After two days in Mid Wales, the Bank Holiday football continued in the North East of England....

11am, Monday 27th August 2012
Northern League Division Two
Seaham Red Star 0-5 Ryhope Colliery Welfare
Attendance: 123

It was early start for a trip up the A19 to the coastal town of Seaham, just south of Sunderland. Seaham Red Star were taking on newly promoted Ryhope, from just up the road, in a Northern League Division Two encounter at Seaham Town Park.

It was an early start for early for all concerned but Seaham were still half asleep as Ryhope found themselves two goals to the good after fifteen minutes.

They did have a very early chance but it flashed just wide (pictured right) and from then on in Ryhope seemed to be in control.

After 2 minutes Chris Winn raced clear to give the visitors the lead (pictured left) before he caused more problems in the home area, which resulted Michael Pattison turning the ball into his own net (15).

The game was up for the homesters after 78 minutes when Winn blasted home his second goal, from about 20 yards out.

Another Own Goal (Ross Phillips 89) and an effort from John Butler in stoppage time meant a comfortable three points for Ryhope. 

2pm Monday 27th August 2012
Northern League Division Two
Stokesley Sports Club 1-3 Thornaby
Attendance: 53

It was south from Seaham to Stokesley, near Middlesbrough, or, to be more exact, Broughton Road the home of the Stokesley Sports Club. A well as being home to Stokesley, the ground is also the headquarters of the North Riding FA.

It was a grim afternoon as the predicted rain fall finally arrived and, to be completely honest, the football did little to raise spirits.

It was a poor game as the homesters succumb to another defeat, which leaves them firmly rooted to the bottom of the table. A brace from Daniel Lofts and one from Gary Mitchell gave Thornaby the points, though Ross Hodgson did equalise for Stokesley before half time. 

The day was rounded off with a visit to the White Swan, the home of the Captain Cook Brewery. Seeing as it was in Stokesley town centre it would have been rude not to!!

MID WALES GROUNDHOP 2012 (Aberdyfi & Machynlleth)

The Groundhop continued into another day as the sun shone brightly on the west coast of Wales...

3pm Sunday 26th August 2012
Mid Wales League Division Two
Aberdyfi 6-5 Bont
Attendance: 324

The day began, for me, in the seaside town of Aberdyfi and the football team's basic Penrhos Field on the the fringes of the town. It was a 10 minute walk into the town where a drop of Brains' Reverand James was most welcome on a scorching hot day.

The game was another absolute classic. Hot on the heels of yesterday's 5-5 draw at Presteigne it looked liked we were on for a repeat dose until Aberdyfi scored a stoppage winner.

There was no hint of the drama that was to unfold a visitors Bont raced into a 4-0 lead after 30 minutes. Goals from Andre Marsh (18) Daniel Thomas (21) Llewelyn Hughes (28 penalty, pictured right) and Ian Lee (30) seemed to have secured the victory for Bont. All four goals were on the counter and the home defending and performance of the goalkeeper were shocking.

However the homesters were awarded a penalty of their own after 43 minutes, which my mate said it this goes in it will be a draw. Tim Holt duly despatched the penalty (pictured left) to give Aberdyfi a lifeline.

The second half was just two minutes old when Luke Rickard made it 2-4, then after 77 minutes another Tim Holt penalty made it 3-4, my mate was starting to now look smug with his prediction!

Bont however appeared to have finally put the game to bed when just a minute later a Llewellyn Hughes free kick made it 3-5. Zac Smith made it 4-5 with just stoppage time remaining but amazingly, in the 91st minute, Tim Holt completed his hat-trick with a stunning free kick to salvage a point. Or so we thought. In the 5th miunte of stoppage though Ben Richards bundled in a winner to snatch an incredible three points.

Aberdyfi celebrated as if they had won the Champions League, Bont collapsed to their knees in despair. The hopping hordes left grinning from ear to ear after witnessing another stunning game.

6.30pm Sunday 26th August 2012
Mid Wales League Division Two
Machynlleth 0-4 Kerry
Attendance: 347

The biggest crowd of the Groundhop weekend was at Cae Glas for this Sunday evening clash between Machynlleth and Kerry.

Machynlleth was the seat of Owain Glyndwr's Welsh Parliament in 1404 and as such claims to be "the ancient Capital of Wales"

The football ground is in easy walk of the town centre where the GBG entry, The White Horse, served up two real ales, Three Tuns XXX and Salopian Oracle.

The match turned out to be, for the want of a better expression, a 4-0 smash and grab. The homesters played the more controlled football but got caught on the break by Kerry twice in each half.

Matt Mumford gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot (pictured right) after 28 minutes then doubled his, and his team's, tally after 36 minutes.

Luke Vickers (71) and Luke Mumford (89) repeated the dose in the second half to give Kerry the points.

It was at this point that I bailed out of the Groundhop for this year but it had been a superb two days. Lots of goals, the standard of football seemed to have improved since last year and all the clubs were wonderful hosts. Congratulations and thanks to all who made it possible.

MID WALES GROUNDHOP 2012 (Presteigne & Hay St Mary)

The Groundhop on Saturday continued with two further games, this time from the Mid Wales League....

4.30pm Saturday 25th August 2012
Mid Wales League Division Two
Presteigne St Andrews 5-5 Rhosgoch Rangers
Attendance: 260

After leaving New Radnor it was once more along the A44 to the town of Presteigne.

The football team was founded as a church team and named after the church, hence the St Andrews part of the clubs name. The ground, Llanandras Park, is a smart ground with a main stand and floodlights.

There was also the bonus of beer festival at todays game. Well actually the Beer festival was for Sunday but realising their audience, they opened it up for the hoppers!

The place was buzzing today as the hopping hordes were treated to a humdinger of a game, so where do you start?

The homesters went 3-0 up thanks to goals from Ieuan Crow (7) Adriano Girolami (9) and Christian Roberts (18). However before the break Rhosgoch had reduced the deficit to just one goal thanks to Trefor Lloyd (24) and Lee Doman (45).

Danny Evans (2) scores from the spot

Rhosgoch levelled the game through Lee Davies (50) before conceding two more goals, Christian Roberts bagging his second (60) and Danny Evans netting a penalty (64). This appeared to have secured the 3 points for the homesters but there was an unbelievable sting in the tail.

With just two minutes remaining Jordan McQueen made it 5-4 before deep into stoppage time, and believe me it was so deep Fergie would've been proud, Liam Jones levelled with a stunning free kick to earn Rangers a share of the spoils.

This was the first time in over 30 years of watching football i'd ever seen a 5-5 draw and it was simply fantastic. No one in the crowd could argue they didn't get their £3's worth at this game!

7.30pm Saturday 25th August 2012
Mid Wales League Division Two
Hay St Mary 3-2 Talgarth Town
Attendance: 317

The final game of day saw the hordes head south to the border town of Hay-on-Wye. Despite what the postal code may suggest, the town is in Wales. Famous for its literary festival, Hay is known as the "town of books" as there are over 30 bookshops in the town.

Hay's Forest Road ground is a railed off pitch with a stand that is basically a converted trailer. It looked like something you get at a fun fair and someone did remark it would've been funny if it did actually began to spin! There were also no toilets at the actual ground, which didn't help when a coach load of hoppers turned up after the beer festival at Presteigne!

Despite the closeness of the scoreline, the game was a routine win for the homesters. Talgarth took the lead through Gavin Perry after 7 minutes but goals from Kevin Jones (22) and Steve Goodwin (44 and 49) gave the homesters a comfortable lead. Lee Brooks' goal after 87 minutes was mere consolation for Town.