Welcome to The 100 Football Grounds Club

Welcome to Shaun Smith's Groundhopping blog ...
 'The 100 Football Grounds Club'(est.2006) ... the original internet ground logging website.
Check out my blog reports and pictures from over 600 different football grounds by using the labels list in the side panel. 

site updated on post date

✔718. Central Ground - Coles Lane

Sutton Coldfield Town 3-1 Lincoln United
Saturday 15th February 2020
Northern Premier League - South-East Division

The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield is a civil parish and suburban town in Birmingham, about 7 miles north-east of the city centre. Historically in Warwickshire, it became part of Birmingham and the West Midlands metropolitan county in 1974. The name translates as "South Town". with "Sutton Coldfield" meaning the south town from Tamworth or Lichfield on the edge of the "col field". "Col" is usually derived from charcoal, so presumably charcoal burners were functional around this area.

The Sutton Coldfield Football Club was founded in 1879 playing in a variety of leagues during their early years, including the Central Birmingham League, Aston and District League, Small Heath League and Suburban League. 
They played in the Birmingham Alliance League between 1914-1919 and the Sutton & District A.F.L and Birmingham Combination in between the two World Wars. The club changed their name from Sutton Town to Sutton Coldfield Town in 1964.
Walsall Senior League 1947-1950
Birmingham Combination 1950-1954
Birmingham & District League/West Midlands(Regional) League 1954-1965 1979-
Champions 1979-80
Worcestershire Combination/Midland Combination 1965-1979
Champions 1977-78 and 1978-79
Southern League 1982-2010
Northern Premier League (D1.Sth) from 2010, winning promotion to the Premier Division via the play-offs in 2014-15. 

The Royals rejoined the Southern League for one season in 2018-19 but are back in the NPL in its new Division 1 South-East Division for this season.

Central Ground
Coles Lane,
Sutton Coldfield 
B72 1NL

The club originally played at Meadow Plat in Sutton Park until moving to Coles Lane in 1900, then to the present Central Ground site in 1920. The ground has a classic main stand, which was purchased from Manchester City in 1956. The stand has raised seating and stairs access on each side, with the changing rooms housed underneath and the team dugouts at the front. There is another covered seated stand in the corner next to the clubhouse and snack bar. There's also covered standing behind one of the goals and the 3G pitch was installed in December 2011.

Sutton Coldfield Town(12th) 3(Moore 13Beresford 28 Gibson 56)
Lincoln United(16th) 1(Hollingsworth 50)
Bet Victor Northern Premier League - South West Dibision Matchday 24v26
Admission £10
Coffee £1.20

The Royals took a two goal lead in the first half an hour with Ryan Moore sliding in a Ben Usher-Shipway cross from close range, followed by an unmarked James Beresford heading home from a corner kick.
The visitors replied early in the second half when Ryan Hollingsworth slotted home a cross from the corner, but the hosts quickly restored their two goal advantage when Reece Gibson latched onto a through ball before running in on goal and finishing well to make it 3-1.

197 miles
0835 Cross Country train from Newcastle to Birmingham New Street arr. 11.30
1345 Midlands train New Street to Sutton Coldfield arr 1406.

"Dennis... Dennis... Dennis"
When booking this Birmingham weekend break for the breadknife and I back in November, we planned a dozen pub visits with my afternoon football fix spent in Stourbridge. The arrival of Storm Dennis meant a change of heart on route to Brum, deciding on the safer option of the 3G pitch at Sutton Coldfield, instead of the risk of a late postponed, as there's been a lot of matches called off at short notice recently.
It turned out to be a good decision, as I enjoyed my brief visit to the town, enjoying a pre-match drink in The Bottle of Sack and the Brewhouse & Kitchen, before calling at the Station Inn after the match. 
At the game I got talking to a couple of Spurs 'hoppers who were stopping over for the Villa game on Sunday, as it turned out we had a mutual friend in legendary Tottenham supporter Simple Pieman
As far as the Birmingham pubs are concerned, we ticked off the ones on my list, our favorites being The Victoria, Craven Arms and The Old Joint Stock.

Our weekend came to a somewhat disappointing ending, with the water supply at the Birmingham Central Travelodge being cut(got washed with the water left in the kettle) followed by the cancellation of the 1203 Cross Country train back to Newcastle (caught a later one at 12.30) but at least I've been given a hotel refund so that's some of the ale money reimbursed.

✔717 Clayborn

Liversedge 1-1 AFC Mansfield
Northern Counties East FL - Premier Division
Saturday 8th February 2020
Liversedge is a township in the former parish of Birstall in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees, recorded in the Domesday Book as Livresec -  a manor belonging to Radulf, a vassal of the Ilbert de Lacy Norman family. The name derives from the Old English Lēofheres-ecg meaning 'a ridge or edge belonging to Lēofhere'.

Liversedge F.C. are based in Cleckheaton, on the border with Hightown in Liversedge. The Sedge formed in 1910 following the demise of Liversedge Rugby Club.
Bradford League 1919–1922 - Champions 1920-21
West Riding County Amateur League 1922–27 and 1949–72
Champions 6 times:
1923–24 1925–26 1926–27 1964–65 1965–66 1968–69.
Spen Valley League 1947–49 Champions 1948-49
Yorkshire League 1972–82
NCEL 1982 – present
League Cup winners 2005–06, President's Cup winners 2007–08

Clayborn Ground 
Quaker Lane, 
Hightown Road, 
WF15 8DF

Capacity 2,200 (250 seats)
Current NCEL grounds visited 31/40

The clubhouse, changing rooms and snack bar are in the top west corner of the ground. The covered Stuart Silverwood Stand does what it says on the tin - 3 rows of wooden flip seats painted silver. There's a tidy looking covered enclosure at the turnstile end, made with fancy brickwork and wooden tree trunk style supports. There's also a few individual wooden benches on top of the banking and plenty of dining furniture, with the team dugout on the opposite side.

Liversedge(4th) 1 (Simpson 88)
AFC Mansfield(18th) 1(Duggan 80)
NCEL Premier Division Matchday 21v22
Admission £6
Pin badge £3
Coffee £1/Chocolate 50p

Mansfield looked to have grabbed all three points following a brave backs-to-the-wall defensive display. After being on the back foot for the majority of the game they broke the deadlock ten minutes from time, when the league’s top scorer Ross Duggan latched onto a through ball, before going around the defender and lashing in his 29th goal of the season.
Some fabulous saves from Warhurst in The Bulls goal and numerous blocks and tackles from the back line looked to have been enough to deny The Sedge, but with time running out a corner kick was met at the far post by Mark Simpson, his stooping header finally breaching the Mansfield defence to make it 1-1 at the finish.

108 mile drive door-to-door via A1/M1/M62

Drove straight down after finishing work and arrived at Clayborn at 1.40pm. As I’ve been to Cleckheaton previously, I decided on an hour's shuteye in the back of the car, having been on the go since 5.20am. I was just beginning to nod off when I was suddenly awoken by a selection of shitty modern dance music, with the volume turned right up to the maximum 11. The banging noise was coming from the clubhouse and it was probably loud enough to be heard across in Birstall. I gave up on the snooze and headed into the ground, being quite impressed with the neat set up and a terrific location for football. As always, I saw someone who I know, this time it was Billingham Groundhopper Andrew Clark, who as usual, was combining watching football with bairn sitting duties. 
I had a clear run up the motorways for the return journey, not feeling too fatigued to arrive back at 100FgC HQ at 6.40pm. 

✔716 Hoult House

Colne 0-1 Dunston
Northern Premier League - North-West Division
Tuesday 7th January 2020
Colne sits in the far eastern corner of Lancashire, six miles north-east of Burnley, close to the border with North and West Yorkshire. (population just under 18,000) 
The ancient market town was at the heart of the Lancashire cotton industry. Colne is the birthplace of  the band master aboard the Titanic - Wallace Hartley and the home of The Great British R&B Festival. 
 Colne FC was established in January 1996, six years after the demise of Colne Dynamoes, who folded after they were refused promotion to the Conference.

North-West Counties League 1996-2016
NWC Division Two champions 2003-04
NWC Premier Division champions 2015-16
Northern Premier League;
Division One N/W/NW 2016- present
Lost in play-off semi finals in 2016-17 and 2018-19

Sovereign Play Stadium
Holt House
Harrison Drive

Record attendance: 1,742 v A.F.C. Sudbury, FA Vase semi-final, 20th March 2004

Current Northern Premier League grounds visited 39/62

Holt House was originally an area with several pitches, before being enclosed in 1975 when Colne Dynamoes joined the Lancashire Combination. In the first half of the 1980’s three stands were erected and floodlights installed, with another new stand added in 1986. After Dynamoes, the ground was used by the Colne Royal British Legion FC until they also folded in 1995. The wooden main stand has 160 red flip seats made up of three rows. The Nigel Coates Stand is a full covered terrace behind the goal, with further cover down one side. The 1996 Lounge, Reds Bar and changing rooms are in between the stand and the turnstile entrance in the corner.
Colne o
Dunston 1(Pearson 90+1)
Bet Victor Northern Premier League - North West Division 
Matchday 16
7.45pm ko

Spon ...
Admission £8
Pin badge £3
Chicken & Ham pie £2.50
Coffee £1.50

A match of very few chances looked to be heading towards a (rare for me) goalless draw, until the deadlock was broken in stoppage time, when a Michael Hall cross picked out Michael Pearson who headed into the far corner of the net to clinch a well earned three points.
107 miles ground-to-ground

Departed UTS Stadium on team coach at 1545, back at 0040.
Arrived at Holt House at 1845, later than planned because of heavy rush hour traffic in Harrogate, where we called to pick up one of the players from the train station.

On arrival I legged it down the hill and walked back up another steeper hill to the town centre, to visit two Good Beer Guide pubs - The Wallace Harley (JDW) and Boyce's Barrel. A good night out in Colne, with my only regret being that I would have loved to visit Holt House during the daytime for the picturesque backdrop views of Pendle and the surrounding areas. 

✔715. The Coach Ground

Robin Hood Athletic 1-2 Rawdon Old Boys
West Riding County Challenge Cup 4th Round
Saturday 4th January 2020
 Robin Hood is a village within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, on the A61 between the city centre and Wakefield, close to Rothwell and Lofthouse.
The village obviously take its name from the medieval folk hero Robin Hood, as some of the original legends mention him in and around the West Riding of Yorkshire, in particular Barnsdale forest, which is close to Wakefield.

Robin Hood Athletic formed in 1952 and have played the majority of their history in the West Yorkshire League, currently playing in its Premier Division. The club also had a brief spell in the Leeds Combination League. 
WYAFL Division One champions 2013-14
The Coach Ground
Behind Coach & Horses 
Rothwell Haigh, 
West Yorkshire 
LS26 0SF

Current WYAF League grounds visited - 8

The club moved to the field behind the Coach & Horses Hotel in 1968. The main stand was built in the late 1970’s and has ten large terrace steps with a peaked roof. The changing rooms are either side of the stand with the clubhouse in the larger building. The away side dugout is on the opposite side and the pitch is fully railed off. 
Robin Hood Athletic 1(Finlayson 10)
Rawdon Old Boys 2(Nicholls 63 Butler 80)
West Riding County FA Challenge Cup 4th Round
2pm ko

After a promising start from the visitors, it was the home side who took a tenth minute lead, when a vicious shot from the edge of the box from James Finlayson went in off the post. 
Rawdon were finally rewarded for their efforts when dangerman Craig Nicholls produced a clever flick on the halfway line, before running half the length of the pitch and firing in the equaliser. With ten minutes remaining Paul Butler was upended on the edge of the penalty area, before stepping up to rifle the free kick past the ‘keeper to book ROB a place in the cup quarter-finals.
96 miles drive door-to-door (on me todd)

The Coach Ground has been on my “T’do list” for a while, so I took advantage of a dry, mild, January Saturday to finally tick it off.  I also had time for a swift drink in the Coach & Horses, my first (of many) new pub visits this year.