Greenock Morton

Scottish Championship
Greenock Morton 1 Hibernian 1 

Gate £18
Atten 2156 
(looked at least 3500)
Pies £1.50
Coffee £1

What a fantastic ground Cappielow Park is , and it just oozed charm. The main stand covers the full length of the pitch. On the opposite side is a massive covered terrace which takes you back to the good old days of watching football. Both ends behind the goals are open standing and very spacious. The pitch was in fantastic condition.
Catering was of a high standard and the prices were both value & sensible. The whole feel around the ground was relaxed and enjoyable. The only downside was due to darkness i was unable to enjoy the views from the ground.

The match was an enjoyable one and it always kept the attention. Morton played very well and finally scored with ten minutes remaining. But Hibs equalised minutes later with an excellent free kick. FT 1-1 not an unfair result by any means. Very easy leaving the ground with no issues before starting the long journey home ...
Fantastic day out where i was able to visit two iconic Scottish football grounds and both of which will live long in the memory.

Ardrossan Winton Rovers

Ayrshire District League
Ardrossan Winton Rovers 3 
Saltcoats Victoria 0
Gate £5
Atten 100ish

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Ardrossan has a population of around 11,000 and has close roots with neighbouring Saltcoats and Stevenston. The town’s roots date back to the 12th century and the construction of its castle; the town grew in the 18th and 19th centuries due to its coastal situation based around exports of coal and pig iron to Europe and North America. Ardrossan later became a centre for shipbuilding of fishing vessels and small cargo boats.The town also became known for the ferry services to Brodick on the Isle of Arran which commenced in 1834 and which continue to this day; later to Belfast and the Isle of Man which started in the late 19th century and which have now ceased. These days Ardrossan is part of a regeneration area, overseen by the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company and there were plenty of positive signs to be seen as I wandered around the town before the game. The seafront area is well maintained, the beach was clean and many locals and tourists were taking the opportunity to make the most of low tide while the developed Marina area had signs of great potential.

Winton Park has been the home of Winton Rovers for most of their existence and was bought from Lord Eglinton in 1923 for £160. Today the whole place looked majestic in the winter sunshine. The pitch looked fantastic and the main stand looked over everything like a headmaster in school assembly. The welcome given by the club's officials was a genuinely warm one. They felt proud that someone has traveled long distance and taking interest in 'their' club. I was immediately offered a private tour of the ground which included sampling the award winning pies.

In this league there is no messing about both teams coming out together and shaking hands. They came out individually at 1.44pm and within under a minute the game was underway. The game itself in the first half was not the greatest with league leaders Ardrossan looking a bit sluggish according to the locals. The vernacular used by the locals clearly displayed their frustration. But the game heated up big style after half time as Ardrossan finally made the breakthrough after having a player sent off for hacking down a Saltcoats player who seconds before had chopped him in half. Ardrossan went on to score a second , have another player sent off and even manage a third goal after a 'keystone cops' moment in the Saltcoats defence. In the end the 3-0 scoreline made it look like a comfortable victory. But in reality it was far from that.

I loved Winton Street and the warmth given by the locals , even if i didn't understand what they were saying due to their strong accents.


Baslow FC

QF Derbyshire Cup 
Baslow 3 Cote Heath 2
  atten 10


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Within a 4 iron (down wind) of the beautiful Chatsworth House lies the lovely Derbyshire village of Baslow. Not far from Bakewell.
Baslow Sports Club is situated on the busy main road through the village. Within the complex lies a tennis club , cricket club, a caged 5-a-side,two football pitches and an impressive club pavillion with a bar/lounge. The setting is peaceful with lovely views as far as the eye can see. 

Despite the recent vandalism the pitch looked in superb nick which helped both teams produce a cracking end to end cup tie, only settled by a late penalty.
Both teams gave as good as they got and the game could of swung either way. The final of this cup competition is held a Matlock Town's Causeway Lane ground and is one of the more prestige cup competitions within the Hope Valley.

Once again the Hope Valley League has produced excellent entertainment and plenty of goals. The five matches i have seen so far have produced 30 goals. 

Stoney Middleton

Hope Valley League - Division 'B'
Stoney Middleton 2 Buxworth 1
atten 11

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Atherton Collieries

FA Vase 1st Round
Atherton Collieries 5
Jarrow Roofing 0
atten 147

A Vase fixture , visiting one of my favourite clubs in North West, and a fixture between two teams from different leagues, today's choice of fixture was really a no brainer.
Alder Street is a typical gritty northern venue and is always a pleasure to visit.

Colls were very impressive today and they gave Jarrow a real good spanking. Was expecting a stronger following from the North East but only around 10-15 fans made the effort. The fifth Colls goal was a 'Goal of the Season' 25 yard rocket volley into the top corner . It was his first ever goal for Colls and he ran fifty yards to celebrate with the Colls bench.

The Colls Management are really a classy bunch . The way they set the team up today was most impressive and the performance the team produced was outstanding.
I have a feeling they will be going very deep in the Vase this season along with securing promotion to the Northern Premier League. They deserve all the success that comes their way.

It was another fantastic visit to the Colls , the bar was buzzing after what was a comprehensive mauling of a good team. The best all round team performance i have seen this season by far. 

 It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Frickley Athletic

Northern Premier League
Frickley 4 Buxton 4
atten 374

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Good to see a busy Westfield Lane today supporting 'Academy Day' and watching League leaders Buxton roll into town.

The game was a cracker with a 95th minute equaliser for Buxton securing a point. The last gasp equaliser came at the fifth attempt after a 'pinball machine'/keystone cops style moment in the Frickley six yard box.
Thought the ref made too many mistakes today and how he found six extra minutes only he knows. Frickley went goal crazy in the first half and were already two goals up in no time. From then on the game became an end to end cracker. The Frickley gaffer Lee Norris played himself due to needs must. He even scored just before half-time but was too knackered to celebrate.

Another eventful matchday up Westfield Lane all in front of the highest crowd of the season. Brilliant entertainment.


FA Trophy
Clitheroe 0
Stocksbridge PS 5
atten 270

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Revisit to Shawbridge. The ground has been spruced up a bit since my last visit five years ago.It looked very good in the sunshine.
Pre-match was the obligatory visit to Clitheroe Castle for a bird's eye view of the ground followed by brunch in one of the many cafes in town.

Steels put in a strong performance and controlled the game throughout with some well worked goals which included two one-on-ones, a worldy half volley, a superb free kick and a penalty. Clitheroe seemed void of any ideas and seemed more interested in the fancy flicks and step overs. Steels however kept things simple with the forward-back-forward pass routines which turned the Clitheroe defence at ease.

Shawbridge is a cracking non league ground full of nooks and crannies. Excellent bar/lounge and catering facilities. The locals are a friendly bunch and always make the casual visitor feel welcome. It ranks very highly in my all time favourite non league grounds for it is that good.

Edale FC

Hope Valley League
Edale 8
Stoney Middleton 4
Atten 6 

An astonishing day in the Hope Valley that will live long in the memory for a variety of reasons

The journey over to Edale was a nightmare in every respect. We endured substancial delays at every moment. Getting held up behind a Bride in a vintage car just west of Barnsley , then temporary roadworks hold up at Silkstone , Penistone and Millhouse Green. Then getting stuck behind a horse box , then large lorry on the Woodhead Pass. Missed the turning for Glossop , Then enduring delays behind a learner driver through Glossop. Then at Hayfield near Kinder Scout getting caught up with Mountain Rescue , blue lights flashing every where.

Upon finally arriving in Edale we could not find the football pitch and in the end ran out of petrol. Thankfully a kind resident of the village went home to grab a can of petrol they had saved for such emergencies. The nearest garage was five miles away in Hope. God bless those lovely people !

Edale FC play in the Village playing fields adjacent to a play park. Players change in the portacabin.The ground has no furniture of sorts but has spectacular views to Kinder Scout which more than make up for the lack of facilities. The pitch was long and bumpy all over. The touchlines were hardly white and were more like deep grooves. 


The match itself was non stop entertainment including some fantastic goals including a 25 yard screamer in to the top corner, an up-and-under from level with the corner flag. A 20 yard free kick curler into the top corner , a clever chip over the goalie , and plenty more.

Stoney Middleton actually went 2-1 up midway through the first half and looked in control and had plenty of chances to go further ahead. But Edale equalised before half time. HT 2-2.
After a four minute break off they went again and suddenly Edale went beserk scoring 4 goals in no time to make it 6-2. Stoney grabbed one back to make it 6-3 , but then Edale scored 2 more quick goals to make it 8-3 and there were still 15 minutes left to play.
Then a Stoney player was at least ten yards offside …. yes I did say ten yards ! and the ref played on for them to score and make it 8-4.

Moment later the ref blew the final whistle to end a most breathtaking afternoons entertainment. For the many near misses , excellent saves this game could of ended 11-8 very easily. The Stoney Middleton players were still shaking their heads as they returned to the changing rooms whilst the Edale players were taking the nets down. Then quite bizarrely within minutes the whole place was empty as if nothing had happened …

The journey back to base was thankfully a straight forward one and we could even see the early leavers at Hillsborough. But not before stopping off in Hope Village for some home made Bakewell Tart.

The more I visit the Hope Valley League the more I enjoy it and the more I want to visit. You are assured of goals , players who try their best for the love of the game and some stunning scenery so whats not to like ?