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If you metaphorically scratch the surface of the Western League Hop, you get League General Secretary Mark Edmonds. It was him who put the idea in as part of his successful application to the role, and it was him who first put the idea to his clubs. From GroundhopUK’s perspective we’d had an abortive attempt at the project a decade or so earlier, so we hadn’t even considered the idea. But all kinds of coincidences happened to make this happen.

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Single Blog Post

Groundhop - Bitton

The first match of the second day on the Western League hop would be at Bitton. Possibly an ideal club for Luis Suarez given incidents that have happened over the years. In reality it was a village of around 3500 residents, of which one is Noel Edmonds the TV presenter. I was looking forward to this one, with it being a fairly interesting ground, though along with most hoppers it will be a case of 'Once Bitton, Twice Shy' so I was determined to make the most of my one and only visit to the ground.

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CALNE TOWN were established in 1886, making them one of Wiltshire's oldest clubs

Russell Cox

Calne Town

Initially on this Friday I was planning to go up to Daisy Hill v Atherton Colleries, a local derby between 2 teams that play near Bolton. It would be a hell of a long way, especially on my own, but I'd decided to go for it as I knew a few people from the visitors. That was until I opened the Non League Paper's list of fixtures and saw that Calne Town were at home.

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Hallen.

The Hallen Centre

THE HALLEN CENTRE is a ground that I had previously visited to take photos of in 2007, when I was on the way down to Plymouth Argyle for a Wycombe away game. At the time I was impressed with the smart set up. There are 2 areas of cover - a smart 200 seated area called 'The Frank Fairman Stand' which was named after one of the founders of the club. There is also a small area of cover behind the goal at the clubhouse end of the ground, while the rest of the ground is open. The surroundings are green and pleasant, despite it's proximity to 2 motorways and everything is smart and well kept.

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Melksham Town.

The Conigre

One game that had been confirmed on was Melksham Town v Bristol Manor Farm, this being at level 5 of non league and in the Western League. Melksham is probably the most easterly of these, and therefore one of the nearest to us. We were both in the mood for a game, and so confirming on Twitter that the situation was still the same, we set off.

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Bradford Town

A much more reasonable journey, clocking in at around 200 miles was Bradford Town v Hungerford Town. The 2 sides had played at Bulpit Lane on Saturday, with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.

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Keynsham Town.

Friday Night Football

It had been a while since I had done a Friday night game, and as a big fan of ending the working week with a game, I was really pleased when Keynsham Town announced that their game against Roman Glass St George would be played on Friday night. Most weeks the only Friday games were to be found in Wales, so I was certainly going to support this one to try and encourage more teams to do it. With the freezing temperatures, normally the pitch would be a concern, but luckily Keynsham had a 3G pitch. So barring flooding or huge snowfall, I could travel down without worrying about a wasted journey.

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Oldland Abbotonians.

Groundhop - Oldland

For the second game of the Saturday on the Western League Hop, it was new territory for me in Oldland Abbotonians. Though I had been to the first two grounds of the hop for pictures, en route to other games, this would be a completely new one for me.

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