Wednesday October 28th

buncranaboy

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
640
Team{s}
Bostock Stanley, Barnstoneworth United
Hellenic Floodlit Cup : Southam United 3 Banbury United Development 1. Attendance : 122 (hc); f&n

A very rare midweek new ground for me, ferried here by Karb via the Fox and Hen in nearby Bascote, an odd throwback of a pub reminiscent of a holiday park clubhouse.
Our attempts to gain entrance to the ground through the new housing development down Kingfisher Drive led us to a (permanently) locked gate so we parked outside as the adjacent pedestrian gates were open. Apparently cars have to access via Lark Road which takes you into the large car park at the ground.
Bobby Hancocks Park is close to where Southam's old ground was, on Banbury Road to the south of the town. I had expected an anodyne 3G affair but this is anything but. It's a grass pitch for a start, and there's cover on both sides - a 3 or 4 row seated stand on the far side and a few steps of terracing in front of the main club building which are protected to a degree by an overhang. There appeared to be a viewing terrace above, but we didn't enter the building as we were informed that the clubhouse was shut but some folk were up there viewing proceedings. Plenty of scope to make further improvements should Southam progress up the leagues as they surely aim to and excellent floodlights too.
A good hopper representation for this first competitive midweek game here and we enjoyed an excellent contest with the young Banbury side acquitting themselves well after being two down and outplayed till just before the interval when a spectacular effort got them back into the contest. The competition is called the Banbury Litho Floodlit Challenge Cup which appears to be a cross-divisional competition despite this game featuring two sides from Division Two North.
No gate taken, App scan or sign in, and no programme. There was a tea bar with hot drinks and a very limited range of snacks which closed when the match was in progress.
I would expect to see significant progress from this club over the next few years.
 

Dave the Glassboy

Junior Team Starter
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
63
Hellenic League Floodlit Cup
Southam United 3 Banbury United Development 1
Free admission but donations box at the entrance so bunged a couple of quid in.

Not much to add to the above. There was a sign in sheet when I went in.

Sat at the back of the seated area on the half way line and got a good view.

Bloody cold but at least there was some goalmouth action unlike at Stour on Monday night!
 

Hornchurchspur

Junior Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
40
Team{s}
Tottenham, Cambridge City
United Counties League Division One
Blackstones 4 Huntingdon Town 0
Admission £3 (concession) Attendance c90 (headcount)


Having missed out on a match last night thanks to a very late postponement at Brentwood, I decided to make up for it with a 100 mile drive to Stamford for this UCL Div One fixture. I was rewarded with a competitive and fast paced encounter between two mid-table sides. Blackstones started the better and were ahead early on with a close range header. Huntingdon came back into it as the half progressed but the nearest they came to an equaliser was when a goal was ruled out for offside. They fell further behind just before half time when a hurried clearance was well flicked on by the Blackstones #9 Bird and his teammate ran clear to slot home. Any realistic hope of a Huntingdon comeback faded within five minutes of the restart when Bird caught out the Huntingdon keeper with a clever near post finish. Huntingdon tried hard but made little headway and a defensive slip let Bird in again to add the fourth with the last kick of the match.

Blackstones home at Lincoln Road is a very neat and tidy ground tucked away in a housing estate in one of the less picturesque parts of Stamford. Unusually there are rows of mature trees alongside each touchline which gives the ground a rural feel that belies its very urban setting. There is some covered seating and standing along one side of the pitch with dressing rooms, refreshment facilities and car park behind one of the goals. A very friendly welcome on arrival – I don't think I've ever been addressed as Sir when entering a ground – and excellent service from birthday girl Crystal in the tea hut. A final bonus was the trip back down the A1 and M11 virtually untroubled by overnight roadworks.
 

villan

Junior Team Regular
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
81
Also at Southam United 3-1 Banbury United dev. ATT circa 120h/c f&n although a donations box existed at the t&t table where choice of digital & paper sign in available.

Ground & approach described by the boy from buncrana so I will just say this could develop into a very good new venue probably sufficient for step 6 already & I will be very surprised if SU are not playing step 6 next season(assuming we have a full season now) as it would be wasteful for a club with these facilities & potential not to achieve promotion subject to results on the pitch of course. The grass pitch is excellent as are the floodlights.

Very entertaining game with the development visitors giving a good account of themselves after going 2 down in 32 mins. They scored goal of the game when 2 Owen Tredwell hit a screamer from out far right 25-30 yards into far corner assuming it was meant & not a over hit cross.!! SU 9 Levi Steele hit a hat trick & could have had 5. A good evening out in good company as hopper count was into double figures & had a nice pint with The Gentle Green Giant of this parish in the Harvester Long Itchington a long standing GBG entry circa 4 miles from ground before the game. Home before 22.30 hours.
 

totallyuntamed

Junior Team Starter
Joined
Dec 19, 2019
Messages
69
Team{s}
Solihull Moors
Also at Southam United 3-1 Banbury United dev. ATT circa 120h/c f&n although a donations box existed at the t&t table where choice of digital & paper sign in available.

Ground & approach described by the boy from buncrana so I will just say this could develop into a very good new venue probably sufficient for step 6 already & I will be very surprised if SU are not playing step 6 next season(assuming we have a full season now) as it would be wasteful for a club with these facilities & potential not to achieve promotion subject to results on the pitch of course. The grass pitch is excellent as are the floodlights.

Very entertaining game with the development visitors giving a good account of themselves after going 2 down in 32 mins. They scored goal of the game when 2 Owen Tredwell hit a screamer from out far right 25-30 yards into far corner assuming it was meant & not a over hit cross.!! SU 9 Levi Steele hit a hat trick & could have had 5. A good evening out in good company as hopper count was into double figures & had a nice pint with The Gentle Green Giant of this parish in the Harvester Long Itchington a long standing GBG entry circa 4 miles from ground before the game. Home before 22.30 hours.
Also at Southam United 3-1 Banbury United dev. ATT circa 120h/c f&n although a donations box existed at the t&t table where choice of digital & paper sign in available.

Ground & approach described by the boy from buncrana so I will just say this could develop into a very good new venue probably sufficient for step 6 already & I will be very surprised if SU are not playing step 6 next season(assuming we have a full season now) as it would be wasteful for a club with these facilities & potential not to achieve promotion subject to results on the pitch of course. The grass pitch is excellent as are the floodlights.

Very entertaining game with the development visitors giving a good account of themselves after going 2 down in 32 mins. They scored goal of the game when 2 Owen Tredwell hit a screamer from out far right 25-30 yards into far corner assuming it was meant & not a over hit cross.!! SU 9 Levi Steele hit a hat trick & could have had 5. A good evening out in good company as hopper count was into double figures & had a nice pint with The Gentle Green Giant of this parish in the Harvester Long Itchington a long standing GBG entry circa 4 miles from ground before the game. Home before 22.30 hours.
Another one of the double figures groundhopper count. Very comprehensive report from Buncrana Boy, nicely embellished by succeeding accounts. All I would add is that the club need to put some form of sign up to point people in the right direction as we were also caught out by the Kingfisher "entrance" and the (obviously new) post code of the ground was not recognised my by satnav.
 

Tales From The Riverbank3

Junior Team Regular
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
97
......From this angle, there does seem to be a dark Lockdown/Circuit Breaker/Firebreak hurtling towards us in Englandshire, therefore it is a question of # while we are still able to. Though not much to uplift mind, body and soul in the untidiest of untidy between...

Grays Athletic 1 v 0 Great Wakering Rovers - Isthmian League Division 1 North
Boon to paper producers 80 pages £2.00 - Admission £10.00 - Att. A healthy 286


...The nature of this contest was such was that the highlight of the evening was discovering a paved and lit short cut on the walk back between Parkside and The Riverbank which shaved at least five minutes off of the normal ninety minute journey. Apart from that it was standard Isthmian League Division 1 fayre, endeavour in abundance, but played to quote one of the also present Mr Druryszki's favourite phrases 'by players who think that they are better than they are'.

There were a few moments to illuminate a turgid contest, especially the performance of Danny Sambrook between the sticks for the hosts who threw himself around to great effect pulling off important saves from Sam Carter's header in the first half palming around the post and then towards the end parrying twice to deny Kojo Apanteng and catching a shot from Alex Hernandez that moved in flight due to the prevailing winter approaching chilly gusts.

There was little between the headlong rush approach from either team though Grays won the contest with the untidiest of goals with a free kick from Ryan Melaugh saw Tim Brown in the GWR goal only half clear as far as Lewis Clark who in turn found Anointed Chukwu whose touch was not in the slightest cleanly struck deceived a clearly unsighted Brown and crossed the line. Earlier in the half Mitch Hahn had a couple of well directed shots which were just about noteworthy but Brown was able to gather both without too many difficulties.

Second period was barely an improvement, though a decent run and tantalising low cross from Melaugh passed under both Chukwu's and Reece Price-Placid's boots en route to passing the far post. At the other end GWR missed the opportunity for a possibly deserved leveller when Apanteng's cross from the left reached an unmarked Adebola Sotoyinbo but he tamely headed over. In the final minutes Carter launched what was one of the more reckless challenges of the season high and late with the instantaneous thought that this would be a straight red and the man in black without any discussion pulling out the red card and off trudged Carter. Pleasing for once to see that after such an unpleasant challenge that there was no recrimination from the Grays players, many players of similar ilk would surely have weighed in to 'settle scores'. What also helped is that the offence took place well away from the benches. Grays now in a Play Off position, on the basis of this performance almost certainly a false placing, whether we progress to a stage where Play Off's can be seen in the far distance is entirely dependant on what occurs in the world outside. Currently, optimism is in short supply.

Usual Track and Trace in place, though there were constant reminders (though stated in pleasant non-hectoring tones) about maintaining social distancing and keeping to current regulations. A complete lack of social distancing on the field of play though when GWR were awarded a corner during the second half and at least a dozen players gathered like a large shoal of fish just inside the penalty area before scattering in search of the elusive touch/clearance.

On departing did initially consider the traditional Route 372 from St Pauls Close to Rainham Interchange but the walk through the deserted apart from the obligatory late evening Dog walkers Thurrock streets was decided upon. Takes twenty five minutes longer than the bus/c2c option but has the advantage of being of more benefit for mind body and soul during these troubled times...
 

Digdagdog

Youth Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
407
Team{s}
Melksham Town, Bath Rugby, Lancashire CCC, Wigan Warriors
Corsham Print Wiltshire Senior
Lew Hill Memorial Ground
Odd Down Reserves 2(2) Frome Collegians 3(1)
Admission: £3 No paper Attendance: 31 + Sam the dog

With games in these parts falling like ninepins due to COVID/weather, the 'good drainer' at Odd Down came to the rescue. I attended in the good company of Spitfire Dave, from here with his greyhound Sam, and we saw a very good contest between two very evenly matched teams.
Neither team are from Wiltshire and are both recent recruits to the League, with Frome having a year's seniority to Odd Down in that respect. First visit in a couple of years here; no major changes. NHS App on arrival.
Both sides indulged in some crisp passing and angled runs; quite attractive to watch. Frome led on 15 with a good finish but the home side hit back with a double in two minutes; a converted cross on 23 and a penalty on 24.
We had a couple of torrential weather events at half time and for a ten-minute spell in the second half, the visitors absorbing home pressure as well as the rain; they won the game with two second half finishes on 65 and 78. Better and more composed finishing from the home team could have made the difference. In these COVID times, Steps 6 and 7 are far more prevalent for me than my usual 4 and 5; and I've enjoyed pretty much every one.
Easy journey for me; home via Limpley Stoke and Bradford in 25 minutes.
 

pokal02

Youth Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
329
Team{s}
Barnet, Cockfosters
Sunderland West End 0-5 Chester le Street
Northern Lge Div 2
Adm £5 Coffee £1.80 Att 150.


Wasn't expecting a 'sell out' here - if I'd known I wouldn't have sat in my car for 10 mins on arriving at 18:30!

The dreaded green mesh is much in evidence here, it's a 3-sided 3G cage with two small stands (set well back from the pitch so I had to stand up as the 'no standing in front of seats' was ignored) from the Haughmond/Lower Breck school of design. I'd signed in with their own app - apparently registering for AFC Stoneham made me a 'member' here too - so no separate T&T. No temperature check either, unlike when a previous poster visited, although I agree with him the coffee was unusually good. All facilities, even the loo, are in the leisure centre before the turnstiles, although one can leave and re-enter.

Fairly one-sided 1st half with CLS scoring on 3, 14, 19 and 35 - the first three all from less than six yards. Second half quieter with a header from a corner on 68 completing the scoring.

Couple of closures at Grantham & Buckden going home costing 25 and 8 min respectively but made up some time in good driving conditions & indoors at 02:15.
 

Chris1963

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
1,303
Sunderland West End 0-5 Chester le Street
Northern Lge Div 2
Adm £5 Coffee £1.80 Att 150.


The dreaded green mesh is much in evidence here, it's a 3-sided 3G cage with two small stands (set well back from the pitch so I had to stand up as the 'no standing in front of seats' was ignored) from the Haughmond/Lower Breck school of design.
What is green mesh? The tall mesh fences surrounding these cages are normally black.
 

Bigaitch

Youth Team Star
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
446
Team{s}
None in particular
Cray Wanderers 6 Merstham 0
Isthmian Premier Division, Att 376
Admission £10 pre booked print at home, programme 56 pages MK production £2, good value.

This was not my first choice, but with Athletic Newham‘s game with Hackney Wick falling foul of the ‘Paintgate’ saga, a swift browse through the remaining games threw up this one and in doing so I ventured to Hayes Lane for only the second time and the first in 38 years. It is fair to say it has changed a little since then, and although modern now in parts it retains a lot of character and is a lovely venue.
It was a good choice too, with the home side playing some lovely football against what has to be said a very poor Merstham side that contained, in my opinion, many players playing a couple of steps up from their natural environment. The score line flattered the visitors who did not work the home keeper all night.
It took 3 minutes for the deadlock to break, some decent one touch play led to a back heel and a first time finish from about ten yards and this was doubled six minutes later when a rasping drive from the edge of the box was parried by the keeper, but former Charlton and Orient midfielder Bradley Pritchard finished first time. Merstham then had an opportunity to get back in the game when they got through one on one with the home keeper but the shot cleared the keeper..the cross bar...and the covered terrace behind the goal...On 34 it was three nil with a comical goal. A corner from the right following a good save was headed back across goal where two defenders on the post seemed to leave it to each other, the result being the ball went in softly to more laughter than cheers from those behind the goal.
It took three minutes also for the second half scoring to commence, some good build up play in and around the edge of the box found a forward who teed himself up and let rip with venom. The fifth came again from a rebound following a save from the keeper and the sixth on 82 minutes was following a through ball the home forward outpaced two opponents and as the keeper came out he dunked it over him and into the net. Merstham‘s keeper, Tyla Dickinson and centre back EJ Mensah did well but had little support from their colleagues. Their assistant manager, Barry Hayles, now 48 came on for 20 or so minutes and was spoken to twice by the excellent referee Mr Pope regarding fouls before his patience ran out and Hayles became the games sole yellow card. Sad to see a player who graced the game far higher up reduced to this, however to be still playing at his age is quite something.
It was a really enjoyable evening. A decent crowd watching a game at an elite ground provides a real irony that the landlords have BCD in their attendance column yet the ground that was only really three sided for the night coped easily with a near 400 crowd. Bizarre.
 

paulh66

First Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
2,558
Team{s}
Tranmere, South Liverpool
Also at Southam United 3-1 Banbury United dev.

..... could develop into a very good new venue probably sufficient for step 6 already & I will be very surprised if SU are not playing step 6 next season(assuming we have a full season now) as it would be wasteful for a club with these facilities & potential not to achieve promotion subject to results on the pitch of course. The grass pitch is excellent as are the floodlights.
You never know but, with Hellenic 2 not recognised as a NLS feeder league, it's hard to see how Southam can possibly meet the 'exceptional circumstances' criterion to be allowed into step 6 next season. Their application to move up this summer was flatly rejected by the FA, presumably for that reason.
 

Dave 56

Youth Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
191
Team{s}
Leatherhead
Hellenic Floodlit Cup. KO 19:45. Crowd 122. Admission by donation. No Programme.

Southam United 3 v 1 Banbury Utd. Development


Match already well summarised. There was a donation box by the track and trace forms but strangely they disappeared shortly before KO, leaving later arrivals to assume it was free entry.

Great excitement amongst the head counters as 3 of them all arrived at 122 ! Many familiar faces in attendance. Nice ground and a good game.
 

Part-Timer

Youth Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
458
United Counties League Division One
Blackstones 4 Huntingdon Town 0
Admission £3 (concession) Attendance c90 (headcount)


Having missed out on a match last night thanks to a very late postponement at Brentwood, I decided to make up for it with a 100 mile drive to Stamford for this UCL Div One fixture. I was rewarded with a competitive and fast paced encounter between two mid-table sides. Blackstones started the better and were ahead early on with a close range header. Huntingdon came back into it as the half progressed but the nearest they came to an equaliser was when a goal was ruled out for offside. They fell further behind just before half time when a hurried clearance was well flicked on by the Blackstones #9 Bird and his teammate ran clear to slot home. Any realistic hope of a Huntingdon comeback faded within five minutes of the restart when Bird caught out the Huntingdon keeper with a clever near post finish. Huntingdon tried hard but made little headway and a defensive slip let Bird in again to add the fourth with the last kick of the match.

Blackstones home at Lincoln Road is a very neat and tidy ground tucked away in a housing estate in one of the less picturesque parts of Stamford. Unusually there are rows of mature trees alongside each touchline which gives the ground a rural feel that belies its very urban setting. There is some covered seating and standing along one side of the pitch with dressing rooms, refreshment facilities and car park behind one of the goals. A very friendly welcome on arrival – I don't think I've ever been addressed as Sir when entering a ground – and excellent service from birthday girl Crystal in the tea hut. A final bonus was the trip back down the A1 and M11 virtually untroubled by overnight roadworks.
Also at this one. The welcome is always friendly at Blackstones. The margin of the defeat was harsh on Huntingdon who contributed significantly to what was, as you say, a competitive match (in the best sense of the phrase). The drawback with a tree-lined ground at this time of year is that the pitch had as much leaf as grass on it!
 

dtr1989

Junior Team Star
Joined
Dec 19, 2019
Messages
115
Team{s}
Bury FC
North West Counties Division One North
Garstang 1-5 Bury AFC
Venue: The Riverside
Admission: £10 (I accidently clicked the food bank donation ticket, otherwise would've been £5)
Attendance: 300


New Ground 101

This is the first time I have seen the phoenix of my old club Bury. With covid restrictions setting most attendances to 300, tickets are hard to come by with the club having to alternate ticket availability for members so everyone gets a fair shot. I am not a member but a friend is who forwarded me the link for the tickets for this game.

Garstang is about 30 minutes north of Preston and The Riverside is located in the town centre, at the end of the high street. I parked nearby (or so I thought), and it was a further 8 minute walk to locate the hidden entrance in a car park. The Riverside is a pretty non-descript ground with one small sheltered benched/standing area, offset behind one of the goals. One touchline was out of bounds (presumably due to the flooding recently) which made social distancing nigh on impossible. The opposite touchline is raised on a banking above the pitch, but part of this side was also restricted viewing due to dugouts and a gazebo. The clubhouse is behind one of the goals and was not serving food or alcohol, and permitted one person in the only toilet at a time.

The game was pretty much a hoofball affair. Garstangs manager had instructed the groundsman not to cut the grass (according to the groundsman) so it was really long. Coupled with the recent heavy rain, the ball just stuck. The game started quickly however with Bury left back Scott Metcalfe finding himself in the opposition area and firing in. The referees inconsistences showed, with Bury striker Liam McDevitt committing two late challenges (not dangerous, but late slides) and not being given a card, but straight after, a couple of borderline fouls from Garstang led to yellows for them. As a Bury fan, I found it quite poor. Liam McDevitt managed to poke in following a fumble from the Garstang keeper on the 35th minute before a mix up from the Bury keeper who called for the ball to clear it, the ball stuck in the grass, and his attempted clearance bounced off Garstang striker Danny Squires, who then could just fire into the open net.

The 2nd half started and Garstang had a strong penalty shout turned down. In my eyes it should've been a penalty, but it wasn't given. It could've evened the game up, but then a trio of penalties were handed to Bury with Tom Greaves converting all 3, to make it 1-5.
 

pokal02

Youth Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
329
Team{s}
Barnet, Cockfosters
90% of the metal mesh I've seen has been green. Can't think of many black ones, not that it would be much better. Why don't, for example, Sunderland West End have it red and white?
 

Steveb

Reserve Team Starter
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
790
Team{s}
England, Leicester City, Bedfont & Feltham
Hellenic Floodlit Cup. KO 19:45. Crowd 122. Admission by donation. No Programme.

Southam United 3 v 1 Banbury Utd. Development

Great excitement amongst the head counters as 3 of them all arrived at 122
! Many familiar faces in attendance. Nice ground and a good game.
My headcount had been 121, then Dave56 returned from a comfort break and so I added him.

Report and photos are on my blog.
 

Davetherave

Youth Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
307
Sunderland West End 0-5 Chester le Street

Couple of closures at Grantham & Buckden going home costing 25 and 8 min respectively but made up some time in good driving conditions & indoors at 02:15.
Any idea how long more the closures at Grantham are going to last for?
 

pokal02

Youth Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
329
Team{s}
Barnet, Cockfosters
The Grantham closure wasn't shown on the Highways Agency site (if it had been I might well have tried M18/M1), although the Buckden one was - so it's anyone's guess!.
 
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