Saturday 8th August

hemelhopper

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Team{s}
Hemel Hempstead Town; Trust Portsmouth FC and the Reds of Cincinnati
Felpham Colts Reserves 1-4 Horndean United (PSF)
- played at Arun Leisure Centre, Felpham, Bognor Regis from 4.0pm

Att – 15 (h/c); Entry – none; Parking – large area available and quiet
Weather – a tad hot; Travel – east along A27 and used A259
Colours – Colts in all yellow .. United in grey tops and black shorts

.. and given some family commitments during the morning .. this KO time was ideal .. and also allowed the heat of the day to subside .. although 35 degrees C was noted on the drive over.

A simple caged 3G affair once again, this one located behind the Leisure Centre .. no furniture but floodlights installed .. the Colts 1st team played before against Selsey U23’s and unfortunately lost 0-4 .. so, a tough afternoon in the heat for the hosts.

The Colts play in the West Sussex League, whilst Horndean United come from the Mid Solent Adult League in Portsmouth .. although they may have poached and run out some of their City of Portsmouth Sunday League side. Good runners as well, with whole game fitness amongst them and a willingness to go at the defence .. thus a well-earned win .. scoring on 20 (turn a shot), 30 (keeper took goal kick and found opposite forward, who duly returned ball to net) .. (they then missed a pen on 40, saved by a replacement keeper), 64 (great strike from distance) and 73 (left wing attack, crossed and turned in from 6 yards). Colts goal came on 83 from a penalty, when a forward was brought down by the keeper.

.. yes, a thoroughly enjoyable game .. and one that also provided “a first” for me .. as two referees officiated .. one took one half of the pitch and the other, the other half. This probably due to the heat and doing both games .. thus, they did not have to run as far, as often .. but somehow, across the afternoon, ended up running their expected distance and officiating their one game .. :unsure:.
 

Cherryhopper

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Dec 7, 2019
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1,116
Team{s}
AFC Bournemouth, Sunderland, Barnet, Verwood Town
PSF @ Blandford Leisure Centre
Blandford United 1-0 Shaftesbury
Attendance 71 h/c - F + N

A scalp for the Dorset Premier hosts over their Wessex Premier near neighbours in this North Dorset derby which kicked off 4 minutes early at 2:56pm. The only goal came in the 15th minute, a move down the left side finished by Jonesy according to the club Twitter. Shaftesbury offered disappointingly little attacking threat and never really looked like getting past former Weymouth striker turned keeper Mark Ford.

Due to Park Road being used for cricket, Blandford are playing their home pre-season friendlies just over the road at the Leisure Centre and I actually prefer this venue. Both sides lined with trees, a cycle path alongside the driveway provides hard standing one side, the opposite side where the benches congregated provided shade from the hot sun. Picturesque backdrops behind both ends provided by the old hospital building behind the near end and a steep wooded area called Milldown Cliff in the distance at the far end over the River Stour with a cricket pitch and two smaller football pitches presumably used by neighbouring Blandford School in the immediate vicinity. Next home game here is next Saturday vs Poole Borough.
IMG_20200808_145928.jpgIMG_20200808_151332.jpg
 
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Sarfas

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Mar 15, 2020
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26
Team{s}
Chelmsford City
Ongar Town 9-1 Epping Town
8/8/2020
Friendly
Lakeside Sports Ground


Seriously scraping the barrel in order to find a game at step 7 or below. Saw Essex Olympian League Division One side Ongar Town blow away Division Two side at their ground (which is 18 miles away from the actual town of Ongar). Was questioning my sanity going after I had to get a cab from Grays station after a slew of cancellations on C2C because of a fire in Dagenham, think ten goals made up for it.

Ongar’s number 9 (Aaron Blair) was different class and could easily play a few levels higher. Scored 11 in 11 in the Olympian League Division One after breaking into the first team after scoring 40 under-21 goals in 40 matches.

Hopefully the FA will reverse their decision that 20 blokes standing five metres away from each other will be the cause of a second wave of coronavirus.
 

rambler77

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Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
162
DESFORD 2-2 KIRBY MUXLOE
pre-season
@ Kirkby Road, Desford

This Step 7 v step 6 was played on a public park on the western edge of Desford. Due to the nature of the venue nothing could be done to stop people watching, even so I did check with both clubs beforehand.

Desford gave a good account of themselves against their higher level opposition and deserved the 2-2 draw.

65 match photos, taken mainly in the first half can be viewed online @ https://rambler77.zenfolio.com/p60209352
 

Sewnapart

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Jul 3, 2020
Messages
52
Also at Tansley v Dove Holes. Excellent set up amidst beautiful scenery a couple of miles outside Matlock. Newsroom is an excellent place for pre match beer. Also combined it with cricket at Darley Dale and a walk up the heights of abraham.

Couple of the goals (a curling shot in off both posts and a deftly placed header) were superb it has to be said
 

Chris1963

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831
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Oxford United / groundhopper
PSF @ Blandford Leisure Centre
Blandford United 1-0 Shaftesbury
Attendance 71 h/c - F + N

Due to Park Road being used for cricket, Blandford are playing their home pre-season friendlies just over the road at the Leisure Centre and I actually prefer this venue.
Might be worth doing next Saturday, especially as a neutral linesman is visible in the photo. Can you please confirm if the match you saw was 2 x 45 and not 3 x 30, as I expect that they would probably stick to the same format next Saturday? Thanks.
 

Cherryhopper

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AFC Bournemouth, Sunderland, Barnet, Verwood Town
It was definitely two 45 minute halves with a drinks break in the middle of each. Blandford Forum not the easiest place to get to by public transport.
 
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Chris1963

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Oxford United / groundhopper
It was definitely two 45 minute halves with a drinks break in the middle of each. Blandford Forum not the easiest place to get to by public transport.
Many thanks. I haven't checked the bus times yet but hopefully they will be no worse than on my previous visits to the town (for both Blandford United and Stourpaine home games)
 

IAN S

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Dec 7, 2019
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320
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Sheffield United, Sheffield Eagles & Kendal Town
Tansley 3 Doveholes 3
@ Fete Field
H/T 3-2
H/C 42


A great start to a season that might not finish. Scoring went 01, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, all very close together. I made it 19mins,24,25,29,32, then 25 minutes into the second half. We played 40 minutes each way with drinks breaks at 20 minutes.

Plenty of other hoppers on show but all seemed to be social distancing. Lovely setting at a up market village in rural Derbyshire. Parking at a premium but plenty of street parking.
I must have bloody dosed off just before HT. I blame the sun and a senior moment!
 

Cleeve

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Dec 10, 2019
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185
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Bristol City
St Albans City
Verulam Cycling Club
I must have bloody dosed off just before HT. I blame the sun and a senior moment!
I got the score of my game wrong as well! Presumably Westmill scored a third at the start of the second half when I was caught out by the quick halftime break.
Buntingford Town v Westmill 3-3 (not 3-2)
 

Pawn Of Prophecy

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Mar 6, 2020
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201
After extensive research to find some barrel-scraping to tickle my fancy I ended up settling for what can best be described as a hot afternoon of semi-naked domestic delights (or realistically described as chores in shorts. Sadly). So no football, but my research threw up a few bits of info which some might find useful while we're waiting for government to approve the FA's resubmitted proposal to allow spectators at football.

I had been tempted to visit the Urnfield (and it is a field) home of former Combined Counties side Merrow, oblivious to the fact that they're at step 7 so now within the FA restriction. Just as well they tweeted that they didn't want spectators to turn up today. Fine by me, but perhaps things were always that way as, according to the old Tony Kempster site, Merrow had the lowest average crowd in the entire pyramid back in 2005-6 - an average of 8, with a season high of 16 and a low of 2! Figures for all 737 clubs, incidentally, are listed here: http://www.tonykempster.co.uk/archive05-06/attcomp.htm

Nearby Guildford United, who play in a cage, were also spectator-free today. This left a few possibilities, all of which had some appeal but, in the end, not enough!

Reigate Priory, who are playing their home friendlies at their second home, the former Combined Counties League ground of Netherne (736th on Tony's list of attendances..). It's a 'proper ground' too, though way short of current step 6 grading requirements. Worth a visit.

Also ex CoCo is Cranleigh, still with a bit of covered terracing (as well as some of the brightest floodlights I've seen in non league), but last I heard they were still looking for a ref for this afternoon's game.

Chelsea Rovers at Kings House Sports Ground in Chiswick, although I suspect they may have played on the 3G rather than the grass pitch with the little stand.

Dunsfold, Hersham and Windlesham & Chobham United, all of which are just fields of varying degrees of enclosure, with W&CU's being the old Combined Counties pitch at Chobham Rec.

Finally I also spotted Cowfold are back in business after pulling out of the Southern Combination last season, but seemingly without a game today.

I visited Merrow on 24 November 2018 for their clash against then top of the Surrey Elite table side AFC Cubo. The Urnfield is the sports ground of the Guildford County School and is situated right on top of the North Downs. The views are pretty spectacular off towards the north. The Sports Ground itself is an undulating piece of ground and when I visited we played on a pitch in the bottom of a natural bowl. Quite a walk from the clubhouse to the pitch.

Score was 1-1 and the attendance...12. This for the table toppers remember. Not that Cubo have many followers - when I went to Cubo for a local derby againt Battersea Ironside the attendance was 4.
 

buncranaboy

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Dec 7, 2019
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484
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Bostock Stanley, Barnstoneworth United
New Dales Vale 4 Leamington Hibs 2 @ King George V playing field outside pitch. Att 30. F&N

As previously mentioned, I tend not to do new grounds for friendlies though this would have presented a conundrum for some in "counting" terms whereas the pitch-hopper brigade would have lapped up a new tick. I had hoped this would be played on the main pitch at Droitwich which I had done back in December 2003 before the team decamped to Stourport to meet ground grading requirements. The place looked much better than I recall as I'm not sure it was fully railed back then and certainly didn't have the decent-sized cover it now has. I'm told it's currently used by Droitwich U-21 only.
Anyhoo, today's action was beyond the main pitch, across what may even be a second (unmarked) pitch and was as basic as it gets. On a scorcher of an afternoon, we saw a competitive tussle where the "home" side came from behind to run out deserved winners.
New Dales Vale are an amalgamation of last years Malvern Vale from the Cheltenham & District league and Sunday side New Dales and their home ground this season will be a revamped Archdales ground in Worcester. Hibs twitter feed after the game said "see you in the Midland League soon" so whether that's in the coming season, I'm none the wiser. I have been trying to see if Malvern Vale were a continuation of Colletts Green or Malvern Rangers but again am none the wiser; Tim the Wise may know.....
My spectating companions were catchagogoal and Karb, the latter travelling by train thus accompanied by a coolbag full of ale. Post-match analysis took place at the Talbot in Droitwich's attractive town centre which is now one of Stourbridge-based brewers Craddocks outlets. The fat was chewed on the elevated airy terrace out back before the process was repeated a couple of hundred yards down the road at the Hop Pole, a favourite watering-hole of this parish's Villan.
An excellent afternoon out and may there be plenty more of them..............
 

buncranaboy

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484
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Bostock Stanley, Barnstoneworth United
I visited Merrow on 24 November 2018 for their clash against then top of the Surrey Elite table side AFC Cubo. The Urnfield is the sports ground of the Guildford County School and is situated right on top of the North Downs. The views are pretty spectacular off towards the north. The Sports Ground itself is an undulating piece of ground and when I visited we played on a pitch in the bottom of a natural bowl. Quite a walk from the clubhouse to the pitch.

Score was 1-1 and the attendance...12. This for the table toppers remember. Not that Cubo have many followers - when I went to Cubo for a local derby againt Battersea Ironside the attendance was 4.
I had a crowd of 37 when ticking Merrow v Westfield in the Co-Co back on St Patricks Day in 2007 and I seem to recall the ball spent as much time off the field as on it with endless chases of retrieval down the not-inconsiderable slope. They did issue however and I have vague recollection of being able to have a half-time pie although I could be hallucinating as it's been a very long time since a football pie..........
 

Tim

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Dec 7, 2019
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310
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Stourbridge, Welton Rovers
New Dales Vale are an amalgamation of last years Malvern Vale from the Cheltenham & District league and Sunday side New Dales and their home ground this season will be a revamped Archdales ground in Worcester. Hibs twitter feed after the game said "see you in the Midland League soon" so whether that's in the coming season, I'm none the wiser. I have been trying to see if Malvern Vale were a continuation of Colletts Green or Malvern Rangers but again am none the wiser; Tim the Wise may know.
[/QUOTE]
No connection, as far as I know. First sighted in 2013/14 in Worcester & District Saturday League, playing at the then brand new Malvern Vale Community Centre, not far from Dyson Perrins School.
 

BA21

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Joined
Dec 15, 2019
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37
Team{s}
Yeovil Town
Cranborne 0 Christchurch 4
Pre-season friendly
Admission - none
Attendance 23 h/c

Some nice work at The Mike Loader Memorial Ground with the barriers and the stand newly painted. Today Wessex League Christchurch were in the village to face The Dorset Senior League 'Cranes'. It was a pleasant drive over Cranborne Chase and through the many lovely villages heading east. The club bar was open and we signed in as paying members enjoying the sun on the patio and being made to feel very welcome. All rules were adhered to by the club who had all the safety aspects covered.

The stand is in the far corner of the field with two sides railed off (three after the cricket season finishes), dugouts exist on the touchline to your right hand side as you walk towards the pitch. Twenty three people basked in the sun, the players took water breaks but the game ran to two forty five minute halves.
 

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Cherryhopper

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AFC Bournemouth, Sunderland, Barnet, Verwood Town
Just the one stand now at Cranborne? I'm sure there were two when I last visited, one in each corner at the same end.
 

BA21

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Yeovil Town
Just the one stand now at Cranborne? I'm sure there were two when I last visited, one in each corner at the same end.
Yes, I always thought there were two. Just the one now, apparently the other one blew down.
 

paulh66

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Dec 7, 2019
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Tranmere, South Liverpool
Cranborne 0 Christchurch 4
Pre-season friendly

All rules were adhered to by the club who had all the safety aspects covered.
Except the one about all NLS clubs' friendlies being behind closed doors until further notice!

Far from unique, it seems. Hope the FA built in enough margin for non-compliance in that instruction or else this belt and braces approach to getting government approval might also need a length of string next time!
 
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Onion Bag

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Dec 8, 2019
Messages
9
Saturday 8th August
Kinsley Boys 4 v Kellingley Welfare 4
atten: 30

Cracking afternoon's entertainment in a feisty encounter with the ref accepting no nonsense from the players. Goals 1-0 ,2-0, 2-,3-1 , 3-2, 4-2 , 4-3 , 4-4

The ground is situated opposite Kinsley dog track, behind the car park. Shoe-horned between the back to back housing the ground is enclosed and has been recently upgraded. The bar / lounge area is brand new and is looking fantastic. It is certainly worth a visit.
 

Chris1963

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Mar 10, 2020
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831
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Oxford United / groundhopper
Except the one about all NLS clubs' friendlies being behind closed doors until further notice!
Cranborne are Step 8 (they play in the Dorset Senior League, not the Dorset Premier League) so they don't have to comply with the BCD ruling even if their ground is reasonably enclosed.
 

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