Stick a fork in I’m done with 2014/15

Here is a review of my itinerant football watching during the 2014/15 campaign.

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Total Matches Attended: 237

New Grounds Visited: 182

Total Goals Scored: 818 (Average of 3.45 goals per game, down on 3.61 last season – nine 0-0 draws this season!)

Biggest Win: Bishop Sutton 0 Brislington 11

Biggest Crowd: 43,683 Rangers v Heart of Midlothian

Games Abroad: 23 (Germany 5, Ireland 4, Croatia 3, Sweden 2, Belgium 2, Morocco 2, Slovenia 1, Italy 1, Luxembourg 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 1)

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BEST GROUNDS VISITED IN THE UK 2014/15

1. Arbroath – Gayfield

Visceral location, football and the elements in constant ebb and flow.

Nov14 371

 

2. Treharris Athletic Western – Athletic Grounds

History seeping from every nook and cranny. Little changed in 110 years of existence.

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3.Blaenau Ffestiniog Amateurs – Cae Clyd

Breathtakingly scenic and had a real sense of hard work and bloody-mindedness to its ongoing survival.

Aug14 354

 

4. Billingham Synthonia – Central Avenue

A weather enforced re-visit but a great reminder of how industry and recreation in this country once sat hand and hand with each other.

Nov14 200

5. AFC Emley – Welfare Ground

A cracking old ground, lovely stand and some fantastic covered terracing.

April 2015 106

BEST GROUNDS VISITED ABROAD 2014/15

1. HNK Rijeka – Stadion Kantrida

Numbered days for this scenic wonder, hewn into the side of a quarry and surrounded by the Adriatic Sea.

Nov14 568

2. SC Westfalia Herne – Stadion am Schloss Strünkede

One of the finest and best preserved big grounds left in Europe

Feb 2015 370

3. 1.FC Saarbrücken – Ludwigparkstadion

Another classic German bowl left untouched for decades. But not for much longer.

oct14 106

4. Mouloudia Marrakech – Stade El Harti

A fading beauty of colonial construction, had a sense of splendour and moribund abandonment to it. Quite wonderful.

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5. US Triestina – Stadio Nereo Rocco

Built on a vast scale before the club collapsed financially, a cathedral to modernist construction.

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BEST ATMOSPHERE 2014/15

Olympic Club de Safi v Chabab Rif Al Hoceima

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MOST UNUSUAL GROUND VISITED 2014/15

Just has to be FC Sobemai, utterly unique.

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BEST PROGRAMMES BOUGHT IN 2014/15

(Criteria being status, resources, content, effort and value)

1. Barmouth & Dyffryn United

Barmouth

2. Seaham Red Star

Seaham

 

3. Taunton Town

Taunton

 

4. Gateshead

Gateshead

5. Stamford

Stamford

 

WORST PROGRAMME BOUGHT IN 2014/15

Would rarely denigrate any programme editors efforts as it’s a tough job, but this was an insult to the buying public. Caveat Emptor.

Ilkeston

BEST FOOD IN 2014/15

Llanboidy FC – Steak and dumplings

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Stick a fork in I’m done with 2013/14

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.

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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)

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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.

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2. Linfield – its all about the Leitch stand. Destroying one of his masterpieces is tantamount to putting marker pen over a Van Gogh sunflower.

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3. Dunfermline Athletic – despite modernisation a place of history and spirit, and of blood sweat and tears.

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4. Cliftonville – edgy and a rather beguiling melange of old and new.

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5. Ffostrasol – small and most certainly perfectly formed.

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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.

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2. K.Lyra TSV – sadly doomed but effortlessly easy on the eye.

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3. RC Lens – going to be renovated for Euro 2016 but as it was it atmospheric with some great ultras.

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4. Lech Poznań – an audacious and attractive new build and everybody loves synchronised bouncing right?

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5. Berchem Sport – stunning ground and great fans whats not to like?

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BEST PROGRAMME BOUGHT IN 2013/14

1.Jarrow Roofing (Northern League Div 2, Step 6 – £1.50)

Jarrow Roofimg

2. Sutton Athletic (Kent Invicta League, Step 6 – £4 inc.admission)

Sutton Athletic 001

3. Hednesford Town (Conference North, Step 2 – £2.50)

Hednesford

4. Cefn Druids (Cymru Alliance, Step 2 – £2)

Cefn

5. Hinckley United (Southern League Premier, Step 5 – £2)

Hinckley

BEST FOOD IN 2013/14

1. Stovies (Dunfermline Athletic)

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2. Lobscows (Gaerwen FC)

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3. Jam Sponge and Custard (Cilgerran Rangers)

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Stick a fork in I’m done with 2012/13

Here is a review of my itinerant football watching during the 2012/13 campaign.

Me 060513

Total Matches Attended: 205

New Grounds Visited: 125

Total Goals Scored: 735 (Average of 3.58 goals per game)

Biggest Win: Barkingside 9 Bowers & Pitsea 1

Biggest Crowd: 76,927  – South Korea v Gabon (at Wembley)

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BEST GROUNDS VISITED IN 2012/13

1. DJURGÅRDENS IF – Stockholms Stadion

Djurgarden IF (15)

2. GLENTORAN – THE OVAL

Glentoran (16)

3. AIK – RÅSUNDA STADION

Rasunda Stadion (68)

4. ATHLETIC BILBAO – SAN MAMES

San Mames (48)

5. FK CRVENA ZVEZDA – STADION CRVENA ZVEZDA “MARAKANA”

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BEST NON-LEAGUE GROUNDS VISITED IN 2012/13

1. MARLOW – ALFRED DAVIS MEMORIAL GROUND

Marlow FC (2)

2. BRIMSCOMBE & THRUPP – THE MEADOW

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3. KINGSTON LACY – PAMPHILL GREEN

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4. PENYBONT – RACECOURSE GROUND

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5. STALYBRIDGE CELTIC – BOWER FOLD

Stalybridge Celtic Dec 29 2012 (19)

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BEST PROGRAMME

Based on standing/resources of the club, cost, content and effort.

1. ABERDEEN

aberdeen

2. GLENTORAN

glens

3. NORTHWOOD

northwood

4. FROME TOWN

FROME

5. CANVEY ISLAND

canvey

It was also a dream come true for me seeing my beloved Southend United’s name on the front of a Wembley cup final programme after 37 years of support. The less said about the game the better however.

southend v crewe

BEST FOOD

1. PICKERING TOWN – SHEPHERD’S PIE

Hop Food

2. TYWYN/BRYNCRUG – BARA BRITH

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3. PONTEFRACT COLLIERIES – CHILLI

Hop Food (2)