Here is a review of my itinerant football watching during the 2017/18 campaign.
Total Matches Attended: 258
New Grounds Visited: 185
Total Goals Scored: 984 (Average of 3.81 goals per game, down on 3.91 last season, seven 0-0 draws this season)
Biggest Win: Southampton 12 QK Southampton 0
Biggest Crowd: 42,679 Tottenham Hotspur v APOEL
Games Abroad: 43 (Serbia 14, Romania 9, Slovakia 4, Belgium 3. Cyprus 3, Latvia 3, Austria 2, Isle of Man 2, Liechtenstein 1, Lithuania 1, Northern Cyprus 1).
BEST GROUNDS VISITED IN THE UK 2017/18
1. FORT WILLIAM – Claggan Park
One of the most beautifully scenic grounds in the world let alone the UK. Set in front of Càrn Dearg, one of the foothills of Ben Nevis, the thought of this ground closing for football sent many scurrying up to the Highlands this season. Fortunately the club live to fight another campaign at this wondrous place.
2. GREENOCK MORTON – Cappielow
Classic grandstand and terracing, iconic floodlights and maritime cranes. One of the UK’s finest surviving old school football stadiums.
3. TON PENTRE – Ynys Park
Steeped in a century’s worth of history. Boasting a superb example of covered terracing, even with no one it, Ynys Park is the type of place that just crackles with atmosphere.
4. JK SILVERTOWN – Lyle Park
A fine ground hidden away by East London industry. Nearly 100 years old and what a rich story that lies within.
5. BRECON CORINTHIANS – The Rich Field
Lovely little ground in a fantastic town, one of those sort of places you wouldn’t mind moving to and following the Corries.
BEST GROUNDS VISITED ABROAD 2017/18
1. AS TRENČÍN – Stadion na Sihoti
Despite undergoing a rebuild the floodlights and medieval castle backdrop at this stadium are stuff of dreams.
2. FC TRIESENBERG – Sportplatz Leitawies
I had always known this was a beautiful setting but it truly defies description
3. CSM SCOLAR RESITA – Stadion Mircea Chivu
Hewn rather than built into a valley, this is a magical ground. You will not be disappointed.
4. FC POJORÂTA – Stadion Pojorâta
Like watching football on a fantasy movie set, just stunning.
5. RSD JETTE – Stade Communal de Jette
Crumbling terracing in a decreasing curve from start to end. Really unusual and yet another on the never ending list of sublime Belgian football grounds.
BEST PROGRAMMES BOUGHT IN 2017/18
(based on status, resources, effort and originality)
2. HORNSEY & HIGHGATE
3. OSSETT ALBION
4. CANVEY ISLAND
5. BARRY TOWN UNITED
A special mention for the tournament programme for the CONIFA World Football Cup held in London. Superbly produced and very informative.
BEST FOOD IN 2017/18
1. AYA NAPA – Koupes
2. BISHOPS LYDEARD – Thai Curry
3. SUTTON UNITED – Fish Finger Roll