Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Review of 2012-13


85 Matches I've been to this season, from little villages in Cornwall like Wendron to around Notts Senior League Grounds and Central Midlands Grounds.

Some great moments include raising a staggering £803 plus for the Cancer Unit at Kings Mill Hospital in Mansfield after being told I'm in remission for the 2nd time in July 2012.

The First ever Notts Senior League Groundhop where the attendances even shocked me and ran like clockwork.

Visiting so many lovely clubs who just made me and Hazel and of course Shawn so welcome across the country.

Meeting so many friends through Non League Football, including fellow Bloggers and of course Hoppers and club Volunteers around the grounds.

It all begin at a new ground for me on a rubber pitch in Arnold at a school, where it lashed down with rain but I saw a entertaining 3-3 draw between Southwell City FC and Wollaton FC and ended at the Notts Senior League Senior Cup Final where the impressive Bulwell FC not only beat Keyworth United FC to win the trophy, but went through the whole season with just one loss and that was narrowly to Carlton Town in the Notts FA Senior Cup.

I am always asked questions like what is the best game you have seen this season and whats the best goal you've seen etc, so I'm going to try and answer them if I can.

Most Improved Ground Visited
Since the groundhop last season, the work that has gone in to this ground is remarkable in such a small space in time. Though a lot of work had been down at Wendron United FC.

Best Game Seen
Bulwell FC 3 Magdala Amateurs 2
The visitors really gave the hosts a real match and were unlucky not to get something out of the match.

Best Goal Seen
Jack Lomax 35 yard second goal for AFC Hucknall v Sutton Town AFC.

Most Friendliest Club
Far too many to mention, so the list could go on and on.

Best Beer
cant remember having 6 pints of Strawberry Cider!

Best Food
The cheesey chips and sausages were beautiful.

Funniest Moment
Showing Kim from Sweden the view from the ground of a IKEA and told him it came as a flat pack on the Saturday Morning and it has been built just for him!

Full of information and a real good read.

Scott Ward has worked hard on this programme for his club and though not the best in the Central Midlands League, it is one of the best in the South Division.

On arrival was greeted by Sec and clubman/player Neil Pitt, was given a couple of programmes to which he had done a page about me and even found a photo of me and my grandson, still no idea where he got that from! Really went out his way after inviting me to his club the season before.

Without my wife Hazel who drives me about due to me being epliptic and in remission from Hodgkins Lymphomia, none of this would be possible. She runs the programme stall at the Groundhops and helps raise the blogs charity funds doing the raffle as well.

I know I have possibly forgot some people and clubs on here, so if I have please dont get offended.

With that, I have to go hospital to the Cancer Clinic on 1st July, where I will be handing over the cheque to them. I will of course post the photos on here.

Meanwhile I have already set up next seasons blog and chosen a small group for my charity as they are in need of help. I have also added some pre season friendlies on there as well

Please click on and have a look



Played at Arnold Town FC
Att: 252

Bulwell FC made their farewell to the Notts Senior League with a 4-0 victory over Keyworth United FC ending the season with a complete 100% record in both the League and the Cup and also doing the double that they achieved last season.

Before the game inside the clubhouse, I met hoppers Roman from Rochester and Dan Bishop from Newhall United FC, also Arnold Town's Malc Gretton.

The Bulls were out the blocks early and the Keyworth keeper was called in to action several times to keep the scores level in the first 20 minutes, they also defended well and cleared a chip off the line. Keyworth though did have chances of their own, but also found the Bulwell keeper to be in fine form.

The breakthrough came just before half time when ALAN JEFFRIES opened the scoring. During the half time break, Hazel asked members of the Notts Senior League Committee to draw the charity. The raffle made a outstanding £126 and would like to thank everyone for their support on the evening. 

Out for the second half and I stood with Bob from Sandhurst FC and had a chat about the past season, whilst on the pitch two quick goals in the 51st and 55th minute increased Bulwell FC's lead to 3-0 through JAMIE WALKER and MAREK VIPOND.

Strolled down to pitch side and joined Bulwell's sec Andy Radford and to take photos and to finish the game off on 87 minutes, Bulwell wrapped things up with a goal from RYAN PERKINS to make it 4-0.

Photos from the game can be seen HERE




Sunday, 19 May 2013

13 Goals and could well have been a lot more



Shawn wanted to go to the seaside, so I saw Easington United had a home match this weekend, so noting I;d not been to the lovely village club Easington since the groundhop some years ago, I looked at the Ibis website and booked a family room for the weekend, so we could go to Bridlington for the Sunday.

On arrival, main man Richard Lusmore was slightly worried as he was having problems with the generator, but being the superman he is, he got it repaired and the coffee pot was soon on and a friendly greeting was received by all from the hosts.

The match kicked off and I suppose I thought well 2 clubs nothing to play for, the usual end of season 1-0 perhaps..boy was I wrong..goal within 3 minutes put the hosts in front, but I had a problem, no phone signal in Easington and my tweets werent working or saving, so no idea who scored or what times..oh well it was 4-2 at half time and though I'd not seen a game with 10 goals in it all season, I thought the game may die a death in the second half. subs were made, but this just improved the game with fresh legs. Goals going in from all angles and awful misses as well, saw 13 goals scored, possibly 10 close chances and about 5 poor missus..not often you get a entertaining game like this. 

Must add as usual from Richard, a First Class programme, so if you havent ever been to Easington, get up there for a lovely welcome from these genuine people and a great programme.

Went to the pub after and had a couple including one bought by the club chairman before setting off up the coast to Withernsea and Hornsea before heading back to the hotel for a good nights kip.

Just one last match for me this season, the Notts Senior League Senior Cup Final between Bulwell FC and Keyworth United FC on Tuesday Evening 7.30pm kick off at Arnold Town FC. Hazel will be doing a charity raffle.

Photos from the game can be seen HERE

Easington United AFC Website/Twitter

Bentley Colliery FC Website

Friday, 17 May 2013


att: 99

Sutton Town AFC went in to this match needing just five points from their three remaining games and I'm sure they didnt expect such a touch game from bottom three side Nottingham United. I knew there would be a few hoppers there and as United hadnt done a programme for a while, I advised them to do some and I would help them run the gate.

Hoppers did turn out in force, travelling from Sussex to Ipswich, Sheffield to London with the programme selling out just before kick off.

The game kicked off and Sutton didnt take long to get in to their stride and took the lead through MITCHELL after just ten minutes. The crowd must have thought at this stage there was more goals to follow but Nottingham United put up a dogged performance and were hard to break down.

With just eight minutes remaining, Sutton extended their lead through CHARLESWORTH, with a few little niggles going on throughout the game and the ref at half time having to be changed, the replacement referee flagged to the ref after 84 minutes for a alleged jab off the ball, which saw the home side down to ten men. Within 2 minutes the Bulgarian Secretary was also removed when he lost his rag in the dugout area.

After the match, I went back to the club and was kindly donated £20 by Nottingham United FC towards the Blogs Charity. I must thank the Notingham United tea lady's son for a lift home.

Nottingham United FC Website/Twitter

Sutton Town AFC Website/Twitter

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Division Two
played at Ashfield School

On Tuesday evening I spoke to Steve Seers at the Notts Senior League Junior Cup Final and he told me that he was the referee for this fixture, so I put it on twitter, as this was a ground Id not been and Ashlands usually play at Kirkby's Summit Centre Ground, but with the goals having been taken down, the fixture had to be played here at Ashfield School as a one off. Now Ashland produce a programme for a Saturday match, so a ground hopper came along tonight and bagged himself a few freebie copies from previous matches.

Finding the dressing room area as Hazel dropped me off was a challenge but then walked in to 4 Calverton players who was also lost, but then I spotted joint managers of Ashland  Jez Wright & Liam Best, so knew I was at the right place.

Spoke to Steve Seers the match referee before hand and Calverton were running late due to heavy traffic and both sides asked for a 40 minute each way game to which was agreed by all.

The game kicked off in bright sunshine and it was the visitors who made a bright start within the first minute seeing a dipping shot bounce off the cross bar. I stood with local hopper Howard and we spoke about upcoming matches. The visitors then hit the crossbar again with only 10 minutes on the watch. It then began to rain and we was joined by Mr Paling the dad of one of the Ashland players..up went the umbrellas. Ashlands were then denied a penalty when the ref adjudged a foul just outside the box, it was a very close call but the free kick was wasted. Then a lovely ball across the 6 yard box only needed a touch to go in to the Calvo net but  players  missed it.

Half time came and went and the match looked like it was going to just petter out for a end of season 0-0 draw, but the visitors had other ideas when on the Hour a lo shot found the corner of the net leaving Joint Manager Liam Best unsighted and picking the ball out as it passed him.

Ashfield pushed forward but the Calvo defence held strong and was just too good for the home attackers in the end.

A good match between two good sides and a faultless performance by Steve Seers in the middle and you can see why he is the referee for the NSL's Top match, the League Senior Cup between Bulwell FC v Keyworth United FC on Tuesday Night at Arnold Town FC 7.30pm kick off.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Played at Arnold Town FC
Admission £3 with programme

Having been invited by the Notts Senior League Committee to attend the League's Junior Cup Final gave me a chance to go to Arnold Town's Eagle Valley Ground for the first time. Took over 100 photos but a lot of them there was a lot of glare on them, but still got some good pics on the night.

Hazel enjoyed a burger before the game, whilst I had a cuppa and a chat with the NSL Officials before venturing out in to the foul weather but got a nice seat under the stand around the half way line. It was awful weather for the players on the pitch, but it was Ruddington who began the brighter and they took a early lead after just 4 minutes, when Wollaton's FAWCETT put in to his own net. Ruddington went looking for a second goal but found the Wollaton keeper in fine form.

Stern words must have been spoken in the Wollaton changing room at half time, as they came out playing like a different side in the Second period and was soon back on level terms when FRAGOLA netted after 52 minutes.

10 minutes later, Wollaton turned the Final around, when FAWCETT put them in to the lead. Ruddington tried to fight back but to no avail.

Photos from the match can be seen on this LINK

Saturday, 11 May 2013




Last season Dronfield Town needed to beat Westella in the final game of the season in a winner takes all Championship match to which the visitors won, so Dronfield found themselves in a similar positon going in to todays match, wheere they needed a point to win the Championship and possible promotion to the North Counties East League in their match versus Easington United AFC.

The Derbyshire club has always welcomed me with open arms and are a very friendly club and I have fond memories of visiting them whilst in the CMFL.. I attended their first ever CMFL home match when they played Phoenix FC on a Bank Holiday Monday in front of a crowd of 111 and they learnt quick they had to produce a few more than 8 programmes. I was there to present them with the medals for finishing Runners Up in the CMFL Premier Division to gain promotion. I then took 279 groundhoppers there for the groundhop match when they beat a stubborn Thoresby CW on a day that saw the biggest rainbow I've ever seen.

Today, the rainbow and pot of gold was to be seen at Stonelow Road, when I saw them deserve to win the Championship when beating Easington United AFC 6-0.

Nerves were settled very early after only 4 minutes when the home side took a early lead through a direct free kick. On 25 minutes, they increased their lead and looked comfortable.

Half time was taken and there was a air of expectation around the ground that there was to be more goals to be added, but the visitors began brighly and could well have pulled a goal back but the home keeper was on his toes to snuff out any effort.

On 55 minutes, Dronfield extended their lead much to the delight of the three young fans behind the goal who sang all the way through the game..all credit to them. Even the away keeper joined in the fun with them by now. By 70 minutes, Dronfield turned the screw and made it 4-0 and a few of the Easington legs looked a big weary, so it was no surprise for them to conceed goals 5 and 6 after 73 and 75 minutes.

The final whistle went and Dronfield a small village had done what was only a dream some three years ago, but deservedly so.

Photos from the game can be seen on this LINK



Thursday, 9 May 2013



Played at Blidworth Welfare FC
att: approx 80

Was going to Ashland Rovers v Calverton MW AFC tonight that was being played at Ashfield School, but received a twitter from Ashlands Manager Jez Wright to say the match had been cancelled, after announcing it on twitter, I got a reply from Blidworth Welfare's secretary and friend Scott Ward to say come along to Blidworth tonight as they were hosting the CMFL Presidents Cup Final.

This competition is for the clubs in the lower Reserve Division and this season saw top v second contest the Final. 

On arrival, I met the lovely Danielle Miller-Knight and her hubby Tom and Mr Blidworth himself Chris Wain before entering the ground. After a brief chat along came match referee Graham Taylor, always a gent and a excellent referee.

Inside the ground, no one was taking a gate or trying to sell a programme, as only 1 league official was there and he was involved with Belper United FC, the League Sec Mark Senior turned up and still people walked in free of charge and I dont think people realised that Blidworth's Scotty Too Hotty had spent time and hard work putting a programme together.

Just before kick off, I was joined by friend and fellow local hopper Pete Watmough and I spent the first half with him chatting, whilst watching a good match, but no goals at half time with it getting colder.

I went up to the tea bar for a cuppa and was greeted as usual by the lovely lady who's name I dint know but really should as she is a great asset to this good club.

Back down pitchside for the second half and hoping someone would score, so we didnt have extra time and then a mix up in the Belper defence saw the attacker through and put Pelican in to the lead.

The lead didnt last very long as Belper went on the attack and within 10 minutes were back on level terms from a goal from a good build up.

Pelican began to flap a little and Belper uppped their game and 5 minutes later after a mix up between 2 defenders and the keeper, Belper took the lead.

Pelican attacked for the final 15 minutes, but it was to no avail as the Belper keeper pulled off two outstanding saves to make sure his team won the Cup.

After a drink in the club after the match, Scott Ward kindly drove me home and after refusing any petrol money and already having donated to the Blog;s charity, he asked me to donate it to the charity, so the charity has been increased by £5 more..a Big thanks to Scott for his generosity.

Monday, 6 May 2013




I have been meaning to visit Holbrook Park, the home of Holbrook St Michaels FC for some time now and with the season drawing to a conclusion, I thought I may have to wait yet another year, but with all good Bank Holiday Mondays, it always allows the odd fixture you are not expecting to sneak up and this was the time. It also meant I had completed the CMFL Grounds again, so the Babycham bottle is now open!

After taking directions on the Holbrook St Michaels website, we did find the entrance to Holbrook Hall, but the wrong entrance, but after asking a local lady she directed us straight to the ground. Shawn's eyes alight as we passed a big park for him and he was even more excited, as Hazel had packed him a picnic, well it was a bag of crisps and a apple to be fair!

I was greeted by the Saints Committee and some of the Newark Town Officials including old friend Richard Lane. The home club had some staff away and they were struggling to make drinks etc, so I popped in and said hi to the officials and they offered me a drink but they all had milk in, so just took one for Hazel, whilst Shawn saw the Ref's Jelly Babies and he wasnt going to leave their room without some. The ref gave him a handful and then he legged it to the park next door!

A few hoppers were in attendance and came chatting to me, whilst at the gate, the treasurer was busy selling a decent programme and trying to sell his team badges, when Blidworth Secretary Scott Ward arrived and on hearing that there was no one to do the teas etc offered me and him to run the half time tea bar.

Newark Town were struggling to get a side this morning but managed to get players to Holbrook, whilst Holbrook them selves looked abit short on the ground. The game kicked off in blazing sunshine and it was the visitors who were looking the more dangerous side and this proved in the 9th minute when JAY PHILLIPS slotted them ahead. The game then went through a stroll paced session with both sides creating the odd chance.

As I was heading down towards making the half time refreshments with Scott, REECE SELF scored after 43 minutes. The players headed indoors for a bit of shade, whilst after the tea bar rush we was thanked by a home committee member for taking £5 towards their costs.

The Saints began the Second Half a lot brighter, but didnt really give Attwood in the Newark goal a lot to do to be honest. On 55 minutes, CALLUM FRASER got on the end of a cross and swept the ball across the home keeper in to the net to give his side a three goal advantage.

On the hour, the referee stopped a throw in taking place and called all the players together for a drinks interval, which I felt was excellent by the referee, as the weather was certainly the opposite to January!

Just before the final whistle, CALLUM FRASER scored his second of the game and made the final score 4-0 to Newark Town.

Must say didnt notice the 3 officials, Ref David Webb(not the 80's Chelsea Player) and his assistants Wayne Porter and Paul Vallis as they all had a excellent match.

Photos from the match can be seen on this LINK



Sunday, 5 May 2013



att: 265

Two good passing sides on display today, but it was shame they didnt play that way and a lot of the game was resorted to the high ball game. All whites began the brighter and but to be fair, chances were at a minimum in a fast paced game in lovely sunshine.

On the half hour mark, AFC Mansfield were reduced to ten men when Meeham was dismissed after a second yellow card with a late tackle. The game went on onwards to half time with neigher keeper tested. Infact both sets of fans were very vocal with good banter and plenty of singing.

The second half began a lot brighter with both sides having chances, and on the hour Clifton was awarded a penalty, but Sheppard was equal to the spot kick and did well to save well.

On 85 minutes, Dean Rick in frustration kicked the ball out the ground whilst already on a yellow card and ref Tim Walker had no choice but to produce a second red card of the afternoon, leaving The Bulls with just 9 men on the pitch.

As the match was drawing towards extra time, Clifton Sub CONNER HARDY from a extra 30 minutes saved us from a extra 30 minutes when turning and firing the ball home for last seasons losing finalists to lift the Cup this time around.

Superb sportsmanship by AFC Mansfield who did a guard of honour for Clifton All Whites when they went up to collect the trophy and medals

Pics from the match can be seen on this link

Saturday, 4 May 2013



Att: 37

This afternoon I headed off to watch Hucknall Rolls Leisure v Magdala Amateurs, on route I rang NSL Secretary to confirm the game was on and he said it was. On arrival, there were no goal posts up and a different game was being playing with a stick and a ball. So on to my mobile internet to see who was at home and with time getting on, I noticed that Hucknall Town AFC were facing Sutton Town AFC. With Sutton needing a win to keep pace with League Leaders, this was something to play for on this game.

On arrival at Hucknall's ground, it seems so different when I last visited and I dont have to say about the problems at Watnall Road, all I can say is that I hope it all gets sorted for the best. A nice welcome from the Hucknall folk and a portacabin where I get a cuppa. I say hello to a few folks from Sutton.

The game kicks off and as I talk to Gary Atkins dad as we stroll round to the side of the pitch, GARY ATKINS scores with his left foot after just 8 minutes.  This set Sutton in to attack mode and they soon doubled their lead after 20 minutes when NATHAN "Reg" HOLLINGWORTH smashed home a penalty. Within 4 minutes, CRAIG MITCHELL made it 0-3. I thought I was to see my first 10 goal game of the season, but Hucknall began to put a few moves together, but with no success in front of goal. As the half time break was approaching, Sutton were awarded another penalty after a trip in the box. Up stepped Reggie again but full credit to the Hucknall keeper who saved and clung on to the ball.

Hucknall began the second half alot brighter and began to test Gavin Saxby in the Sutton net and after 55 minutes, TOM CRISP slid the ball under his body to reduce the arrears. Within 2 minutes, the three goal advantage was restored when CRAIG MITCHELL toe poked in his second goal.

Sutton upped their game but couldnt find the target until 74 minutes when the ball was played across and the Hucknall defender blasted it in to his own net when trying to clear to make it 1-5. After 79 minutes, DEAN SHORT made it 1-6 and they seemed to be running away with this game, but to the home sides credit, they didnt give up and a long shot by JACK LOMAX in the 83rd minute, left the visiting keeper watching the ball fly past him. On 88 minutes, JACK LOMAX did the same thing again from 30 yards to make it 3-6.

With Pinxton FC winning away at Blidworth today, this now means that Sutton Town AFC need 11 points from their last 5 matches to claim the South Division Championship.

Photo's from today can be seen on this link

Hucknall Town AFC Website/Twitter

Sutton Town AFC Website/Twitter




Sat at home playing with my mobile and twittering away, when I come across a message from Welbeck Welfare FC, we are playing on a Friday as we cant win on a Saturday, lets hope this brings us a change in luck. I take a look at the CMFL Mitoo website and it says they are at home to Easington United..I thought it's not 1st April is it? For a 6.30pm kick off! I tweeted old friend Slush then rang Graham Hall the chair of Welbeck to confirm it was true. A league error? No, Easington Ressies are in a Cup Final on Saturday and some of the team want to see them play and others..well Hull City need to win to gain promotion!

I arrived at Welfare Ground around 6pm and there waiting outside the lovely changing rooms/canteen block was the 3 officials and a few Welbeck players. A Groundhopper from York was also there, awaiting the line up's, but after a cuppa, Welbeck players were there but no show as yet from the Eastenders, the ref was far from happy and said the game was 6.30pm kick off, then others said on Easington's website it was showing a 6.45pm kick off, the ref was beginning to get upset by now and said it will kick off at 6.30pm as it will get dark.

Easington arrived at 6.10pm, so all credit to them, but then the ref announced it was a 6.45pm, I was then chatting to Paul, who goes to loads of local matches and he is off on holiday to China in a few hours. The teams come out on to the pitch, after the ref decides he has had enough and off they go, Easington rush down to the pitch and the game is kicked off shortly before 6.42pm. Paul and I were then joined by Pete who I jokingly call my stalker, as he seems to attend quite a few of the same games.

Looking for hat full of goals here as the hosts have conceded 152 in their 26 games and had only 3 points from the opening day of the season and the visitors had recently beaten them 8-2 in the previous fixture. 

It didnt take long for the first goal to arrive, as after just 9 minutes, LEWIS ANDREW put the Eastenders into the lead. Welbeck begin to play some good football and you think to yourself, if they could play like this against other sides, they may just have a few more points, so in the 26th minutes, it comes as no surprise when CALLUM CHARITY levels the scores.

Welbeck seem to go to sleep then as the next away attack sees TOM McLAUGHLIN restore Easington's lead. Just before half time, Welbeck could well have been back on level terms when a 30 yard shot by Gareth Mason strikes the bar with the visiting keeper beaten.

A half time cuppa and a chat to hopper CherryHopper from Sussex, who was staying at Blyth Travel Lodge before visiting Brodsworth on Saturday and we bump in to the mystery Hopper, who doesnt wish to give his name but used to live in Quinton.

We stand together for the second half and discuss non league footie from all over the country and we dont have to wait long for another Easington goal to go in, when TOM McLAUGHLIN scores in the 49th minute

The game then goes through a typicial end of season bore, before the ref has to produce a yellow card for a player from each side after 78 minutes for handbags. On 80 minutes, Easington's LEWIS ANDREWS is showed a straight red for a kick out at a Welbeck player.

This doesnt seem to help Welbeck as the Eastenders are now in complete control of the game and they finish the game off in the 85th minute, when PAUL WILKINSON makes the final score 4-1.

As we were saying our goodbyes, Cherryhopper kindly handed me a donation to the Charity's blog, so thankyou, I cant believe how generous people are

The season that Welbeck have had, a lot of clubs would have thrown the towel in, but in the club after the lads were jolly and were proud to play for their team, which deserves great credit to them.



Thursday, 2 May 2013




A mid afternoon phone call to good friend Daz Wragg to see if he was going to Blidworth enabled me to get a lift. Daz hasnt been too well and has to go in to hospital for a op in the next few weeks, so me and Hazel would like to wish him and his family well.

On arrival, we was met by Blidworth Secretary Scott Ward and bought a programme, which must be the most improved in the CMFL this season. Along came Mr Clipstone Barry Clark and then was greeted by Real United's Sec Jevon Swinscoe, a nice lad who enjoys a joke but boy this guy can talk without taking a breathe, but he really does have enthusiasm and its great to see a 18 year old like him involved in the Non League Game.

Fellow Blogger and friend Malc Storer arrived and we headed down to pitchside just before kick off and we had hardly stood still, when KEIRAN WHALIN had opened the scoring after just 57 seconds to give Real United a early lead. The game to and frowed and BRETT WATSON broke through and chipped the oncoming keeper to make it 1-1 after just 9 minutes.

Real then stepped up the pace of the game and looked the much better side and looked the more likely team to score the next goal, the big surprise was that we had to wait until the 38th minute to see it, when DALTON STEPHENS put away a penalty. The smell of the half time coffee was brewing and with thoughts of heading up the famous Blidworth 39 steps, Real increased their lead when ANTON DANIELS headed the visitors in to a 3-1 half time lead.

A nice cuppa and a chat with a few at the top of the steps, then it was to venture back down to pitchside, this half belonged to Blidworth, who fought well and did the majority of the attacking, but everything ended up in the keepers hands, apart from one breakaway where the attacker looked odds on to score but seemed to have too much time and the keeper went down to his feet and smothered the ball. With 10 minutes to go, Real's ANTON DANIEL got the ball on the left and smashed it across goal in to the top corner to make it 4-1.

This meant another goal in this game would mean that the blogs charity would reach a milestone of £600 towards the Cancer Unit at kings Mill Hospital, where I am due to hand over the cheque in July. 

With the clock ticking down and running deep in to injury time, veteran MATT MCKENZIE burst through and scored, to great cheers from me and Jevon.

After the match it was in to the clubhouse, where a quick pint and a chat with Roger Henry who has done excellent work with his club and obtaining a 15 year lease on the Inspire Stadium only this week, which has taken some hard but continued graft.

Just before leaving Blidworth's Manager Lee Cook had a chat with me and kindly donated £10 to the charity, so thankyou Lee.

Blidworth will now finish bottom of the table, which is a pity as they do play the game the right way and they have excellent facilities,so they do have the capability to build on the pitch in the future.



Tuesday, 30 April 2013




A few weeks ago I visited Glapwell FC when they played host to top of the table Dronfield Town, tonight their opponents were 2nd in the table AFC Mansfield. AFC Mansfield in their first ever season have done very well, reaching three Cup Finals, Winning two of them and facing Clifton All Whites this coming Sunday. They have a squad with many having had tasted success with clubs like Church Warsop, Blidworth Welfare, Kirkby Town and Retford United, so a lot of the players are well known in the local area.

As usual, a nice welcome from the Glapwell Committee on arrival followed by a quick pint in the clubhouse and as usual Mark got me a teamsheet.

The game kicked off but one thing of note was the Referee and his Assistants were all from Lincoln, for two clubs who are approx 6 miles apart, why not 3 offficials a bit closer, as this is the sort of thing that Clubs just arent happy about.

The first 15 minutes of the game was quite even butAFC Mansfield looked the more likely to score and in 19 minutes they did just that when DEAN RICK opened the scoring. Glapwell were then on the back foot and The Bulls could have extended their lead, but all credit to Glapwell who threw bodies in front of the ball and made it difficult for their opponents to break down.

On 39 minutes, AFC went further in front when from a Haslam corner, Rick dummied and JOE NAYLOR smashed home.

The Second Half saw a determined Glapwell and on 51 minutes, they got a reward in a goal by top scorer OLLIE TRIGG.

AFC Mansfield stepped up the pace and Glapwell began to look tired and after 77 minutes, DEAN RICK wrapped up the points for the visitors..on the Final whistle everyone was trying to get the score from the Westella v Dronfield match, but no one knew. Dronfield won 1-0 which keeps them on top by 3 points.



Saturday, 27 April 2013


Notts Senior League
Senior Division

Woke up this morning with the excitement of Saturday and thats football day for me, but today was very different, as the postman delivered the letters. A few weeks ago, a kind lady called Shelagh contacted me via facebook to ask if she could make a donation to the Blog's Charity The Cancer Unit at Kings Mill Hospital in Mansfield. Today the kind donation arrived of £40 to which any donation leaves me in shock of how kind and caring people can really be esp as i have never met this a MASSIVE THANKYOU Shelagh.

We set out aronnd lunchtime, Shawn excited with his scooter as Elms Park, the home of Ruddington Village FC has a big park, we had to pop in to Underwood Villa FC on the way and there was not as many there as last Saturday! I even asked where we were going to park the coach this week!

On arrival at Elms Park, we bumped in to Rob Crawford the Sandhurst FC and club committee man Graham who I've known for years bt can never remember his surname! As I was going for a coffee, I was met by Ruddington Village FC Manager Steve. A quick chat about Next Seasons Groundhop with him and a couple of the home committee went down well, as I would like Ruddington Village FC as a home club.

Todays Referee and friend Steve Seers was on the line last week at Magdala for the hop match, so he was very interested to know how it had all gone. On one of the lines today was a good referee himself in Craig Ford.

The match kicked off and the visitors began to have the better of the chances and really cold have taken a early lead on 17 minutes, but for brave goalkeeping by the home keeper making a triple save. The home side offered a couple headers that went over the bar.

On 35 minutes from a free kick, the ball ended up at the far edge of the area for TRISTRAM RHODES to slot Ruddington Village FC in to a lead.

After Half Time, Sandhurst FC looked the better side for 20 minutes and looked likely to score and on 65 minutes were nnfortunate not to be on level terms when a 25 yard shot hit the corner of the crossbar and post.

There are times when the saying goes, if yo dont put your chances away, you dont win games and this can be said of Ruddington Village who missed a handful of chances when they could have put the game to bed. With the game deep in to injury time and people looking at their watches, the ball  fell to ADAM BRADFORD who scooped the ball over the home keeper to level the score.

Photos from the game can be seen on this LINK

Ruddington Village Website/Twitter

Sandhurst FC Website/Twitter

Monday, 22 April 2013



Like most Groundhop weekends, I dont tend to see much of the football, as I'm directing the coach around the grounds, on getting to the grounds, checking everything is fine and usually trying to help out or running the Charity Stall with my wife Hazel.

This being the FIRST EVER NOTTS SENIOR LEAGUE GROUNDHOP no one really knew what to expect in standard of play and also the size of the crowds etc. The Advanced Ticket sales reached a healthy 156 sold, which was well over my expectations.

Friday Evening saw the FIRST Ever Groundhop match in the Notts Senior League, but Friday mornings weather didnt look too great with the rain pouring down, so how do you make the sun shine..well you spend £70 on a gazebo and when you put it up, the sun comes out!

The First game was at Roko Centre on Wilford Lane, where Hosts Magdala Amatuers played Bilborough Town. On arrival, the food table was being set up with them selling huge burgers and hot dogs. Folks began to flow through the gate starting at 4.15pm for the 6.15pm kick off.
A close encounter in front of a good crowd of 245 saw Magdala win 2-1 with both goals coming from LEE SUTTON and Bilborough replying through LIAM WEBSTER. As we were about to leave the ground. Magdala Amateurs kindly donated £30 to the Blogs Cancer Unit Charity at Kings Mill Hospital in Mansfield.

Lee West's blog at the above match:

Laurence Reade's blog at the above match:

A early start for me was to be had on Saturday Morning and on the Mansfield to Nottingham 6.15am train arriving at 7am, into the Station Street cafe for a breakfast and already there was Ian Oldfield from Buxton and John McClure from York. People begin to gather on Station Street as we waited for the coach to leave at 8.30am to head to Selston FC. 
Selston FC was all ready for our arrival and what greeted you as you entered the ground, was a massive tent, inside was lots of goodies, like our charity stall of course, Selston FC & visitors Wollaton FC's club tables selling bits and bobs and most of all, a real ale bar! I'm not sure why I didnt get to watch very much of this game, but as Notts Senior League Chair Ian Kirk said " it may have something to do with the six pints of Strawberry Cider I'd drunk".  A goal in last minute for Selston FC ensured a point for both sides with the result ending 2-2 in front of a impressive crowd of 358 . Selston FC's scorers were RiICHARD BARNES and TIM MOORE. Wollaton FC's scorers were DANE RAWSON and RiICHARD RANSHAW. Half way through the game, Selston FC Chair Mark kindly donated £25 to the blogs charity.

Lee West's blog at the above match:

Laurence Reade's blog at the above match:

It was then on to Game Three, which took us in to Division One of the Notts Senior League for the very first time and to the Bracken Park ground, the home of Underwood Villa who have nearly completed the new Changing Room building and looks really nice inside. A lot of the hoppers like this rural setting and the Balti Pies were a treat. The game itself ended in another 2-2 draw in front of another healthy crowd of 341 spectators. West Bridgford shot in to a two goal lead through JURGEN CHARLESWORTH and SAM PRINCE, but in injury time of the first half Villa hit back with two goals in 38 seconds through IAN TOWNSEND and SAM TRING.
Game Four saw us head to The Shilo, the home of Awsworth Villa who were facing Cotgrave FC. Kim, the gent from Sweden was in his element here as he felt at home, he sat on the bank and looked over the ground at his country's IKEA. I told him, it was a flat pack that morning and we had built it specially for him! The food here, you smelt as you entered the ground and already people were stuffing their faces with the home made Stew and Dumplings with a massive queue, I waited and went when the queue died down, silly mistake as they had then sold out, so I had home made Cottage Pie which was grand. I did see a bit of this game and saw a goal and a good goal it was as well. Awsworth Villa ran out 3-0 winners with two goals coming from KIERAN SAXTON and LUKE HENSON getting the other in front of a crowd of 266.  Awsworth Villa also kindly donated £30 to the charity.
Weary legs and my bald head getting burnt due to the hot sunny weather, saw us then to Digby Street for our final match of this seasons very successful Notts Senior League Groundhop, where Kimberley Miners Welfare played against Keyworth United in the 6.15pm kick off. I didnt get near the burger queue here as it was so busy, though I did push in and grab a cuppa! Kimberley were really ready to play in front of a large crowd and soon took control of this game, but wasnt to say that Keyworth didnt play their part and had many chances where they could have scored, but Kimberley had 27 shots and ended up winning comfortably 7-0 with a Hat Trick by JAKE FISHER, and goals added by DANNY CHAPLIN, LIAM BAKER, KARL BEECHAM and RED WILMOT in front of the top crowd of the weekend of 369. Again many thanks to Kimberley MW FC for the kind charity donation of £30.
At the final whistle, it was off to thank all on the coach and thank as many of the hoppers for coming along and also for all they had donated to our charity, with everyone commenting on how they will return to Notts next season, as they felt all the clubs were so organised and how well the refs and linesmen controlled the games as they were all played in the right spirit..A real good advert for the Notts Senior League and all of it's clubs. The Notts Senior League Committee and  would like to go on record and thank everyone for their kind comments throughout the weekend and thank everyone for attending and hope to see them back for future groundhops in the years to come.

I've just had a count up, with what the clubs kindly donated, the coach raffle and what kind hoppers spent on the Charity Stall, we raised £310 in total, so the total now stands at £559..A MASSIVE THANKYOU TO EVERYONE

Please take a look at other Hoppers Blogs who attended the weekend

Pete Miles

Shaun Smith



Having only found out about this match this morning after a long NSL Groundhop and rest yesterday, I thought I'd like to go to this game. Both sides having games in hand but behind League Leaders Pinxton FC.

The locals turned out with Pete Chappell, Richard Lane, and Tony Squires, big and little Mac and club reps from South Normanton, Pinxton and Clipstone FC all in attendance.

Having not been to Sutton Town AFC, I was a bit surprised to see that the teams had to get changed outside the ground and the refreshments and food were being served in the Hospitlity Room that has now been bordered in half.

The teams came out and a minutes silence took place but there was no announcement for who, but the crowd observed it.

The game kicked off and the first 10 minutes both keepers were called in to action in a competitive match. After 20 minutes, it was a free kick from 20 yards that put the Snipes in front.

Three minutes later Pelican were awarded a penalty, which the taker struck against the post.  At this stage there was action in the crowd as a Pelican supporter fell down the terrace and hit his head against the side bar and split his head open..The excitement saw the Sutton Officials look after him well and a ambulance was called and a visit up to Kings Mill was in need for..I hope the feller is ok and out of hospital tonight. Meanwhile a few meaty challenges were going on the pitch and Ref Eddie Pidduck did well to keep his cards in his pocket at this stage.

The clubs went in for Half Time and I had a nice cheeseburger with mushrooms and a cuppa before  going out to enjoy the Second Half.

Sutton upped their game and gained control in the 57th minute to go in to a two goal advantage, people began to head for the gates after 89 minutes trying to get a early venture out the packed car park, but they missed a incredible last minute, with Sutton adding three goals as Pelican's head went down. 

Sutton Town AFC Website/Twitter

Bilborough Pelican FC Website/Twitter

Wednesday, 17 April 2013



Saw this fixture and havent been to Glapwell FC's Hall Corner Ground for a while and not seen Dronfield Town play this season, so felt I must be that issue right. A lovely welcome as always by the Home Committee and their supporters. With the hello's out the way I went in to the great club shop that Glapwell have and got a few programmes for this weekends Notts Senior League Groundhop for the charity stall(though any programmes current season left over will going to Clevedon Town's clubshop). I then ventured in to the clubhouse and had a pint whilst having a chat to the Assessor who I often bump in to.

As the game kicked off, I took my position, just before the halfway line and stood with local hopper Pete Watmough who is always good company. Dronfield looked the better side from the kick off and Hopkins was called in to action in the Glapwell net several times before after 15 minutes he was beaten by a bullet of a shot from 30 yards by ASH RAWSON to give the visitors the lead.

To Glapwell's credit they did try pressing forward, but this left gaps that Dronfield quickly exposed and after 27 minutes DAN WOOD dashed away before slotting the ball past outcoming Hopkins with the home defence no where in sight. Some clubs heads would have gone down at this stage, but Glapwell carried on attacking with Trigg and Murcott having headers testing Siddons in the away net. with 36 minutes on the clock and Ash Rawson hit another 30 yard piledriver towards the Glapwell net and Hopkins did well to parry out but only in to line to JOHN DORAN who was then smothered in his goal celebrations by his team mates.

Half time came and a nice cuppa was served by the lovely Debs the Glappy Sec and a good chat was had in the Hospitality Room with cake offered but due to me being on a needle now for my diabeses I had to turn down sadly.

Back out in to a pleasant spring evening for the Second Half and Glapwell started a lot brighter and could have pulled a goal back through Goodhand but his shot went just wide. After 50 minutes, Dronfield extended their lead to 4-0 when Captain RICHARD MINTOFT got in on the act and scored. With both sides making subs, Glapwell's top scorer OLIVER TRIGG reduced the arrears on 56 minutes. This was the end of the scoring but not the end of the chances with both sides unlucky not to add to their tallys.

Dronfield close the gap at the top of the CMFL North Divison and sit only 3 points behind AFC Mansfield with 2 games in hand, by the time I eventually get to watch Dronfield at home on 11th of May, the title could have been decided by then.

Glapwell FC Website/Twitter

Dronfield Town FC Website/Twitter

Notts Senior League Groundhop Information

Friday 19th April
Magdala Amateurs v Bilborough Town 6.30pm

Saturday 20th April
Selston FC v Wollaton FC 10.10am
Underwood Villa v West Bridgford 12.45pm
Awsworth Villa v Cotgrave FC 3.30pm
Kimberley MW v Keyworth United 6.15pm

Saturday, 13 April 2013


Central Midlands League
North Division

When looking where to go today, I spotted this fixture between two of the most friendliest clubs in the Central Midlands League. A warm welcome was received on arrival by the two gate men and also Mr Clay Cross Town himself Dave Nobby Clark. I then had a chat with Martin who does a great job promoting the club. He is also running a little outdoor Club Shop.

I popped over to the Tuck Shop for a can of pop and spotted Former CMFL Chairman and Legend Frank Harwood coming through the gate.

The game kicked off and it was Easington who looked more up for it and could well have been two goals to the good before they took the lead with a nice lob by PAUL WILKINSON over the advancing home keeper.

This seemed wake the home club up and within three minutes, they were on level terms through PHIL LOWRY. Clay Cross now had their tails up and were attacking at regular intervals with Easington playing on the break. After twenty minutes, the homesters were awarded a free kick to which ex Matlock Town and debutant STEVE TAYLOR fired home.

A nice cuppa coffee in the Bonanza Hospitality Suite went down well at half time, as the rain began to fall. As I was coming out for the Second Half, PAUL WILKINSON fired his second of the game and Easington's equaliser.

Nice team play in the 54th minute, saw Clay Cross back in front again when ROCKIE WHITE finished off the move with a tap in. Around the 70th minute, the Assistant referee flagged for a foul in the box, but the referee in his position awarded a throw in, though it is to say that no Clay Cross players appealed for a penalty.

With four minutes left, that man PHIL LOWRY made the points safe when beating the away keeper with a low shot from the edge of the area.

The three officials I felt all had a good game.

Must comment on a First Class 48 page programme produced and all for a quid

Photos of the game can be seen on this link

Clay Cross Town FC Website

Easington United AFC Website/Twitter

Preview of next Weekends Notts Senior League Groundhop

Friday, 12 April 2013



Last March as the hoppers were leaving Glapwell FC to head back to the coach, their cars and trains and planes, the question on all lips was "Rob, where are we going next season?" The reply was "I am in talks with  the Notts Senior League". Talks infact were being discussed amongst the Notts Senior League Committee and they welcomed the idea with open and excited arms.

Five matches were discussed in August and a meeting with the ten clubs was arranged for September at Wollaton FC on a bright Sunday Morning. Clubs that attended were more than happy with what they heard and have really looked forward to taking part in this forthcoming Annual Event for Nottinghamshire Football.

We did have a slight hiccup as one of the host clubs had to withdraw as their new clubhouse and changing room facilities wasnt going to be built in time, so a quick replacement was made and everyone was happy.

The Advanced Tickets went on sale in Mid - September and end on Thursday 11th April and sales reached a amazing 156 sold including our Overseas friends from as far as Sweden. 
A bargain to be had at just £15 which included entry in to all 5 grounds and also a programme pack of all 5 different programmes. 
Those that just wish to turn up, can pay £3 on the gate and buy a programme for £1 each. All home clubs will have their first ever Enamel Badge at £3 each...Most clubs home and away will have a stall to raise funds for their clubs, selling old shirts, programmes etc. There will also be stall holders who sell programmes, books, badges etc.

Food at each game is different, so a good choice is on offer.

Here are the matches and directions and bit about the games(up to Friday 12th April 2013):


Roko Centre
Wilford Lane
West Bridgford
Parking at Emmanuel School (opposite the Ground)

Magdala are in fine form with only two losses in the last fourteen League matches and are sitting in fifth place at present, whilst visitors Bilborough Town started the season off very poorly and spent a lot of time at the bottom, but having won seven out of the last nine that they are unbeaten has moved them up in to a respectable mid-table postition. The fixture earlier in the season finished as a 2-2 draw. Magdala Amateurs will be producing their First Ever League Programme.
Magdala will be doing either Pork Cobs or Hot Dogs
Entrance £3..Matchday Programme £1
With this being the Friday Evening fixture, it would be lovely to see some Football League Fans down to have a look and support Non League Football.


SELSTON FC v WOLLATON FC 10.10am kick off
Selston Parish Hall Ground
Mansfield Road
NG16 6EE
Parking next door to the ground at the school

Selston FC are capable of giving any club a good match, but they have had a topsy turvey season and sit in 7th position in the table at the moment, whilst Wollaton FC who won the Notts Senior League for the 1st two seasons are have struggle this season and are third from bottom at the moment, but having seen both clubs recently, this could well be a close called game. Earlier in the season the clubs drew 1-1 at Wollaton FC.
Selston FC will be doing Bacon Cobs, they will also have a Real Ale tent with a Real Ale specially brewed called GAME OVER.
Entrance £3..Programme £1
With a early kick off of 10.10am, A healthy crowd should appear at this game with well over 300 hopefully.

Bracken Park
Felley Mill Lane North
Parking in the Club's Official Car Park £1

We now ventured in to Division One for the 1st time now, where hosts Underwood Villa FC are having a lot of work done on their ground after getting a Football Foundation Grant to build new changing rooms. Bracken Park houses two pitches, the main pitch being nearest to the changing rooms. On the pitch, Underwood are third from bottom having only won four games all season, but I saw them win of of those matches and thought they played very well against a team from near the top of the table that day. Newly promoted West Bridgford FC started off the season brightly but of late their form has taken a slight faulter. When these two teams met earlier in the season, it resulted in a 3-3 draw. Underwood Villa FC will be producing their First ever Programme.
Underwood Villa will be selling Pie and Peas.
Entrance £3 Programme £1.

The Shilo
Attewell Road
NG16 2SY
No parking at the Ground, side street Parking only.

Awsworth Villa are sitting mid-table in the Senior Division but have recently reached the Semi Final of the Notts FA Intermediate Cup where they held CMFL Newboys AFC Mansfield to 0-0 for 90 minutes before losing in Extra Time. One of the nicest grounds I have been to, as it is shaped in a mini bowl and you can watch the game from above the pitch level. Their visitors CotgraveFC are sitting two positions below, but as I write,  have played a couple of games more. This will be the first meeting of the clubs this season.
Awsworth Villa FC will be selling  Home Made Stew and Dumplings, also Cottage/Shepherds Pie.
Entrance £3 Programme £1

Digby Street
NG16 2HP
Street Parking only

Kimberley MW FC have a nice ground and are sure to greet the Hoppers well, as will all the other four host clubs. Kimberley sit around the halfway place in the League table and with a few wins could well spring further up the table.
Keyworth United FC are sitting second from bottom, but as I write, do have a couple of games in hand of others around them.
This will be the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.
Kimberley MW FC will be having a BBQ which always goes down well.
Entrance £3 Programme £1.

I do still have 3 seats left on the coach for the Saturday games leaving Nottingham Station Street at 8.30am and arriving back at no later than 8.40pm, if you are interested in the coach seat, they are priced at £15 and will be sold on a first serve first sold basis, so please ring me on 01623 486678 for a coach seat.


From A453(JCT 24), head for Nottingham, as you approach Clifton Bridge, take left lane and turn LEFT at island on to Wilford Lane(B679). Continue for approx 1 mile, you will see ROKO Centre on Right, park in school on LEFT. Ground entrance is behind the ROKO Centre.
From Trent Bridge/West Bridgford. Go along Loughborough Road, Turn RIGHT on to Wilford Lane and ground is approx 1 mile on the left, parking is at school on the right.
Regular buses 1 and 2 from Nottingham City Centre drop you outside the ground.

From M1(JCT 27), take the exit and take A608 Heanor, travel for approx 1 mile into Underwood and turn RIGHT at T Junction. Follow B600 Alfreton-Selston. Travel for 1.5 miles, at Petrol station on RIGHT, turn RIGHT on to Mansfield Road. Go rund left bend and ground is on the LEFT hand side. Parking is next to the ground at the school.

Turn RIGHT back on to Mansfield Road out of Selston's ground. At bottom, turn LEFT on to B600, after 1.4 miles, turn LEFT on to Sandhill Road, at top of the road, the ground is straight ahead of you. You MUST park at the club's car park and NOT on the country lane.

Leaving Underwood FC, turn RIGHT and head for the M1(Jct 27) South..Come off at M1(Jct 26)..Take A610 Ripley..After 2 miles, come off at Awsworth sign, be in LEFT lane. Follow to 1st island and keep LEFT towards Awsworth, as you go up the hill, turn RIGHT on to STATION Road. The ground is 2nd left on Attewell Road. Parking in ground for disabled only.

On leaving Awsworth, turn LEFT out of Station Street and at island, go over and take lane for Kimberley, turn Right on to Digby Street and the ground is down a alleyway approx 100 yards on your RIGHT. Street parking only available here.

Anyone need any help or has any questions then please give me a ring on 01623 486678 or contact me via e-mail on