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

✔579 Victory Park

Barnoldswick Town 2-1 Dunston UTS
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 19th August 2017

Barnoldswick and the surrounding areas of West Craven were part of the West Riding of Yorkshire between 876 and 1974. After the reorganisation of local government, the West Riding County Council and Barnoldswick Urban District Council were both abolished, becoming the Borough of Pendle and part of Lancashire. (I bet this went down a treat with the proud men of Yorkshire)
Locally known as “Barlick” it’s found on the lower slopes of Weets Hill in the Pennines, between the Ribble and Aire valleys, just outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Barnoldswick  dates back to Anglo Saxon times, listed as’ Bernulfesuuic’ in the Domesday Book. (population around 11,000)

There was an original Barnoldswick Town, which played in the Lancashire Combination and Yorkshire League in the 1920’s and thirties, however the current club was established in 1972 as Barnoldswick United(1972).
They changed their name in 2003 by adding the “Town” suffix after a merger with Barnoldswick Park Rovers and Salterforth Juniors.
Played in Craven & District League and the East Lancashire League
West Lancashire League 1997-2009:
Division 2 runners-up 1997-98
Division 1 (2nd tier) Champions 1998-99
North West Counties League 2009-present:
Division One Runners Up 2009-10
Silentnight Stadium
Victory Park
West Close Road
BB18 5LJ
Record Attendance: 554 v FC United of Manchester - July 2005
NWCL Grounds 11/45
There’s a covered brick enclosure at one side behind the team dugouts, with the club name embossed on the facade.  The seats are behind the goal, attached to the changing room block known as the “ Sewer End, with a diminutive stand in the corner next to the clubhouse. The cricket ground side and the far goal are both open standing.

Barnoldswick Town v Dunston UTS
FA Cup Preliminary Round
KO 3pm
A late strike by Danny Boyle booked Barlick a place in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. The hosts were the better side in the first half, with a Joel Melin effort hitting the post, before an onslaught on the Dunston defence saw Aaron Hollindrake fire home on 38 minutes.
A much improved performance from Dunston after the break, saw them gifted a goal in the 50th minute. A simple back pass to Connor King saw the Barnoldswick ‘keeper kick fresh air, which allowed Scott Heslop a simple tap in from close range.  
I fancied there would be a decisive goal, as I couldn’t see the match going to a replay.  That winning strike arrived five minutes from time when a long through ball found Boyle who beat the advancing ‘keeper to the ball, before tucking into the unguarded net. The teams will play each other for the fourth time in the space of a year, when they meet again at the Silentnight Stadium next month in the FA Vase.
Matchday Stats
BTFC 2 (Hollindrake 38 Boyle 85)
DUTSFC 1 (Heslop 50)
Top Bloke - Joel Melia (Barnoldswick Town)
Entertainment 7/10
Admission £5
Programme £1
Pin badge £3
Mug of coffee 80p
Pastie £1.30
Mug of tea 80p
101 miles door-to-door
I don’t usually like driving too far after a Saturday morning shift at work, limited myself to a 2 hour journey. The trip to Barnoldswick was exactly 120 minutes door-to-door, so it was worth the effort to watch Dunston at a ground I hadn’t been to, with the added ingredient of an FA Cup tie. Although I was disappointed to see Dunston crash out of the cup at this early stage, full marks to Barlick, who were great hosts and I wish them well in the next round. Also much thanks to the lad on the turnstile who let me go back to my car to recharge my phone, otherwise this blog post would’ve had no corresponding pictures. (I was the postman)

✔578 Castle View Enterprise Academy

Hebburn Town Res. 2-1 Darlington Res.
Total Sport Alan Hood Charity Cup - 1st Round
Saturday 12th August 2017

Hebburn Town Reserves were the only new club elected to the Wearside League this season. The reserve team will play midweek fixtures under the lights at the Hebburn Sports Ground, with their Saturday fixtures at the Castle View Enterprise Academy in Sunderland. The ground is in the Castletown area of the town, not far from the A19, just off Wessington Way. The Academy has two grass pitches and two 3G enclosures, with Hebburn using the pitch at the back of the main building.

This Alan Hood Charity Cup tie was a battle of the two reserves teams in the Wearside League, with Hebburn facing Darlington in the First Round. The home side took an early lead when James Talbot robbed the ‘keeper and finished well, before Ewan Simpson headed home a right wing free kick on 28 minutes. Darlington halved the deficit on the hour when Lewis Walton tapped in a Tom Young cross, but they couldn’t muster an equaliser to take the tie to penalties. This 2-1 win for Hebburn Town Reserves sets up an away tie at Leam Lane Rangers in the second round.

Matchday Stats
HTRes 2 (Talbot 11 Simpson 28)
DRes 1 (Walton 61)
Admission £2

✔577 Recreation Ground

Alloa Athletic 1-1 Raith Rovers
Scottish League One
Saturday 5th August 2017

Alloa is a small town in Clackmannanshire on the north bank of the Firth of Forth, close to the foot of the Ochil Hills. (Population:about 19,000)

The town rapidly developed during the early industrial revolution, following the development of the harbour. Alloa specialised in shipbuilding, wool, glassware, malt distilling and brewing beer. The town’s main attraction is Alloa Tower, which is Scotland’s largest and oldest keep,  built on land acquired by the Erskine family before passing into the hands of the Earls of Mar.

Alloa Athletic Football Club formed as Clackmannan County in 1878. The club changed its name to Alloa the following year, before becoming Alloa Athletic in 1883. Although the club were admitted to the Scottish FA upon formation, ‘The Wasps’ weren’t elected to the Scottish Football League until 1921.
Scottish League:
2nd tier - Winners 1921–22 Runners-up 1938–39
3rd tier Runners-up (9 times) 1976–77, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1988–89, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2009–10, 2012–13, 2016–17
4th tier Winners 1997–98, 2011–12
Scottish Challenge Cup Winners 1999 Runners-up 2001, 2015.

Recreation Ground
Clackmannan Road

Alloa, FK10 1RY
‘Scottish 42’ - 35/42
Scottish grounds visit total 91
Capacity 3,100
Record Attendance - 15,467 v Celtic (Scottish Cup 1954-55)
The club have played at Recreation Park since 1895. The ground had a wooden main stand built during the 1920s, followed by terracing and cover around 1950, with floodlights installed in 1979.
The Main Stand was opened in 1991, which has just over 400 seats, raised above the team dugouts, players tunnel and a small standing section. The club shop and the home turnstiles are also on this side, with a small seated stand on the opposite side. The rest of the ground has open terracing, with a section of cover at the Clackmannan Road End. The stadium is currently known as the Indodrill Stadium and the ground gives splendid views of the Ochil Hills.

Alloa Athletic v Raith Rovers
Scottish League One Matchday 1

3pm ko
Weather: warm, sunny
A late strike from Lewis Vaughan rescued a well deserved point for Raith Rovers. The Wasps took the lead courtesy of a quick turn and shot from Kevin Cawley, which found the corner of the net on 16 minutes. The goal was greeted by the theme from an eighties American TV series on the PA and  'The A Team' looked set to hold on to that slender lead.
With time running out a long ball was headed into the path of Vaughan, whose first time effort found the exact same spot as the opening goal, to pinch a share of the spoils on this opening day of the season.

Matchday Stats and Spondoolicks
AAFC 1 (Cawley 16)
RRFC 1 (Vaughan 90)
Entertainment 7/10
Admission £16
Programme £2 (with free team sheet)
Pin badge £5 (aye! … a fiver!)
Coffee £1
Newcastle - Edinburgh train 0738 depart 2000 return
Edinburgh to Stirling 1004 onto Alloa at 1403, returning on the 1741 and 1807.
Great day out in Stirling and Alloa. After partaking breakfast in Edinburgh, I caught the ScotRail Dunblane service and arrived in Stirling just before 11 o’clock.  I ticked off the Crossed Peel JDW, before spending a good hour browsing the gigantic stock of vinyl in Europa Music. I had a chat to the owner of the shop, who asked what part of Newcastle I was from. When I replied he told me the man next to me was from the same neck of the woods. As it turned out, the bloke was originally from the Felling, just a mile from where I live. Like I’m always saying - It's a small world!
After another pint in No.2 Baker Street, I headed to the station for the short train journey to Alloa. I had a pint with the Raith supporters in the Thistle Bar, prior to the short walk to the ground. Following the match there was time for a bevvy in the Bobbing John ‘Spoons, before the trek home, which included a swift pint with James Little in the Jinglin’ Geordie.

The new campaign has just kicked off and the majority of the matches I’ve seen so far have been in Scotland, however after this Scottish burst of grounds this will probably be my last cross border visit until the back end of the season.

Junior Kickstart

Friday 28th/Saturday 29th July 2017
After a half-hearted launch into the new season, I finally kick-started the new campaign last weekend by visiting three Junior clubs in the West Region.
The weekend racing trip with the lads was centered around a Saturday evening fixture at Hamilton Park, but since booking our hotel and transport, the Horse Racing Authority moved the flat season fixtures forward seven days. However, we still headed north and the disappointment of ticking off another racecourse, was duly compensated by three new football grounds to be had.
The three Junior clubs I picked to visit and the pre-season friendlies were...

The Gartcairn Football Academy was founded in 2007, growing from two teams at under-8 and under-10 level to a roster of 700 players and 60 coaches. The academy now covers all age groups including an adult side, which successfully gained membership of the Scottish Junior Football Association in 2015. The club are based in Airdrie in the former district known as the Monklands in North Lanarkshire, where Junior level football hadn’t been played since the 1930’s.
League Record Joined West of Scotland Central League Division Two 2015-16 (finished 5th) 2016-17 (7th) Last season they reached the quarter-finals of the Junior Cup, where they were knocked out by Linlithgow Rose.
574.MTC Park. In January 1914 the Academy officially opened their own facility at St Margaret's High School, but due to ground criteria issues the Junior team temporary played home games at Coatbridge Outdoor Sports Centre. The alterations to MTC Park meant Gartcairn Football Academy Juniors were able to play at their real home from January 2016. The ground is a standard 3G pitch, which cheekily use the 5-a-side goals with a black cover as team dugouts. There’s a container cabin at the entrance at the far side which sells refreshments.
Gartcairn faced Clydebank in their final pre-season friendly. The visitors bossed the opening stages but it was the home team which took the lead on 21 minutes when a  through ball saw Arbuckle beat the advancing keeper to tap into an unguarded net. On the half hour a collision in the box between the Cairn’s ‘keeper and a Clydebank striker saw the goalie come off worst, meaning he had to go off with which looked like a bad hand injury. As there wasn’t a registered ‘keeper on the bench he was replaced by coach Jim Lowe, who was helpless in stopping the visitors complete a convincing win.  They equalised before half time through Jordan Shelvey, before Ross Forsyth headed them into the lead soon after the restart. Alan Frizzell cut inside and produced a fabulous right foot strike on 74 minutes and they wrapped it up late on when Shelvey fired home the fourth.  

Yoker Athletic Football Club are based in Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire, found on the north bank of the River Clyde.  “The Whe Ho” formed in 1886, based at Holm Park which they share with Clydebank FC. The club currently play in the West of Scotland Super League First Division.
Scottish Junior Cup Winners: 1932–33 Runners-up: 1935–36
Central League Division 1 Runners Up 2011–12
Central League Division 2 Winners: 1988–89,  2010–11

575. Holm Park. This is another one of those Junior venues which has seen better days, but its discrepancies make it a classic ground full of character. There is terracing on three sides, with a covered enclosure one one side. The stand has a barrel shaped leaky roof, with the club name on the facade. The changing rooms are at the entrance behind the goal, with the clubhouse and club office upstairs. Another great feature is its location on the Glasgow Airport flight path, so plenty of plane spotting to be had if the match gets a bit boring. The capacity is around 3,500 and is shared with Clydebank FC.
I was also tempted to go to the Partick Thistle game for their League Cup tie with Stranraer, who made the most of their journey across to Glasgow by arranging a friendly for their U-20 side at Yoker Athletic. The young’un’s were well beating with Shaun(or is it Sean?) Wallace grabbing the first four Yoker goals. The striker out muscled the defence before lobbing the ‘keeper on eleven minutes, before grabbing his second with a neat finish ten minutes before the break. He completing his hat-trick soon after the restart with an effort from the edge of the box, and slid in to make it 4-0 with an hour gone. Before he could do more damage to the Stranraer defence he was substituted, so it was left to Beasant to tap in the fifth on 77 minutes. The last kick of the game was a 30 yard free-kick by Ryan Forester, which somehow went through the wall and the goalies legs for a late consolation for the visitors.

Ashfield Football Club are based in Possilpark in the North of Glasgow. “The Field” formed in 1886 and proudly boast they are the first Junior Club to win 100 Trophies. They play at Saracen Park, which is now known as the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium, which also hosts speedway as the home of Glasgow Tigers. The club currently play in the same division as last night’s hosts Gartcairn, in the West Central District Second Division.
Honours Scottish Junior Cup Winners: 1893–94, 1894–95, 1904–05, 1909–10 Runners-up: 1913–14, 1920–21
Glasgow Junior Football League winners: 1905–06, 1906–07, 1907–08, 1908–09, 1909–10, 1920–21
Scottish Intermediate Football League winners: 1928–29
Central Junior Football League champions: 1952–53, 1954–55
Central League C Division winners: 1968–69
Central Division 1 Runners Up: 2008–09
Central Division 2 Winners: 1990–91, 2006–07

West Super League First Division Winners: 2010–11

Cup honours include amongst others the West of Scotland Junior Cup in 1927–28, 1928–29 and the Glasgow Junior Cup eleven times
576. Saracen Park. Ashfield have played at the ground since it opened in 1937, growing from a basic park pitch into a full arena geared for the speedway. There’s a classic style main stand with an attached terraced enclosure. Opposite the stand is a section of open terracing with crash barriers, which continues around behind the goals. Admission is taking in the Tigers Bar, where they sell a selection of beer, hot drinks and snacks. The actual pitch width is only 50 yards, narrowed to accommodate the wide corners of the speedway circuit that replaced the old dog track.
 Ashfield faced Kilsyth Rangers in an entertaining game which saw the home team take a commanding three goal lead with goals from Cullen and Maxwell just before half time. On 63 minutes Giblin fired in a free-kick from the edge of the box and it seemed a case of how many goals they would rack up. Two goals in the space of three minutes from McFadden and Davidson got the Blue Loon back into the game with five minutes remaining, but in injury time a well worked corner kick routine saw Dymock fire home at the far post.

Matchday Stats
Friday night 7.00ko
Gartcairn  1(Arbuckle 21)
Clydebank 4 (Shelvey 39, 85 Forsyth 50 Frizzell 74)
Admission & programme:none
Coffee £1

Saturday 12noon ko
(actually kicked off at 11.48am)
Yoker Athletic 5 (Wallace 11,35,47,60 Beasant 77)
Stranraer u-20 1 (Forester 90)
Admission & programme: none

Saturday 2pm ko
(actually kicked off at 2.05pm)
Ashfield 4 (Cullen 40 Maxwell 42 Giblin 63 Dymock 90+1)
Kilsyth Rangers 2 (McFadden 82, Davidson 85)
Admission £3

Coffee £1

This year’s lads weekend beano saw the usual gang of Zippy, Honest Paul, Plymouth Pete, as well as obviously my good self head off on Friday morning to Glasgow. We travelled via the Carlisle train route and arrived at our hotel in the heart of the city by 3pm. We quickly dropped off our gear and headed off to a few boozers, before I left the lads to catch the 1808 to Airdrie.
My original planned Friday night game was at Dalry Thistle, before finding out the match was off from their opponents Greenock Juniors on Twitter. Thankfully there was a backup plan at Gartcairns Academy, with the ground a good twenty minute walk from the station.
On route to the ground it started to piss down, it wasn’t just a shower either, it was that heavy cold type rain, just a couple of degrees short of hailstones. I must've looked a right knacker walking into the match, looking like a drowned rat with just a pair of shorts and a thin hoody as shelter from the deluge.
Us four with special DonD guest
Afterwards I ran all the way back to the station (to warm my body up) and finally got back to the hotel, where a hot shower took the chill off. I met up with the lads again at around ten o’clock and we just stayed around the Renfield Street area, where we were joined by Steve, a mate of Peter’s from when they appeared together on the TV show Deal Or No Deal three years ago. Steve as it turns out played in the Juniors for Kilbirnie Ladeside and Rob Roy and he couldn’t believe that I had written a book on the subject. The night ended with us in a Karaoke Night Club, where there was no ale and only lager or Guinness as a supping option, so definitely out of my comfort zone, but still an enjoyable night.
Zippy and Peter joined me for the two Saturday matches, so they could take a break from the drink! We caught the train along to Yoker and on our arrival, the match had just kicked off earlier than advertised. I pre-booked a taxi for 1.40pm for the ten mile drive to Ashfield, expecting to miss the end of one game and the beginning of the next(not something I like to do) but everything worked out fine, the earlier start meant I saw all the action at both games as Ashfield kicked off late. (as if they were waiting for us)
Us four with special 'hopper guest
We were back on the ale at 4.30pm, just a few bevvies and some bait, before popping back to the hotel to get our gladrags on for our night out. We were joined by Mark Wilkins (100FgC A33) who had been to Largs Thistle. He had time for a drink in three of the pubs on our crawl, before catching the Megabus back to London. We had a cracking Saturday night, in a variety of different pubs, ending up at the Merchant City area of the city.
From leaving Newcastle on Friday morning to getting back late Sunday afternoon we had a good laugh and overall a cracking time. We went to 20 pubs altogether, half of which were new ticks for me, as well as of course three new Junior grounds for my ledger. For next year’s beano we’ve pencilled in a Nottingham weekend including a Saturday evening race meeting. I imagine we’ll have a great time again, but it won’t be as warm and welcoming as the few days when we belonged to Glasgow and Glasgow belonged to us.