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 500 different football grounds in the A-Z Matchday Index
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Congleton Town 6-0 Cammell Laird 1907
Macron Cup quarter Final
Saturday 16th February 2019
Congleton is a town and civil parish in east Cheshire on the banks of the River Dane. The town is situated 25 miles south of Manchester and west of the Macclesfield Canal. The first recorded reference to the town's name was in 1282 as ‘Congelton’. Congle is the old Norse kang meaning “a bend” followed by the element the Old English tun meaning settlement (population over 26,000)Congleton Town FC was formed in 1901, joining the Crewe and District League which they won in their first three seasons between 1901–02 and 1903–04. In 1906 they joined the North Staffordshire and District League where they played until the outbreak of World War I. When the league resumed after the conflict they played one final season in the league, finishing as 1919-20 league champions.
Cheshire County League 1920-1939, 1946-1965 and 1978-1983
Macclesfield & District League 1939-40 (champions)
Manchester Football League 1965-1968
Mid-Cheshire League 1968-1978 (champions: 1973–74, 1975–76, 1977–78)
North West Counties League 1982-1986 and 2000 -present
Northern Premier League Division One 1987-2000Cheshire Silk 106.9 Stadium
Current NWCL grounds visited 19/60
Capacity 5,000 (250 seats)
Record Attendance: 6,800 v. Macclesfield Town, 1954
There are small covered enclosures on each side of the pitch, which gives shelter to 1200 spectators. The clubhouse bar is behind the main stand along with refreshment facilities.Congleton Town v Cammell Laird 1907
Macron Cup QF
The Bears booked their place in the semi-finals of the Macron Cup with a bit of help from their opponents. They took the lead on 13 minutes when Jack Davies fired into his own net, before a late bout of first half pressure saw Billy Hosler-Gregg fire in from close range in stoppage time.
Early in the second half a good left wing run and shot by Mini Adegbenro made it 3-0, before five minutes of madness from Cammell Laird. A reckless hack from Tom Hackett on Steve Foster presented John Main to make it 4-0 from the penalty spot, before they went down to nine men following a second yellow card for Paddy Hamid.
The nine men battled on but the Bears stretched their lead to bring up the half dozen with goals from Foster and Dan Cope to wrap up the tie.
Matchday Stats & Spondoolicks
CTFC 6(Davies 13OG Hosler-Gregg 45+5 Adegbenro 50 Main 57pen Foster 68 Cope 82)
Red cards: Hackett(reckless challenge) 55, Hamid (two yellows) 59
Programmes sold out and club shop shut so no spon spent at the ground apart from...
We left Newcastle on the 0801 Transpennine Express train before swapping at Huddersfield and Manchester Piccadilly, to arrive in Stockport at 10.50.
This was another of our Smidrophenia ale trail weekends, this time visiting the many splendid pubs in Stockport. My intended match was Stockport Town v Ellesmere Rangers, but this match has now disappeared from the schedule since I booked up this weekend break late last year, so I plumped for the game at Congleton instead.
After a few early pub ticks I left the breadknife in Stockport and caught the 1357 Northern Rail train for the half hour journey into leafy Cheshire. When I arrived at the station I fell for the oldest trick in the book, as someone had turned the ‘town centre 1 mile’ sign the opposite way around, so I started walking away from my destination. The upshot of this was I lost out on time for a few quick bevvies, instead rushing straight to the match and arriving just as they were kicking off. I managed to tick off the JDW pub on my way back to the station, before a fab night out and Sunday session in Stockport.
Sunderland Town End 5-4 Farringdon Detached
Durham & Wearside Development Division
League Challenge Cup Semi Final
Saturday 9th February 2019
Sunderland Town End are a new club formed in 2018, who have made a great start in their debut season, currently seven points clear at the top of the Durham & Wearside Development Division.
11 mile drive door-to-door
The second match attended within this league following on from my visit to Hylton SC in November.
Thompson Park has various sports facilities found just off the Newcastle Road junction in the Southwick area of the town. The ground has three football pitches with Town End using the middle one, with the changing facilities at the park entrance on Thompson Road.
Sunderland Town End v Farringdon Detached
TWR Bi Folds Durham & Wearside Development Division League Challenge Cup Semi-Final
Weather:Blowing a hoolie!
Town End took advantage of the windy conditions to lead 3-1 at the break, going ahead through Corey Bell on 21 minutes, before Connor Gales equalised for Farringdon five minutes later with a shot from the edge of the box. Liam Laidler grabbed a brace before the break with a fine effort from outside the area, followed by a wind assisted effort from the right wing.
When Liam Wooton made it four on 64 minutes it looked game over, but the visitors took advantage of the conditions, with three goals in twelve minutes through Gales, Ryan Gray and Josh Johnstone to make it fours apiece with just over ten minutes remaining.
Just as the match looked to be heading towards a penalty shoot out, Laidler got on the end of a left wing cross, to complete his hat-trick and fire his team into the Challenge Cup final.
STEFC 5(C.Bell 21 Laidler 36,43,86 Wooton 64)
FDFC 4(Gales 26,65 Gray 75 Johnstone 77)
Boro Rangers 6-1 Thornaby Dubliners
North Riding Football League - Premier Division
Saturday 26th January 2019
Boro Rangers are a FA Charter Standard Community Club formed in 2003, running boys and girls teams of all age levels. The senior side started in 2014 and became the last club to win the Teesside League in 2015-16 and 2016-17, before completing a hat-trick of titles in the North Riding FL Premier Division last season. The club have also won an array of cup honours in recent years including the double of the North Riding County Cup and the Macmillan Bowl in 2016 and 2018.
41 mile drive door-to-door
North Riding League - Premier Division grounds visited 9/16
The Herlingshaw Centre is a multi-sports facility overseen by the MFC Foundation, located in the heart of the local community in South Bank. The centre’s facilities accommodate over 10.000 visitors a year, having three outdoor grass pitches, a full size outdoor 3G pitch, a 7-a-side indoor 3G surface, as well as classrooms and function rooms.
Boro Rangers(2nd) v Thornaby Dubliners(3rd)
NRFL - Premier Division Matchday 19v20
Boro got off to a great start when a corner kick was headed home by Phil Horsman in the fourth minute(see pic above) Dubs quickly responded to a missed penalty in the 18th minute when Russell Spence was unmarked at the far post to grab the equaliser.
The hosts dominated the second half with a hat-trick by Stu Rose within a twenty minute spell making it 4-1 with some decisive finishing by the number nine.
With five minutes left Steve Keenan scored the best goal I’ve seen in 2019(so far) finding the back of the net with a shot from just over the halfway line from the right-back position. Clayton McDonald brought up the half dozen with a rasping shot in the dying minutes to wrap up a fine performance from Rangers.
BRFC 6(Horsman 4 Rose 51,62,69 Keenan 85 McDonald 87)
TDFC 1(Spence 20)
Salford City 1-1 Gateshead
Saturday 19th January 2019
The City of Salford is a metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, granted city status in 1926.(population of 245,600) There are over 250 listed buildings in the city, including Salford Cathedral, and three Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The area’s growth came during the Industrial Revolution, especially in the textile industry. Following the closure of the docklands in 1982, Salford became one of the first and largest urban regeneration projects in the UK, with Salford Quays now a vibrant area which includes The Lowry and MediaCityUK.
There are numerous famous Salfordians I could mention but there’s two that automatically spring to mind, that in my eyes, outshine the rest. I give you The Fall frontman Mr. Mark E Smith and “the bard of Salford” - Dr. John Cooper Clark.
The club was founded in 1940 as Salford Central, competed in local leagues until they joined the Manchester Football League in 1963. They also changed their name at this time to Salford Amateurs and took the nicknamed "The Ammies" In 1980 they merged with Anson Villa to become Salford FC, before added the City suffix in 1989.
Of course, as everyone knows, the club came the prominence in recent years after the takeover of the club in March 2014 by four ex-Man United players, who changed the club colours from orange to red. The progress of the club was featured in the excellent BBC One documentary series Class of 92: Out of Their League. featuring their rise up the football pyramid.
Cheshire League 1980-1982
North West Counties League 1982-2008
Northern Premier League (North) 2008-2015 (champions 2014-15)
Northern Premier League 2015-16 (promoted via play-offs)
National League North 2016-2018 (champions 2017-18)
National League grounds visited 24/24
Capacity 5,106 (2,240 seats)
Played here since 1978.
Moor Lane has been totally transformed in recent years with four new covered stands with enclosed corners. The North and South Stands are both seated, with terracing behind both goals. The ground was renamed the Peninsula Stadium in October 2017 as part of a corporate sponsorship deal, and officially opened by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Salford City (2nd) v Gateshead(8th)
National League Matchday 30
Att.2,055 (111 Heed Army)
SFC 1(Lloyd 28pen)
GFC 1(Boden 44)
A satisfying start to the Ben Clark era at Gateshead, as the Heed came from behind to grab a well earned draw. The Ammies were gifted the lead when keeper Pears needlessly brought down Matt Green and Danny Lloyd despatched the penalty. Gateshead levelled just before the break when Robbie Tinkler set up Scott Boden and battled hard during the second half for a well deserved point.
(Great value - twelve quid for money in and paper)
(Great value - twelve quid for money in and paper)
Pin badge £3
0801-1020 Transpennine train from Newcastle to Manchester Victoria.
98 bus at 1410 from Parsonage stop to the end of Moor Lane, arrived at the ground at 2.35pm
I merged this fixture with a Smidrophenia Ale trail weekend in Manchester with the breadknife. We supped in 17 GBG pubs over the weekend, with our favourite boozers being Lass O’Gowrie, The Brink and Peveril of the Peak.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, when it was also good to hear some cracking music from my favourite Manchester bands in the pubs... well... apart from when we visited The New Oxford and they constantly played f**king Simply Red.
Ponteland United 1-1 Whitley Bay A
Northern Football Alliance League - Premier Division
Saturday 5th January 2019
Due to the multi-million pound redevelopment of Ponteland Leisure Centre, the football club have moved just up the road and set up a new home at Ponteland High School. My visit to Ponteland United in January 2008 featured in ‘Around The Alliance - part one’, which you can read here.
Since that visit eleven years ago, Pont were Premier Division champions for the first time in 2010-11 and spent three seasons in the First Division, following relegation in 2012.Ponteland High School
Northern Alliance Football League Premier Division grounds visited 16/16
Ponteland United have played home matches at Druids Park this season before moving to the new site. The ground is fully enclosed and rallied on all sides. There is a pair of wooden dugouts and one side, with the players using the school facilities for changing rooms.
Ponteland (4th) v Whitley Bay A(14th)
Northern Alliance Premier Division Matchday 18 v17
PFC 1(#10 8) Goalscorer TBC
WBAFC 1(Emmerson 30)
The hosts took an early lead when the #10 ran onto a through ball and finished well with a nice lob over the ‘keeper. The visitors equalised on the half hour mark with a fine individual effort from Max Emmerson.
Pont were the better side after the break, but missed a hatful of chances. In the end they had to settle for a point, but they would probably feel like it’s two points dropped.
No refreshment facilities