been erected behind the goal nearest the entrance, and that is it for spectator facilities’. Check out the match day review following Steve’s hop to watch Gobowen Celtic (v Madeley Sports) in the Mercian League Premier Division on 13/08/16… go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 30th August – TT No.1: Steve Hardy – ‘This ground is just what it sounds like. A playing field with absolutely no spectator facilities at all, and therein lies the problem for most clubs in the Mercian league’. Read all about Steve’s hop to watch Melton Town (v Potton United) in the United Counties League Division One played on 06/08/16 the club’s new ground…go to the Reports page and click on the TT Index for 2016-17 for more…

Tuesday 30th AugustLatest Images: WebEd – View the ground, action and match day photos from early season visits to Airdrieonians (v Partick Thistle) in the Betfred League Cup Group C fixture played on 15/08/16; Livingston (v St Mirren) in the Betfred League Cup Group H on 16/08/16; Enfield 1893 (v Tower Hamlets) in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie on 06/08/16; Cherry Hinton (v Fowlmere) in the Cambs County League on 10/08/16; Melton Town (v Rushden & Higham United) in the United Counties League Division One on 13/08/16; South Walsham (v Freethorpe) in the Anglian Combination League Division Three on 19/08/16; Wollaston Victoria (v Brixworth All Saints) in the Northants Combination League Premier Division on 20/08/16; Fowlmere (v Great Shelford) in the Cambs County League Premier Division on 26/08/16 and Spratton (v Heyford Athletic) in the Northants Combination Premier Division on 27/08/16…all now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…

Tuesday 30th August - Latest Images: Steve Hardy – Check out Steve’s superb pictures from early season matches attended at Melton Town (v Potton United) in the United Counties League Division One played on 06/08/16 and Gobowen Celtic (v Madeley Sports) in the Mercian League Premier Division on 13/08/16…both now added to the new FGIF Album Gallery…TT reports from both games to follow…