Rushall Olympic

Northern Premier League
Rushall Olympic 1 
Frickley 1
Match Abandoned 84mins 

Atten 170ish

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more to follow ...

Rugby Town

Southern League
Div One Central
Rugby Town 1
Hanwell Town 1
Atten 203

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In 2005, after a gap of 32 years, the name Rugby Town appeared once more on the Southern League fixture list. 

 The first competitive match was in the Rugby and District League in September 1956 under the name of Valley Sports; the name was taken from the "Happy Valley", the local name for New Bilton. At this stage, The club played at Hillmorton Recreation Ground, and in due course moved to share the Oakfield ground of Southern League Rugby Town.

As with so many other towns supporting Non-League football teams, the history is not straight forward, and this particular Rugby Town club traces its origins back to the early 1950’s when Keith Coughlan formed a team in the New Bilton area of Rugby.Sky blue was introduced as the club colour in 1959 combined with navy blue.

In 1973 the club moved to its own ground at Butlin Road and in the same year Rugby Town folded after 15 seasons in the Southern League.Valley Sports became the senior club for the town, and abbreviated their name to VS Rugby.VS moved from the United Counties to the West Midlands League in 1974, and in 1976 entered the FA Cup for the first time.

In January 1981 Jimmy Knox was appointed manager.Jimmy had been a successful player and manager at Rugby Town, before a spell as top Non-League manager at AP Leamington.His reputation enabled him to survive defeats in his first five matches and ten defeats in the first eleven. The following season he led VS to success at Wembley in the FA Vase and into the Southern League.

In1992 with the team 3rd in the Premier Division and the Birmingham Senior Cup again behind the bar, and Knox's departure led to a rapid decline in club fortunes.VS were relegated for the first time in their history, and then put into liquidation.

A group of supporters, rescued the club, and manager Ron Bradbury stayed on to gain promotion behind newly formed Rushden & Diamonds.

That season led on to the lot of most clubs – years of struggle. However, developments around the ground with a new 500 seater cantilever stand with dressing rooms underneath, a refurbished club house bar and a pitch better than it had ever been before put the now renamed Rugby United in a position to compete in the Southern League Premier Division following the reorganisation of Non-League football.

A new club was formed in 1945, starting in the Central Amateur League and then moving into the United Counties League. In 1950 they turned professional, amalgamated with Oakfield and moved to their ground.They joined the Southern League in 1958, and completed 15 years before folding.

Under many names the the clubs fans remain loyal in the extreme and they have followed Valley Sports, Valley Sports Rugby, VS Rugby, Rugby United and now Rugby Town.

Today there is a great vibe around the place and greater success will happen because of the friendliness and open welcome everyone at the club gives to visitors old and new. Butlin Road is a fantastic venue and a visit is a must for any so called football lover. May i suggest you get down to Butlin Road as soon as possible as you will not regret it.

Harrogate Railway

Northern Premier League
Division One North
Harrogate Railway 2 
Northwich Victoria 1
Atten 93

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Really enjoyed my visit to the spa town of Harrogate. Railway's number 9 Nathan Cartmen is claimed to be the most prolific striker in Europe in all the league games. His strike rate is most impressive. Today he scored again with a typical 'sniffers' goal to equalise in first half stoppage time. High flying Northwich Victoria probably deserved to go in leading as they had the better of things. But Railway never gave up and scored what was to be the winner early in the second half. It was a most entertaining end to end game which never relented with both teams having plenty of chances. 
The people at Railway were super friendly and were a pleasure to visit. The Clubhouse is one of the best i have seen in Non League for a long time with a very spacious modern bar/lounge with large comfy leather sofas and large plasmas. It had a touch of class about it. The tea hut was excellent with pride of place being the Local Butcher made Warm Pork Pies with mushy peas & mint sauce - they were delicious and were worth the journey alone. Also think that Railway have the most enthusiastic/eccentric/ebullient matchday announcer in football ! He was most entertaining and his team announcing has to be heard to be believed.

Great day out ! 


South Yorkshire Amateur League
Grimethorpe 8 

Horse & Groom 0
Atten 25 

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I think i have finally reached the bottom of the football pyramid barrel. I remember someone saying to me sometime ago that the lower we go down the football pyramid the more enjoyable our hobby becomes. But i am not sure he meant this low !. This was an unexpected 'tick' yet somehow most enjoyable. NL footy does not get more gritty than at Grimethorpe. 

Grimethorpe has had two senior football clubs – Grimethorpe Athletic, who played in the FA Cup from 1904 to 1953, and Grimethorpe Miners Welfare, who competed in the FA Vase. Not long after the Miners strike which gripped the nation they played a team from Nottinghamshire who were also a Miners Welfare team. Sadly the place became like a battlefield as around 200 of the finest local recidivsts ran down the banking and charged the visitors. Imagine Michael Cane in Zulu and you will get the picture. A heavy police presence was required as they 'ring fenced' the visitors dressing room until peace was restored. One of the reasons for the attack was different beliefs regarding a certain lady's behaviour. Her name was Margaret Thatcher.

Grimethorpe is known for its brass band, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and was used as the location for the film Brassed Off – a black comedy which tells the plight of the village and the effect on its band. The band today plays world wide and tickets are much in demand.For the band members the itinery is just like they breed them round here ...... tough ! 

Today the new Grimethorpe team called all the tunes with a 8 goal thrashing of the Sheffield based team. They could even be forgiven for blowing their own trumpets (if you will pardon the pun) . 

Daisy Hill

FA Vase 1st Round
Daisy Hill 0 Atherton Collieries 8
Gate £5
Atten 250 (estimate) 

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The FA Vase is one of my favourite cup competitions and i always try to attend each round of the competition including the final at Wembley. So how could i resist a trip to this game. A local derby, goals were guaranteed after they battled out an eight goal thriller just a few weeks ago. Plus also it was a new ground for me.

The game started at 3pm in glorious sunshine and by 3.06pm the high flying Colls were already 3-0 up. The Daisies were shell shocked and things got even worse on the half hour when they went down to ten men and 0-4. They battled bravely but the Colls were just too good, too impressive in everything.
The final score was 0-8 but it could have been many more subject to a less than very good performance by the home custodian. For he had made at least 6 great saves , a fantastic double-save and a 90th minute penalty save.

Daisy Hill were established in 1894. in the 1896–97 season they were Wigan & District League champions and also won the Westhoughton Cup, achieving both honours without losing a game all season. By the time of World War I the club were playing at their present ground, New Sirs and competing in the Leigh & District Senior Sunday School League. They then joined the Westhoughton League winning a number of honours in the 1920s and 1930s and during this time, Lancashire County Cricket Club cricketers played in the team.

The club folded some time before World War II and were re-formed in 1951, playing again in the Westhoughton League, but having moved to play on St. James Street Recreation and Cricket Ground before moving back to their current home in 1957. Having acquired the lease or the ground, The Daisies then started playing in the Bolton Combination

90th Minute Penalty Save
After the 1988–89 season the club changed name to Westhoughton Town,playing under the new name for five seasons from 1989–90 to 1993–94  before reverting to Daisy Hill for the 1994–95 season. They remained in Division Two for the next 14 seasons before the league was rebranded and Division Two was renamed the First Division in the 2008–09 season.
In the 2005–06 season, FC United of Manchester competed in the North West Counties League Second Division, and with their large support, the home match against them was moved to Victory Park, and a crowd of 1,682 was recorded. The club finished the 2013–14 season in one of the two relegation places, but avoided relegation following the resignations from the league of Leek CSOB and Formby.

The average league-game attendance at New Sirs for last season was 40, thankfully this was an increase from the previous season. Todays crowd was around the 250 mark with a large away following from all of 2 miles away ! 

Large Colls following ...

Colls players celebrate going 3-0 up !



Northern Premier League
Stourbridge 2 Frickley 1
Atten 306

Faggots, Mushy Peas, Chips & Gravy £2.50

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I really enjoyed The Amblecote. Despite sharing the facility with the local cricket club it did not detract from my enjoyment. The club has a decent family feel about it. The Club's staff and volunteers were all very welcoming, friendly and great to chat to. The bar was a hive of activity. On the adjoining mini-pitch the youngsters were honing their own skills wearing an ecclectic mix of replica shirts mainly Villa, Baggies,Wolves and Roma !. The tea bar was purveying some enjoyable food and beverages including a delicious Faggots,mushy peas, chips and gravy.I really liked the configuration of stands on the far side. Behind the far goal is a huge covered terrace. The only downside to my visit was the absence of the famous inflatable Llama from the Barmy Llamas !

The Glassboys were dominant in the first half and fully deserved their two goal lead.But in the second half Frickley fought back and the game turned when the dangerous Frickley forward Allott made a good run in behind to chest the ball past two defenders in the box. With the goal at his mercy he was brought down and the ref had no choice but to award a penalty and give the defender his marching orders. Allott got up to dispatch the spot kick himself and set up a frantic finale. Frickley had a strong shout for another penalty when the ball hit a defenders hand. However the lino was only ten yards away said it hit his Knee cap. He was incorrect !

Thoroughly enjoyed my day out in the West Midlands and a visit to the Glassboys comes highly recomended !

"The Glassboys" were founded in 1876 and were originally known as Stourbridge Standard. Top honours eluded the club until the 1887/88 season when they won the Kidderminster Cup and the Worcester Charity Cup. By that time, it is known that that they had changed the name to "Stourbridge" and competed in the Birmingham and District League, where reasonable success was achieved.

In 1971 they were elected to the expanding Southern League and met almost instant success under manager Alan Grundy in 1973/74 season, with the Division 1 (North) title and the Merit Cup (for the league's highest goalscorers) coming to Amblecote. Twin strikers, Ray Haywood and Chic Bates, each notched 50 goals that season and were transferred to Shrewsbury Town, where Bates served 13 years as both player and manager.
Another highlight in 1973/74 was a tremendous run in the Welsh Cup, in which we disposed of both Swansea and Wrexham on their own grounds and then faced Cardiff in a two leg final. A record crowd of 5,726 saw the Glassboys lose the home leg 1-0 and they also lost 1-0 at Ninian Park.
For a few seasons fortunes fluctuated but sadly in the '99-2000 season things got worse.Despite an influx of new players, continued poor results meant the bell finally tolled on Stourbridge's 29-year spell at Southern league level with defeat in the last game of the season at Hinckley United in May 2000. They were now forced to re-group in the Midland Alliance. In 2002-3 they got their highest league points total ever on 101 thus winning the Championship.
In 2004-5 Stour enjoyed a memorable run in the F.A. Vase, battling through six rounds to reach the last 8 of the competition. We put up a tremendous display at AFC Sudbury in the quarter-final before finally succumbing to a 4-1 defeat after extra time.
Today they find themselves in the Northern Premier League as a result of in 2012-3 just missing out in heart breaking fashion against Gosport for a place in the Conference North.


main entrance
Kent Senior Trophy 1st Round 
Crockenhill 1 Pheonix Sports 8 
Atten 45 ish 
Gate £5 
includes programmes which were thrown on the pool table sometime in the second half ! 

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Plenty of rogering, loads of booze, partying, gang bangs and symptons of syphilis were the subjects covered during the Pheonix Sports Managers pre-match players meeting in the bar in relation to the teams trip to Benidorm at the end of season. "all in for 130 nicker boys .... booking monday" ! 

A visit to 'Crock' is always great fun as this ramshackle gem in rural Kent never disappoints. 
The Clubhouse is decorated from floor to ceiling with football memorabilia. The main stand is quirky to say the least. It has the narrowest players tunnel anywhere in football. Decent kitchen and bar in operation. 

The club is held together by selotape and how it survives no one knows. The entrance to the ground is the narrowest ever seen. One spectator who was on the large side got so tired of trying to squeeze through he asked for a chair to sit down on to regain his breath. 
The chap on the gate went and got one for him but could not fit it through the entrance. His solution was to throw the chair over the roof of the stand into the car park. 

Bag for life !
The score line explains the difference between the teams. Crocks goal was a penalty and was their first goal scored at home since last season. I actually lost count of the score as it was that one sided. 

For the last 15 mins Crocks goalie went off and was replaced by what appeared to be an out of shape Sexagenarian who was unable to dive !. 
All this in the fine company of Richiejen from this parish. After our mega breakfast (with extra bubble !) my travelling companion dropped me off at 'Crock' and then continued to watch Dartford v Aldershot just four miles away. Upon his return a few hours later after a mundane game he regreted missing the events at Crockenhill - he should of listened to me !

A visit to Crockenhill comes highly recommended to any football enthusiast.
Just make sure that you will be able to fit through the turnstile !

Leek Town

Stress ball not required as Leek win 2-0
FA Cup 3rd Q Round
Leek Town 2 Boston United 0
Gate £7.50
Atten 769

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Day and Ground Enjoyment 10/10

A gentle drive through the stunning Hope Valley and Staffordshire Moorlands was only the beginning of a fantastic day at Leek Town.
I have driven past Harrison Park so many times on a non match day and even stopped to have a peek over the wall into this gem of a non league ground. Well the wait for a match day was well worth it and I was treated to an FA Cup special in front of a bumper crowd.

It just gets better !  Leek players celebrate going 2-0 !
 Make no mistake this was no Boston tea party as Leek fully deserved the victory on their big day. The first half was tepid but in the 2nd half the game sprung to life and the game became more open. Leek broke out quickly and the Boston defence was in knots as a cross came in for the Leek forward to tap home into an empty net. The deciding goal came as a result of a mix up between the Boston defenders allowing the nippy Leek forwards plenty of space to pass to each other and score unchallenged.

Boston offered little after that and never looked like scoring. Talking to Boston fans before the game they arrived in a downbeat mood.One fan said as long as they had at least one attempt on target he would be happy as it would be an improvement on recent limp performances.

The welcome given by all the Club's Staff was fantastic as they could not be more helpful and friendly. They say good things happen to good people and the name of Leek Town will be in that velvet bag for Monday's 1st Round proper Draw and they fully deserve any success that comes their way. The locals want Macc Town then Port Vale and then Stoke City in the next few rounds and after that they dont mind who they get ! I always say if you are going to have dreams have big dreams and Leek's FA Cup journey is gathering pace and I will be following them all the way but I wont book my Wembley hotel just yet !

Some say the origins of Leek Town go back as far as 1876, the history of the club as we now know it begins in 1946. Starting out as Leek Lowe Hamil in the Leek and Moorlands League and progressing to the Staffordshire County League, where they still hold the record of being the only team to win the championship without the loss of a match in 1949/50. On moving into the Manchester League in 1951/52, they became Leek Town and won the championship at the first attempt. After a brief flirtation with the Birmingham League in 1954/55, they moved back to the Manchester League and eventually back to the Staffordshire County League.

It was 1968 when Leek Town started to become the club it is now. The ground was improved adding a clubhouse, small stand and floodlights. Manager Paul Ogden led the team to success in the Staffordshire County League and the Manchester League before joining the Cheshire League in the 1973/74 season and winning that championship at the second attempt. The chairman at the time was the late Geoff Harrison, after whom Harrison Park is named. Leek became founder members of the North West Counties League in 1982, but had little success. When the Northern Premier League was formed in 1987, Leek were again, founder members. After two seasons finishing third, they were promoted to the Premier Division on topping the First Division in 1989/90. This season also saw them reach the FA Trophy final at Wembley, where they lost 3-0 to Barrow. This was a historic achievement, as no other side from that level of the pyramid had ever done so previously. The success, all under the guidance of manager, Neil Baker, continued in the following season in the form of an FA Cup run where they defeated Scarborough in the First Round Proper and forced a replay against Chester City in the Second Round.
Leek’s second place finish in 1993/94 should have been enough to see them promoted to the Vauxhall Conference. Instead, they were rewarded by being shunted sideways to the Southern League, as they were denied a place for financial reasons.
It is fair to say that in the early part of the new millenium Leek's fortunes wobbled and success on the pitch was hard to come by. But to their credit in recent years they have restructured. The high turnover of Team Mangers has slowed down and today they seem on a much better footing. The loyal band of Staff and volunteers are a credit to the Club. From the Chairman down , everybody has a smile , professional and caring. Making sure that your visit to Harrison Park is an enjoyable experience and the football on the pitch is equally as enjoyable. It can only be a matter of time before they rise up the leagues once more.


Craven & District League – Premier Division  
Embsay 2 Grassington United 7 
Atten 15 h/c
+ 3 canine + plenty of sheep
Gate – No charge

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Embsay is a small village located about two miles north-east of Skipton in North Yorkshire. They share the facility with the local cricket club. The cricket crease is located just yards from the changing room doors where as to reach the football pitch one must negotiate some tricky drystone walling and wade down through a field of sheep whilst side-stepping the remains of bodily waste from the Ovine fraternity.

The landscape is fantastic with dry stone walling , patchwork fields, craggs and quarries as far as the eye can see. Behind the far goal is a the eye catching railway sidings and terminal for the Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.

Today's opponents Grassington United are from just ten miles up the road and in control for most of the game. The goal of the game was Grassington's fifth. A neat 4 man move down the left wing followed by a low cross into the six yard box which was perfect for the out stretched leg of the lunging forward to prod it in the back of the net. The comment from the applauding Grassington coaches and subs claimed it was “Just like watching Wanchope” …. yes, Paulo W of Derby/West Ham/Man City fame.

The sunshine was out and the weather was perfect.By half time the locals began to turn up to swell the crowd in to double figures. You could also hear on a regular basis the 'tooting' and 'hissing' of the passing steam railway – the setting was idylic.At the sound of the final whistle there was hugs and handsakes all round as both teams gave it their best in an enjoyable encounter. As usual at this level the players then proceeded to pull the goal nets down and collect the corner flags. Once again going through the field of sheep before negotiating the tricky dry stone wall one final time, before a well earned hot shower.

With no 'furniture' or refreshment facilities this was as basic as it gets. But this was an excellent visit because sometimes, less is more .... much more !


Northern Premier League
Workington 1 Frickley 1
Atten 402

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Ground & Day Enjoyment - 10/10

On two previous occasions i have got within touching distance of visiting Borough Park. To be precise it was 2.5 miles in 2013 and just two months ago only 2 miles. All this after many years of wanting to visit this historic non league ground. Well today i finally made it. I arrived in glorious Cumbrian sunshine only to see it looking fantastic.

Borough Park is dripping in history. During the 1957/58 season they played the great Manchester United team known as the Busby Babes at home in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, attracting a record crowd of 21,000. This was just a month before eight of the United players lost their lives in the Munich air disaster, the same room a Frickley changed in today.

There are plenty of reminders of former manager Bill Shankly hanging proudly in the lounge. There is also plenty of fantastic steep terracing and spacious stands. I can only imagine what it would feel like to attend a big occasion night game here under the lights with a full house cheering the Reds on.

Frickley played really well, carrying on from their midweek thrashing of FCUM. In fact they they should have won it with three excellent chances in the last ten minutes, best of all the half-volley miss by goal machine Allott. It was just inches wide from sealing all three points for the team from the Yorkshire pit village.

The superb welcome given by the Clubs Officials made you feel at home immediately. They all do a sterling job for the club, they do it out of love,not money. There is a wonderful friendly vibe around the place and typical of my recent trips to Cumbria.

They say that the fruit tastes sweeter to those who wait. Yes, it has been a very long wait to visit Borough Park but it has been well worth it. Shame i did not have enough time to visit Workington Town Rugby League Club across the road, as it looks a fantastic ground. Not a problem really, as it gives me an excuse to return and visit Borough Park again ...... as long as they call me "marra".

Bilston Town

West Midlands Premier 

Bilston Town 0 
Smethwick Rangers 2
Gate £5
Atten 100ish

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What a cracking ground Queen Street is. Situated in the Black Country Wolverhampton as you enter the ground you can just smell the history. The Main Stand is obviously the focal point and it is fantastic. It just oozes charm, beauty and .... Orange. Even more Orange than David Dickinson, Dale Winton and the Tango guy. There was even some orange coloured soap in the toilets. Whilst walking round to the other side of the ground if you start to get 'Orange withdrawal symptons' dont worry because you will bump into Bilston's number one and loudest fan Mr Bilston who is clad from head to toe in ....... Orange ! After today i am eating no more jaffa cakes, drinking no more juice and changing my mobile service provider ... as i am 'oranged out'.

Mr Bilston
The Club has had an eventful history and in the last few years has had over 130 break-ins from the local recidivists. But they keep bouncing back, for which i doff my cap to them. They are determined to be an integral part of the local community , forge partnerships with multi-agencies, and host fundraising events for the locals who are more needy than themselves. Another eye catching feature of the ground is the Orange hypercube style fencing which surrounds the periminter which you can see from the from the Black Country Route Road. 

The game itself was quite an even affair and goals just minutes before the end of each half gave the visitors Smethwick the 3 points. Must admit the pitch was a bit bobbly and quite of few of the home players would possibly fail the Body Mass Index testing. The welcome given by the Clubs Officials was excellent as well as very friendly. 

I would strongly recommend a visit to Bilston Town. Because like David 'Orange' Dickinson would say "Its a Bobby Dazzler" !