Tuesday 31 January 2012

Kidderminster Harriers - Aggborough

Kidderminster Harriers FC
Aggborough Stadium
Hoo Road
DY10 1NB

01562 823931
Official Website

Ground Number: 93
Saturday 28th August 2004
Kidderminster Harriers 0-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca-Cola League 2


The club was founded in 1886 and their origins come from a local rugby and athletics club. After playing in various leagues to start off with, they became founder members of the Birmingham & District League in 1889. They'd remain here until 1940, being crowned champions in 1937 and 1938, the latter on two counts as the competition was split into two sections.  The outbreak of World War 2 interrupted proceedings, but in 1948 the club joined the Southern League. Remaining here until 1960, fortunes were mixed, with a high of 3rd in 1952, but relegation to the second tier in  1958, following two second-bottom finishes. A return to the Birmingham & District League followed in 1960, with the competition being renamed the West Midlands (Regional) League two years later. Kidderminster Harriers were champions on four more occasions before returning to the Southern League in 1972. This time they would start in the second tier, generally finishing in the top half. They'd win promotion to the recently formed Alliance Premier League (later renamed the Conference). A third-place finish in their second season was a great start and by 1994 they were champions, though they were denied promotion due to ground grading rules. Kidderminster Harriers were champions for the second time at the turn of the century and this time they had the ground in place to go up. Five seasons were spent in the Football League, the highest finish being 10th in 2002. After a second-bottom finish in 2005, the club returned to the Conference. Despite a runners-up spot in 2013, they lost in the playoff semi-finals to Wrexham. In 2016, Kidderminster Harriers were relegated to the National North following a second-bottom finish. A second place finish last season ended with the club losing to Chorley in the playoffs. This season sees Kidderminster sitting just inside the playoffs in 6th place.

The FA Cup has seen many a good run and in 1994 they achieved the joint best-ever run by a non-league club since they pyramid was formed. Starting in the 4th Qualifying Round, Kidderminster beat Chesham United, Kettering Town, Woking, Birmingham City & Preston North End before a narrow 1-0 5th Round defeat to West Ham in front of 8,000 home fans. During their time in the football league, Kidderminster never won a League Cup tie, but they did reach the area semi-final of the Football League Trophy in 2006. The FA Trophy final has been reached on 4 occasions, the trophy being lifted on their debut in  1987, albeit through a replay at West Brom as they defeated Burton Albion 2-1. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the club was invited to compete in the Welsh Cup. They twice reached the final, losing to Wrexham in 1986 and Swansea City in 1989. Other cup wins include the Bob Lord Trophy (Conference League Cup) in 1997, the Southern League Cup in 1980, the Worcestershire Senior Cup 25 times, the Birmingham Senior Cup on 7 occasions and the Staffordshire Senior Cup on 4 occasions.

The club's attendance record came in 1948 when 9,155 saw them beat Hereford United in an FA Cup 1st Round tie. The record victory came in 1889 as Kidderminster thrashed Hereford Club 25-0. Record appearance holder is Brendan Wassall with 686 appearances, whilst his brother Peter scored a total of 448 goals between 1963 and 1974. Future Wycombe player Kim Casey scored a massive 73 goals in 68 games during the 1985-86 season. The record transfer expenditure came in 2000 when Andy Ducros whilst they received £300,000 for Jamile Matt from Fleetwood Town in 2013. The town of Kidderminster has a population of 55,530 with the major economy comes from carpet making, so much so that there is a museum in the town dedicated to the subject.  The town's most well known former resident is radio presenter James O'Brien who also supports the club.


My only visit to Kidderminster Harriers' Aggborough Stadium was on a sunny day in August 2004. And it was a good day out from what I remember. I drove and took my Wycombe supporting friends Paul & Sue with me to help out with petrol costs. I liked to visit grounds to get photographs en route, but my scope was a bit limited back in those days, with me only interested in grounds up to step 4. In any case, Bromsgrove Rovers, Stourport Swifts and Worcester City visited prior to the game. These were the days before Sat Navs were commonplace, so I had to make do with a set of instructions printed off of the AA Route Planner to get around.

We got to Kidderminster around lunchtime and popped into town beforehand. These were the days before I enjoyed visiting pubs but I still enjoyed my time in town and was impressed by the local Poundland! After that, we made our way back to the ground for the game. Wycombe, under manager Tony Adams, had lost their last two games without scoring a goal, but even so, 364 fans made the journey. They were rewarded with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Nathan Tyson after 20 minutes and a last minute goal from Shahed Ahmed, his only goal in professional football. He made only 4 appearances for Wycombe, going on to have a career in non-league football with Wingate and Finchley and Sporting Bengal United amongst others. On the way home, were listened to the report on the radio and enjoyed the novelty of listening to BBC Hereford & Worcester's coverage non-league football which was a lot better than the pathetic offerings from our local BBC station at the time, which is still the case to some degree.


I'd really enjoyed my last visit to Kidderminster way back in 2003 and was keen to go back so I could update my blog. With both my fellow hopping partners either unavailable or having done it recently, I'd be on my own, but that suited me down to the ground. There were a huge amount of pubs in Kidderminster worth visiting and so after careful consideration, I whittled them down to 5. I even sorted out what order to do them in, making sure that I did the two near the ground and the station last, probably after the game. Though I'd been waiting for a couple of years to revisit, this was the first opportunity that I'd had when both the weather forecast and train prices worked in my favour. After checking that the weather would be warm and dry enough to avoid the game being called off, I booked my train tickets around 9 days before the game, paying a bargain £15 return. It would have cost a tenner more in petrol or around £35 if bought on the day, so the fact that I'd be leaving Wycombe at 8.30 in the morning was worth the inconvenience.

One thing that I was not too chuffed about was the ticket prices, which I feel should be a tenner for this level. Kidderminster Harriers were charging £14 for the terrace or £16 for a seat which I feel is too much for this level. To be fair to them though, that's the going rate, albeit at the upper end of the scale. I understand that clubs have costs, just like every other business, but it seems that player wages (amongst other things) are dictating the cost, rather than selling the product for what it's worth. To get an entirely balanced view of things, I spent half an hour going through ticket prices, all clubs in the National North were upfront about what they charge, which isn't always the case. Prices ranged from the golden tenner for the cheapest ticket at Bradford PA, FC United and Salford to the most expensive £15 at Stockport County. £12 was the most popular price, with nine clubs charging that for admission, whilst Boston United and Southport charged £13 and £13.50 respectively. There were seven clubs charging £14. Of course, none of the prices are scandalous and makes little difference to me financially, it's more the principle of the matter. It would leave me with ill-feeling towards the club though and I was looking at spending at their well-renowned tea bar and paying a visit to their club shop too.

The night before was a fairly quiet one at home for me. I watched some of the Yeovil Town v Manchester United FA Cup game amongst other things, going to sleep around 10.30. I woke up at 5ish on the day of the game, trying to get back to sleep without much success, before my alarm went off at 7. I got ready and was out the door by 7.30. After catching the 7.45 bus to the train station, I had half an hour to play with so I went to McDonald's to get a bacon and cheese flatbread before getting a Daily Star and going to wait for my train. It arrived just after 8.30, with me reading my paper on the way up. I got to Birmingham Moor Street at 10, with a 10-minute wait for my train to Kidderminster. I was there around 35 minutes later and decided to call at the ground on the way to get some photos. Not much had changed, but it was nice to get some pictures while everything was calm.

From there I walked into town, my first port of call being The Penny Black. This was my 154th Wetherspoons and was above average. I had a pint of Thistly Cross Whisky Cask and met my mate Mark and his son Harry which was really nice. By 12.10, I had finished my pint and with the worst of the rain gone, decided to look around the shops. Poundland was all I could be bothered with, so a bag of crisps and some Irn Bru later, it was once more back to the pub crawl. The Beer Emporium was a great friendly place, but it was halves for me so I could tick off all that they offered. Red Bank Autumn Orchard was sweet but nice. I tried a couple more before meeting Mark at Weavers (Park Lane) A pint and a half was consumed there before we set off for the ground, getting a can on the way. To be honest, I didn't remember a lot of the game due to having a good drink and a lack of food due to running out of cash once I got in the ground.

Both teams were in good form. Kidderminster, sitting in 6th place were unbeaten in 15 league games, having last lost to Tamworth back on the 12th September. Southport had won 3 out of their 4 games, the last win coming against Stockport County, though they still sat in 15th prior to the game. The two sides have 34 meetings between them, Kidderminster having the superior record with 17 wins to Southport's 9. The reverse fixture saw the visitors triumph 3-0 at Haig Avenue back on September 9th. Kidderminster won 3-0 as you will see from the report above. There wasn’t a whole lot to the contest, with Kidderminster having a great opening period and Southport offering little in the way of a comeback.

I said my goodbyes to fans at the end and made my way home. A stop at a Chinese takeaway for salt and chilli chips had me all set and there was a 20-minute wait for my train home once I got to Moor Street. It was a nice easy journey home, with me getting to Wycombe around 8.30. After a stop at McDonald's for nuggets and chips, I got the 8.45 bus back home, which dropped me off a few minutes from home. Back home I had a can while catching up online, plus another with Match Of The Day which came on at 10:30. It was the usual routine of a late night, followed by a nap the following afternoon, as I got up at 4 am for work, which irritatingly was very busy. It had been a good day, but maybe I should have taken it a bit easier on the booze, luckily I am a peaceful drunk!


AGGBOROUGH is a great ground to visit, and one of my favourites. Away supporters get a  decent sized covered terrace behind one goal (of which there is a matching one at the other end for home fans also) Down the side are 2 seated stands - The East Stand is the newest and holds around 2000, whilst the Reynolds stand is also modern, having been built in 1994 and holds around 1200. The ground's tea bar has an excellent reputation also, homemade soup, chicken curry and cottage pies with gravy are available, along with all the usual stuff. There are also a couple of bars - the Harriers Arms and the Kidderminster Sports & Social Club splitting up the home and away fans when I visited the first time.


Molesey - Walton Road Stadium

Molesey FC
Walton Road Stadium
412 Walton Road
West Molesey

0208 979 4823
Official Website

Ground Number: 97
Wednesday 27th October 2004
Molesey 3-1 Windsor and Eton
Ryman League Cup 1st Round


Molesey FC was founded in 1953. After playing in the Athenian and Spartan Leagues they joined the Isthmian League in 1977. Their best spell came at the beginning of the 1990s. After winning promotion from the Division 2 South at the start of the decade they spent 3 seasons in Division 1 before being promoted to the Premier Division in 1993. 1994/95 saw their best ever finish of 8th in the Isthmian Premier. However the next season they were relegated back to Division 1 and never really recovered. In 2008 they were relegated again, this time to the Combined Counties League. Since then their previous best finish of 3rd came in 2011, but this season they finally won the league and can take their place in the Isthmian League next season, should they accept promotion.

In the FA Cup, they reached the FA Cup 1st Round for the first and only time in 1993/94. After battling through the qualifying rounds they might have been slightly disappointed to draw Conference side Bath City when they could have a league side. They lost 4-0 and the Romans went on to beat then League side Hereford United before taking Stoke City to a replay in the 3rd Round. A great run to the FA Vase Quarter Final in 1982 was ended by Rainworth Miners Welfare while the FA Trophy 1st Round had been reached twice. They won the Southern Combination Cup in 2012 and can count Cyrille Regis amongst their ex-players as well as former Wycombe player Sergio Torres.


Another of my several visits to go and see Windsor and Eton play. This one saw me off to Molesey for a Ryman League Cup 1st Round game. Windsor were flying high in the league and Molesey were struggling. But Windsor fielded a second string side as the League Cup is not highly regarded and ended up getting beaten 3-1. The only points I can remember from this were sitting next to Neville Southall (former Everton and Wales keeper) in the main stand. And some fireworks going off and landing on the pitch, while the players just carried on!


I only found out about this game the day before when my Football Traveller hit the doormat. I don't usually get it, but had treated myself to the last couple of issues of the season as I know the fixtures were thinning out. I was delighted to find a Friday night game within a reasonable distance and although I had been here before, I was yet to obtain a programme. I'd been doing a lot of revisits lately for that very reason, so as to plug the gaps in my collection. It also meant I'd be delaying ground number 500 (with around 8 to go) so as to reduce the chance of 'wasting' it on a pre-season game. On the day of the game, it was not so bad at work as I was expecting. It had been mega busy lately and upon arrival, I found that someone had pinched half of the equipment that we needed to do our job, which meant it would take longer. But in the end, I was out at 12.30. I came home, had lunch and a bath before going down to the post office to send off my voucher for a Conference playoff final ticket. My iMac had been running pretty slow, so when I came back I wiped the hard drive and started to reinstall it having backed up all I needed last night. This killed pretty much all of the afternoon. I had dinner around 5.30, meaning I was ready to leave before 6, having allowed extra time for the Friday rush hour traffic. I actually made very good time and was at Molesey just after 7. After going to the turnstile and getting a programme I went out and back into the bar. There was a great choice of drinks including 2 ciders. I opted for the Olde English at £2.90 a pint which was very nice and good value. I checked Facebook while listening to the 80s music they had on.

I then went into the ground at around 7.25. I walked around the ground getting pictures before going up to the stand to meet my mate Johnnie who had come along with his mate Ryan. He was filming for a YouTube channel called Fox In The Box productions. They normally film Sutton United games as they are both ardent fans. Not that there was much to film in the first half, which was very dull. Bedfont started the brightest but it was the home side that took the lead just before half time with a neat diagonal finish into the bottom left-hand corner. The second half was a lot brighter with Molesey's dominance reflecting their league position. It was 2-0 around halfway through the half. The visiting keeper came flying out and clattered their striker. Though he wasn't injured, it still seemed a nailed on sending off, but the referee gave only a booking. A penalty was also awarded which was converted to double Molesey's lead. To compound matters, the keeper did the same again soon after, picked up his second yellow card and was off the field. The Bedfont number 9, a striker had to take over in goal and although he guessed the right way, he couldn't keep the penalty out. That was it as far as goals were concerned and although it had been a naff first half, it had really livened up in the second to become a good game. I stayed behind and watched the trophy being presented and this meant it was a double winning season for Molesey  It had also been a decent evening in good company and I was going to savour every last bit of this season before the miserable summer starts. I had a good drive home and was back at 10.35 where I went online and watched TV before going to bed at around 1am.


WALTON ROAD STADIUM is a smart ground for the level they are playing at. The main feature is the big stand. It holds around 130 fans and though old offers an excellent view of the action, elevated high up and without any supporting pillars. The rest of the ground is pretty flat, though there are small areas of cover on each of the other 3 sides.

The bar is excellent, one of the better ones in football with a wide range of drinks and a good atmosphere. The tea bar looked decent too although I didn't have anything, having just had dinner. There are plenty of takeaways and pubs nearby too, should you want a bigger choice. I'd certainly recommend a visit there, it was a good night out at a nice friendly club.   

Boston United - York Street

Boston United FC
York Street
PE21 6JN

01205 364406
Official Website

Ground Number: 96
Saturday 16th October 2004
Boston United 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca Cola League 2


The club was formed in 1933 as a response to Boston Town (no connection to the modern day club of the same name) going bust. They took the former clubs place in the Midland League, staying there until 1958 and finishing as runners-up in 1956. A three-year spell in the Southern League followed before a return to the Midland League. Spells in the United Counties and West Midlands Regional League followed and Boston United won titles in three successive seasons between 1966 and 1968. That year, they became founder members of the Northern Premier League (NPL). They were Champions four times during their first spell here, leaving to join the Alliance League (later to be renamed the Conference) - the highlight of their first spell being a 3rd place finish in 1989. By 1993 however, their form tailed off and despite gaining a credible 3-3 draw at eventual champions Wycombe Wanderers, they were relegated to the NPL. Finishes were in the top 6 for all their time here and this continued when they made the sideways step to the Southern League in 1998. The turn of the century saw them crowned champions and by 2002 they had won the Conference too. Despite irregularities with player registration, they were allowed to take the promotion to the Football League, albeit with a four-point deduction for their debut season. They'd remain in the basement division of the Football League for five seasons, the highlight being two 11th place finishes. Due to the club entering a CVA in 2007, they were forced to drop two divisions after finishing second-bottom of League 2. Despite a 10th place finish in the Conference North in 2008, the club were relegated again due to still being in administration. After a 16th place finish in the NPL Premier, Boston United finished 3rd in 2010, beating North Ferriby United and Bradford Park Avenue in the playoffs to return to the Conference North. They've been there ever since, finishing as low as 16th in 2013 and as high as 3rd in 2011 and 2015 and losing out in the playoffs a couple of times. Prior to my latest visit, they sat in 12th with an outside chance of making the end of season playoffs.

Boston United have reached the 3rd Round of the FA Cup on a number of occasions. Firstly in 1956, they lost 4-0 at Spurs in front of a crowd of 46,185. They'd have to work until 1974 for their next appearance, drawing 0-0 at Derby County before losing the replay 6-1 at home in front of a record home crowd of 11,000. The FA Trophy Final was reached in 1985 where Boston lost 2-1 to Wealdstone. Little progress was made in either of the Football League cups but locally Boston have won a number of cups. These include seven NPL League Cups, fifteen Lincolnshire Senior Cups, two Non-League Champion of Champions Cup, the East Anglian Cup and the Eastern Floodlit Cup. Their record win of 6-0 came against Shrewsbury Town came in 2002. The town of Boston has a population of 35,000 and is home to 'The Stump' - the largest parish church in England. It was also the town that voted most for Brexit, with 75% of the residents voting to leave the EU in 2016. Notable people to come from Boston include Blackburn Rovers' record scorer Simon Garner and former Welsh international footballer John Oster.


My first visit to Boston United's York Street came in October 2004. Despite being 11th in the table, Wycombe were still only 4 points off the top of the table. This game was towards the end of Tony Adams' reign at Wycombe and I recall this as the time he played Joe Burnell and Matt Bloomfield together in central midfield, despite them both being totally unfit, having come back from long layoffs. And it showed as a mix up between the 2 allowed Andy Kirk in to score in the 14th minute. He added a second in the second half in a flat performance by Wycombe. The only other visit I made there was a slight improvement - we managed yet another draw in the 2005/06 season, the year where we drew a seemingly record number of games.


Boston United's York Street ground had been on the danger list as far as them getting a new ground for a while now. Fellow hopper Chris was really keen to do it and despite me having been there a couple of times, I hadn't really got any decent pictures or done a proper blog, so I was keen to do it as well. With Chris being busy on Tuesdays and Saturdays normally though, this was easier said than done. Eventually, though, a date came up that was mutually agreeable and we'd had this planned in for a few months before actually doing it. I'd had a late night on the day before the game and so didn't wake up until 9.40. With me due to meet Chris at 11, I had to get my skates on. I had a quick wash and slung some clothes on. I still needed breakfast and so text Chris to tell him I'd be there at 11.15. The original plan was to go to Subway for a breakfast sub but there were so many dawdlers on the road I had to settle for some Creme Egg Twisted sweets and some Irn Bru. I did have the bonus of picking up a couple of ciders that I'd not had before. I got to Chris bang on time and soon we were on the way.

It was generally a decent journey and we were in Boston around two hours later. Initially, the plan was to park in a side street, but a load of new parking restrictions had been added since Google Street View took their photos. Instead, we headed back into town and paid £3 for 4 hours parking. First stop was The Moon Under Water, the town's Wetherspoons. It was far from the best in the chain with no real cider but I wanted to have the Caledonian Burger that was a special for Burns week. It was delicious, especially with me doubling up the burger. This was washed down with a pint of Strongbow with Chris not drinking due to having stomach ulcers diagnosed. After a stroll around the town to get various pictures, we headed to the ground, paying £13 entry. And what a ground it was, full of character. It was good to get some pictures from a different perspective. It was a shame that the ground was split up, especially with the crowd only being 885 (including 25 from Leamington) but I still managed to get in half of one of the stands behind the goal as well as watching the game from along the side. As for the game itself, Leamington started brightly and they grabbed a deserved lead, thanks to sloppy defending from Boston. The hosts then laid siege to the visitors' goal, equalising through a penalty before halftime and having a couple of goals ruled out for offside later on. The match report from the Non-League Paper is below, but overall Leamington defended gamely and Boston were very unlucky not to win. We got back to the car at 5.10, putting on Wycombe Sound over my phone so that I could listen to all our local games as well as the Wycombe report - happily, they had won 1-0 at Bristol Rovers. This gave way to the 606 phone in which kept us entertained on the way home. I dropped Chris off at 7, getting home an hour later. The rest of the evening was spent catching up on things including typing this blog, sorting photos and looking at potential new cars before a cracking Match Of The Day came on at 10.20.


YORK STREET is one of the best grounds in non-league football, having seen service in the Football League and been a firm favourite of non-league fans. The main stand has space for around 1300 and aside from a couple of pillars offers good views. The York Street Stand has seating for 500 at the back, plus a smaller 1000 capacity terrace in front - this is given to away fans with small followings if the ground is segregated. The Spayne Road Stand is a decent sized side terrace holding around 2000 whilst behind the other goal is the Town End which is a large terrace with a capacity of over 2,000. The ground was once rated as holding 14,000 when Wycombe were in the Conference but now, due to ever-increasing safety regulations, its set at 6,778. It's definitely worth visiting, especially as it is due to be replaced in the next few years.

The tea bar offers a good range of items at decent prices. I didn't check out the bar but the clubshop was fairly small with no old programmes. There's plenty of places within a couple of minutes of the ground including a pub and a sit-down chip shop. The town is a 5-minute walk away and has a decent range of places. Parking at the ground is quite limited with restrictions on street parking near the ground though there are plenty of pay and display car parks near the ground with Pescod Street being amongst the cheapest - around £3 for 4 hours.