Monday, 22 April 2013



Like most Groundhop weekends, I dont tend to see much of the football, as I'm directing the coach around the grounds, on getting to the grounds, checking everything is fine and usually trying to help out or running the Charity Stall with my wife Hazel.

This being the FIRST EVER NOTTS SENIOR LEAGUE GROUNDHOP no one really knew what to expect in standard of play and also the size of the crowds etc. The Advanced Ticket sales reached a healthy 156 sold, which was well over my expectations.

Friday Evening saw the FIRST Ever Groundhop match in the Notts Senior League, but Friday mornings weather didnt look too great with the rain pouring down, so how do you make the sun shine..well you spend £70 on a gazebo and when you put it up, the sun comes out!

The First game was at Roko Centre on Wilford Lane, where Hosts Magdala Amatuers played Bilborough Town. On arrival, the food table was being set up with them selling huge burgers and hot dogs. Folks began to flow through the gate starting at 4.15pm for the 6.15pm kick off.
A close encounter in front of a good crowd of 245 saw Magdala win 2-1 with both goals coming from LEE SUTTON and Bilborough replying through LIAM WEBSTER. As we were about to leave the ground. Magdala Amateurs kindly donated £30 to the Blogs Cancer Unit Charity at Kings Mill Hospital in Mansfield.

Lee West's blog at the above match:

Laurence Reade's blog at the above match:

A early start for me was to be had on Saturday Morning and on the Mansfield to Nottingham 6.15am train arriving at 7am, into the Station Street cafe for a breakfast and already there was Ian Oldfield from Buxton and John McClure from York. People begin to gather on Station Street as we waited for the coach to leave at 8.30am to head to Selston FC. 
Selston FC was all ready for our arrival and what greeted you as you entered the ground, was a massive tent, inside was lots of goodies, like our charity stall of course, Selston FC & visitors Wollaton FC's club tables selling bits and bobs and most of all, a real ale bar! I'm not sure why I didnt get to watch very much of this game, but as Notts Senior League Chair Ian Kirk said " it may have something to do with the six pints of Strawberry Cider I'd drunk".  A goal in last minute for Selston FC ensured a point for both sides with the result ending 2-2 in front of a impressive crowd of 358 . Selston FC's scorers were RiICHARD BARNES and TIM MOORE. Wollaton FC's scorers were DANE RAWSON and RiICHARD RANSHAW. Half way through the game, Selston FC Chair Mark kindly donated £25 to the blogs charity.

Lee West's blog at the above match:

Laurence Reade's blog at the above match:

It was then on to Game Three, which took us in to Division One of the Notts Senior League for the very first time and to the Bracken Park ground, the home of Underwood Villa who have nearly completed the new Changing Room building and looks really nice inside. A lot of the hoppers like this rural setting and the Balti Pies were a treat. The game itself ended in another 2-2 draw in front of another healthy crowd of 341 spectators. West Bridgford shot in to a two goal lead through JURGEN CHARLESWORTH and SAM PRINCE, but in injury time of the first half Villa hit back with two goals in 38 seconds through IAN TOWNSEND and SAM TRING.
Game Four saw us head to The Shilo, the home of Awsworth Villa who were facing Cotgrave FC. Kim, the gent from Sweden was in his element here as he felt at home, he sat on the bank and looked over the ground at his country's IKEA. I told him, it was a flat pack that morning and we had built it specially for him! The food here, you smelt as you entered the ground and already people were stuffing their faces with the home made Stew and Dumplings with a massive queue, I waited and went when the queue died down, silly mistake as they had then sold out, so I had home made Cottage Pie which was grand. I did see a bit of this game and saw a goal and a good goal it was as well. Awsworth Villa ran out 3-0 winners with two goals coming from KIERAN SAXTON and LUKE HENSON getting the other in front of a crowd of 266.  Awsworth Villa also kindly donated £30 to the charity.
Weary legs and my bald head getting burnt due to the hot sunny weather, saw us then to Digby Street for our final match of this seasons very successful Notts Senior League Groundhop, where Kimberley Miners Welfare played against Keyworth United in the 6.15pm kick off. I didnt get near the burger queue here as it was so busy, though I did push in and grab a cuppa! Kimberley were really ready to play in front of a large crowd and soon took control of this game, but wasnt to say that Keyworth didnt play their part and had many chances where they could have scored, but Kimberley had 27 shots and ended up winning comfortably 7-0 with a Hat Trick by JAKE FISHER, and goals added by DANNY CHAPLIN, LIAM BAKER, KARL BEECHAM and RED WILMOT in front of the top crowd of the weekend of 369. Again many thanks to Kimberley MW FC for the kind charity donation of £30.
At the final whistle, it was off to thank all on the coach and thank as many of the hoppers for coming along and also for all they had donated to our charity, with everyone commenting on how they will return to Notts next season, as they felt all the clubs were so organised and how well the refs and linesmen controlled the games as they were all played in the right spirit..A real good advert for the Notts Senior League and all of it's clubs. The Notts Senior League Committee and  would like to go on record and thank everyone for their kind comments throughout the weekend and thank everyone for attending and hope to see them back for future groundhops in the years to come.

I've just had a count up, with what the clubs kindly donated, the coach raffle and what kind hoppers spent on the Charity Stall, we raised £310 in total, so the total now stands at £559..A MASSIVE THANKYOU TO EVERYONE

Please take a look at other Hoppers Blogs who attended the weekend

Pete Miles

Shaun Smith

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