Thursday, 20 October 2016

Boston Town - DWB Stadium

Boston Town FC
The DWB Stadium
Tattershall Road
PE21 9LR

01205 365470

Ground Number: 638
Wednesday 19th October 2016
Boston Town 2-2 Wisbech Town
United Counties Premier


The club was formed in 1964 as BOSTON by ex-officials of the town's other club Boston United who were concerned that their club would go bust following financial troubles at York Street. They were renamed BOSTON TOWN in 1994. Initially they played in the Lincolnshire League before making the step up to the Eastern Counties League in 1966. The Midland League was their next stop and they stayed here until 1982, after being champions on 3 occasions. That year they became founder members of the Northern Counties East League but after 5 generally unsuccessful seasons here, they made the switch to the Central Midlands League, winning it's marvelously named 'Supreme Division' in 1988/99. The 1991/92 season saw them move again, this time to the United Counties League where they remain to this day. They've been in its top flight the entire time, winning the championship in in 1995 and 2001. They came close to winning it for a third time on 2007, only to lose out by 2 points to Deeping Rangers. They've struggled in recent years though, and only climbed out of the relegation zone on Saturday, thanks to a late equalizer in the 2-2 draw against Leicester Nirvana. As a result, they had a new manager Gary Frost who had come from Lincolnshire League Wyberton.

In the FA Cup Boston Town have had a poor record in recent years, failing to progress past the 1st Qualifying Round since 1995. The 1976/77 season saw their best progress when they reached the 1st Round before losing 3-1 to Barnsley. The FA Trophy saw progression to the 2nd Round in 1979/80 before losing 6-3 to Mossley in a replay following a 0-0 draw in the first game. The FA Vase Semi Final was reached in 1994 before defeat to Taunton Town over a 2-legged semi-final. Local cup wins include the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy on 7 occasions and the Lincolnshire Senior B Cup in 1966.

The club's record attendance of 2,700 came in a 1970 FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round tie against cross-town rivals Boston United whilst the best ever win was 12-1 against Clay Cross Works in 1965. The club's record goalscorer is Gary Bull who scored 201 goals in a 7-year spell, including 51 goals in 2006/07.


Our visit to this game was decided a week earlier when fellow hopper Chris and I were on the way to our game at Bilston Town. I'd got my copy of the Football Traveller, marking off all the possible games that we could go to on this day. There wasn't a huge amount of choice, and even less that was inspiring. There was one that stuck out head and shoulders above the others though and that was Boston Town who were playing Wisbech Town in the United Counties League. It was a ground that I'd been impressed with when I'd dropped in on my way to Gainsborough Trinity a few years back. We'd have to stop in Boston on the way though as the ground was a bit out of the way and didn't have many eating or drinking opportunities near it.

On the day of the game I had a reasonable day at work, getting out at 12.15. My Football Traveller was there waiting for me on the doormat so I had a quick flick through and added a couple of fixtures to my list. Marlow v Farnborough next Tuesday will be a revisit, but I need a cheap one with me having an expensive week coming up, plus an expensive month just passed. The start of that week, weather permitting will be Bootle v AFC Liverpool a week Friday. I'd booked a hotel a couple of miles from the ground for £45. I could have got it cheaper to be honest as there were rooms priced at £18, £29 and £35 but they had horrendous reviews. So I decided to bite the bullet and book myself something decent, rather than risk an uncomfortable night. With me spending around 45 minutes looking for a suitable room I didn't have time to upload last night's blog, but it was all but written up by the time I left at 3. I allowed an extra 10 minutes to get to Milton Keynes as I noticed the back route I used was scheduled to be closed for some time and I always like a rest to check my phone before I meet Chris.

We left on time and made good progress,  with Chris knowing all the back routes to avoid the traffic. On the way we decided that we'd be off to Kimberley Miners Welfare next week, as it was one that he'd wanted to do for a while. The only slow traffic we encountered was in Boston itself,  with it taking 20 minutes to do the final half mile. We got to The Moon Under Water,  the local Wetherspoons at 6.20, with me having a pint of Thatchers Gold and a Chilli Hot Dog. It was it's usual decent self and filled me up. After that we made our way to the ground,  arriving at 7.10 and paying £6 entry plus £1 for a programme. After going round and taking pictures,  we took a seat in the stand and waited for the game to start. It was interesting to see that former Wycombe striker Mickey Nuttell was assistant manager at Boston Town. He was my first ever favourite player at Wycombe when I started watching them in 1991,  having started the season on good goalscoring form and obviously impressing my 12-year-old self.

Visitors Wisbech started much the brighter side and 20 minutes in they took the lead with Michael Frew dribbling around the keeper and finishing neatly in the bottom left hand corner. The visitors made it 2-0 around 5 minutes before half time. They'd dominated the first half and the goal had been coming for a long time, with only dogged defending keeping it at 1-0. It was a long range strike from Edgaras Buzas that went straight though the home keeper -  a shame on him as he'd made some good saves previously to keep the score down. The second half died down a bit in terms of chances but the hosts did pull one back from the penalty spot on the hour with Fraser Bayliss netting following an infringement in the area. This really bought them confidence and from then on it was Boston with the lion's share of play. Alex Beck bundled home an equaliser on 87 minutes that had scarcely seemed likely half an hour earlier.

A video posted by Russell Cox (@russ_wwfc) on

During the game, I'd been keeping an eye on Boston United's FA Youthful game with Kimberley Miners Welfare, mindful that potential extra time and penalties were a short drive away. I gave up early on when Boston shot into a 3 goal lead, but after the improbable comeback at my own game, I thought I'd best check. It turned out that Boston had won 9-0, so I set the sat-nav for MIlton Keynes and we were on our way. It was a very good journey back, and I dropped Chris off at 11.25, getting home myself at 12.10. I didn't get to sleep for ages after getting home though, which meant less than 3 hours sleep before my 4am start at work, but as ever I caught up the following afternoon.


TATTERSHALL ROAD or the DWB STADIUM as it is known for sponsorship purposes is an outstanding ground for step 5 football and is easily good enough for step 2. I originally visited on the 12th November 2013 on the way to a game at Gainsborough Trinity. I was extremely impressed by a ground that had seating for 450 and cover on all 4 sides. The quoted covered  capacity as 900, though it looks more than that. The ground is rated as having 5000 capacity, so I was looking forward to returning for a game in the future.

On my revisit, apart from some seats being moved from behind the goal into the side stand, not a lot had changed and it was still very impressive. The entry and programme were good value at £6 and £1 respectively. The tea bar and clubhouse were fairly basic, but they did the job. The town of Boston is around one and a half miles walk away and has a wide range of food and drink places and is probably your best bet for pre-match food and drink.

Codicote - John Clements Memorial Ground

Codicote FC
John Clements Memorial Ground
Bury Lane

Ground Number: 637
Tuesday 18th October 2016
Codicote 5-1 Winslow United
Spartan South Midlands League D1


CODICOTE were formed in 1913 and played in various Hertfordshire Leagues for the vast majority of their history. In their last season in the Herts Country Premier (2011/12) a 3rd placed finish behind Baldock Town and Met Police (Bushey) was deemed good enough to earn them promotion to the Spartan South Midlands League Division 1. They've been there ever since, and have fared pretty well, finishing in the top half every single season. Two 8th and two 10th placed finishes is their record so far, so their current 18th place will come as a disappointment.

The club have entered the FA Cup on 3 occasions. They won their only game in the competition in the second of those seasons, 2014/15. After drawing with Brantham Athletic, they thumped them 5-0 at home. The Preliminary Round also saw a replay, only this time they lost to Tilbury. The FA Vase has been another anti-climax, with the 1st Round in 2008 and 2013 being their best progress so far. Various local trophies have been won including the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy, Herts Junior Cup, Welwyn Hospital Cup and a multitude from the North Herts League. Famous residents of Codicote include comedian Robert Newman who grew up there whilst musician Kim Wilde got married in the local church. Codicote have only recently moved back there after long awaited ground improvements were made. For 5 years they had to share at the likes of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield Town as their home was little more than a pitch.


This trip was planned last Tuesday whilst myself and Anwar were at Bowers & Pitsea. Again the Groundhopper app was invaluable in finding local games. Anwar has never been one for splashing the cash and I wanted something local as I had a game on Wednesday with my other groundhopping pal Chris, so I wanted something local so I could get a reasonably early night. So we were both happy when we saw Codicote were at home. It was nice and local and only their second match under floodlights. After the previous night's disappointment of a rubbish cup draw for Wycombe away at Portsmouth. I might go though if they do cheap tickets as it's a good day out, but in terms of on the pitch, it's dire. In fact the whole draw was a bit of a dud, but I still fancy St Albans City v Carlisle United and Taunton Town (hopefully, as it's my only unticked ground in the cup) or Hemel Hempstead Town v Barrow.

On the day of the game I had to get up early to take my car in for its annual MOT and service, so I didn't get as much sleep as I'd have liked on my day off. It was nice to have some spare time for once as it's been a bit hectic in recent times. I went down town with my Dad and got some drinks for the next couple of games. I also did some research for the next 2 blogs. The bill from the garage for my car was reasonable at £421 which isn't too bad considering I'd done over 20,000 miles in the past year. I came back home and caught up with my YouTube videos for a bit before having a dinner of Jambalaya before leaving home at 5.30. It was a traffic strewn journey through Aylesbury, so I didn’t get to Anwar until 6.10. Then it was a slow journey out of the town,  even so we arrived in Codicote by 7.15. Paying a very well priced £5 including programme,  we sat in the car for a bit before going out to watch the game. It was quite chilly by now. We initially took a seat in the stand, but people kept standing in front so we moved.

The game started brightly and there had already been good chances by the time the hosts opened the scoring 20 minutes in. M'Boto showed good strength and a first touch to hold off a defender and slot home from 12 yards. Winslow sought to get back into the game,  coming close when they hit the bar from a free kick. Codicote went further ahead on 35 minutes and it was a great goal from their Alfie Barker who chipped the ball up before hitting a right-footed half-volley into the top corner of the goal. The visitors started the second half brightly but it was Codicote further extended their lead on 55 minutes, again it was Barker who tapped home from close range. Winslow did finally get a goal back a few minutes later with a decent volley from Charlie Flanagan at the hosts seemed to let their guard drop although it did take a deflection on the way in. This gave Winslow a second wind and the home keeper had to be on top form to keep out a flying free kick. But it was all for nothing as a goalkeeping error allowed Barker to bundle home from close range to make it 4-1 and complete his hat trick. The celebration was amusing as he put his finger to his lips and 'shushed' a Winslow fan who had been giving him stick moments earlier. Barker made it 5-1 around 10 minutes from time with a beautifully worked team goal to put the game beyond any doubt whatsoever.  It was a 4 goal haul from Barker and although the visitors made a dogs dinner of defending one of the goals, the others were of a good quality and if Codicote carry on like this, they will soon be climbing the league.

So it had been another brilliant evenings entertainment in the Spartan South Midlands League which never seems to let me down for a good game. On the way home we listened to the football results although I wasn't fussed about many of the games that were mentioned on the radio though. I was pleased for Taunton as they won at Hemel Hempstead and hope to get to their game against Barrow in the next round. As soon as Andy Goldstein came on at 10 I switched off and put the Two Mikes Podcast on. I know that I won't be doing a game with Anwar next Tuesday as he will be watching his beloved Arsenal, so I'll be looking for something very local, perhaps even a revisit. I dropped him off in Aylesbury at 10.20, getting home myself 25 minutes later. I caught up online, getting to sleep just after midnight after watching some YouTube videos in bed.


THE JOHN CLEMENTS MEMORIAL GROUND is a smart and well kept ground in the village of Codicote. I didn't see anything near the ground, but at the ground there is a bar that had a reasonable range of drinks including Flowers Bitter and Stowford Press Cider. I'm not sure about the food or merchandise though. The ground itself is your usual modern one, with the obligatory metal stand with around 50 capacity. 3 sides are available to fans with the fourth housing the dugouts and a cricket pitch. The trees and bushes lining the ground make it feel a little more homely and hopefully the club will add some signs to identify the ground as their own. I certainly enjoyed my visit there as everyone was nice and friendly and it was great value for a fiver including a programme. The programme itself is a well-presented effort, although the home squad listing was quite out of date.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Westfields - Allpay Park

Westfields FC
Allpay Park
Widemarsh Common
Chave Court Close

07860 410548
Official Website

Ground Number: 636
Saturday 15th October 2016
Westfields 2-1 Leiston
FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round


WESTFIELDS were formed in England's 1966 World Cup winning year and were initially a youth side who played friendlies on the local park. One of those youths, Andy Morris is still at the club as it's chief executive. Initially playing Sunday League football, they progressed into the Worcester & District League. The real turning point came in 1978 when they joined the West Midlands Regional League. Initially starting in Division 2 , they spent 6 seasons there before a runners-up spot was enough to see them promoted. They adapted to the step up well, winning the league at the 3rd attempt to gain promotion to the WMRL Premier in 1988. Generally they found things tough going here, but one of their good seasons in 2002/03 saw them make the step up to the Midland Alliance, later to be branded the Midland League. Since then things have gone very well, finishing runners up in 2012 and 2013, just missing out on promotion to the Southern League. Things have tailed off since then and last season they finished a disappointing 16th, though they are right up there at the top this season, even after missing some weekends due to cup commitments. In fact they have been mighty impressive all round, having won every single game this season in all competitions.

Westfields have regularly had good runs in the FA Vase, even if they have never really got that close to Wembley. They've made the 4th Round twice - losing to Luton-based Vauxhall Motors in 1986/87 and Morpeth Town in 2013/14. The club won the Hereford County Cup in 2003, but it's the FA Cup that has put the club on the map this season. Prior to this year their best run came when they took Solihull Moors to a 2nd Qualifying Round replay. They've well and truly beaten that this year and today's 4th Qualifying Round game was made possible with victories over Stourport Swifts, Tividale, St Ives Town, Highgate United and Walton Casuals. The ruthlessness of which they disposed of the higher step St Ives (step 3) and Walton Casuals (step 4) have been the most impressive, with them being sent packing after 4-0 humblings.


Originally on this day I was going to go to Mansfield Town v Wycombe Wanderers, with it being pencilled in at the beginning of the season as I always enjoy visiting their town centre. However, owing to Wycombe's dull standard of play and general poor form, I decided against it a couple of weeks ago. The FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round was the big draw, with unvisited grounds at Taunton Town v Hemel Hempstead, North Ferriby United v Macclesfield Town, and the most likely as it was nearest Westfields v Leiston. I did briefly consider revisits to Harrow Borough or Egham Town to save money, but there was a real buzz on the Westfields Twitter feed and there was a real chance that history could be made. I did consider a morning game also, but the nearest at Gornal was too much of a detour to make it worthwhile. The plan was to drive to the ground, park up, purchase a programme and walk into town where there were a huge number of cider pubs that I could use. I couldn't persuade either of my regular hoppers to come with me, so I'd be on my own. I did briefly consider taking the train but at with the return price utterly ludicrous as per usual, I'd have to make my own way. It would end up costing me about £40 all in (including fuel), but turned out to be worth it.

I had considered going to FC Elmstead v Sporting Club Thamesmead on the Friday night, however I decided against  it as I was well behind on my blogs and needed to catch up. As it was, due to various factors I ended up staying at work until 5PM anyway, feeling a bit jaded after a 12 hour shift. Normally I have a few drinks on a Friday night to unwind, but for whatever reason I wasn't in the mood. At least I caught up on my blogs, even making a start on this blog.

I woke around 8am on the day of the game and after getting ready,  relaxed for a bit. My original plan was to leave around 10.40 although a few things cropped up that I needed to take care of and I didn't end up leaving home until 11. I was further delayed by having to stop for petrol but I was still estimated to arrive at the ground in good time,  even if I had to go a longer route than originally intended due to delays on the route via Gloucester. Normally the M40 is kind to me,  but on this occasion I was held up by roadworks near Oxford,  then 2 utter planks who had an accident and decided to swap details in the fast lane rather than pulling over to the hard shoulder. There were further delays and I ended up  getting to a nearby side street just after 2. My original plan was to park up at the ground and walk to a micro pub called 'The Beer In Hand' But with me wanting to make sure of getting a programme, I went straight in. The place was abuzz with FA Cup fever, with the trophy in attendance. There were queues but the facilities were excellent. I had a very good sausage roll and chips for £2, as well as a pint of Strongbow for £3. It's not the best, and pretty bland, but at least it was local with the factory clearly visible behind the far goal. With around 20 minutes to go until kick-off, I went out and got some pictures of the ground before finding a spot on the halfway line. I was looking forward to seeing history being made, and I wasn't disappointed - the non-league paper report is below.

So, it had been a real corker of a game, and a result that proved the FA Cup still has magic in abundance. Westfields become the first step 5 club to reach the FA Cup 'proper' rounds since Tipton Town and Hythe Town 6 years ago. I left the ground just after 5PM, with plans still to visit my earmarked micro pub as they did take away in 2 pint bottles. I got some Greggs Pit Perry to have later with Match Of The Day later, before having a brief look around town. I was right close to Hereford  FC and it bought back memories of visiting there in the past. It's one of the places where I miss, and one that I'd like to revisit as a groundhopper and update my blog to do it justice. After spending a fiver in Tesco to cover my parking, it was 6PM by the time I Ieft. I listened to Danny Kelly on TalkSPORT on the way home, and was happy to be able to go the shorter route on the way home to save money. I got back at 8.20, with my parents kindly having bought me a kebab home. 'Boss Man' kebabs are the best in Wycombe and it's years since I had one, so I really enjoyed it. I spent the rest of the evening typing my blog, as well as catching up online. My Saturday night ende as it always does, watching Match Of The Day before going to bed around midnight, no doubt feeling tired the following morning, with me up at 4am for work.


ALLPAY PARK was opened in December 2003 and got its unusual name from a sponsorship deal with a Hereford based payments firm. I originally visited on Saturday 15th March 2008 to take some pictures before Wycombe's 1-0 defeat at Hereford. I was impressed with what I saw - an attractive and modern ground, that should easily fit the criteria laid out for step 4 football. There was a sizeable stand for the level with around 200 seats and a smaller piece of covered standing. I was looking forward to revisiting and seeing a big game there, as well as seeing a bit for of the town of Hereford, something that had passed me by on previous visits.

Though I didn't get to go into town pre-match as planned, it was still a good visit. I used the clubhouse which was excellent value, with the chips being especially nice as they were hot and freshly cooked. There was merchandise available too, and the whole club had a really friendly vibe about it. They coped admirably with the large crowd, whilst the programme was a well-produced effort for the £1 asking price.