Welcome to The 100 Football Grounds Club

Welcome to Shaun Smith's groundhopping football blog 'The 100 Football Grounds Club'(est.2006) the original internet ground logging website. Please feel free to leave any comments if you wish. Cheers!!! site updated on post date

Pic of the Week Cup 2014 - Round 6

100FgC A8 Simon Langton - Rijeka
100FgC Squad#169 Geoff Jackson - Queen of the South
100FgC facebook Andrew Fleming - Abuja NS,Nigeria
100FgC Squad#195 Graeme Holmes - Glentoran
100FgC Squad#50 Joris Van der Wier - Clydebank

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My Matchday - 421 Warner Park

Eyemouth United 5v4 Hawick Royal Albert
East of Scotland League Division One
Saturday 25th October 2014
Its been a while since I’ve been to an East of Scotland League game, so I added Eyemouth United to my list of grounds to do for this season, travelling up for to the Scottish Borders for their Division One fixture with Hawick Royal Albert.

Whereabouts and Whatsabouts

Eyemouth (Scots: Heymooth) is a small town and civil parish in Berwickshire,  just 8 miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The fishing ports name derives from its location at the mouth of the Eye, with many of the features of a traditional fishing village preserved within its narrow streets and vennels, giving shelter from the sea and well suited to the smuggling tradition of old. The small villages of Ayton, Reston, St. Abbs, Coldingham, and Burnmouth are close by and the Scottish border coast offers opportunities for birdwatching, walking, fishing and diving. 
There are still traces of the first Trace Italienne style fortification in Britain, built at a cost of £1,906 at Fort Point, Eyemouth in 1547. It was demolished under the Treaty of Boulogne in 1550, but rebuilt again six years later by d'Oisel. The fort held it held 500 French troops and it was demolished again under the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559. 

Plantpot History

Eyemouth United F.C. were founded in 1949 and as members of the Scottish FA played in the Scottish Cup. In 1953 a crowd of over 4,000 saw The Fishermen take on Celtic and their most successful run in the cup came in 1959-60, when they reached the quarter-finals, losing 2-1 at home to eventual finalists Kilmarnock. The club currently play in the East of Scotland League and have won many honours but mostly back in the 1950’s. They were league champions three times during the decade and last won the title for the fourth time in 1970-71. They also adding three Scottish Qualifying Cup South wins, two City Cups amongst other honours during their heyday. The East of Scotland Qualifying Cup was also lifted four times during the 50’s and this was the last honour they’ve won back in the 1971-72 season

Ground no.421 Warner Park
Current East of Scotland League grounds 5/19

Originally known as Gunsgreen Park until it was renamed Warner Park at the turn of the millenium, the ground is found over the other side of the harbour from the town centre. From there you navigate a steep hill so the ground is quite elevated and exposed, with panoramic views of the North Sea. The ground has quite basic with a pair of brick dugouts and a wooden fence has been recently added to make it more enclosed. The changing room block has a cafe which serves proper mugs of coffee served by the same bloke who runs the line during the match.

The Match
What a cracking game, nine goals, plenty of missed chances and a full scale scrap! The Fishermen took the lead after only two minutes when Scott Adamson fired in after the defence failed to deal with a corner, but they responded well, with McSherrin firing in a 20 yard daisy cutter to draw level. Two minutes later Eyemouth regained the advantage with a well placed shot from Buckley from outside the box, then Gavin Burrell made it three on 35 minutes, celebrating his good finish with a lot of screaming and a dodgy somersault. 

From this point it looked like the hosts would go on and comfortably win the game, but Hawick hit two goals in a minute before half time. Andrew Noble finish off some neat play firing home a left wing pass, followed by a well placed free kick by Gordon Ramsay from the edge of the box, placed perfectly into the corner of the net.

On the hour mark all hell broke lose when two opposing players game to blows, wrestling on the pitch like a couple of schoolkids after arranging a barney. Within seconds it became a pile on as players from both sides tried to break it up and once the referee finally calmed things down he showed a red card to Hawick midfielder Gordon Ramsey. He left the field by hurling a mouthful of abuse, akin to his TV chef namesake, which was a shame because he had played well throughout.

The visitors responded well to being reduced to ten men by taking the lead for the first time when Greg Summers nipped in between the defenders to make it 3-4 on 68 minutes, but again two strikes in the space of minute won it for Eyemouth. Adamson got his second of the afternoon on 82 minutes, getting on the end of right wing cross from Alan Jess, then the creator scored the winner, slamming home a ball from the left to round off an incredible action packed afternoon.

Matchday Stats

EUFC 5(Adamson 2,82 Buckley 13 Burrell 35 Jess 83) HRAFC 4(McSherrin 11 Noble 39 Ramsey 40 Summers 68)
Top Bloke - Alan Jess(Eyemouth)


Admission and programme:none
Mince pie £1.50
Mug of coffee £1

My Matchday
This was the second consecutive Saturday that I travelled up to Berwick on the train. Last week me, Zippy, Plymouth Pete, Jimmy Jimmy and Honest Paul had a day out on the lash in the town, and also took in the Borders fixture with Elgin City. After a very enjoyable day we arrived back at the train station in plenty of time but somehow contrived to miss the last train home. The fact that there’s only two platforms at Berwick station makes this misdemeanour more laughable, and although we were giving the wrong information we never should’ve missed it, but in our defence we were very……..very......drunk!
This week I boarded the 1255 train then a walk to the bus stop for the 253 service to Eyemouth, however this stroll ended up being a run as the train was eight minutes late, but I got to the Chapel Street stop in time, so I arrived in Eyemouth twenty minutes before the 2.30 kick off. 
Afterwards I had a look around the town which was described as a mini-Whitby by Stevie Charla, who is our resident Alan Whicker at the Valley D.O. The town was very quiet and everywhere seemed to be closed, but I found a pub called The Tavern next to the bus stop where I supped a nice pint of Tartan Special. I had a quick bevvy in Berwick and had no problems catching the train back to Newcastle this time, unlike last week having to fork out for a whip round of a hundred quid for someone to come and rescue us.  Overall a pleasant little trip and if you haven’t visited the fishing port of Eyemouth and Warner Park I highly recommend it.

Foetoes (20 pictures from Warner Park)

My Matchday - 420 Langtree Park

Liverpool U-19 3v2 Real Madrid U-19
UEFA Youth League Group Stage
Wednesday 22nd October 2014
I’ve been bragging for weeks that I was heading to Merseyside for Liverpool v Real Madrid until having to confess it’s actually not the UEFA Champions League, but the youth equivalent played at Langtree Park rugby league stadium at St Helens.  

The  UEFA Youth League was launched last season with games played at a group stage, reflecting the same matchday schedule as the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League group stage. The tournament  was held on a 'trial basis' with the eight group-winners and runners-up participated in a knockout phase, with single-leg ties and the semi-finals and final played at neutral venues. Barcelona became the first champion, beating Benfica 3–0 in the final-four held in Nyon.
After a two-year trial period, the UEFA Youth League will become a permanent UEFA competition starting from next season, with the tournament expanded from 32 to 64 teams to allow the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations according to their UEFA country coefficients to also participate. 
Whereabouts and Whatsabouts
St Helens is a large town and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, found 11 miles east of Liverpool and 23 miles from Manchester city centre. 
The origin of the name "St Helens" stems from a "chapel of ease" dedicated to St Elyn, with the earliest recorded documented referenced in 1552. Between 1629 and 1839 St Helens grew from a small collection of houses surrounding an old chapel to a village, before becoming an important urban centre of the four primary Manors and surrounding townships.
St Helens did not exist as a town in its own right until the middle of the 19th century. During the Industrial Revolution St Helens became a significant centre for glassmaking, coal mining and historically it was also home to a cotton and linen industry, most notably in sail making. Today, St Helens is a commercial town and an ideal commuter location, as it shares borders with the towns or boroughs of Prescot in Knowsley, Skelmersdale, Warrington, Widnes, Wigan, and has direct transport links by road and two main railway lines. 
Ground no.420 Langtree Park
Langtree Park  is home to St Helens RLFC, located in the Peasley Cross area of the town. The club played at their former home at Knowsley Road in Eccleston for 120 years until the ground closed in 2010. The new stadium was built on the land formerly occupied by the UGB Glass plant with construction beginning in August 2010 and completed in November 2011, one month after the neighbouring Tesco store, which was also part of the redevelopment scheme was finished. The Langtree Group, the primary developers in the project gained the naming rights, with the first Super League fixture taking place on Friday 20th January 2011 as St Helens beat Widnes in the stadium opener.
Langtree Park has a capacity of just under 18,000 made up of two main standing areas totally 7,695 and seated stands at each side.  The main stand is on the south side having a capacity of 5,233, with executive boxes, disabled seats and houses the club shop, bar and ticket offices. The North Stand is slightly smaller with a capacity of 4,718, with both stands decked out in red with white lettering and have the floodlights perched on the roofs. There are standing terracing behind both goals totalling 7,695 with a small section of seating meeting the main stand in the corners. The overall capacity is just under 18,000 with 10,150 seats.
The match was a cracker played to the soundtrack of screaming school kids who made up a large majority of the crowd. I wish these sort of fixtures took place when I was a bairn, it would have been fab to spend an afternoon out of the classroom at the match instead of the swimming baths or some boring museum.
The young Liverpool support were soon in full voice as the reds took a two goal lead after 20 minutes. Cameron Brannagan fired in after a keystone kops type scramble, then five minutes later Tom Brewitt netted the rebound after a Wilson free kick was saved.
The comedy spot-kick
Real finished the half strongly and missed a golden opportunity when they were awarded a penalty after a high foot challenge by Phillips on Cedre. Borja Mayoral stepped up to take it but as he was about to shoot he slipped and fell on his backside, so the ball flew high over the crossbar...a regular sight here at the home of the egg shaped ball.
The Spaniards made up for that mishap in the second period by drawing level, with defender Lienhart nodding in a right wing cross on 53 minutes followed by Borja Sanchez playing a lovely one-two before placing his shot in off the far post with 66 on the clock. The goals were greeted with youthful cheers, with screams just as loud as the Liverpool goals, as the young Evertonians in the crowd were adopted Real Madrid supporters for the day.
In the later stages both team pushed for the decisive winning goal and it was Liverpool who clinched it when Sinclair found Harry Wilson in space who fired his right foot shot into the far corner. An excellent game played in good spirit with an array of talent on show, some of which could become household names within a few years.

Matchday Stats
LFC 3(Brannigan 15, Brewitt 20 Wilson 87) RMCF 2(Lienhart 53 Sanchez 66)
Top kid - Harry Wilson(Liverpool)

Admission £5
Programme - Free team sheet
Bait and drink (None purchased because of big queues of school kids)

My Matchday
Its a good job that the match was excellent, the beer decent and the stadium extremely nice...as my day of travelling was a pile of dog shite! I left Newcastle on the 0924 Northern rattler which arrived in Carlisle(as always)spot on time. From the Border City I was heading down to Preston, booked on the scheduled 1110 to London Euston, which eventually arrived twelve minutes late. I had a 16 minute window at Preston before catching the connection to St Helens, so I thought the four spare minutes was sufficient enough to make it, but by the time we arrived the train was 21 minutes late, which was hard to comprehend considering it only stopped once at Penrith. I only had one option if I was going to make the 2pm kick off and that was to stay on the train and alight at Wigan North Western, hoping it gets there before the St Helens train.(I hope your following this)
It reached Wigan with a minute to spare, but I needn't have worried it was also running late, so after a stressful morning I was delighted to arrive in St Helens at quarter past one, only ten minutes behind schedule.

There are two JDW'Spoons pubs in the town, so I went to both, calling at the Running Horses before the match and The Glass Works afterwards. In the pub I received a phone call from 100FgC Squad#187 Alan Oliver apologising for not being able to meet up with me for the game. I told him about the journey and mentioned that it hopefully wouldn't be as bad heading back home.....well..
..The train from St Helens obviously arrived late into Preston, then I was flabbergasted to discover my 1741 was cancelled. I was told by a member of staff to catch the 1758 instead, but..aye, you guessed it...that was running at least ten minutes late. There was a Virgin train to Edinburgh due which called at Carlisle so I jumped aboard, and at long last I felt I would get to hold my loving breadknife in my arms and cuddle into her warm bosom before the day was out.
For a change the train made good time so I had a good 20 minutes spare in Carlisle to nip into The William Rufus and cross off a couple of more ales in the Wetherspoons Beer Festival bingo. I caught the 1938 back to Newcastle so I was home at my intended time, so I shouldn't really complain about the transport because if this match took place 24 hours earlier in the atrocious weather I’d more than likely would have never made it there or back. 

Foetoes (18 pictures from Langtree Park)

Bevvy Almanac
The Running Horses (Water Street) ;
Weetwood 'Best Cask Bitter' (3.8%)***+
Abbaye Du Val-Dieu 'Blonde,' (6%)****+
The Glass Works (Market Street) ;
Shepherd Neame 'Whitstable Bay Pale Ale' (3.9%)***+
Liberation American Brown Ale(4.2%)***+
Wicked Weed 'Freak of Nature' (7.5%)****

Revisiting Shielfield

 The occasion for my return to Shielfield after 14 years was for another of our days on the lash, this time for the pending 47th birthday of best pal Zippy. Apart from a map with a list of pubs, I also took my camera to click together a web album of the home of Berwick Rangers.

The Borderers entered the Scottish League in 1951, some 70 years after their formation in 1881. Shielfield Park dates back to 1890, named after land owned and local butcher William Shiel Dods. The club moved from an adjacent ground pitch to the present site in 1954, purchasing steelwork from Bradford City to build the main stand.  Aston Villa were their first opponents and over its 60 year history the record attendance stands at 13,365, for the famous 1-0 Scottish Cup victory over Glasgow Rangers in January 1967.
Berwick Rangers was forced to sell Shielfield Park to the local council in 1985 due to financial difficulties, who in turn leased it to a greyhound company. The leaseholder sub-let Shielfield to the club, then after nearly going out of business in 1992 they were locked out , forcing the club to ground share. The company eventually relented and allowed the club back for three days a week, until the club's supporters bought the lease out in August 1995.

The ground is oval shaped due to its surrounding cinder track used by the Berwick Bandits speedway team and formerly the greyhounds. The Main Stand runs pitch length, fully covered with a single tier of 1,366 seats decked out in sections of red, grey and mostly yellow seats, The stand has a row of floodlights running across the front  which were switched on in 1972. There's open terracing behind each goal and at the far side is a small covered section known as the 'Ducket Enclosure' with a total capacity of 4,500.
 As this is a revisit it doesn't get the full 'My Matchday' report, so the tale of how me, Zippy, Jimmy Jimmy, Plymouth Pete and Honest Paul were all stranded in Berwick will have to be told another time.

Matchday Stats
18th October 2014
Berwick Rangers 1(Currie 31) Elgin City 1(Gunn 43)
Scottish League Division Two
Spondoolicks - 
Admission £12
Programme £2
Coffee £1.30

Originally ticked:
Ground no.74 Shielfield Park
Tuesday 1st August 2000
Pre Season Friendly
Berwick Rangers 2(Woods 71 Smith 85) Newcastle United 5(Ameobi 17 Ketsbaia 25,45 Coppinger 88 90+1)

Foetoes - Matchday Web Album (35 pics from Shielfield)

My Matchday - 419 North Shore Academy

Stockton West End 0v4 BEADS FC
Teesside Football League Division One
Saturday 11th October 2014
 This was a free Saturday in my fixture diary, but because of work commitments I was unable to travel too far. I fancied bagging a new ground with a few boozers and maybe a record store close by. I receive regular supplies of Northern Rail Ranger tickets (thanks to the future breadknife of Jimmy Jimmy) so I cashed one in to take the rattler down to Stockton-on-Tees.

The market town in the unitary authority and borough of Stockton-on-Tees is historically part of County Durham. The borough incorporating a number of smaller towns and villages which are split with North Yorkshire.The name derives from the Anglo Saxon with the “ton” ending meaning a farm or homestead. The town is on the north side of the Tees, five miles from Middlesbrough and famously has the widest High Street in the UK.

 Stockton West End this year celebrated their 70th birthday having first been formed by young cricketers during the war. The club currently run teams at all age groups from under-10s to senior level with over 200 players on their roster. The senior side play in the Teesside League Division One and I dipped my toe into this league for the first time for their fixture with BEADS FC.

 A sweet 20 yard free kick from Carl Liley on fifteen minutes separated the two sides in a tight first half but it was the visitors that went on to dominate proceedings after the break. They doubled their lead on 58 minutes when Aninakwah dribbled his way to the by-line to set up Mark Sowerby for an easy finish. Minutes later David Aninakwah was on hand to fire home the rebound, after a long range shot from Liley was initially saved, then on 70 minutes a sublime exchange of quick passing football was rounded off by substitute Carl Matthews. This convincing win took BEADS to the top of the table and if they continue in this vein of form they’ll take some stopping.

Matchday Stats
SWEFC 0 BFC 4(Liley 15 Sowerby 58 Aninakwah 63 Matthews 70)
Admission & programme:none
Top bloke - Carl Liley(BEADS FC)
 Building work on the North Shore Academy began in March 2012 and opened in April the following year, with Stockton West End moving there last season The club use the caged 3G pitch which is found at the back of the complex on Talbot Street, the academy is based just off the town centre on the Norton Road.

Afterwards I headed into town, stopping off for refreshments in the Sun Inn, Royal Oak and the Thomas Sheraton. Apart from having a few bevvys the main reason I frequently head down to Stockton is to visit the fabulous Sound It Out record shop. I first came aware of the store when I saw the documentary film on BBC4. 
Film blurp;
Over the last five years an independent record shop has closed in the UK every three days.
SOUND IT OUT (75 mins) is a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England. A cultural haven in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, SOUND IT OUT documents a place that is thriving against the odds and the local community that keeps it alive. Directed by Jeanie Finlay who grew up three miles from the shop.
A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, the North and the irreplaceable role music plays in our lives.

As long as this shop stays open then I’ll continue taking the hour journey on the Northern rattler to north Teesside and if I can also bag a new ground in the vicinity then what’s not to like