Archive for the ‘Southern League’ Category

This is the dawning of a new era …

16-10-2010: Ipswich Town 1 Coventry City 2 (NPower Championship)
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Going to the match is never going to be quite the same again now that Jnr has moved to Truro. For the past eighteen years we’ve been going to matches together, and while we have both been to the odd game or two without the other during that time, now, and for the foreseeable future I’ll been heading down to Portman Road on my own. Starting today :-(. I’ll still be sitting with the same group of friends that I’ve been sat with for the past five decades but it won’t quite be the same now that my ‘little’ boy is not sat next to me.

Our first outing to FPR together was for a 2-1 win against Blackburn in the old First Division in September 1990. I know the details because I have them written down as I have done for the all the 500 plus games that we’ve watched together since. Still remember the pride of holding my young sons hand as we walked together to the ground for the very first time. It will linger long in the memory.

We’ve had different routines over the years, driving to games at first from West Suffolk and in more recent years walking to games from the family home in the town centre. When he moved into his own place a few years back he would still walk over to ours so that we could head down to the game together. There were several routes we could take which fell in and out of favour depending on the result of the game two hours later. “We lost 2-1 last time we walked that way”, “We came back from two goals down to win 3-2 when we last walked this way”.

Anyway before I get overly melancholic, he’ll be back for a week at Christmas and we’ll take in the Boxing Day game v Watford and possibly do an away day at Doncaster Rovers two days later. By then I expect to be regaled with tales of Truro City’s latest exploits – yours truly impressed that Jnr had taken the old mans advice and watched his new ‘local’ team in action (his view of the action at Treyew Rd appears above) and plans to do so on a regular basis.

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Cornish Grounds

A fantastic week in Cornwall helped by all but two days of great weather. I’ve compiled an online album of the few grounds visited over the past seven days (Truro City, Falmouth Town, Mullion AFC, St Mawes AFC, Helston Athletic) although there are of course many more that escaped our attentions. For now at least. With Junior now living in England’s most south-westerly county there is a ready excuse to go back on a regular basis.

The album can be found here.

Truro City FC, St Mawes AFC and St Mawes Castle

Drizzle, followed by more drizzle and then some more drizzle after that. Liquid sunshine as it’s referred to in Cornwall. So, poor weather and Mrs. Extremegroundhopping is under the weather. Given the latter I decided to strike off on my own and first port of call is Truro City FC.

The nearest league football for Junior, following his move to Cornwall, will require a trip to either Plymouth or Exeter although I’m hoping that he will give local football a try and take in a few Truro City games. Their Treyew Road ground is just three quarters of a mile from his new house and it would make sense to head there rather than traipsing up ‘north’ to Devon to get his ‘in the flesh’ football fix.

Truro City are Cornwall’s leading side and you may recall that they won the first ever FA Trophy Final held at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium in 2007. By chance I was at that game, although rooting for the opposition AFC Totton. Their 3–1 victory, in front of an FA Vase record crowd of 36,232 fans, saw them become the first Cornish side to win a national trophy.

They currently play in the Southern League Premier Division following four successive promotions: South Western League 2005-06 as runners-up, Western League Division One 2006-07 as Champions, Western League Premier Division 2007-08 again as Champions and Southern Football League Division One South & West 2008-09 as Champions for the 3rd successive season.

There seems to be a relatively new covered all-seater stand behind the goal at the far end of the ground (as viewed from the car park) and two separate uncovered seating areas along the right touchline, with hard standing on the left. A humble home for a club that were in the national spot light just three years ago, although various plans have been put forward by the club to move to a new 16,000 plus all-seater stadium, all of which have been rejected by Carrick District Council.

After Treyew Road I headed off to St Mawes Castle via the King Harry Ferry. The ferry connects St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula with Truro by avoiding a 20 odd mile detour through Tresillian. There are only five of this type of ferry in England which is essentially a floating platform drawn across the river by chains.

The 300 metre ‘voyage’ took five minutes and set me back £7.50 for a return, although the views up and down the river Fal during the short journey were well worth it, and explains why (according to some tourist bumf I’d read beforehand) it has been voted one of the ten most scenic ferry trips in the world by The Independent newspaper.

Heading south towards the castle I passed the ground (more an enclosed field) of St Mawes AFC. A quick hunt of the net this evening has failed to provide any further information so I guess they are a junior/Sunday league side. If you know differently I’d like to know. Quite a slope to the pitch which from its elevated position on the side of a hill offers great views of Falmouth on the opposite side of the Fal estuary.

Finally onto St Mawes Castle a nicely preserved coastal artillery fortress built by Henry VIII. Designed to house heavy guage ship-sinking guns it combined with Pendennis Castle over on the other side of the estuary to counter the threat of invasion by the French and Spanish Navies in the mid-sixteenth century. Around a century after it was built it saw its first and only significant action when, rather ignominiously, it fell to a land attack by Roundhead’s during the civil war.

More pictures of Truro City and St Mawes grounds will appear in a summary post at the end of the week.