✔804. The Academy Stadium

Manchester City EDS 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain U-19

UEFA Youth League - Group A

Wednesday 24th November 2021

The Academy Stadium forms part of the Etihad Campus, which is an area of Sportcity in East Manchester. The £200m development of the south-eastern portion of the Etihad Campus site was focused on the regeneration of the Clayton Aniline site which consists of 80 acres of Brownfield land. The campus opened in December 2014 and caters for around 400 youth players. The ground is situated only 400 metres from the Etihad Stadium and are linked together via a 190-metre bridge across the intersection of Ashton New Road and Alan Turing Way. The stadium is home to the Elite Development Squad and other academy sides, plus the successful Manchester City Women team.

The stadium has four separate stands with terraces behind the goals and single tier stands at the sides. The main stand has numerous facilities including a press room, board room, offices and retail space.


138 mile drive door-to-door

Academy Stadium,

Etihad Campus

North Gate,

400 Ashton New Road


M11 4TQ

Picked up Lee & Katie at 10am, taking full advantage of my day off to finally tick this ground off. We stopped off in a busy Heywood on route, which included another new JDW visit. As per usual, we bumped into someone we know, as Fife Groundhopper Jimmy Brown was also at the match. 

Manchester City EDS 1(Lewis 84)

Paris Saint-Germain U-19s 3(Gassama 40,49 Odobert 80)

UEFA Youth League - Group A Matchday 5 (3rd v 1st)

3pm ko

Admission £3

Free teamsheet


Man City’s EDS side crashed out of this season’s UEFA Youth League, with goals from Djeidi Gassama either side of half time. Xavi Simons set up Gassama for the opener five minutes before the break, then a neat piece of skill in the box made space for him to fire in his second. The Parisians extended their lead when Gassama played the ball in to Wilson Odobert to make it 0-3 with ten minutes remaining. City were rewarded for their efforts when Rico Lewis tapped in a late consolation.

PSG now face Club Brugge in matchday 6 in the Group ‘A’ decider in a fortnight's time. 

✔803 Barton Stadium

Winsford United 3-1 Longridge Town
North West Counties League Premier Division
Saturday 13th November 2021

Winsford is a town and civil parish within the ceremonial county of Cheshire. It lies on the River Weaver, south of Northwich and west of Middlewich and is split into three areas: Over on the western side of the river, Wharton to the eastern side, plus Swanlow and Dene.

The town grew around the salt mining industry after the river was canalised in the 18th century, allowing freight to be conveyed northwards to the Port of Runcorn on the River Mersey. Winsford has the UK 's largest rock salt mine, as halite was laid down in this part of the north-west during the Triassic geological period, some 220 million years ago. Seawater moved inland from an open sea, creating a chain of shallow salt lakes across what is now the Cheshire Basin. As the lakes evaporated, deep deposits of rock salt were formed.

Winsford United were founded as Over Wanderers in 1883, beginning life in the Welsh Combination Football League. A few years later they changed their name to Winsford, then became “United” in 1913, before moving to their current ground which was then called the Bean Latham Playing Field. The original club folded, then reformed in 1919, becoming a founder member of the Cheshire County League.

Cheshire League 1919-1982: - Champions 1920-21 and 1976-77 

North West Counties Football League 1982-1987

Northern Premier League: 

Division One: 1987-1992 - Runners-up 1991-92 

Premier Division: 1992-2000 - Runners-up 1992-93 

The Blues suffered back to back relegations and returned to the NWCL in 2001, winning the Division 2 title in 2006-07.

St. Luke’s Barton Stadium

Wharton Road, 




Record Attendance: 8,000 v Witton Albion 1947

Capacity 3,000 (200 seats)

The ground takes its name from club owner Mr R.G. Barton, who invested into the development of the stadium after World War I. During 1970 the club agreed to a grass greyhound racing circuit being constructed around the pitch. The racing was an independent flapping track and held its first meeting on the 18th June that year, with a greyhound called Carousel winning the first race. Later a totalisator system was installed, along with tote booths and track lighting and the final race meeting took place in January 1998. 

The ground still has the remains of the dog track with its oval shape and built up areas behind the goals, plus the track style floodlights. The main stand sits centrally with the changing rooms and clubhouse. The opposite side has a long covered enclosure with the team dugouts in front. 

Winsford United (13th) 3(Duckworth 50 Boden 54 Foster 81)

Longridge Town (11th) 1(Collins 35)

NWCL Premier Division matchday 21v19

3pm ko


Admission £7

Coffee £1

After a poor first half show from the home side, when they fell behind to a well taken goal by Joseph Collins, they vastly improved in the second half to run out easy winners.

Joe Duckworth levelled soon after the restart, capitalising on a poor clearance from the Longridge goalkeeper, before Daniel Boden slammed the ball home from outside the box. 

The Blues extended their lead when Will Foster fired in from close range following another dangerous corner kick, after a spell of immense pressure. The hosts could have added to their total but Daniel Roccia made some fabulous saves to keep the score at 3-1 on full time.


176 miles door-to-door

0930 departure from Katie's.

It was good to travel with Lee and Katie again following a long spell of not seeing each other (the last time was Long Eaton United) We arrived in Winsford after a 3 hour journey, then after a 'Spoons lunch (and a new tick) we had a leisurely toby around the town centre charity shops before the game. My fellow NE Groundhopping Mafia members picked up a few bargains, while I was happy to pick up a Bluetones CD for a quid as well as my music “Guilty pleasure” for ten bob (don’t ask!) Overall a lovely day out in leafy Cheshire. 

Dons Done

802. The Cherry Red Records Stadium Plough Lane

AFC Wimbledon 0-2 Wigan Athletic

League One

Saturday 23rd October 2021

Wimbledon is a district and town, 7 miles south-west of central London. Wimbledon had its own borough while still in the county of Surrey, before it was absorbed into the London Borough of Merton as part of the creation of Greater London in 1965. (population: over 68,000)

It is home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and New Wimbledon Theatre, and contains Wimbledon Common, one of the largest areas of common land in London and made famous by The Wombles. The area is split into two sections known as the "village" and the "town", with the High Street being the rebuilding of the original medieval village, and the "town"  developed following the opening of the railway station in 1838.

Wimbledon has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age when the hill fort on Wimbledon Common is thought to have been constructed. In the 1086 Domesday Book, Wimbledon was part of the manor of Mortlake. The ownership of the manor of Wimbledon changed between various wealthy families many times during its history, and the area attracted more wealth, which produced large houses such as Eagle House, Wimbledon Manor House and Warren House.

I blogged a comprehensive history of the club when I visited Kingsmeadow in 2010, which you can read > here. 

AFC Wimbledon finished as runners-up in the Conference that season and won the play-off final against Luton Town in a penalty shoot-out. The Dons were again successful in the play-offs, this time with a 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle in the 2016 League Two final, after a 7th place finish. The club have struggled in League One but have managed to avoid relegation, and are now looking to build on the feel good factor of returning to their spiritual home. 


The primary objective of the newly formed AFC Wimbledon in 2002 was to return to Merton, with a new stadium close to their original home of 80 years. This plan formed the basis to create a new purpose-built stadium on the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium site, located approximately 200 yards from the original Plough Lane. In 2013 the club announced that discussions were underway with Merton Council over a joint bid for the greyhound stadium and the surrounding land, in cooperation with developer Galliard Homes. The plans included a new football stadium, 600 residential homes and a range of community facilities.

The plans were approved unanimously by Merton Council in December 2015, with work commencing the following March. The opening of the stadium was delayed from the initial plan of summer 2019, until the 3rd November 2020, with a 2-2 draw against Doncaster Rovers, with Joe Pigott having the honour of scoring the first stadium goal for The Dons.

The Cherry Red Records Stadium

Plough Lane


SW17 0NR

Capacity 9,215

Current Premier/EFL Grounds visited 91/92

The stadium has three single tier stands all the same size, apart from the 4,267 capacity Cappagh Stand on the west side, which has two added tiers with executive boxes.  The seats have a mix of blue and yellow, with the 2,391 capacity East Stand having the club nickname written prominently with 3-D effect, The South London Manor Stand is a safe standing terrace which holds 1,092 and backs onto the aforementioned residential flats. The North Stand at the opposite goal is set aside for the away supporters and holds 1,465.

AFC Wimbledon(14th) 0

Wigan Athletic(4th) 2(Kalambayi OG 50 McClean 54)

League One Matchday 14v13


Admission £20 

Coffee £1.90 (snails-pace service)

Wigan clinched victory with a two goal burst early in the second half. They went ahead when a cross shot from Callum Lang deflected in off Paul Kalambayi, then just after having an effort cleared off the line, McClean curled a clean strike low to the ‘keeper’s right from the edge of the box, to set up a fifth straight away win for the Latics.



306 miles door-to-door

0630 LNR train Newcastle to London Kings Cross arr.0938

My day started with a journey down to New Malden for the Wimbledon Academy fixture at King's College. I tubed it down to Vauxhall and caught my overground connection to Berrylands, plus the 10 minute walk saw me arrive at the ground in good time, however the match kicked off half an hour earlier, so I watched the early stages through the perimeter fence as I walked around to the entrance.

801.King’s College London New Malden Sports Ground

AFC Wimbledon U-18 3-2 Luton Town U-18

Youth Alliance - South East Division

Table toppers Wimbledon maintained their 100% record in an entertaining encounter with Luton Town. After the hosts took an early lead, Luton responded well and equalised from the penalty spot in the 37th minute. On the stroke of half time the young Dons regained the lead when a cross from the byline was met at the far post by #67. Following a missed penalty the hosts went 3-1 up when a curling shot from #58 found the roof of the net. The young Hatters reduced the arrears when #17 fired home in the 64th minute, but Wimbledon were never in danger of dropping points.  (awaiting confirmation of goalscorers)

King's College London New Malden Sports Ground

Windsor Avenue

New Malden


The ground has the cricket pavilion building at the entrance, which looks onto two parallel football pitches. The U-18 ground is the furthest away from the building, with a pair of team dugouts. The U-16 side accessed the other pitch and were also in action this morning against Luton Town. 

AFCWU-18(1st) 3( #7 5 #67 45+2 #58 59)

LTFCU-18(3rd) 2( #11 37pen #17 64)

YA SE Division matchday 7v8

10.30am ko


...#Heedhopper continued

Following the Academy game I caught the train to Wimbledon and spent a relaxing hour in The Wibbas Down Inn. I had plenty of time for some bait and also ticked off 5 of the beers in the JDW Real Ale Festival. Last Sunday I tried in vain to buy a ticket for the Wigan game, then after a day of panic I struck luck when contacting Terry the Badge, who fortunately had a spare season ticket this week, as his mate's daughter wasn't going. I met up with Terry at 2.30 to collect the ticket and purchased some of his impressive stock of pin badges before entering the stadium. 

After the game I walked along to Tooting Broadway for the Northern Line tube back to King's Cross, but not before a quick "Spoons tick in the JJ Moon across the road. I rounded off my day in London with a few ales in the Barrel Vault , where I chatted with some of the Toon Army coming back from Crystal Palace and chewed the fat over another match without a win.

1900 LNER train home - back in the Toon at 10.