Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Wheatsheaf Park - Staines Town

Staines Town - Wheatsheaf Park

Image result for staines town fc badge

Staines Town Football Club
Wheatsheaf Park
Wheatsheaf Lane
TW18 2PD


Staines Town Football Club were formed in 1892. They were known as various names including Staines FC, Staines Albany FC, Staines Lagonda FC and of course Staines Town FC until it folded in 1935. Prior to the World War, the club re-formed as Staines Vale. In 1953, the club were founding members of the Hellenic League, where then 3 years later they finished runners-up. After finishing 2nd in 1971, the club advanced to the Athenian League, where they won the 2nd Division on the 1st attempt, winning the League on a record number of points. A year later, the club then were elected into the new Isthmian League Division One, and a year later the club finished top and were promoted to the Premier Division. The following year they finished 9th with 66 points from 42 games. The club's best FA Cup runs have been in 2007-08 season and 2009-10 season reaching the 2nd round proper. In 2009, they earned a place in the 3rd round draw after a 1-1 draw with Millwall. The replay back at The Den saw Millwall comfortably beat Staines 4-0. The winners of the tie faced Derby County. In 2007, they took then League Two side Stockport County to a replay back to Wheatsheaf Park, and won on penalties (4-3) which saw them draw Peterborough United at home then managed by Sir Alex Ferguson's son, Darren. Peterborough won 5-0, and Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Trevor Brooking were guests at Staines Town that day. Staines won the Isthmian Premier Divison Play Off Final in 2009, beating Carshalton Athletic 1-0 at Wheatsheaf Park, Scott Taylor getting the winning goal in extra time. Staines were promoted to the Conference South and stayed there until relegation in 2015. Rivals include Ashford Town (Middlesex) Egham Town, and Hampton & Richmond Borough FC.


VISIT 1: Staines Town 3-3 Worthing 6/3/18


Wheatsheaf Park has been the home of Staines Town Football Club since it was purchased in 1951. The ground has a total capacity of 3,009 with 300 seated and 800 covered terracing. The record eague attendance for a game at Wheatsheaf Park was 2,285 in a league game against AFC Wimbledon. Also Wheatsheaf Park is the home of Chelsea Ladies FC. Staines railway station is the nearest to the ground, around a 20 minute walk.


Staines Town 3-3 Worthing
Tuesday 7th March 2018
Isthmian League

My original plan to visit Staines was back on Halloween night, but after receiving some heart-breaking news, I gave it a miss. I wasn't in the right frame of mind, so I just fancied a bit of time to myself. But anyway, I noticed Staines were at home to Worthing only a few days before I checked the fixtures on Soccerway, so I decided to give this one a visit, and one I'm very glad to have chosen anyway. I arrived to Staines shortly after 7 after leaving home at 5. I've been to Staines railway station a few times before as it's an easier route to get to Thorpe Park, a great theme park which is situated in between Staines and Chertsey.

I arrived to the ground about 7.15pm. £10 admission, although I didn't see any programmes, so I didn't have chance to buy one. I did a little bit of research in both teams before getting to the ground, I noticed Jesse Starkey now plays for Worthing on a permanent basis after a brief spell with Gills, and he was in the team, so would have been interesting to see what he was like. I sat in the main stand on the side of the pitch at Staines, it sort of reminded me of Met Police's Imber Count but slightly better. Anyway, onto the game itself, and it was a cracking game to watch. Both teams played some nice football at times, and quite a few mistakes were easily made. I was impressed with Staines number 11 on the wing, Max Worsfold, a tricky little winger. A name that did ring a bell from Worthing was number 4 Sam Rents, as I thought I heard that name somewhere and it turned out he used to be at Brighton for a bit. But yeah, overall a cracking 3-3 draw and probably a fair result in the end for both teams. A nice little ground I thought and worth a visit. I arrived home from Staines shortly after half 11.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

York Road - Maidenhead United

Maidenhead United - York Road

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Maidenhead United Football Club
York Road


Maidenhead United Football Club were formed in October 1870. They played their 1st ever game 2 months later in December against Windsor Home Park at Bond's Meadow, near Maidenhead bridge. A year later, they played their 1st game on the York Road site, against Marlow. The ground York Road, when then at the time was shared with the Cricket club, is officially acknowledged as the oldest continuously used football ground in the world by the same football club, eclipsing Northwich Victoria's old claim by 5 years. Maidenhead were one of the original 15 entrants in the first ever FA Cup competition in 1871-72, and the following season, they reached the last 4 losing out to Oxford University. They entered the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup for the 1st ever time in 1878 and they won it for the 1st time ever in 1895. Maidenhead FC merged with 3 sides before the Great War. Maidenhead Excelsior were formed in 1877 and joined forces with the Red and Blacks in 1885. Maidenhead Temperance or originally known as Maidenhead Band of Hope almagated with the club in 1891 as did Boyne Hill FC who did likewise later that year too. Maidenhead have won the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup 22 times, the 1st one being in 1895. As the years have gone on, the club currently sit in the Vanarama National League. (at the time of typing this) The club won the Vanarama National League South in 2017, winning the title on 98 points from 42 games. They beat Ebbsfleet to the title by 2 points, who won the Play Off Final that same very year.


Maidenhead United play at York Road, and has been home to Maidenhead ever since the club has existed in 1871. It is acknowledged by the FA and FIFA to be the oldest continuously-used senior football ground in the world by the same football club. It was briefly home to Hayes & Yeading United from 2014-2016. The ground holds 4,000 with 550 seated. Maidenhead railway station is no more than a 5 minute walk to the ground.


VISIT 1: Maidenhead United 3-1 Eastleigh 20/2/18


Maidenhead United 3-1 Eastleigh
Tuesday 20th October 2018
Vanarama National League

After a quiet spell of Groundhopping lately due to mainly the weather playing a part in it, it was back to Groundhopping business for me. I was hoping to go to Shrewsbury v Gillingham but sadly I couldn't make it, was hoping to get a lift of somesort but didn't manage to. I could get the coach, but getting back from Gillingham to home as I don't live in Medway would have been a bit of a pain. But I wasn't too worried, I had been to Shrewsbury in the past, plus I'm off to Bury this coming Saturday anyway. So after a quick look at the fixtures, Maidenhead v Eastleigh was a fixture I liked the sound of. I was only on 11 grounds in the Vanarama National League that I had been to, so was pretty low, plus Eastleigh are managed by none other than Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler, plus with a few ex Gills players in there, would have been nice to see some ex Gills. So after leaving after half 4, I arrived to Maidenhead about 7.25 and arrived to the ground shortly after that. After 21 minutes, ex Dover man Moses Emmanuel put the Magpies in front after 21 mins from a neat finish with Eastleigh equalising just before half time through Ayo Obileye, which at the time did look like a penalty. 2nd half although Eastleigh looked the better side, Maidenhead took away their chances with Sean Marks and Harry Pritchard sealing the 3 points for Maidenhead. Was impressed with the lad Harold Odametey the number 4 for Maidenhead, looked a very strong player and a pacy player too. Although a cold night, was fairly impressed with the ground, and very easy to get to from the station as well. Afterwards, I arrived home shortly after a midnight. A good night overall, and was better as well after hearing Gillingham got a great point at high flying Shrewsbury.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

DW Stadium - Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic - DW Stadium

Wigan Athletic Football Club
DW Stadium
Loire Drive
Greater Manchester


  • Wigan Athletic Football Club were formed in 1932 following the winding up of Wigan Borough the previous year. Wigan Athletic was the 5th attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan Town, Wigan County, Wigan United and Wigan Borough.
  • Despite having their initial application turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected in the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central. On the 27th August 1932, the club played it's first ever League game against Port Vale reserves and wore the kit of red and white shirts with black shorts.
  • The club won it's first honours in the 1933-34 season when the club finished the season as Champions of the Cheshire League. The following season, the club won a second League Championship and entered the FA Cup for the 1st time, beating Carlisle United 6-1 in the 1st Round, a cup record for the biggest victory by a non-league club over a league club.
  • In the 1964-65 season, Wigan Athletic won the Cheshire League title since returning to the League with top scorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times. He remains the club's greatest goalscorer of all time.
  • Later on in the years, finished in 2nd place in the Northern Premier League in the 1977-78 season, behind Boston United. But as Boston's ground did not meet Football League criteria for a League club, whereas Wigan's old ground Springfield Park did, Wigan were put forward for election to the League.
  • Speaking of Springfield Park, of course Springfield Park was the former home of Wigan Athletic between 1932 and 1999. The ground held a maximum of 40,000. It was also home of Wigan Borough, Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Springfield Borough. Also it was home of Rugby League side Wigan Warriors.
  • The club have won the FA Cup the once, in 2013 beating Manchester City at Wembley in the 91st minute with Ben Watson getting the winning goal.
  • Wigan's main rivalry is with Bolton Wanderers. Although they do have a long and recently forgotten rivalry with Lancashire based club Chorley FC. Wigan also have rivalries with Preston North End, Oldham Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, Bury and Rochdale.


Wigan Athletic have been playing at The DW Stadium, previously known as The JJB Stadium since 1999. The club had been playing at Springfield Park between 1932 and 1999. The DW Stadium holds 25,138. Away supporters are housed in the North Stand, which is behind the goal and can allocated of 5,500 seats. Both Wigan North Western and Wigan Wallgate are a good 20 minute walk from the ground.


VISIT 1: Wigan Athletic 2-0 Gillingham 3/2/18


Wigan Athletic 2-0 Gillingham
Saturday 3rd February 2018
League One

My 1st visit to Wigan came in a wet very cold February of 2018. My original 1st visit was meant to be January 2016 but thanks to the geniuses of Sky Sports, they decided to move the game to a Thursday night which was a pain in the arse for me. So for that one I opted to watch it on Sky at home which of course which started the demise of Justin Edinburgh as boss as we of course suffered the curse of being in front of Sky Cameras and lost, but also went on a terrible run till the end of the 2015/16 season and carry on into the following season. But anyway, I was quite looking forward to visiting Wigan for my 83rd ground of the 92, although in the previous week I had been feeling rough, as there has been some flu/sickness bugs flying around. I wasn't feeling 100% heading up to Wigan on the train, but I was hoping it would soon pass, but felt a bit better as the day went on. After leaving home at 7.45am, I arrived into Euston around half 9, or just slightly before. Was nice to see 3 ex Gills players at Euston in Danny Kedwell, Jack Payne and Myles Weston, although I didn't chat to them, just a quick hello to Jack, as Ebbsfleet were away at Tranmere. Also seeing ex Preston and Sunderland boss Simon Grayson at Euston as well and apparently was on the same train as I was, but only from what I heard. I arrived into Wigan shortly after half 12, and headed for Ladbrokes to put some bets on. I arrived to the ground around 2.10pm and took some pics outside the ground. Not much to say about the game although it was expected. Before the game, I would have happily taken a point at league leaders Wigan, but it was a shame to see a great run come to an end and suffer our 1st defeat in the league in 2018. But we didn't play too bad, but Wigan were just better, with goals coming from Will Grigg and Nick Powell. A decent ground but not the greatest of atmospheres from the Wigan end, despite having a drum. Atmosphere from us was brilliant, was non-stop singing even at 2-0 down. We go again next week with Peterborough at home. After a cold horrible weather at Wigan, I arrived home around 10.15 with now being on 83 of 92 grounds done and edging closer to completing the 92.