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Home: Non-League Football Discussion: Where did you go?:
Sat. 8th December


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First Team Star

Dec 9, 2018, 5:06 PM

Posts: 1580
Location: Coventry
Team(s): Solihull Moors

Post #51 of 67 (8997 views)
Re: [wishmaster3211] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

North West Counties League Division One South Wythenshawe Town 2 Cheadle Heath Nomads 2 Admission £3(concession) Programme £2. Attendance 56 (headcount, but confirmed by official figure later).
Regular readers of my posts will know how impressed I have been by the fare on offer from the new clubs in this league this season and after this clash played in awful conditions and on a pitch which cut up badly the longer the game went on, my opinion is higher than ever.The ground is at the end of a cul de sac (Timpson Road) just past a Tesco superstore and is hemmed in on all four sides - respectively by a Tesco petrol station, a housing estate, an industrial estate and a main road - and parking facilities are very limited, with the small club car park being closed by the time I got there at 2.35. Fortunately it is possible to park on one side of the road without any restriction. Consequently as you might expect the ground's size is small. There is some room to expand behind the dugouts and small stand that side but given the gates they attract that is hardly likely to be on WT's minds. The far end being grass only is, as is always the case in this league, out of bounds. There is, however, hard standing on the other three sides and the club have done a fine job in constructing a ground suitable for Level 6 football which has an identity all of its own.As you enter the ground there is a modern clubhouse on the left which I made my way to to get out of the pouring rain. On the right are two small stands, the first with 32 plastic seats in two rows and beyond that a row of 46 bucket seats which were too low to be sat on and afford a decent view of the pitch. Opposite is a third stand, again with two rows, providing 32 seats to give a total capacity of 110 seats, all of which are in the club's colours of blue and white. There is also room to stand behind the back row there should you choose. Dugouts are beyond this stand if approaching from the clubhouse. There are two sets of three floodlight pylons with the corner ones having six bulbs and the two middle ones four. The young (and very fit) referee struggled to control the game at times but overall did well and managed to avoid (probably correctly imho) to avoid giving out any cards in what was a spirited and feisty local derby - the grounds are only 5 miles apart. CHN took a deserved early lead after a goalkeeping error but as the half wore on WT began to come in to the game more and equalised 2 minutes before half time. The third quarter of the game became more and more scrappy in the increasingly difficult conditions before a second goal caused by keeper error put the visitors ahead again. This was the signal for a noticeable cranking up in pace as the homesters battled for an equaliser which they duly achieved with a finely crafted 87th minute goal. Cracking entertainment between two good teams. Despite pretty awful driving conditions I managed to get home by 6.45 but for my next planned NWCL trip (to Garstang) I hope to let the train - and bus- take the strain.

"There's a man with a mullet going mad with a mallet in Milletts".

Qatar World Cup bid member!

Dec 9, 2018, 6:09 PM

Posts: 18684
Location: Chatham
Team(s): Brentford

Post #52 of 67 (8812 views)
Re: [totallyuntamed] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Sky Bet Championship

Brentford (1) 2 v 3 (3) Swansea City

Admission Season Ticket Programme £3.50 Attendance: 9,442 (1,650 away fans)


New Grounds 2018/2019 Season = 18
Last New Ground : West Bromwich Albion 3rd December 2018

Youth Team Regular

Dec 9, 2018, 8:36 PM

Posts: 211
Location: Cleethorpes
Team(s): Cleethorpes Town FC; Arnold Town FC; Nottingham Forest FC

Post #53 of 67 (8404 views)
Re: [bagman] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Evostik League Division One East
Morpeth Town 2 Cleethorpes Town 4
Att: 510 (40 away) Adm: £6 Prog: £1.50

Following the Owls this season has been a real roller-coaster and this match was very much one of the high points!

Made a weekend out of it (along with many other Clee fans) and travelled up to a Premier Inn in Newcastle by train on Friday. Best part of 30 years since I had been out on the Toon and I like the compact nature of the city centre. The first evening was spent in convivial company touring a few bars around the Quayside area, followed by an excellent curry.

Woke up feeling slightly the worse for wear on Saturday morning but, after a hearty breakfast, arrived in Morpeth just before noon. A pleasant walk into town to the local Wetherspoon, which was above average for the chain. After a couple of sharpeners, made the 35 minute (partly steeply uphill!!) walk to the ground, which is very close to the A1.

Loved the rural setting and all the locals were pretty friendly. Suspect there will be a fair bit of work for the Highwaymen to complete if they wish to continue their climb up the pyramid.

As for the game, the hosts started like a house on fire and led early. I feared a beating at this stage but Jon Oglesby curled in a delightful equaliser to level matters at the interval. The second 45 was a revelation, with the Owls producing a commanding display of disciplined football. Three goals was a fair reward and, in truth, Morpeth were well beaten at the final whistle.

Not what the home faithful were expecting but a couple of their fans had the good grace to say to me at the end that Clee were the best team they had seen at Craik Park this campaign - high praise indeed! Now if only we could play like this every week...

Seven of us shared a taxi back to Newcastle to continue the celebrations around the Bigg Market.

Leisurely train back to Clee on Sunday afternoon. A great weekend, made all the better by claiming a big three points to pull slightly clear of the relegation zone.

2019/20 season: 21 competitive games
(13 NPL SE, 2 FA Cup, 3 FA Trophy, 1 League Cup, 1 Lincs Cup, 1 FA Youth Cup)

Total goals: 85 (4.0 per game)
Most: 9 (Cleethorpes Town 5 Loughborough Dynamo 4 - 31/8/19)

Last 0-0: Ilkeston Town v Cleethorpes Town (Northern Premier League SE - 17/8/19)
(Current run: 20)

New grounds: 3 (Latest: Sutton Coldfield Town)

First Team Star

Dec 9, 2018, 9:26 PM

Posts: 2830
Location: Braunstone, Leicester
Team(s): Oadby Town, Leicester City

Post #54 of 67 (8245 views)
Re: [CleethorpesOggy] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

(Isthmian League North Division)

@ The Village Glass Stadium, Spa Road, Witham
Adm: comp
Prog: £2
Team Sheet: free
Half Time coffee: comp

A week off from work, so after sending a few tweets I decided on Witham Town. I was told to introduce myself to the match day secretary who showed me around and spent a bit of time chatting to me about the club. I was even invited into the committee room @ half time for a coffee.

The ground is very good for the level with cover on all four sides.

The game...not the best but two converted penalty kicks in the second half gave bottom of the table Witham a much needed three points.

67 ground and match photos can be viewed online @

timmy tabby
First Team Star

Dec 9, 2018, 10:27 PM

Posts: 1747

Post #55 of 67 (8062 views)
Re: [CleethorpesOggy] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

....Another on a weekend break (of sorts), however rather than the bright lights of Tyneside, Didcot Oxon this end with a long standing arrangement to look after Howard the feline companion of West Berks Palace whilst he jetted off in search of Cuckoo Clocks, Lindt Chocolate and a game in the Swiss Super League. Much less glamour in my contest of choice and the dreariest of drearies between...

Yate Town 0 v 0 Larkhall Athletic - Southern League Division South West
Prog 32 pages £1.50 - Admission £9.00 - Att 189

...A real mission to find anything to enthuse about here and 90 minutes where you had to reach into the recesses of the brain cells to try and work out why Yate are doing so well in the division as they completely lacked any ideas on how to break down a stubborn Larkhall defence. You could argue that the swirling wind did not help in any way, but much more of a hindrance came in the form of the man in black (one Mr R Smith) who suffocated the contest refusing any hints of flow to enter proceedings and reducing the match to a stop, start with a preponderance of stop throughout.

Clear that there was a fair amount of cross pollination between the two sets of players and it was clear that there was some 'unfinished business' with the hosts Pears unpleasant challenge from behind causing great discomfort to Powell and several others meaning that Mr Smith was accumulating numerous names in his notebook together with the accompanying yellow cards. One incident though clearly typified the first period when the hosts Sims-Burgess tried to imply that he had been battered to the ground by Semmens when there was no contact between the two players. Semmens then remonstrated too demonstratively with Mr Smith suggesting that a caution should be given for clear simulation. Problem was that it was Semmens who had the yellow card brandished in his direction.

Occasionally, very occasionally, there were chances i.e. when Baker struck a free kick through the Yate wall but struck it straight at Thomas to give the home keeper some catching practice or when Twyman broke clear for the hosts but as he was lining up a shot, Lambert just managed to slide in and whip the ball off the formers toe.

If the first half was woeful, the second half was even worse, though on the plus side the two sets of players were not indulging so frequently in the darker arts of the game, though this could have been due to the fact that so many of them were on yellow cards. Towards the end of the contest, Yate gave the impression that they could steal an undeserved win and a decent cross from the right found Keightley unmarked on the near post but he headed over the angle and then an angled drive from Langworthy which brought about a diving save from Semmens, however this was virtually the only occasion that either keeper had anything other than a routine save to make. Overall one to file under E to Erase any memory of.

First visit to Lodge Avenue for over 4 years, functional venue rather than being attractive, Even though the seating area is off centre, chose to sit rather than stand ion the far side and get an occasional soaking from the showers. In fact by the end, the rain was teeming down and the attempts to get the early train back to Bristol Parkway were stopped in their tracks by the rare example of a Late Western train leaving at the precise time of departure. Instead decided to venture back to the Yate JDW where an earlier visit had found the Box Steam Xmas Box in fine fettle and thoughts turned to sampling their Brie and Cranberry Festive Pizza, however this was thwarted by the carnivores version of the Pizza appearing despite the receipt stating what had been ordered. Still I received an apology and a full refund including the pint that had been purchased.

The accumulation of cack day points continued when after the 17.11 had left at 17.11 the 18.13 left at 18.33, though a 40 minute stop over in Swindon meant a first time visit to the opulent and serene surrounds of the Great Western Hotel across the road from the station. Pity that the Arkells Hoperation was so ordinary. Slow return journey meant arrival back at Howard the Cat Mansion was not until 20.50 and not surprisingly I was greeted by a supposedly half starved kitty demanding a pouch of Felix Turkey with an accompaniment of a bowl of Cat Milk.......

(This post was edited by timmy tabby on Dec 9, 2018, 10:54 PM)

First Team Star

Dec 10, 2018, 1:45 AM

Posts: 1502
Location: Redditch
Team(s): Aston Villa-Newport County-

Post #56 of 67 (7807 views)
Re: [rambler77] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

As stated by Tim I was also at Hillside Gardens recompleting the Gloucestershire County league. I could not be bothered to contact a number of grass pitch locations to check if on & this was a convenient trip to Bristol with a 3pm KO.

Rockleaze Rangers 1-2 Stonehouse Town ADM free programme £2 ATT H/C 12 official 32 must have included reserve team players who watched most of game after their early 12.45ko on pitch 2 had ended & also many of the A&B teams who turned up pitch side for their friendly game following our game.
I think this venue could be a decent floodlit addition to the county scene despite it being a cage. A reasonable sized parking exists at one end with the 2 pitches running adjacent to each other within the cage away from the car park. Between the pitches exists a covered standing area which serves both pitches & provides a flat viewing area protecting from the rain although today not from the blustery wind. Access is available along this side & at far end but not behind near goal or right hand side. The near goal is roped off & changing room block is in this area. The dugouts are on far side & looked splendid permanent structures with 2 rows of seats totalling about 20. No spectator seating exists. The pitch & floodlights are excellent. There looks room for seating to be installed in at least part of the cover previously referred to. You can obtain hot drink from changing room area but access is from car park not inside ground. I do not know if space exists within building for a club room etc.
The game was not a classic but the windy conditions were problematical with the slick surface. One or two of our group murmured the possibility of a 0-0 developing but this thought was put to bed with a fine opener on 27 for visitors. An equally well struck shot equalised on 62 & hosts started to look likely winners but it was ST who got the winner with a shot from wide left which took a deflection finding far corner over the keeper on 76. I think a share of the spoils may have been a just reward but I expect both teams to be in upper echelons of league come April. A good afternoon enhanced by good company although I failed to convince Mr Partridge that Villa were robbed the night before.
After match refreshments at Snuffy Jacks micro in Fishponds 10 mins from ground completed a good day out with no travel problems either way.

End 2018-19, Total Grounds 1427

New grounds 2019-20. 26

(This post was edited by villan on Dec 10, 2018, 1:52 AM)

Nobody's Heroes
Youth Team Regular

Dec 10, 2018, 10:35 AM

Posts: 205
Location: Welsh Wales
Team(s): Sheffield United, CPD Porthmadog, Ross County

Post #57 of 67 (7428 views)
Re: [villan] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


ADO Den Haag 0 De Graafschap 0

Car Jeans Stadion Ticket - 25 Euros Programme - 1 Euro

Despite the valiant effort of Flybe delaying my departure from Manchester to Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon (which they also managed to do on my return flight on Sunday evening), I still arrived in Den Haag with a couple of hours to spare to locate my digs and then secondly to travel to the slightly out of town Car Jeans Stadion.

Den Haag is easily reached from Schiphol Airport, a mere 30 minute dash on a very regular train service. The ground is then reached by either the number 3 or 4 tram-train line from Den Haag Centraal to Forepark and then a 10 minute walk towards the visible floodlights.

The game itself was a non-event partly due to the very high winds which led to tricky playing conditions and partly due to a degree of ineptitude by the 22 players on the pitch.

The game petered out into a goal-less draw in front of a stadium around half full....not the best spectacle I've seen this season, indeed amongst the worst!

Easy ride on tram-train back to Centraal after the game with quite an early start planned for Sunday and a game in Utrecht.

Youth Team Sub

Dec 10, 2018, 1:49 PM

Posts: 158
Location: Lichfield

Post #58 of 67 (7127 views)
Re: [Karen Browne] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In Reply To

In Reply To
BOVINGDON (0)1 BIGGLESWADE UNITED (1)1 [Bovingdon won 4-3 on penalties]
F&N, (Very disappointed to find no programme) ATTENDANCE: 33(h/c)

Interesting your headcount, the hosts reported an attendance of 121
Not too sure where Bovingdon got that figure from, Karen. At half time pretty much everyone retreated into the club house and my head count in there (I know, very sad) was again 33. Even if there was the odd person out of my line of sight when I did the pitchside count, there was definitely nothing like 121. Bovingdon didn't take a gate either, so there would be no count of the number of spectators paying for admission.

Witton Ender

Andy D
Chelsea Transfer Target

Dec 10, 2018, 1:55 PM

Posts: 4492
Location: Cheshire/Dorset
Team(s): 1874 Northwich, Forfar Athletic, Castleford RLFC, Lancashire CCC,

Post #59 of 67 (7116 views)
Re: [Tim] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Upham 1 Colden Common 5, Hampshire Intermediate Cup 3rd Round, Att: 10, Admission/Prog: No

Despite having been warned by Splodge of this parish that Ray's Farm was susceptible to wet weather, this was never in doubt despite the frequent blustery showers that swept across the Hampshire countryside. This is a tightly enclosed ground at the far end of an isolated village north of Eastleigh, a small car park at the bottom of the field leading to a wooden changing room block behind the goal and then the pitch running up quite a pronounced slope. to the right, there is a newly installed pitchside rail with the left hand side bordered by fields and (once the rain gave way to sunshine) glorious views of the rolling hills. The game was more or less over as a contest in the first 20 minutes as the visitors cruised into a 3-0 lead against their lower ranked opponents. Despite pulling one back just before the break and being more competitive in the second period, Upham never really threatened and two further goals late on sealed a comfortable victory.

Pre-match refreshments were courtesy of the surprisingly not GBG-featured Brushmakers Arms, a short stroll away from the ground, where Flowerpots Goodens Gold and Bowmans Swift One were both in fine form.

Rules of Groundhopping:

Rule 1 - There are no rules
Rule 2 - See rule 1.....

Chelsea Transfer Target

Dec 10, 2018, 6:15 PM

Posts: 4544
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #60 of 67 (6788 views)
Re: [Andy D] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

With TheWavendonian at...

League Two
Stevenage 0-1 Lincoln City

Entry: £15
Attendance: 3,552

A cold and blowy day at a rather meagre football match - Lincoln were effient in the extreme yet offered little in the way of entertainment for the curious neutral, while Stevenage looked bereft of ideas for a side chasing a play-off place. Not a contest that’ll live long in my memory.

Things were slightly better on the pub front, but trips to Macclesfield and Atherstone in recent weeks have obviously spoilt me. There were some good ales at the ‘Our Mutual Friend’ just a five minute walk from the East Terrace turnstiles, but this being a football pub meant we had to drink out of flimsy plastic cups (not the pubs fault). The only other pubs we managed were two Wetherspoons, meaning that the highlight of the day by a long way was the visit to Revolution Records in Stevenage’s surprisingly pretty Old Town, where I handed over some folding in exchange for some Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Cure and Scritti Politti records.

Youth Team Regular

Dec 10, 2018, 9:05 PM

Posts: 229
Team(s): Barnet,Potters Bar,Hadley

Post #61 of 67 (6562 views)
Re: [pokal02] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In Reply To
Ebbsfleet U 1-0 Barnet
Nat Lge
Att 1320 Adm £15 Prog £3

Have always had a soft spot for this ground as it was my first Barnet away match outside the M25 back in 1978, with a certain J. Greaves scoring our goal in a 1-1 draw that day.

The uncovered visitors terrace hasn't changed since then, fortunately, with intermittent heavy showers, no segregation was in force and I sat in the old main stand. For some reason, seats have been stuck in the home terrace since my last visit, with a new modern stand on the other side.

First half was utter dross with one shot from Fleet and none from Bees. Second half a little better with Fleet's No7 missing three 1 on 1's with the keeper and Bees mustering a couple of half chances. Fleet got a late winner when their No9 was left unmarked to fire home from close range on 84 mins.

Dire football from Bees throughout and with two league games against improving Dover & Daggers coming up I know which end of the table I'll be looking at for the rest of the season.

Also at Gravesend for the world paint drying championships. not sure how a club due to face a winding up order can afford the likes of Cody Mcdonald (the no7 who missed sitters)!

Man City Transfer Target!

Dec 10, 2018, 9:17 PM

Posts: 11500
Location: Pontypool
Team(s): Newport County

Post #62 of 67 (6539 views)
Re: [buncranaboy] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In Reply To
Welsh Cup 3 : Ynysddu Welfare 1 Cefn Druids 3. Admission £4; Programme £2. Attendance : 280 (hc)

A goodly collection of hoppers including a number of this forum's illuminati at this David v Goliath tie in the last 32 of the Welsh Cup. Our party consisted of the Town Crier, catchagogoal and myself who convened at Whittington just off M5/J7 just after 11.40 and we were at the ground 90 minutes later which was about 75 minutes too early.

Back at the ground, we encountered gcnc,wiretown ed, hipkissexpress, shotton Brian, Dave Cox and Steve Munday among others and watched Druids score early to almost complete silence.

All of whom might like to relive the excitement with

Chelsea Transfer Target

Dec 10, 2018, 11:26 PM

Posts: 4503

Post #63 of 67 (6336 views)
Re: [gcnc] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Very impressive that the boy from Buncrana conducted his interview in Welsh. Is there no limit to this man's talent ?

Reserve Team Sub

Dec 11, 2018, 7:55 PM

Posts: 496
Location: Greater London

Post #64 of 67 (5745 views)
Re: [mick] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In Reply To
Very impressive that the boy from Buncrana conducted his interview in Welsh. Is there no limit to this man's talent ?

If he is so talented, why does he spend so much time having a go at vulnerable people o this forum?

First Team Sub

Dec 17, 2018, 11:19 PM

Posts: 1074
Location: Newcastle/Salford/Wrexham
Team(s): Bolton Wanderers, local non-league teams

Post #65 of 67 (4287 views)
Re: [greenwood] Sat. 8th December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Billingham Synthonia 0-4 Billingham Town (0-4 HT) at Norton Sports Complex
Northern League Division Two
Admission: £6, Programme: £1, Tea: £1, Mars: 80p, Chip butty: £1.40
Attendance: 218

Was meant to have a couple of ultimate frisbee matches at Durham in the afternoon but these were cancelled due to pitch conditions, which although annoying allowed me to get to an unexpected match. The Billingham derby seemed was the obvious choice, as it provided me with a new ground fairly accessible by train (about 45 minute walk from Billingham station) as well as a chance to have a look at the current state of Central Avenue. Luckily despite the strikes the Northern trains were actually pretty convienient for me, and after snapping a few pictures of Central Avenue through the gate and walking a bit I was in the ground with around 20 minutes to kick off.

With the visitors unbeaten it seemed fairly obvious that they'd pull out a win despite talk of some absences on their Twitter, but I was expecting Synthonia to put up a bit more of a fight. The first half was pretty much a demolition job, with Town being consistently on the attack and Synthonia not having much of an answer for them. Craig Hutchinson opened the scoring with a top corner effort from just outside the box before Jamie Davis doubled the lead ten minutes later, firing home into the bottom corner after getting on the end of a good cross. Hutchinson got his second of the match a few minutes later through a penalty, which also saw the home keeper get a yellow card for messing around with the penalty spot which I'd never seen happen before, and got his hat-trick soon after rounding the keeper just before half time. It seemed like the visitors could've carried this on in the second half but it seemed they declared, and the second half had few chances as Synthonia couldn't really penetrate their defence, meaning the half was a bit of a damp squib as a result.

Ground is a typical Northern League level affair, one decent sized stand and a section of covered standing at one end, otherwise uncovered hard standing. Clubhouse/teabar/changing room building is located at the entrance end, weirdly blocking a good portion of the view from the covered standing area. As the name suggests, the ground is part of a complex but is enclosed by a wall so feels seperate from the rest of the pitches. A sign outside the ground clearly states that this is the temporary home of Synthonia, unfortunately I can't see them moving back any time soon judging by the state of their previous ground, and inside the ground there's still plenty of signage for Norton & Stockton Ancients while there's none for Synthonia. Seems like the move has affected their crowds as well, as the majority watching were supporting Town including a 'wonderful' band with plenty of interesting instruments.

Grounds visited: 303
Last new ground: Broadfields Stadium (Crawley Town)
Next planned fixture: Unsure

First Team Star

Dec 27, 2018, 10:46 PM

Posts: 1977
Location: A Town in Mid Sussex
Team(s): Brentford

Post #66 of 67 (3072 views)
Re: [bagman] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In Reply To
Sky Bet Championship

Brentford (1) 2 v 3 (3) Swansea City

Admission Season Ticket Programme £3.50 Attendance: 9,442 (1,650 away fans)

Also here to see another defensive shambles, going a goal down in 25 seconds and 3-0 down in 27 minutes though it was less than 20 minutes playing time due to an injury suffered by a Swansea player. Brentford did score twice including a super free kick from Benrahma made the score look better, and we did play better after being 3 down, but a draw would only have papered over the defensive cracks. On the train back to Clapham Junction ( A rarity these days that RMT decided not to have a Saturday Strike) a conversation was had with Henfield Bee, Bagman and Chatham Bee about the next Bees manager, that seemed to be needed after the days display.

Man City Transfer Target!

Dec 4, 2019, 4:28 PM

Posts: 7067
Location: North London
Team(s): Oxford United / Groundhopper

Post #67 of 67 (603 views)
Re: [burgesshillbee] Sat. 8th December 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Sat 8th Dec

Turkey, 2.Lig (Kirmizi group) 1.30 pm

Pendikspor 1 Fethiyespor 4 (H/T 0-2)

Entry – 10 TL for centre block of stand (5 TL for the wings)

Crowd – c. 700

Although the main purpose of this weekend trip to Turkey was to tick Orduspor’s current ground before their move to a new one, I needed to find a game on the Saturday and this match seemed ideal to me because the Istanbul suburb of Pendik is fast becoming a familiar place for me. It is linked to Sabiha Gokcen airport by a couple of bus routes (the metro extension to the airport has been delayed and will not now open until the summer of 2020 at the earliest) and it is also where the fast YHT trains to Ankara and Konya started their journeys from since the high-speed railway line started operating several years ago, although as from March 2019 the terminal at the Asian end was moved a few miles west to Sogutlucesme, which is very close to the Fenerbahce stadium. Naturally, I therefore wanted to tick the local club as soon as possible, particularly as they play at the third level of Turkish football. I flew out from Stansted on the Friday afternoon and stayed at the Sabiha Gokcen airport hotel. Although this was not the cheapest hotel available, I wanted to stay there because it was convenient for the flight to Ordu-Giresun airport early on Sunday morning.

On Saturday morning, I caught a local bus from Sabiha Gokcen airport to Pendik. Pendikspor’s ground, known simply as the ‘Pendik Stadi’ is tucked away in residential sidestreets, about ten minutes walk from the YHT railway station. The nearest stop on the metro is not Pendik station (which is about half a mile slightly to the north-east of the YHT station) but Yakacik-Adnan Kahved (yes, I know that’s a bit of a mouthful) which shouldn’t be more than about five minutes walk from the stadium. In fact, while on a train stopping at this station (during a previous trip) I noticed a sign on the platform which was pointing to a specific exit for ‘Pendik Stadi’. So this may be useful to anyone who wants to tick the ground, especially if you are travelling from the European side on the metro.

The ground is one-sided, with a large stand running the full length of the west side, and no room for spectators on the other three sides. This sort of arrangement can make it difficult to take photos of the stand, but fortunately on the east side, the pitch is sunken a bit below ground level and a few gaps in the fencing on that side enabled me to take photos of the stand from outside the stadium whilst standing on a small area of rough land used for residential car parking.

A pleasant surprise was that I was able to buy a ticket for the centre block of the stand, which doesn’t often happen at smaller Turkish grounds. Usually at most of these grounds the VIP area occupies the whole of the centre section and members of the public have to sit in the wings, but at Pendik, in addition to the VIP area there was a centre block which members of the public could buy tickets for. This was probably because the stand runs for the full length of the pitch, whereas at many other grounds it doesn’t quite reach the full length. My seat was actually a cushioned one, although still separated from the VIP area by a short glass screen. Visiting fans (of which there were only a handful today, Fethiyespor being from a small town on Turkey’s south-west coast) are housed in a narrow fenced-off section of the far end of the stand.

The game finished in a comfortable win for the visitors, although it was heartening to note that the home fans behaved graciously in defeat, applauding the visitors off the field and not appearing to criticise their own team. Without wishing to sound cynical, it could be that they were only too aware of how easily Turkish grounds can fall victim to one-match closures. Even something as minor as ‘bad chanting’ (well, that’s what it says on Google Translate) can help accumulate disciplinary points against clubs.

After the game it was a relatively short bus ride back to the Sabiha Gokcen airport hotel, and plenty of time to get a good night’s sleep before getting up early the following morning for the early morning flight to Ordu-Giresun.

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