Lincolnshire has a long and proud footballing history. Its broad acres are home to dozens of clubs, from the Football League to local parks football. Come on a journey to discover those grounds and find out more about the county’s clubs, both present and past.

Includes club information, admission prices, team colours, logos, maps, road and rail travel details, pictures of more than 50 grounds plus an enthralling history section of former clubs and grounds.

(Publisher: Penny for Your Sports Publications. August 2022. Paperback: 166 pages)

Book Review: Walking in a Welsh Wonderland by Holly Hunt

The 2016/17 FA Cup competition will begin on Saturday 06 August 2016, a fact that will come as a great surprise to those fans within the game who only acknowledge its existence come the Third Round in January.

However, the reality is that a week before a ball is kicked at the start of the new Premier League season, 184 ties will take place in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round. It will see teams with wondrous names such as Ashby Ivanhoe, Northampton Old Northamptonian Chenecks and Tadley Calleva, grace the oldest Cup competition in the world. They know that they won’t make it all the way to the Final at Wembley, but it is a competition that can provide tidy financial assistance from a ‘Cup Run’, as well as throw up some ‘Cup Magic’ and ‘Cup Upsets’ along the way.

In Walking in a Welsh Wonderland, Holly Hunt, Media Assistant at Gainsborough Trinity, details the FA Cup adventure of the club during the 2015/16 season. It is set over thirteen chapters, with a Foreword by Neil Warnock, who cut his managerial teeth at Trinity back in the early 1980s.

The opening chapter is an observational one on the 2015/16 FA Cup competition, highlighting the importance of the tournament to non-league and lower league professional clubs alike, and also details how a number of teams higher-up the food chain have come to devalue it.

Central to the book though are the chapters devoted to the round-by-round progress of Trinity. Here the reader is treated to details of the Lincolnshire ‘derby’ in the Second Qualifying Round at home against Boston United, a dramatic Third Qualifying Round tie away at Droylsden, the backs to the wall victory at Wrexham in the Fourth Qualifying Round (which is the inspiration for the book title) and the brave exit in the First Round at home to League One Shrewsbury Town.

Given that Hunt works in the media for the club, the familiarity with the club, its players and management translates easily in her writing. However, as with many self-published books, it would have benefited from some editing and proof-reading in places.

This though doesn’t detract from a book which has so much going for it. The match details are well supported by some excellent colour action shots and other chapters which reflect on the adventure Trinity enjoyed. One such looks at how the club invested the prize money from the ‘Cup Run’ and another on What could have been, in which Hunt nicely and neatly ties up Gainsborough’s part in the FA Cup with that of eventual winners Manchester United, the link being that Trinity’s First Round conquerors, Shrewsbury Town, were defeated by the Old Trafford club in the Fifth Round.

It is then all rounded off with a cracking facts and figures summary of the FA Cup games Trinity played, in which Hunt includes amongst other things, The Story told by Twitter, Players of the Competition and Goal of the Competition.

Of course this book is aimed at supporters of Gainsborough Trinity, but will be an interesting read for anyone wanting an insight into what the FA Cup can mean to non-league and lower league professional clubs.

Copies can be bought by contacting the club through its website: www.gainsboroughtrinity.com


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2014/15: Vanarama Conference North – Guiseley AFC v Gainsborough Trinity


Coming into this game after four league fixtures, The Lions sat in second place in the table with ten points, having won three games (1-0 v Leamington [A], 3-0 v Stockport County [H], 1-0 v Worcester City [H]) and a draw (0-0 v AFC Fylde [A]). Visitors Gainsborough Trinity were in seventeenth place with four points after a win (1-0 v Hednesford Town [H]), two losses (v Barrow AFC 3-1 [A], v Brackley Town 3-2 [A]) and a draw (0-0 v Lowestoft Town [H]).

Match Report:

Guiseley AFC (0) 1 – 3 (2) Gainsborough Trinity

Guiseley: A. Holdsworth (62)

Gainsborough Trinity: T. Davie (27), C. Bateson (39), C. Higginson (68).

Guiseley warm-up before kick-off

Under a grey sky and in squally showers, Gainsborough kicked-off this Bank Holiday fixture at Nethermoor. Almost immediately the action was halted as Guiseley centre-back Danny Ellis needed treatment for a knock to the head. With play restarted Gainsborough quickly settled into a solid looking 4-5-1 formation and were neat in possession in the opening five minutes.

However, it was Guiseley who created the first chance of the game, when good work from Nicky Boshell provided a decent shooting opportunity for Jake Lawler. This spurred the home side to dominate with full-back Alex McQuad getting forward down the left whenever possible, which in the opening quarter of an hour produced efforts on goal for Adam Boyes, Nicky Boshell and Gavin Rothery, although none troubled visitors keeper Mike Emery.

Gainsborough also had a sight of goal on fifteen minutes when Tom Davie did well out wide before firing a shot narrowly wide of the Guiseley goal. However, it was the home side who continued to press with Boyes and Nicky Boshell combining well to create shooting opportunities for each other as the game approached the twenty minute mark.

With the weather conditions not improving, the immaculate green surface was becoming greasy and a few sliding challenges were inevitable. From one such tackle Trinity’s Ciaran Toner was booked on twenty one minutes and he may feel a tad unlucky to have received a yellow card given the circumstances.

Gainsborough Trinity warm-up prior to kick-off

As the game reached mid-point in the half, The Lions continued to apply more pressure on the Trinity defence, with Alex McQuad continuing to be a dangerous outlet down the left flank. On twenty four minutes, Guiseley came very close to taking the lead when a shot from Danny Boshell hit the post with Trinity keeper Emery rooted to the spot. At this point Gainsborough weren’t helping themselves as they too often conceded possession.

However, on twenty seven minutes it was Guiseley who gave the ball away which allowed Trinity to break and Tom Davie struck a fine shot into the corner, which Steve Drench could not keep out despite getting a hand to the drive from the young forward to give the visitors the lead. To their credit the home side responded and on the half-hour mark Gainsborough keeper Mike Emery was brave in coming out and taking the ball at the feet of Adam Boyes as the Guiseley forward chased through.

Trinity though continued to work hard in all areas of the pitch, typified by forward Curtis Bateson, on-loan from Scunthorpe United, who created a chance for himself cutting inside before shooting over the bar. The visitor’s efforts were further rewarded on thirty nine minutes, when a cleverly weighted Ciaran Toner pass split the Guiseley centre-backs, where Bateson coolly finished past Drench, to put Trinity 2-0 ahead. Indeed Gainsborough were finishing the half stronger and after The Lions gifted possession once more, Tom Davie was given another sight of goal, although this time his effort was straight at Drench. Guiseley were struggling at this point and couldn’t wait for the half-time whistle.

However the agony was extended as there were three minutes of time added-on at the end of the first-half, which saw Guiseley desperately try and grab a goal before the break. However, despite seeing plenty of the ball they were unable to fashion a chance with a through ball which ran away from Adam Boyes on the wet surface, summing up a miserable opening forty five minutes for the home team.

There was no let-up in the wet and windy conditions as the players emerged for the second-half. Guiseley kicked-off, attacking the Otley Road end and were immediately on the front-foot with Nicky Boshell having a header that flashed wide. However, Trinity continued with their organised approach as in the opening half, as Lobjoit, Bateson and Davie continued to work hard up front and earned the visitors a corner on fifty minutes.

Guiseley though dominated the play for the next ten minutes with plenty of possession, but without creating a telling chance. With an hour gone The Lions manager Mark Bower was aware that he had to shake things up and introduced midfielder Jack Stockdill on fifty eight minutes and forward Oli Johnson three minutes later. The changes provided the breakthrough demanded by the home fans, as captain Andy Holdsworth fired in a curling left-foot shot beyond Emery. Suddenly Guiseley were back in the game and the crowd sensed that maybe an equaliser was possible.

However, that optimism was short-lived. On sixty eight minutes the visitors made their first substitution of the game as Connor Higginson replaced Billy Lobjoit. It proved to a masterstroke from Trinity boss Steve Housham as immediately Curtis Bateson got down the left and his cross was fired in at the far post by substitute Higginson with his first touch. However, this was pretty much the last action for Bateson as on seventy three minutes he limped off, replaced by Grant Roberts.

Second-half: Trinity on the attack.

As the game entered the last fifteen minutes, Guiseley manager Mark Bower made his last substitution as Wayne Brooksby was replaced by Danny Forrest. It nearly paid dividends as Danny Ellis had a towering header turned round the post by Emery on seventy nine minutes. The Trinity keeper was in action again just two minutes later having to make a double save as Oli Johnson looked to slot home from the initial save. However, Gainsborough were holding firm and although Guiseley striker Adam Boyes had another chance five minutes from time, his header was wide and the home fans sensed it was not going to be their day.

With ninety minutes up, Trinity had five minutes of time added-on to negotiate before they could claim the three points. In the first of those the visitors had a chance to score a fourth, but after a good run the shot from Tom Davie lacked power and was easily gathered by Drench in the Guiseley goal. Despite it being a lost cause, The Lions continued to press and they created a chance on ninety four minutes when Gavin Rothery had room in the box to get a shot off, however as with much of the Guiseley’s efforts on the day, it came to nothing.

At the whistle, Gainsborough players and fans celebrated a well-earned three points after a thoroughly professional performance, whilst for Guiseley their unbeaten start to the season was over.

Guiseley: S. Drench, A. Holdsworth (c), A. McQuade (J. Stockdill [58]), B. Parker, D. Ellis, J. Lawler, W. Brooksby (D. Forrest [77]), D. Boshell, A. Boyes, N. Boshell (O. Johnson [61]), G. Rothery. Substitutes not used: R. Toulson, S. Dickinson.

Gainsborough Trinity: M. Emery, D. Roma (c), J. Lacey, C. Binns, A. Quinn, J. Picton, S. Russell, C. Toner, B. Lobjoit (C. Higginson [68]), C. Bateson (G. Roberts [73]), T. Davie. Substitutes not used: L. Davis, C. Salt, N. Plumtree.

Attendance: 572

Post-match interviews:

Courtesy of David Granger, Gainsborough Standard.

David Granger (DG): So pretty much a perfect away performance.

Steve Housham (SH) Gainsborough Trinity manager: It was, we ‘ve come with a game plan and I said to the players before the game if we stick to it and we are disciplined…not many people will expect us to come here …we didn’t have the pressure on us to come here and win a game. We were massive underdogs. It might say they had about 75% of the possession, but it says Gainsborough 3 Guiseley 1. We were clinical and when we had the ball, first-half I thought we give it away too cheaply, but we stuck to our game plan and we did the job.

DG: The game plan seemed to be to press high and that really did cause problems for them.

SH: Yeah, I can remember when I first took over at the club and we played Guiseley, they are a good footballing side, always have been, and I did the same at our place. They can’t really hurt you if they are just playing from left back to right back, centre back, and we had to be patient and sometimes those sorts of teams can lose their patience and just look for long balls forward. Their movement was good and they are a good side, so we’ve got to take credit for that. We’ve come to a good side and beat them 3-1.

DG: A note on Tom Davie and Billy Lobjoit – first starts of the season. I thought they were terrific.

SH: Yeah, like you say…game Saturday. Me and Stampy (Assistant Manager Darryn Stamp) looked before the game, we had an inkling you know…I think they thought they just had to turn up. They looked a bit lacklustre in the warm-up, things like that and I said to our lads…fresh legs, with Tom Davie, Billy Lobjoit and Charlie Binns, who was magnificent in the middle of the park, all came in and were lively for us. Mike Emery in goal, not forgetting about him…it makes a good headache, but a difficult situation for next week now.

DG: Is there an injury worry with Curtis (Bateson) – superb today a goal and two assists?

SH: I think it’s just his ankle, just got a knock. Just having a joke that he can go back to a proper physio for a week. He won’t have to see our physio now and again…he’s got a proper physio to see daily. Fingers crossed he should be alright for next week.

DG: Defence looked resolute again, really defended the eighteen yard box well.

SH: We got asked questions today and I thought we answered them all. We didn’t look in any danger you know, the goal came from a long range shot, that’s all we restricted them to. There was the odd time where from corners they looked a wee bit dangerous, but we stood as soldiers, we were strong and like you say that’s near enough a perfect performance against a team that’s going to be up there come the end of the season. But you know, why shouldn’t Gainsborough be up there…we said we were going to surprise a few people. No surprise to me and the lads that we were going to come here and win today.

DG: Any news on the injures to your assistant Stampy and Bees (Paul Beesley)?

SH: Bees could be a bit longer than we thought, but hopefully he’s looking for next week as it’s his old club. Stampy should be okay, but we’ll assess that…we got a full week to assess it and we’ll see how they are – probably Thursday.

* * * * * * * * *

DG: First start of the season, first goal. Just take us through it.

Tom Davie (TD), Gainsborough Trinity forward: It was a great way to start. I’ve had to bide my time and work hard to get into the team. The team has been doing well, but Houshy’s put his faith in me today and I hope I’ve repaid him.

DG: It was a brilliant strike; you had a tester just before that went wide. It was a good finish, how did you see it?

TD: To be fair I had one a couple of minutes before and I’ve got it in exactly the same position and luckily this time its gone it. But as a team I thought we were brilliant today – the defence was brilliant from Mike to Billy up front.

DG: Exactly, your manager has talked about how you stuck to the game plan, pressing high and how you did a really good job – you Billy and Curtis up front really worked your socks off today.

TD: We are all young lads so we have to learn off this experience. We came here with a game plan and we’ve all stuck to it and that’s what happens when you stick to it, we’ve come to a top side and got a good three points.

DG: Where do you go from here – you just going to keep working hard, knocking on the door and pushing?

TD: We’ve just not got to get complacent. We’ve got Bradford on Saturday. We’ll come in on Thursday and train again…then it’s another bigger push on Saturday.

DG: Do you think you’ve got a good chance on Saturday against Bradford?

TD: Yeah, I think…the lads are confident. The key is to keep our feet on the ground and do what we did today. Houshy will get us in Thursday, so I’m sure he’ll have another game plan for Saturday and if we stick to it I’m positive we’ll come out with the right result.

2011/12: FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round

Saturday 29 October 2011 (10.30 am)

Circumstances mean that I’m not able to get to a game in the 4th (and last) Qualifying Round of the FA Cup today. What I hope is that I will get to one of the replays, so that my Cup adventure can continue. Consequently as I write I’m left pondering how the teams featured in my Cup journey (to date) will get on later this afternoon.

After their giant-killing victory at Hyde in the last round, Bradford Park Avenue, find themselves drawn away again and travel to Evo-Stik NPL Division One South, Kidsgrove Athletic. Whilst Avenue were being dumped out of the FA Trophy in midweek, Athletic secured a morale boosting 2-1 League win over Sutton Coldfield Town. Despite this, Bradford will fancy their chances against lower league opposition and I’m going for Avenue to advance after a replay.

FC Halifax Town are on their travels again for the 4th Qualifying Round and find themselves away at fellow Blue Square Bet (BSB) North side, Solihull Moors. Moors have been struggling at the wrong end of the table, but gained a morale boasting away win at Nuneaton last Saturday and followed it up with a midweek win over Gloucester. The Shaymen sit half way in the league in what has been a topsy-turvey season to date. The midweek win against Hyde was an excellent one, but Halifax have not been able to put together any kind of unbeaten run this year. On that basis, I’m going with Solihull to win this one in a close game.

Frickley Athletic’s conquerors, Gainsborough Trinity have an away trip to Blue Square Bet Premier side AFC Telford United. Trinity are going well in the BSB North as demonstrated by their midweek 6-1 demolition of Eastwood Town. With Telford at the wrong end of the table, I’m going for Trinity to come through after a replay. 


Sunday 30 October 2011 (11.30 am)

So should I give up the day job and turn to predicting scores for a living? First up Bradford Park Avenue. Yesterday, I said I fancied Avenue to go through after a replay. As it turned out, a brace from substitute Jimmy Beadle ensured that the Yorkshire side beat Kidsgrove at the first time of asking.

Secondly Halifax at Solihull. I predicted a close game with Moors to go through. The final score was indeed close, but the 1-0 win went to the Shaymen, through Danny Holland. Halifax could have won it by a larger margin, as they missed two penalties at Damson Park.

Finally I went for Gainsborough Trinity to come through after a replay. A complete disaster of a tip, as their opponents AFC Telford United swept to a 5-0 victory with goals from Pitt (9 & 64 mins), Killock (42 mins)and Sharp (52 & 71 mins).

Congratulations to all those teams who made it through to the FA Cup 1st Round draw today. Commiserations to those teams that I predicted to get through, but didn’t. Bookmakers can rest easy in their beds!