GroundhopUK 2022

 

The first ever official Groundhop in the South East of England took place this weekend with the SCEFL and ‘GroundhopUK’ joining forces to bring you a festival of football.

The six games produced 17 goals, 4 winning sides and lots of entertainment.

The combined spectator numbers came in at over 2,000 with 2 Clubs achieving attendance records for their grounds.

 

Friday 7th October

Punjab United 1-1 Stansfeld

Saturday 8th October

Staplehurst Monarchs 1-0 Rochester Utd

Bearsted 2-1 Fisher

Larkfield & New Hythe 2-1 Greenways

Sunday 9th October

Rusthall 4-2 K Sports

Tunbridge Wells 1-1 Lordswood

 

With the involvement of Groundhop UK we are expecting a large number of football followers from across the country to descend on the South East to take in all 6 games over the weekend. For many of them it will be their first visits to these grounds and as well as the opportunity for the Groundhoppers to ‘tick’ one off it gives our teams a great chance to showcase their grounds and the hard work that they put on week in, week out.

And this is not just for those coming in on the organised trip.

With the varied kick-off times local fans can take in a game or 2 (or 3, 4, 5 or 6!) and enjoy the football that they know well, surrounded by like-minded people that they have yet to meet.


 

It all got underway on Friday night with Punjab United hosting Fisher in a Premier Division clash at the Steve Cook Stadium.

 

7 Oct 2022-7:45 pm
Half Time: 0-0
Punjab United
1
Stansfeld
1
Full Time
Goals
68'
70'

 

Our first ever Groundhop game finished all square with Punjab United and Stansfeld playing out a 1-1 draw.

Following a goalless first 45 minutes we had two quickfire goals midway through the second half.

Substitute Lee Friend had only been on the field for one minute when he gave Stansfeld the lead but that advantage was quickly wiped out by a Paul Vines equaliser.

A crowd of 347 saw the game finish level and now with a night to recover we look ahead to game two.

 


 

Onto Saturday and an early start for the game between Staplehurst Monarchs and Rochester United in the First Division.

 

8 Oct 2022-11:00 am
Half Time: 0-0
Staplehurst Monarchs
1
Rochester United
0
Full Time
Goals
71'

 

Staplehurst Monarchs took game 2 of the groundhop, with a solitary second half goal enough to see off Rochester United.

The visitors were made to pay for missed chances by a 71st minute winner from John Osagie.

 


 

It was all over to Otham for the early afternoon match between Bearsted and Fisher in the Premier Division.

 

8 Oct 2022-2:00 pm
Half Time: 1-0
Bearsted
2
Fisher
1
Full Time

 

Ollie Freeman was the star of the show for the hosts, scoring first and last, either side of a Jacob Katonia leveller, to give his side to a 2-1 win.

 


 

Our Saturday action came to a close with the First Division match-up between Larkfield & New Hythe v Greenways.

 

8 Oct 2022-5:00 pm
Half Time: 2-0
Larkfield & New Hythe
2
Greenways
1
Full Time
Goals
10'
29'

 

Once again it went to the home side by a single goal as Larkfield & New Hythe beat Greenways 2-1.

Luke Burdon finished well to put the hosts ahead early on and Stuart West doubled that advantage with a fine header on the half hour mark.

A Stunning strike from Oscar Saxton reduced the deficit in the second half but the Larks held on and with the 3 points move up to second place in the table.

 


 

Sunday service came at 11am from Jockey Farm where Rusthall hosted K Sports in a Premier Division game.

 

9 Oct 2022-11:00 am
Half Time: 2-1
Rusthall
4
K Sports
2
Full Time

 

Rusthall won a goalfest on Sunday morning as they beat K Sports 4-2.

The hosts raced into an early 2-goal lead before goals from Mike Holliday and Billy Lewins saw the game level early in the second half.

The Rustics were not to be denied though and with Calvin Gitiba and Daniel Blunn on target, the points were theirs.

 


 

Just a couple of miles away from Jockey Farm is the Culverden Stadium, home of Tunbridge Wells and the venue of their game against Lordswood.

 

9 Oct 2022-2:00 pm
Half Time: 0-1
Tunbridge Wells
1
Lordswood
1
Full Time
Goals
32'

 

We bookmark the SCEFL Groundhop with 1-1 draws after Tunbridge Wells and Lordswood shared the points in the final match of the weekend.

Trevor McCreadie levelled Josh Owen’s first half opener for the visitors, on a glorious day at the Culverden.

 






 

All at the SCEFL hope that everyone who visited these games over the weekend enjoyed the entertainment on offer.

If you want to share your experiences, photos, reports and feedback please tag us on your socials, use the tag #SCEFLGroundHop or send them via email so we can feature them here and share them to the world.

 


 

Official GroundhopUK details

The Kent and East Sussex areas already attract much interest from groundhoppers; for those from the North of the country, this is a long-awaited visit to the South-East for a “hop”, and a full weekend of fixtures will be a major pull.

Both parties are excited about staging what promises to be a fantastic event.

Speaking at the launch late last year, SCEFL Chair Denise Richmond said “We’re delighted to welcome the Groundhoppers to the Southern Counties East League for the 2022/23 season, and hope they are looking forward to watching games from across our two competitive divisions. It will raise the league’s profile across steps 5 and 6 even further and with many clubs progressing up the pyramid in recent seasons it will be a chance to visit new grounds for many spectators. We look forward to welcoming new faces at various Southern Counties East League grounds in October 2022.”

Chris Berezai of GroundhopUK said “This news will be welcomed by groundhoppers everywhere. So many have asked when we were going to add a hop in the South, and we are both thrilled and honoured that the League has agreed to stage the Hop. We look forward to working very closely with the SCEFL to make sure it’s a fantastic event.”

Over the next 5 years the aim is for every SCEFL side to host a Groundhop game.

 





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