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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

463 Dimotiko Stadio

My final new ground of the season was on the Greek island of Zante, whilst I was out there celebrating the 50th birthday of my old friend Lynn Ainscow. Unfortunately for the second occasion this season I lost my camera, so the superb set of foetoes I took at the match are lost forever, not unless I hear of news of its whereabouts from APS Zakynthos FC. 
As you can imagining I’m total gutted to lose not only the ground pictures but the highlights of a terrific week in Zante. This huge disappointment means I’m not going to write a My Matchday blog report, so the story of my two trips to the ground with Nikos the taxi driver will have to remain untold….for the time being.

However I do have one picture of the Dimotiko Stadio which I took on my phone to post on Twitter…

My Matchday - 462 Warout Stadium

Glenrothes 1v1 Forfar West End
East Region Premier League
Saturday 16th May 2015
 My future publication project continued with the tenth visit to a club that has won the Junior Cup during my lifetime, with a trip to Glenrothes within the Kingdom of Fife.

Whereabouts and Whatsabouts
Glenrothes is a town in the heart of Fife, situated approximately 30 miles in between the cities of Edinburgh and Dundee. The name Glenrothes comes from its historical link with the Earl of Rothes, who owned much of the land with "Glen" (Scottish for valley) added to the name as it lies in the valley of the River Leven. The small village became one of Scotland's first post-second world war new towns, with the original plan to provide houses for miners at the newly established Rothes Colliery. The town developed as an important industrial centre in Scotland's Silicon Glen sector from the early 1960’s with several major electronics and hi-tech companies setting up facilities in the town. Glenrothes is the administrative capital of Fife and has a quite unique town centre(akin to Washington), as the majority is indoors within the Kingdom Shopping Centre, the largest of its kind in Fife.

Plantpot History
Glenrothes Football Club formed in 1964 and enjoyed instant success by winning the Fife County League in their second competitive season, the first of three successive league titles. The Fife Regional League was won in 1969-70 and they were crowned champions on four occasions through the seventies and twice in the eighties, the last of which was in 1984-85. Since the Fife clubs became part of the the East Region Junior set up, they were relegated from the Super League in 2006, but made a quick return after clinching the Premier League the following season.

Exactly four years from the day the club was founded, they reached the Junior Cup final. They negotiated some tricky ties on route to the final at Hampden Park, where they met Johnstone Burgh in front of a crowd of 28,800. The match finished 2-2, but three days later the clubs returned to Hampden for the replay, with the Glens narrowly losing out in a 4-3 thriller, witnessed by an attendance of  21,700. 
The club have won an array of cup honours over the last half a decade but the Junior Cup took pride of place in 1974/75. The club defeated Arbroath Victoria, Dunipace, St Roch’s, Cumbernauld United, Baillieston after a replay and Ashfield in the semi-final. Hampden Park again hosted the final where they faced Rutherglen Glencairn in front of a 17,776 crowd, who witnessed Willie Cunningham grab the only goal of the game to take the prestigious trophy to the Warout Stadium for the only time in their proud history.
Ground no.462 Warout Stadium
(Scottish Grounds 60 SJFA Grounds 15 Lifetime Junior Cup winners 10/27)

The Glens originally played at Dovecote Park where a record crowd of 5,400 attended the 6th Round Scottish Junior Cup tie against Shotts Bon Accord in 1968. The club moved just a half a mile south to the Warout Stadium in 1974 which has a capacity of 5,000. The ground has one main stand which has 730 seats made up with seven rows of benches, with a small standing section at the top. At the rear of the stand looking out towards the pitch is the spacious clubhouse and the committee room. The stand is split by the players tunnel where the team dugouts are at each side, which are the proper kind which are actually dug out into the ground. The rest of the ground has grass banking which is beautifully maintained, with the large pitch separated by a surrounding oval track. The highest attendance recorded at the Warout Stadium is 5,600 for a 6th round Junior Cup tie with Cambuslang Rangers in 1974.
The Match
Both clubs game into the game level on 32 points, but with Glenrothes having played more games they still have an outside chance of being relegated.
The match was a basic game of two halves with the hosts having the better of the opening period before taking the lead just before half time, when John Martin was put clear and finished with a neat nutmeg through the goalkeepers legs.
After the restart West End were on the front foot and equalised after just three minutes when a long throw in fell into the path of Matty Reynolds who found the net from six yards.
The Glens poor start to the second half continued, being reduced to 10 men after the Glens number 8 was shown a straight red card. Both teams had chances to win the game but the match finished with the clubs still remaining level on points at the bottom section of the East Region Premier League.

Matchday Stats
CJFC 1(Martin 40) FWEFC (Reynolds 48)
Top Bloke - No.10 Forfar West End

Admission £5
Steak Pie £1.70
Coffee £1
 My Matchday.
I arrived in Edinburgh at 9.25, a hearty breakfast and a patrol around the city centre filled in the few hours before I met up with Mark Wilkins who had travelled up from London. This whole Matchday was made possible by James Little who picked us up at the station at 11.30am and drove us over the Forth into Fife. A few Wetherspoons pubs on route saw us calling at the Robert Nairn in Kirkcaldy before heading to the Golden Acorn at Glenrothes. When we arrived at the ground we were greeted by John Hay the club's media man, who was expecting my presence as I had posted my pending visit on Twitter. He introduced us to the club chairman Dougie Cooper who invited us into the boardroom at half time for tea and sandwiches. So far during my Junior Cup winners adventure, the hospitality has been superb and yet again I enjoyed the warm welcome that myself and my travel companions received. 

After the game we heading back to Edinburgh, listening to the football updates on the radio which left me totally pissed off after yet another pitiful performance from NUFC. On the way back we called at The White Lady, another uncharted JDW next to the zoo in Corstorphine, before James dropped us off at Waverley at 6pm, as we were both booked on the 1830, there was time for a few swifty's in the Jingling Geordie. 
Another terrific day in great company in my pursuit of visiting the winners of the Junior Cup over the last half a decade, and I can't wait to continue on this fantastic odyssey again next season.

Foetoes (Matchday album of 28 pictures from the Warout Stadium)

Bevvy Almanac
The Robert Nairn - Kirkcaldy
Wild Weather 'Howlin Gale' (3.9%)***+
The Golden Acorn - Glenrothes
Black Wolfe 'Lomond Gold' (5%)***+
The White Lady - Edinburgh
Inveralmond 'Fair Maid' (3.6%)****
Harviestoun' Schiehallion(4.8%)' ****+ (re-sup)
Jingling Geordie - Edinburgh
Skye 'Blaven' (5%)****+

All going well I’m in the process of writing a book on the winners of the Junior Cup over the last 50 years, so I’ll be writing a more thorough piece on my matchday at Glenrothes. This chapter will also include a look back at my first ever season of going to the match.
You can check the progress and a map of the grounds on my list on the T’Do Page.

My Matchday - 461 Malorie Park

Ripon City 2v3 Boroughbridge
West Yorkshire League - Premier Division
Wednesday 6th May 2015

One of my favourite places is the small city of Ripon,  located in North Yorkshire on the River Ure. The market town was founded over 1300 years ago, and is famous as an old Cathedral City where monasteries have stood since the 7th Century.
Ripon is the third smallest city in England and was originally known as Inhrypum, founded by Saint Wilfrid during the time of Angle kingdom Northumbria, which was an important religious period in Great Britain. Once a year, Ripon holds a procession through the town to commemorate St Wilfrid, with themed floats, morris dancers and classic cars.
The city came to prominence through the wool and cloth industry, then later became well known for its production of spurs during the 16th and 17th century.A market is still held every Thursday in the square next to its 300 year old Obelisk, where the Hornblower will sound his horn at 9 o’clock every night.
I’ve spent many weekends in Ripon, usually for a day at the races, but as well as its racecourse and cathedral, the town is a tourist hotspot because of its close proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and the Studley Royal Park.
A football club in Ripon was first established in 1898, but it was after the First World War that the town’s two existing teams Ripon United and Ripon City merged, becoming Ripon City AFC. 
The new club immediately made improvements to their Malorie Park home by erecting a new stand. The 95 year old stand is still sitting on the halfway line, fitted with five rows of bench seats, with the club name proudly marked out in red on the roof facade. At the front of the stand on each side are the brick dugouts, which are painted white. The clubhouse which was built in 1977 is at the entrance facing the car park, with the team changing rooms in a separate building at the back. The pitch is railed off on all sides with no hard standing.
The club purchased the ground in 1962 and are seeking to sell up then relocate to much larger premises, eventually building a community based sports complex, to develop a higher standard of football and progress up the pyramid.

The club have played in the York & District League and also the Allertonshire League and by the 1950s had a decent side, winning both the Ripon League Senior and Junior Charity cups as well as reaching the final of both the Whitworth and Hulme cup in 1958.
In July 1990 the club amalgamated with Ripon Yorkshire Magnets A.F.C. to becoming Ripon City Magnets from the 1991-92 season. The club moved from the Harrogate League to the West Yorkshire League Division One in 1999, winning promotion to its Premier Division in their second season. In 2007 they reverting back to their original name and the club currently also runs a reserve team in the West Yorkshire Alliance One Division, a Sunday team in the Claro League and an occasional appearance from the Ripon Veterans.
It was a battle to avoid the wooden spoon at Malorie Park, as City faced Boroughbridge, who sit just two points adrift at the foot of the table. Ripon raced into a two goal lead courtesy of a fortunate effort from Dan Hickey on 14 minutes, which bounced in front of the ‘keeper and through his hands, quickly followed by a fine one-on-one finish from Luca Crompton. Boro finished the half strongly and got themselves back in it just before half time when a corner kick was headed home by Ben Jones from six yards.
The second half was evenly poised but the visitors finished the game on top, grabbing an equaliser when a free kick from the right was met by Josh Gardner at the back stick, then with seconds remaining Jake Fletcher picked the ball up on the left before cutting inside and chipping the ‘keeper at the far post. That late winner meant Boro leapfrog Ripon at the bottom of the table, so this derby battle will go ahead again next season, but unfortunatly it’ll be a Division One fixture.
Nowadays there’s usually someone at the match who I know, this time it was Paul Brockett, a regular contributor on the 100FgC Facebook page along with Adrian, a relatively new groundhopper. The drive to Ripon takes an hour and a quarter from 100FgC HQ, however as much I enjoyed visiting the football club, it was hard work to come to Ripon and not go into the One Eyed Rat for a pint, which is in my Top 10 Favourite Pubs of all time. As this season comes to a close I’m hoping to make a quick return to Ripon during those few football free Saturday’s during the summer, for one of my favourite pub crawls.

Matchday Stats
RCFC 2(Hickey 14 Crompton 16)BFC 3(Jones 43 Gardner 82 Fletcher 90+3)
Top Bloke - Josh Gardner(Boroughbridge)
Admission & programme:none

Foetoes (Matchday album of 23 pictures from Malorie Park)

My Matchday - 460 McGrath Park

Cleator Moor Celtic 0v2 Stockton Town
Monkwearmouth Charity Cup Final
Monday 4th May 2015

It was quite a few years ago when I originally ticked off all but one the Wearside League grounds. The venue that has eluded me all this time is McGrath Park, home of Cleator Moor Celtic, reason being it’s a canny hike and a bugger to get to on public transport. I was determined to finally head across to Cumbria this season and this was the ideal opportunity, as they hosted the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup Final on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday.

I left home at 10.30am and drove across the A69, stopping off for a refreshment stop at The Henry Bessemer in Workington as part of my Neverending JD Wetherspoons Tour. At the ground I met up with two members of the 100FgC; David Stoker(Squad#128) who had driven down from West Lothian and Carlisle based Geoff Jackson(Squad#169)
Cleator Moor is a small town and civil parish in Cumbria and within the boundaries of the historic county of Cumberland. The town's skyline is dominated by Dent Fell on the fringe of the Lake District, which is the first fell encountered by ramblers on the Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route. Historically the town was based around the ironworks industry with several iron ore mines which were served by two railways lines. The ironworks saw an influx of Irish workers which gave the town the nickname Little Ireland. The two World Wars saw a fresh inflow of immigrants from mainland Europe to join the settled Irish community, which has caused occasional conflict between Catholic and Protestant residents of the town.
The Irish immigrants formed the town’s football club Cleator Moor Celtic in 1908. The club first hit the headlines in 1950 when they reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup, where they lost to Tranmere Rovers 5–0, played at Borough Park in Workington. 

The club first joined the Wearside League in 1988–89 and spent seven seasons in the league before resigning and rejoining the set up a decade later. Since they’ve returned they’ve won Sunderland Shipowners Cup twice in 2008 and 2013.
Former England international goalkeeper Scott Carson played for Cleator at the tender age of 15 before going on to play in the Premier League. Another famous former player is Whitehaven born Charlie Woods, who was transferred from Cleator Moor Celtic to Newcastle United in May 1959, scoring on his professional debut at Craven Cottage in a 4-3 defeat to Fulham. Woods also played for Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Ipswich Town, Watford and Colchester United and following his retirement became a right hand man throughout Bobby Robson’s career as a coach and a scout.
 The Monkwearmouth Charity Cup has been contested for since 1889-90 and the trophy is a beauty, standing proudly on display at the ground’s entrance. Celtic faced Stockton Town, having already won the League title and the Shipowners Cup, they kept up their chances of a winning all four Wearside League competitions this season with a comfortable victory with two first half goals. Stockton broke the deadlock after 20 minutes when well worked corner kick routine saw Kallum Hannah fire in from close range, followed by a cracking swerving 25 yard drive from Max Craggs ten minutes later. Overall the game was evenly contested and Cleator Moor played well especially in the second half, but Stockton showed what a quality side they are and now it's just Easington Colliery standing in their way in the League Cup final, in their pursuit of winning the quadruple. 

After waiting so long I picked the perfect day to finally complete the Wearside League. The bright afternoon showed off the fabulous surrounding views of the fells and considering it was a Bank Holiday the traffic wasn’t too bad either. All this as well as ticking off another ‘Spoons and meeting up with a couple of the 100FgC squad, meant it was a very enjoyable afternoon, so well worth the canny hike!

Matchday Stats and Spon
CMCFC 0 STFC 2(Hannah 20 Craggs 29)
Top Bloke - Kallum Hannah(Stockton Town)
Admission £2
Programme £2
Coffee & flapjack £1.50

Foetoes(Matchday album of 27 pictures from McGrath Park)

My Matchday - 459 The Ings

Wetherby Athletic 1v2 Leeds City
West Yorkshire League - Premier Division
Saturday 2nd May 2015
With the majority of the football in the north-east finished, its that part of the season when you look further a field for any remaining fixtures, and the closest match from home was in north Yorkshire in the market town of Wetherby, within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire. 
I drove down to the match after finishing work picking up Lee and Katie in Houghton-le-Spring on the way. We arrived in the town an hour before kick off, so plenty of time for them to visit the Wetherby Whaler chippy before the match. 

Wetherby stands on the River Wharfe, having been for many centuries a crossing place and staging post on the A1 Great North Road, in between London and Edinburgh. Wetherby Bridge which spans the river is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade II listed structure. The Old Great North Road passes through the town, so a large number of coaching inns were established which are still used by travellers today, and in its heyday there were up to forty inns and alehouses. 
Wetherby is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wedrebi, thought to derive from wether- or ram-farm meaning "settlement on the bend of a river".
Wetherby is a place I’ve passed on the A1 thousands of times, but my only knowledge of the town is its racecourse and its famous chippy, a regular stop off point for the Newcastle United team coach and supporters after long road trips south in the 1980s.
The club was formed in 1949, from the amalgamation of  Wetherby AFC and Wetherby Rovers FC. They currently runs seven senior sides and two ladies teams playing both Saturday and Sunday league football. The club are based at The Ings, which is an old word of Norse origin referring to water meadows and marshes. The Wetherby Ings by the River Wharfe on the south bank are used as parkland and for sports grounds for the town's football and rugby  teams. 
The complex is home to all the town’s sporting clubs, as well as Wetherby Athletic, its hosted by Wetherby Bulldogs RLFC and Wetherby RUFC. 
The main football pitch is opposite the Wetherby Sports Association Club, which has bar and hot drink facilities with Sky Sports on view. The building also houses the changing rooms which means a walk across the car park to the fully railed off pitch.
Wetherby Athletic hosted Leeds City, buoyant from their League Cup success on Thursday night. The visitors maintained their slim hopes of adding the league title to this seasons honours with a lovely strike from James Houchstrasser, picking the ball up on the edge of the box and placing his shot into the postage stamp of the goal on 36 minutes. Early in the second half Joe Tucker was on hand to fire in at the far post, finishing off a fine team effort to double their lead.
Wetherby finished the game strongly as the Leeds team began to flag after playing two matches within the space of 48 hours and halved the deficit with twenty minutes remaining when Luke Duberry got on the end of a corner kick to head home from close range, but City just managed to hold on and take home the three points.

Matchday Stats and Spon
WAFC 1(Duberry 71) LCFC 2(Houchstrasser 36 Tasker 52)
Top Bloke - Joe Tasker(Leeds City)
Admission & programme:none
Mug of Coffee £1, Mug of Tea 80p