Saturday, 23 December 2017

Sports Ground - Rochester United

Rochester United - Sports Ground

Rochester United Football Club
Rochester United Sports Ground
Rede Court Road


Rochester United were formed in 1982 by Bernard Hurst, who still owns the club to this very day. At that point, the club were known as Templars and joined the Sunday Medway Football League. From there onwards, they changed their name to Bly Spartans. In 1997, the club applied to join the Rochester and District Football League Division One, and were successful in it as well. They became Champions in 1998. They were later accepted in the Kent County Football League in 2000 and placed in the Division Three West. In 2012, the club were Champions of the Kent Invicta Football League and then a year later renamed as Rochester United.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

New Lodge - Billericay Town

Billericay Town - New Lodge

Billericay Town Football Club
New Lodge
Blunts Wall Road
CM12 9SA


Billericay Town Football Club were formed in 1880. They joined the Romford & District League in 1890 which is where the club played until World War I. Later on the club started playing in the Mid-Essex League, winning the Division 2 title in the 1912-13 season. Billericay have won the FA Vase 3 times, in 1976, 1977 and 1979. Billericay did win the Essex Senior Cup in 1976 as they beating Epping Town 3-2 to win the trophy. Since then, the club has had recent success over the years, most recently promotion to the Conference South in 2012, however they were relegated the following season. Since then, the club has been taken over by Glenn Tamplin who has put a lot of money into the club and brought high-profile players to the club, e.g. Jermaine Pennant, Jamie O'Hara and Paul Konchesky.


VISIT 1: Billericay Town 3-0 Metropolitan Police 19/12/17


Billericay Town 3-0 Metropolitan Police
Tuesday 19th December 2017
Isthmian League

So after a quiet week last week as I took my missus to Winter Wonderland and met up with a couple of her work friends, a week on and it was time to do some Groundhopping again. Although Gillingham were at Carlisle, as much as I would have loved to have gone, it would have been to expensive to go up, stay over, plus match tickets included etc. Plus it didn't sound like I missed much anyway as we crashed out of the FA Cup, which will leave me and other Gills fans a free Saturday in January for FA Cup 3rd Round day. So, with tonight, it was a choice really of either Staines or Billericay. Staines I planned to do on Halloween but after receiving heart-breaking news, in the end I didn't go. I opted for Billericay tonight, would have been interesting to see the likes of Jamie O'Hara, Jermaine Pennant etc, but the only ones I recognised was former Gills keeper Alan Julian in goal, and Jake Robinson up front who used to play for Brighton. Then I did notice Pennant on the bench for Billericay. I arrived to Billericay station just before 7pm, and went in the Fish and Chip shop whilst walking to the ground and bought a portion of chips, which was lovely. I got the ground just after 7pm, only to hear the game has been delayed and will kick off at 8pm due to the Met Police being delayed on getting to the ground with the Dartford tunnel. They probably hadn't have bothered turning up as Billericay overcame them by 3-0. Wasn't as convincing as I thought it would be but Billericay were the better side on the night as they should really as they have spent quite a bit of money. 2 goals for Jake Robinson and 1 for Louie Theophanous got the goals for Billericay. Another reason why I wanted to visit Billericay was The New Lodge has been redeveloped and was done in the Summer this year, I was quite impressed with the ground, a nice tidy little ground it is as well. So, after ticking off another ground, I got home shortly after half 11pm. Next game for me now is a local game on Saturday before Christmas, visiting Rochester United as they take on Hollands & Blair. A good night overall in Billericay.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Harry Abrahams Stadium - Wingate and Finchley

Wingate & Finchley - The Harry Abrahams Stadium

Wingate & Finchley Football Club
The Harry Abrahams Stadium
Summers Lane
N12 0PD


  • Wingate & Finchley Football Club were formed in 1991. They were formed by a merger of both Finchley FC and Wingate FC, who parted company with Leyton FC. Leyton FC regained Leyton-Wingate's place in the First Division of the Isthmian League while Wingate & Finchley took Finchley's place in the South Midlands League.
  • As Finchley FC, the club won several trophies in the Lower Leagues, including trophies such as The London Senior Cup (3 times) London League Challenge Cup, Middlesex Intermediate Cup and others.
  • As Wingate FC the club only won 1 trophy, which was the Herts County League Division One title in 1985.
  • Wingate & Finchley are often known as a Jewish club, mainly because of Finchley's sizeable Jewish Community and a number of other factors.
  • In 2011, the club won promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division after beating Brentwood Town 3-2 in extra time at The Harry Abrahams Stadium. The winning goal came after 117 minutes, which included a red card in the game as well.
  • Notable people that were either born in Finchley or live in Finchley are singer Emma Bunton, also singer George Michael, actor Peter Cleall, and also former Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher that sadly passed away in 2013, was Conservative MP for Finchley from 1959 to 1992.


VISIT 1: Wingate & Finchley 2-1 Brightlingsea Regent 14/11/17


Wingate & Finchley 2-1 Brightlingsea Regent
Tuesday 14th November 2017
Isthmian League

My original plan to start off with was Dorking Wanderers vs Tonbridge. But as that game got postponed due to Dorking's involvement in the Surrey Cup, and with that game now moved to December, I had to look at other ideas. Another idea was another visit to my local side Tunbridge Wells as they were at home to Erith Town, but I decided to go and visit Wingate & Finchley. After leaving home shortly after 5pm, I arrived into Waterloo just before 6, grabbed a bite to eat and then took the Underground on the Northern Line to West Finchley tube station, the closest to the ground. It took about 20 minutes to walk, and about half an hour journey time. I arrived to the ground about 7.10pm. £12 entry which did surprise me in some ways as every Isthmian ground I have done so far has been £10, but I didn't mind too much. A bit surprised not to see a little club shop or anyone selling programmes as well. I went round the ground taking pictures and then took my place behind the goal for the 1st half. I thought the ground was ok, not the best I had visited in Non-League. The stand on the side of the pitch which was all seater was a nice stand, just a shame it's a bit far away from the pitch, otherwise you could have got a decent enough view had the stand be a bit closer to the pitch. In the end I stood behind the goal with the Wingate fans in the 1st half and 2nd half mainly on the side. Another annoying thing was about 12 year old kids with a drum, no disrespect to them but they couldn't sing for their life and got a tad annoying. Glad I didn't stand near them in the 2nd half. I thought the game was a good game to watch, I was quite impressed with Wingate's number 11, no idea on his name, but a good pacy winger, had a bit of trickery about him as well. Wingate won the game 2-1 in the 92nd minute, thought they thoroughly deserved it but just. There wasn't a lot in it, but Wingate got the job done and got the 3 points. Wingate & Finchley vs Brightlingsea Regent was my 35th game of the season of 2017/18. Onto another visit to The Bescot Stadium with Gillingham on Saturday. I arrived home from Wingate shortly after half 11, was a good night overall. I was in a way gutted I didn't go to England vs Brazil at Wembley in the end, but after hearing it was another 0-0 at Wembley, I wasn't too fussed in the end.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Imperial Fields - Tooting and Mitcham United

Tooting & Mitcham United - Imperial Fields

Tooting & Mitcham Football Club
Imperial Fields
Bishopsford Road


Tooting & Mitcham United Football Club were formed in 1932. Before that Tooting FC who were formed in 1887 and Mitcham Wanderers who were formed in 1912, then they become united as 1 club representing 2 areas. Originally they played in white shorts, and then later adopted into black and white stripes, which happened in 1956. The club have reached the FA Cup 1st Round proper on 10 occasions, more recently being in the 2009-10 season, losing out to Stockport County, losing 5-0. The club's most famous FA Cup run came in 1959 when the club reached the 3rd round, taking a 2 goal advantage against Nottingham Forest, before they hit back through an own goal and a penalty which took it to a replay back at Forest. Forest then won the replay 3-0, in a crowd of 42,362, and also Forest then went onto win the FA Cup that year. In 1976, they reached the 4th round of the FA Cup, losing to Bradford City 3-1. The club have been playing at Imperial Fields since 2002, and holds 3,500 with over 600 seats.


VISIT 1: Tooting & Mitcham United 1-2 Burgess Hill Town 7/11/17


Tooting & Mitcham United - Burgess Hill Town
Tuesday 7th November 2017
Isthmian League

It was back to Groundhopping action for me this week. I had a week off Groundhopping due to receiving some heart-breaking news (as some may know) a week ago today. Last week my original plan was to be Staines Town vs Enfield but I decided to scrap it in the end, I wasn't in the right frame of mind to go to football, probably the wise move not to go. But this week, I was glad to be going to another ground. After looking at the fixtures, really I set my mind on this game. After watching a video I believe it was GroundhoppingFC on YouTube, plus looking at pictures on various sites of the ground, it looked quite impressive from what I saw, and I wasn't to be disappointed. After leaving home about 5ish, I arrived to the ground shortly after 7pm after getting the London Croydon Tram from Wimbledon which was fairly straightforward, only took about 10 minutes. When I arrived, I was quite surprised to see the gates now open, despite this being 7.20pm. But I wasn't to wait for too long as the gates opened shortly after. £10 to get in which was to be expected as well. I got in the ground, and went round the ground to take some pictures, and I was quite impressed. Behind both goals and on the side of the pitch, you can get a really good view of the game. It was very cold and wet as well which didn't help the night either. 1st half I sat on the side of the pitch which saw Burgess Hill Town take the lead and go into the break 1-0 up. I checked my phone at half time to check the Gills score as we were playing Reading in the Checkatrade Trophy, a Trophy that has been completely ruined, I wasn't majorly fussed on going to Priestfield tonight anyway as I'll be back there on Saturday for Bury at home. I was quite surprised to hear we were 4-1 up at half time but none the less, pleased to hear we've scored anyway, to keep confident levels going as well. Anyway, 2nd half I stood behind the goal with the Tooting fans who made a bit of noise. Only disappointment was Tooting fans moaning constantly about the referee for most of the 2nd half. Yes referees can be bad, and most of them are awful, but no disrespect to Tooting fans but the ones that stood behind the goal in the 2nd half were awful. I don't think the ref was great but wasn't that bad I thought. Anyway, Tooting equalised with a neat finish but Burgess Hill got the winner with a few minutes to go with a decent header from a corner. Not a bad night overall, just very cold and wet. After the game, I was shocked to hear that Gills in the end beat Reading in the Checkatrade Trophy 7-5. Yes, 7-5 I'm not kidding. Sounded like a cracking game to go to, but needless not majorly fussed. Nice to tick off another Isthmian ground off the list, onto Bury at home next on Saturday.