11.30am Sunday 26th September 2010
Hellenic League Division One East
South Kilburn 1-5 Milton United
Attendance: 158

The day began at the Vale Farm Sports Complex (ie a leisure centre) near Wembley. After last years fiasco (which is now a great bonus!) when the pitch was deemed unfit, and the hop match was played on the outer training pitch, it was at last a chance to see a game on the main South Kilburn pitch. The game was played in windy and wet conditions and was very one sided with Milton going four up at the break, however great entertaiment was provided by South Kilburn's rotund keeper with his one man comedy show. He could've done better with quite a few of the goals and it was a shock he only let in four at the break! The second half was more even and Kilburn did get a goal back before conceding again.

2.30pm Sunday 26th September 2010
Rayners Lane 2-2 Broadfields United
(Broadfields win 5-3 on penalties)
Attendance: 77

This game was due to be a league cup cup game versus Launton Sports but they withdrew from the competition, so a friendly was arranged against Northwood, but they sacked their Manager on the Saturday evening, so they too pulled out. Fortunately Broadfields United stepped in at the very last minute to ensure a game went ahead at Tithe Farm. Well done to Rayners Lane for doing this, they also issued a programme, though this was for the Northwood game, but it was most appreciated nontheless.

This did create a dilemma for me as playing next to South Kilburn in the FA Cup were Hendon, who groundshare at Wembley FC. So it was am agonising decision...a groundshare or a friendly...arrrrgh! In the end I plumped for the friendly as at least then I will be seeing Rayner's Lane play at home. It wasn't billed as a friendly as both teams were playing for the right to lift the Bob Wells Memorial Cup aka The Ground Hop Cup. Wonder if this will be listed among the winners club honours?

As it turned out, I made a wise choice (I will get back to Wembley's ground another time)  as the game was rather entertaining and the ground was a little gem, quite a rural feel to it, despite being in the suburbs of North London. Even in the heavy the rain, it was a good attacking (and competitive!) game which ended up all square. The visitors took the lead before the home side drew level. The visitors then restored their lead before Rayners Lane levelled again. The home team were in the ascendency but couldnt force a winner. There was no extra time and the game went straight to penalties, in which Broadfields were victorious.

Credit must go to the organisers for arranging this Hellenic Hop as, to be honest, if it wasn't for these organised hops i'd never visit any of these grounds. The standard of football is not one I particularly enjoy (this year was no exception) and some of the grounds, especially at step 6, are basic to say the least. When I compare the Step 6 league on my doorstep, the North West Counties, to the Hellenic the differences are vast. Having said that it's always nice to catch up with fellow hoppers and 'tick' five grounds in a short space of time. Lets hope they continue for a wee while yet!

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