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 400 different football grounds in the A-Z Matchday Index

site updated on post date

My Matchday - 552 Welfare Ground

AFC Emley 4-3 Winterton Rangers
Northern Counties East League Division One
Saturday 19th November 2016
One of the many grounds I’ve been planing to visit for a long while is the Welfare Ground in Emley. This week me and the breadknife are on leave from work, and as per-usual we had a night away out on the lash. For this weekend we decided to give Huddersfield a go, as the town has plenty of entrants in the Good Beers Guide, a couple of ‘Spoons and a decent injuns! 
We stopped off for lunch in Cleckheaton before arriving at our guest house in Huddersfield at 2.15pm. After quickly checking in I shot off along the Wakefield Road to Emley.

The village has a population of just under two thousand, its name derives from an Old English personal name, Em(m)a or Eama, and leah, a wood or woodland clearing. The village was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Amalaie and Amelaiand becoming Emmeley by the 13th century. The Saxon settlement was at Emley Park, with invading Danes settling in the area in the 9th century, as indicated by place names ending in by and thorpe.
Farming was the chief industry in Emley, then by the 19th century rich deposits of coal had made mining an important industry along with the more traditional weaving. The Emley Moor Colliery was the main employment in the village until it closed in 1985 after the year-long miners' strike. The site of the old pit is now a business park.
The original Emley AFC formed in 1903 and played in the village until 2000, when they moved to Wakefield due to new ground regulations imposed by the Northern Premier League, as the were unable to meet the necessary ground grading. The move lead to a name change in 2003, becoming Wakefield & Emley FC. which upset their loyal supporters, especially when the club’s reserve side, the only remaining link to the Welfare Ground was discontinued by the NCEL..
Following the disbanding of the reserves, several former Emley members and fans formed the current club in 2005, moving back to their home village. During their debut season, AFC Emley finished third in the West Yorkshire League Division One and quickly stepped up into the Northern Counties East Football League Division One the following season.
The club now run both a successful development team in the Lancashire League (East) and a youth side. The senior side had their best season to date last term when they finished 4th in the NCEL Division One.
Welfare Ground had been used for rugby in the late 19th century, before football came to prominence in the village. The ground was used by a host of clubs in the village with the White Horse pub used as changing rooms and the headquarters of Emley AFC.
The Main Stand is the classic welfare style structure with elevated seating with stair access at the front. The stand opened in September 1989 and sits on the halfway line, filled with 330 yellow flip seats. The ground has a capacity of 2,000 with covered terracing at the entrance goal and open standing at the far end. The changing room block and social club which opened in 1972, runs between the turnstile and the stand. The ground is three sided with a fence down one side separating the neighbouring cricket pitch. The Floodlights were first switched on in 1981 with Huddersfield Town providing the opposition for the first match under lights.
AFC Emley went into the game in 6th position, their opponents Winterton Rangers three points and two places below them in eighth. The match was a cracker, getting off to a controversial start, with an effort in the 3rd minute crashing off the crossbar (and from where I was standing, next to the corner flag) bouncing over the line and back out. The referee and linesman seemed unsure so no goal was giving. 
The hosts soon took charge with Matthew Jackson firing in from close range following a corner kick, before Ashley Flynn rifled in a powerful right foot drive. The visitors halved the deficit on 34 minutes when Matthew Crane headed in at the far post from a corner, but the two goal cushion was soon restored when Flynn got on the end of a perfect Aaron Joseph cross. 
Emley finally added to the score with twenty minutes remaining, when an effort from substitute Alex Slack hit the defender before falling nicely into his path to smash in on the volley from 20 yards.  
That seemed to be game over, but on 77 minutes Rangers pulled one back as Jamie Richardson capitalised on some slack defending, then seconds later Crane grabbed his second to make it 4-3.
The match could have gone either way but Emley hung on to claim the three points which takes them up to fifth in the table.
After a cracking game through the day, a cracking night out in Huddersfield. Our pub crawl saw us supping in the Grove, Rat & Ratchet, The Star Inn, Lord Wilson, Cherry Tree, Kings Head and the Head of Steam. All these pubs had a fabulous choice of ales and the night was rounded off with a gutbusting meal at Lala’s Restaurant, so overall a Saturday belter!

Matchday Stats
AFCE 4(Jackson 27 Flynn 30,36 Slack 70)
WRFC 3(Crane 34,78 Richardson 77)
Top Bloke - Liam Schofield(AFC Emley)
Admission £5
Programme £1 Coffee £1
Pin badge £3.75

Matchday Web Album (22 pictures from the Welfare Ground)

Pic of the Week Cup - Round 5

100FgC Squad#30 Matt Ross - Steaua Bucharest
100FgC A18 Paul Proctor - Tow Law

100FgC A10 David Bauckham - Garw SBGC
100FgC A8 Simon Langston - Peterborough United

100FgC Squad#155 James Little - Arthurlie
Facebook member Kay Bohn - Karlsruhe 

100FgC A62 John Blair's picture from Pepsi Deild has been giving a bye into the knockout stage on the 50 like rule. (achieving 77 Facebook likes)

Vote by leaving a comment or on our Facebook page

✔551 Dunterlie Park

Arthurlie 1-3 Kilwinning Rangers
Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round Replay
Saturday 29th October 2016
Barrhead is a town on the edge of the Gleniffer Braes, 8 miles south-west of the city of Glasgow. Barrhead formed when the neighbouring villages of Arthurlie, Grahamston and Gateside gradually merged to form one contiguous town. The name "Barrhead" first appeared in 1750, deriving from the agricultural term Barr meaning long ploughed furrows of crops, as the original homestead lay at the head of the barrs.
Arthurlie FC was founded in 1874, being one of five surviving teams that played in the Scottish Cup in their formative season, later becoming one of the founder members of the Scottish Federation League in 1892. The club played at senior level until 1929, within the Scottish Football League between 1901 and 1915, then after the First World War in the newly created Third Division in 1923. They joined the Junior ranks in 1931.

Scottish Junior Cup winners twice in 1937 beating Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 5-1 and in 1998 with a 4-0 victory over Pollok, who they had lost to in the 1981 final. They also appeared in the 1946 final losing 2-0 to Fauldhouse United.

League honours 
West Region Division One champions 2002–03
Central League
Premier Division champions 1987–88, 1988–89, 1993–94, 2000–01
Western Division champions 1936–37
Division B champions 1942–43
Cup honours include;
West of Scotland Cup Winners 1943, 1976, 1978, 1997, 2011, 2015
League Cup winners 1939, 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2008
Sectional League Cup winners 1979, 1987, 2009, 2010
Dunterlie Park
42 Carlibar Road, 
G78 1AA

(Scottish grounds visited 82 Junior grounds 35 Lifetime Junior Cup winners 28/28)
Capacity 4,000

Arthurlie moved to the first Dunterlie Park from their Arthurlie Cross ground in 1882.They moved to the second Dunterlie Park in 1906, and the current one in 1919.
The entrance is at the top of the terrace behind the goal, with the terracing continuing to the west side of the ground where there’s an enclosure, decked out in club colours with the club name on the front of the roof. The rest of the ground is open with a dugout on each side, with the changing rooms and 1874 Club cabin behind the far goal.
Arthurlie v Kilwinning Rangers
Scottish Junior Cup Round 2 Replay
2.3opm ko
Weather: Overcast with a few spits.

Kilwinning Rangers booked their place in the 3rd round with an impressive performance in Barrhead. They took the lead on 13 minutes when the home defence failed to deal with a corner kick. Gavin Hay made a good save from the initial header but Iain Cashmore was on hand to net the rebound from close range. The visitors could have extended their lead but the Lie got back into it just before half time, when a free kick from the right was met with a free header from Ryan McGregor.
Arthurlie hit the woodwork twice before the Buffs regained the advantage on 64 minutes with a superb strike from Ben Lewis, who latched onto a through ball and curled his shot high inside the ‘keeper’s left hand post. With just a few minutes left on the clock Kilwinning wrapped it up when Frye laid the ball into the path of Liam McGuiness for an easy finish before celebrating with the visiting supporters behind the goal. 
A disappointing afternoon for Arthurlie was summed up in stoppage time when a late lunge from Jorden Leyden resulted in a straight red card, but overall it was an enjoyable game and a typical Scottish Junior cup tie.

Matchday Stats
AFC 1(McGregor 39)
KRFC 3(Cashmore 13 Lewis 64 McGuiness 88)
Top Bloke - Ben Lewis(Kilwinning Rangers)
Entertainment 8/10


Admission £6
Programme £1.50
Coffee 80p
Hot dog £1.20
Double Decker 60p
126 miles door-to-door

In the company of Darren 'Zippy’ Turnbull, Honest Paul and James Little.

0842 East Coast Virgin train to Edinburgh Haymarket arriving at 1031
1037 Scotrail to Glasgow Queen Street arriving at 1140.
1342 Scotrail from Central Station to Barrhead took just 10 minutes, catching the 1627 return.
1840 Virgin train to Carlisle arriving at 1950.
Ended up getting the 1938 Northern Rail to Newcastle, instead of the 2124. The service was half an hour late as the train had to be expanded due to a large following of Toon fans coming back from Preston, so we were back in Newcastle at 2150.

Unfortunately Jimmy Jimmy and Plymouth Pete couldn't make the trip for the double celebration of Zippy's birthday and the “From the Toon to the Scottish Joons Finale Party”
We met up with James at Haymarket station then on arrival on Glasgow we had a pub crawl, with a bevvy at the Camperdown Place, Counting House, The Auctioneer and The Royal Scot. Later on after the game we went to The Horseshoe Bar, Drum & Monkey and The Maltman.
When we arrived in Barrhead we called into the Brig Inn, which made a refreshing change to some of the local pubs I've encountered on this quest. The pub was full of football memorabilia covering all clubs, with an equal array of photographs and programmes from Celtic and Rangers. The walls were also decorated with Scottish international programmes and other football clubs from both sides of the border, making it a Swiss type neutral drinking zone. 
We were expecting to have an hour and a half in Carlisle but the aforementioned change to the train schedule meant we could get home quicker and have a few pints on home soil, instead of risking the western bar brawl kind of incident that happened on my last visit to the border town.
Our earlier than expected return to Tyneside rounded off a great day. My quest of visiting the 28 clubs that have won the Junior Cup in my lifetime has been completed on schedule. Now all I need to do is finish writing the book and get it published in the new year. Once that's done I’ll be ready for my new Groundhopping challenge, whatever that may be. 

Arthurlie Matchday Web Album 
(35 pictures from Dunterlie Park)

✔550 Gallagher Stadium

Maidstone United 0-2 Gateshead
Vanarama National League
Saturday 22nd October 2016

Maidstone is a borough and the county town of Kent, 32 miles south-east of London. (Population over 113,000)
The River Medway runs through the town centre, linking it with Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town's trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England. There is evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to before the Stone Age, with the first recorded instances of the town's name appeared in Saxon charters.
De maeides stana and maegdan stane, possibly meaning 'stone of the maiden' or 'stone of the people'. The name evolved through medestan/meddestane in the Domesday Book with possible variation Mayndenstan, in 1396, until the modern name first appeared in 1610.
Maidstone United were formed in 1992 from Maidstone Invicta,  who were originally a youth club and were taken over within days of the old Maidstone United Football League side going bankrupt.

Kent County League 1993-2006
Premier Division winners 2001-02 2005-06
Isthmian League 2006-2015
Division One South champions 2006-07
Premier Division champions 2014-15
National League South 2015-16
The Stones were promoted to the National League after winning at Ebbsfleet United in the National League South Promotion Final. The match finished 2–2 after extra time, with Maidstone winning 4–3 on penalties.
Gallagher Stadium
James Whatman Way
ME14 1LQ

(Non League grounds visited 265 Current National League 21/24)

Opened in 2012
Capacity 3,030
Record attendance - Full capacity v Sutton United (5th April 2016, National League South) 

The Main Stand has 750 black seats with MUFC picked out in yellow. The stand has a small upper section of seats for the press, media and the two executive lounges. There is covered terracing behind each goal with the North Stand slightly larger. Behind the South terrace are refreshment outlets, with the Spitfire Lounge in the south-east corner beside the turnstile entrance. On the west side there is open area behind the team dugouts and the stadium has a 3G playing surface, a rarity at this level.
Maidstone United(17th) v Gateshead(10th)
National League Matchday 16

A double strike by Danny Johnson assured the Heed came away from Kent with a well deserved three points. The striker almost gave Gateshead the lead when he got on the end of a George Smith cross only to see his effort come back out off the post, but he made no mistake just before half time, latching onto a Manny Smith flicked header to steer the ball home from six yards.
That decisive goal before the break gave the Tynesiders a massive boost, taking full charge of the second half and finally wrapping up the points on 70 minutes. A strong penetration run through midfield from Sam Jones saw him lay the ball into the path of Johnson, who quickly turned and fired into the bottom left hand corner.
The match saw The Tynesiders field two Smith’s and two Jones’ in their starting line up, alas the Heed couldn’t convert more goalbound efforts in what manager Neil Aspin described as our best performance of the season.  

GFC 2(Johnson 45,70)
Top Bloke - Danny Johnson(Gateshead)
Entertainment 7/10

Admission £15
Programme £2.50
Pin badge £3.50
Chicken Balti pie & mushy peas £3.50
Coffee £1.30
311 miles door-to-door

Megabus depart at 0140 arrived at London Victoria at 0730
Southwest train to Maidstone at 1122 arrived at 1218
Return on 1710 from Maidstone to Victoria at 1810.
2000 East coast train to Newcastle arrive at 2315.

Due to the mackems taking up all the cheap train seats for their latest defeat at West Ham, I had to go for the cheaper option to get to London. Although the Megabus was pretty busy for that time of the night and the seats weren't very comfortable, I can't really complain considering the fare was only £1 plus a 50p booking fee. 
The early arrival meant I could spend the morning ticking off some 'Spoons pubs. I started off at the two in Victoria before heading west on the tube to cross off another five in Hammersmith, Putney and Fulham. The morning went exactly as I planned so I arrived around lunchtime to do the two in Maidstone, which took my overall 'Spoons total to 300.
There was still a few hours before kick off to venture into a couple of Good Beer Guide pubs, especially liking Ye Olde Thirsty Pig where I got talking to a South African guy who had lived in Maidstone for ten years. He was keen to find out where I was from because he had never heard an accent like mine before, so basically I was the first Geordie he had ever met. Along the pub route I met up with the usual gang of four led by 100FgC squad members John Robinson and Keith Arthur.

Maidstone Bevvy Almanac
Society Rooms
Otava IPA (4.4%)***+
Muggleton Inn
Afron-Caribbean 'Hop Session' (4.3%)****
Ye Ole Thirsty Pig
Kent 'Cobnut’ (4.1%)***+
Rifle Volunteers
Goacher’s Fine Light Ale (3.7%)****
Flower Pot
Maidstone 'First Light' (3.9%)****
Sambrook’s “Pumphouse Pale Ale’ (4.2%)****

Final thought
Maidstone United have a tremendous set up at Gallagher Stadium. For a club who have spent so much time with a nomadic existence, they fully deserve this terrific home in the heart of the town. The club have got it right both on and off the pitch and a more successful Football League return may not be too far away into the future.

Gallagher Stadium Matchday Web Album (23 pictures)

✔549 Meadow Park

Irvine Meadow XI 3-1 Irvine Victoria
West Region Super League First Division
Saturday 1st October 2016
Irvine is a a new town and former royal burgh on the coast of the Firth of Clyde in North Ayrshire. Located 30 miles south-west of Glasgow and 26 miles north of Ayr. (population over 33,000)
The town was made a Royal Burgh in 1372 by Robert II and has historical maritime connections. The harbour became a major west coast seaport and now houses the main site of the Scottish Maritime Museum.  Irvine was officially designated as a "New Town" in 1966, the fifth and last to be developed in Scotland and the only one to be located on the coast.
Irvine is the birthplace of the present First Minister of Scotland and SNP leader (and Jimmy Krankie lookalikey) Nicola Sturgeon and also Roddy Woomble, lead singer of indie rockers Idlewild.
Irvine Meadow XI formed in 1897.

The Medda have lifted the Scottish Junior Cup on three occasions, winning 2-1 against both Shettleston in 1959 and Glenafton Athletic in 1963. They completed their hat-trick ten years later finally overcoming Cambuslang Rangers 1-0 in the second replay following 2-2 and 3-3 draws. 
They’ve also finished runners-up twice, losing out to Bo’ness United in 1948 and Petershill in 1951, in front of a record Junior Cup final crowd of 77,650 at Hampden Park.

Ayrshire First Division Winners on 9 occasions
SJFA West Super League Premier Division Champions: 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12
The Meadow have won an array of cup honours throughout their history including 9 West of Scotland Cup’s and the Ayrshire Cup 14 times.
Meadow Park
Wilson Avenue,
KA12 0TW

(Scottish grounds visited 81 Scottish Junior grounds 34 Lifetime Junior Cup winners 27/28)

Capacity 5,200
Record Attendance 13,740 V Stonehouse Violet in 1949 in Junior Cup 5th Round.

Meadow Park has a classic old style stand which holds 700 seats. The social club, changing rooms and refreshment bar are underneath the stand. The home dugout is in front of the stand and the away team in front of the opposite terrace. There’s also terracing behind goals with a larger standing area at the turnstile entrance.
Irvine Meadow XI(11th) v Irvine Victoria(10th)
McBookie.com Super First Division Matchday 5

Medda came from behind to claim local bragging rights in the Irvine derby. Victoria took the lead in the 11th minute with a peach of a goal from Paul Young, who picked up the ball on the left edge of the penalty area and fired in off the far post. 
A spell of pressure from the home side saw them draw level on 23 minutes, when a low hard cross from the left was turned into his own net by the defender. They grabbed the lead before the break. A right wing corner kick was cleared, then when the ball was recycled into the area it found Ryan Begley unmarked to head in at the back stick. 
After a good opening 45, the second half didn’t quite live up to expectations, Meadow were the better side but chances were few and far between. The Wee Vics might have got something out of the game, but their cause wasn’t helped by the referee who sent off Scott Chesney on 79 minutes for two yellow card offenses. Medda sealed victory with  just a few minutes remaining, when a long pass found Ben Black who beat the outcoming ‘keeper to the ball to toe-poked into the net.

Matchday Stats
IMXI 3( OG 23 Begley 38 Black 87)
IVFC 1(Young 11)
Top Bloke - Ben Black(Irvine Meadow)
Entertainment 7/10

Admission £6
Programme £1.50
Coffee 80p (no pie because I’m on a cutback)
165 miles door-to-door
0824 Northern Rail Newcastle to Carlisle/1003 Virgin Trains Carlisle to Glasgow Central
Caught the 1204 train to Irvine and the 1606 return.
1740 Glasgow Central to Carlisle/1941 Carlisle to Newcastle

I arrived in Irvine at 12.30, calling at the Auld Brig for lunch and yet another 'Spoons tick, before a stroll along the harbour towards the Ship Inn, the oldest pub in Irvine dating back to 1595. 
Afterwards I visited my usual haunts in Glasgow before heading down to Carlisle, where I was lucky to avoid injury in the William Rufus. I was minding my own business watching the football on TV when a western saloon type bar brawl took place next to where I stood. Flying smashed glass and a hurled chair was involved. I was rescued by a gang of lasses from Crook, who coincidently I met in Salou on holiday last week. (I’m always saying it’s a small world) 

Irvine Meadow is the penultimate club in a project which has took over my life over the last two seasons. The final club I need to visit for my book  is Arthurlie and I’m keeping everything crossed that they have a home fixture on my next planned trip to Glasgow on the 29th October, while will finally complete my trail of the Scottish Holy Grail. 

Matchday Web Album (25 pictures from Meadow Park)