Jarrow FC Reserves 0 v Hylton Sports Club 19 - 21/04/18 - Hedworthfield CA

my first explorer ticket of the year was required for a busy day of groundhopping, which was thankfully blessed with lovely weather !! :)
after ticking off South Shileds CC, it was off to the footy, where I would recomplete the Durham Alliance League. I expected a high score & it certainly was! Hylton started off the scoring with a penalty, then the floodgates opened. with the HT score at 11-0 & jarrow only had 10 men throughout, the ref decided that the 2nd half would only last 25 mins. Hylton added 8 more before the ref brung a finish to the 70 minute game. after the footy I made my way to Boldon CC for my 2nd cricket ground tick of the day :)

season 2017/18 = 25 new grounds , 160 goals

transport -
X10 stockton - heworth
4085+37 heworth - chichester
4053+55 chichester - pelaw
4066+84 pelaw - fellgate
4065+23 fellgate - east boldon
4058+04 east boldon - heworth
X9 heworth - billingham
36 billingham - stockton


Kader FC U19s 2 v Redcar Newmarket U19s 3 - 08/04/18 - ground #465 - Hustlers Trust Pavillion 3G

a few weeks ago on twitter, I noticed that Kader were adding the finishing touches to their new 3G pitch. I'd already visited the venue to watch Whinney Banks in the teeside league, so this gave me an opportunity for a new local tick :)
the game was cracker! I shook hands with the Redcar manager before the game, he says they usually win when I turn up! This was only their 4th win of the season & my 3rd game watching them! Redcar scored the best goal of the game, which happened to the first of the game, a great curling shot! taking pics at 3G/4G grounds isn't pretty at the best of times, but at kader, supporters are only allowed to watch from outside the cage (only players & staff allowed inside). final score could've been 5-5 easily. hopefully next season will bring more new grounds to visit in the North Riding League :)

season 2017/18 = 24 new grounds , 141 goals

transport -
37 stockton - boro
12 boro - acklam
12 acklam - boro
36 boro - stockton

darlington fc 1 v Boston United 2 - 07/04/18 - ground #464 - Blackwell Meadows

until about 6yrs ago (since I've outta work), I rarely missed a BUFC away game at a new ground all over the country. Since darlo have moved into the town's egg chasing ground, I waited til BUFC played there before ticking it off :)
I did the 12.26 train to darlo, then crossed the road into Hogans for a couple of pints of Strongbow, where another BUFC fan came in, we then got the X26 to the ground from outside the pub/station. The clubhouse is abit of a farce, as the toilets are only available to use by the prawn sarny brigade who occupy the top tier of the stand! so bar patrons have to use the portaloos next to each end of the ground ! bad craic indeed!! thankfully the match was enjoyable, Boston went 2-0 up in the first half, with darlo pulling one back just before HT. then the darlo fans came round to fill the end behind the goal, so obviously we made our way to the stand behind the other goal. which lasted about 2 mins before the jobsworth stewards turfed us out, so we had to stand at side! BUFC thankfully held on against the 13 men for a deserved win. I was the only Boston fan waiting for the bus back to the station with a bunch of grumpy darlo fans, who tried to tell me the wrong bus to get back to the station. little did they know I'd already done 13 grounds in darlo & know the place well hahaha :)
after a quick visit to the local sainsburys next to the station for some cans, did the 17.31 back to thornaby. hopefully my next BUFC game won't be as long to wait for :)

season 2017/18 = 23 new grounds , 136 goals

transport -
142091 thornaby - darlo
142019 darlo - thornaby


afc fylde 3 v Hartlepool United 3 - 17/03/18 - ground #463 - Mill Farm

this trip to the NW was planned early in the season to coincide with my mate's birthday. After my lengthy winter break (while I was waiting for better weather), I'd hoped that the crap weather would've gone by mid-march!!  I started off by train up to Hartlepool on friday dinner time, where a 50 min wait for the GC (on which I was meeting Steve on) gave me time to nip over the road to tick off a cider winner in spoons followed by a winner in Rat Race (the awesome ale bar on the station). we took the GC to york,where 2 winners were ticked in the york tap pub on the station. we then made our way to preston via man pic, where i ticked a winner unit (rarity!) 156441 from man pic.  the lines & stations between preston & blackpool are currently undergoing a massive overhaul, which means no train for about 4 months during this period. so an RRB was the only option. finally arrived at the B&B about 7.15pm, quick check in & dump bags, then off out to tick off 2 of the 3 spoons and completing the 5 winner ciders that were on the latest ale & cider fest. after a fast food break, we headed to to pub at the bottom of our B&B street for a pint or 2 then that was it for the night.
Saturday started with a double mcds sausage muffin (without the egg of course!), then tram down to the south pier, where we ticked off spoons 3 of 3 in blackpool. then tram up to cleveleys for sppons tick followed by tram back into town & RRB to poulton for final spoons tick of the day. upon leaving spoons down came the first snowfall of the day. RRB again to kirkham & wesham then walked the 10 mins or so to the ground stopping off at the chippy. arrived at the afc fylde ground about 1.40, we then enjoyed a cupla pints in Bradleys sports bar, where blizzards switched with sunny periods every 10 mins or so. it got so packed in the bar, I actuallyt went in the "beer garden" with the smokers & snow to breathe more easily! the match itself was a belter! We lead 1-0 at HT after an end-to-end half. fylde had equalized by the time I finished my HT pint, then added a 2nd not long after. at 2-1 we were denied a defo pen after we had a player dragged to the ground & pushed into the net! fylde soon made it 3-1, which on recent form would've meant 4 5 6 7 ...   but Hartlepool kept their chins up fought back ending in a 94th equalizer !!!  FT 3-3 !!  after the game it was RRB back into town, few pints then called it a night. I got some cans in from offy to watch footy on 5 & motd with while relaxing in B&B room after a hectic day.
Sunday started with the usual mcds muffin then final RRB of the weekend to preston. we then ticked off the 2 spoons there before heading to man pic for the train to york. dinner time trains were wedged due to bad severe weather cancellations from man pic, which gave us an excuse to station hop! 1st hop was at Stalybridge, where 2 cider winners were ticked off at the station ale buffet. next hop from a wedged train was at hudds, where 2 winners were ticked off in head of steam ale pub on the station, including the Motorhead ale Road Crew. after that we decided to head home on next train (even tho I fancied a dewsbury hop 2 tick the spoons there) on which there were seats available. my mate did next train up to ncl & I as far as darlo. after a quick shopping trip to sainsburys for cans & moggy meat, I did the sundays only service from darlo to stockton. arrived home about 6pm, crackin weekend away :)

season 2017/18 = 22 new grounds , 133 goals

Transport -
142090 stockton - hartlepool
180101 Hartlepool - York
185135 york - man pic
156441 (winner!) +491 man pic - preston
RRB preston - blackpool north

018 tower - south pier
018 south pier - cleveleys
018 cleveleys - north pier
RRB blackpool north - poulton-le-fylde
RRB poulton-le-fylde - kirkham & wesham
RRB kirkham & wesham - blackpool north

RRB blackpool north - preston
156469 + 479 preston - man pic
185103 man pic - stalybridge
185134 stalybridge - hudds
185113 hudds - darlo
142071 darlo - stockton


Boro Rangers 8 v St Marys 1947 1 - 02/12/17 - ground #462 - MFC Foundation 3G

after a day or so of rancid snow & freezing weather, my fingers were crossed for a local 3G to tick off, thankfully the Eston 3G was finally ticked ! St Marys haven't had a bad season so far, they also play their home games on 3G, so I thought this might've been a closer game. boro are currently stormin at the top of the league, and didn't look like slowing down today. 4 goals in each half, with a consolation for the visitors in the 2nd half, made sure boro won easily.

season 2017/18 = 21 new grounds , 127 goals

transport -
13 Stockton - boro
64A boro - eston leisure centre
64 eston leisure centre - boro
13 boro - Stockton


Seaton United 2 v Horden CW 3 - 25/11/17 - ground #461 - The Sports Domes

I'm startin to sound like a broken record here, but ... last time I arrived at this venue I was informed united were playing at English Martyrs school in Hartlepool for a month or so. Thankfully this game went ahead (Groundhog day time).  what a crackin game it was! Seaton took an early lead, which was only levelled after about 30 mins with a 25 yard strike that had the keeper flat footed. both keepers were exceptional the whole match. the Horden keeper tipped a shot onto the bar on a freezing day. Horden took the lead just before HT. the 2nd half was mainly all Horden who eventually went 3-1 up after a string of good saves from the keeper. Seaton hit the bar again before a deserved 2nd goal. everybody (including the home coach) expected a walkover victory for Horden, but a crackin game was had full of everything :)

season 2017/18 = 20 new grounds , 118 goals

transport -
142020 Stockton - seaton carew

1 sport domes - boro
36 boro - stockton


Durham City AFC U18s 0 v Spennymoor Town FC u18s 3 - 18/11/17 - ground #460 - North Durham Academy 3G

when I arrived at this venue last time, the game was cancelled, thankfully it was on this time! unfortunately it happened to be on the coldest day of the season so far, with temperatures as low as 4 but felt like -4 !! spenny almost smashed the crossbar in the first half with Durham unable to convert any of their pressure into goals. toes & fingers were numb by the second half, which is when the visitors took control and won the game. only Benfield & New Hartley's grounds required now to complete the league.

I shivered on the buses all the way home, where warmth & a hot shower were very welcome :)

season 2017/18 = 19 new grounds , 113 goals

transport -
X12 Stockton - Durham
16A Durham - Stanley
16A Stanley - Durham
X12 Durham - Stockton