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

Pre-season Oddities

675. Dorman Long United Athletic Club
Beads 2-7 Thornaby
Pre-season friendly
Tuesday 2nd July 2019
 Thornaby and BEADS met up for a pre-season friendly at Dormans in Middlesbrough. The social club has been in existence for well over a century and has an adjoining football pitch with a changing room block in the far corner
Dorman Long are a major manufacturer and fabricator of steel components and structures . They have been involved in the manufacture and construction of many major bridges since 1875, including the Tyne and Sydney Harbour Bridges. In 1990 they were merged with The Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company and are still involved in the design, manufacture, fabrication and erection of many different types of structures which includes the new Wembley Stadium.
Dorman Long United Athletic Club
Oxford Rd,

BEADS 2(Shellard 7 OG 10)
Thornaby 7(#11 24 #6 44 #4 46 #15 61,77 Ward 80 #2 87)
7pm ko

Two mistakes by the Thornaby 'keeper gifted Beads a two goal lead with just ten minutes gone. Thornaby got themselves level by half time, with a cracking right foot volley by the no.7 setting them on their way. The Northern League side bossed the second half with five goals, the pick of the bunch being a header from the right-back which made it 7-2 at full time.

676.North Durham Academy
Annfield Plain 2-2 Esh Winning
Pre-season friendly
Wednesday 3rd July
 Wearside League side Annfield Plain met Esh Winning from the Northern League for a hastily arranged pre-season fixture at North Durham Academy. 

The academy is a secondary school and sixth form based in Stanley, County Durham. The school was formed in September 2011, when Greencroft Business and Enterprise Community School and Stanley School of Technology formally merged, opening its new £30 million campus in September 2013. The complex has two pitches, a full size caged 3G surface and a grass pitch which was used for tonight's game.

North Durham Academy
High St,

Annfield Plain 2(Hewitson 10 Gordon 67)
Esh Winning 2( McCardle 25 Porter 47)
7.30pm ko

A goal a piece from both team in each half saw a competitive game finish all square. Annfield Plain had taking an early but Esh had turned it around by the beginning of the restart, before the hosts drew level mid-way through the second half.

677. East Durham College
Easington Colliery 2-0 Ryhope CW
Pre-season Friendly
Wednesday 10th July 2019
 An all Northern League clash as Easington Colliery and Ryhope CW met for a pre-season fixture, rearranged from the previous evening and switched to East Durham College. The complex is formerly known as East Durham & Houghall Community College and has a caged 3G pitch next to the Sports Centre at the main entrance.

East Durham College
Peterlee Campus, 
Willerby Grove, 

Matchday Facts
Easington Colliery 2(Southern 8,81)
Ryhope CW 0
7.15pm ko

A brace from Jordan Southern settled this tight pre-season affair. The Easington new signing struck early on with a neat lobbed effort and sealed it with just under ten minutes remaining, when he robbed the ball off the ‘keeper and rolled it into an empty net.

I attended my first two games with Lee & Katie for the first (and definitely not the last) time this season. I picked them up on Tuesday for the match in Middlesbrough and we met up in Stanley the following evening. I travelled down to Peterlee on me todd the following Wednesday after my travelling companions ticked off the venue on the previous Saturday.
A good start to the new season with a goal average of 5 goals per game. with 15 in three games. 

My Match Holidays - 674 Estadio Algarve

SR Almancilense 0-1 FC Ferreiras 
Algrave Cup Final
Wednesday 22nd May 2019

My last holiday in the Algarve in October 2015 was enjoyable but frustrating, missing out on an opportunity to watch some local football. I was expecting a similar fate this time around but thanks to the reliable http://www.algarvebus.info/football.htm website, I found a match at a ground I’ve been wanting to tick off since I caught a glimpse of it on the way to Albufeira from Faro Airport almost four years ago. 
I arrived in the Algarve on Sunday morning, with the breadknife Debra and our daughter Laura.  Before leaving Newcastle I still hadn’t worked out the logistics from the resort to the stadium which is just off the A22 motorway, 5 miles from Faro and 25 miles from where I was staying in Albufeira. Public transport meant two buses and a walk totaling nearly two and a half hours or a taxi costing at least a whopping €50 each way. 

Luckily I happened to mention the match to an English lad (from Scunny) who lives out there, while I was in the Fat Cat pub on Tuesday night. He told me to see the barman who would sort me out a fixed price taxi, as the pub also runs its own transfer service for holidaymakers to and from the airport.

Ben the barman told me to call in on Wednesday afternoon and he would sort everything out for me. I also used this afternoon drinking session for a meet up with our friends Lynn, Paul, Harry and their granddaughter Amelia who had arrived the previous day.  I got the taxi for €60 return, which I was quite happy with, considering the price was based on four people sharing, but as I am the only sad groundhopper among our party, it was just me who coughed up the fair.

My transport arrived spot on time, outside my hotel at 7.15pm for the half hour drive. My chauffeur was Daniel, a dead canny lad from Moldova, who was full of good crack. During our journeys to and from the stadium we discussed everything from expensive and cheap cities in Europe, drunken Irishmen, cars and Portuguese traffic and even the Highland games, as he seemed fascinated and keen to see (as he described) men in skirts throwing tall trees as far as they can.  
The Estádio Algarve is located between Faro and Loulé built for the Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal. The 30,305 capacity stadium played host to three matches in the championship and since then has hosted nine full Portugal internationals, the first of which was a 1-1 draw against England in February 2004.
The opening game was in November 2003 between local sides Farense and Louletano, who have both used the stadium as their home ground. It has also been temporary home to Olhanense, Portimonense and the Gibraltar national team who played a dozen internationals there between 2013 and 2017.

The stadium is designed by architects Populous, having two matching stands which have 73-metre-high curved roofs which are both held up by interesting looking steel structures tied to four pillars. Behind both goals is a bank of uncovered seats.

Sociedade Recreativa Almancilense faced Futebol Clube Ferreiras in this year’s Taça do Algarve. The match was a tense affair, littered with niggly fouls and a lack of top quality in front of goal. However both teams were hungry to lift the trophy and there was always just going to be a single goal in a match which could have gone either way. The winning goal came with fifteen minutes remaining when a ball from the left was flicked onto João Bonifácio who fired home from close range to give Ferreiras a first Algarve Cup triumph in their 36 year history.

Matchday Stats
SR Almancilense 0
FC Ferreiras 1(Bonifácio 75)
8.30pm ko
Programme:none, but latest and back copies of the Algarve football magazine readily available for free

✔673 Beechwood Park

Stonyburn Junior 2-3 Harthill Royal
East Region Consolation League Cup
Saturday 11th May 2019
 Stoneyburn is a West Lothian village about 1.5 mile in length in the Central Belt of Scotland. The village is situated south of Bathgate and further along the A71 west of Livingston. (population: approx 3,800)

The original Stoneyburn Junior FC formed in 1928 and reached the Scottish Junior Cup semi-finals in 1950, losing 4–2 after a second replay to eventual winners Blantyre Victoria. The club hit on hard times later in that decade and folded in 1958. The current setup returned to the Scottish Junior level in 1983 after playing a number of years at Juvenile and Amateur levels.
East of Scotland League champions(West Division) 1934-35 1938-39
East of Scotland cup winners 1939,1947,1950
St Michaels Cup winners 1939,1950
Beechwood Park
Strathyre Drive,
EH47 8AZ

Scottish Junior grounds visited 44
Scottish grounds visited 105

The ground was built during the 1950s using spoil material from the nearby Foulshiels Colliery, which gave the club its nickname - The Fulshie”. At the spectators entrance is the changing rooms, clubhouse cabin, club office and the canteen. There's a covered enclosure with large steps of terracing in front at one side of the dugouts. The rest of the ground has grass banking, with the perimeter fence setback behind one of the goals.
Stoneyburn Junior v Harthill Royal
East Region Consolation League Cup matchday 4
2.30pm ko
Weather: sunny

The Consolation Cup is a round robin tournament with three teams playing each other home and away. Stonehaven needed to follow up the 5-0 win at Harthill in midweek to pip West Calder and progress to the knockout round. They looked well on their way when Kieran Sweeney knocked in a left wing cross with barely 40 seconds gone, before going two up twenty minutes later, when the ball dropped to Adam Kennedy in the box to fire in with his right foot.
It was all square by half time with a neat glancing header from the #11 followed by another header, this time Graeme Weir found the net after nodding home from a corner kick in the last action of the first half.
It was a tale of two penalties in the second half. Kieran Sweeney had the chance to bag his second and regain his team the lead, but his effort went well wide of the post. With fifteen minutes remaining a spot-kick was rewarded at the other end and this time Johnstone confidently fired in, to complete the comeback and knock the hosts out of the cup.

Matchday Facts
SJFC 2 (Sweeney 1 Kennedy 20)
HRFC 3 (#11 25 G.Weir 45+1 Johnstone 75pen)
Entertainment 9/10
Admission £5
Programme:£1 (great value, full of good articles and statistics)
Coffee £1

Harthill goalscorers to be confirmed. 
0743 LNER East Coast train arriving in Edinburgh at 0920
Return on the 1900, back in the Toon at 2040

This was my traditional last Saturday matchday of the season for a Scottish Juniors fixture and a bevvy meeting with James Little and Mark Wilkins. On this corresponding weekend last season we visited Harthill Royal, who were the away team today. They played Crossgate Primrose on that afternoon, which coincidentally was the destination the season before last, so I’ve stumbled into a chain, denoting I’ll be watching Stoneyburn playing away on the 9th May 2020.
I met Mark in Waverley station, then we toddled off for breakfast before heading to the west end of the city to tick off the Roseburn Bar, Haymarket, Thomson Bar(revisit for me) and Monty’s, where James picked us up at 1.30pm for the drive to Stoneyburn.
After the match we continued filling in the GBG gaps in Edinburgh, with a pint in the Stockbridge Tap, The Cumberland Bar and finally the Beehive Inn before I dashed off to catch the train home. Another great day in the Scottish capital, although I’m running out of new pubs to visit, so hopefully there'll be some new GBG listed pubs when I return next season. 

✔672. Rye Hills

Redcar Newmarket 2-0 Stokesley SC
North Riding FL - Premier Division
Wednesday 1st May 2019
The club formed in 1972 out of the Newmarket pub, playing Sunday league football.
Redcar Newmarket switched to Saturdays in the Teesside League, reaching the top division in 2013. They stepped into the newly formed North Riding League last season, finishing in 5th position.

Rye Hills School
Redcar Lane
TS10 2HN

Rye Hills academy is a coeducational secondary school located on Redcar Lane, just east of the racecourse. On arriving at the academy you need to electronically sign in to the complex, where you gain access to the football ground at the back of the building. The pitch is fenced and roped off with a dugout on each side.
Redcar Newmarket(9th) v Stokesley SC(15th)
North Riding Football League - Premier Division matchday 29v30
6.30pm ko

A brace from Michael Dowse clinched the win for the hosts in a tight encounter. He got on the end of a right wing cross to break the deadlock with twenty minutes remaining, before a free-kick cross from the left wing was headed home to wrap up the points.

Matchday Stats
RNFC 2(Dowse 70,82)
49 mile road trip door-to-door

The fifth and final time I’ve travelled down the A19 this season to tick off a ground in this league.
I again picked up Lee, Katie and Jade at Houghton-le-Spring on route.
Current North Riding FL Premier League grounds - 12/16