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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

My Matchday - 402 Low Hall Park

Stocksfield 0v2 Wallington
Clayton Cup Final
Wednesday 30th July 2014

Haydon Bridge is a village in western Northumberland found on the A69 Newcastle to Carlisle road, with a population of about 2000. The village takes its name from the picturesque bridge which crosses the River South Tyne, which divides the modern side from the old village of Haydon. The village is the gateway to Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site and Roman Forts, plus the Northumberland National Park, which are both just a few miles away.

Haydon Bridge United played on and off in the Northern Alliance between 1999 and 2008. During this period they won the Division Two title in 2001-02, after resigning from the league the season before due to the foot and mouth outbreak. They again resigned from the Alliance during the 2007-08 season, then after being accepted back they called it a day on the eve of the new campaign.
Nowadays the club runs eight youth development teams from under 8s to under 16s, seven of which play competitively and hold Charter Standard Status from the Northumberland FA. The senior side reformed in 2010 playing in the Hexham & District Sunday League.
Low Hall Park is found at the entrance to the village and is a lovely setting for football. The ground has two smaller pitches for the junior teams and the main pitch which is fully railed off with a pair of brick dugouts painted green. The club headquarters and changing rooms are at the main entrance where access is found at the start of the village,along a residential street. The whole complex is well maintained with the pitch in top condition.

The Clayton Cup was founded way back in 1903 and revived in 2010 after being brought out of storage, apparently being kept in a loft for ten years. The competition is a knockout tournament usually played between clubs based in Tynedale and in the south-west of Northumberland. Haydon Bridge themselves won this trophy five times during the 1970’s but are now regular hosts of the event.

This year’s final was between Northern Alliance Premier League clubs Wallington, who received a bye to the semi final where they beat Ponteland United, facing Stocksfield, who disposed of Ryton & Crawcrook and Haltwhistle on route to the final.  
After an even start it was Wallington who took the lead after 18 minutes when right back Jake Walton robbed the defender on the edge of the box before unleashing a first time looping shot which flew into the top of the net. Both teams created half chances but as the match progressed it was looking as if that early goal was going to decide it. With just over five minutes remaining Wallington rubber stamped victory when dangerman John Paxton ran on to a through ball in the right hand channel to volley the ball past the ‘keeper to clinch the Clayton Cup for the men from Scots’ Gap.

Around The Alliance - part six featured Stocksfield
Around The Alliance - part eight featured Wallington 
Matchday Stats
SFC 0 WFC 2(Walton 18 Paxton 84)
Top Bloke:John Paxton(Wallington)
Admission & programme:none

My Matchday - 401 Brinkburn

Hartlepool 2v2 Stockton West End
Pre-season friendly
Saturday 26th July 2014
I watched a game at a rugby ground for the second time this week, but Brinkburn isn’t exactly the international arena like which I experienced at Murrayfield on Tuesday night.
Over recent seasons Hartlepool FC have played their pre-season friendlies on various pitches in the town, including this venue on Catcote Road, which is the home of West Hartlepool RFC.
Major building work is currently taking place at Brinkburn with a new £900k state of the art clubhouse and dressing room block, which is due to be completed in February 2015.
The ground itself is fully railed off with a 76 seated stand, but the match took place at the adjacent pitch at the bottom end of the complex. with goals placed in front of the rugby posts.
Hartlepool faced Stockton West End, their Teesside League opponents taking the field wearing navy and sky blue quarters, so there was a bit of a colour clash with the home sides traditional blue and white stripes.
The match got off to a lively start with Tony Coleman getting on the end of a left wing cross to fire home from 12 yards in the 8th minute, but the lead was short lived, as young’un Ross Kidson made an overlapping run on the right hand side before shooting hard and low into the far corner. 
After this I was expecting a goal glut and although there were plenty of decent chances in the game the goals didn’t arrive until the latter stages. In the 73rd minute the visitors regained the lead when some nice approach work was finished off by Mark Hall, who toe poked the ball home despite the defender’s desperate attempted goal line clearance.
With ten minutes remaining there was a pre-season rarity as Hartlepool had a player sent off. The lad in the number 10 shirt had gone through the game constantly whinging and after a rash tackle the referee had no hesitation in producing a red card. The challenge was certainly a free kick and it’s debatable if it could have been a yellow card or not, but it certainly wasn’t a sending off offence. Maybe the referee was looking for an excuse to get rid of him because he was fed up of the constant whining in his ear.
After the incident the hosts produced a late spell of pressure and got their reward two minutes from time when Alan Bird picked up a right wing pass and produced a tidy finish to round the ‘keeper and make the final score two’s each.
As the match reached the later stages I asked the management of both clubs who scored the goals. The Stockton manager initially thought I was from another Wearside League club and when I inquired the name of the second goal scorer he said “I dunno, we just call him Sparky” Apparently the lad was just on trial so if this game was played north of the border he would be known as A.Trialist, though I did find out his name by running on the pitch and asking him on the full time whistle.
The Hartlepool side were more suspicious of my presence. The manager wouldn't let on the name of the first goalscorer, telling me it’s one of the academy lads and pretending he didn’t know his name. Another bloke from the home side was more helpful though, after initially greeting me with “Who are you scouting for then?” but he was friendly enough to tell me the names of both the goalscorers. 

So overall I enjoyed a nice run out to Hartlepool, where I saw a decent game with an added bonus of topping up my suntan in the glorious July sunshine.

Hartlepool FC were originally featured in Wearside League Wanderings - part four. link here

Matchday Stats
HFC 2(Kidson 11, Bird 88) SWEFC 2(Coleman 8 Hall 73)
Top Bloke: Ross Kidson(Hartlepool)
Admission and programme:none

My Matchday - 400 Murrayfield

Celtic 4v0 KR Reykjavik
UEFA Champions League 2nd Qualifying Round
(2nd leg)
Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Due to Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which includes the use of Celtic Park for the event, Celtic relocated east to Edinburgh for three possible UEFA Champions League qualifying ties, switching to a stadium that is home to the egg shaped ball.
Murrayfield is the home of the Scottish Rugby Union, located in the west end of Edinburgh. Scotland played internationals in Inverleith until the SRU bought some land and built the first Murrayfield, which was opened on the 21st March 1925. During the Second World War the ground was taken over by the Royal Army Service Corps and used as a supply depot, however  the armed forces sports authorities arranged two internationals between Scotland and England services each year, on a home-and-away basis. 
In 1994 the stadium was renovated as a cost of £50m which included installing floodlights for the first time.Murrayfield also has the largest permanent big screens in the country, which reduced the capacity from 67,800 to 67,144, though it remains the largest in Scotland and the sixth biggest capacity stadium in the UK.
The main stand is on the west side, being the largest end, with a much bigger bottom tier which is set further back centrally. The west stand is also further away from the pitch with a large grass area between the dugouts and the touch line. The stand also has a disabled area known as the  ‘Wooden Spoon Wheelchair Terrace’ All four ends are split into two tiers with the North Stand dipping down into the corner to meet the smaller East Stand. The seats are dominantly decked out in navy blue with SRU picked out in white in the bottom tiers behind each goal. 

Murrayfield has also hosted rugby league, gridiron, as well as quite a few football matches in recent years. Due to Tynecastle not meeting UEFA criteria, Hearts played three UEFA Cup ties during the 2004-05 season. Both Hearts and Hibs hosted Barcelona in pre-season friendlies in 2007 with 57,857 attending the Hearts game which was the biggest crowd in Edinburgh for 51 years.
Murrayfield has also became a major concert venue over the years with gigs by the likes of the Rolling Stones, U2, Oasis, Madonna, James Brown and earlier this year those shitee arsed ‘uckers One Direction performed to over 64,000 bairns as part of their Where We Are Stadium Tour.
The Match
I’m not a great fan of Celtic. How can I be when my Scottish football allegiance belongs to the other great Glasgow club. I am of course referring to...the Super Jags...Partick Thistle. 
This Champions League qualifying tie with KR Reykjavik was really over last week, with the Hoops leaving the Icelandic capital with a one goal advantage. I couldn’t imagine the part timers having two shots on target, never mind scoring twice and this proved the case, as Fraser Forster was virtually a spectator for the evening.

Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk helped himself to two goals in the opening twenty minutes, the first after an error from ‘keeper Stefan Magnusson allowing Mulgrew to head back across goal into his path to stab the ball home on 13 minutes. The Icelandic stopper was again at faulty seven minutes later, miss timing his punch to allow Lustig to tee up the big Dutchman for a simple header.
Just before the half hour mark good wing play by Callum McGregor set up Teemu Pukki to fire home and it was Pukki who wrapped up victory with twenty minutes remaining, rounding the ‘keeper and blasting the ball into the top left hand corner. Pukki was subbed immediately after bagging his brace which didn’t go down too well with the home fans, although the backing and vocal support from the green and white army in the south-east corner was tremendous throughout. 
Celtic was now face Legia Warsaw in the third qualifying round, so another chance for their supporters and like minded groundhoppers to see the Hoops at Murrayfield.

Matchday Stats
CFC 4(van Dijk 13,20 Pukki 27,71)KRR 0
Att.40,000 est. (no official figure announced...yet)
Top bloke - Virgil van Dijk (Celtic)
Admission £20 (West Stand)
Programme £2.50
52 pages(9 advertisements) 
Best line
KR Reykjavik may have a starting line up compiled of part-time footballers but their squad still boasts talents that Celtic must be wary of. (Tonight's Opponents)

 Foetoes (25 pictures from Murrayfield and match ticket)

My Matchday
I travelled on the 1454 to Edinburgh Waverley to meet Squad#155 James Little for a pub crawl route to Murrayfield, starting off with a couple of pints in the Blue Blazer. We then headed to Bennets Bar for 5.30 to meet James' pal John who had sorted out our match tickets and Squad#81 Jamie McQueen. The four of us also called to the Golden Rule and had a few pints in Diggers, where for the first time, I enjoyed the pastry delicacy of a macaroni pie.
After the game the four of us did the same route but in reverse, finally leaving Bennets at quarter to one to stagger back to James' flat, where I was staying for the night. An excellent night in Edinburgh, with special thanks to James for giving me a bed for the night, John for supplying the ticket and it was great to see Jamie, who I hadn’t seen since this beloved Liverpool beat the Toon 6-0 the season before last. Apart from the beer I enjoyed the novelty factor of watching football at Murrayfield, which is a terrific stadium and a good’un to notch up number 400.

Bennets Bar

Bevvy Almanac
Blue Blazer (Spittal Street)
An Teallach Ale Co. 'Kildonan' (4.4%)****
Cairngorm 'Trade Winds' ****
Bennets Bar (Leven Street)
Barneys Beer 'Extra Pale' (4%)***+
Harviestoun ‘Bitter & Twisted’ (3.8%)***** (Re-sup)
Golden Rule (Yeoman Place)
Alechemy 'Bad Day At The Office' (4.5%)***+
Saltaire 'Le IPA' (5.6%)***+
Diggers (Admillan Terrace)
Steward Diggers 80 shilling (4.4%)****
Caledonian 'XPA' (4.3%)***+
Joseph Holts Two Hoots (4.2%)***+ (Re-sup)

My Matchday - 399 Bedquilts Recreation Ground

Leeds City 3v3 Springhead
Pre-season Friendly
Saturday 19th July 2014
Pre-Season update
After a slow start to the new campaign, I’ve at last recorded my first new ground of the season in Leeds, as part of my birthday day out on the lash with the lads. I started 2014-15 to everyone's surprise (ie fellow Heed fans) at Croft Park for a friendly with Whitley Bay as part of the Blyth Spartans Beer Festival. This was followed by a week away with the breadknife in Turkey to recharge the batteries in readiness for a busy ten months of footy ahead. Since my return I’ve caught up with the latest at Gateshead FC this week, watching games at Whitley Bay, Birtley and on Friday night I attended the James Curtis testimonial match, seeing Heed beat Toon for the first time at the fourteenth attempt.
My eagerness to get back to watching live football has been somewhat tamed by an entertaining(well apart from the ITV pundits...Eddy)World Cup in Brazil. Anyone who knows me well enough is aware that I’ve wised up to the bi-annual over hyped drivel regarding the national team, so the less said about their performance the better, although my pre-tournament prediction that England wouldn’t win a game never mind get out of their group was ridiculed by some who seem to think they know more about football than I do!?!

My Matchday - preview
I booked trains for the five of us on the 0910 from Newcastle to Leeds back in May, without any clue which club would have the honour of our presence during our bevvy break. As the list of friendlies began to take shape during late May and June there wasn’t any matches listed at previously uncharted grounds around the Leeds area, so it was beginning to look like a fully day on the lash and no football. The bevvy break is a crucial part of the day, not just because I’m a Groundhopper, but a few hours off the drink to watch a game with a pie and a cuppa guarantees that I’ll have the stamina to stay out on the hoy until the last 56 bus home at ten to midnight.
Before I flew out to Turkey I was determined to find a game and came across the Leeds City Facebook group, so after sending the admin a message it was confirmed they were indeed at home, so all that the was left to do was plot a pub crawl of the alehouses of Leeds.
Plantpot History
The name of Leeds City FC was first used back in 1904 and were elected to the Football League the following year, moving to the vacated Elland Road after the demise of Holbeck Rugby Club. City played in the Second Division throughout their league career, finished a highest placed fourth in 1913-14 season, however during the First World War the club were involved in a series of financial irregularities, including breaking the ban on paying players during the war years. The Football League expelled the club eight games into the 1919–20 season, the strong handed approach from the league mainly due to the behaviour of the club's directors, who refused to co-operate with the FA  by handing over the club's financial records. The following year the city of Leeds had a new club as Leeds United were formed and entered the Football League, with the Leeds City name briefly reappeared in 1924 as an amateur club in the Yorkshire Football League for just three seasons. 

The new Leeds City FC was formed in 2006 from the merger of Adel FC, Abbey Grange and Leeds City Vixens. The club joined the West Yorkshire League, with the management and players from Horsforth St Margaret arriving to give the senior side a strong start, finishing 2nd in the  West Yorkshire League Second Division in their debut season. This was followed by a First Division runners-up spot in 2007-08, and since being in the Premier Division they’ve twice finished league runners-up in 2008-09 and 2012-13.

Whereabouts and Whatsabouts
Adel is a suburb in the north side of Leeds in West Yorkshire, situated between Cookridge, Holt Park, Weetwood and Alwoodley. The villages of Arthington and Bramhope and the market town of Otley and also in this vicinity.
Adel is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book as Adele. Another spelling used until 1816 is Addle, the name believed to derive from the Old English adela ‘dirty, muddy place’
The Roman name for the area was Burgodunum, the suburb situated near the site of a Roman fort with the ancient road from Tadcaster to Ilkley passing nearby. 

Ground No.399 Adel War Memorial Association/Bedquilts Recreation Ground
The Adel Memorial Hall and sports ground was opened on the 14th November 1928 in memory to those killed in the First World War. The grounds hosts a large variety of sports, the facilities includes a hockey pitch, tennis courts and is home to Adel Cricket Club. Because of the cricket Leeds City couldn’t use their regular home pitch, so the pre-season friendly match was played just on the other side of the fence on their training pitch at Bedquilts Recreation Ground. The football pitch is on the edge of a huge plot of land which is mostly used by dog walkers and has more football and rugby pitches at the far side.
The Match
Leeds City faced Oldham based Springhead AFC who play in the Manchester Football League. I took shelter under a tree from the heavy downpour and witnessed an entertaining game. The visitors took the lead after a quarter of an hour when Fagan was on hand to fire in a right wing cross from 12 yards, but City replied twenty minutes later when trialist Johnny Wilson netted the rebound after the ‘keeper parried a long range effort. On the stroke of half time Springhead regained the advantage when Leighton Stephenson managed to stay onside before firing home a first time strike from twenty yards. 
The lead was extended on 55 minutes after a free kick rattled the crossbar but fell nicely  into the patch of Nuttall for an easy tap in. Springhead looked likely to add to their goal tally but once the rain finally stopped Leeds stepped up their game, scoring two goals in a minute through a neat shot from Joe Dixon and an equally great strike from Academy player Ash Walker on 85 minutes. A minute later a chorus of “happy birthday to you” filled the air as four straddlers finally left the warmth and comfort of the pub to watch the match with me. The lads were disappointed to hear that they missed out on watching a really good game with six goals to boot.

Matchday Stats
LCFC 3(Wilson 36 Dixon 84 Walker 85) 
SAFC (Fagan 16 Stephenson 45 Nuttall 55)
Admission and programme:none

My Matchday
This year it was the well established strong line-up for my birthday bash, spending a cracking day and having such a great laugh with Zippy, Jimmy Jimmy, Plymouth Pete and Honest Paul. It was great to have Paul back out drinking with us again, because he was diagnosed with cancer in April, but luckily it was confined to just his kidney and hadn’t spread elsewhere. Last month he went under the knife to have his kidney removed and is now well on the mend, so today wasn’t just about my pending birthday, but also Paul’s first day back with the lads after his recuperation.
I picked out 17 pubs to visit in Leeds, hoping to visit at least a dozen on the list. We arrived at 11am and obviously started in the Beckett Bank Wetherspoons for coffee, breakfast and the first pint of the day. We had time to squeeze in three more pubs before heading off to Adel at 1.30pm, asking the taxi driver to drop us off at the Lawnswood Arms, the only pub in the village. I headed off alone to the match just before the two o'clock kick off expecting the lads to follow on, but thankfully they didn’t and I was pleased they didn’t bother, as it was pissing down and I was the only one sensible enough to be wearing a jacket.  
After the match we got a taxi back to the city centre from the Lawnswood, for a ‘Spoons tea, calling to see Mr William Hill, plus ticking off another five pubs on the list before catching the 2043 train back to Newcastle. Throughout the day we visited some fabulous pubs and I can highly recommend them all, apart from Whitelocks First City where it was £4.50 a pint. They said is was expensive because of the Tour de France, which isn’t much of an excuse for extortion, but I wasn’t too bothered because luckily it wasn’t my round. 
I mentioned earlier in this report about the importance of the ‘bevvy break’ and as I was the only one in our group to actually go to the match, this meant that I was the most sober amongst our drinking quintet. The most blotto was Zippy, who was so legless on the train that he fell over and accidentally nutted a woman with a laptop in the first class carriage. At the end of the night myself and Jimmy Jimmy were the only survivors from the original five, so as predicted I ended up in the Union Rooms and lasted until the last bus home. 
Overall a terrific day with the only regret being we ran out of time to do 12 Leeds pubs, falling two short and missing out on a few next to the rail station that I was looking forward to. This regret can only mean one thing, we’ll just have to come back to Leeds and give it another go with a lads day out on the lash.

Foetoes - Pictures of our Leeds pub crawl

Bevvy Almanac (Leeds)

1.Becketts Bank (Park Row) Stancill ‘No.7’ (4.3%)***+
2.Mr Foleys Cask Ale House (The Headrow) Yorkshire ‘Operation Overload’ (3.8%)****
3.Town Hall Tavern (Westgate) Timothy Taylor ‘Boltmaker’ (4%)****
4.Victoria Family & Commercial (Great George Street) Leeds ‘Midnight Bell’ (4.8%)***+
5.Lawnswood Arms (Otley Road,Adel) Saltaire ‘Pride’ (3.9%)***** 
Saltaire ‘Raspberry Blonde’ (4%)****+
6.Hedley Verity (Woodhouse Lane) Adnams ‘Enraptured’ (5.5%)****+
7.Stick or Twist (The Podium) Naylors ‘Velvet’ (4%0***+
8.Templar (Templar Street) Kirkstall ‘Three Swords@ (4.5%0****
9.Whitelocks First City (Turks Head Yard,Briggate) Ilkey  ‘Marie Jaune’ (4.5%)***+
10.Brewer’s Tap (Bishopgate) Collingham ‘Arti Sans Choice’ (4.4%)****

Pic of the Week Cup 2014 - Round 3

Paul Paxton - Corfe Castle
Jim McAlwane - Chesham United
100FgC #196 Yuri Paretski - SK - 747 Stadium, Pskov
100FgC A17 Peter Miles - Craven Cottage
Neil Edgar - Bo'ness United
Vote for your favourite on our facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/100FgC/ on leave a comment below.