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

✔723 Halton Stadium

Widnes 3-0 Dunston
Northern Premier League - North West Division
Saturday 14th March 2020

Widnes is an industrial town in Cheshire, on the northern bank of the River Mersey where the estuary narrows to form the Runcorn Gap. The Silver Jubilee Bridge is a Grade II listed structure which was opened in 1961 and crosses the Mersey into Runcorn. The bridge arch spans almost 1100 feet and for many years it was the only river crossing West of Warrington, until the new Mersey Gateway bridge opened in 2017.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the town was a small settlement on marsh and moorland, until the chemist and industrialist John Hutchinson established a chemical factory at Spike Island in 1847. The town grew in population and rapidly became a major centre of the chemical industry. (population over 61,000)

 The Dragons A.F.C. was founded in February 2003 as a local junior football club and awarded the FA Charter Standard Development award for its continuous development of grassroots football in 2008.

In July 2012 Widnes Dragons became part of the Vikings Sports Brand after consultation with Widnes Vikings RLFC. The partnership would enhance the club's community status, becoming a part of the Widnes Sports Group. The new Widnes Vikings FC were admitted into the North West Counties Football League Division One from the West Cheshire League for the 2013-14 season. In March 2014, the club decided to part ways with the Vikings brand and form their own identity, becoming Widnes Football Club.

2016-17   North West Counties League Division One Champions
2017-18   North West Counties League runner-up
2018-19   Joined Northern Premier League
DCBL Stadium
(Halton Stadium)
Lowerhouse Lane

Current NPL NW Division grounds visited 16/20
Capacity 13,350.
First match  v Chester Nomads Reserves - 1st September 2012.
Highest attendance - 462 v Charnock Richard on 22nd  April 2017 

Historically known as Lowerhouse Lane and Naughton Park, Widnes played their first Rugby League game against Liversedge on the 12th October 1895.
Halton Borough Council in partnership with Widnes Vikings agreed to build a new stadium on the site, providing a multi-purpose complex including a social club, conference centres and recreational facilities. The stadium was officially reopened in November 1997, with a new stand built the following year with funding from Halton Borough Council.
The stadium has four separate single tier stands. The main stand has hospitality suites at the back with team dugout at the front. The ground has a 3G pitch, with refreshment facilities on the concourse but no clubhouse available for the football club.
Matchday Facts
Widnes(13th) 3(Scott 27OG Banister 61,63)
Dunston(12th) 0
BetVictor NPL North West Division Matchday 31v28
3pm ko
Admission £8
Pin badge £3.50
Coffee £2

Two defensive calamities and a cracking individual effort from Jack Banister gave the Whites a comfortable win over Dunston. They took the lead when a mishit defensive clearance by Craig Scott hit the goalkeeper in the back before agonisingly crossing the line for a slender half-time lead.
The hosts doubled their advantage on the hour mark, when Banister picked up the ball 25 yards from goal, cut inside the defender and curled his shot out of the 'keepers reach. The win was assured when another error saw goalkeeper Bostyan dilly-dally on the ball before Banister capitalised to make it 3-0
166 miles stadium-to-stadium
Departed UTS Stadium on staff and players coach at 10.15am.
I had the company of Lee for this trip, but without his fiancee Katie (see last weeks blog)
We arrived in Widnes at half-one, so plenty of time for a stroll along to the town centre for a pint in The Premier (JDW/GBG) before the game, then afterwards a pint in the stadium local - The Cricketers Arms before heading home at 5.45pm
Apart from the result, an enjoyable day out, and in light of recent events, hopefully not my(and fellow football fans) last game on the road this season.

SK treble

Saturday 7th March 2020

720. Cromley Road 
Stockport Georgians 4-1 Hindsford
Manchester FL - Premier Division
(7th v 2nd Matchday 20)
2pm ko

 Stockport Georgians football club originated from St. George’s Church on Buxton Road in 1908, games were played at a ground on Nangreave Road in Heaviley in the Stockport Sunday League. They enjoyed a successful period during the 1920’s winning the Stockport League in the '26 and 1927 seasons.

The club moved to their current location in 1931 and around the same time joined the Lancashire & Cheshire League.
In 1987 the club absorbed Adswood Amateurs, taking their place in the Manchester League, which they have since won on three occasions -  1987-88, 2001-02 and 2014-15   
Cromley Road

The ground is fully enclosed with a covered terrace in the corner next to the changing rooms. There's dugouts on each side with the clubhouse situated near the entrance. 

A bad tempered affair saw the host race into a three goal lead. Sam Noar fired home from a right wing cross in the 10th minute, followed by Sam John tapping home a rebounded shot, before Mike Taylor adding a third from the penalty spot. The first half came to an abrupt end when a bad tackle on Sam Noar, saw him carted off to hospital in a car during the half-time break.
A red card was finally shown in the 55th minute when the Hindsford number 9 was dismissed for another nasty challenge. Taylor added his second with a cracking finish on 77 minutes, before a late consolation for the visitors.
An eventful afternoon was rounded off by a substituted Hindsford player going raggie and ended up having fisty cuffs with the team coach inside the dugout -  so overall a great afternoon's entertainment| 

Matchday Stats
SGFC 4(Noar 10 John 17 Taylor 34pen,77)
HFC 1(#18 81)
Free Admission 
Pin badge £2.50

721 Cheadle Heath Sports Club
Cheadle Heath Nomads 1-5 Stockport Town 
NWCL Division One South
(11th v 10th Matchday 29)
4.20pm ko

The club formed as a merger of Linotype FC and Cheadle Heath Nomads in 2004.
They played in the Mid-Cheshire League and the renamed Cheshire League from their formation, winning the Premier Division title in 2014-15 and finishing runners-up the following year. The club stepped up to the North West Counties League for the 2018-19 season, in the Division One South Division.  

Proseal Stadium 
The Heath
Norbreck Avenue 

The ground has a small covered enclosure, seated stand and dugout situated on the far side. The pavilion is on the opposite side along from the turnstile entrance.

 Stockport Town blitzed the hosts in the opening twenty minutes. Jardel Depeiaza grabbed the opener within two minutes, followed by a nice curled shot from Tyler Furguson ten minutes later. Chris Middleton had a simple tap in, before Depeiaza produced a mazzy run and a good finish to make it 4-0.
Kyle Foley pulled a goal back just before the hour mark before Depeiaza grabbed his hat-trick with the simplest goal he'll ever score, knocking in the fifth a few inches from the goal line.

Matchday Stats
CHNFC 1(Foley 55)
STFC 5(Depeiaza 2,20,70 Furguson 12 Middleton 19) 
Admission £5

722. Park Road
Cheadle Town 2-1 Maine Road
NWCL Division One South
(8th v 9th Matchday 29)
7.30pm ko
 The story of Cheadle Town began in 1961 when a 14-year-old kid called Barrie Dean asked his neighbour, Chris Davies, to help his pals form a football team. This team was named Grasmere Rovers after Grasmere Avenue, the street they both lived. Chris took on the role of team manager, playing their first match in September 1961.

The club played Sunday football in the Manchester Junior Football League before switching to Saturday’s, joining the Manchester League in 1972. The club were league champions in 1979-80 and won three cup finals during that all-conquering season.
The club became Cheadle Town when they joined the NWCL in 1983-84.
Park Road 
The ground is dominated by a large main stand which is split between two sections of seats with a standing terrace at the rear. The changing rooms and clubhouse sit along side the stand, with the rest of the ground open with hard standing behind the goals and far side.

Patrick Davin scored a goal in each half to give the hosts all three points. He fired in the opening in the 19th minute before deflecting the ball into the net early in the second half to make it 2-0. Ben Moody halved the deficit with five minutes remaining but Town easily held on for the win.

Matchday Stats
CTFC 2(Davin 20,47)
MRFC 1(Moody 84)
Admission £5
Coffee £1

321 mile round trip doors-to-doors.
I drove to Katie and Lee's for a 9am departure from Houghton, travelling as a passenger in Blossom along with Connor, who we picked up off the A19 at Peterlee.
As per usual,we started our day off in a JDW, driving directly to The Kingfisher in Poynton for pre-match lunch. In between the two matches in Cheadle we called to the Gateway in East Didsbury, which is also GBG listed, which isn't surprising as the two ales I supped were both top class. 
An enjoyable and eventful day which included a barney in a dugout, a spooky walk through a graveyard, a flying pint of ale and a near fatal dunsh, which would have seen an ambulance, a hospital and definitely the end of the road for Blossom. This trip was sadly the last one from the North-East Groundhopping Contingent for a while, as Katie heads back to her roots tomorrow for a two month break to see her family back in New Zealand. Happy trails and hopefully some Kiwi ground for her to tick off while she's away. x.

✔718. Central Ground - Coles Lane

Sutton Coldfield Town 3-1 Lincoln United
Saturday 15th February 2020
Northern Premier League - South-East Division

The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield is a civil parish and suburban town in Birmingham, about 7 miles north-east of the city centre. Historically in Warwickshire, it became part of Birmingham and the West Midlands metropolitan county in 1974. The name translates as "South Town". with "Sutton Coldfield" meaning the south town from Tamworth or Lichfield on the edge of the "col field". "Col" is usually derived from charcoal, so presumably charcoal burners were functional around this area.

The Sutton Coldfield Football Club was founded in 1879 playing in a variety of leagues during their early years, including the Central Birmingham League, Aston and District League, Small Heath League and Suburban League. 
They played in the Birmingham Alliance League between 1914-1919 and the Sutton & District A.F.L and Birmingham Combination in between the two World Wars. The club changed their name from Sutton Town to Sutton Coldfield Town in 1964.
Walsall Senior League 1947-1950
Birmingham Combination 1950-1954
Birmingham & District League/West Midlands(Regional) League 1954-1965 1979-
Champions 1979-80
Worcestershire Combination/Midland Combination 1965-1979
Champions 1977-78 and 1978-79
Southern League 1982-2010
Northern Premier League (D1.Sth) from 2010, winning promotion to the Premier Division via the play-offs in 2014-15. 

The Royals rejoined the Southern League for one season in 2018-19 but are back in the NPL in its new Division 1 South-East Division for this season.

Central Ground
Coles Lane,
Sutton Coldfield 
B72 1NL

The club originally played at Meadow Plat in Sutton Park until moving to Coles Lane in 1900, then to the present Central Ground site in 1920. The ground has a classic main stand, which was purchased from Manchester City in 1956. The stand has raised seating and stairs access on each side, with the changing rooms housed underneath and the team dugouts at the front. There is another covered seated stand in the corner next to the clubhouse and snack bar. There's also covered standing behind one of the goals and the 3G pitch was installed in December 2011.

Sutton Coldfield Town(12th) 3(Moore 13Beresford 28 Gibson 56)
Lincoln United(16th) 1(Hollingsworth 50)
Bet Victor Northern Premier League - South West Dibision Matchday 24v26
Admission £10
Coffee £1.20

The Royals took a two goal lead in the first half an hour with Ryan Moore sliding in a Ben Usher-Shipway cross from close range, followed by an unmarked James Beresford heading home from a corner kick.
The visitors replied early in the second half when Ryan Hollingsworth slotted home a cross from the corner, but the hosts quickly restored their two goal advantage when Reece Gibson latched onto a through ball before running in on goal and finishing well to make it 3-1.

197 miles
0835 Cross Country train from Newcastle to Birmingham New Street arr. 11.30
1345 Midlands train New Street to Sutton Coldfield arr 1406.

"Dennis... Dennis... Dennis"
When booking this Birmingham weekend break for the breadknife and I back in November, we planned a dozen pub visits with my afternoon football fix spent in Stourbridge. The arrival of Storm Dennis meant a change of heart on route to Brum, deciding on the safer option of the 3G pitch at Sutton Coldfield, instead of the risk of a late postponed, as there's been a lot of matches called off at short notice recently.
It turned out to be a good decision, as I enjoyed my brief visit to the town, enjoying a pre-match drink in The Bottle of Sack and the Brewhouse & Kitchen, before calling at the Station Inn after the match. 
At the game I got talking to a couple of Spurs 'hoppers who were stopping over for the Villa game on Sunday, as it turned out we had a mutual friend in legendary Tottenham supporter Simple Pieman
As far as the Birmingham pubs are concerned, we ticked off the ones on my list, our favorites being The Victoria, Craven Arms and The Old Joint Stock.

Our weekend came to a somewhat disappointing ending, with the water supply at the Birmingham Central Travelodge being cut(got washed with the water left in the kettle) followed by the cancellation of the 1203 Cross Country train back to Newcastle (caught a later one at 12.30) but at least I've been given a hotel refund so that's some of the ale money reimbursed.