March 20th

SteveW

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I think this needs its own forum section so that we can maintain some sort of chronoligical order without other threads being bumped or new threads starting in between.

Open to all matches on the given date, non league or not. The more detail the better. For some of us reading it will be a real walk down memory lane.

Note: threads will be closed for further comments in the evening and a new one opened for the next day at the same time.

Enjoy..... Steve
 

jrev61

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Dec 9, 2019
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100
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March 20 ,1993.
Bass North West Counties League Division 1
Burnley Bank Hall 3 Westhoughton Town 2 Att. 37
This club only played at this level for a season or two. From what I remember a basic ground. I do remember seeing Leighton James there, not really very surprising as he was the club's secretary. It was less than 2 years since he played his last game, but he had put on a lot of weight and his hair was shoulder length, I would never have recognised him, but heard several people call him Leighton.
 

The vulture

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Dec 10, 2019
Messages
387
Team{s}
Groundhog
2014
Ryman League Division One South
Sittingbourne 3 Redhill 3
Entry £8 Att 62

Don't really remember anything about it but at 3-3 it sounds as though it might've been quite good.
My only visit to Woodstock Park FC.
 

stingray

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Dec 7, 2019
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83
Team{s}
Step 4 - 6 local football
174. 20/03/04 Barnet 0-0 Chester City. A complete farce played in a howling gale.
341. 20/03/07 Barnet 0-0 Shrewsbury Town. My last Barnet FC game.
531. 20/03/10 Hitchin Town 3-0 Leighton Town
711. 20/03/12 Dunstable Town 3-0 Leighton Town (County Cup)
802. 20/03/13 Chesham United Reserves 2-2 Welwyn Garden City
1243. 20/03/18 Langford 2-3 Winslow United
 

rambler77

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Dec 8, 2019
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119
1999: Oadby Town 2-0 Highfield Rangers (LSL Premier Division)
2010: Markfield 4-0 Sileby Saints (North Leicestershire League Premier Division)
 

Stoodley Pike

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Dec 9, 2019
Messages
422
Wednesday 20th March 1991
Caledonian 1 Ross County 1 (HT 1-0)
Highland League (7.30)
Attendance 1,247
Programme 50p (28pp, plenty of reading)


A week's holiday in Scotland coincided (by accident, as I recall) with this top-versus-second Highland League derby. I was travelling, with Sally, my girlfriend of the time, on a Freedom of Scotland rail ticket. Back then, unlike now, I'm pretty sure the ticket (about £45) allowed rail travel every day. Great value, and a wonderful way to enjoy Scotland's scenery.

We were on a budget (it was our standard method of ensuring we could go away every time we were on leave) and spent the night at the SYHA's Inverness hostel. Earlier (or maybe later) in the nine-day break, we stayed at the Perth hostel, whose rather brusque warden hailed from Motherwell. At the time, the SYHA (and the YHA) was introducing the concept of family rooms. Having spent several nights apart, sleeping in traditional single sex (as they were known back then) dorms, we decided to try for a family room.

Conversation at reception (I must've felt such a request would sound better from a woman):

Sally: "If one of the family rooms is free, could we use that?"

Warden: "You're supposed to bring children with you, not make them while you're here."

As it happens, he later relented...

Anyway, on to the football. Sally didn't care much for football, so I attended this evening fixture alone. At the time, I was about four-fifths of the way through the Scottish Football League grounds. This was my first experience of the non-league game in Scotland. I cannot remember a thing about the game, save for having a lengthy, interesting pre-match chat by the tunnel with the Aberdeen-based Press & Journal's Highland League correspondent, Mike (I think) somebody-or-other. He did it for years.

I do recall being impressed by Telford Street Park, the size of the crowd and the quality of the match programme. Of course, both clubs are now playing at a much higher level and the Highland League is poorer for their elevation. I believe the site of Caley's old ground is now a retail park.

One other from this date worth a mention:

Halifax Town 0 Wrexham 1 (1976, Division Three). I remember Billy 'The Bear' Ashcroft heading Wrexham's 67th-minute winner. Saturday afternoon crowd at The Shay was 2,970. Fixture must have been a real anti-climax for the Welshmen, who three days earlier had gone out of the Cup Winners' Cup at the quarter-final stage. Anderlecht scuppered Wrexham's hopes. Halifax would end the season in bottom place, five points adrift of safety. It's been downhill ever since! Wrexham finished sixth. Upwardly mobile Hereford were the surprise champions.
 

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Andy D

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Dec 7, 2019
Messages
217
There’s only one possible choice for today’s entry….. the 16th anniversary of Mad Saturday, the Central Midlands Groundhop Day 2004. Played partly in a howling gale, by the end of a mostly uninspiring set of games at the best of times I suspect the majority of those who completed the set were glad when the final game was over. To put a little meat on the bones:

11.00am Greenwood Meadows 1 Radford 2, Central Midlands League South, Att: 302

A reasonable start to the day, the home side taking the lead midway through the first half, Radford scoring twice in the second period to take the points as the wind became stronger. Meadow’s ground had only a simple shelter for about 50, the rest being flat standing. The ground is now used for amateur Rugby League by Nottingham Outlaws.

1.00pm Pelican 1 Dinnington Town 2, Central Midlands League South, Att: 312

Next it was a short stroll over to the next game at the far end of the Lenton Lane complex. By now the wind had become almost storm force at times. The catering tent blew down at one point and during the second half, the roof began to come off the neighbouring golf centre. Goalkicks against the wind were failing to reach the edge of the penalty area and I suspect on any other day the game would have been abandoned. This was another ground with a simple metal shelter with the remainder of the ground flat standing. Another 2-1 away win, Dinnington’s winner coming in the last five minutes.

3.00pm Dunkirk 1 Retford United 1, Central Midlands League South, Att: 270
The third game within the Lenton Lane facility. After the battle with the gale at Pelican, this was a bit of a relief as Dunkirk’s ground was somewhat more enclosed and provided some shelter. Two areas of cover here, a tiny section between the two dugouts with a larger one to the side again over flat standing. Just the one goal providing yet another away victory, Retford’s goal coming half way through the first period.

5.30pm Sandiacre 2 Nettleham 0, Central midlands League South, Att: 284

At last, some blessed relief from standing up as we had a short drive to the next game, at Sandiacre. This was more of a substantial ground, fully enclosed with a decent-sized cover behind one goal over a few steps of terracing. There was also some grass banking which gave a decent view of proceedings and behind the scenes, a proper clubhouse serving all that you would expect. For the first time, this game also produced a home win, the hosts scoring twice before half time. By now the wind had subsided somewhat and at least it was more comfortable to stand and watch football.

8.00pm Graham St Prims 1 Blackwell 0, Central Midlands League South, Att: 297

Another short drive. By now, I’m sure there were a few who would have decided enough was enough and given this one a miss but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see five games in a day so the majority suffered on. And Suffer we did. Maybe because it had been such a long day, this seemed like an awful game which was heading for a 0-0 draw until Prims managed to find the net with just three minutes left. This was a three sided ground with no access to one side which was just boarded off. The only shelter was near the turnstile behind one goal with few other facilities, a large clubhouse on the complex which Prims shared with Borrowash Victoria was a short walk away.




Rules of Groundhopping:
Rule 1: There are no rules;
 

leohoenig

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Dec 7, 2019
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792
Team{s}
Cheltenham Town
My Daily Twitter Reminiscence features two pictures from Cam Bulldogs. They played out a 1-1 draw with Stonehouse Town in the Stroud Charity Cup, but lost on penalties. The referee had given me the team lists at the start of the game and I almost drove away with them still in my pocket!

A poor date for supporting Cheltenham, I have seen them five times but on Kettering Town (1999) was a Cheltenham win. Draws with York City (2001) and Port Vale (2010). Defeat by Bury (2004) and at Shrewsbury (2012) - must have been one of "Tram's" revisits for goals, as we had drawn 0-0 when I ticked the ground two years earlier

Other notable ticks were at Burton Albion's old ground, Eton Park where the home side beat Hillingdon Borough (3-1, 1976) and Stade Paul Debresie, Olympique Saint Quentin, for a Division 2B game in France where Girondis de Bordeaux were the visitors (1-0, 1992)

The highest crowd was at Shrewsbury (5705), and all the Cheltenham football league homes were better than Saint Quentin (2645). Lowest crowd was to tick Paget Rangers at Springfield Road (1984) where I have 20 shown as witching them bear Cinderford Town (1-0) in the Midland Combination
 

prorege

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Dec 7, 2019
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588
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Fife clubs
Tuesday March 20th 1979
Scottish league Division Two
Falkirk v Stenhousemuir, 1-1, H.T. 0-1, Att 1500 (given), 1661 (actual)
At Brockville Park

I loved Brockville. It was the archetypal traditional football ground. Town centre location, grandstand down one side, covered terracing opposite and uncovered ends . . . . hemmed in by railways, housing and industry, dilapidated, atmospheric, frequently raucous and with an undercurrent of menace. I saw some brilliant games there between 1970 and 2003 but this wasn’t really one of them.

1978/9 season was severely disrupted by the weather. Hardly a league game was played between early December and early March, leaving clubs with a big backlog. Falkirk’s was worst than most, having been involved in the 29 times postponed Scottish Cup tie against Inverness Thistle, and that’s another story worth telling some day.

The Bairns were anchored in Division Two having been relegated in 1977. At this stage of 1978/9 they looked like favourites to get promoted as they led the table ahead of Dunfermline and Berwick. In the end they would blow promotion with the Fifers and Borderers making the step up.

Stenhousemuir were in their usual place near the foot of the table when they came to Brockville for this Tuesday night game. On paper it was a local derby but Stenhousemuir’s away support in those days consisted of a few old men in bunnets. I doubt if there was a single maroon and white favour to be seen at Brockville. I suspect that I would have arrived by train at the adjacent Grahamston Station and adjourned for a pint or several with a Falkirk-supporting mate in one of the nearby pubs – probably the Newmarket Bar. We may well have bought a few cans to take into the game as well. The chances are we watched from the big terracing at the Hope Street end of the ground – the covered side was quite shallow and didn’t provide a great view.

I recall very little of the game but my records show that Stennie led 1-0 at half time with a goal by Brian Jenkins. Falkirk equalised in the second half through Ally McRoberts. The teamlines reveal that both sides were comprised of journeymen lower league players. Wilson Hoggan of Falkirk, who had a spell in the top flight with Dundee, would be one of the better-known players. Joe McCallan was also a decent striker who ended up playing in the Highland League after he found work in the oil industry. Stennie goalkeeper Brian Wilson had been with Hearts for a season or so and their striker Sandy McNaughton only recently retired as co-manager of Banks o’ Dee in the North Juniors.

In those days it was unusual to get an accurate attendance for any Scottish lower league games. The crowd given at the time was 1500. Later research in the Scottish League archives allowed me to obtain accurate figures for all League games from 1960 onwards – and 1661 was the true figure for this fixture.

There was no programme. My Falkirk-supporter friend passed all the Bairns issues on to me that season and I seem to remember there were only 9 or 10 in total. Falkirk didn’t have a home league game between November 25 and February 28 due to the big freeze – and they didn’t bother issuing for rearranged midweek games.

The backlog of fixtures that season helped me put together my longest-ever run of consecutive match days. I saw games on 61 days in a row at the end of that season , sad sod that I was.
 

Ciderjon

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Dec 25, 2019
Messages
54
20 th March 1999
Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0 Bournemouth 1
Wessex Lge Attn 60


An easy pick, as this is the only game I could find in my records, so many to choose from in the coming days though.........

My parents were down for the weekend, so three generations of us piled into my old Land-Rover 110 V8 and bowled down to Salisbury with a sing song along to Frank Zappa on the cassette player.

Admission £2.50 with a programme at 50p. We sat in the stand and enjoyed a real family day out, even though the game was rather functional. We made up 10% of the crowd.
 

WestSussexSAFC

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Dec 10, 2019
Messages
8
Team{s}
Sunderland. Paris Saint-Germain.
2019.
Sporting Bengal United 0-3 Ilford
Essex Senior League.

2011.
Sunderland 0-2 Liverpool
Premier League.

2010.
Sunderland 3-1 Birmingham City
Premier League.
 

Stoodley Pike

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Dec 9, 2019
Messages
422
Tuesday March 20th 1979
Scottish league Division Two
Falkirk v Stenhousemuir, 1-1, H.T. 0-1, Att 1500 (given), 1661 (actual)
At Brockville Park

I loved Brockville.
One of my favourites, too. I was in Falkirk shortly after Brockville had gone, and went back to wander round the supermarket (a Morrisons, wasn't it?) built on the site. There were some fabulous displays celebrating its football connection, including, IIRC, a floor to ceiling image of Simon Stainrod in the glass windows by the checkouts. Is all that stuff still there?
 

Haywain

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Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
37
Saturday 20 March 2011
Blue Square Premier (Conference)
Ebbsfleet United 1 Luton Town 6
Stonebridge Road. Att: 1,923.

Luton went into this game with 4 successive wins under their belts, but the first half was a below par perfomance and saw Janos Kovacs put the ball into his own net to give the home side a lead at half time. The second half saw the Hatters storm back into the game with goals on 49 minutes by Claude Gnapka, who finished with a hat-trick, and 50 minutes by Kevin Gallen, and finish up with a rarely seen 6 away goals and the home side's heaviest ever (at that time, at least) home Conference defeat. The other two goals were scored by Tom Craddock and Matthew Barnes-Homer. The win saw Luton sitting two points behind eventual champions Stevenage Borough.

Just to add, I really liked our trips to Stonebridge Road. It had a real old school football ground feel about it with an open terrace and stands on the other 3 sides that didn't match. It probably helps that we didn't lose any of our 3 matches there.
 

norwich6

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Feb 20, 2020
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110
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football in Norfolk
20th March 1999
Hampshire League Division 2
Yateley Green 1 Paulsgrove 3 @ Sean Devereux Park Yateley
attendance 18 h/c programme £1 no admission charge

20th March 2014
Would have been at Sittingbourne 3 Redhill 3 as regular midweek
haunt when i lived there
However think I was at Marlowe Theatre Canterbury watching
Glenn Miller Orchestra
 

prorege

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
588
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Fife clubs
One of my favourites, too. I was in Falkirk shortly after Brockville had gone, and went back to wander round the supermarket (a Morrisons, wasn't it?) built on the site. There were some fabulous displays celebrating its football connection, including, IIRC, a floor to ceiling image of Simon Stainrod in the glass windows by the checkouts. Is all that stuff still there?
Yes, there is still stuff on display. They also have one of the original Brockville turnstiles outside the main entrance to the shop.Turnstile._-_geograph.org.uk_-_94635.jpg
 
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Stoodley Pike

Youth Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
422
Yes, there is still stuff on display. They also have one of the original Brockville turnstiles outside the main entrance to the shop.
Good to hear. Morrison is usually pretty good at commemorating what preceded its stores. The one at Skipton (built on the site of an auction mart) features a very fine black & white photo montage of weather-beaten farmers doing their stuff in and around the livestock ring. That said, at Rochdale (where Morrison built on the site of the Rochdale Hornets Rugby League Club ground) all Morrison managed was a small plaque in the foyer.
 

Arnold Snitchitt

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Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
53
There’s only one possible choice for today’s entry….. the 16th anniversary of Mad Saturday, the Central Midlands Groundhop Day 2004. Played partly in a howling gale, by the end of a mostly uninspiring set of games at the best of times I suspect the majority of those who completed the set were glad when the final game was over. To put a little meat on the bones:

11.00am Greenwood Meadows 1 Radford 2, Central Midlands League South, Att: 302

A reasonable start to the day, the home side taking the lead midway through the first half, Radford scoring twice in the second period to take the points as the wind became stronger. Meadow’s ground had only a simple shelter for about 50, the rest being flat standing. The ground is now used for amateur Rugby League by Nottingham Outlaws.

1.00pm Pelican 1 Dinnington Town 2, Central Midlands League South, Att: 312

Next it was a short stroll over to the next game at the far end of the Lenton Lane complex. By now the wind had become almost storm force at times. The catering tent blew down at one point and during the second half, the roof began to come off the neighbouring golf centre. Goalkicks against the wind were failing to reach the edge of the penalty area and I suspect on any other day the game would have been abandoned. This was another ground with a simple metal shelter with the remainder of the ground flat standing. Another 2-1 away win, Dinnington’s winner coming in the last five minutes.

3.00pm Dunkirk 1 Retford United 1, Central Midlands League South, Att: 270
The third game within the Lenton Lane facility. After the battle with the gale at Pelican, this was a bit of a relief as Dunkirk’s ground was somewhat more enclosed and provided some shelter. Two areas of cover here, a tiny section between the two dugouts with a larger one to the side again over flat standing. Just the one goal providing yet another away victory, Retford’s goal coming half way through the first period.

5.30pm Sandiacre 2 Nettleham 0, Central midlands League South, Att: 284

At last, some blessed relief from standing up as we had a short drive to the next game, at Sandiacre. This was more of a substantial ground, fully enclosed with a decent-sized cover behind one goal over a few steps of terracing. There was also some grass banking which gave a decent view of proceedings and behind the scenes, a proper clubhouse serving all that you would expect. For the first time, this game also produced a home win, the hosts scoring twice before half time. By now the wind had subsided somewhat and at least it was more comfortable to stand and watch football.

8.00pm Graham St Prims 1 Blackwell 0, Central Midlands League South, Att: 297

Another short drive. By now, I’m sure there were a few who would have decided enough was enough and given this one a miss but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see five games in a day so the majority suffered on. And Suffer we did. Maybe because it had been such a long day, this seemed like an awful game which was heading for a 0-0 draw until Prims managed to find the net with just three minutes left. This was a three sided ground with no access to one side which was just boarded off. The only shelter was near the turnstile behind one goal with few other facilities, a large clubhouse on the complex which Prims shared with Borrowash Victoria was a short walk away.




Rules of Groundhopping:
Rule 1: There are no rules;
I know cause I was there (as Max would have said)
Thanks Andy, for the reminder of what was a mad day!
I only planned being at the first three games and that was enough.
Respect to you and those others who 'stuck it out'
 

Warwickian

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Dec 7, 2019
Messages
122
Team{s}
Leamington
Friday 20th March 1987
Football League.Division One

Coventry City 3 Oxford United 0
This was my favourite season of watching the Sky Blues with a trip to Wembley at the end of it.As well as a successful cup run the City were not fighting relegation for a change and were comfortably mid-table.
I cant recall why this match was played on a Friday evening but the lure of vouchers for the FA Cup Semi-Final match against Leeds saw a crowd of 23,917 attend.
After a goalless first half the Sky Blues turned on the style in the second period and won comfortably with a goal from Dave Bennett and two from the late,great Cyrille Regis.
 

Chris1963

Youth Team Star
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
439
Team{s}
Oxford United / groundhopper
Tuesday March 20th 1979
Scottish league Division Two
Falkirk v Stenhousemuir, 1-1, H.T. 0-1, Att 1500 (given), 1661 (actual)
In those days it was unusual to get an accurate attendance for any Scottish lower league games. The crowd given at the time was 1500. Later research in the Scottish League archives allowed me to obtain accurate figures for all League games from 1960 onwards – and 1661 was the true figure for this fixture.
Can you give us a link to the online archives with attendances from 1960? I've looked at the SPFL archives but it only shows crowd figures for recent years, not games in the 80's and 90's. Thanks!
 

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