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

✔492 - Blair Park

Hurlford United 4v1 Falkirk Juniors
ETHXenergy Scottish Junior Cup Round 3
Saturday 21st November 2015

Hurlford - one village two trophies
Hurlford is a village in East Ayrshire, two miles east of Kilmarnock.(Population including Crookedholm of just under 5,000)
Its Gaelic title Àth Cliath meaning “The Ford of the Hurdles"  is also the same Gaelic name as the Irish capital Dublin.
Former home of the Eglinton Iron Co. which opened in 1846 and ceased production in the 1970s.

Hurlford United
“The Ford” were established in 1912 and wear red & white striped shirts.
Ayrshire League champions three times in 1972–73, 2007–08, 2009–10
West Region First Division winners in 2012–13
Scottish Junior Cup winners in 2014, beating Glenafton Athletic 3-0 in the final at Rugby Park.
Cup honours include winning the Ayrshire Cup in 1968–69, 1972–73, 1973–74 and the Ayrshire League Cup in 1940–41, 1944–45, 1971–72, 1975–76, 2014-15. The Ford have also lifted the Ayrshire District Cup 3 times, the Kilmarnock & Loudoun Cup on five occasions and the East Ayrshire Cup once.
Blair Park
Blair Road
Scottish Grounds Visited 68, Junior grounds 22, Lifetime Scottish Junior Cup Winners 16/27
Capacity 1,500 
The ground has three steps of terracing on both sides with a small standing cover next to the home dugouts for about 50 spectators. Clubhouse, snack bar and changing rooms behind the entrance goal.

Admission £6
Programme £1.50
Pin badge £2.50
Coffee £1
Killie Pie £1.80
Tea £1

The Gadabout
Milage door-to-door 159m
I drove Lee & Katie and her daughter Jade from Gallowgate View to Hurlford. Left at 9.35, stopped at Gretna Services to check if the match was on and eventually arrived in the village around 12.50pm. The return journey along A71, down M74/M6 and across A69 saw us back home by 7pm.
Hurlford United v Falkirk Juniors
Scottish Junior Cup 3rd Round
1.45 k.o.
(6th in West Super League Premier v 7th East Premier League)
Weather:Clear sky, quiet cold.

1-0 Stewart Kean (34’)
Picked up the ball on the edge of the box played a quick one-two, before firing home from 12 yards.
2-0 Stewart Kean (44’)
A low right wing cross from Robertson found Kean at the near post, his initial flicked effort rebounded back off his leg and trickled over the line.
3-0 Ross Robertson (48’)
A ball played in from the left by Ryan Borris found Robertson who stabbed the ball in from close range.
3-1 James McAteer (81’)
Substitute Alan Sneddon was tripped in the box and McAteer calmly fired in the resulting spot-kick.
4-1 Ryan Donnelly (90’)
Substitute Donnelly picked up the ball on the edge of the box, he beat a defender to make himself space to produce a hard low shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

Top Bloke - Stewart Kean(Hurlford United)
Entertainment 8/10 Plenty of chances throughout and a special mention to Falkirk 'keeper Steven McGlynn who pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the score to a minimum.
Matchday Web album (30 pictures from Blair Park)

My visit to Hurlford United will be Chapter 16 in the book I'm currently writing (which will hopefully be publishedon the winners of the Scottish Junior Cup over the last 50 years.

✔491 - Kirklington Road

Rainworth Miners Welfare 4v2 Pickering Town
North Counties East League Premier Division
Saturday 14th November 2015

Courtesy of Johnstone Press plc
Rainworth is a former mining village between the Newark & Sherwood and the Mansfield districts of Nottinghamshire, 2 miles east of Mansfield town centre (population just under 8,000)
Former home of Ruford Colliery, sunk in 1911 and coal reached in 1913. After producing for 80 years the colliery closed in 1993.

Rainworth Miners Welfare FC  “The Wrens” formed in 1922 and play in an all white strip.

Played in the Notts Alliance, Central Midlands League (2003-2007) Northern Counties East League Division One from 2007 ... won promotion to Premier Division 2008-09, followed by promotion to Evo-stik Division One South in 2009-10. Returned to NCEL after relegation last season.

FA Vase Runners-up 1982 (lost to Forest Green Rovers 3-0 in the final at Wembley)
Notts Alliance champions 10 times first in 1971–72 and the last in 1996–97
Notts Alliance Senior Cup winners on 5 occasions and twice winners of the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup 

Kirklington Road
NG21 0JY

English Non-League grounds visited 240
Current NCEL grounds 20/44
Capacity 2201 with 211 seats and cover for 400.
Record attendance – 5071 v Barton Rovers, 1982 F.A. Vase semi-final second leg.
Main Stand central on one side with covered hard standing opposite next to the dugouts. Open behind both goals with additional seats added on the banking next to The Wrens T-Bar.

The Gadabout 
147 miles door to door
The breadknife dropped me off at Katie’s house in Houghton-le-Spring, then travelled in the Katiemobile with her and Lee down the A1 and along the A614.

Rainworth Miners Welfare(8th) v Pickering Town(10th)
Northern Counties East Premier League Matchday no. 17/18
Weather - Constant piss-istent rain, heavy at times.

1-0 Jamie Yorke (2’)
A low right wing cross from Morris picked out Yorke at the near post for an easy finish.
1-1 Callum Ward (12’)
Ward brought down in the box and he stepped up to fire home the resulting spot-kick
2-1 Jamie Yorke (23’)
Initial shot deflected and fell kindly into the path of Yorke who produced a neat finish from the inside left position.
2-2 Lewis Taylor (57’)
Brilliant free kick from 35 yards on the right wing found the far corner of the net.
3-2 Connor Smythe (67’)
Picked up the ball 25 yards from goal, dribbled through the defence and fired in from just inside the box.
4-2 Liam Theakstone (81’)
The substitute ran to the byline, his cross rebounded back off the defender back into his path and he found the back of the net with a cheeky back heal.

Top Bloke - Connor Smythe(Rainworth MW)
Entertainment 9/10 - Considering the conditions, a cracking game with some terrific goals.

Admission £5
Programme £1
Golden Goal £1
Pin badge £3
Mug of Coffee £1.10
Cornish Pasty £1.40

Matchday Web Album (23 pictures from a damp Kirklington Road)

✔490 - Meadow Park

Boreham Wood 2v3 Gateshead
Vanarama National League
Saturday 31st October 2015
 Borehamwood within the civil parish of Elstree and Borehamwood in southern Hertfordshire 
(population over 31,000)
Home of the Elstree film studios 
Birthplace of former Norwich, Blackburn and Spurs midfielder (and recently sacked Villa manager) Tim Sherwood and also Eastenders actress Shona McGarty.

Boreham Wood FC  “The Wood” formed by the merger of local sides Boreham Rovers and Royal Retournez in 1948.

Played in the Mid-Herts League, Spartan League, Athenian League (1966-74) Isthmian League (1974-2004, 2006-2010) Southern League East (2004-2006) Conference South (from 2010 until winning play-offs after finishing league runners-up last season)

Won the Athenian League Division 2 in 1968/69, Isthmian League Division 1 in 1994/95, 2000/01 and the Southern League East in 2005/06.
Herts Senior Challenge Cup winners on 5 occasions.

East Stand opened by Arsene Wenger in in 2014
Main Stand
Meadow Park
Broughinge Road
English Non League grounds visited 239, Current National League grounds 23/24
Capacity 4,500 (1,700 seats)
Record attendance - 4,030 v Arsenal(Friendly) 13th July 2001.
Two seated stands on each side with open terracing behind the goals, also used by Arsenal Ladies and Watford Reserves.

Admission :Press Pass (otherwise £16)
Programme £3
Pin badge £3.50
Coffee £1.50

Boreham Wood(20th) v Gateshead(11th)
Vanarama National League Matchday 19.

0-1 Gus Mufata (2nd minute)
Right foot shot from just inside the box
0-2  Danny Johnson (11th minute)
Latched onto a through ball from Bowman, stayed onside before producing a cool finish from 12 yards.
1-2 Billy Clifford - penalty (25th minute)
After a foul by Buddle on Jeffrey. 
2-2 Mauro Vilhete (76 minutes)
Cross from the left by Jeffrey knocked in at the near post.
2-3 George Honeyman (78 minutes)
Ball pulled back from the left wing by Pattison for Honeyman arriving in the box to fire in.
Top Bloke - Gus Mufata (Gateshead)

The Gadabout
260 miles door to door.
Virgin East Coast Trains
Depart Newcastle 0801 to London Kings Cross arriving at 1053(5 minutes early)
Northern tube line for refreshment stops in Camden town and Colindale
Walked to Hendon to catch the 1356 train to Elstree & Borehamwood
Finally arrived in Borehamwood at 1404.

Journey Hyem:
1723 Thameslink service to St Pancras (24 minutes)
Bevvys outside Kings Cross before the 1900 arriving back in Newcastle on time at 2151.
Home at 1020pm.
Throughout the day in the company of … Simon Lowery(Squad#185) Keith Arthur(Squad#194) John(Squad#108) and Neil Robinson, John Young(Squad#51) and the crackerjacks from the Low Fell 80’s Disco Squad.

Bevvy Almanac
Ice Wharf (Jameston Rd) Green Jack 'Rising Sun' 4.8% **** (Re-sup)
Chandos Arms(Colindale Avenue) Cameron's 'Thirst Blood' (4.3%)***
Moon Under Water(Varley Parade) Pivovar Koscovnik(Adnams)'Black Knight' (5%)***+
Elstree & Borehamwood
Hart & Spool(Shenley Rd)  Everads 'Stateside Rye' (5%)**** (Re-sup)
Kings Cross Millers Bar(Caledonian Rd) Hobgoblin Gold (4.5%0****+ (Re-sup)

Matchday Web album (26 pictures)

That win was for you Mickey. R.I.P.

✔489 - Northfield School & Sports College

Billingham FC 1v6 Staithes Athletic
Mitre Prostar MacMilan Bowl 2nd Round
Saturday 17th October 2015

Billingham, Cleveland (population over 35,000)
Former home of the ICI chemical plant and current Northern Club football clubs “Town” and “Synthonia”  
Birthplace of Boro legend Willie Maddren, thespian Jamie Bell and Maximo Park vocalist Paul Smith.
… and the first lass I had a proper snog with was Julie from Billingham (Hexham camp April ‘76)

Billingham FC - formed 2010 from Billingham Juniors FC
Teesside League 2010-11 to date

Current English Non-League Grounds visited 238
Current Teesside League visited 2/18  
Northfield School & Sports Complex
Thames Road, 
Billingham TS22 5EG
Roped off pitch within large sports complex.

The Gadabout
Travelled on me todd in the car, 32 miles door to door via A19.
No admission
Programme - available on request along with On line edition

 Billingham FC v Staithes Athletic (1.30pm ko)

1-0 (3rd minute) Matthew Murray
Direct free kick from 25 yards
1-1 (9th minute) Ryan Gibson
Left wing corner ‘keeper fumbled cross into the path of Gibson to prod home.
1-2 (18th minute) James Armstrong
Picked up ball in midfield and ran in on goal unchallenged to fire in from the edge of the box.
1-3 (50 minutes) Luke Weed
Ran onto a flicked header for a clear run on goal and good finish.
1-4 (60 minutes) Carl Gray
Latched onto a through ball, hit first time effort from the edge of the area.
1-5 (71 minutes) James Armstrong
Gray picked out Armstrong unmarked on the right, who slid the ball under the ‘keeper.
1-6 (90+1 minutes) Steve Starsmore
Right wing cross headed in from 12 yards

Top Bloke - James Armstrong(Staithes Athletic)

Blogger Blogging Off Blog

One of the best things about being on holiday, apart from having lots of spare time to indulge in my favourite pastimes (ie sun, sea, sex, beer and good bait) is having plenty of time to reflect. On my recent holiday in the Algarve I got thinking about this blog, which has now been on the go for over nine years, featuring over 400 different football grounds. 

When I first started writing about my ground visits the website was quite unique, with just a few fellow Groundhopping bloggers, like Steve Dobson, Tim Rigby and David Poole who contacted me to swap links, as they were also covering the hobby in their own style.
Nowadays the internet is flooded with similar sites so much so that readers are spoilt for choice, with my own efforts probably not as good as other blogs around.

So in short there will be no more reports in the usual 'My Matchday' form. However I will still be logging my ground visits but in a more simple format, although I'll probably will do the odd 'My Matchday' post if I experience an eventful day which is worth sharing. 

As most of you are aware I'm currently halfway through writing a book which I'm hoping to get published next year on Scottish Junior football, so all my literature skills are now fully focused on this project.