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Admiral Park v Garswood United

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Bridge Bolton v Moss Lane East

10.30am 1 October 2022 South Manchester and Cheshire Christian League, Division Two Bridge Bolton 5 Moss Lane East 4 (att 9) The biggest challenge watching games in this league is finding out the venues. It was only in the days leading up to this fixture that I discovered where Bridge Bolton play, and that it was a pitch I'd not been to before. There are various multi-pitch parks in the town, but Bridge Bolton's home ground is better than those, being just a single enclosed pitch. There are several entrances to Walkers Playing Field, but vehicle access is via Cotefield Avenue. From that entrance the pitch runs widthways, with space for cars to park and, in the corner of the field, changing rooms. If ever a game showed that the level of football is no predictor of entertainment then this was it. It might only have been the second tier of a Saturday morning league, but I doubt I'll see many better games this season. Bridge Bolton opened the scoring, Moss Lane East levelled, t

Hooton v Runcorn Sports reserves

3.30pm 24 September 2022 West Cheshire League, Division Three Hooton 5 Runcorn Sports reserves 1 (att 29) Finding a second game within range of the 12.15 kick off in Formby might have been a challenge, but a pair of 3G pitches at the Vauxhall Motors ground in Ellesmere Port are hosting regular fixtures at 3.30 this season. Four West Cheshire League clubs are using the facilities, as well as Vauxhall Motors and their reserves, which means both the artificial pitches are in use most weeks. Having already seen a game on 'pitch one' , I was going to watch whichever game was on 'pitch two'. As I'd expected it was the division three fixture between Hooton and Runcorn Sports, while on the 3G next door Mallaby played Helsby in division two. Vauxhall Motors were up against Emley in the main stadium. Hooton, newly-promoted from the Chester and Wirral League, got off to a great start, They were ahead in the opening minute, and 2-0 up not long later. Runcorn Sports got a goal b

Redgate Rovers v Kingsford

12.15pm 24 September 2022 Liverpool Old Boys Amateur League, League One Redgate Rovers 6 Kingsford 0 (att 14) Redgate Rovers failed to finish last season, in the West Cheshire League, but have restarted a senior team at the considerably lower level of the Liverpool Old Boys Amateur League. They're in the league's third tier, which wouldn't normally be on my groundhopping radar if it wasn't for that fact that their home games are all scheduled as lunchtime kick offs. The team's Twitter account says they're playing at the former Formby FC ground. That might be the aim, but for now they play Formby's Smithy Green Recreation Ground. It's a public park with a single pitch and a fortified changing room building. When I arrived a youth game was in progress, but once that ended it was only a matter of minutes before my game got underway. It didn't take Redgate long to open the scoring, and a penalty doubled their lead before half time. Kingsford had their mo

Durham United v FC Hartlepool

7.45pm 21 September 2022 Wearside League, Division One Durham United 3 FC Hartlepool 1 (att 70) Durham University's Graham Sports Centre, just outside the city in Maiden Castle, has had quite a makeover since I visited for a Wednesday afternoon fixture in 2015. An imposing sports hall building has gone up near the car park, and beyond that the pitch inside a running track has been turned into an impressive football venue. It's main users are Durham Women FC, in the second tier of female football, but from this season it's also become home to men's team Durham United. United are effectively the university's team, and are catching up with fixtures after a delayed start to their season to allow for the start of term. A win over leaders FC Hartlepool suggests they'll quickly climb the table. An early goal got the home side off to a perfect start, and it wasn't long before they doubled their lead. It looked like being a long evening for Hartlepool, but they weath

Blaenavon Blues v Abertillery Bluebirds

2.30pm 17 September 2022 Ardal League, South East Blaenavon Blues 0 Abertillery Bluebirds 2 (att 131) It was a short but scenic drive from Mardy to Blaenavon, and a jump of three levels to the Ardal League South East, one of four regional divisions that make up the third tier of Welsh football. The Ardal Leagues are relatively new, but there wasn't even a national league for Wales when I visited Blaenavon at their former ground back in April 1990. They were in the Welsh League then, but many of the years since have been spent in the Gwent League. Promotion was earned last season and Blaenavon have made a solid start to life at this level. They couldn't add to their points tally against Abertillery though, falling to two second half goals. The home side squandered a chance to go in front when a first half penalty was saved. With about 20 minutes remaining they conceded a spot kick, and Abertillery's penalty taker showed how it should be done by scoring empathically. A late s

Mardy v Cwmcarn Athletic

12 noon 17 September 2022 Gwent Premier League, Division Two Mardy 5 Cwmcarn Athletic 1 (att 40) I had planned to stay closer to home this weekend, but the lure of an unusual early kick off was too much to resist and so I headed instead to South Wales. Mardy is a suburb of Abergavenny, and this game was moved to a noon kick off due to the town's popular food festival. Apparently players and officials run a car park during the event that raises important funds for the club. They'd have taken up their car park duties in good spirits after a comfortable win that keeps Mardy's 100% league record intact, not bad for a club that won promotion back into the county league only last season. Mardy started well, scoring after just three minutes. It took another 25 minutes before they doubled their lead, then a penalty got Cwmcarn back into the game shortly before half time. The visitors' hopes weren't raised for long, as a well-worked goal restored Mardy's two goal cushion