Saturday 30 April 2022

Seaford Town - The Crouch

Seaford Town FC
The Crouch
Bramber Lane
East Sussex
BN25 1AE

01323 890211

Ground Number: 1072
Saturday 30th April 2022
Seaford Town 0-2 Shoreham
Southern Combination D1 Playoff Semi-Final


The club was established in 1888 and was initially known as Seaford FC. They initially played in the Lewes League, winning it in 1908 until the First World War interrupted things. During the conflict, their pitch was dug up and used to grow food with supplies being short. Later on, they played in the Mid Sussex League. In 1952, they joined the Sussex County League as founder members of its newly established Division 2. In 1964, they finished as runners-up to Selsey and enjoyed a very credible start in Division 1, finishing 4th, the best finish in their history. Fortunes soon declined though and in 1971 they finished bottom and were relegated back to Division 2. Despite an initial recovery, finishes got worse and in 1978, they left the Sussex League. Returning five years later, they started out as founder members of Division 3. They won the league in 1986 and then Division 2 in 1989 but would only stay in Division 1 for a couple of seasons. Another relegation followed in 1993 to find them back where they started. In 1996 they finished bottom of Division 3 and spent a couple of seasons in the East Sussex League. They won the Premier Division in 1999 and returned to the Sussex League, again in Division 3. A runners-up spot to Rye United in 2001 was good enough for promotion to Division 2 and that is where they remain to this day. The league was renamed the Southern Combination Division 1 in 2015 and Seaford Town has had its bad times including finishing bottom in 2015. However, their first top-half spot in ten years has seen them enter the newly established playoffs following a 4th place finish.
Remarkably, for a club with such a long history, they have yet to play in the FA Cup. Their best run in the FA Vase came in 2019 when they beat Eastbourne United, FC Deportivo Galacia and Horley Town before losing at Southall in the 2nd Round. Local cup wins include the Sussex County Football League Division Two Cup in 2013, the Sussex County Football League Division Three Cupin 1986, the Sussex Junior Cup in 2010 and the Mid Sussex League Montgomery Cup in 1936 and 1939. Their record attendance of 205 came for the local derby against Newhaven this season.


Seaford is a town in East Sussex, England, east of Newhaven and west of Eastbourne. It has a population of just under 23,500. Rugby, cricket, golf and tennis are also played in the town. Its most famous former resident is Tony Caunter who played Roy Evans in the TV soap Eastenders. Seaford has featured in various media outlets, most famously for me, on BBC's 999 in the mid-90s. Edith Gladwin, a pensioner, crashed her new Nissan car into an indoor swimming pool at Seaford, East Sussex in August 1994, after accidentally hitting the accelerator instead of the brake, driving through a fence, across a garden and through a patio door. Ms Gladwin and her passenger were treated for shock.


I was really struggling to find a game on this day, which seems ludicrous when so many were on offer. But nothing took my fancy, mainly as I wanted to do one on public transport. There was one I was willing to do by car - a revisit to Weymouth as it was a pain on the train. However, Anwar had elected to go to Burton Albion v Wycombe Wanderers and it wasn't really worth it with only one passenger. The trip to Burton was one that I'd considered, however, I was unable to find a second game to make the trip really worthwhile. I'd have accepted a basic pitch but anything near enough kicked off at 14:00, leaving the 12:30 kick-off at the Wycombe game incompatible. It was a real shame as it was a crunch game for Wycombe with us having a chance of getting in the playoffs. Burton was also a good town for pubs, but by the time I considered it as a solo game, it had sold out.

I eventually found a decent alternative in Seaford Town v Shoreham. Like so many, it came from the Futbology app whilst skiving on the toilet at work. It was one that was doable on the train, at a reasonable price, £31 as opposed to around £40 in car costs. This was only available as I had a railcard though, which was a whole world of discrimination. I get the need for a disabled one and it's only right that those people get one for three years at a cheap rate. The group ones and 'young' person ones I understand less though. The ageism stinks for 31-59-year-olds, nothing available for us aside from in the South East, or unless we are part of a group. I thought a great objective would be to get single-occupant cars off the roads to help the environment but that obviously hasn't occurred to the powers that be. So for the whole of this year, I've been sticking to train trips in a small corner of the country and will try getting advance tickets next season when my railcard expires.
I had a relaxing Friday night at home watching TV. I also had a couple of drinks, trying an excellent one from my favourite maker Ross Cider. The Harry Masters Oak Cask SVC 2019 was a potent one at 8.2% but was full of taste. I spent the evening sorting out arrangements so I could watch the Burton Albion v Wycombe Wanderers match on the train, time would tell if that was successful. I awoke early on the day of the game so didn't have to rush. I left at 8 and was at the station 20 minutes before my 09:33 train. In fact, I caught an earlier unofficial one at 09.26. This had come from Birmingham and was for 'set down passengers only, do not get on the train'. Stuff it, I thought, I've paid my fare. It turned out it was going straight to Marylebone and I got there 20 minutes ahead of schedule. The place was packed and it was nearly ten minutes until the first train came and we were packed in like sardines on the train and platform. It was only one stop to Baker Street and it would have been quicker to walk. It was then the Jubilee to London Bridge which was not quite as busy.
 I was at London Bridge by 10.20, then it was ten minutes to the Cider House stall on Borough Market. A lovely secluded place amongst all the madness and although there was nothing I fancied on the seven on tap, I bought three bottles. The large one I settled down and had. As ever from Ross, the Hagloe Crab - Bulmers Norman was excellent and 'only' 6%. It was nice to sit down at last and have a rest with plenty of time to spare. It was a nice walk to London Bridge Station and I was at my platform with 20 minutes to spare. It gave me time to crack open a Wasted Knight cider and setup for the first leg of the journey to Lewes. I got the match OK, albeit with a few dead spots which interrupted the commentary. The first leg to Lewes was great, I got to charge my phone, a double seat to myself and informative announcements to make an extremely tight connection. The second leg was a bit more bare-bones, with no toilet and no charging points but it did do the job. I was at Seaford at 1.20, popping into the Steamworks for a pint of Silly Moo. With Plymouth getting humped 5-0 at Milton Keynes, Wycombe looked a good bet for the playoffs and I was overjoyed. In the end, we did it and will face Milton Keynes next Thursday night. I stopped at Substation for a Jurassic Pork roll and fries for £9. It was OK but nothing special. I got to the ground at about 2.20. The queue for the bar was huge, so I had my third cider, a Hancocks Dabinett from the ones I'd bought with me.
Seaford Town had finished 4th whilst visitors Shoreham had finished 5th. With Dorking Wanderers Reserves intelligible for promotion, the other semi-final sees Midhurst & Easebourne play Epsom & Ewell. The two sides had met in January at Seaford, with the hosts winning 2-1. They'd also thumped Shoreham 5-0 in August so would be favourites for this game. The hosts were unbeaten in eight games since they had lost 4-0 to Midhurst & Easebourne on 5th February. This included some impressive victories on the road, 4-0 at Arundel and 7-1 at Forest Row. They'd drawn their latest game 2-2 at Godalming Town. Shoreham were guarding an even longer run, unbeaten in 13 ever since they'd lost to today's opponents. They'd drawn 1-1 against champions Roffey in their latest game and had recorded 4-3 wins at Hailsham and against Forest Row. A fairly even opening ensued but the Shoreham #9 by his own admission got a free-kick that he shouldn't really have had. From there, the ball was put in and a shot from ten yards by Dan Momah made it 1-0 to the visitors. I waited in line for an eternity just to get some chips at halftime. Only for some clown to accuse me of pushing in when I'd waited patiently. It put me in a negative mood for the public that I'll serve tomorrow. Seaford had the ball in the net from Callum Connor but it was ruled out for offside. From there, Shoreham doubled their lead quickly through Harry Heath and the game was as good as over. Seaford had another goal ruled out in injury time and one of their players was given a second booking for his protests.
In the end, Shoreham deserved the win and progressed to play Midhurst & Easebourne in the final. It was less than ten minutes to the station and via Tesco, I was there 15 minutes before departure. The train was good and on time, though it was the same rattler version as before. And the 17:57 back to London was cancelled, so I went into Lewes. An unscheduled stop, but a lovely place. I had a pint of Biddenden in the Brewers Arms whilst ordering my playoff semi-final ticket and then a look around Lewes FC which required scaling a wall. Once I'd got my updated pictures though, a ladder was an easy way out and I made my train with time to spare. It had been a mixed day for me and I was in no rush to get home. I stopped at the Miller near Guys Hospital after getting back to London Bridge at 8.15. I only had the one pint but took my time. I wasn't back at Marylebone until 9.44 and back in High Wycombe around 40 minutes later. I called in at the Chinese takeaway and for once my eyes were bigger than my belly. I ordered salt and pepper chips and Singapore noodles. After eating the chips, I was full and so saved the noodles for my lunch the next day. I got in around midnight and stayed up for half an hour before going to sleep. It had been a typically unhealthy and boozy Saturday and I had a poor night's sleep, getting up and doing this blog at 4 am after being unable to get back to sleep after waking up.

THE CROUCH is very much a public park and that is highlighted as it is very easy to get in without even trying. There are two stands, a seated area on halfway and a terrace behind the goal, these should suffice for most games. There is plenty of open space too. There's a bar and food and under normal circumstances, this should suffice. If not, the town is very close and offers some decent places to eat and drink. I am not sure about parking but the public transport links are good. 

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Cuffley - King George V Playing Fields

Cuffley FC
King George V Playing Fields
Northaw Road East

07815 174434

Ground Number: 1072
Wednesday 27th April 2022
Cuffley 1-1 Chipperfield Corinthians
Herts Senior County Premier


The club was established in 1954 and over the years has expanded to include over 25 teams under the mantra 'Football For All'. After playing in local leagues such as the Barnet League and North London Combination, they joined the Herts Senior County League in 1974 and remain there to this day. They started out in Division 3 and finished as runners-up in 1976 to seal promotion to Division 2. Two years later, they were champions, going up to Division 1. They'd remain here until 1991 when they won promotion to the Premier Division, following a 4th place finish. The club were Premier Division champions in 1998 and 1999 but were unable to take the step up into semi-pro football because of a lack of facilities. This was the highest finish in the club's history but in 2004, they finished bottom and went back down to Division 1 for the first time in 15 years. They'd return to the Premier Division in 2009 and remain there to this day, more often than not finishing in the top half of the table.

The village of Cuffley has a population of around 4,300 and is located near Cheshunt and Potters Bar in Hertfordshire. On 3 September 1916, the German airship SL 11 was shot down and crashed in Cuffley during an aerial bombardment intended for London. This incident is commemorated by a memorial on East Ridgeway to Lieutenant W. Leefe Robinson, the pilot who shot the airship down; he was awarded the Victoria Cross. There is also a model of the airship in the village hall. Contrary to many reports of the incident, the SL 11 airship was not a Zeppelin but an army Schütte-Lanz airship. Regardless, the local football team is still nicknamed 'The Zeps' after this event. Its most notable current resident is Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco, although this did not prevent locals from objecting vehemently to plans to build a "Express" store in the village replacing one of only two remaining village pubs. Other famous residents include Premier League footballers Ledley King, Jermain Defoe, Niko Kranjcar, David Bentley, Kyle Walker and Armand Traoré; and also former Sugababes singer Keisha Buchanan and Myleene Klass.


What with the evenings getting lighter, it was a great opportunity to get some grounds without lights visited. Getting back early was the main blessing with work in the morning. If they were close by, then all the better. I'd already completed the Spartan South Midlands League at step 7 and had enjoyed this. Another local league was the Hertfordshire League and with the vast majority of the grounds being decent, I decided to complete all the teams in this league too. Probably the most wanted for me was Sandridge Rovers, this would hopefully involve a good day out in St Albans. For midweek ones, Cuffley was pretty near the top. I'd spotted a game against Chipperfield Corinthians and decided to go for it. I'd visited their opponent's ground a while back and it was a good night.

On the day of the game, it was work once more. The trip there was ruined by them mentioning the upcoming Bank Holiday on the radio. Along with Sunday, it'll be a double dose of misery for me, at work and dealing with the less desirable members of the general public. Normal weekdays are fine generally, but for some reason, Sundays and Bank Holidays seem to attract the dregs and their large litters of children causing havoc and packing the place out. I think Wednesday is the earliest I've started not looking forward to a Sunday, though my mood was lifted by finally finding a game for Saturday. Seaford Town v Shoreham in the Southern D1 playoff final looks a decent game. Now I just need to work out how to make a good day of it, possibly including working out if I can get coverage of Wycombe's crunch game at Burton in the playoffs. I came home and had a couple of hours at home, catching up with my blogs amongst other things. It was not as long as I'd have liked but I got most things I wanted done. I had a quick dinner before leaving at 5.30 and made good time, arriving in Cuffley 50 minutes later. I was happy as the car park started to fill up, allaying fears of a wasted journey. I met fellow hopper Chris Walker who does online commentary of games, although he was taking the day off tonight.

It was a top 5 clash with Cuffley in third and Chipperfield Corinthians in sixth. The hosts were in reasonable form. They'd won three of their last six including a 3-1 win at Welwyn Garden City in their latest game. They'd also beaten Cockfosters 2-1 and Hatfield Town 1-0. They'd drawn 1-1 at Hatfield Town and lost 3-0 to St Albans City and 3-2 at Royston Town. The visitors were unbeaten in four and had won their latest game 3-0 at Colney Heath. They'd also beaten Royston Town 1-0 and drawn 1-1 against Belstone and 3-3 against Welwyn Garden City. Defeats had come as they lost 2-0 to Colney Heath in the Aubrey Cup and 3-2 at Hoddesdon Town. The game didn't kick off until 6.50 with Cuffley in their usual maroon strip and Chipperfield in their change strip of sky blue. Both sides came close in the opening five minutes, Chipperfield having a shot narrowly wide and Cuffley hitting the woodwork following a corner. The visitors probably had the better of the chances, but it was the hosts who took the lead on the half-hour, Sam Wilson heading in a right-sided cross from around six yards. The Cuffley keeper made a couple of great saves just before halftime to keep his side ahead. The second half started at 7.45 and things were getting quite niggly with a careless tackle apiece requiring the physio to come on and give treatment. It was a fantastic equaliser for Chipperfield on 57 minutes, Joshua Keane taking the ball down well before lashing it into the top left corner from 25 yards. The visitors continued to press and forced a good save at the left-hand post just after. From the resulting corner, Cuffley broke and could have retaken the lead themselves.
It had got quite nippy in the past couple of days and maybe summer might be over already as I needed my warm hat second half.  The game died down a bit in the second half, not helped by the rapidly fading light. By the time the game finished at 8.35, there was barely any daylight left. On the way home, I decided to listen to Bedfont Sports v Hanwell Town in the Isthmian D1 Central playoff final. I was rooting for Hanwell as the hospital I was born in was yards from where the ground is. I got home at 9.20 with Hanwell leading 3-1. They had ex-Wycombe player Sam Saunders playing for them and a Wycombe fan - Keith Higgins - doing the commentary on Live Sports FM. I decided to stay up and type my blog whilst watching Coronation Street. I did fancy a game Friday but in the end, I decided to stay in and concentrate on Seaford on Saturday.


The KING GEORGE V PLAYING FIELD is a good setup for the level. The pitch is fully railed and set in nice surroundings although the open nature of the ground means it can get a bit chilly. There's a smart clubhouse behind one goal which offers a basic range of food and drink. There's plenty of car parking also but I don't recall seeing many bus routes or anything else near the ground.

Ellistown - Terrace Road

Ellistown FC
Terrace Road Ground
1 Terrace Road
LE67 1GD

07718 155556

Ground Number: 1070
Tuesday 26th April 2022
Ellistown 0-0 Glenfield United
Leicestershire Senior League - Premier Division


The club was established as United Collieries Football Club in 1993 by a merger of Bagworth Colliery and Ellistown Colliery. They immediately joined the Leicestershire Senior League, starting out in Divison 1. Despite only finishing 7th in 1997, they were promoted to the Premier Division, finishing bottom of the table in their debut season. However, they were not relegated and changed their name to Ellistown over the summer of 1998. After struggling for two more seasons, they were finally relegated in 2000 but would bounce back straight away as runners-up to Thurnby Rangers. This time, the results were better and they finished a credible 3rd in 2005. In 2008, the East Midlands Counties League was established and Ellistown were invited as a founder member. They found the going tough though, their best finish was 15th in 2011 and 2013. After the latter finish, they briefly merged with local club Ibstock United and this bought about a brief uplift with the side finishing 3rd and 4th in their first two seasons. However, results soon tailed off and after a bottom-place finish in 2017 and Ibstock having already started out on their own again, Ellistown did the same, removing Ibstock from their name. Since then, they've been playing back in the Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division with varying degrees of success.

The club enjoyed a good run in the FA Cup in 2014. They beat Studley 2-0 and Kirby Muxloe 1-0 before a remarkable 3-2 win over Hereford United who were having real financial issues. Their run ended in the 2nd Qualifying Round with a 7-1 humbling by Halesowen Town. In the FA Vase, their best run came in the same year as they beat Bromyard Town 4-0 and Hanley Town 2-1 before a narrow 2-1 defeat at Worksop Town in the 2nd Round. The village of Ellistown is in Leicestershire, around two miles from Coalville. It is named after Colonel Joseph Joel Ellis who died in 1885. The population is just over 2,000. It was once a colliery village but this closed in 1989 and is now a small industrial estate.


It had been a fair while since I had done a groundhop with Anwar, in fact, looking back the last time I took him was when we went to Stone Old Alleynians on 22nd March. This was due mainly to the lack of options for us to do - having done over 250 grounds in the ten years that we have been hopping together, we were out of options. It wasn't helped by teams like Loughborough Dynamo being evasive due to playing in a league with a smaller number of teams. Thankfully, the clocks going forward and the evenings getting lighter opened up a whole load of options. There was Rayleigh Town but this didn't have any backup. Far better was the Leicestershire Senior League with a choice of seven games for us to pick from. I felt the best was Ellistown, a ground that has served higher up the pyramid. Anwar was agreeable and let me know straight away, rather than the usual of letting me know the day before the game.
 Since my last game on Wednesday, I'd drawn a blank when looking for a Friday night game. It was another visit to Adams Park on Saturday, my 906th of all time. It was a good day generally, meeting up with mates, visiting my usual pub, and having a nice pizza for lunch. The day was made even better with Wycombe Wanderers getting a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday. In a game of few chances, Wycombe took theirs through Jordan Obita although Wednesday had the lion's share of possession. It was an unhealthy day, but I deserved it before a typically morale-sapping Sunday. It was also disappointing to see my local team Holmer Green relegated. I don't get up there as often as I might as they don't play anything other than the standard Saturday & Tuesday, despite lots of competition for spectators in the area. If they played Friday & Monday (subject to opponents agreeing) I'd be up there a lot more often. I think they are content just being a village club and getting their usual crowd and there's nothing wrong with that, even though they haven't updated their Twitter in over a month.

On the day of the game, it was the same as always. Day off, walk down town to get a few bits with only a haircut making it any different from any other Tuesday. I had lunch and spent a few hours at home before leaving at 3.30. The trip over to Anwar was fine and I was there at 4. He had bought his son Hitcham which put to bed any plans of a revisit to Weymouth on Saturday on hold as he'd decided to go to Burton v Wycombe. I'll now be looking for something else but the choice is quite sparse. The first 40 miles of our trip were on obscure country roads with us eventually getting on the M1 at Northampton. The journey went well from there and we were at Ellistown by 6. I paid £3 to get in and got some fresh pictures. We took a spot on the near side as the far one was quite chilly. With local side Coalville at home tonight and TV football on, the attendance was sparse and we had been the first three in the ground. Glenfield had travelled 13 miles for tonight's game.
 Ellistown were sat in 6th place in the table. They were unbeaten in ten games but had drawn their last two games 0-0 at FC Khalsa and against Desford. They'd also beaten FC Khalsa 5-2, won 2-0 at Thurnby Rangers and beaten Pro Chance Football Academy 3-0. When the two sides had met in the reverse fixture on 16th April, Ellistown won 3-2. Glenfield United were 9th in the table. They were in poor form having lost their latest game 3-2 at Blaby & Whetstone Athletic. They'd also lost 3-2 at Fleckney Athletic and 4-1 at Magna 73. On the positive side, they'd drawn 1-1 at Thurnby Rangers and baren FC Khalsa 2-0. The opening exchanges saw chances for both sides but it was pretty scrappy. Both sides defending really deep kept the chances at a premium and there were few chances in the final third. The game really livened up in the last 20 minutes but it was not to be and Ellistown had their third 0-0 in succession.

It hadn't been the best game for the 35 in attendance, nor had it been the worst. Glenfield were the better side on the ball but Ellistown were physically stronger and gave them little time to settle. Anwar and Hicham were both fasting for Ramadan and so we'd waited until after to eat. We made our way to Sultan Grill in nearby Ibstock and I had a half-pound chilli burger meal. It was very well cooked and enjoyable. We left at 9 and the journey home started in good spirits. With both Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday behind, it meant that Wycombe's playoff fate would be in our own hands. However, both mounted comebacks of sorts and we are now the team outside of the playoffs, albeit only on goal difference to Plymouth by two goals. At least the main commentary on Five Live was good, Manchester City beating Real Madrid in a 4-3 thriller. We then put Greatest Hits Radio on as usual. I dropped the lads off at 10.40. I needed petrol and for the sake of saving 40p on the tank, decided to fill up tonight rather than to wait until tomorrow. It would save time and get me back at 11.10. I stayed up for a while, as ever finding it tricky to drop off to sleep after my day off.


TERRACE ROAD is an excellent ground for the level, having been used at a higher level. The vast majority of the pictures below are from Monday 14th October 2013 when I popped in on the way to Harrogate Railway Athletic v Northwich Victoria. The pitch is fully railed and concreted and it has basic floodlights, although these are rarely used. There are two stands - a small seated covered stand and a larger uncovered unit that can be used for seating or standing. In addition, on my third visit, I noticed a smaller covered standing area. There were no food or drink facilities that I could see on my visit, although they do have a clubhouse that probably opens for Saturday games.