✔923.Gradski Stadion Lapad

NK GOŠK Dubrovnik 2-1 NK Neretva

Treća NL Jug 

Saturday 25th May 2024

Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia by the Adriatic Sea, known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. Paved with limestone, the pedestrianised Stradun is lined with shops and restaurants.

The HBO TV series Game of Thrones was shot in the town which has resulted in a rise in tourism, especially (as I experienced) visitors from the United States. 


NK GOŠK-Dubrovnik 1919 is a professional football club, who's name comes from the Gruž neighbourhood of the city.  Their full name is Gruški Omladinski Športski Klub, which translated in English as - Gruž Youth Sports Club


GOŠK was founded in 2016 by the merging of NK GOŠK and HNK Dubrovnik 1919. The club has spent all of its time in the 3.HNL/NL – Jug, the fourth tier of the Croatian football league system. 


Gradski Stadion Lapad

Ul. Ivana Meštrovića, 

20000, 

Dubrovnik, 

Croatia


Gradski Stadion Lapad was built in 1919 and has a current capacity of 3,000. The ground is largely made up of terracing, with bolted bucket seats down one side. The changing rooms are at the top of the stairs, behind the far goal. The stadium has an outer running track and has splendid panoramic views of the mountains, plus the Dr. Franjo Tuđman Bridge. 

NK GOŠK Dubrovnik 2(V Skaramuca 20pen J.Listar 62)  

NK Neretva 1(S.Galov 7)

Treća NL Jug Group D Matchday 30 (13th v 6th)

Att.73hc 

Admission 5€

GOŠK came from behind to end their league campaign with a home win. 

The visitors went ahead with a good chest and volley strike from 25 yards by Galov, before the hosts soon equalised from the penalty spot.

The winner arrived just after the hour mark when Listar latched onto a through ball and slotted home a left foot shot into the far corner to make it 

#Heedhopper 

Newcastle - Dubrovnik 

1250 miles airport-to-airport.


The match was on the final day of our holiday. We had a fantastic time doing our usual crack of sun, sea, sightseeing and lots of beer, in probably one of the cleanest and classiest town's we've visited. 

✔922 Eastbourne Community Stadium

Darlington Town 3-0 Richmond Town
Shipowners Charity Cup Final
Saturday 18th May 2024

Darlington Town are the new Wearside League champions and will play in the Northern League next season. They won the division by a clear 17 points and earlier this month moved to a different pitch at the Eastbourne Complex, complete with a seated stand, to allow promotion to step 6.

The club was formed in 2018, taking the place in the Wearside League of Darlington F.C Reserves, who originated out of Horden Colliery Welfare relocating to Darlo in 2016.

Eastbourne Community Stadium

Eastbourne Sports Complex

Bourne Ave, 

Darlington 

DL1 1LJ


The 4G pitch has a seated stand and changing room block at the entrance side. At the far side are two identical covered enclosures named after Arthur Wharton and Lillie Galloway. 

This is the third ground I've visited within this large sports complex. I saw Darlington Cleveland Bridge play on the athletics pitch in 2010 (the first time I met Lee) and Darlington Reserves in their first season on the other 4G they used prior to their recent move across the other side of the complex. 

Darlington Town 3(Woodford 36 Beauchamp 55 Coles 70)

Richmond Town 0

Shipowners Charity Cup Final

2pm KO 

Admission £3

Att. 437


Darlington Town completed the treble and retained their hold on the Shipowners Charity Cup, having already bagged the league title and the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup. 

They went ahead in the 36th minute when Connor Woodford fired in with his left foot, following in on goal after the keeper saved from his own defender. 

James Beauchamp played a neat one-two before firing in a volley from the edge of the box to double their lead ten minutes into the second half, before Ryan Coles headed home from a corner kick to make it 3-0.

The champions will be looking to add a fourth trophy this season in the Durham Minor Cup final against Durham Corinthians next Friday night.

Footnote

The club completed the quadruple with a 1-0 win in the final.

✔921 Balmoor Stadium

Peterhead 2-1 Dumbarton
Scottish League 2
Saturday 4th May 2024

It has been a very long, slow process, but I can now look at the football coupon knowing I've been to all the grounds in the Scottish League. 

My first on the list was Ibrox in 1985, then I managed to tick off the odd ground whenever Newcastle played a pre-season friendly north of the border. When I took up Groundhopping as a regular hobby, I was knocking off a few every season, then following an Inverness CT and Ross County double in July 2019 I could see the finishing line, needing just three to complete the set at Cove Rangers, Stranraer and Peterhead.

Following that Covid shite and limited opportunities to visit these tricky final three, it has taken nearly 5 years to finally do it, finishing at the trickiest ground of all to get to on public transport. 

Peterhead is a town in Aberdeenshire,which sits at the easternmost point in mainland Scotland. (population over 18,000)

The town is known as The Blue Toon, where the local folk are known as "Bloo Touners" supposedly from the blue worsted moggans that the local fishermen originally wore. Accordingly to a 2019 survey its the biggest fishing port in the United Kingdom for total landings by UK vessels.

HM Prison Peterhead gained a reputation as one of Scotland's toughest prisons. It was built around 1888 and closed in 2013, due to the construction of a new and larger prison facility nearby. The building now serves as the Peterhead Prison Museum which provides an Audio Guided Tour of cells and courtrooms.

Peterhead FC was founded in 1891, having been a Highland League club for most of their history. The club were league champions for the first time in 1946-47, and won it for a fifth time in 1998-99. They were granted league status in 2000, when the SPL was expanded for two extra clubs, with Elgin City also joining them in the Third Division.

The Blue Toon have lifted the Highland League cup five times, the Scottish Qualifying Cup(North) on five occasions, and in 1905-06 lifted the Aberdeenshire Cup for the first time, a competition they won twenty times throughout the 20th century. 

Peterhead clinched their first trophy as a Scottish Football League club by winning the Scottish League Two title, winning away at Clyde 2–0 in April 2014, then following relegation were champions again in 2018-19.

In 2015 the club reached their first cup final since leaving the Highland League, beating Queen's Park to reach the Scottish Challenge Cup final, but lost 4–0 to Rangers at Hampden.

Balmoor Stadium

Balmoor Terrace, 

Peterhead 

AB42 1EQ


Capacity:3,150

Record Attendance:4,855 v Rangers, January 2013

Current Scottish League grounds visited 42/42

Total Scottish football grounds visited 123


The ground was opened in 1997, after Peterhead's old Recreation Park ground was sold off to a supermarket company. There's two identical stands on each side, both raised above pitch level, with a combined capacity of 1,000 blue seats. The main stand has the team benches at the front and the stand on the far side has standing room, with more open standing behind the goals. 

Peterhead 2(Shanks 7 Brown 35)

Dumbarton 1(Wilson 48)

Cinch League 2 matchday 36 (2nd v 3rd)

3pm ko 

Att.811

Admission £15

Programme £3

Pint glass £10(to be engraved)

Pin badge £3


Peterhead won the battle for the runner-up spot, mainly due to a very good first half performance. 

They took the lead in the 7th minute when a cross from Robert Ward was met by a Kieran Shanks header, which spun through the air before finding the top corner of the net. The second goal duly arrived after 35 minutes when Jordon Brown fired home from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 at the interval.

A special thanks to the club for giving me a shout out on the P.A. at half time on completing ‘The 42’ which was met by a ripple of applause in the main stand. 

Dumbarton got themselves back into the game straight from the restart, when David Wilson was on hand in the centre of the box to score with his left foot. The visitors dominated possession throughout the second half, but were unable to seriously penetrate a stubborn Blue Toon defence, who held on despite being reduced to ten men, following a second yellow card for Jordan Brown in the 72nd minute. 

#Heedhopper

326 miles door-to-door 

 

Aberdeen is the nearest railway station to Balmoor - 32 miles away, making it the greatest distance between a senior league football ground and its nearest railway station in Great Britain.

0624 train Newcastle  - Edinburgh 

0830 train Edinburgh - Aberdeen 

1200 X61 bus Aberdeen - Peterhead bus station 


The three-legged journey went smoothly, so after leaving the house at 5.30am I finally arrived in Peterhead at 1.15pm. I had plenty of time before the match to go for a stroll around the town and obviously stop for beverages in The Cross Keys JDW and delicious beers in Brew Toon. 

After the match, I legged it back to the bus station to catch the 61 service at 5 o’clock. It was a longer bus journey back to Aberdeen, through desolate countryside and small villages, so I finally checked into my guest house at 6.45. 

On Saturday night I had a very enjoyable pub crawl, calling at the bars I missed out on when I was last in the Granite City. I supped in the Ferryhill House Hotel, The Stag, Under The Hammer, The Blue Lamp, The Firepit and finished the night with a revisit to The Grill. 

Overall a terrific weekend, Peterhead was a good one to finish The 42 and I do love a night out in Aberdeen. 

✔920 Oakleaf Sports Complex

Newton Aycliffe YFC Seniors 3-3 Richmond Mavericks
Wearside League Division 2
Thursday 2nd May 2024

Newton Aycliffe Youth FC Seniors have won the Wearside League 2nd Division in their debut season. The club stepped up from the Durham U-23s, where they won the league and cup double, based at the Oakleaf Sports Complex. The sports ground has four pitches, with the senior side using the ground running parallel with School Aycliffe Lane, closest to the changing room block and car park. 


Oakleaf Sports Complex 

School Aycliffe Lane, 

Newton Aycliffe 

DL5 6QZ


#Heedhopper 

29 mile drive door-to-door 

Current Wearside League grounds visited 42/43

I picked up Lee & Katie on the way, and we were joined by Harvey Harris who was also in attendance. 

Newton Aycliffe YFC Seniors 3(Murray 10 Thompson 47 Peart 74)

Richmond Mavericks 3(Shields 28 Caiterall 83 Bainbridge 87)

Wearside League Division 2 matchday 19v20 (1st v 2nd)

Att.45hc


The champions faced runners-up Richmond Mavericks in their final home match of the season. They took an early lead when a corner kick was met with several headers in the box, with Richard Murray having the last touch from close range. The visitors drew level in the 28th minute, when Joe Shields cut inside and fired home from just outside the penalty area. 

Substitute Sam Thompson got on the end of a left wing cross to connect at the far post to restore the lead straight after the restart, then Steven Dawson set up Ryan Peart for the third with fifteen minutes remaining. 

The hosts looked to have the match wrapped up the Mavericks hit back with two goals in the final seven minutes to grab a point.  A right-wing corner fell to George Caiterall to scramble in, then a Rueben Bainbridge effort from outside the box finishing the scoring at three each.

The clubs meet again in the 2nd Division Challenge Cup final and Aycliffe also have a Washington Aged Peoples Trophy Final to look forward to, in their pursuit to win a treble.