Most people who know me will testify, i'm a groundhopper. Most people who know me may testify i'm slightly mad. Either way, I travel around various football grounds of this island and, sometimes, beyond to watch the beautiful game.
Most of my travels encompass the non-league game and, with my inane ramblings, I will attempt to show you where my travels take me and, also, try to show you that there is footballing life beyond the so-called "best league in Europe"
I hope you enjoy reading!
11.30am Saturday 25th September Hellenic League Division One East Finchampstead 1-2 Henley Town Attendance: 152
An early start at the Memorial Park, in the village of Finchampstead. The ground, which is just a railed off pitch with no cover (good job the sun was shining) is in the middle of a green with numerous other pitches, including a cricket pitch. The game was effectively won by the visitors with two goals in five minutes before the break, after a very turgid first forty minutes. The home side got themselves back in the game just after the interval and had a good period of play when it looked as if they were going to turn the game around, but unfortunately for them they couldn't find the breakthrough.
2.30pm Saturday 25th September 2010 Hellenic Premier League Reading Town 1-0 Wokingham and Emmbrook Attendance: 164
Next up was a trip to Scours Lane, in Tilehurst, which is on the edge of Reading. It was a bloody nightmare journey as it took me 20 minutes to crawl the 1.5 miles along the Oxford Road which leads to the ground. I thought I wasn't going to make kick off at one stage but managed to arrive with a few minutes to spare. It was a better game than the first (which isn't saying much) and Reading shaded the first half and should've been more than just the one goal to the good, a straight-forward header from a corner. Emmbrook did have their moments too but poor finishing let them down. The visitors dominated the possession in the second half but never really troubled the goalkeeper and Reading seemed content with what they had as the game petered out.
5.30pm Saturday 25th September 2010
Hellenic Premier League
Bracknell Town 2-3 Shortwood United
The final leg of the day saw the hoppers head back down the A33 to Larges Lane, the home of Bracknell. They find themselves in the Hellenic Premier after an awful 09/10 season which saw them finish rock bottom of the Southern League Div1. This was easily the best ground of the day and you could clearly see it had graced a higher stage. The game too was also the best of the day as a decent looking Shortwood side found themselves 2-1 up at the break and it was fully justified. Their second goal was a bullet into the top corner from outside the box which is an early contender for 'goal of the season'. The second half continued in similar vein with Shortwood pulling the strings, but Bracknell holding on and with 10 minutes go they drew level for the second time but they couldn't push on from this, or indeed hold on as Shortwood grabbed a winner which, on the balance of play, they deserved.