November 2018

How to Score Goals

Approach with the ball

Sudden Sound of bagpipes

(For this you will need an accomplice)

Goal

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Approach with ball

Plus cake

Sing “Happy Birthday to you!”

Invite goalie

to blow his candles out

etc.

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Approach with ball

Point skywards

Say,”Oh look – a vulture!”

(he will have forgotten the rabbit by this time)

Goal

by Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )

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Thursday 1st November 2018
FA Youth Cup 1st Round

Peterborough Sports 0

Barnet 1

Dimeji Adeniran 9,
Referee:- Brian O’Sullivan.                                            Attendance:- 122
Admission:- £3.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
This enthralling encounter was settled in the first ten minutes! Firstly, the hosts broke through and a gilt edged chance was rifled just wide of the near post. Then the visitors took the lead with a goal from a corner which was smashed into the roof of the net! Thereafter, the visitors held out and though both sides had chances, it was that one early strike that settled the tie. Good to see a programme for the match and a healthy attendance!

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Saturday 3rd November 2018
Bostik Isthmian League Division 1 South East

Ashford United 2

Danny Parish 21,

Sam Come 26,

Horsham 3

Chris Smith 65,

Tyrell Richardson-Brown 80, 90+6,
Referee:- Jack Fagg.                                                         Attendance:- 296
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£9)                              Programme:- £2.00
Homelands Stadium has been the impressive home of Ashford United for the last dozen years or so. It has a 3G surface and cover on three sides with a comfortable bar and viewing area behind the main stand. Mind you, if you want a lesson in how to lose a match, this was the place to come! The hosts led 2-0 at the interval and that was the score with but twenty-five minutes to go. Sitting back on a lead is never a good tactic and three goals from Horsham deservedly snuffed out the home side’s hopes of victory.

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Sunday 4th November 2018
FA Women’s Championship

Sheffield United Women 1

Bex Rayner 83,

Leicester City Women 0
Referee:- Elizabeth Simms.                                                  Attendance:- 458
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5)                                    Programme:- £2.00
A first visit to The Sheffield Olympic Legacy Stadium built on part of the site of The old Don Valley Stadium. This was the first match that Sheffield United Women had played there, but it is to be their home from now on. It was not the most riveting of contests and the hosts won with a goal after 83 minutes, just when we were resigning ourselves to a goalless encounter, but they deserved their victory!

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Tuesday 6th November 2018
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division

Spelthorne Sports 1

Jake Flatman 1,

Balham 2

Jack Robinson 28,

Tino Carpene 78,
Referee:- Connor Fannelli. Attendance:- 47
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7) Programme:- £1.50
I’ve seen this ground several times on the way to other venues and eventually – and not without difficulty in finding a way in – I got to see a game at Staines Road West! The pitch is tucked away some hundred yards from the club house with its own changing rooms and refreshment facility. A couple of quirky stands with yellow seats – one behind the goal and one down the side – and a covered standing area with crash barriers, take up two sides of the ground, with nothing except dug-outs around the other two sides. The hosts took an early lead, were pegged back by half time and despite having 75% of play in the second half, they managed to concede a second strike which settled the match in the visitors favour.

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This was not a ground to instantly grip the first time visitor, indeed, our hearts sank when we first got there, but it grows on you and is quite quirky with its yellow seats in a wooden stand and a seriously warm welcome from the locals!

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Wednesday 7th November 2018
Future Lions United Counties League Division 1

Blackstones 2

Matthew Simpson 68,

Lee Clarke 87,

Long Buckby 0
Referee:- Ashley Yeomans.                                                  Attendance:- 49
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6)                                 Programme:- £1.00
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” – late Autumn, dank November is the time to visit Blackstones, when the floodlights reveal the foliage in all its golden glory. Tonight, the visitors proved a hard nut to crack and it was only two strikes in the final twenty minutes that settled the contest in the host’s favour.

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Saturday 10 November 2018
Total Motion Midland League Division 2 k.o.:- 2.00pm

Boldmere S&S Falcons 4

Reece Gibson 36, 89,

Kyle Hudlin 57, 71,

Earlswood Town 1

Ben Cox 63,
Referee:- Samantha Thomson.                                                                Attendance:- 19
Admission:- OMGDS £1.00 (£3)                                                        Programme:- incl.
On a showery West Midlands afternoon that grew increasingly chilly, the leaders of Division 2 had a comfortable victory over mid table Earlswood Town. The ground is tucked away behind the Main Street in Boldmere and accessed by a narrow entrance which leads to a congested car park. There are two full sized pitches and a 3G area and the main pitch has hard standing on three sides. No floodlights or seating which precludes them from using this venue if they gain promotion. With Graeme Askham who completed this division on this visit!

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Sunday 11th November 2018
FA Cup 1st Round

Chorley 2

Josh O’Keefe 2,

Courtney Meppen-Walter 42,

Matt Challoner sent off on 72 minutes for dangerous play

Doncaster Rovers 2

Herbie Kane 12, 77,
Referee:- Ross Joyce.                                                      Attendance:- 3,239
Admission:- £12.00.                                                       Programme:- £5.00
Another visit to one of the great homes of non-League football with sons, Jim and Mike and grandson, Freddie et al! Managed to down TWO butter potato pies (if ever you go, they are a speciality!) and enjoyed a pretty entertaining tussle with the hosts leading twice and at 2-1 having a man sent off, and having to settle for the draw with a really sweet strike from Doncaster’s Herbie Kane (no relation) just ten minutes from the end! Still, in the draw for Round 2 on Monday!!

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The away support in The Pilling Lane end.

Remembrance Day Silence prior to the match.

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Andy Teague, the Chorley captain at the post match interview.

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Grandson, Freddie collating the teams prior to kick-off!.

Grandson, Freddie, after the match – it looks like he is holding the FA Cup.

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Grandson Freddie with his Grandad Ed.

From the left, eldest son, Jim, son-in-law, Daz and budding football hopper, grandson Freddie.

Wednesday 14th November 2018
Essex Senior League

Stanway Rovers 4

Jay Nash 30,

Joe Irnti 50, 62,

Gaz Dauti 75,

Ilford 2

Danny Haigh 53,

Callum Maltese 87 (pen),
Referee:- Robert Claussen.                                             Attendance:- 83
Admission:- £6.00.                                             Programme:- included
On a dank, dismal November evening, The Hawthorns did not look its best. True, there was cover on all four sides and a seated stand down the far side. True, also, there was a very good club house and a refreshment hut of wide variety, but it all looked tired and careworn. Quite unlike the team, who are currently languishing in the nether regions of their league. Opponents, Ilford, several of whose players were late arriving, causing an 8.15pm kick-off, were shown no mercy and a 1-0 half-time lead reached 4-1 after seventy-five minutes. Ilford’s second was no more than a consolation!

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Friday 16th November 2018
Friendly International

Brazil 1

Neymar 76 (pen)

Uruguay 0
Referee:- Craig Pawson.                                       Attendance:- c35,000
Admission:- OMGDS £17.50 (£35)                             Programme:- £5.00
A very occasional visit to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium – easily accessible by train to Finsbury Park – to see a very different game of football from the game we see in England. It was engrossing, enthralling – like watching a chess match – but it lacked the hard rush and tumble of the English game – not that there weren’t some tasty tackles by both sides!!! Brazil just about edged it, but the penalty that won it was a dubious decision!

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Saturday 17th November 2018
Sky-Bet EFL League One

Shrewsbury Town 3

Ollie Norburn 32 (pen), 72,

Fejiri Okenarbirhie 66,

Rochdale 2

Brad Inman 45+1,

Jordan Williams 59,
Referee:- Lee Swabey                                                  Attendance:- 5,861
Admission:- OMGDS £15.00 (£20)                        Programme:- £3.00
My son and two of my grandsons treated me to a birthday outing by rail to Shrewsbury. Needless to say, the rail journey was awful! However, these two teams served up a really tasty encounter. Rochdale, in their fetching all cherry strip, were worthy opponents and even led midway through the second half. They were undone by two late strikes when a draw may have been a fairer result.

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Son, Jim and grandsons, Sonny and Kingsley.

Rochdale had a very fetching away kit.

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Tuesday 20th November 2018
FA Cup 1st Round Replay

Doncaster Rovers 7

Alfie May 7, 30, 36, 81,

Matty Blair 21,

Herbie Kane 29,

John Marquis 85

Tom Anderson sent off on 59 minutes – second bookable offence

Chorley 0
Referee:- Darren Drysdale.                                             Attendance:- 3,047
Admission:- Hospitality £30.00                        Programme:- incl. (£1.50)
Chorley’s FA Cup run came spectacularly unstuck at The Keepmoat Stadium on a cold and very wet evening. Rovers came out of the starting blocks like thoroughbreds and scored five unanswered first half goals. Chorley recovered very well in the second half, managed to have a penalty awarded against them, brilliantly saved, but then conceded two late goals when their influential defender, Courtney Meppen-Walter limped off and could not be replaced because all three subs had been used.

An excellent hospitality package, very reasonably priced, included a lovely two course meal and half-time refreshments plus the usual padded seats, teamsheets, car parking space, Sky TV etc.!

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There were 599 Chorley supporters in the away end.

Wednesday 21st November 2018
Future Lions United Counties League Division 1

Rushden & Higham United 2

Nat Gosnal Tyler 25,

Ben Aidulis 80,

Blackstones 2

Lee Clarke 36 (pen),

Joseph Papworth-Moore 88,
Referee:- Tom Martin.                                   Attendance:- 43
Admission:- OMGDS £2.00 (£5)            Programme:- none
Free teamsheet.
On the coldest night of the season so far (the gritters were out in force on The A14), Hayden Road looked considerably more neat and tidy since my previous visit! New tenants, AFC Rushden&Diamonds have certainly put their mark on the ground. New covered areas – both standing and seated behind the goals and additional hard standing on the far side of the pitch have been installed along with new toilets and a new refreshment kiosk. However, it was the hosts who were playing this evening and in a lively encounter, a draw was probably the right result.

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The main stand is still out of use being deemed dangerous to accommodate spectators.

A new covered terrace behind the goal.

Friday 23rd November 2018
Future Lions United Counties League Division 1

Lutterworth Athletic 3

Barnes Gladman 28, (penalty saved on 7 minutes)

Jeff Woodward 82, 90, 

Aylestone Park 0
Referee:- John Bullen.                                                 Attendance:- 85
Admission:- £5.00.                                                Programme:- £1.00
Lutterworth Athletic enjoyed a fine triumph here at Hall Park, this evening. Going into the match they were in fifth place, level on points with their fourth placed opponents. They had an early penalty saved and then took a half-time lead. Aylestone pressed hard for most of the second half, but to no avail. The hosts missed several good opportunities on the break, but eventually wrapped the match up with two late goals! With grandson, Freddie and a good gathering of hoppers!

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Saturday 24th November 2018
Eco-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division

Scarborough Athletic 0

Gainsborough Trinity 2

Simon Russell 74,

Ashley Worsfold 77,
Referee:- James Westgate                                              Attendance:- 1,096
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£10)                                Programme:- £2.00
A fairly gentle trip up to Scarborough, stopping off for an excellent fish and chip dinner at Harper’s on The A64 some five miles short of the ground. Scarborough’s new ground is a work in progress. At present they have only 250 seats and all are taken by season ticket holders and directors, however, there are plans to build a new stand opposite with both seats and covered standing areas. On the field, they sit proudly at the top of the table, but they were defeated today by a more determined Trinity team in a dour game of few chances.

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Flamingo Land is a theme park between Pickering and Whitby.

The area opposite is designated for a new covered seated and standing area.

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Wednesday 28th November 2018
Birmingham FA Midweek Cup

Dudley Town 3

Sean Geddes 12,

Jordan Davies 16,

Kartell O’Neill-Martin 88,

Cradley Town 0
Referee:- Charlie Dickens. Attendance:- 49
Admission:- £5.00. Programme:- NONE
A gaunt, soulless stadium at York Road was formerly the residence of Oldbury United. Until recently, Dudley Town had been playing at The Dell, with an athletics track around the pitch. That was until the local badgers unearthed a particularly tasty worm which lived underneath the pitch. The pitch became unplayable and Dudley moved to Oldbury. This evening, the hosts had little difficulty in seeing off a pretty lightweight Cradley side with two goals in the first quarter of an hour and a third just before the end!

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Other Matches:-

Wednesday 7th November 2018

National League U-19 Alliance League Cup 2nd Round k.o.:- 1.00pm

Rugby Town 2 Rushden & Diamonds 2

no extra time,Rugby Town won 6-5 on penalties                                Attendance:- 23

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Thursday 8th November 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports 10 Downham Town 2                                       Attendance:- 30

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Friday 9th November 2018

Future Lions United Counties League Premier Division

Oadby Town 4 Wellingborough Town 2                                         Attendance:- 76

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Monday 12th November 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City U-23 1 Nottingham Forest U-23 2                       Attendance:- 286

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Tuesday 13th November 2018

Smedley-Cooke Memorial Charity Cup 2nd Round

Loughborough University 3 FC Darlaston 1                              Attendance:- 161

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Thursday 15th November 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports 2 Peterborough Northern Star 1           Attendance:- 45

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Monday 26th November 2018

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Cambridge Division

St Neots Town U-18 1 Ely City U-18 0                                     Attendance:- 74

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Wednesday28th November 2018

National League U-19 Alliance Group G

Rugby Borough U-19 7 Norwich City (Cambs RDP) U-19 1       Attendance:- 5

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Thursday 29th November 2018

Premier League 2 International Cup Matchday 2

Leicester City U-23 1 Sparta Prague U-23 0                             Attendance:- 122

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MATCHES

This month:-                Matches:- 24               New Grounds:- 8

This Season:-               Matches:- 117              New Grounds:- 49

TOTAL:-                       Matches:- 4,049         New Grounds:- 1,501

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0Comments

October 2018

How to Score Goals

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(1)

Approach with ball

Point left

Say, ‘Ooh, look – a bunny rabbit!’

Shoot right

Goal

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(2)

Approach with ball

point right

Say ‘Ooh, look – a fiver!’

Shoot left

Goal

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(3)

Approach with ball

Say, ‘sorry about all this trickery

I never saw any rabbit’

Offer to shake hands

shoot

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(by Allan Ahlberg 1937 – )

 

Tuesday 2nd October 2017
Future Lions United Counties League Division 1

Harrowby United 1

Tyrell Shannon Lewis 77,

Anstey Nomads 4

Tindai Chitiza 24, 28,

Ash Day 49, (penalty saved 36,)

James Hick 90+2,
Referee:- James Marsden.                                          Attendance:- 51
Admission:- £5.00.                                                      Programme:- none
Some quite extensive improvements to Harrowby’s Dickens Road ground with green, heavy duty wire fencing on two sides and a new turnstile and club logo (although the old logo still adorns “Stan’s Stand”). On the field, they were comprehensively defeated by an unbeaten Anstey Nomads!

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Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Future Lions United Counties League KO Cup 2nd Rnd

Blackstones 0

Melton Town 5

Robbie Parsons 6,

Michael Reeves 32, 35,

Sam Thorpe 49,

Joe Lindley 88,
Referee:- Sam Anderson.                                                    Attendance:- 71
Admission:- £5.00                                                        Programme:- £1.00
The floodlights illuminating the rustic, Autumnal trees present a lovely backdrop to the Blackstones ground opposite the stand. Mirrlees Blackstones as they used to be known after the Stamford engineering works from where the team originated, were given a stern examination this evening by Melton Town, the unbeaten leaders of the 1st Division. The result was a fair reflection of the action!

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The Western ‘Hop’ 5-7th October 2018

Friday 5th October 2018
Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Brislington 2

Clarke Taylor 41,

Connor Biggins 76,

Odd Down 3

George Lloyd 7. 82, 86,
Referee:- Andrew Sheppard.                                        Attendance:- 262
Admission:- £6.00                                                      Programme:- £1.00
A good match to start the Western Hop with, at Brislington’s tight Ironmould Lane ground which had cover on all four sides and a fine, warm welcome! Odd Down deservedly took the points and the victory, but only after a tremendous struggle and a couple of lengthy stoppages for injuries.

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Just before the match at Brislington, Michael Squires, made the following observation as I was waiting to join the coach from our hotel.

“I am often accused of being very unkind to Eddie McGeown for showing photos of him asleep. To redress the balance I attach one of him at our hotel where he is clearly working hard on his crossword. The fact his eyes are closed and he was snoring merely shows the seriousness with which he takes his crossword puzzles! Indeed, John Main insisted I keep quiet to help Eddie think!”

Saturday 6th October 2018
Toolstation Western League Division 1 – k.o.:- 11.00am

Longwell Green Sports 2

Connor Britton 2

Courtney Charles 35,

Welton Rovers 3

Lewis Hunt 27,

Aaron Saviour 53, 77,
Referee:- Gareth Dunn.                                             Attendance:- 213
Admission:- £7.00.                                          Programme:- included
On a cold, chilly morning with rain coming down like a grey slate wall, top of the table, Welton Rovers had to fight hard for their victory, eventually subduing spirited resistance from the hosts. There was not an awful lot of protection from the elements – a couple of Meccano stands – but there was plenty of cover before the match and refreshments including a lovely slice of fruit cake!

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Saturday 6th October 2018 2.15pm
Toolstation Western League Premier Division k.o.:- 2.15pm

Clevedon Town 1

Alex Camm 12,

Buckland Athletic 3

Charlie Johansen 30,

Ryan Bush 72,

James Richards 86,

Referee:- Martin Peters.                                                         Attendance:- 213
Admission:- £6.00.                                                              Programme:- £1.00
It was cold and bitter with a blustery wind at The Hand Stadium, the very impressive home of Clevedon Town. There was terracing all round the ground and a full length seated stand with complete covered standing on the far side of the pitch. On the field, the hosts started brightly, took the lead and then were gradually worn down by the persistence of the better side. Some interesting refereeing decisions contributed to the home fans frustrations!

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Saturday 6th October 2018 k.o. 5.00pm
Toolstation Western League Premier Division k.o.:- 5.00pm

Hallen 0

Shepton Mallet 3

Ashley Willmott 45

Tyson Pollard 59

Conrad Peck 78,
Referee:- Richard Lawrence.                                          Attendance:- 218
Admission:- £6.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
Hallen’s ground is a thoughtful blend of the old and the new. The playing area has an olde worlde feel to it, but behind the goal is a modern new club house and changing rooms. The visitors, Shepton Mallet, in their rather fetching red socks, black and white, wide hooped shirts and black shorts with a wide white sash down each side were substantially lower down the league than their opponents, but they won this match with considerable panache!

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In the declining evening sunshine, this was the view behind the far corner of the ground.

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Saturday 6th October 2018
Toolstation Western League Premier Division k.o.:- 7.45pm

Cribbs 2

Ben Dowdell 6,

Sol Wanja-Smith 81,

Hengrove Athletic 1

Mark Fear 75,
Referee:- Craig Scriven.                                               Attendance:- 227
Admission:- £6.00.                                                  Programme:- £1.00
It was a bitterly cold evening at Cribbs, which has a ground high up on a plateau with not a great amount of cover. Wonderful array of tempting repasts on offer and warm and cosy, but only in the bar! In a dour struggle, the hosts just about shaded the contest, but it took a late decider to clinch all three points!

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Sunday 7th October 2018 k.o. 11.00am

Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Bridgwater Town 1

Tom Ellis 74,

Bridport 0
Referee:- Sean Rothwell.                                                Attendance:- 371
Admission:- £6.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
On a beautiful sunny morning that grew increasingly warm, Fairfax Park, looked pretty impressive with cover on all four sides of the ground and seating along each side. All this however, was in the shadow of the monster stand of Bridgwater RFC! There was a pretty impressive array of refreshments, too, and it would have been churlish not to partake! Sadly, the menu served up on the pitch was pretty drab and it was a miracle that either side was able to score amidst the noisy squabbling of the players, the only goal coming after the visitors were reduced to ten men following an injudicious two legged lunge by a visiting defender and even that was hotly contested!

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Sunday 7th October 2018 k.o. 2.30pm
Toolstation Western League 1st Division

Bristol Telephones 1

Ben Griffiths 12

Keynsham Town 2

Harvey Purnell 28, 38,
Referee:- Graham Pearce.                                               Attendance:- 310
Admission:- £6.00.                                                      Programme:- £1.00
A recent arrival to the league, Bristol Telephone’s Stockwood Lane BTRA Ground is a work in progress. Behind the far goal is the skeleton of a covered standing area. The turnstiles are almost complete, but enclosing the ground is still being worked on. On the field, the visitors, who only missed out on promotion, last season, by one point, were a class ahead of their rivals and their gifted number eight planted two first half free kicks precisely on target. The hosts pulled a goal back near the end, but Keynsham deservedly took the win and the points!

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Tuesday 9th October 2018
Eco-Stik Southern League Division 1 Central

Bedford Town 1

Corby Town 1
Referee:- Brian O’Sullivan.                                             Attendance:- 276
Admission: OMGDS £7.00 (£10).                                  Programme:- £2
It must be more than ten years since I last visited The New Eyrie and yet, the old place didn’t appear to have changed one jot! The host’s nosedive down the divisions over that period seems to have been halted and they are making some positive progress. Tonight’s match was somewhat unsatisfactory. The Steelmen were clearly the better side, but made a complete hash of several clear cut opportunities. The Eagles were somewhat fortunate to secure a lead midway through the second half. Corby fumbled an equaliser near the end. Both sides had a player sent off!

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Wednesday 10th October 2018
Essex Senior League

Leyton Athletic 2

Francesco Cicconi 61,

Dwade James 90+2

Clapton 4

Jason Ajoodha 12,

Steve Sardinha 33 (pen),

Hadi Habboushi 55,

Ryan Reed 59,
Referee:- Graham Swanton.                                      Attendance:- 39
Admission:- £4.00.                                              Programme:- £1.00
Interesting place, Wadham Lodge, home to Leyton Athletic and Walthamstow – and, indeed, to other clubs, mainly from The Essex Olympian League and very busy this evening with at least half a dozen caged 3G areas accommodating teams of players no strangers to the pie! There was extensive cover behind each goal and a 200 seat stand down one side, but all a bit tired and careworn. The two teams occupy the lower echelons of their league, but the visitors were comfortable winners with the host’s two goals coming fairly near the end!

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The Bedfordshire County League ‘Hop’

Saturday 13th October 2018
Bedfordshire County League Division 1 k.o.:- 11.00am

Bedford Albion 9

Ryan Kelly 3,

Paul Babbington 17, 30, 44, 50,

Chris Wright 23,

Adam Lewis 35, 39,

Jessie Sidhu 63,

Sandy 0
Referee:- Laurence Mallett                                                  Attendance:- 149
Admission F.O.C.                                                              Programme:- £2.00
A sharp shower soaked us prior to the start of the match which was thereafter bathed in warm sunshine. Top v Bottom went according to form, but the match hardly got out of second gear!! Could have been a lot more!!!

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Saturday 13th October 2018
Bedfordshire County League Premier Division k.o.:- 1.45pm

Queens Park Crescents 3

Dominic Parella 32,

Danial Rasol 54 (pen), 90+1,

Caldecote 0
Referee:- Peter Parkins.                                                Attendance:- 161
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                   Programme:- £2.00
A rock hard pitch and a swirling breeze did little to enhance the quality of this match, but the food was good (curry and rice and naan bread). Lord Squires of Edgbaston gently snoozed his way through the first half and generously described the match as uninspiring!

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Did I get my revenge and catch young Michael Squires cat-napping during this match?

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Saturday 13th October 2018
Bedfordshire County League Premier Division

Wootton Blue Cross 2

Lui Sarrington 53, 

Antony Wright 64,

Marston Shelton Rovers 2

Nick Skolsky 25,

Jamie Cerminara 35,
Referee:- Jamie Bloom                                                         Attendance:- 137
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                           Programme:- £2.00
The last time I came to Wootton Blue Cross, they graced The United Counties League! They’ve built houses behind the far side of the ground and they have topped the trees surrounding the ground opposite the main stand, but otherwise, little had changed! This was arguably the best match of the day. The hosts found themselves two goals adrift by half-time and spent much of the second half pulling back the deficit. Neither side, however, was able to apply the killer punch and the draw was a fair result.

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John Main on his tour of the ground, with the dug=outs to his rear!

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Tuesday 16th October 2018
Essex Senior League

Hullbridge Sports 4

Rob Hodgson 14,

Luke Hornsley 23,

Jimmy Cox 45+2,

Nathan Scarborough 87,

Clapton 2

Eusiebo Da Silva 12, 39,
Referee:- Michael Scott.                                          Official Attendance:- 104
Admission:- £6.00.                                                            Programme:- £1.00
The last time I came here, some years ago, the match was called off just as I arrived! This evening, kick-off was delayed because the visiting team were held up after an accident on The A13. Alan and Ken from Leicester were also at Lower Lane which is a modest stadium with precious little cover, but several more pitches surrounding the ground – a ground which has had recent upgrades in the form of new turnstiles and dug-outs. For much of a very good match, the hosts were on the back foot, but their greater fire power eventually brought a hard earned victory!

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Wednesday 17th October 2018
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1

London Lions 1

Adam Bolle 45+1

Park View 2

Ricardo Price 4,

Albert Ofori-Dumfeh 40,
Referee:- Giani Pop.                                                 Attendance:- 36
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                      Programme:- incl.
The Alpha Stadium is pretty impressive and an advance on the previous 3G pitch down below. There is a two hundred seater stand and hard standing on three sides and all built within the last three years. On the pitch, two evenly matched sides fought out a feisty contest with the visitors from White Hart Lane just about deserving their victory. With Ian who had come down from Hull for the match!!!

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Saturday 20th October 2018
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 East

Morpeth Town 5

Jack Foalle 33, 43,

Ben Sayer 57,

Tom Potter 66, 90+3,

Gresley 1

Martin Smyth 59,
Referee:- Jonny Irwin                                                      Attendance:- 411
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£6)                              Programme:- £1.50
Mighty Morpeth 2016 FA Vase winners are now proud members of The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. Hard work during the close season saw two new stands erected and a covered stretch along one side moved to behind the goal. Spindly floodlights survey the arena like giant triffids gazing down on the human ants. Morpeth are not content to be also rans this season. They thrashed poor Gresley and could easily have added half a dozen more to their impressive total

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Tuesday 23rd October 2018
West Midlands Regional League Premier Division

Pegasus Juniors 0

Wednesfield 3

Jammall Pinnock 37,

Harry Cunningham 48,

Brad Sharman 49,
Referee:- John Toskelly.                                                    Attendance:- 39
Admission:- OMGDS £2.00 (£5)                              Programme:- £1.00
What a contrast to my last visit, some ten years ago. The ground is now enclosed and has a 120 seat stand with a cantilever roof. There is hard standing on three sides of the pitch and a couple of Asda bus shelters – one on each side of the ground – to provide additional cover from the elements. It is a very welcoming club. I had a teamsheet specially printed for me and we had chocolate biscuits with our coffee! Sadly, on the pitch, the hosts are struggling. This was their tenth league defeat of the season (from 13 games) and Wednesfield were good value for their comfortable victory. With John Main.

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Wednesday 24th October 2018
EFL Championship

West Bromwich Albion 1

Jay Rodriguez 83,

Derby County 4

Jade Marriott 10,

Tom Lawrence 15,

Harry Wilson 51,

Scott Malone 71,
Referee:- Robert Jones.                                            Attendance:- 22,848
Admission:- OMGDS £17.00 (£23)                         Programme:- £3.50
On my last visit to The Hawthorns, Derby County knocked WBA out of the FA Cup in January 2017. Tonight, the visitors were superior in every department and made Albion look a very ordinary side. Two goals at the beginning of each half and most of the home fans had left by the time West Brom snatched a late consolation! With eldest son, Jim.

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Thursday 25th October 2018
EUFA Europa League Group L

Chelsea 3

Ruben Loftus-Cheek 2, 9, 54,

BATE Borisov 1

Aleksei Rios 79,
Referee: Paolo Mezzoleni.                                               Attendance:- 37,799
Admission (nominally)£20.00.                                      Programme:- £3.50
Another Premier League ground for my grandson to chalk off, although Stamford Bridge is one of my least favourite venues. Tonight, the magic of Ruben Loftus-Cheek shone brightly from his first goal inside two minutes. Chelsea spent the entire match probing away at The Borisov defence, but the stadium lacked atmosphere and I couldn’t imagine say, Anfield being as quiet as that! With sons, Mike and Liam, and grandson, Freddie.

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Ed and eldest grandson, Freddie outside Stamford Bridge before the game!

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Mike and son, Freddie, enjoying the match!!!

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Freddie gets his first taste of Stamford Bridge – and of European football!

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Saturday 27th October 2018
Leicester & District League Premier Division

Northfield Emeralds 3

Mitchell Birt 7, 51,

Gonncarlo Santos 90,

Braunstone Trinity 5

Quentin Thomson 1,

Macauley Parnell 28, 67,

Ryan Charles 81,

Kieran Thomson 83,
Referee:- Richard Robertson.                                         Attendance:- 19
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                      Programme:- none
On a miserable freezing, rainy afternoon in The East Midlands, these two teams from Step 9 served up a real cracker! The hosts, and current champions, had won all of their games and, not surprisingly, were on top of the league. The visitors were in second place with only one defeat. The Emerald Centre has a modicum of cover against the elements, a railed off pitch and floodlights. Cups of tea were on offer and the referee was most accommodating with the team sheets. The visitors scored in the first minute, led 2-1 at half-time and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed. At least two of the goals were comical custodial errors and both sides had numerous chances to add to the score. The visitors were worthy winners! With Graeme Askham.

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Monday 29th October 2018
FA Youth Cup 1st Round

Rugby Borough 2

Sean Doyle (og) 19,

Husama Noma 32,

Sutton Coldfield Town 6

Louis Monaghan 14, 38, 68, 74, 82,

Samual Yankson 45,
Referee:- Gareth Davies (Leicester) Attendance:- 158
Admission:- OMGDS £1.00 (£3.00) Free team sheet
Rugby Borough have enjoyed a good run in this season’s FA Youth Cup, but this evening, they met their Waterloo in the form of Louis Monaghan, the Sutton Coldfield Town striker who terrorised them all evening and helped himself to five of his team’s six goals!

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Tuesday 30th October 2018
Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Trophy
2nd Round

Biggleswade United 1

Kane Farrell 72,

Hadley 0
Referee:- Panos Fellas.                                              Attendance:- 51
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                 Programme:- on line!
On a distinctly chilly evening these two sides slogged it out with thud and blunder and remarkably little finesse. The only goal was a long time coming (72 minutes) and for much of the game the main interest was the partisan banter between the two sets of fans in a sparse gathering. With John Main.

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Thursday 1st November 2018
FA Youth Cup 1st Round

Peterborough Sports 0

Barnet 1

Dimeji Adeniran 9,
Referee:- Brian O’Sullivan.                                                     Attendance:- 145
Admission:- £3.00.                                                              Programme:- £1.00
This enthralling encounter was settled in the first ten minutes! Firstly, the hosts broke through and a gilt edged chance was rifled just wide of the near post. Then the visitors took the lead with a goal from a corner which was smashed into the roof of the net! Thereafter, the visitors held out and though both sides had chances, it was that one early strike that settled the tie. Good to see a programme for the match and a healthy attendance!

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Other Matches:-

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Monday 1st October 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City U-23  1  Arsenal U-23  2                                 Attendance:- 495

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Thursday 4th October 2018

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Nuneaton Borough 8 Halesowen Town 9                              Attendance:- 92

Wow! I have never seen a match with the scoreline of 8-9. in fact, I don’t think I have ever seen seventeen goals scored in one match! This evening, the hosts led 4-1 at half time and were 6-2 up after an hour. The visitors bounced back with seven goals in the final twenty-nine minutes and deservedly won the tie!

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Monday 8th October 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League  – Cambridge Division

St Neots Town 6 Newmarket Town 1                                Attendance:- 45

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Thursday 11th October 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League –  West Division

Peterborough Sports 4 Holbeach United 0                     Attendance:- 42

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Monday 15th October 2018

FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Rugby Borough 3 Solihull Moors 1   (aet – 90 mins 1-1)   Attendance:- 121

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Wednesday 17th October 2018

Northern Premier Football League Academy – Traider Division

Loughborough Dynamo U-19 4 Carlton Town U-19 2            Attendance:- 14

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Thursday 18th October 2018

FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Peterborough Sports 3  Walsham-le-Willows 2             Attendance:- 83

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Sunday 21st October 2018

FA Women’s Championship

Leicester City Women 1 Aston Villa Ladies 1                  Attendance:- 315

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Monday 22nd October 2018

Northants Senior Youth League – East Division

Corby Town U-18 9 Rothwell Corinthians U-18 0                 Attendance:- 58

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Wednesday 24th October 2018

BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Premier Division North

Loughborough University 0 Stirling University 3                  Attendance:- 54

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Friday 26th October 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City U-23  3  West Ham United U-23  0               Attendance:- 254

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Sunday28th October 2018

Women’s National League Premier Division South

Leicester Foxes  6  MK Dons Ladies  0                                Attendance:- 88

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Wednesday 31st October 2018

Northern Premier League Academy – Traider Division

Loughborough Dynamo U-19  4  Widnes U-19  3             Attendance:- 10

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Record

This month:-  Matches:-  37   New Grounds:-12

This Season:- Matches:- 94    New Grounds:- 42

Total:-    Matches:- 4,026 New Grounds:- 1,494

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September 2018

This is the football Season it is that time of year
When men in the pub talk football as they enjoy their beer
And look forward to September when one club will fly the winner’s flag
The team that wins the Premiership gives their fans the right to brag.
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Their wives nicknamed the footy widows their husbands at the football club
Or after work talking football with their mates down at the local pub
They take football so seriously ’tis their passion in life
The footy fan loves his football club as much as his children or his wife.
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And if their team lose at the weekend they feel and look so sad
What’s known as football addiction they seem to have it bad
They feel sad for their football team and the chance of three premiership points gone
But they cheer up and look forward to next weekend’s game as the working week wears on.
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This is the football Season football has gone to their head
And their football scarves and beanies they even wear to bed
About their team they feel so passionate as if to them it did belong
And ’tis with delight and pride in victory that they sing the club song.
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by Francis Duggan (1946 – )

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August 2018

Football Wedding Match

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It’s a special day for us all

We’ve been waiting till now

To run with the ball

Stood in the sidelines

Cheering them on

Wondering when the game would be won

Now that it’s here we can hardly wait

Crowds are here for this special date

We’ve come to see the match of the year

Some of us may just shed a tear

The vows will be spoken, the promises made

The knot will be tied and the rings exchanged

When it is finished, the ref will declare

That Graeme and Rose …… are truly a pair!

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Five years ago on 29th July 2013, Graeme and Rose were married at 5.00pm at The Ullesthorpe Court Hotel. It was a football themed wedding and amongst the guests were Chris and Jenny Berezai, Laurence Reade and yours truly and Charlotte. Somehow, the above ditty was included in the proceedings and it becomes this month’s introductory poem to celebrate their wedding anniversary!!!

 Thursday 2nd August 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Aslocton & Orston 4

Cole Maule 31,

Robert Lakin 57, 63, 64,

East Bridgford 1

Baffy Oken 9,
Referee:- Tristan Churcher.                                 Attendance:- 21
Admission:- F.O.C.                                           Programme:- none
A lovely setting which couldn’t be further into the middle of nowhere! Not a house in sight for miles around! There was a fairly new club house with changing rooms and a bar, not quite finished, some plastering and fitments still to be completed, but very impressive for such a small club. Club badges on sale in the club house! In the match itself, the visitors made the early running, scored first and still managed to stay level by half time. However, in the second half, the hosts moved up a gear, pulled away and scored an emphatic victory!

Saturday 4th August 2018
Sky Bet League 2

Grimsby Town 1

Mitch Rose 31,

Forest Green Rovers 4

Carl Winchester 51,

Danny Collins (og) 67,

Christian Doidge 70, 84,
Referee:- Martin Coy.                                        Attendance:- 5,879
Admission:- hospitality.                            Programme:- Incl. (£3)
A very hospitable start to the new EFL season with Graeme Askham and Chris Berezai at Blundell Park! Sadly, for the home side, after leading at half time by a goal to nil, they pressed the self destruct button in the second half with two incredible mistakes to gift the match to the visitors! The sea air was bracing with fine views across the roof of the far stand of ships out at sea but fine views, too, of the disgruntled home support drifting away in droves when the fourth goal went in!!

Chris Berezai and Graeme Askham

A lady on an adjacent table in hospitality getting stuck into a bit of fish!

The view across the opposite stand roof at the ships on The North Sea!

Wednesday 8th August 2018
Peterborough & District League Division 1

Oundle Town 7

Ben Lockley 36, 88,

Ryan Pickstone 56,

Jimmy Hipwell 65,

Brian Smith 68,

Ira Ellis-Scott 75,

Jack McDermott 79

Bretton North End 0
Referee:- Lauren Impey.                                  Attendance:- 30
Admission :- F.O.C.                                      Programme:- none
Bretton only brought eleven men and one of those was late and only came on after twenty minutes or so. Five minutes before half time, he went off injured and never reappeared! Playing up the slope in the first half, the visitors confined the score to a single 35th minute strike. However in the second half, they were torn apart and at 6-0 lost another player to a sending off for a second bookable offence. The nine men played out the final ten minutes conceding only one further goal!

The Bretton North End team sheet contained the names of only eleven players – and one of those turned up late!

The parched and rock hard pitch after the recent heat wave!

Saturday 11th August 2018
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Melksham Town 4

Neikell Plummer 13,

Luke Ballinger 19,

Jon Davies 24,

Gary Higdon 88,

Badshot Lea 0
Referee:- Jack Clench                                     Attendance:- 238
Admission:- £6.00.                                     Programme:- £1.00
A first visit to Melksham’s largely functional ground at Oakfields on the outskirts of the town. Not a patch on The Conigre! Melksham were far too good for their Combined Counties opponents and should make good progress in their new league -The Southern League. Three goals before half time and a fourth near the end crowned a convincing victory. With Graeme Askham and John Main.

There was plenty of room behind the stand in the upstairs bar and plenty of office space behind that, but why did they have to build a seated stand that offered no respite from the elements?

Tuesday 14th August 2018
Irn Brew Scottish Challenge Cup 1st Round

Stranraer 0

Partick Thistle 5

Thomas o’Ware 10,

Aidan Fitzpatrick 34, 90,

Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo 36,

Max Melbourne 89,
Referee:- Alan Newlands.                                       Official attendance:- 480
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£12).                             Programme:- £2.00
Stair Park is quite an impressive stadium with plenty of seating and plenty of cover and segregation for visiting supporters. There was no bar, however and the club shop had no badges, but (free) team sheets were available and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. Sadly, their team were pretty abysmal – even against a team one division higher and I expect them to struggle this season. Very enjoyable evening with John Main who bore the brunt of the journey, driving up from Leicester.

Wednesday 15th August 2018
Staffordshire Senior League Premier Division

Foley Meir 12 (twelve)

Mark Grace 13, 26, 30, 65, 71, 75,

Pete Williams 17, 25, 90+1

Sam Arnold 52, 57,

Own Goal 68,

Florence 0

Referee:- Ant Roden.                                     Attendance:- 43
Admission:- £2.00.                                    Programme:- Free
The reasonably new club house contrasts with the genteel poverty of the rest of the ground. The faded remnants of terracing and stands and embankments are plain to see. Plans are afoot to take the club to the next stage, but substantial tidying up will need to take place! On the field, the hosts dominated methodically and ruthlessly. Mark Grace helped himself to a double hat trick and but for the away keeper, the score could have been much higher. With John Main on our way down from Stranraer.

Saturday 18th August 2018
Vanarama National League

This months featured match is AFC Fylde v Dover Athletic.I let Virgin Trains take the strain from Rugby and changed at Preston onto the infamous Northern Line with its dirty, old and tinny rolling stock and its propensity for lateness and cancellation! I arrived safely, however, at 1.45pm and made my way to the small, neat and beautifully appointed stadium. I was too late for hospitality, but food was available in a bar attached to the outside of the stadium and whilst waiting for my meal, I met Lisa Young, who was there with her husband, Ted and ten year old son, Luke who plays for one of the development teams at the club. They live in Wesham and the former name of the club was “Kirkham & Wesham”. As this was my first visit to the stadium, I was extremely glad of their advice as to where to sit  and to hear their experiences of supporting the club AND, the state of the nation at Blackpool FC, where fed-up supporters are trying to remove The Oysten family from control of the club. Many more of their fans have turned to Fleetwood Town and AFC Fylde for their football fix! It looks as if there is plenty of scope for developing the stadium at AFC Fylde and, perhaps, my next visit will be to see young Luke playing in The AFC Fylde first team  ………..and  ………..maybe even in League 2 or League 1. Can one dare to dream higher?

AFC Fylde 4

Dover Athletic 0
Referee:- Daniel Middleton.                                 Attendance:- 1,258
Admission:- OMGDS £18 (£20)                         Programme:- £3.00
Only a short fifteen minute walk from the station, AFC Fylde’s impressive new stadium is beautifully appointed – It even has padded seats in the stand and an excellent array of real ale – but it is quite small, smaller than FC United of Manchester for instance, and I was surprised at the paucity of the attendance for quite an attractive match. They started quietly and led by a goal in an evenly contested opening half. Thereafter, they floored the pedal and cruised to an emphatic and well deserved victory!

Monday 20th August 2018
Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division

Moira United 1

James Ward 64,

Castle Donnington 3

Jordan Davies 63,77,

Pete Campbell 72,
Referee:- Tim Meredith.                                      Attendance:- 30
Admission:- F.O.C.                                              Programme:- by donation
Smart little ground with a fairly steep slope and surrounded by an ongoing new housing development. A bevy of hoppers including Martin Hayden, Peter Ford and John Main saw a pretty dreadful goalless first half, but matters picked up after an hour of so and a couple of spectacular volleys graced a spell of four goals with the visitors deservedly taking the spoils. Excellent hostelry – The Railway – across the road serving fine ale!

Wednesday 22 August 2018
Eco-Stik Southern League Division 1 Central

Corby Town 1

Connor Kennedy 19,

Sutton Coldfield Town 0
Referee:- Alan Cox (Coventry).                                         Attendance:- 362
Admission:- OMGDS £6 (£10).                                          Programme:- £2
A largely forgettable match on a mild evening with son, Mike and grandson, Freddie!

Thursday 23rd August 2018
North Bucks & District League Division 1

Tattenhoe 5

Shaun Carr 16,

Patrick Crouch 35,

Lee Griffin 44,

Shane Blake 59,

Ben Gibbs 70,

Newport Pagnell Athletic 1

Dave Rutherford 47,
Referee:- Simon Castleton                                         Attendance:- 23
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                 Programme:- none
On the opening day (unusually) of the season for Division 1 sides, a small bevy of hoppers (Graeme and John, Bob, Dave Wooding – and me) gathered to witness the hosts demolish poor old Pagnell Athletic in a game where more chances were missed than scored! Handbags after an hour saw one non-combatant ordered from the field after he grappled with a player – and then he returned later to vent his spleen, before being re-ordered off!

Graeme Askham braves the evening chill to show off his pins in the main stand at Tattenhoe!

The Welsh Hop – Friday August 24th – Monday August 27th 20-18

There were eleven matches in South Wales in three different leagues. The weather was a the great talking point on this year’s foray into The Principality. There was reasonable weather on the Saturday, after rain during the initial match on Friday evening, but Sunday was the real washout, with heavy rain for most of the day making hopping wet and miserable. On the final day, there was initial drizzle, but the weather cleared up for the last two games! Once again, we were staying in student en-suite accommodation at The University of South Wales at Treforest. The accommodation was at the top of a very steep hill which could be negotiated by climbing over 200 steps! The Ottley Arms (at the bottom of the hill) with its vast array of real ale was our nightly jaunt and we took breakfast each morning at The Upper Boat Inn in Rhydyfelin before our sorties to the day’s matches.. Many thanks to Chris Berezai, who arranged and choreographed proceedings, the only blip being when one of the Cardiff City supporters coaches, coming back from Huddersfield Town on Saturday, broke down and our coach company nabbed one of our coaches to recover the stranded fans. Fortunately we were all ferried safely back to base!

Friday 24th August 2018

Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Premier Division

Canton Liberal 2

Kieran Cotterill 4, 49,

Grange Albion 1

Christian Churchill 43,

Referee:- Wayne Tregonning. Attendance:- 189
Admission:- £3.00. Programme:- £1.00
Playing in the shadow of The Cardiff City Stadium and across the way from The Leckwith Road Athletics ground, this match was played out on a wet, cold evening and the hosts just shaded an evenly contested affair in a game with a bit of edge to it! First match of the August Bank Holiday weekend South Wales “Hop”. Not much cover for travelling group of “hoppers”!

Yours truly and Graeme Askham consulting on the team sheets before the match!

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

AC Pontymister 3

Gavin Thomas 54,

Neirun Davies 72,

Laurie Kidman 86,

Blaenavon Blues 2

Kai Burton 28,

Matthew Cuff (og) 76,
Referee:- Mark Roberts.                                    Attendance:- 238
Admission:- £3.00.                                         Programme:- £1.00
On a fine, bright but cool morning, these two teams served up an entertaining contest with the Croatian blue of the visitors being somewhat unfortunate to come away with nothing. The backdrop of the Welsh Hills was stunning. With so many trees being cut down up there, the scenery resembled a partly shaved face, with the stubble being the remaining trees!

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 2

Rogerstone 1

Ian McIntosh 90+3,

Newport Corinthians 2

Joe Morgan 30 (pen)

Nathan Lewis 81
Referee:- S. Rogers (Caerwent). Attendance:- 161
Admission:- £3.00. Programme:- £1.00
Never in the field of football conflict have so many chances been spurned by so many players. The hosts should have won by a country mile but could only post a consolation in the third minute of added time! From our fine vantage point on the executive hospitality park bench (see below), with the busy A470 high up on the opposite side of the field, Rogerstone must have wasted thirty or more good chances, but fell to a goal in each half from the visitors’ only shots on target!!!

Graeme Askham, Eddie McGeown, John Main and Peter Miles

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

Villa Dino Christchurch 1

Dan Butler 61,

Newport Civil Service 3

Aysa Eidoori 8, 10,

Will Ridler 80,
Referee:- Mark Roberts.                                      Attendance:- 201
Admission:- £3.00.                                          Programme:- £1.00
A feisty affair between two fully committed sides saw the depleted hosts (depleted with Bank Holiday absentees!) finally sunk after halving a two goal half time deficit. One sending off for two bookable offences in a minute for a fiery redhead visiting team substitute and another fine refereeing performance from Mark Roberts, who also referred our first game today! I understand that Villa Dino is a well established, family run Italian Restaurant opened in 1984 and that they sponsor the football club!

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

Pill YMCA 0

Niall Simmons s/o 66,

Lliswerry 2

McCorey Allmän 23,

Luke Verren 87,
Referee:- John Jenkins.                                                     Attendance:- 174
Admission:- £3.00.                                                        Programme:- £1.00
The last game of the day in Newport,  was a disappointment not helped by the long grass and bumpy surface! The hosts looked favourites early on, but Lliswerry grew into the contest and when Pill suffered a sending off after an hour or so, the visitors took control and scored a decisive second strike in a game played in the shadow of an electricity pylon and, more impressively, in the shadow of the enormous Newport Suspension Bridge! I can remember in the early seventies, climbing to the top of that bridge, a structure that was patently unsafe, but which now appears to have been given a new lease of life (and a new coat of paint!).

Sunday 26th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 2

Vale United 7

Oliver Waagenes 13, 36,

Jay Tominey 36,

Philp Caseley 74,

Lewis Richards 83, 85,

Dan Hunson 90+2

STM Sports OB 1

Robert Partridge 47,
Referee:- Keith Redford.                                    Attendance:- 165
Admission:- £3.00.                                        Programme:- £1.00
The village of Corntown is situated in The Vale of Glamorgan, just outside Bridgend and slightly more than twenty miles from Cardiff. The rain lashed down unmercifully on a ground where the ONLY cover was in the dug-outs. The pitch – known locally as The Corntown carpet – played remarkably well and the visitors were on the wrong end of a thrashing – but possibly didn’t deserve to ship seven goals! Ian Royer from the south coast and a Chelsea supporter (would you buy a second hand car from ……..?) is our featured fan!

A special addition brew of ale to commemorate The Hop and our visit!

The only shelter from the constant precipitation was the dug outs on the field. After the match, even my socks were sodden inside my shoes

Ian Royer, our featured “fan” of the match!

Sunday 26th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 1

Porthcawl Town 4

Tom Warren 8,

Jorge Crofts 17,

Sam Rowley 22,

Andrew Fisher 90+1

Cornelly United 0
Referee:- Ian Hollyoake.                                                   Attendance:- 234
Admission:- £3.00.                                                         Programme:- £1.00
The rain continued into the second match but had abated by half time. The wind, however, continued to swirl around which didn’t help the game to flow. What sounds like a pretty convincing home victory, could so easily have been a draw, had the visitors taken their chances.

Sunday 26th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 2

Llangeinor 4

Simon Lock 38, 74,

Callum Evans 45,

Jack Laidler 84,

AFC Wattstown 2

Adam Fisher 52,

Grant Huggins 66,
Referee:- Andrew Wallen.                                               Attendance:- 130
Admission :- £3.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
Low cloud and a heavy mist produced a thin drizzle for the first half of this match and did nothing to improve the gloomy, washed out appearance of the venue. The pitch had a slope, grass that was too long and it was also boggy in parts, but the two sides produced a contest of end to end action and six goals. There was some cover, too on the far side of the pitch, but the battle weary were glad to get back to the coach!

The low cloud over the hill opposite the ground, had largely disappeared by the end of the match!

The 74th minute penalty by Simon Lock which made the score 3-2 to the hosts

Monday 27th August 2018
The Taff Ely & Rhymney Valley League Premier Division
Rhydyfelin 2
Jake Mahoney 4(pen), 73 missed penalty 38
Ynysybwl 4
Carl Jones s/o 4,
Jamie Tooze s/o 37
Daniel Davies 40,
Marcus Livock 45, 53,
Leigh Price 56
Referee:- Mike Ford.                                   Attendance:- 229
Admission:- £3.00.                                 Programme:- £1.00
If ever a game spiralled out of reality, this was the one. When the visitors had a second man dismissed only just over half an hour into the game, and for the same offence of handling the ball on the line, they were a goal down from the first penalty and staring a two goal deficit with only nine men! However, the penalty was missed and the nine men roared back to score four unanswered goals before a late consolation strike for the hosts. Fan of the match (pictured) is Lord Squires, Earl of Edgbaston, a long suffering supporter of Birmingham City!
Dog Track Racing came to Rhydyfelin in 1932 when the dog track at Pontypridd closed down. There was a 500 metre circular track and good crowds came to watch the racing. The track closed sometime in the 1960s.
.
Mike squires, our featured “fan” of the match
.
Monday 27th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Premier Division
Caerphilly 7
Gareth Tedstone 30, 48, 55, 76,
Alfie Leadbeater 44, 74,
Alex Edwards 50,
Cwm Welfare 0
Referee:- Clive Layne.                                                  Attendance:- 252
Admission:- £3.00.                                                  Programme:- £1.00
This was a walk in the park for the hosts, quite literally as the match was played at Morgan Jones’ Park in the middle of Caerphilly, but also figuratively as they scored seven, but were scandalously wasteful in terms of the number of shots that rained on the visitors goal. Cwm Welfare were very poor and have conceded in double figures on three occasions this season already! Caerphilly should have made it a fourth occasion!
.
 .
 .
 .
Monday 27th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 1
AFC Whitchurch 1
Alex Would 67 (pen),
Cardiff Corinthians 3
Referee:- Clive Layne.                                       Attendance:- 312
Admission:- £3.00.                                       Programme:- £1.00
Cardinal and gold quarters are the official colours of Corinthians (looks like maroon and yellow) and that is written into their constitution. At Whitchurch Hospital (an old, now disused asylum) today, they were too good for the hosts in front of the biggest crowd of the “hop”.
 .
 .
.
 Thursday 30th August 2018
North Bucks & District League Intermediate Division
Buckingham United 6
Ryan Guinnane 22
Lee Williams 61,
Lewis Parkin 63, 72,
Will Wrighton 86, 89,
Brackley Sports 0
Referee:- James Ward.                                     Attendance:- 23
Admission :- F.O.C.                                      Programme:- none
The Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre is, as its name suggests, on top of a hill with good views all round on the edge of a fairly new housing development on the outskirts of Buckingham. Graeme treated us all to chips before the match in The Buckingham Fish Bar (recommended), as there were no facilities open at the ground. This is the second tier of The North Bucks & District League and in three games this season so far,  Brackley Sports have conceded half a dozen goals in each match, and yet, for the first hour, they looked the match of their hosts!  They tired in the last twenty five minutes or so, conceding five goals but a defeat of such magnitude was hardly merited! A good gathering of hoppers including Martin Hayden, Peter Ford, Graeme Askham, John Main and Dave Wooding!
 
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___________________________________________________________________

 Other matches:-

Friday 3rd August 2018

Pre-Season Friendly

Corby Town 1 Sheffield Wednesday XI 5                     attendance:- 323

___________________________________________________________________

Monday 13th August 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City u-23  1  Swansea City U-23  0              attendance:- 783

___________________________________________________________________

Friday 17th August 2018

Premier League 2 International Cup Group B

Leicester City u-23  0  Reading u-23  2                                         attendance:- 169

___________________________________________________________________

Matches:-

This month:-               Matches:- 24                  New Grounds:- 17
This Season                 Matches:- 36                  New Grounds:- 23
Total:-                           Matches:- 3,968            New Grounds:-  1,468

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July 2018

Mud Football

.

After dividing ourselves

And having dressed
In near angelic whiteness
Do we stroll upon the field
We shout our guttural cries
Ritual insults as required
By the customs of the game
The we gather to our respective sides
And with a kick of pigskin
We are off
Flurries of muck
Marking our trails
As we enthusastically charge
Throwing ourselves into fray
Bodies collide and fall
Sliding through the ooze
That we play upon
No one keeps score
For victory is not our aim
Merely to enjoy the day
Embracing each other at the end
Since no matter what went before
We are all the same color now
Having acheived a muddy equality

.

Stephen De Marino

.

Saturday 14th July 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Cleethorpes Town 2

Lewis Collins 31,

Brody Robertson 43,

Worksop Town 1

Matt Read 26,
Referee:- Neil Guest.                                     Attendance:- 197
Admission:- OMGDS £3 (£5).                   Programme:- £1.50
On a blazing hot July afternoon, Graeme, John and I ticked off Cleethorpes Town’s new ground in Grimsby (leaving their old ground to Grimsby Borough in Cleethorpes!). It wasn’t the most appealing of new stadia. There was a concrete standing area around the pitch and three Meccano stands (two with seats) around the ground and not much else! It was strange to see the hosts as the senior side – a step higher than their opponents, who have fallen from grace in recent years. The match was competitive and there wasn’t much in it, but the hosts deserved their victory!

Tuesday 17th July 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Stamford 1

Sam Grose 88,

Corby Town 2

Elliot Sandy 6,

Josh Eggington (og) 58,
Referee:- Josh Crofts                                                    Attendance:- 212
Admission:- OMGDS £3 (£5).                               Programme:- £0.20
These two teams were in the same division last season, now, the hosts are still in Northern Premier League (Div 1 East) with huge journeys to Morpeth and Marske, whilst the visitors have transferred to The Southern League with a much easier travelling schedule. It was an entertaining encounter and Corby particularly looked well organised and sound in defence. Stamford looked good as well, but a saved penalty denied them a share of the spoils!

On the former site of Stamford AFC at Wothorpe Road, a new housing estate is nearing completion and nothing remains to remind of the old football ground.

You can see on the far side, behind the stadium, the effect of the long dry summer and six weeks without rain!

Friday 20th July 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Leamington 2

Matt Stenson 56 (pen), 65,

West Bromwich Albion U-23. 2

Jamie Souls 29,

Callum Morton 66,
Referee:- Albert Hendley.                                            Attendance:- 215 h/c
Admission:- OMGDS £4 (£6).                                   Programme:- none
There may have been no programme, but a teamsheet was available at 10p. It was a regulation friendly contest with each side using five subs and a draw in the end being a fair result.

My memories are of the old Windmill ground where I saw some classic encounters back in the seventies. In all, I made sixteen visits to “The Windmill” on Tachbrook Road, opposite the AP factory. The old ground is now a housing estate, but I saw some memorable contests there. Over 3,200 were there for an FA Cup 1st Round match against Stafford Rangers in November 1975 (Rangers won 3-2). Two years later another FA Cup 1st Round tie ended in AP Leamington’s favour when they demolished Enderby Town 6-1 in front of 1,208 fans. I saw them draw with Barry Town 1-1 in The Southern League Division 1 North in February 1975 and , just over a year later, they beat Barnet 1-0 in April 1976.

This new ground is a gerry built nonentity in the middle of nowhere. It does little to inspire! Excellent pint of real ale, mind you!

 

Saturday 21st July 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Harlow Town 0

Chelmsford City 4

Scot Fenwick 14,

Rhys Murphy 18,

Jordan Shidosi 83,

Tom Wright 90
Referee:- Dele Sotimirin.                                         Attendance:- c300
Admission:- OMGDS £6 (£8)                                Programme:- none
The Harlow Arena is a reasonably new build (around 12 years old) but is purpose built, unlike Leamington’s ground last evening. There were free team sheets, but not much help when twelve of the visiting team’s squad  were named as “Trialist”. Chelmsford were far too good for their neighbours and ran out comfortable winners. The hosts had a penalty saved early in the second half at 0-2.

Monday 23rd July 2018

The Terry Miller Memorial Trophy (at Fulbourn Institute FC)

Cherry Hinton  5

James Goblin 13, 74,

Connor Driver 42,48,78,

Comberton United 0

Referee:- Andy Phillips                                    Attendance:- 88

Admission:- F.O.C.                                      Programme:- £1.00

Tucked far away in the corner of Fulbourn’s huge sports complex, the first match of this year’s trophy was a very one-side affair.  The referee had no team sheets (I had to garner the names of the players from the substitutes bench!), the game would be played to a finish with penalties at the end of normal play if the teams were tied. There was, however, no need for that! Three goals from Connor Driver and a brace from James Goblin saw off a fairly average Comberton side – even though they had two Argentinians adorning the bench! Whilst entry was free, raffle tickets were de rigeur and the usual tea stall had the usual delicious sponge cake available. On the far side of the pitch, a visitation of ‘hoppers’ (including Peter Ford and Brian Buck) watched indolently from the park benches! Fulbourn Institute are the current holders of the trophy and all the matches in this year’s tournament will be held at The Fulbourn Sports Complex (which serves a good selection of real ale!).

Peter Ford in Blue and Brian Buck in white!

Thursday 26th July 2018
Lincolnshire FA Senior Trophy Semi-Final

Spalding United 1

Luke White 66,

Stamford 2

Sam Grose 22,

Jordan Smith 81,
Referee:- Rob Forster.                                     Official Attendance:- 136
Admission:- OMGDS £3 (£6)                                   Programme:- none
Stamford maintained their strong start to this pre-season competition, having already knocked out Grantham and Gainsborough Trinity away from home, The Tulips were their latest victims. It all looked a regulation victory by half time with the visitors a goal to the good and coasting. In the second period, however, The Daniels had to withstand severe pressure which eventually brought an equaliser. Ten minutes from time Stamford wrapped up the match and a place in the final with a second strike!

The United Counties League / Peterborough & District League “Hop”

I had booked in advance for this hop, staying with the hoppers in an hotel in Peterborough, so I was horrified to discover that I had double booked myself! I had a cricket match to umpire on the Friday evening and another on the Sunday, which only left me the Saturday to go on the hop! Chris was brilliant and managed to extract me from most of the costs – and he even got me a seat on the coach on the Saturday, which was the only day I could do! What an idiot! So, I missed the match at Raunds Town on the Friday evening, and the matches on the Sunday at Wellingborough Town and Wellingborough Whitworths and the Sunday afternoon match at Stilton United (and a chance to see their new ground back in the village!).

Saturday 27th July 2018
Peterborough & District League Division 2

Whaplode Drove 1

Danny Firth 34,

Rippingale & Folkingham 3

Dan Mason 50,

Jake Showler 72,

James Ferrow 76(pen),
Referee:- Shaun Gray.                                                     Attendance:- 227
Admission:- £4.00                                                      Programme:- £1.00
On a breezy, cloudy day with plenty of sunshine, The Drove’s pitch in the fenlands had some green grass on it, but plenty of brown, too! The visitors were too good for the hosts, but struggled to impose their authority, missing a string of chances and only taking the lead on 72 minutes. They should have scored several more but for poor finishing!

Saturday 28th July 2018
Peterborough & District League Premier Division

Tydd FC 2

Jake Clitheroe 58, 90+2,

Moulton Harrox 3

Jake Hawthorne 28,

Joe Townsend 50, 56,
Referee:- James Marsden.                                  Attendance:- 342
Admission :- £4.00.                                         Programme:- £1.00
Tight security and wristbands for all entrants at The Tydd St Giles Community Centre for this one off match. This season, Tydd FC are groundsharing at Wisbech Town whilst their ground is developed. Today’s match is a special one off for the groundhop, As is the specially produce (and very acceptable) Tydd Steam groundhop ale! Harrox won at a canter and were 3-0 up after an hour. It was soon 3-1 and a penalty in added time spared the home blushes!

Saturday 28th July 2018
Peterborough & District League Premier Division

Sutton Bridge United 5

Joseph Sutton 20,

Jack Fowler 56,

Matty Eaton 68 (pen) 71 (pen) 75

Peterborough Polonia 3

Sebastian Bialoskorka 36

Dorian Janicki 43

Karol Iwanow 90+3
Referee:-James Truman.                                      Attendance:- 337
Admission:- £4.00.                                           Programme:- £1.00
An eventful match! A home hat trick including two penalties, a sending off for the away goalkeeper after a second bookable offence led to a second penalty, a downpour of Biblical proportions which left the scantily clad crowd washed out, the poor away drummer who had his drum pinched and there was an epileptic fit in the middle of the downpour! At the end, the hosts deserved their victory after trailing at the interval, but Polonia were stubborn opponents!

Saturday 28th July 2018
United Counties League Premier Division

Sleaford Town 0

Deeping Rangers 1

Michael Simpson 17
Refeee:- Simon Bell.                                               Attendance:- 285
Admission:- £6.00.                                             Programme:- £1.00
On a cool blustery evening Sleaford Town’s season started badly as they were undone by an early and ultimately decisive goal from a stronger, more decisive and determined Deeping Rangers.

Tuesday 31st July 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Easington Sports 2

Craig Robinson 11,

Michael Spaull 27

Brackley Town Dev 2

James (Jimbo) Watts 87

Dan Middleton 90+3
Referee:- Robin Cox.                                      Attendance:- 72
Admission:- £1.00.                                    Programme:- none
Easington Sports’ tight little ground is wedged in close to The Blessed George Napier RC Secondary School in Addison Road in Banbury. New concrete standing is being laid down one length of the pitch and this will provide for viewing on three sides. On the pitch, an industrious home side built up a 2-0 lead only for the visitors to square the match with two goals in the last three minutes!! Alex Stott was the nineteen year old visiting winger (no 11) and his mother was there to watch his progress – and to fill me in with some of the names of the visiting team, as there were no team sheets and even the referee hadn’t been given the names of the teams! It was a good match.  There was no draught ale (only draught lager and cider), but there was a passable can of Boddingtons to be had!

 

Matches:-

This month:-      Matches:-  11                       New Grounds:-  5
This Season:-    Matches:-  11                        New Grounds:-  5
Total:-                Matches:- 3,943                  New Grounds:-  1,456

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June 2018

A Hand in the Bird

I am a maiden who is forty,
And a maiden I shall stay.
There are some who call me haughty,
But I care not what they say.
.
I was running the tombola
At our church bazaar today,
And doing it with great gusto
In my usual jolly way ….
.
When suddenly, I knew not why,
There came a funny feeling
Of something crawling up my thigh
I nearly hit the ceiling
.
A mouse! I thought. How foul! How mean!
How exquisitely tickly!
Quite soon I know I’m going to scream.
I’ve got to catch it quickly.
.
I made a grab. I caught the mouse,
Now right inside my knickers.
A mouse my foot! It was a HAND!
Great Scott! It was the vicar’s!

(by Roald Dahl 1916 – 90)

.

Ah well, it’s got nothing to do with football but it is the silly season! Only seven games in June, this year, and the new season starts in July. I did, however, manage a short trip across The Irish Sea with Chris Berezai. We flew to Dublin and drove a hire car from there to Cork. It was considerably cheaper to do that than to fly directly to Cork. Flew in on the Monday and returned the following day. Had a wonderful couple of days in Cork and Cobh (The Titanic’s last port of call) and then drove the 165 miles (or 264km) back to Dublin. Other than that it was The CONIFA (Confederation of Independent FAs)  World Cup and, at the last, a single match in The Summer League at Osmaston Polo Club, preceded by a handsome repast in The Coach & Horses in Brailsford.

Saturday 2nd June 2018
CONIFA World Cup Group D

United Koreans of Japan 0

Kabylie 0
Referee:- Leon Dastych.                                         Attendance:- 302
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£11)                       Programme:- £5.00
Wow! What a difference since my last visit! The ground, then, was decrepit and careworn. Today, the whole place had been rebuilt in a very positive and effective fashion with a 3G pitch and new stand and tarmac footing all round. Very impressive! Sadly, the match did not live up to it’s surroundings, but the colourful and noisy fans – especially of Kabylie – more than made up for the lack of goals. Sad to say a serious injury to a Kabylie player meant a fifty minute wait for medical assistance!!!

Saturday 2nd June 2018
CONIFA World Cup Group D

Punjab 0

Western Armenia 1

Vahagn Militosyan
Referee:- Kristian Michel.                                            Attendance:- 462
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£11)                         Programme:- £5.00
First visit to an impressive council owned ground with a 3G pitch. Hard to believe that Panjab hit seven in their last match. They hardly had a chance in this one! The impressive Vahagn Militosyan scored the only goal, but his side won fairly comfortably. Very impressed with the officials who ensured that we had team sheets and official tickets (which weren’t issued at the gate!) and the official attendance and even provided funds for a half-time coffee!!!

Monday 4th June 2018
Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division

Cork City 4

Karl Sheppard 7, 47,

Kievau Sadlier 74,

Graham Cummins 85,

Derry City 2

Ronan Curtis 68,

Ronan Hale 72,
Referee:- Robert Hennessey                                 Attendance:- 3,865
Admission:- OMGDS €5 (€15)                                  Programme:- €3
Probably the longest trip in the League of Ireland from Derry in the Province down to Cork on The Republic’s far south coast, this match in blazing sunshine on a bank holiday was a cracker! Derry certainly weren’t here for the ride! They went two down, but fought back to parity with fifteen minutes to go. A crumbling defensive wall saw them concede a third and the fourth was the icing on the cake for reigning champions, Cork City who returned to the top of the table with this victory!

Monday 4th June 2018
Airtricity League of Ireland Division 1

Cobh Ramblers 0

Galway United 0
Referee:- John Gregg Official                                           Attendance:- 323

Admission:- OMGDS €5  (€10)                                        Programme:- €3
The second match of this Irish Republic Bank Holiday double kicked off just down the coast from Cork at 7.15pm. The Rambler’s ground at St Colman’s Park has seating all down one side and behind one goal, with terracing along the opposite side and hard standing behind the opposite goal. Despite the scoreline, this was a pulsating encounter, especially in the second half as the hosts, struggling, this season, in the nether reaches of the table fought tenaciously against their high flying opponents. A draw, in the end, was a fitting result!!!

Thursday 7th June 2018
CONIFA World Cup Semi-final A

Northern Cyprus 3

Billy Osman 39, 84,

Halil Turon 79,

Padania 2

Ricardo Rasasi 28,

Nicolo Daman 45,
Referee:- Dimitrii Zhukov.                                       Attendance:- 311
Admission:- £12.00.                                            Programme:- £5.00
Both semi-finals were held at The War Memorial Ground, Colston Avenue, the home of Carshalton Athletic. The first semi-final saw the Northern Cypriots triumph over the Italians, but only after a titanic struggle, urged on by their vociferous fan base and a drummer of some intensity. Even so, it took two goals in the final ten minutes to pull back the deficit and finally send them through to the final!

Thursday 7th June 2018
CONIFA World Cup Semi-final B

Karpatalya 4

George Toma 22, 75,

Gergely Kunki 58,

Csaba Peres 90+2

Szekely Land 2

Norbert Benke- Biro 78,

Barna Bajko 79,
Referee:- Mark Clattenberg.                                        Attendance:- 491
Admission:- £12.00.                                                 Programme:- £5.00
An even larger crowd attended the second contest for the right to meet Northern Cyprus in the final. Karpatalya had a single goal half-time lead, but only courtesy of a penalty saved by Barna Nagy from Alex Svedjuk in the 39th minute! In the second half, Karpatalya eased into a 3-0 lead. Back came Szekely with two goals in the final fifteen minutes AND a host of missed chances for an equaliser, only for a break away goal in added time to confirm a deserved victory for Karpatalya.

Thursday 21st June 2018
(Ashbourne) Summer League

Osmaston 2

Rich Bailey 32, 38,

Biggin 1

Tom Mellor 61,
Referee:- Syd Atwal. Attendance:- 26
Admission:- F.O.C. Programme:- NONE
The Osmaston Polo Ground was bathed in sunlight, but with a biting breeze for this re-arranged Summer League fixture. Three points separated these teams in third and fifth place and a well deserved home victory saw the hosts draw level with their rivals. Two first half goals proved decisive for the hosts who had to hold off a determined response from the visitors in the second half. With John Main

“Cura et Industria” – By Care and Hard Work

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Matches:-
This Month:-    matches:- 7              new grounds:-  3
This Season:-   matches:- 235         new grounds:- 111
Total:-             matches:- 3,932      new grounds:- 1,451

 

 

 

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May 2018

The pitch upon the village green

Still sparkles with its morning dew

Except, that is, for one mysterious patch.

We fasten Timmy’s dog lead to a bench.

.

Descending from a battered van

The opposing team are not what we expect

Older and scowling, oddly kitted out

Their goalie has an eye patch and a beard.

.

The referee too has a sinister air

Arriving out of breath and with a limp.

He keeps the ball clutched closely to his chest

And seems unwilling to relax his grip.

.

‘This lot aren’t Barford Rovers, that’s for sure,’

We whisper as we line up on the pitch

Julian pretends to tie a bootlace up

And tells the rest of us he’s got a plan.

from “The Famous Five-a-Side” by Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )

The cricket season is already in full swing and I have umpired or scored in over twenty matches so far! However, football proceeds deep into May and will possibly carry on into June.  And, of course, there is always The Summer League based in Ashbourne, to look forward to! But first of all, this month’s matches:- 

Thursday 3rd May 2018
Kershaw Cambridgeshire County League Senior A

Bar Hill 4

Ashley Shipp 8, 76 (pen), 79

Chris Brown 83,

Over Ports 0
Referee:- Phil Crossland.                                              Attendance:- 45
Admission F.O.C.                                                   Programme:- NONE
Bar Hill are on course for the championship and promotion to the premier division, but they have been unable to play any games on their home ground since last November. Cambourne Sports Centre is some five miles from their home, but they have still managed to pursue their promotion push. Over Sports were relegated from the top division last season and presently lie in fifth place, but after providing stern opposition for seventy-five minutes, they conceded three late goals and were well beaten at the final whistle.

Friday 4th May 2018
UEFA Under-17 Championship Group A

Italy 2

Jean Freddi Pascal Greco 22

Manu Emmanuel Gyabuaa 64,

Switzerland 0
Referee:- Zbynek Proske (CZE).                                          Attendance:- 488
Admission:- £2.00.                                                            Programme:- F.O.C.
This was one of the opening games of the tournament, played at The FA’s lavish headquarters at St George’s Park. Other venues include Walsall, Rotherham United, Chesterfield and Loughborough University. The healthy attendance was bolstered by large numbers of disinterested Primary School pupils. Italy won the game at a canter in a group that also includes Israel and …….. England!

Friday 4th May 2018
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League Division 1

S&L Corby 1

George McKay 90+3

Irchester United 1

Martin Brown 69,
Referee:- Cameron Smith.                                                     Attendance:- 21
Admission:- £3.00.                                                        Programme:- NONE
Thirty-three defeats from thirty-seven league games this season sees S&L rooted to the foot of the United Counties League, but a plucky performance this evening saw them snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat with an equaliser in the fourth minute of added time at the end of the match.

 Wednesday 9th May 2018
Total Motion Midland League Division 2

Smithswood Firs 2

Luke Keen 17,

Troy Baker 79,

Fairfield Villa 1

Dan Pitt 51,
Referee:- Guy Thrower.                                                     Attendance:- 41
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                    Programme:- NONE
After four consecutive days of officiating at cricket, it was good to get back to a football match! Smithswood Firs play in Solihull just down the road from Hampton FC at The Glades Football Centre. Tonight’s victory was hard earned against a spirited Villa side and ensured promotion for the hosts to Division1.

 Thursday 10th May 2018
EUFA U-17 Championships Group D

Norway 2

Slovenia 0
Referee:- Rob Harvey.                                                    Attendance:- 912
Admission:- £2.00.                                                    Programme:- £1.00
Slovenia lost this match at Loughborough University in the 20th minute with the sending off of captain Tamor Svetlin for a second bookable offence (taking a dive in the penalty area). Norway scored two goals shortly afterwards and the less said about the rest of the match ….. the better!

 Thursday 10th May 2018
Kershaw Cambridgeshire County League 1A

Steeple Morden 3

Luke Gurney 60, 

Jordan Bultitude 67,

Lewis Roskilly 82,

Thaxted Rangers 1

Shane Vince 73,
Referee:- Mark Wilson.                                                        Attendance:- 8
Admission F.O.C.                                                        Programme:- NONE
A very pleasant repast at The Waggon and Horses in the village preceded this entertaining encounter, where I met up with Andy English. Thaxted are challenging for promotion whilst the hosts are mid-table having suffered a 6-1 thrashing on Tuesday! No goals in the first half, but the home side hit the frame of the goal no less than four times. After the break, Steeple Morden took charge and gained a convincing victory.

 Monday 14th May 2018
Total Motion Midland League Division 2

Redditch Borough 6

Dave Phelan (pen) 3,

Ben Cox 9,

Jac Albutt 10, 31,

Billy Garvey 78, 90,

Hampton 0

Simon Hinsley s/o 2,
Referee:- Ian Hopkins.                                                Attendance:- 205
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                Programme:- NONE
On a lovely warm evening, second bottom Redditch Borough gave a serious drubbing to 4th placed Hampton and did their hopes of avoiding relegation a substantial boost! In the first sixteen minutes, there were three goals, two bookings a penalty and a sending-off! Thereafter, the game tailed off until two goals in the final ten minutes sealed the victory.

Wednesday 16th May 2018
Spartan South Midlands League Division 2

Clean Slate 3

Godwin Ameyaw 26, 69,

Tyrelle McLeod Bentley 55,

Pitstone & Ivinghoe 2

Kieran Doughty 46,

Danny O’Donnell 57
Referee:- Geoffrey Blackmore.                                        Attendance:- 19
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                    Programme:- NONE
Clean Slate is a church in Milton Keynes with an alternative view of religion. The football team(s) were formed in 2010. They play at Downs Barn with it’s forbidding, foreboding club house and eccentric dug-outs. On a cool, breezy evening, an entertaining encounter see-sawed each way and finally fell in favour of the hosts. It wasn’t until the seventieth minute that I heard the only swear word uttered involuntarily by a home player!

Thursday 17 May 2018
EUFA U-17 Championships Semi-Final k.o. 1.00pm

Italy 2

Emmanuel Gyabuaa 31,

Edouardo Vergani 71

Belgium 1

Yorbe Vertessen 57,
Referee:- Vilhjalmur Thorarinsson.                              Attendance:- 2,429
Admission:- £2.50.                                                          Programme:- £1.00
Rotherham United’s New York Stadium was sparsely populated on a cool breezy lunchtime – mainly with prattling schoolchildren. Italy were the better side and deserved to advance to the final here on Sunday, but Belgium gave them a good scrap and were excellent value for their equaliser, just after half time! Utterly incomprehensible was the club (or tournament) official’s intransigence about issuing team sheets. I had to obtain one by virtual subterfuge. Yet, we saw Italian and Belgian fans openly flaunting them! I can’t understand WHY it is so important to deny the REAL fans the opportunity to know who is actually playing!

Thursday 17th May 2018
EUFA U-17 Championships k.o. 7.00pm

England 0

Netherlands 0
No extra time. Netherlands win 6-5 on penalties
Referee:- Horatiu Fresnic.                                                Attendance:- 7,952
Admission:- £2.50.                                                           Programme:- £1.00
England’s penalty hoodoo struck again at The Proactive Stadium, home of Chesterfield FC on a cool evening with a stiff breeze. The match had 0-0 written all over it, England squandered several early chances, but The Dutch came increasingly into the game in the second half and really should have scored at the death when with the goal gaping, the chance was hurriedly scuffed wise!

Monday 21st May 2018
Midlands Regional Alliance Premier Division

Newhall United 0

Rowsley 86. 3

Anthony Charlton 11,

Liam Hallam 12,

Michael Lettall 13,
Referee:- Chris Pectu.                                                       Attendance:- 18
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                    Programme:- NONE
John and Graeme and I enjoyed a chip tea in the town centre before venturing over to St John’s Drive for the match. The Blues stadium was well equipped for this level of football with three areas of cover and one small stand with seats included! On a warm evening, the visitors and champions elect, scored three times in the opening fifteen minutes and largely rested on their laurels for the remainder of the match.

from the left:- Graeme Askham, yours truly and John Main

The thick undergrowth made it impossible to negotiate along behind the goal!!!

Tuesday 22nd May 2018
North Bucks League Premier Division

Wing Village 4

Ross Elliott 7,

Reece Mills 12,

Brett Robinson 64,

Dan Spence 83,

Duston Dynamos 2

Jack McLoughlin 44,

Richie Collier 49
Referee:- Adam Jackson.                                                  Attendance:- 21
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                    Programme:- NONE
A pretty big village, not far from Leighton Buzzard, with a busy main road adjoining the ground and there were half a dozen or more ‘hoppers’ in attendance at this match. Neither team have set the league alight this season, but the visitors have big plans to win back their place in The United Counties at the end of next season. They also have a young striker (he scored this evening) who is, apparently, being closely monitored by several clubs from higher echelons! The hosts, who were badly defeated by the bottom club in their last home fixture, deservedly came out on top in this lack lustre encounter – despite the generous scoreline!

A bevy of hoppers occupy the main stand!

Wednesday 23rd May 2018
North Bucks League Division 1

Steeple Claydon 4

Gareth Dench 28,

John Patterson 42,

Ben Chittenden 63,

David Beckett 71,

Stewkley Reserves 3

Chris Collins 5, 54,

Tyler Trower 69,
Referee:- James Ward.                                                          Attendance:- 18
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                        Programme:- NONE
Florence Nightingale has connections with the village. Apparently, she stayed at Claydon house and supported a local charity. A clock on the Recreation Ground commemorates her association. Six ‘hoppers’, including Les Bull, Paul White, John Main and Lee West, were in attendance as an end to end seesaw of a match finally – and deservedly – ended in victory for the hosts on a cool, breezy evening with rain in the air.

Saturday 26th May 2018
North Bucks & District League Premier Division

Duston Dynamos 2

Jack McLaughlin 18, 49,

Potterspury 3

Ollie Whittome 36,

Adam Kelly 55, 80,
Refere:- Ebby Saleh                                                        Attendance:- 23
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                  Programme:- NONE
On a very warm, sunny afternoon, the visitors defeated the hosts for the second time in three days to keep their championship hopes alive. Next door, a packed and colourful bowling contest was taking place whilst at the football, most of the attendees were ‘hoppers’. The final match of the season in this league takes place next Tuesday and Potterspury will become champions – but only if they prevail at Stewkley! Will you be there?

Monday 28th May 2018
Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division

Castle Donnington Cobras 7

Kari Munton 5,

Will Pearson 22, 66,

Jack Brownett 29, 

Matthew Brian 35,

Oliver Brown 37, 86,

Newhall United 0
Referee:- Jerome Fields.                                                 Attendance:- 55
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                  Programme:- NONE
Recently formed Cobras share a playing field – but not the same pitch as long term tenants Castle Donnington Town at Moira Dale Recreation Centre in the shadow of East Midlands Airport. This evening, they sealed runners up spot in the league with a game to spare and a resounding thumping of Newhall United. A goalfest of hoppers attended the event!

Tuesday 29th May 2018
North Bucks & District League Premier Division

Potterspury Champions!

Stewkley 1

Jack Howe 20,

Potterspury 8 (eight)

Danny Sheppard 7,

Adam Kelly 15, 76,

Jamie Hall 25, 74, 89,

Andy Ord 65,

Ollie Whittome 85,
Referee:- Ron James.                                                     Attendance:- 69
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                 Programme:- NONE
And so it came to pass, on a murky, breezy, chilly evening, visitors Potterspury swept to victory and took the championship majestically with a crushing defeat of seventh placed Stewkley at The Recreation Ground. Stewkley pressed hard for the opening ten or fifteen minutes, but having conceded against the run of play soon found themselves three down. They pulled a goal back before the interval, but in the second half, they were swept away by a Potterspury master class.

Wednesday 30th May 2018
Leicestershire Senior League Division 1

County Hall 4

Connor Hughes 3,

Lewis Reid 18,

Owen Byrne 26,

Louis Bishop 40

Anstey Town 2

Ben Gibson 25,

Richard Kirk 55,
Referee:- Bill Almen.                                                       Attendance:- 13
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                 Programme:- NONE
John Main and I traipsed Round Leicester – as did a motley crew of ‘hoppers’ – trying to locate this match which eventually brought us to Thurlaston where a step eight club host their home games – with floodlights! On a mizzly, drizzly evening, County Hall were the better side in a high scoring contest.

_________________________________________________________________

OTHER MATCHES:-

Friday 11th May 2018

UEFA U-17 Championships

Bosnia & Herzegovina 0 Republic of Ireland 2      Attendance:- 406

_______________________________________________________________

Friday 11th May 2018

UEFA U-17 Championship

Netherlands 2  Serbia 0                                            Attendance:- 1,186

________________________________________________________________

Matches:-

This month:-  Matches:- 19           New Grounds:- 12
This Season:- Matches:- 228        New Grounds:- 108
TOTAL:-         Matches:- 3,925     New Grounds:- 1,448

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April 2018

Soccer

.

When I hear the whistle
It’s like a cannon
Giving the signal for the game to start
A war between warriors
With a victory on their mind
With the aim of bypassing the keeper,
Getting the ball inside the goal
The ball touching the net
Setting off the crowd
Hearing the screams
From a thousand miles away

.

Jose Santos

Sunday 1st April 2018
FA Women’s Premier League North Division

Leicester City Women 6

Leigh Dugmore 1, 55,

Rosie Axten 33, 40,

Nicole Nymoen 39, 

Ellie May 80,

Wolves Women 0
Referee:- Ian Danson.                                                                 Attendance:- 89
Admission:- £4.00.                                                                  Programme:- incl.
The hosts play their home games on the 3G at Quorn FC and are enjoying a pretty successful season sitting fourth in the division whilst their opponents languish one place from the foot of the table. Leicester Women won this match at a canter hardly moving out of second gear!

Tuesday 3rd April 2018
Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Aston Villa 3

Birkir Bjaarnason 47,

Conor Hourihane 63,

Scott Hogan 70,

Reading 0
Referee:- Darren Bond.                                                   Attendance:- 29,229
Admission:- OMGDS£20 (£30)                                    Programme:- £3.50
A pretty tepid first half saw the visitors down to ten men in the 30th minute (two bookable offences) and this had a major bearing on the outcome. Reading held out until just after half time and eventually conceded three goals. Neither side impressed and I will be more than happy to return to more fascinating adventures in non-League football! With son Mike and grandson Freddie.

Son, Mike and grandson, Freddie

 

Thursday 5th April 2018
Eco-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 South

Carlton Town 1

Kayla Mitchell 8,

Aaron Hooton s/o 26

Corby Town 1

Jake Bettles 69
Referee:- Gareth Davis.                                              Attendance:- 88
Admission:- OMGDS£6.00 (£8)                             Programme:- £2
After a slow-moving start which saw the hosts take the lead, the match warmed up quite nicely with Carlton reduced to ten men midway through the first half. They held the lead until just after the hour mark when Corby drew level and then put increasing and desperate pressure on the home defence. Even an added five minutes couldn’t break the deadlock. Corby hit the post with the last kick of the match!

Grandson, Freddie

Saturday 7th April 2018
FA Premier League

Watford 1

Roberto Preeyra 62,

Burnley 2

Sam Vokes 70, 

Jack Cork 74,
Referee:- Paul Tierney                                                    Attendance:- 20,444
Admission:- Hospitality.                                                Programme (incl) £3.50
Grandson, Freddie, is accumulating grounds a lot faster than I ever did!

What a change at Vicarage Road. The whole ground is now totally enclosed with seated stands all the way round!

Sadly, the team weren’t up to it today. They scored first just after the hour mark, but less than ten minutes later and LESS than ten seconds of being brought on as a substitute, Sam Vokes equalised. Four minutes later they were in front and never looked like relinquishing their hold on victory and the points. Excellent hospitality. Freddie got his picture taken with Luther Blissett!!! One minutes clapping at the start in memory of Ray Wilkins.

Hospitality in The Sir Elton John Suite!

Grandson, Freddie and Luther Blissett

A minutes clapping prior to kick-off in memory of Ray Wilkins who died recently

Tuesday 10th April 2018
Total Motion Midland League Premier Division

Rugby Town 2

Ruben Wiggins-Thomas 69,

Stuart Hendrie 75,

Sporting Khalsa 1

Mykel Beckley 17 (pen),
Referee:- Will Ottaway.                                                           Attendance:- 96
Admission:- OMGDS£4.00 (£8).                                     Programne:- £2.00
Rugby Town’s Butlin Road ground is suited to a much higher level of football. Two years ago, they were playing in The Southern League. This evening, there were given a stern examination by hosts, Khalsa. The visitors single goal half time advantage looked unassailable, but a spate of substitutions saw the hosts first of all equalise and then run in an unlikely winner! By the end of the contest, they looked worthy victors!
With Graeme Askham, we had earlier visited MK Gallacticos only for the match to be called off less than half an hour before kick-off.

Wednesday 11th April 2018
Eco-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 South

Corby Town 1

Ryan Bell 87,

Stamford 1

Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson 31,
Referee:- Robbie Dadley.                                                  Attendance:- 437
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 (£12)                                    Programme:- £2
Didn’t see much of this match as ferocious fog and driving drizzle on a very heavy pitch contrived to limit viewing opportunities! Stamford looked the better side and lead for over an hour, but The Steelmen had a penalty saved, and eventually equalised in the 87th minute. Son, Mike and grandson, Freddie were also there with Gary Miller.

Like grandfather, like grandson, keeping a record of the game!

Thursday 12th April 2018
Eco-Stik Southern League Premier Division

Banbury United 4

Elliot Sandy 16,

Ricky Johnson 45+1

Liam Howards 47,

Amer Awadh 74,

Stratford Town 0
Referee:- Ian Tallis.                            Attendance:- 302
Admission:- £5.00.                        Programme:- £2.00
The match hinged on the early sending off of the visiting goalkeeper who was suspiciously dispossessed in the area and attempted to retrieve the situation by grabbing his opponents ankle. The penalty was converted. Ten man Stratford strived valiantly to keep in touch, but The Puritans ploughed into them and the final result was a four goal thrashing! With sons, Jim and Mike and grandson, Freddie.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Welsh Spring ‘Hop’ 2018

Friday 13th April 2018
Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division 1

Goytre 1

Kris Leek 17,

Llanelli Town 4

James Loveridge 14, 45+3, 90

Chris Jones 39,
Referee:- Jordan Harman.                                                     Attendance:- 151
Admission:- £5.00.                                                                 Programme:- £1
Hard by Goytre’s neat little football ground is the Mad Dog Brewing company. It would have been churlish not to take a peak – and enjoy a couple of pints of fine ale! Llanelli are runaway leaders of the league and former Chorley giant, Lee Trundle has helped himself to 45 goals this season. He was not to score tonight, but young Jamie Loveridge helped himself to three in an emphatic away victory – and that was despite playing most of the second half with ten men!

Saturday 14th April 2018
Premier League U-18

Swansea City 0

Leicester City. 0
Referee:- Darren Wilding.                                Attendance:- 113
Admission:- F.O.C.                                             Programme:- NONE -free teamsheet
An 11.00am kick-off at the lavish Swansea City Academy at Landore within a stones throw of The Liberty Stadium. Sadly an insipid encounter failed to produce a goal! Arnor Gudjohnsen, brother of former Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea striker, Eidur Gudjohnsen, came on as a Swansea substitute!

Saturday 14th April 2018
Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division 2

Pontardawe Town 1

Josh Roberts 90+1

Aberdare Town. 2

Seb Haggett 48 (pen), 50,
Referee:- Tim Drean.                                                          Attendance:- 109
Admission:- £4.00.                                                             Programme:- £1.00
Lovely afternoon at Park Ynysderw, home of Pontardawe Town. The sun shone and it was seriously warm. Sadly, the home arena couldn’t quite match the weather. For a team at the third level of Welsh football, NOT to have running water in the changing rooms seems a tad remiss! The game was pretty dire, too, enlivened only by two strikes for the visitors in the first five minutes of the second half. The hosts retrieved a goal – but only in the dying moments!

 

Saturday 14th April 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 2

Cardiff Hibernian 2

Chris James 32,

Calvin Refill 90+1

AFC Bargoed 2

Aaron Williams 14,

Jordan Thomas 28,
Referee:- Mark Poucher.                Attendance:- 197
Admission:- £3.00.                    Programme:- £1.00
The hosts have moved to a new ground since our last visit a couple of years ago. They now play on a pitch at the former site of Ely Racecourse in Cardiff – a racecourse no longer since 1937! Third bottom of the league, they found themselves two down to bottom club, Bargoed, in a tasty, feisty encounter and it took them until the first minute of added time to drag themselves level against spirited opponents!

Sunday 15th April 2018
Bridgend & District Sunday League Division 1

Wicked 4

Jack Picton 11,

Graham Davies 48, 56,

Kyle Griffiths 87,

Garth Vader 3

Tom Evans 25,

Kurt Vincent 47,

Richard Boydell 76,
Referee:- Goodman Maddox.                                               Attendance:- 47
Admission:- (by programme) £2.00
When you get this low down the pyramid on a filthy, rainswept Sunday morning with a very heavy pitch, the football is definitely of the thud and blunder variety. The hosts are curiously named after The Wicked Lady hostelry in Bridgend. The visitors, despite this defeat, are promoted to the premier division.

Sunday 15th April 2018
South Wales Alliance Division 1

AFC Butetown 1

Ibrahim Farah 80 (pen),

Tonyrefail BGC 1

Jordan Cicigoi 49
Referee:- Graham Evans.                      Attendance:- 120
Admission (by programme):- £2.00
There was a vast chasm between this arena and the Millennium Stadium just visible amongst the high rise flats at one end of the ground!! No TLC had been spared here! The grass was too long and the pitch too bumpy for any decent football. The area felt like Tiger Bay of the 1950s. Neither of these teams were pulling up trees in the league this season and the hosts were in some danger of relegation! A draw was probably a fair result, although the visitors looked the better side.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday 17th April 2018
Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division

Saffron Walden Town 0

Ely City 0
Referee:- – Aaron Farmer.                                        Attendance:- 142
Admission:- £6.00.                                                   Programme:- £1.00
It is a long time since my last visit to The Bloods (2nd January 2008:- Jewsons Eastern Counties League Division 1: Saffron Walden Town 1 Long Melford 0 Attendance:- 151) and there have been several improvements to the stadium with substantial cover on all four sides and seating on three sides of the ground.

A warm welcome and a fine refreshment area, not to mention a large bar suggested that such a club could easily have aspirations to play at a higher level, but they have tried that and the club fell back – and even out of existence for a short while!

Tonight’s encounter came on the back of 1-5 home thrashing at the weekend by Stowmarket Town. This time there was a steely determination from both sides to wrest the victory, but they cancelled each other out in a fine contest and settled for a point apiece!

 

Even after dark, the parish church is lit up with the contest carrying on in the foreground!

Wednesday 18th April 2018
North Bucks League Premier Division

Silverstone 2

Niall Duffy 22,

Robert Kirby 45,

Potterpury 1

Adam Kelly 38,

Referee:- Chris Ball.                                                                     Attendance:- 24
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                Programme:- NONE
On a fine, cloudless Spring evening with vapour trails chasing across the sky, these two well placed teams fought out an entertaining contest at the village which is the home of British motor racing. A vicious culvert ran down one side of the pitch, a couple of metres wide and two feet of water dared the intrepid player – or spectator to retrieve the ball. 52 year old Jamie Cunningham, who numbers Kettering Town and Kings Lynn amongst his former clubs, led the home attack, but it was the trickery and speed of the diminutive Niall Duffy that brought the goals – one scored and one assist that won the game for the hosts!

Friday 20th April 2018
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League
Premier Division

ON Chenecks 0

Cogenhoe 2

Ryan Ansell 51,

Ryan Dove 56,
Referee:- Shaun Barry.                                                 Attendance:- 146
Admission:- £5.00.                                                   Programme:- £1.00
There was a good crowd for this local derby – supplemented by the prawn sandwich brigade from the rugby club veranda overlooking the ground. I hadn’t realised that the hosts had been promoted to The Premier Division last season. Two earlier championship wins had seen them denied promotion on ground grading issues. Tonight, there were decidedly second best to their rivals and the frustration broke through when a truly shocking tackle late in the game was only punished with a yellow card. Good to see Tony Morehead taking in the match en route to a visit to Needham Market on the morrow!

You can just about see the balcony of the rugby club to the right of the picture, from whence spectators could watch with impunity!

Saturday 21st April 2018
Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Sevenoaks Town 2

Frankie Sawyer 8 (pen), 67 (pen),

Sheppey United 5

Dan Bradshaw 4, 14, 35, 79,

Demell Davis 73,
Referee:- Joseph Dann-Pye.                                            Attendance:- 364
Admission:- £7.00.                                                        Programme:- £1.00
Champions elect, Sevenoaks Town suffered a rare, heavy and deserved defeat at the hands of mid-table Sheppey United. The weather was sunny and very warm and John and I enjoyed a fine repast at The King’s Head, a hostelry on the outskirts of the town.

The pitch is 3G and the ground is a mish-mash of Meccano stands and portakabins, with a garden summerhouse as the directors board room! The large crowd came to claim the championship. The hosts may have much to do in their last three games – all away- to make certain of the title!

A fine repast at a hostelry of some repute!

Spectators could watch for free from the embankment behind the far goal!

Tuesday 24th April 2018
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League
Premier Division

Eynesbury Rovers 3

James Tricks 39,

Dan Quigley 48 (og),

Luis Vieira 58

ON Chenecks 2

Sam Watkins 44,

Brandon Williams 90+2,
Referee:- Andrew Hitchcock.                                  Attendance:- 40
Admission:- pay what you like (£3)                       Programme:- £1
On a cold, rainswept evening in Huntingdonshire, these two teams served up a cracker of a match which belied the end of season, meaningless encounter that this contest could have become!

The hosts are evidently sprucing up their arena to meet the ground grading requirements of the FA with a new stand being erected behind one goal and hard standing around the perimeter, but they are not happy about the expense involved and tonight’s attendance put that into sharp perspective!

Wednesday 25th April 2018
Vanarama National League North

Brackley Town 1

James Armson 18 (pen)

Chorley 2

Marcus Carver 25,

Dale Whitham 51,
Referee:- Dean Hulme.                                              Attendance:- 275
Admission:- OMGDS£6.00 (£12)                           Programme:- £2
A fine rainbow at the start of the match did little to dissuade the precipitation – or to aid the hosts in their quest for victory! They did score first, but The Magpies equalised midway through the first half and took the lead early in the second period. Thereafter, despite strong pressure, the visitors comfortably hung on for the win which cemented sixth place in the league (and a place in the play-offs) with but one game to go!

 

Saturday 28th April 2918
Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Burton Albion 2

Hope Akpan 28,

Lucas Akins 36,

Bolton Wanderers 0
Referee:- Graham Scott.                                                      Attendance:- 6,535
Admission:- OMGDS£18 (£20)                                           Programme:- £3
Not a good day for Notlob, they look doomed. Under grey skies and rain, they were dismantled by two first half strikes and though they showed more spirit in the second half, they had neither the skill nor the ability to disturb The Brewers equilibrium. First time this season that the hosts had a crowd of over six thousand and the away end was sold out! With son Mike, and grandson Freddie (who has already got eighteen league grounds to his name!).

Grandson, Freddie

Our view from behind the goal at the opposite end to the away supporters.

Monday 30th April 2018
Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West

North Leigh 0

Cinderford Town 3

Richard Greaves 6, 90+3,

James Harding 45,
Referee:- Martyn Gospel.                                                Attendance:- 50
Admission:- £8.00.                                                    Programme:- £1.00
Contrary to reports, North Leigh are NOT resigning from The Southern League! We parked the car beside the cricket field adjacent to the ground where arrows were flying around in archery practice! The hosts were well beaten on the evening and were lucky to lose by only three goals.

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OTHER MATCHES:-

Wednesday 4th April 2018

National League U-19 Alliance:-

Nuneaton Town U-19  5  Mansfield Town Brooksby  0                         Attendance;- 17

_________________________________________________________________________________

Monday 9th April 2018

Premier League 2 Cup Quarter-final

Leicester City U23   2  Wolverhampton Wanderers U23  1                  Attendance:- 293

________________________________________________________________________________

Monday 23rd April 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City U-23  3  Derby County U-23  1                                   Attendance:- 2,116

_______________________________________________________________________________

Friday 27th April 2018

Premier League 2 Cup Semi-final

Leicester City U-23  2  Aston Villa U-23  3                                         Attendance:- 1,134

_______________________________________________________________________________

Matches:-

This month:-             Matches:- 25                New Grounds:- 8

This Season:-            Matches:- 209             New Grounds:- 96

TOTAL                       Matches:- 3,906          New Grounds:- 1,436

 

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March 2018

Everton supporters song from the 1960s

.

Bless ’em all

Bless ’em all

Bless ’em all

The long and the short and the tall

Bless wee Alex and Royston, too

Bless all the boys that are playing in Blue

Can you identify the two Everton players mentioned in the ditty?

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.

.

Saturday 3rd March 2018
FA Premier League

Leicester City 1

Riyad Mahrez 90+7

AFC Bournemouth 1

Josh King 35 (pen)
Referee:- Lee Probert                                 Attendance:- 31,384
Admission:- semi-hosp                             Programme:- included (£3.50)
There was very little football around today because of the snow and Graeme and I decided to take the easy option of a visit to The King Power Stadium with a modicum of pampering! The game was nothing to write home about and I don’t think that Leicester City and Claude Puel fit together very well. Wilfred Ndidi had an off day and the visitors were tenacious in their determination to upset the host’s rhythm. Bournemouth scored well into the first half and held that lead until the seventh minute of added time at the end of the second half. A free kick, well outside the penalty area was rifled in by Riyad Mahrez and the relief of the home fans at gaining this unlikely point, was palpable!

Monday 5th March 2018
Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City 4

Harvey Barnes 2, 48,

George Thomas 32,

Sam Hughes 84,

Liverpool 0
Referee:- Christopher O’Donnell                                          Attendance:- 2,752
Admission:- OMGDS £1.00 (£3)                                          Free Teamsheet
This match between second and top in the division went emphatically the way of the hosts who took over Liverpool’s long held first position. The match was held at The King Power Stadium and there was a healthy attendance for the top of the table clash. Leicester were dominant throughout and scored after only two minutes. Liverpool never really got going and the scoreline could have been worse for them! John Main was in raptures, young Freddie was underwhelmed. Graeme and I just enjoyed a very entertaining match!

Tuesday 6th March 2018

Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Burton Albion  0

Brentford 2

Kyle McFadzean (og) 59

Ollie Watkins 80

Referee:- Tony Harrington                        Attendance:- 3,464

Admission:- OMGDS £18.00  (£24)         Programme:- £3.00

The Pirelli Stadium looked pretty full, but in reality it was a pitiful attendance for The Championship. It is amazing how Albion have survived two seasons at this level, competing with some big names like Aston Villa and Leeds United (to mention but two). The first half was dire with both sides seemingly intent on avoiding defeat. The second half was considerably better with The Bee’s half-time cuppa having been accompanied by stern words of encouragement. The visitors gradually assumed control of this match and a couple of goals was no more than they deserved. Burton were never really in the hunt, although they did test the visiting custodian on a couple of occasions! I went with my son, James and Jonny Crane, a lifelong Brentford fan.

It was all a far cry from my first visit to see Burton Albion in The (Multipart) Northern Premier League on 21st February 1987 at their old and quaint ground at Eton Park. Chorley were the visitors that day and they lost to a Gauden goal in the first half in front of a crowd of 729.

Wednesday 7th March 2018
Chromasport & Trophies Peterborough & District League
Premier Division

Warboys Town 0

Moulton Harrox 11 (eleven)

Marcus Parry 3, 20,

Billy King 30,

Matt Duncan (og) 39,

Danny Lambe-Hyner 44, 67, 86,

Louis Steadman 49, 75, 88, 89,
Referee:- Craig Hardy                                                        Attendance:- 45
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                     Programme:- NONE
The last time I visited Forge Way was on 9th December 2000, (Jewsons Eastern Counties League Premier Division: Warboys Town 1 Woodbridge Town 1 Attendance:- 46). Tonight’s attendance was almost exactly the same, but the team had dropped a couple of divisions in the meantime. However, they had acquired a lovely new club house with a bar and hall and a lounge. In the hall, an art group were busy with their paintings. Moulton Harrox used this game in hand to regain top spot in the Premier Division and they fully deserved the scoreline and maybe should have had more! Warboys Town are a top half side, but they were blown away like confetti by the panzer divisions of the visitors. It was a massacre! It was very good, however, to see a match totally bereft of cards of any colour!

 

 

 

Friday 9th March 2018

Cambridge University AFL Cuppers FINAL

Fitzwilliam College  6

Girton College  1

Referee:- Matt Haslett                                    Attendance:- 176

Admission:- F.O.C.                                   Programme:- F.O.C.

There was a good turn out on a filthy evening at Grange Road, the home of Cambridge University’s Rugby Union club for the final of the inter-football knock-out competition. The ground is pretty impressive, entry was free and there was a free programme, too! Fitzwilliam dominated this match scoring five times without reply in the first half. They were faster and more skilful than their opponents and really ought to have added more than one strike after the interval. Girton managed to get on the score sheet in the second minute of added time at the end of the match, but the trophy went deservedly to Fitzwilliam and their noisy band of followers were ecstatic!

 

Saturday 10th march 2018
Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Queens Park Rangers 1

Ebere Eze 62,

Sunderland 0
Referee:- Robert Jones                                                  Attendance:- 14,216
Admission:- OMGDS £23 (£34)                                   Programme:- £3.50
I haven’t been to Loftus Road for nearly 30 years (26th December 1990 Barclays League Division 1 QPR 1 Liverpool 1 attendance:- 17,848) and I shan’t mind if I don’t go for another thirty years. The ground is hemmed in amongst local housing and the feeling of claustrophobia inside the stadium is heightened by the cramped seats which give you back ache (my seat also had a £1 reduction for restricted view!). The game was poor and hinged on the sending off of the visiting goalkeeper for handling the ball outside the area. The only strike came midway through the second half after a turgid opening session. If I had to watch that week in, week out……………I think I’d lose the will to live!

Tuesday 13th March 2018
Total Motion Midland League Premier Division

Loughborough University 2

Cam Gordon 29,

Matty Crookes 83,

Shepshed Dynamo 2

Shay Brennan 42,

Josh Barr-Rostron 79,
Referee:- Rueben Ricardo.                                               Attendance:- 122
Admission:- OMGDS £2.00 (£5)                                Programme:- £1.50
These close rivals are probably less than five miles apart and the encounter was keenly contested. Free team sheets are now part of the service at the stadium. After a disastrous start to this season’s campaign, the students have pulled away from the foot of the table and look less threatened by fears of relegation. They were given a stern test by visitors, Dynamo, who came from a goal behind to lead by 2-1 with ten minutes to go. The plucky students pulled it back level on 83 minutes and a draw was probably a fair result.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Scottish Lowland ‘Hop’

The coach for the weekend left London at 9.30am on Friday morning with severe weather forecast for the weekend. I boarded at Birmingham International Railway Station at 11.15am and we proceeded up the M6 to Scotland and the outside temperature dropped like a stone and not only that, the wind began to howl and there was rain in the air. Indeed, when we reached Lockerbie, it was raining quite heavily, but by the time the match commenced, the rain had relented.

Friday 16th March 2018
South of Scotland Football League

Mid-Annandale 6

Liam Gibson 9,

Dean Smith 11, 35,

Dylan Neill 34, 59,

Andrew Thorn 47

Lochmaben 3

Denver Milligan 33,

Gavin Smith 38,

Darren How 87,
Referee:- Lloyd Wilson                                      Attendance:- 235
Admission:- £3.00.                                        Programme:- £2.00
The wind was howling like a bevy of banshees round the 3G fenced in pitch at The New King Edward ground in Lockerbie which hosts and visitors are currently sharing. It was bitterly cold, with no cover, but fortunately the rain held off. The hosts smote two goals in the first ten minutes and were 4-2 up at the interval. Two more were added in the second half and there should have been more. The visitors managed the last strike, three minutes from time. Dour and gloomy Lockerbie couldn’t have been better epitomised than by it’s bleak and foreboding church. Glad to get back on the bus!!!

Saturday 17th March 2018  k.o. 11.00am
East of Scotland League

Burntisland Shipyard 1

Thomas Graham 44,

Robert Kinnaird s/o 75

Jonathan Galloway – penalty saved 83mins,

Preston Athletic 2

Greg Binnie 37,

Jonathan Grotlin 61,
Referee:- David McAlinden                                        Attendance:- 166
Admission:- £5.00.                                                 Programme:- £2.00
Brass monkeys just doesn’t do it justice! It was blisteringly cold with light blustery snow about. For all that, it was a good game at Burntisland’s tight, shipshape ground, sadly bereft of seats, but with one covered standing area. The sharp, icy wind blew from goal to goal and in the first half it favoured the visitors. At half-time it was 1-1, but a second half breakaway goal, a penalty for the home team saved, and a home defender dismissed, all combined to ensure that the visitors took the victory and the spoils!

Saturday 17th March 2018 k.o. 1.45pm
East of Scotland League

Kelty Hearts 11 (eleven)

Brian Ritchie 11,

Scott Dalziel 30, 51,

Neil McCabe 42,

Errol Douglas 45+1, 74, 85,

Stephen Husband 54, 77,

Stuart Cargill 56,

Shaun Greig 80,

Tweedmouth Rangers 1

Lewis McKenna 22,
Referee:- Jonathan Bell.                                                              Attendance:- 278
Admission:- £5.00.                                                                  Programme:- £2.00
This was a stroll in the park for ambitious Kelty. They recently transferred from Scottish Junior football and are now a couple of promotions from the Scottish Football League! They have a lovely ground and a very friendly bunch of supporters and a canny financial genius behind their hoped for advancement! They are unbeaten this season, but lurking in the shadows are Lothian Thistle, also unbeaten, and the two play each other home and away towards the end of the season! Tasty!

Saturday 17th March 2018 k.o. 5.00pm
East of Scotland League

Herriot-Watt University 2

Michael Ward 11, 33,

Anton Dows s/o 77

Christopher Lane s/o 90+1
Leith Athletic 3

John Robertson 39,

Daniel Garvey 68,

Callum Mein 87,

Referee:- Michael Addy.                                                 Attendance:- 207
Admission:- £5.00.                                                      Programme:- £1.00
The Oriam Sports Arena at Herriot Watt University is a fully enclosed stadium which includes a full sized football pitch. There is a lovely and warm cafe area, but the temperature in the football arena is similar to the outside – in other words blisteringly cold. The students confidently and convincingly won the first half going in at 2-1. However they threw away the game recklessly in a second half which saw two of their number dismissed.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday 21st March 2018
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League Division 1

Oakham United 1

Cameron Brookes 48,

Burton Park Wanderers 1

Mark Forbes 87 (pen)
Referee:- Louisa Thorold                                                         Attendance:- 29
Admission:- £5.00                                                             Programme:- NONE
A fourth visit to Sterling Meadows, but only the first since 2015 when 341 turned up for the ‘hop’ victory over Buckingham Town. Tonight’s support was considerably thinner! They still haven’t got draught beer in the bar, but there was live Conference football on the TV. It was a cold night at Oakham’s very rustic arena, but the match was played at high intensity and with the visitors appearing to be missing several key players, it looked a nailed on home win. Not a bit of it. It took the hosts forty-eight frustrating minutes to score and they were made to pay for missing other key opportunities when the visitors were awarded a penalty three minutes from the end. Woman referee, very competent.

Saturday 24th March 2018
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 North

South Shields 4

Zehn Mohammed 14 (og),

Louis Storey 23,

Carl Finnegan 58,

Jamie Holmes 60,

Ramsbottom United 0
Referee:- Christopher Keightley                                               Attendance:- 1,552
Admission:- OMGDS£6.00 (£8)                                            Programme:- £2.00
Just for a change it was bright, sunny and mild for the long trip oop north! Didn’t think much of Mariners Park. There was one stand with around 150 seats and opposite were three Meccano covered areas, one of which had around 100 seats, but visibility was very poor, blocked by the huge plastic dug-outs. There was precious little terracing, but plenty of bar space for the substantial crowd. On the field, the match was fairly predictable. Ambitious Shields extracting a regulation victory whilst the visitors fought doggedly to stem the tide!

Tuesday 27th March 2018
Kershaws Cambridgeshire County League Premier Division

Chatteris Town 1

Anthony Brolia 4,

Gamlingay United 2

Harry Kennedy 24, 45+1
Referee:- Douglas Lawson                                                             Attendance:- 84
Admission:- £2.00                                                                  Programme:- NONE
Eighteen years since my last (and only) visit to West Street (21st October 2000 FA Vase 1st Round: Chatteris Town 0 Diss Town 2 Attendance:- 129). In those days, The Lilywhites were a thriving Eastern Counties League side. Today they inhabit the more rustic surrounds of The Cambs County League. The club house and changing rooms have been upgraded, but on the pitch, Chatteris are enduring an awful season and presently prop up the division. The visitors are only one place higher, so this was a real relegation six pointer! The hosts started with a bang, scoring in the 4th minute, but as the half wore on, it was United who began to dominate and two goals – the second on the stroke of half-time – gave them lead they were never to relinquish. Chatteris look doomed, but Gamlingaymay yet escape!

Wednesday 28th March 2018
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League Division 1

Pinchbeck United 5

Oliver Maltby 12,

Aaron Eyett 18,

Josh Smith 38, 39,

Reif Bisset-Clarke 83 (pen),

Oakham United 0
Referee:- Chris Armond                                                                Attendance:- 72
Admission:- £3.00                                                                 Programme:- NONE
Pinchbeck are tenants at The Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, the council owned home of Spalding United and there was nothing inside the stadium to connect it to the club! This is their first season in the UCL and they are presently running away with the First Division title. 5-0 was a fair reflection of the gulf between these two sides, but the hosts gently took their foot off the pedal in the second half, having secured a 4-0 half-time advantage.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________

The Carlsberg South West Peninsular ‘Hop’

This was a hop organised by Phil Hiscox, secretary of the South West Peninsula League and which has been held periodically over several years (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016 were the previous hop years).

Thursday 29th March 2018
South West Peninsula League Division 1 East

Newton Abbot Spurs 2

Oli Aplin 13,

Chris Metters 51,

Teignmouth 1

Sean Ayre 18,
Referee:- Shaun Edge.                                                    Attendance:- 318
Admission:- £4.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
There was a handsome crowd for this reasonably local derby on a rainswept evening in South Devon. The ground had precious little cover but at least the rain petered out as the match progressed. This was a contest of little finesse and lots of thud and blunder. The hosts triumphed in the end because they kept their heads, whilst the visitors had two second half dismissals.

Friday 30th March 2018
Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division 1 East

Sidmouth Town 3

Ryan Davies 32,

Rob Knight 74,

Cameron Pow 83,

Budleigh Salterton 4

Andy Taylor 37,

Nathan Antat 48 (og),

Dan Boere 52,

Mike White 76,
Referee:- Ryan Edge.                                                          Attendance:- 336
Admission:- £4.00.                                                          Programme:- £1.50
This was a cracker of a match on a deteriorating pitch and in constant precipitation. A gulf separates third placed Budleigh Salterton from the hosts languishing in the lower reaches of the table, but at half time it was all square at 1-1. Two second half strikes seemed to have killed off the hosts, but they brought it back to 2-3 and then 3-4, but couldn’t quite conjure up an equaliser!

 

Friday 30th March 2018
Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division 1 East

Honiton 0

Ilfracombe 1

Brodie Montague 58,
Referee:- Cameron Mann.                                              Attendance:- 227
Admission:- £4.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
This fixture was played, not at Honiton, but at Exwick Villa who play on the 3G at Exeter College Sports Stadium. Honiton‘s pitch was deemed waterlogged. There was no cover and the lasting impression is of heavy and unremitting precipitation and cold which seriously blighted the enjoyment of the match. The game went to form with the visitors scoring the only goal midway through the second half. Glad to get back to the car!

Friday 30th March 2018
Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division 1 East

Axminster Town 2

Jon Hereford 13,

Sam Dibling 22,

Crediton United 1

Steve Morish 32,
Referee:- Chris Ibbotson.                                                      Attendance:- 306
Admission £4.00.                                                               Programme:- £1.00
The rainswept theme continued and there was even sleet and snow on the way there! Axminster have taken possession of a new stadium since my last visit (10th April 2009 Carlsberg SWPL Division 1 East:-  Axminster Town 4 Ottery St Mary 1 attendance:- 358) and there was plenty of cover and about 200 seats. The referee decided eventually that the match could go ahead despite a thoroughly rain sodden pitch. It was the right decision and the hosts took the opportunity to revenge an early season home FA Vase defea
t to Crediton by taking all three points on the night.

Great place for the ducks

Would this match have been played had it not been on the ‘hop’? I doubt it!!!

Saturday 31st March 2018
Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division 1 East

St Martins 4

Ben Watson 5, 90,

Stuart Davies 62,

James Richards 80,

Alphington 0
Referee:- Keith Mann.                                                     Attendance:- 383
Admission:- £4.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
These two close rivals occupy top and bottom spots in the league table. Minster Park has a high slope with some excellent viewing points, however, the game was nothing to write home about. The visitors kept their illustrious hosts down to a single strike for over an hour, but three goals in the last twenty minutes sealed their demise and gave the score a more realistic look!

Saturday 31st March 3.00pm
Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division 1 East

Brixham 1

Scott Walker 57,

Galmpton & Roselands 0
Referee:-Harry Chambers.                                                 Attendance:- 369
Admission:- £4.00.                                                         Programme:- £1.00
On a very cramped ground, the crowd felt much larger than it really was! Every spare bit of space was accounted for. Neither side had acquitted themselves with distinction, this season and the hosts – 11th in the table – triumphed by the only goal over their 15th placed rivals. Perhaps a draw would have been a fairer result! After the match as we waited patiently for our transport, we heard that the coaches had been locked in the car park!!!

 

Saturday 31st March 2018 7.00pm
Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Division 1 West

Plymouth Marjon 2

Jay Johnson 59,

Morgan Parsonage 61,

Millbrook 3

Rik Shepherd 28,

Dan Chapman 67,

Tom Payne 75,
Referee:- Shaun Edge.                                                     Attendance:- 293
Admission:- £4.00.                                                      Programme:- £1.50
We seemed to be climbing forever to the top of Plymouth to The College of St Mark and St John. The match was played on a 3G surface inside a cage – but with access for spectators on three sides. In a fairly insipid opening session, Millbrook were clearly superior but managed only a single goal. Marjon looked better in the second period, but lost a player to a second bookable offence in the 53rd minute. This seemed to inspire them for two goals in as many minutes around the hour mark gifted them the lead. Millbrook stepped up a gear, made the extra man tell and deservedly wrested back the lead, the victory and the points.

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OTHER MATCHES

Monday 12th March 2018

Northants Senior Youth League East Division

Huntingdon Town 1    S&L Corby 2                          Attendance:- 20

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League Premier division

Leicester Nirvana 0 Oadby Town 1                        Attendance:- 77

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February 2018

Who Kicked Cock Robin

.

Not I said the owl

Gazing down sleepy eyed

I’m not that kind of fowl

And we’re on the same side

.

Not I said the bee

Buzzing back to his hive

Cock Robin kicked me

And then took a dive.

.

Not I said the grub

My excuse is complete

I was only a sub

And – I ain’t got no feet.

(by Allan Ahlberg 1937 – )

.

.

.

Friday 2nd February 2018
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League
Division 1

Burton Park Wanderers 1

Mark Forbes 35,

Thrapston Town 2

Danny Wells,

Luke Cummins 55,
Referee:- Jakob Gierczyk.                                            Attendance:- 60
Admission :- £5.00.                                                       Programme:- £1.00
Burton PW now share their ground with Kettering Town and it is the senior club who seem to hold sway. It is not a pretty venue and I doubt that it is good enough for The Vanarama Nationwide. Tonight, it was very cold and a largely insipid match was won by the visitors because they wanted it more! Good to see Brian Buck and Terry there, I went with son Mike and grandson Freddie.

The club house was a tiny shack set in one corner of the ground where hot drinks (and bottled beer) could be had. The original club house is just outside the ground, but that has been taken over by the tenants, Kettering Town who are better able to pay the substantially increased rent! Park Wanderers have always struggled and one wonders for how much longer they can hold out!

Saturday 3rd February 2018
West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division

Hereford Lads Club 3

Adam Hockey 19,

Rory Worthing 69,

Kiea Cowley 79

Dudley Town 1

Jordan Davies 21,
Referee:- Joshua Brockland                                                 Attendance:- 46
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5)                                         Programme:- £1.00
Not an easy ground to find despite it being right next to Westfields FC and within sight of the floodlights at Edgar Street. It was a miserable day and the precipitation barely relented. The ground was sparse – but bright and cheerful – with only one stand with seating for perhaps fifty spectators and two dug-out type shelters for standing out of the rain! Despite being in a lowly 12th place, the hosts were some twenty-three points better off that Dudley Town who occupied last but one place in the division. The Lads Club won a fairly innocuous encounter. With the sides level at 1-1 at half-time, two second half goals and a sending off for the visitors, settled the match for The Lads Club! Widemarsh Common is also the county ground for The Herefordshire FA.

One of the temporary covered standing areas at a corner of the ground.

Monday 5th February 2018

Bigfreebet.com Southern League Cup Quarter-final

Hitchin Town  2

Brett Donnelly 14,

Connor Vincent 89,

Kempston Rovers  0

Referee:- A. Rayment                                                 Attendance:- 105

Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£10)                          Programme:- £1.00

Another regulation Monday night visit to Top Field in Hitchin. This was my thirty-eighth visit since 1979 and not all of them were on Monday evenings! Having had several crowds recently (though not the results to go with them) of four and five hundred, the attendance for tonight’s league cup match was pitifully thin! Kempston Rovers, who are a division below Hitchin, provided stern resistance and, after going behind before the break, produced several good chances to equalise in the second half. None of them materialised and in the 89th minute, the hosts scored a second and stole the match and the tie to move into the semi-finals!

Tuesday 6th February 2018
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League
Premier division

Oadby Town 1

Amiyah King 70,

Kirby Muxloe 1

Aaron Black 81,
Referee:- Shaun Gregory                                                     Attendance:- 61
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6)                                     Programme:- £1.00
With a light dusting of snow falling throughout and matches called off to the weather elsewhere in the local vicinity, it was good to get this match in, despite the cold! Sadly, it was not a good advert for UCL football. In a match littered with unenforced errors, mid-table Kirby Muxloe looked to be going down to bottom placed Oadby, until an 81st minute equaliser saved their blushes, although a draw was probably a fair result!

Friday 9th February 2018
Welsh Premier League

Aberystwyth Town 3

John Owen 5,

Declan walker 27 (pen)

Craig Hobson 90+2

Llandudno Town 1

Sam Hart missed penalty 22,

Mark Williams 49,
Referee:- Bryn Markham-Jones                         Attendance:- 286
Admission:- £7.00.                                               Programme:- £2.00
This was a battle in the lower half of the Welsh Premier League when, in the past, Llandudno had held sway. The ground reputedly holds 3,000 and tonight’s attendance, gleaned from officials, seemed much smaller than the number of people actually in the ground – counted by Andy English and myself!! The hosts were 1-0 ahead when a penalty was awarded against them. The spot kick was badly missed and minutes later a converted penalty at the opposite end doubled the hosts advantage. Right at the start of the second period, the visitors reduced the arrears, but a goal in added time gave the hosts a worthy advantage and they took the game and the points!

Saturday 24th February 2018

Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Preston North End  0

Ipswich Town  1

Mustapha Carayol 21,

Referee:- S. Duncan                                 Attendance:- 11,511

Admission:- OMGDS£16.00 (£24)               Programme:- £3.00

This was my first game for two weeks! I’ve had a pretty rotten chest infection, but I took the opportunity of my sister’s 65th birthday celebrations, to nip out with my grandson, Freddie, for his first visit to Deepdale. It was a bitterly cold day, but I was pleasantly surprised on several counts. Firstly, my grandson’s ticket cost only £1.00, secondly, they actually had butter potato pies available in the snack bars and thirdly, the car park (a small Primary School playground close by the stadium) cost only £3.00 compared with the £10 regularly charged elsewhere!

Deepdale has changed considerably since my first visit there on 5th January 1963 for an FA Cup 3rd Round tie against Sunderland (which Sunderland won 4-1). It is no longer the Victorian relic that it once was, but is now a fully enclosed, fully seated stadium with quite spectacular floodlights.

Today’s match was not a thriller by any stretch of the imagination! Preston North End were awful. They have enjoyed a pretty successful season, but today, they were no match for a competent, well drilled opposition who snatched a goal in the first half and clung to it tenaciously. Preston were so poor that their manager made TWO first half substitutions!

 

Young Freddie braves the cold conditions!

Monday 26th February 2018

Premier League 2 Cup – Group Stage

Leicester City U-23      2

Khanya Leshabela 86,

Hamza Choudhury 89 (pen),

Everton U-23                1

Alex Denny 71,

Referee:- Daniel Middleton                                Attendance:- 286

Admission:- OMGDS £1.00  (£3)                       Free Teamsheet

It was a very cold evening at Holmes Park and flurries of snow drifted across the pitch and right into our faces. The match wasn’t particularly brilliant, either. I counted only one shot on target in the first half and, as Graeme remarked, “my grandmother could have saved that”. The second half was a little better, but all the action was crowded into the final twenty minutes. Everton scored first and an equaliser from the hosts seemed to have settled the match as a draw until a handball in the last minute swung the game Leicester’s way – perhaps a little fortuitously. A draw would have been a fairer result!

Seven matches in February is a wretched haul, but I have to admit that for most of the month I had a pretty rotten chest infection. In fact, I went fifteen days (from 9th – 24th) without seeing a match at all! Then the “Beast from The East” arrived and the last two days of the month were wiped out by snow! Let’s hope that next month brings better fortune!

Matches:-

This month:-     Matches:-  7         New Grounds:-     2
This season:-    Matches:-  160       New Grounds:-   76
TOTAL:-            Matches:- 3,857     New Grounds:- 1,416

 

 

 

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