Here is a review of my itinerant football watching during the 2013/14 campaign.
NB: I have bowed to UEFA pressure this season and changed my usual end of season cut off of May 31st to the UEFA approved date of June 30th.
Total Matches Attended: 232
New Grounds Visited: 174
Total Goals Scored: 837 (Average of 3.61 goals per game, up from 3.58 last season)
Biggest Win: Wells Town 10 Brandon Town 0
Biggest Crowd: 83,807 – England v Montenegro (at Wembley)
Games Abroad: 42 (Sweden 13, Belgium 10, Germany 9, France 3, Serbia 3, Poland 2, Spain 2)
BEST GROUNDS VISITED IN THE UK 2013/14
1. Benburb – an ailing leviathan of a ground, an unsustainable relic of a bygone era. A crushing loss.
2. Linfield – its all about the Leitch stand. Destroying one of his masterpieces is tantamount to putting marker pen over a Van Gogh sunflower.
3. Dunfermline Athletic – despite modernisation a place of history and spirit, and of blood sweat and tears.
4. Cliftonville – edgy and a rather beguiling melange of old and new.
5. Ffostrasol – small and most certainly perfectly formed.
BEST GROUNDS VISITED ABROAD 2013/14
1. Union St.Gilloise – if you ever go to the Stade Marien have a good look around. Between the stained glass windows and the cornucopia of architectural ornamentation you might just find the little piece of my soul that I left there. Beauty beyond all compare.
2. K.Lyra TSV – sadly doomed but effortlessly easy on the eye.
3. RC Lens – going to be renovated for Euro 2016 but as it was it atmospheric with some great ultras.
4. Lech Poznań – an audacious and attractive new build and everybody loves synchronised bouncing right?
5. Berchem Sport – stunning ground and great fans whats not to like?
BEST PROGRAMME BOUGHT IN 2013/14
1.Jarrow Roofing (Northern League Div 2, Step 6 – £1.50)
2. Sutton Athletic (Kent Invicta League, Step 6 – £4 inc.admission)
3. Hednesford Town (Conference North, Step 2 – £2.50)
4. Cefn Druids (Cymru Alliance, Step 2 – £2)
5. Hinckley United (Southern League Premier, Step 5 – £2)
BEST FOOD IN 2013/14
1. Stovies (Dunfermline Athletic)
2. Lobscows (Gaerwen FC)
3. Jam Sponge and Custard (Cilgerran Rangers)