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 400 different football grounds in the A-Z Matchday Index

site updated on post date

✔638. Westleigh Park

Havant & Waterlooville 0-1 Gateshead
National League 
Saturday 13th October 2018
 Havant is a town in the south east corner of Hampshire, situated in between Chichester and Portsmouth. The Borough of Havant covers the semi-urban area between Portsmouth and West Sussex, which includes Waterlooville, Bedhampton, Cowplain, Emsworth, Hayling Island, Purbrook and Widley.(population: 125,000)

The market town is distinguished by its fine Georgian buildings and narrow weaving footpaths called ‘Twittens’. Most of the town centre is a conservation area, which developed from a junction of ancient thoroughfares dating from Roman times.
The population doubled after World War II as agricultural land was replaced with housing following the bombing of Portsmouth and the Blitz.
 Havant & Waterlooville Football Club formed in 1998 following a merger between Havant Town (founded 1883) and Waterlooville (1905) 
They took residence at Havant Town’s Westleigh Park ground and their place in the Southern League Southern Division, becoming league champions in 1998-99.
Southern League Premier Division 1999-2004
Conference South 2004-2016
Isthmian League 2016-17 - Champions
National League South 2017-18 - Champions

The Hawks hit the headlines in 2007-08 with a fabulous run in the FA Cup. After battling through the qualifying rounds, they knocked out York City and Notts County, before beating League One Swansea City 4-2 in a 3rd round replay. This set up a fourth round clash with Liverpool at Anfield, where they twice gave the reds a fright by taking the lead, before eventually losing 5-2 in a gallant effort. 
 Westleigh Ground
Martin Rd,

Capacity 5,250
Current National League grounds 23/24

The Main Stand has a single tier of 560 blue seats with HWFC picked out in yellow. The team changing rooms are behind it with the players tunnel to the side and the dugouts across the pitch. The rest of the ground is covered terracing apart from in one open corner. There are refreshment kiosks in three corners with the club shop in the other at the away fans entrance. Overall it’s a very tidy and cosy looking ground.
Havant & Waterlooville(21st) v Gateshead(8th)
National League matchday 16
3pm ko
Att.1,250 (38 away)

A tight encounter was settled in the 56th minute, when a Scott Barrow corner kick was met by Steve Rigg at the back stick, to head home from six yards.
The match was pretty even up until that point, with both defences holding firm as chances were limited. As the game progressed the Hawks pushed hard for an equaliser, but the Heed back line coped with the late threat to make it four wins on the bounce.

Matchday Stats & Spondoolicks
GFC 1(Rigg 56)
Entertainment 5/10
Admission £16
Programme £2
Pin badge £3
Coffee £1.50
336 miles door-to-door
0140 Megabus: Newcastle - London Victoria
1100 South-Western train: Waterloo - Havant

My two priority trips from the naughty north to the sexy south this season, were the Heed playing at Havant, and the Seahawks playing Raiders at Wembley(for that other game called football) The fixture gods worked in my favour as both matches took place over the same weekend, so it was just the one return trip needed with an overnight stay.

After ticking off another three London JDW’s on Saturday morning, I arrived in Hampshire at 1220 where I was met with glorious sunshine and a roasting 20 degrees. I took a leisurely stroll around town, stopping off for refreshments in The Parchment Makers, Robin Hood, Olde House At Home and the Wheelwright’s Arms before walking up to Westleigh Park.
After the game I took the train down to Fratton for a few drinks before booking into my overnight digs. I had a busy Saturday night on the lash in Southsea and Portsmouth which took my pub total for the day to a quite impressive nineteen.

I headed up to London on Sunday morning, where I met up with Mark Wilkins for more of the same, pub ticks and a match, when for the second day running I saw my team win the game.
A fantastic weekend when all my plans came together perfectly. I left London on the 2345 Megabus which got back into Newcastle at 07.15 on Monday. I was totally “cattle-trucked” this morning and it’ll probably be knackered all week, but its been well worth it for a mega weekend like this.  

Photos from Wembley and the pubs I visited this weekend will appear on my sister blog - The Completist.

✔637.Silver Street

Irlam 2-3 Radcliffe
Manchester Senior Cup 1st Round
Wednesday 9th October 2018
Irlam is a town in the City of Salford in Greater Manchester, which lies on the River Irwell (Population almost 20,000) It was known as Irwellham in the 13th century, originally a small village in a large peat bog in the remote area of Chat Moss.

The completion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway during the 19th century, saw the Irwell river adjusted to unite with the Manchester Ship Canal, stimulating the growth of Irlam as an inland port. Irlam Urban District was established in 1894, the same year as the Manc Ship Canal opened and was governed by its own district council until its abolition in 1974.
Irlam FC originally formed as a works team in 1969, as Mitchell Shackleton Football Club by workers at the Mitchell, Shackleton and Company engineering firm in Patricroft. The following year they joined the Eccles & District Amateur Football League before moving to the Manchester Amateur League in 1972. In 2001 they changed their name to Irlam Mitchell Shackleton, before becoming plain Irlam FC in 2006.
Division Two champions 1974–75
Division Three champions 1973–74
Manchester League:
Premier Division champions 2002–03
North West Counties League 2008-present
Promoted to NWCL Premier after finishing Division One runners-up 20015-16.
Silver Street
M44 6HR

Current NWCL grounds 18/60
Record Attendance: 950 v Manchester United Youth, August 2003

The club were originally based at the Oddfellows Arms in Patricroft, before moving to St Michaels Community Centre in Peel Green in 1973. After moving to Salteye Park, the land was earmarked for the new stadium for the Salford Reds Rugby League club in 2002. As a result the Shack moved to Silver Street, which had been the former home of Irlam Town, who had folded in 1995.

The ground entrance is behind the goal, where everything is based in one corner next to the clubhouse. There’s a covered terrace behind the goal, with the main stand running up towards the dugouts. The stand has four rows of flip seats with partial standing room at one end. The refreshment bar is in between, with a few picnic tables and chairs. The rest of the ground is open with hard standing.

Irlam v Radcliffe
Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup 1st Round
7.45pm ko

An injury time penalty booked Radcliffe’s place in the second round of the Manchester Premier Cup. Shelton Payne slotted home from the spot to give them an early lead, and they looked well in control until the match turned on its head at the beginning of the second half. Sam Bolton danced his way through the defence to fire in an equaliser in the 47th minute, then moments later Connor Martin knocked in a pen to make it 2-1 to Irlam.  A fierce left foot drive from Payne made it all square with fifteen minutes remaining, then just as we were heading towards a penalty shoot out, Payne grabbed his hat-trick, converting the third spot-kick of the night.

Matchday Stats & Spondoolicks
IFC 2(Bolton 57 Martin 50pen)
RFC 3(Payne 3,75,90+3)
Entertainment 7/10
Admission £5
Programme £2
Pin badge £3
Coffee £1
145 miles door to door.

I headed off to Irlam with Katie & Lee for a midweek fixture in February 2016, before a superb change of plan on route, saw us witness a Twelve-niller at Ollerton Town instead. This time we stuck to our guns, setting off from Katie’s at 2pm to finally reach the outskirts of Manchester over three hours later, following a diversion off the A1 and the busy rush hour traffic on the M60 ring road. We still had plenty of time to knock off a couple of ’Spoons, namely the Eccles Cross (where I also ticked off a GBG next door at the Lamb ) and The Castle In The Air at Trafford Park. We arrived at Silver Street at half seven, noticing how dark it was outside the ground entrance, so we couldn’t took an quality pictures of the ground.  Yet another diversion on the way home meant I was back at 100FgC HQ at 0045 hours after a pleasant evening in Greater Manchester.

✔636 Greenfield Park

Shettleston 0-1 Dundee North End
Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round
Saturday 29th September 2019

 Shettleston was originally a small village on the outer edge of Glasgow, but is now a city district incorporates the sub-districts of Greenfield and Sandyhill. It lies in between the neighbouring regions of Parkhead and Baillieston, four miles east of Glasgow city centre.

Famous people from Shettleston include journalist, novelist, playwright and broadcaster Cliff Hanley, who wrote the lyrics to the Scottish anthem Scotland The Brave. Football commentator and author Archie Macpherson was born and raised in the area, with his father playing centre forward for Shettleston, as well wearing the number nine shirt at Dalry Thistle and Largs Thistle.

Shettleston Football and Athletic Club was founded in 1903, beginning life in the Glasgow Junior League and are currently plying their trade in the SJFA West Region League One.  The Town reached the final of the Scottish Junior Cup in 1959, losing 2–1 to Irvine Meadow in front of a 65,211 Hampden Park crowd and reached the semi final stage in 2000-01.
Glasgow League winners: 1923–24, 1926–27
Central League A Division winners: 1976–77
Central Division One winners: 1985–86, 1998–99, 2001–02

Shettleston have enjoyed plenty of cup success, winning the Glasgow Junior Cup four times, the Central League Cup on three occasions and the West of Scotland Cup in 1973, ‘93 and ‘95.
The club’s best-known former player is Tommy Docherty, who went on to play for Celtic, Preston North End, Arsenal and won international caps, before commencing on a career in management, boasting he had "more clubs than Jack Nicklaus"
 Greenfield Park
401 Old Shettleston Road,
G32 7JN
Scottish grounds visited 100
SJFA grounds visited 41
The club moved to Greenfield Park from their original home at Well Park in 1933, which had been sold off for housing. The turnstile entrance is behind the goal, where there's a fully covered enclosure with wooden benches bolted onto the terraces, with a wee separate section of eleven flip seats. The main side has the changing rooms, tea bar and terracing, including the old peaked roof enclosure at the bottom. Its open behind the far goal which runs around to the other side, which is now out of bounds apart from a scaffold camera stanchion. The large impressive social club is outside, opposite the turnstile entrance.
 Shettleston v Dundee North End
Macron Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round
2.30pm ko
The Toon were punished for an early penalty miss, as the visitors booked there place in round three with a late goal. The match was a bit of a scrappy affair, with an array of clumsy fouls and quite a few yellow cards banished. North End were the much better side in the second half and grabbed the winner ten minutes from time, when the ball broke to Ryan Smith in the box, who turned and fired his team into the next round.
Matchday stats & Spondoolicks
DNEFC 1(Smith 81)
Entertainment 5/10
Admission £6
Coffee £1
Another road trip in the pleasant company of Katie & Lee along with Facebook addict John McClure. The gang picked me up at 10am with Katie taking the A69/M74 route to the outskirts of Glasgow. On route we stopped off for the requisite JDW, calling at The John Fairweather in Cambuslang (a revisit for me but a tick for my fellow travellers). Apart from the busy traffic just outside Shettleston, the journey went smoothly both ways, so I was back home at half seven. After being a big part of my life for two years, it was good to watch a Scottish Junior Cup tie again at a ground full of character - a good'un for my 100th in Scotland.

✔635.Arbories Memorial Sports Ground

Padiham 4-0 Litherland REMYCA
North West Counties FL - Premier Division
Saturday 22nd September 2018
 Padiham was originally a rural village lying by the River Calder, surrounded by attractive countryside on an arc running across the foothills of Pendle Hill.The civil parish is part of the Borough of Burnley, found three miles west of the town. (population over 10,000)
The first recorded mention of the town, as ‘Padyngham’ dates from 1294 and for hundreds of years it was a market town, dealing in produce from Pendleside. The town expanded and was substantially redeveloped during the Industrial Revolution, and is now a picturesque conservation area on the edge of the Ribble Valley. 

 Padiham FC are one of the oldest clubs in Lancashire, formed in 1878. The Caldersiders were well supported, attracting a crowd of 9,000 for a derby match against Burnley in 1884. Following the legalisation of professional football, the club were unable to compete with their Lancashire neighbours and folded in 1916. The club lost their ground on the banks of the River Calder during World War I, and it lay dormant until after the end of the Second World War

The opening of the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground in 1949, saw the club revived with a crowd of 1,777 turned up to see their opening fixture of the season, when they returned to the Lancashire Combination League.
Lancashire Combination 1949-1982
North West Counties League 1982-1990,
2000-2013 Premier Division - champions 2012-13
West Lancashire League 1990-2000 - Division One champions 1999–2000
Northern Premier League Division One North 2013-2015
Ruby Civil Arena
Arbories Memorial Sports Ground
Well Street,
Padiham, Lancashire
BB12 8LE
Capacity 1,688
Current NWCL League grounds visited 17/60
The turnstile entrance is behind the goal, where there is a covered terrace and a diminutive covered section. The clubhouse, changing rooms, refreshment bar and the 160 capacity main stand run down one side, with another covered stand at the bottom. On the opposite side is a covered section between the corner flag and the dugouts, with the rest of that side and the goal at the bottom of the slope open.  
 Padiham(8th) v Litherland REMYCA(15th)
NWCL Premier Division matchday 9/6
3pm ko
A brace on the stroke of half time by Michael Fowler handed The Storks a comfortable victory over Litherland. They took the lead in the 24th minute when a through ball was lifted into the path of Jack Tinning who fired in from close range. Padiham caught the visitors defence napping twice just before the break when long balls over the top were confidently finished off by Fowler.
The hosts had plenty of chances to increase the lead in the second half, with Fowler missing out on a hat-trick, but they did grab a fourth, when Chris Turner cut inside from the left flank and rifled in from 20 yards.  

Matchday Stats & Spondoolicks
PFC 4(Tinning 24 Fowler 45,45+1 Turner 57)
Admission £4
Programme £2
Pin badge £3
The Smidrophenia Ale Trail moved onto Skipton in North Yorkshire, with my original plan being a match at nearby Steeton (Reserves at old ground). That match was postponed on Thursday so after looking for a Plan B, found that Padiham were the closest club to Skipton playing at home, so they had the honour of my presence!
We arrived in Skipton at 1pm and after a ‘Spoons lunch I left the breadknife in town and headed over the border into Lancashire for the 25 mile drive to Padiham.
I enjoyed my visit to to the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground, but not as much as our night out, where we supped in another twelve pubs, which took our total for this cracking week to 43 different beer bars.