Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Chalk Lane - Cockfosters

Cockfosters - Chalk Lane

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Cockfosters Football Club
Cockfosters Sports Ground
Chalk Lane


Cockfosters Football Club were formed in 1921. The club were established as Cockfosters Athletic, and were formed by local residents and the ground allocated to the Club by Lady Bevan, from her family estate. They joined the Barnet League and also Cockfosters Juniors merged into the club at the start of the 1930s, and they subsequently joined the Wood Green League. They won Division Two in 1931–32 and Division One in 1933–34. The 1938–39 season saw them win the Premier Division, League Cup and Barnet Cup. After the war the Club moved it’s two sides into the Northern Suburban Intermediate League, a very strong local league of that time. Season 1946-47 saw the Club finish as runner-up in the League’s First Division and promoted to the Premier Division. First Division and promoted to the Premier Division. The next season saw relegation, but in 1949-50 the First Division title came to Chalk Lane and in the very next season the runners-up spot in the Premier Division. The late 1940’s also saw success in a number of local cup competitions, but for most of the 1950’s the Club struggled with no honours coming it’s way. Cockfosters won Division One again in 1960–61 and, after being promoted, were Premier Division champions the following season. In 1966 they joined Division One of the Hertfordshire Senior County League, and after winning it in their first season, they were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1968 "Athletic" was dropped from the club's name. They won the London Intermediate Cup in 1970–71, beating Clapton Reserves 2–1 in a replayed final. The club were Premier Division champions again in 1980–81 and 1983–84, and won the Aubrey Cup again in 1984–85. The 1989–90 season saw them win the London Intermediate Cup for a second time, beating Port of London Authority 1–0 in the final. In 1991 the Club gained “Senior Status” from it’s parent F.A. (London) and an application was accepted by the London Spartan League for entry into their Premier Division. In 1998-1999 the Club switched their Reserves from the Middlesex County League, where they had played for the previous eight seasons, into the Spartan South Midland League and were placed into Division One of the Reserve Section. In 2006–07 Cockfosters were Division One runners-up, earning promotion to the Premier Division. The following season saw them win the league's Floodlit Cup. However, they were relegated back to Division One at the end of the 2008–09 season. The 2012–13 season saw them finish as Division One runners-up again, resulting in promotion to the Premier Division. In 2013–14 they won the league's Challenge Trophy and Floodlit Cup.


Cockfosters 1-2 Edgware Town
Tuesday 15th January 2019
Spartan South Midlands League

I wasn't blessed with the choices of games for this evening. Only 2 that sprung to mind, Sutton Athletic v Canterbury City in the Challenge Cup was 1, but with the nearest station a 45 minutes walk away, I didn't fancy the walk personally. Another one was South Park v Egham Town, but again the walk wasn't a lot better. Those will be grounds I will do in the near future for sure. I was sort of hoping to go to a localish game, but sadly nothing much going. With nothing out cropping up on UK Soccerway, the main website I check first to see what games on, I checked a website I have started to use quite a lot which is Non League Matters, and after browsing through the fixtures, Cockfosters v Edgware Town cropped up, and with the tube station only a short walk away, I easily decided with this one. I did a bit of research heading into this one but not an awful lot. Cockfosters were having a woeful season as they were last season. Cockfosters were without a win since November, and the visitors were currently sitting in the table in 9th. On the day of the game, I went into town with the other half to do a bit of shopping and she needed some bits, plus I wanted to get a few bits myself. With my birthday coming up, I fancied a new game for the PS4, luckily with the last copy in Game which was a bit of luck. I left home shortly after half 5, arriving into Charing Cross after half 6. With tube trains on the Bakerloo, Victoria and Piccadilly line, I arrived into Cockfosters around 7.20pm. A short walk away and I was in the ground by 7.30pm after taking photos. As walking around the ground, I happened to bump into fellow Groundhopper known as Lesta Blew Hopper on Twitter who is a huge Leicester City supporter, and had a quick chat with him non stop football. He had been to Gillingham a couple of times, whilst I've been to Leicester the once, a couple of years ago against West Bromwich Albion. (Click here to read more) There were also a few Groundhoppers attending tonight's game which was always good to hear. After that, I took some more photos and the game got under way.

The game itself wasn't too bad. Edgware took the lead quite early on, funnily enough as I was still walking around the ground after 2 minutes, a scrappy goal which saw the last touch come from Edgware's Tom Fisher who put it in the corner of the net. The 1st half ended with Edgware looking the stronger, and could have gone into the break maybe 2 or 3 up. 2nd half was pretty similar, the hosts equalising on 67 minutes as Edgware's keeper went to kick it forward, only to completely miss the ball with an air shot, and the ball creeping in the back of the net, which in the end with Cockfosters George Beattie having the last touch. Few minutes later and another mistake this time from the Cockfosters keeper saw Edgware's Steven Benavides slot in the rebound and put the visitors back in front. Game finished 2-1, and that for me was Ground 149 ticked off, with Ground 150 coming up next week. I arrived home shortly after half 11.


Cockfosters have been playing at Chalk Lane, or otherwise known as the Cockfosters Sports Ground since the club's formation with the site given to the club by Lady Bevan. There is a stand on the side of the pitch with a good number of seats. Annoying you can only walk round on 3 sides of the pitch, as behind 1 goal you can't stand behind it. Cockfosters tube station which is on the Piccadilly line, is only a few minutes walk away from the station to the ground.


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Northwood Park - Northwood

Northwood - Northwood Park

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Northwood Football Club
Northwood Park
Chestnut Avenue


Northwood Football Club were formed in 1926, although there was a club formed in the Northwood area established in 1899 but however Northwood FC today are not to believed as the same club formed back then. Their early history is largely unknown and it is unclear what leagues they played in until 1931, when they joined the Harrow & Wembley League. They were champions of this league for six years in a row just prior to World War II and three more times after the war. This success did not last, however, and the 1950s and 1960s were mainly spent playing local junior-level football. In 1978, Northwood won the Middlesex League Championship and were able to step up to the Hellenic League Division One, which they won in their debut season. This led to promotion to the Premier Division, where they spent five, mostly mid-table, seasons. The club moved across the pyramid in 1984 to the London Spartan League, which was renamed back to the Spartan League in 1992. In an eight-season spell, Northwood finished in the top three on four occasions, culminating with the Premier Division title in the 1991–92 season, leading to admission to the Isthmian League in 1992. In 1994, the club progressed to the final of the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup but were beaten by Staines Town. Following early success by winning the 1993 Associate Members Trophy, and several promotion challenges, Northwood made it to Division Two in 1997. Following three seasons in that division, the Woods earned further promotion when they gained the runners-up spot in 2000. They also captured the Associate Members Trophy for a second time and reached their first ever Middlesex Senior Cup final, where they went down 2-0 to GM Vauxhall Conference outfit Hayes. In 2003, Northwood received the prestigious award of Community Club status from the Football Association in recognition of the club's commitment to youth football in the area – the club have teams of all age groups playing their football within the confines of Northwood Park. Improvements have been made to the standards in recent years, and the club is hoping this will result in many youngsters developing into first-team players in the future. Having been moved back to the Isthmian League for the 2007-08 campaign, and after spending three years in Division One North, Northwood then found themselves competing in the Southern League Division One Central from 2010. The Woods won the Middlesex Senior Cup for the second time in their history in 2016, beating Enfield Town in the final.


Northwood 0-1 Chalfont St Peter
Tuesday 8th January 2019
Isthmian League South Central

It was back to Groundhopping business once again, and my 1st ground in 2019 would be Northwood Park, the home of Northwood FC of course. I was blessed with many grounds to choose from, but as this one wasn't too far to get to, I chose this one. The week started off superb on Saturday after watching Gillingham reach the 4th round of the FA Cup for the 1st time in 15 years with a great win over Premiership opposition Cardiff City, and then to be drawn on Monday night in the 4th round draw with another Welsh side, this time against Cardiff's rivals Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium. I was fairly pleased with the tie, would have loved a big draw like Liverpool, Manchester United etc, but wasn't to be the case. Will look forward to a re-visit to Swansea later on in the month. So after deciding on visiting Northwood, typically I would realise it's on the same night as Spurs vs Chelsea in the League Cup Semi Final 1st leg, and with Wembley not a million miles away from Northwood, I was expecting the tube to be fairly packed, and of course it proved to be the case. My journey to Northwood didn't prove to be great, 1st with the train I was planning to get from home, ending up being cancelled due to the usual reason of "Signalling problems" I ended up leaving home half an hour later. After pulling into London shortly after 6.20pm, I rushed a bit to get to Northwood, changing at Baker Street for the Metropolitan line. Eventually arriving into Northwood at 7.25pm, after an announcement on the Metropolitan line, it decided to go to Uxbridge instead, so having to change at Harrow-on-the-hill wasn't an idea I had in mind. Luckily with a short wait, and as just said of arriving into Northwood at 7.25pm, I got to the ground pretty much dead on kick off.

The game wasn't a classic, but it wasn't a bad game to watch despite only being 1 goal. The 1st half was probably edged out with Chalfont being on top, having some good chances on goal but weren't able to convert them. The 2nd half saw Northwood slightly get back into the game with the odd chance of their own, but again like Chalfont, weren't able to convert. Chalfont's winner came pretty much the start of the 2nd half, after Chalfont's Adam Morris was pulled back which saw the ref give a penalty. Morris took the penalty which was saved but then scored on the rebound to give the visitors the lead. Strangely enough in the 2nd half with 10 minutes to go saw the referee go off injured, which saw one of the linesman then take over as ref, and the original referee only then to now be a linesman, never seen that in a game of football at all. It was all bizarre as it looked like a drinks break, which would have been more bizarre as it's the start of January a cold month, not a hot month like August! Chalfont held on the win in a fairly local derby and took maximum points from Northwood. After the game, with a fairly short walk back to the tube station, I arrived home shortly after midnight.


Northwood Park is the home of Northwood FC, although I'm not certain if they have been playing there ever since the club's existence, which was in 1923. The capacity holds 3,075 with just over 300 seats. The highest attendance at Northwood Park was a friendly against Chelsea XI in 1997. The nearest station to the ground is Northwood Hills which is on the Metropolitan Line on the London Underground, around a 15 minute walk.


Sunday, 9 December 2018

Winch's Field - Herne Bay

Herne Bay - Winch's Field

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Herne Bay Football Club
Winch's Field
Stanley Gardens
Herne Bay


Herne Bay Football Club were formed in 1886. The 1st League they played was the East Kent League which later on won it 3 times, 1st time being in 1903. They joined Division Two of the Kent League in 1896 and finished bottom 2 years running in 1897 and 1898. They went on to win the East Kent League title four seasons in row between 1901–02 and 1905–06, before re-joining Division Two (East) of the Kent League in 1909. However, they left the league after a single season. They later folded in 1913. After reforming, Herne Bay joined Division Two of the Eastern Section of the Kent County League in 1934. They remained in the division until World War II, playing in the North Division in 1939–40 and the East Division in 1945–46, a season which saw them finish bottom of the table. They were then placed in the North Division in 1946–47, again finishing bottom, and continued in the division in 1947–48 until league reorganisation saw them placed in Division One for the 1948–49 season. In 1953 the club returned to Division Two of the Kent League after moving to their Winch's Field ground, although they were one of only two first teams playing in the division. Herne Bay were Division Two champions in 1954–55 and runners-up the following season, but were not promoted until the end of the 1956–57 season. Their first season in Division One saw them finish bottom of the table. When the Kent League folded in 1959, the club were founder members of the Aetolian League, joining Division One. At the end of the 1963–64, the Aetolian league merged with the London League into the Greater London League, with Herne Bay leaving to join Division Two of the Athenian League instead. They were Division Two champions in 1970–71, earning promotion to Division One. However, after finishing bottom of Division One in 1973–74 the club left to join the reformed Kent League. The 1988–89 season saw Herne Bay finish bottom of the Kent League, but in 1991–92 they were league champions. They were runners-up the following season, before winning a second league title in 1993–94. The club went on to win back-to-back championships in 1996–97 and 1997–98. They finished as runners-up in 2000–01, 2004–05, 2009–10 and 2010–11 before winning the league again in 2011–12, this time earning promotion to Division One South of the Isthmian League. The 2011–12 season also saw the club reach the semi-finals of the FA Vase, eventually losing 4–3 on aggregate to West Auckland Town. 


Herne Bay 1-4 Gillingham
Tuesday 11th December 2018
Kent Senior Cup

After seeing a 1st win for me at Glanford Park on Saturday, another Tuesday game became Ground 147 on a very cold night in Herne Bay as Gills took on Herne Bay in the Quarter Finals of the Kent Senior Cup and successful it was as well. I had only previously watched Herne Bay the once this season at Ramsgate, which turned out to be a thrilling 5-4 win for the Bay. On the day of the game, I went with Dad in the car, after leaving home shortly after 6.15pm, we arrived at the ground around 7.25pm and parked round the corner of the ground.

After taking the usual amount of photos I do, I happened to have met Mr Stat Man himself, Lee who goes home and away with Gills and known him for a number of years now. I discovered this was of course a new ground for him tonight as well, after talking all Gills with him, the game kicked off. The game was a fairly decent watch without sounding biased. We took the lead on 15 minutes from a great finish by Callum Reilly who is one of our 1st teamers currently on suspension after picking up a straight red at Bristol Rovers the other week. Few minutes later and it was 2-0, a great ball in from Reilly himself, and youngster Henry Woods was there to finish to make it 2-0. 2-0 didn't stay 2-0 for long as Herne Bay pulled one back, a cross which should have been dealt with, as the last touch came off a Gills player which looked like to be youngster Ryan Huckle, and Herne Bay were back in the game, but after a quiet spell from then till HT, 3-1 came with a smart finish from Bradley Stevenson. HT came, and I made my way round to the other goal where Gills were shooting. 2nd half was really quiet and not a lot happened, other than we wrapped the game up on 60 minutes as Bradley Stevenson again finished with a lovely chip to make it 4-1 and book ourselves in the semi-finals of the Kent Senior Cup. A very cold night at Winch's Field but a ground ticked off the list. I arrived home shortly before 11pm afterwards.


The club have been playing at Winch's Field since the club reformed in the 1930's. The club had been playing at Memorial Park which apparently had previously been a rubbish tip. The new ground at Winch's Field cost £5,000 to build, and a crowd over 1,000 were in attendance for the 1st game at Winch's Field in August 1953, seeing a 2-2 draw with Tunbridge Wells. The ground holds 3,000 of which 200 is seated and 1,500 under cover. Herne Bay station is the nearest to the ground, around a 10-15 minute walk according to Google Maps.