Saturday 25th Sept -

Northern Premier League North Division
Chorley 5 v Durham 0
Attendance: 824  
Admission: £7
Ground : 9/10 Typical gritty northern venue, reeking of history of bygone years with 3 very old big stands, fantastic !
Food/Drink: Tasty Chip Bap £1.50 Coffee £1

Conditions :Perfect Conditions & Sunny

Pics from Chorley's ground (48)

Bacup Borough

Wednesday 22nd Sept - FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round Replay 
Bacup Borough 3 v Padiham 1 (After Extra Time)
Attendance: 80  Admission: £6
Ground :  Old scenic ground set amongst the Lancashire Penine countryside - a must tick ! 10/10
Food/Drink: Delicious home made Pie and i had seconds and was even tempted for thirds !! (secret recipe they told me !) Peas and Gravy £2 10/10
Conditions :Wet, slippery and rain storms

View all Pics from Bacup (27)

A visit to Bacup had long been on my 'must tick' list and reading fellow hopper 'Where's the Tea Hut' report it moved up into my top three on grounds i must visit at the earliest opportunity if anything to get it out of my system. It was a ground that intrigued me because every time i mentioned it to someone they just smiled as if to say "are you mad".The more people who said that the more i wanted to visit this Lancashire Town.
It was also a "Black Pudding Derby"match and also FA Vase Replay ... who could resist that !.
As i drove to the ground it started to rain very hard and in my mind i kept hearing the advice i had been given before "if it rains , call them up !" , the problem was i was only 7 miles away so had no intentions of turning back and going to Glossop the only other game on tonight. On my arrival i was welcomed by a 5 year old boy with a thick Lancashire accent - he was the first one at the ground. A few minutes later the ground was unlocked. After walking round the ground i was desperate to take my photos before dark.
My fav pic of Bacup's Ground

My walk around confirmed what a gem of a ground this was but it was obvious it had witnessed better times. I later learnt the team manager did nearly everything including all the handy work  and the keeping the pitch in order. I was made very welcome by committee members , all very proud of their little club. Even the 5 year old i met on arrival was proud of 'his' team.
I loved the rickety old stands set with a beautiful backdrop of the Lancashire countryside - peaceful in every way. After taking my photos i spoke with the locals who encouraged me to try their "award winning pie" which can be obtained in the beautifully named "Martin Peters Bar" - no not him of '66 ! but the son of the manager !! The bar from the outside looked  not so good and uninviting but once inside was spacious and vibrant with the walls full of history from years gone by.

Inside the Martin Peters Bar

The Homemade Pie and Peas was delicious, the best so far this season, you could tell it was homemade, when i asked whats inside the reply came "its a secret"  - so much was it good i went back for seconds !

The game was only taking place due to a 93rd minute equaliser for Padiham on saturday, according to the Bacup supporters was unfair.
The game started in light rain and as early as the 2nd minute i saw the miss (or double miss of the season). The Bacup forward went round the goalie had and open goal and hit the bar ! it rebounded back to him , still with an open goal he second shot hit the post !!! and rebounded to a Padiham player. Bacup scored a 28th minute penalty and then a minute late the Bacup bench was barking out oders to their left back - he told them to f*** off and said "if you can find someone better do so"  - less than 30 seconds later he was substituted and whilst coming off took off his shirt and threw it to the ground in disgust ... " and don't bother turning up for training next week" came the reply from the bench as he went down the tunnel. It was so funny !
Bacup left back being subbed vid

The rest of the match was uneventful until the 96th Minute , Padiham had been pressing for the last 5 minutes and then they had a corner , the goalie went up and seconds later in the pouring rain he toe poked an equaliser through a crowded box to send the game into extra time - and unwanted extra time to be honest, it was wet, dark, late, cold, and long journey ahead  AND THEN ..... i could hear screams of delight from behind me , it was only the 5 year old boy celebrating - tow questions entered my head , why was he celebrating an opponents goal and more importantly why wasn't he tucked up in bed ?  he reliably informed me his bed time was 10pm and no earlier ! i was firmly put in my place.
Extra time was completed in the pouring rain and Bacup scored 2 goals to end up 3-1 winners.
My adventure in Bacup had come to an end , and what an enjoyable adventure it had been.
But rest assured i will be back ! this was a gritty northen ground full of charm in every way - quite simply outstanding !

Altrincham FC

Tuesday 21st Sept - Conf Premier
Altrincham 2 v Barrow 0
Attendance: 1042  Admission: £13
Ground :  Good old ground with lots of history
Food/Drink: Has a really good fish and chips near the ground before the game £3.80 Coffee £1.20p
Total Mileage: 20
Conditions :Perfect conditions.

Pics From Altrincham's ground (17)

Ashton United

Monday 20th Sept - Evo Stick Premier
Ashton United 1 v Marine 0
Attendance: 177  Admission: £8
Ground :  Good old ground with lots of history, set amongst the backstreets of East Manchester
Food/Drink: Good Meat Pie with chips and gravy £2.80 Coffee 80p
Total Mileage: 41
Conditions : Autumn chill , few spots of rain.

Pics from Ashton Utd (30)

AFC Emley

Sunday 19th Sept -
FA Vase 2nd Rd Qualifying
AFC Emley 3 v Rossington Main 0
Attendance: 111  
Admission: £4
Ground : 7/10 3 sides only , but really good feel about the place. A must tick !
Food/Drink: 8/10 Good Meat Pie with Peas served on a china plate with a spoon £2.20 Coffee 70p
Conditions : Overcast, windy and light showers with some sunshine

Whilst driving along the country lanes i thought i had arrived in Toronto or Seattle as i noticed the big erection in the distance and then i realised i had reached the village of Emley not many miles from Huddersfield.

AFC Play in the North East Counties league Division One and today was FA Vase day against Rossington Man FC from near Doncaster , in fact today was the start of the road to Wembley - but somehow i doubt we shall see either team run out at the home of football.

I arrived in the rain with warm sunshine and parked up near the social club adjacent to the ground. After my journey i needed to visit the "throne" and whilst i sat there i closed my eyes and then suddenly i heard noises, loud noises, in fact  it sounded like a crowd cheering during a match . As i opened my eyes and looked up to the ceiling above my head i noticed it was a sound system speaker beaming the Man Utd v Liverpool Game , Live on Sky coming from the public bar next door - the whole experience made me feel as if i was sat on the 'throne' in the centre circle at Old Trafford in front of 70,000 such was the realistic sounds coming from the speaker -I looked to my left and saw how secure i was - it was the weakest door lock i have ever seen !.

I was given a warm welcome as i handed over my measly £4 for this encounter and immediately i entered the ground i realised why it had received such glowing reports from fellow hoppers on the forums.

Even with the swirling wind and the rain the ground was still a scenic one full of charachter and great views.
After walking around the whole ground i decided to visit the Tea Hut for a pie and peas , which was delicious all served on a china plate with proper cutlery ! Rarely seen at football grounds this kind of service.

The match itself was very entertaining chances galore for both teams and Rossington had the bulk of the play but went 1-0 down to a well taken Emley goal after only 11 minutes it continued like that until just before half time when Emley scored again it was 2-0 - which seemed unfair considering Emley had only two attempts all the half. Another great thing from today was that i was able to meet lots of fellow hoppers whom were all really good company - each one had a different story to tell , which is what its all about really.

Rossington mount another attack

The second was frantic with Rossington having numerous chances to score but their final shot was poor at best - more shooting practice is required at training this week for them i think. The Rossing to goalie was a big boy of 6.3+ but lacked in the agility department ! His only decent contribution this afternoon was and an amazing double save , both shots from close range deflected on the either the bar then the post. Then on 86 mins the Emley #7 let fly a rocket of a shot into the top corner - 3-0 ! cracking goal.

Today was a very enjoyable day, great ground, decent game,great setting and good company - what more could i have asked for ?

Crawley Town

Saturday 4th Sept - Conf Premier
Crawley Town 1 v Fleetwood Town 1
Attendance: 1637  Admission: £14
Ground :  3 sides only , but well laid out.
Food/Drink: Chips £1Coffee £1 - Choc bar 60p
Total Mileage: 89
Conditions :  Perfect

View Crawley pics (30).                                       
Short Vids of Crawley v Fleetwood

I had been to the Broadfield Stadium , home of Crawley Town Fc on three other occasions, the last one being about three years ago , so a return was due especially with the Cod Army in Town.The Reds have been the talk of the town this season for signing 17 new players for some very high fees by non league standards. Hence the trip today with Linda (my sat nav) but this time with the camera.

For some reason all visitors must buy a ticket in the booths located in the car park and not at the turnstiles like before. When i asked why , i was told because of some 'dodgy' people all the gate money wasn't reaching where it should . Probally in Manager Steve Evans' back pocket !!!
I decided to pop into the REDZ Bar for a quick drink before going inside and it was already well populated by both sets of fans, with not a hint of trouble which is nice to see.

As the fans were segregated i decided to stand with the Fleetwood fans - The Cod Army were a hundred strong today , not bad considering a 600 mile round trip. The match started very brightly and Crawley should of scored within 45 seconds and then a minute later the Fleetwood goalie came for to punch a ball clear on the edge of his own box and smashed through 4 players and fell badly - his match was already over after less than 2 minutes !
The Cod Army were in Town

After a delay for the goalie a few minutes later Crawley were 1-0- up scored by the impressive Number 14 Macallister - he won every header for his team and was a right handful for Fleetwood. The after about ten minutes Crawley had an attack Macallister held the ball up well (see pic below) was being challenged when suddenly a Fleetwood Fan jumped in front of me and went beserk "kill the f****er , smash the C*** and break his legs " !!! The guy was freaking out over nothing , the delicious waft of stale beer from this lovely character's breath passed under my nose ... it explained everything !

Fleetwood worked hard and got a deserved goal on 25 mins by new signing Viera - he also had a great chance early in the second half but it hit the bar.
The rest of the match was very even and the second half proved a little disappointed for excitment ,but a draw was a fair result -Both defenses were on top. The Cod Army applauded their team at the end for the effort shown ,so in the ended everyone went home satisfied.