October 2019

The Football Posts that Dad Built (continued)

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They took ages to arrive

But we still played on the pitch

Late on Summer nights

And long on holiday afternoons,

All the kids round our way

bringing boots and trainers

To try and score against my Dad.

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By Paul Cookson (to be continued)

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The Western Hop

Friday 4th October 2019
Toolstation Western League Division 1

Lebeq United 3

Cameron Brown 10, 49,

Ibrahim Sarr 13,

Radstock Town 1

James Rustell 15 (pen),
Referee:- Adam Wilson.                                                          Attendance:- 192
Admission:- £5.00.                                                              Programme:- £1.00
The hosts are one of two teams who play here at The Gloucestershire County FA headquarters (the other being Roman Glass St George) on a 3G surface with a covered seated stand and some standing cover as well. The hosts were dominant early on and scored twice, but the visitors came back strongly and reduced the arrears by the interval. Early in the second period, the hosts restored their two goal advantage but then had to withstand substantial pressure from Radstock before securing the victory and the points!

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 Saturday 5th October 2019
Toolstation Western League Division 1

Portishead Town 3

Mitch Osmond 52 (pen), 64 (pen),

Callum Eastwood 72,

Longwell Green Sports 5

Danny Carter 30, 53, 

Lovejoy Mafini 59,

Sam Crumb 67,

Connor Britton 87,
Referee:- George Gross.                                                               Attendance:- 262
Admission:- £6.00.                                                                  Programme:- £1.00
First impressions …. a large playing field with the home pitch surrounded by a green wire fence and a posse of pre-fabricated buildings for changing rooms and facilities. There is a small 50 seater stand and a larger covered standing area close to the entrance. Good match. End to end stuff with the visitors superior fire power eventually gaining the advantage, the match and the points!

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Saturday October 5th 2019 2pm k.o.
Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Bradford Town 2

Tyson Pollard 40, 70 (pen)

Clevedon Town 0
Referee:- Brian White.                                                          Attendance:- 311
Admission:- £6.00.                                                          Programme:- £1.00
Bradford-upon -Avon is a lovely Georgian Town, but quite challenging to negotiate with a coach! The ground is a gem, even if most of the furniture is down one side! Today’s encounter matched 2nd against 4th in the league and in a fairly dour struggle, the result went the way of the second placed hosts.

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Saturday 5th October 2019
Toolstation Western League Division 1

Devizes Town 0

Ashton & Backwell United 1

Gerard Jones 49
Referee:- Ian Hawkins.                                                                   Attendance:- 203
Admission:- £5.00.                                                                       Programme:- £1.00
Nursteed Road is a vast sprawling expanse of a football ground with a fine stand seating perhaps 150 on one side of the ground and a large barn with two substantial bars on the opposite side, but not a lot behind either goal! This afternoon’s contest was a scrappy affair, won deservedly by the visitors with a single strike just after half-time.

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Saturday 5th October 2019 K.O. 7.45pm
Toolstation Western League Division 1

Warminster Town 2

Jack Miluk 30,

James Vincent 33,

Bristol Telephones 3

Luke Bamfield 14, 57,

Dhani Golding 48,
Referee:- Ian Tobin.                                                              Attendance:- 369
Admission:- £5.00.                                                            Programme:- £1.00
The rain came down heavily on Warminster – apparently, the UFO activity centre of Great Britain – and possibly blighted the chances of what should have been an easy victory for the hosts. The visitors, with six defeats and a single draw this season to their name are currently propping up the division – even after this backs to the wall victory! The sending off of a home player just prior to half-time for violent conduct may also have been a factor, but the visitors defended redoubtably for much of the second half after turning round a half-time deficit. They well deserved their victory!

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Sunday 6th October 2019 10.45am
Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Bridport 0

Bridgwater Town 6

Dave O’Hare 11, 32, 33,

Mike Duffy 26,

Sam Tower 81, 84,
Referee:- Craig Scriven.                                                     Attendance:- 347
Admission:- £6.00.                                                        Programme:- £1.00
A fully enclosed ground with a substantial covered standing area down one side and plenty of covered (and uncovered) seats opposite. There was a goodly selection of refreshments and a large bar. Sadly, the hosts, languishing near the foot of the table, were no match for their distinguished rivals who currently occupy third place in the division. The visitors had dismantled Bridport by half time with four strikes and added a further two in the final seven or eight minutes to wrap up a comprehensive victory. Not a classic by any means!

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Sunday 6th October 2019 k.o. 2.30om
Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Wellington 0

Exmouth Town 2

Jordan Harris 31,

Aaron Denny 43,
Referee:- Martin Peters.                                                    Attendance:- 315
Admission:- £6.00.                                                        Programme:- £1.00
The hosts share their ground with the local cricket club and at the end of each season, they have to dismantle the four floodlight pylons on one side of the ground. Presently, Wellington are propping up the division and on the evidence of this scrappy, petulant affair, they will be hot favourites for relegation. They were two down by the interval and after 72 minutes, they had a player dismissed for spitting – some said at the referee! Exmouth were comfortable winners!

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Stuart Long describes his experience

MIXED FEELINGS DON’T EVEN DESCRIBE IT!!

Four years at the Western League Groundhop have come to an end. Before my first one in 2016 I didn’t know what this was all about, but thanks to the skills and persuasion of Chris Berezai and Laurence Reade I have visited twenty-eight amazing clubs and rubbed shoulders with fellow, like minded people from across the UK 🇬🇧 and Europe. No BREXIT here we are all one family 👪 and long may it continue.

This year 1,999 people attended 7 games, saw 28 goals, 2 home wins 5 away, visiting some fantastic hosts clubs from Lebeq (Almondsbury) to Bridport on the South Coast via Portishead, Bradford, Devizes, Warminster and finally Wellington.


I like everyone else felt emotional on the way home with so many wonderful memories. I will definitely be back to complete the remaining dozen or so clubs I need to complete the league hopefully with the help of the Western league and GroundhopUK.
It’s been a pleasure.
#groundhopping #neverendinghobby

Craig Dabbs, Stuart Long and Chris Berezai

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Tony Morehead, Jack Warner and Stuart Long

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Stuart Long with John Main and Tony Morehead

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Stuart Long with Jack Warner and Laurence Read

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Tuesday 8th October 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Loughborough University 1

Ronan Silva 5,

Leicester Nirvana 1

Ilyaas Hussein 7,
Referee:- Lorraine Impey.                                                               Attendance:- 145
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6).                                             Programme:- £2.00
My first visit of the season to the beautifully appointed Holywell Sports complex of Loughborough University. The students have done well (especially as the BUCS – British Universities and Colleges Sport – season only starts tomorrow!) and they sit in second place in the division. However, this evening, they were smothered by a street wise Nirvana who kept nine players behind the ball and after two goals in the first seven minutes, played out the rest of the contest, content to take a point!

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Wednesday 9th October 2019
Bet Victor Southern League Division 1 Central

Corby Town 2

Jordan Crawford 60, 

Gary Mulligan 64,

Barton Rovers 1

Connor Vincent 40,
Referee:- Matthew Jackson.                                                     Attendance:- 280
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£10)                                      Programme:- £2.00
On a cold, showery evening, The Steelmen made very hard work of this victory. Unbeaten in the league this season, they trailed visitors Barton Rovers 0-1 at the interval and early in the second half had a man dismissed. However, two quick strikes (60 + 64 minutes) gave them a lead that they clung on to tenaciously for a deserved win!

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Thursday 10th October 2019
Stratford Hospital Cup

FINAL

FC Wickhamford 2

Matt Irons 30,

Louis Brown 48,

Inkberrow Academy 0
Referee:- Warren Ayers.                                                             Attendance:- 59
Admission:- £3.00.                                                          Programme:- included
This match was played at the newly replaced and refurbished Home Guard Club in Tiddington, near Stratford. The Hospital Cup is mainly a pre-season, midweek competition and the final used to be played each Boxing Day! These days, it is buried in the opening weeks of the season. On a rainy evening, Wickhamford, who ply their trade in the top division of The Stratford and District League, easily conquered their youthful rivals and really ought to have scored more goals in a fairly innocuous match!

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The Bedfordshire ‘Hop’

Saturday 12th October 2019
Bedfordshire County League
Three matches from Division 3

10.45am Real Haynes 7

Ali Buckhall 18

Aaron Lumsden 30, 32, 61,

Mas Ahmed 53,

Josh Pearson 78,

Blunham 0      Referee:- Derek Osborne  Admission F.O.C.

                             Programme:- £2.00 attendance: 196

1.40pm. Stopsley United 2

Ashley Prospere 9,

Sean Downey 90+1

Callum Frater s/o 61,

Harlington Juniors 3

Alex Frantezelli 7,  

Kevin Lambert 40, 77,

Rhys Thompson s/o 61   Referee:- Kelvin Thompson Admission:- F.O.C.

                                             Programme:- £2.00 attendance: 128
4.15pm Lancot Park 5

Peter Wilson 39, 75,

Jamie Nolan 42,

Costy Iancu 61,

Dean Wrench 89,

Luton All Stars 1    

Nick Katombe 34,    Referee:-Matt Borg Admission:- F.O.C.

                                     Programme:- £2.00 attendance: 118
Real Haynes were on Radio 5 just before 9.00am this morning, previewing their match, which they won with relish – and also provided the best organised event of the day! Stopsley United were a little bit adrift of proceedings, but at least the rain stopped half way through the match and we did see a double sending-off! The best performance of the day was Lancot Park’s demolition of high flying Luton All Stars at their impressive home where AFC Dunstable started their footballing journey!

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Monday 14th October 14th 2019
Leicestershire Senior League
Beacon Hill League Cup 2nd Round

Rugby Borough 5

Josh Turton 13, 17, 56,

Charlie Cook 72, 85,

Friar Lane & Epworth 0
Referee:- Jack Weeks.                                                     Attendance:- 33
Admission:- OMGDS £1.00 (£3).                          Programme:- NONE
The rain came down in biblical proportions but Borough play on a 3G pitch. Both these teams are unbeaten in the league this season (although both have suffered Vase defeats), but this evening, the hosts were rampant and certainly missed more opportunities than the ones they took! With John Main and Rob Campion.

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Tuesday 15th October 2019
Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division Central

Peterborough Sports 2

Jordan McLeod 11,

Mark Jones 73,

Nuneaton Borough 1

Paul Malone 5 (og),
Referee:- Oliver Mackey.                                              Attendance:- 216
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£10)                          Programme:- £2.00
The new stand at Lincoln Road is taking shape and The Turbines are slowly making their mark in the top divisions of the Southern League. Nuneaton, meanwhile, have problems off the pitch. Their ground has been bought by the rugby club who play next door and there is the possibility that they may find themselves homeless! This evening, however, they opened brightly, scored early on and ran the home side ragged in the first half. They went in all square and as the second period progressed, their energy flagged and with fifteen minutes to go, the hosts took a decisive lead.

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Wednesday 16th October 2019
Balcan Lighting Supplies Lincolnshire League Cup
Quarter Final

Horncastle Town 3

Andrew Bullivant 29, 56,

Luke Biondel 59,

Louth Town 2

Bailey Right 16,

Edward Addison 77,

Daniel Stevens s/o 58

Alex Aldrich s/o 86
Referee:- Craig Patrick.                                                 Attendance:- 87
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                 Programme:- NONE
The Wong, the eccentrically named home of Horncastle Town, hosted a rip roaring cup tie between two teams maybe ten miles apart and the hosts came out on top, but only after a stirring contest which saw the visitors reduced to nine men! The ground is fairly basic, but there is a new club house and changing rooms and plenty of parking. No food available this evening, but the bar was open and hot drinks could be had. With Chris Garner and Paul Procter – who had a long drive back to Hampshire!

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Saturday 19th October 2019
North West Counties League Macron Cup 1st Round

Garstang 1

Alan Coar 63,

Stockport Town 1

Jordan Depeiazza                                   no extra time – Garstang won 4-2 on pens
Referee:- Matthew Clarke.                                                                 Attendance:- 65
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                             Programme:- £2.00
Garstang have a very impressive sports complex which caters for rugby, tennis, cricket and bowls as well as the football arena which is shortly to be upgraded with a two hundred seat stand behind the dug outs down one side of the ground. This is their second season at step six and after a very creditable seventh place last season, they are struggling somewhat this season only two off the bottom of the table. Today’s match was poor in the first half, but livened up considerably in the second period which saw a goal to each side and the hosts take the tie after a tense penalty shoot-out!

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Sunday 20th October 2019
Immense thanks and gratitude to The Royal Blackburn Hospital and The East Lancs Ambulance Service for their superb care and attention when I was taken in with severe chest pains on Saturday evening. They performed every test under the sun, only to find that my heart was sound – much to my extreme relief – and it was a chest X-ray that finally revealed that I had Pleurisy. Rest and recuperation and plenty of painkillers required!

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Tuesday 22nd October 2019
North West Counties League Premier Division

Irlam 3

Liam Pollitt 6,

Connor Martin 43,

Jordan Kely 89

Barnoldswick Town 2

Richard Seear 22,

Joseph Noblet 52,

Richard Seear s/o 63
Referee:- Matthew McQuillan.                                            Attendance:- 82
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                Programme:- £2.00
Probably not the best decision after the ossipal alarums of the weekend, but I couldn’t resist a first visit to Silver Street and it was very worthwhile. Their neat little ground has a brand, spanking new club house and standing cover behind the near goal, whilst seating is provided down part of one side. There is a large car park and another pitch adjacent to the arena. Tonight’s match hinged on the dubious dismissal of the visiting striker with some twenty minutes to go at 2-2. Until then, it had been an even game. However, in the ninetieth minute, the hosts made a decisive, if a tad fortunate, strike to take the victory and the points!

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Wednesday 23rd October 2019
North West Counties League Division 1 North

Chadderton 1

Jordan Butterworth 39,

Shelley 1

Craig Billington 37,
Referee:- Matt Howarth.                                                          Attendance:- 145
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                     Programme:- £2.00
Chadderton’s smart Andrew Street Ground is a quiet oasis in the midst of east Manchester’s sprawling motorway mayhem. A well kept arena with cover down one side (which included around 150 benched seats) and a fine club house bar with refreshments at pitch side. There was a good crowd for this match between two teams becalmed in mid-table and after a goal to each side, late in the opening session, the second half petered out into a tame draw. Good to see Johnny Holland and Graeme Holmes there!

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This last picture, courtesy of Graeme Holmes, who was also at the match!

Saturday 26th October 2019
Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division

Fareham Town 7

Luke Slade 12, 47, 78, 87,

Josh Benfield 52, 81,

Will Harris 84,

Alresford 1

Mike Gosney 9,
Referee:- Robert Walczak.                                                             Attendance:- 93
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5)                                           Programme:- £1.00
On a hideous day of rampant rain, we weren’t sure even if the game would be on! However, the pitch played extremely well and Fareham’s quaint ground with excellent views from main stand and access to the club house through arched recesses which lead, Tardis like, to the main bar gave easy viewing despite the precipitation! The visitors – unbeaten away in the league this season and sitting pretty atop the league – scored first and at half time the scores were level. In the second half, Fareham decisively blew their opponents away, scoring six unanswered goals, with Man of the Match, Luke Slade, helping himself to four of them!

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Monday 28th October 2019
Midland League Division 1

Chelmsley Town 3

Liam Norris 9,

Luke Barlone 32,

Kye Dryden 90+1,

Rocester 1

Elisio Francisco 18,
Redd fed were:- Kurt Bartlett.                                                          Attendance:- 64
Admission:- OMGDS£3.00 (£5).                                          Programme:- included.
Chelmsley Town are the tenants of Coleshill Town at Packington Lane on a small pocket of land where the M6, M42 and M6 Toll all converge. Tonight’s contest was, very much, a bottom of the table affair with the visitors starting seven points ahead of their hosts who were languishing precariously two places from the bottom of the table. It was a good open game and a real surprise to see the visitors 1-2 down at the interval having largely bossed the opening session. There were no goals in the second period until the hosts wrapped up the match in added time.

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Tuesday 29th October 2019
Carabao EFL Cup 4th Round

Burton Albion 1

Liam Boyce 52,

Leicester City 3

Kelechi Iheanacho 7,

Youri Tielemans 20,

James Maddison 89,
Referee:- Darren England.                                                  Attendance:- 6,186
Admission:- OMGDS £16.00 (£25)                                   programme:- £3.00
The Pirelli Stadium was only 314 shy of capacity for this match which The Foxes won, but not as easily as the score suggests. Two fine strikes from blistering breakaways in the first half saw the visitors to a comfortable half-time lead. The hosts came out fired up after the break and pulled one back inside seven minutes, thereafter, there were good chances for each side, but all were spurned until Leicester City struck a third in the final minute!With Graeme Askham and John Main!

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Wednesday 30th October 2019

DFB Pokal

Hertha BSC 3

D. Lukebakio 48

O Duda 85 (pen)

J Torunavigha 120, 

SG Dinamo Dresden 3

M Kone 36

P Ebert 90 (pen)

L Stor 107                                                after extra time, Hertha BSC won 5-4 on penalties  

Referee:- T. Stieler                                                          Attendance:- 70,429

Admission:-                                                               Programme:-

My grandson Freddie and his dad, Mike went to this game during school half-term.

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Other Matches:-

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Hitchin Town 8 Peterborough Sports 4                        Attendance:- 66

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Thursday 3rd October 2019

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Wellingborough Town 2 Rugby Borough 5                 Attendance:- 69

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Monday 7th October 2019

Midland Floodlit Youth League Birmingham FA Joel Richards Cup 2nd Round

Rugby Borough 4 Solihull Borough 2                          Attendance:- 49

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Wednesday 30th October 2019

BUCS Midland 1

Loughborough University 2nd 1 De Montfort Leicester University 1    Attendance:- 16

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Matches:-

This month:-   matches – 26       new grounds:- 16

This season:-  matches – 81        new grounds:- 43

TOTAL:-  matches – 4,251         new grounds:- 1,598

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Walks

Thursday 3rd October 2019

Directly opposite the semi-submerged Normanton Church is the finger of the Hambleton peninsular which juts out into Rutland Water. This morning in quite cool weather, we walked a circular route around the peninsular. The footing was generally good despite the recent heavy rain and we added a bit at the start by walking to the very edge of the water before striking inland back to the path. 6.4 miles with Alison Merrick and only one style.

Monday 14th October 2019

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The recent heavy rain meant that Pitsford Water with its firm tracks was the only comfortable place for walking this morning! Even so, it grew increasingly wet as the morning wore on, but we were well equipped to withstand the monsoon! We even managed an unintended detour which opened up possibilities for future walks to take in Scaldwell, Hanging Houghton and Brixworth! No stiles and 7.2 miles with Alison Merrick and Maureen Owens.

Thursday 17th October 2029

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On our way to Rutland Water, we passed through the flooded Welland Valley after the recent heavy precipitation. The walk round the Hambleton finger was generally flood free, but soft in parts underfoot. The water itself was calm and serene and we encountered giant toadstools along the way, until we came to the end of the walk where the road disappears into the water and the former village of Nether Hambleton! With Alison Merrick and Harry Hamill, 6.17 miles and two stiles!

 

 

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September 2019

The Football Pitch that Dad Built

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Dad made a football pitch in our back garden.

He mowed the grass

Marked it out with creosote

And built the goalposts.

They had real nets.

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He painted the posts white

Just like on Match of The Day

And sent away to a special company for the nets.

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Paul Cookson (to be continued)

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Sunday 1st September 2019
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

Littlehampton United 1

Tom Fox 40,

Bexhill United 5

Craig McFarlane 5,

Jamie Bunn 11,

Jack Shonk 45+1, 86 (pen), 90,
Referee:- Jamie Wells.                                                                 Attendance:- 91
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                     Programme:- NONE
After a day of cricket at Arundel Castle, I was just in time to catch this FA Vase fixture. Littlehampton Town had already played Tunbridge Wells this afternoon in the same competition and now, co-tenants United bowed out of the cup in emphatic fashion. Very pleasant ground with cover all down one side and shared with the cricket club and the social club dominating behind the near goal.

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Friday 6th September 2019
U-18 International Tournament

England 3

Alex Mighten21, 36, 65,

Australia 2

Noah Botic 5 (pen)

Trent Ostler 71,
Referee:- Scott Oldham.                                                     Attendance:- 532
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£6).                               Programme:- NONE
I never expected to go back to The Leicester Road Stadium after the untimely and unfortunate demise of Hinckley United, but tonight was a special occasion! A large crowd included lots of school children – and the other teams (Brazil & South Korea) in the tournament. England were not at their best. They recovered from an early penalty setback to lead 2-1 at the interval, extended their lead, but then conceded a sloppy defensive error and clung on for victory in the final ten minutes. They did, however, have a hero in Alex Mighten who scored all the home side’s goals!!!

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Saturday 7th September 2019
FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying

Willand Rovers 1

Douglas Camilo 68,

North Leigh 2

Ekow Elliott

Trying Hunte 15,

Referee:- Jack Clench.                                                          Attendance:- 119
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£8).                           Programme:- included
Willand replaced Street in The Southern League Division 1 South, this season, but five league defeats had seen them sink to the foot of the table. The ground is neat and tidy and the welcome was warm and there were delicious Cornish pasties on offer! Sadly, the hosts were well beaten in the day by the visitors, whose tigerish manager, Craig Dore, barely drew breath in exhorting his team to greater efforts! A missed penalty just after the hour mark should have put the game to bed for the visitors, but back came Willand with all three subs brought into the ‘fray. They scored and gave North Leigh a torrid final ten minutes, but it was not to be! With Graeme Askham and John Main and good to see Martin Bamforth there!!!

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Monday 9th September 2019
Everards Brewery Leicestershire Senior League
Beacon Hill Cup 1st Round

Rugby Borough 2

Sam Davis (og) 80,

Tom Rawlings 90,

Kibworth Town 0
Referee:- Ryan Lloyd. Attendance:- 43
Admission:- OMGDS £1.00 (£3). Programme:- NONE
The extensive sports facility at Kilby Lane includes a main pitch with a small seated stand and a 3G pitch and alongside is a railed, grassed pitch. There are floodlights for both playing areas and, tonight, the youth team played on the 3G (attendance:- 32), and the first team played on the adjacent grassed pitch. They made heavy work of defeating a team two divisions below them and it wasn’t until the final fifteen minutes when they scored through a rather fortunate own goal and a strike from a second half substitute and took the tie when a draw seemed more likely!

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Tuesday 10th September 2019
Emirates FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying

REPLAY

Peterborough Sports 3

Daniel Lawlor 6,

Cameron Johnson 45,

Dion Sembie Ferris 83,

East Thurrock United 2

Frankie Merrifield 34,

Auodeji Oluhoga 90+2
Referee:- Josh Crofts.                                                              Attendance:- 201
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£8)                                      Programme:- £2.00
I arrived fully expecting to see the new stand that the club are seeking sponsorship for, but there was no sign of it!! A very tough match between a couple of determined sides with the width of a cigarette paper between them! The Turbines came out on top in a pretty exciting encounter!

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Wednesday 11th September 2019
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round REPLAY

Biggleswade Town 2

Solomon Sambou 17, 60,

St Neots Town 0
Referee:- Scott Kyle.                                                        Attendance:- 289
Admission:- OMGDS £8.00 (£10)                               Programme:- £2.00
The sun set grandiloquently on the visitors FA Cup campaign this season as Biggleswade Town took the match and the tie and the £4,000 prize money. St Neots returned with the consolation of the loser’s £800. Of course, St Neots are now a division below Biggleswade Town and the tie went to form after last Saturday’s tie ended 2-2.

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Friday 13th September 2019
Northants Combination Premier Division

Thrapston Town 1

Henry Cade 85,

Wollaston Victoria 2

Craig Stedman 48,

Reece Watson 81,
Referee:- Chris Walton.                                                       Attendance:- 71
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                      Programme:- NONE
What are Thrapston doing in The Combination? For years they have been stalwarts of The UCL. They were aware that they would lose their status midway through last season, but was it self inflicted or did the FA do the dastardly deed? In a closely contested match this evening, Thrapston lost for a second consecutive home game. It doesn’t sound as if they will be returning in the near future!

Oppido servire – “To serve the town”

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Saturday 14 September 2019
Vanarama National League

Dover Athletic 1

Ricky Modeste 19,

Chorley 1

Chris Holroyd 67,
Referee:- James Bell.                                                            Attendance:- 1,011
Admission:- OMGDS £15.00 (£18). Seat:- £1.00           Programme:- £2.50
Dover Castle greets you outside Dover Priory Station and Crabble Athletic Ground is host to football and rugby. Today, the sun shone brightly but the onfield fare was dull. “We don’t do team sheets” announced the lady in the club shop in a less than friendly manner. Well that was a challenge (see below). Then I found it cost another £1.00 to sit down! They have strange ways dahn saath! Chorley fell behind to an early strike and equalised midway through the second half and that was about the extent of the excitement.

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Monday 16th September 2019
Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division Central

Hitchin Town 1

Layne Eadie 88 (pen),

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1

Jack Ashton 68,
Referee:- N Morrison. Attendance:- 369
Admission:- OMGDS £8.00 (£12). Programme:- £2.00
Ahhh! Happy days are here again! Hitchin have returned to Monday night midweek football at their iconic Top Field. Sadly, they are enduring a torrid start to their season, with only one point from their first six games! Meanwhile, the visitors from Northamptonshire, are sitting pretty in joint second place in the table. It was a cracker of a match with both teams going hammer and tongs from the start. Eventually, past the hour mark, the visitors took the lead and it seemed all over for the hosts. However, with a scant two minutes to go, the hosts levelled the match from the penalty spot!

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Tuesday 17th September 2019
Everards Brewery Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division

Cottesmore Amateurs 2

Harry Stannard 31,

Nathan Milne 38,

Rugby Borough 3

Josh Turton 67,

Shaun Barber 82,

Tom Rawlings 88,
Referee:- Tom Bingley.                                                             Attendance:- 30
Admission:- £2.00.                                                            Programme:- NONE
Cottesmore Amateurs from the heart of Rutland – the only county in England without a MacDonalds – the lucky beggars – we’re playing the current Senior League champions, Rugby Borough and it proved to be a game of two halves. Two first half goals from the hosts put them in a strong position and early in the second half they missed a third by the width of the goal post. Back came Borough with unrelenting pressure. They scored after an hour, but had to wait until the closing ten minutes to finally swing the game their way with two late goals!

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Wednesday 18th September 2019
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League
Black Dragon North Division

Newark Town 2

Ben Castell 27

Lewis Chambers 81,

Harworth Colliery 0
Referee:- Wayne Mason.                                                     Official Attendance:- 187
Admission:- £3.00.                                                                       Programme:- £1.00
Newark have moved. Their new home, after several years playing outside the town at Collingham, is: The YMCA Newark & Sherwood Community and Activity Village, which, to say the least, is a bit of a mouthful! Worse than that, they play in an arid featureless green wire cage on a 3G pitch with no cover and no seating. For all that, there was a good atmosphere for this top of the table clash and a fair sprinkling of hoppers in the crowd – which was probably nearer 157 than the official 187. Newark were deserved winners in this feisty encounter with a goal in each half – the second from man-of-the-Match Lewis Chambers, nine minutes from time.

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Saturday 21st September 2019
Sky-Bet EFL League One

Bolton Wanderers 1

Jack Hobbs 50,

Sunderland 1

Aiden McGeady 90+2 (pen),
Referee:- Ollie Yates.                                                     Attendance:- 12,776
Admission:- Hospitality.                                Programme:- included. (£3)
It was youngest son, Liam’s birthday outing, but he dragged along his mate, Richie and I brought grandson, Freddie. The last time I was here, the rain hammered down incessantly, but today all was warm and bright – as was The Wanderers performance against one of the teams fancied for promotion. Bolton led, shortly after the interval but then found themselves increasingly put under intense pressure by the visitors, but the equaliser only came in the third minute of added time through a blatant handball penalty.

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Tuesday 24th September 2019
Carabao League Cup 3rd Round

Luton Town 0

Leicester City 4

Demari Gray 35,

James Justin 44,

Touri Tielemans 77,

Kelechi Iheanacho 86,
Referee:- Matthew Donohue.                                               Attendance:- 8,260
Admission:- OMGDS £19.00 (£25).                                   Programme:- £3.00
As usual, parking at Kennilworth Road was a nightmare but we managed to get pretty close! As for the match, it was pretty embarrassing for the hosts who were nonchalantly dismantled by and efficient Leicester side liberally sprinkled with players not often seen in the first team! Good atmosphere, but The Hatters seem destined to struggle this season. With Graeme Askham and John Main.

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Wednesday 25th September 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League
Kitmanuk Knock-out Cup 1st Round

Blackstones 5

Martyn Fox 24,

Ben Cowles 61,

Jones De Sousa 67,

Lee Clarke 89,

Josh Edmondson 90+3

Sleaford Town 4

Max Gee 15, 50,

Nathan Brettoner 74,

Harry Wright 88,
Referee:- Richard King.                                                        Attendance:- 65
Admission:- £5.00.                                                          Programme:- £1.00
Lincoln Road, home of The Stones is not very far from Stamford’s new ground. It is a wonderfully atmospheric arena with the floodlights peeking out from amidst the trees, with a very friendly club house, a busy tea hut and an excellent chippy just across the road! Tonight against opposition from the Premier Division they played with verve and abandon and despite going behind three times, they pulled off a deserved victory with three of the goals coming in or after the 89th minute! Great game!

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Saturday 28th September 2019
Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division 1

Hall Road Rangers 2

Chris Murray 5

Rich Metcalf 47,

Rossington Main 2

Ben Clark 19,

Niall Doran 90+3
Referee:- David Sutton.                                                            Attendance:- 39
Admission:- OMGDS – £2.50 (£5)                                    Programme:- £1.50
Played in the shadow of Haworth Hall (the ground is called Haworth Park) on a bright but cloudy afternoon, these two sides, languishing in the lower reaches of Division 1 of the league, put in plenty of endeavour in front of a sparse attendance and the visitors grasped a last gasp equaliser in the third minute of added time. With John Main and Chris Berezai.

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 ______________________________________________________________

Other Matches:-

Thursday 5th September 2019

FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round

Coventry Sphinx 5 Newcastle Town 6    AET                                       Attendance:- 113

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Thursday 19th September 2019

FA Youth Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Peterborough Sports 3 Kettering FC 2                                              Attendance:- 53

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Monday 23rd September 2019

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division                at Huntingdon Town

Cambridge City 0 March Town United 2                              Attendance:- 55

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Thursday 26th September 2019

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports 4 Kings Lynn Town 3                          Attendance:- 56

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Monday 30th September 2019

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Stamford 1 Long Eaton United 4                                         Attendance:- 77

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This month:-               20 matches             5 new grounds

This Season:-              55 matches            28 new grounds

TOTAL:-                4,225 matches      1,583 new grounds

 

Walks in September 2019

 

Thursday 12th September 2019
A lovely sunny morning with a cool breeze as we walked from Gretton to Harringworth Top Lodge – but there were no herons on view and onwards to the village of Bulwick where the village shop was burned down in February and is nowhere near re-opening. A short break in the grounds of the parish church of St Nicholas before we then returned by a slightly longer route back to Gretton! With Alison, Maureen and Harry, 9.3 miles and five stiles.

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Yours truly painted by Harry Hammill, from a photo taken just before this walk commenced

Harringworth Lakes

The shop at Bulwick

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Monday 16th September 2019
There are quite a few reservoirs in this part of the world and we have walked round a few – Rutland Water, Eyesbrook, Grafham – and, indeed, we have walked round Pitsford Water several time, it being a a walk on generally firm ground. Today, it was a chance to stretch the legs on a drizzly morning. With Alison and Maureen and Norma, 6.63 miles and NO stiles!

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Thursday 19th September 2019
A quite challenging walk, but well worth the effort. We set out from Holcot which hosts the annual steam traction event and passed Holcot Cricket Club with its thatched roof score box. Onwards to Pitsford and then The “Spectacular Gates” which is a folly in the middle of nowhere (see photo). We made a slight detour to visit the ruined parish church of St John The Baptist in The deserted village of Boughton. The church has not been used for hundreds of years, but burials occasionally take place in the still consecrated grounds. Close by was the house of Philadelphus Jeyes, of household cleaning fame, well shielded from passing scrutiny. In Moulton we took refreshment and with the warm sun high in the sky we journeyed back across the fields to Holcot. With Alison and Harry, 10.31 miles and eighteen stiles

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Holcot Cricket Club – in the forefront is a monument to a former player!

The Spectacular Gates

The ruined Parish Church of St John The Baptist, Boughton

The one time house of Philadelphus Jeyes

Monday 23rd September 2019
A walk from Gretton Village Hall down the gap past St James’ church across the fields to the (pedestrian) railway crossing and onwards down to Gretton Weir. From there, we walked to Caldecott and onwards to Rockingham where the flag flew high above the main turret of the castle. On the walk back from Rockingham to Gretton the railway line was negotiated by a track under a bridge before the steep climb back up to the village which sits on a hill. Alison Merrick, Marian Cardy, Norma Jarvis and Maureen Owens also walked and there were five stiles on the 8.25 mile journey.

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Rockingham Castle

Crossing under the railway on the Corby to Wing & Manton Line

A tough climb to end the walk!

Thursday 26th September 2019
Up in The Leicestershire Wolds, there are some wonderfully evocative village names! We started our walk from Goadby, managed to bypass Cranoe, but popped into the churchyard at Glooston before pressing on to Stanton Wyville and the church of St Denys. Onwards yet again to Noseley where the Hall is visible from miles away (but inaccessible once you get close). Then we followed the road back to Goadby and briefly looked in on the tiny church of St John The Baptist. With Alison Merrick and Harry Hamill, 9.45 miles and only one stile!

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The Parish Church at Glooston

The Old Vicarage at Stanton Wyville

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The gates to Noseley Hall

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0Comments

August 2019

Touchline Shouting

Touchline shouting, that’s all I ever hear,

I’m so confused and filled with fear.

I’m only ten years old and football should be fun,

But with all this noise I don’t know which way to run.

“Get back in defence!” my manager shouts.

Dad shouts, “Get up front and deal with these louts!”

Loud mouth supporter, who knows all the rules.

(He takes the rest of us for fools)

Shouts, “What are you doing lad? Your head’s in a spin!”

Is it any surprise, with all this din?

I am only a boy, so why do you all try to destroy, what I’d love to enjoy?

FOOTBALL SHOULD BE FUN!

© Simon Icke

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Saturday 3rd August 2019
Peel Croft, Burton-upon -Trent

12noon                Invitational Cup Final
Netherseal St Peters 1

Josh Coates 8,

Renishaw Rangers 3

Luke Mancove 4, 76,

Craig Purcell 73,                                                                     Attendance:- 189

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3.00pm               CMFL Chairman’s Cup Final
Pinxton 5

Shaun Smith 20,

Sion Green 32, 33, 87,

John Fones 66,

Bakewell Town 1

Ben Each 56,
Referee (for both) Dom Chambers.                                          Attendance 269

Admission (for both):- £5.00                                               Programme:- included.
The last chance to watch football at a venue that hosted League football between 1892 and 1907 when Burton Swifts and, later, Burton United played here. At present, the ground belongs to Burton RUFC, but they are moving to a new facility and the iconic old ground is going to be demolished. A large gathering of hoppers attended this unique event!

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This picture (and those below) show the changing rooms at Peel Croft

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Sunday 4th August 2019
International Champions Cup

Tottenham Hotspur 1

Lucas Moura 3,

Inter Milan 1

Stefano Sensi 36,                                                Inter Milan won by 4-3 on penalties
Referee:- Andre Marriner.                                               Attendance:- 58,905
Admission:- OMGDS £15.00 (£25)                               Programme:- £5.00
Wonderful new stadium, great view from our seats behind the goal, ten rows from the top! However, there were no tube trains, today and parking was at a premium – even with Graeme’s parking pass! There were no team sheets and although the programme printed the squad names, there were no corresponding squad numbers! Each side made ten changes during the second half and after a reasonable first period, the game degenerated into farce! With Graeme and John.

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Graeme and John take in the action!

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Tuesday 6th August 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Harborough Town 2

Barnes Gladman 40,

Ben Williams 90,

Oadby Town 1

Christopholos Anastasi 83,
Referee:- Harry Moir.                                                    Attendance:- 147
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6)                           Programme:- £1.00
Harborough’s home is a 3G pitch with a couple of Meccano stands. There is a quite extensive club house and refreshment facilities and this evening’s local derby attracted a quite healthy attendance! The game was played at breakneck pace, but with very few chances and, probably, Harborough deserved the victory and the points. With Graeme Askham.

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Wednesday 7th August 2019
Pre-Season Friendly

Belton Villa 4

Kane Laird 34,

Ollie Meadows 37,

Joe Brett 41,

Matt Garner 89,

Sutton Bonington 1

Lawrence wall 27,
Referee:- Terry Simmonds.                                         Attendance:- 16
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                Programme:- NONE
Both of these clubs ply their trade in The North Leicestershire League Premier Division. The league doesn’t start until the beginning of September, so there is plenty of opportunity for pre-season friendliest!. Tonight’s match was pretty competitive in the first half, when the hosts gained a 3-1 advantage. Large scale substitutions at and after half-time saw the game deteriorate, but a fourth goal from the hosts with a scant two minutes remaining, sealed the victory! With Graeme Askham and John Main.

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Graeme Askham

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Friday 9th August 2019
FA Premier League

Liverpool 4

Grant Hanley 7 (og),

Mo Salah 19,

Virgil Van Dijk 29,

Divock Origi 42,

Norwich City 1

Teemu Pukki 64,
Referee:- Michael Oliver.                               Attendance:- 53,333
Admission:- a lot.                                              Programme:- £3.50
Of all my thirty-three visits to Anfield, this was the least comfortable, squeezed into the very back row of the lower tier of The Anfield Road end. However, the first half made up for it! Liverpool were majestic and swept in four decisive goals and could have had more. The second half was much more pedestrian and Norwich scored the only goal in that period. With Graeme Askham.

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Saturday 10th August 2019
U-18 Professional Development League

Bolton Wanderers 1

Matt Wilcox 78,

Watford 5

J. Matthews 18,

JJ McKiernan 54,

M. Thompson 60,

Jordan Harrison 61,

Sonny B Lo Everton 90+1,
Referee:- Dave Chadwick.                                    Attendance:- 35
Admission:- F.O.C.                         Programme:- free teamsheet
at The Eddie Davies Academy
The rain came down so hard that there were very few spaces in the car park due to flooding! The officials couldn’t have been more helpful. Teamsheets were available and the names off the referee and his colleagues were located, too. But the rain came down in biblical waves! Even so, the pitch was immaculate and Bolton’s young team – some of whom looked yet to enter teenagerdom – proved no match for the physically bigger and stronger visitors! With Graeme Askham.

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Saturday 10th August 2019
EFL League One

Bolton Wanderers 0

Coventry City 0
Referee:- James Adcock                                       Attendance:- 8,901
Admission:- OMGDS £10.00 (£20)                  Programme:- £3.00
The former Reebok, the formerMacron Stadium is now The University of Bolton stadium, and it looked a might careworn and unkempt. The uncertainty surrounding the future of the club transferred to the stewards who admitted to knowing little and receiving hardly any instructions. Bolton’s youth team (who should have been playing this morning!!!) were severely tested by the visitors, but somehow managed to hold out amidst the incessant precipitation which ensured a long drive home in very wet clothes! With Graeme Askham.

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Saturday 17th August 2019
Vanarama Nationwide League South

Maidstone United 1

Matt McClure 37,

Slough Town 1

Matt Lunch 20,
Referee:- Callum Walchester.         Attendance:- 1,815 (96 away supporters)
Admission:- OMGDS £15.00 (£21)                                   Programme:- £2.00
The train took the strain from Kettering to Maidstone Barracks and from there it was a ten minute walk to Maidstone’s still very new looking and impressive stadium. This was a match between the two teams who play on plastic pitches. I’m no fan of plastic and this match was a predictable draw.

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Tuesday 20th August 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Cup
Preliminary Round

Desborough Town 5

Nathaniel Ansu 50, 79, 84,

Brian Farrell 61,

Philip Dashit 64,

Wellingborough Whitworth 1

Jason Crawley 74,
Referee:- Ryan Allison.                                             Attendance:- 75
Admission:- £6.00.                                             Programme:- £1.00
At Tarn struggled in the first half against their lower division opponents, but a second half hat-trick from top scorer Nathaniel Ansu helped to bury Whitworths pretty comprehensively. With son, Mike and grandson, Freddie at my favourite United Counties League ground.

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Wednesday 21st August 2019
Peterborough & District League Division 1

FC Peterborough 0

Premiair 3

Lee Deane 8, 52, 57,
Referee:- Craig Hardy.                                                            Attendance:- 29
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                         Programme:- NONE
The hosts came down to earth with a bump after three straight wins to open their season in this match at Fulbridge Recreation Ground in Dogsthorpe. The visitors, who are a works team for a heating and refrigeration company in the city, grew into the game after a hesitant start and strike, Lee Deane’s hat trick proved to be the difference between the sides.

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Welsh ‘Hop’ 23-26th August 2019

Graeme Askham, John Main and I went down to The Welsh ‘Hop’ in John’s car and whilst we stayed with the others at The University of South Wales student accommodation in Treforest, we didn’t use the ‘hop’ coach for daily travel. This was because, on three occasions, we went ‘off piste’ so to speak and visited other matches than those scheduled on the ‘hop’. These three matches were the Welsh Premier League match at Penybont in Bridgend on the Friday evening, The Cymru South match at Undy on Saturday afternoon and The Bridgend Sunday League match at the TATA Steel plant in Port Talbot on Sunday morning. We did, however, avail ourselves of the excellent breakfast each morning at The Hollybush Inn (CF14 7EG)

Friday 23rd August 2019
Welsh Premier League k.o.:- 7.45pm

Penybont 1

Luke Borelli 89 (pen),

Cardiff Met University 3

William Albert Evans 38,

Dylan Patrick James Rees 77 (pen),

Male Davies 83,
Referee:- Richard Harrington                                            Attendance:- 331
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 (£7).                                  Programme:- £2.00
Premier League newcomers, Penybont were given a harsh lesson in the realities of life in the top division in Wales. Playing on a 3G surface and with good views all round the ground, they started positively enough, but were ground down by the sheer professionalism of their opponents. They will need to improve considerably if they are to survive in this division!

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Saturday 24th August 2019
Gwent Premier League Division 1 k.o.:- 11.00am

Coed Eva Athletic 4

David Davies 8, 63, 64,

Damian Brean 37,

Newport Saints 3

Wayne Roberts 4, 50,

Kieron Bourne 4,
Referee:- Huw Marfell.                              Attendance:- 227
Admission:- £3.00.                                Programme:- £1.00
This humdinger of a match between the two promoted sides from Division 3 last season ended somewhat surprisingly in favour of the runners-up. Division 1,2,3 has now become Premier, 1, and 2 and the league re-named Gwent Premier League from Gwent County League. For long periods, the visitors seemed in the ascendency, but a mistake by the visiting custodian gifted a goal to the hosts and two second half strikes within a minute around the hour mark, ensured an unlikely home win!

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Just past the far end f the ground, a public pathway took one into a lovely wooded walk amidst streams and ponds and even another football pitched, closed off and inaccessible and overgrown. I must have walked for over a mile on a circuitous rout back to the Coed Eva Athletic football pitch!

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Saturday 24th August 2019
JD Cymru League South k.o.:- 2.30pm

Undy Athletic 0

Cambrian & Clydach 1

Liam David Reed 62,
Referee:- Alex McInch.                                Attendance:- 91
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).            Programme:- £2.00
Undy’s neat ground has been recently developed with a new stand next to the entrance and a complete pitch re-surface, at a very economical cost of £98,000. The chairman of Monmouthshire County Council performed the official opening in February this year. On the pitch, two well matched sides slugged it out on a boiling hot day and the visitors just edged it. Quite surprised at the paucity of the attendance at what is the second tier of Welsh football!

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Saturday 24th August 2019
Gwent Premier League Premier Division k.o.:- 5.00pm
Newport Corinthians 2
Joe Morgan 32,
Jamie Brooks 78,
AC Pontymister 3
Dec Cooper 11*, 33,
Joe Baston 47,
Referee:- Matthew Street.                                 Attendance:- 211
Admission:- £3.00.                                        Programme:- £1.00
Coronation Park in the shadow of the mighty Newport Suspension Bridge, hosted the final match of the day in blazingly hot conditions. The visitors were the more proficient side but they made heavy weather of their victory. For the spectators, cake and ale was the fare – and maybe a long cool shower back at the ranch!
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An excellent view of The Newport Suspension Bridge which dominated the Newport Corinthians football ground. Nearly fifty years ago (1971), I remember climbing to the top of the bridge and walking across. I was young and foolish!
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Sunday 25th August 2019
Bridgend & District Sunday League Division 1 k.o.:- 11.00am
John Tye Auctions 1
James Barry 28,
Walnut Wildcats 4
Ashley Mullins 23,
Nathan Tassel 53, 57, 65
Referee:- Derek Evans.                                        Attendance:- 23
Admission:- F.O.C.                                       Programme:- NONE
A rather eccentric sounding match, but an opportunity to see an iconic ground, variously known as The Acorn Stadium or The P&O Ferries Ground at TATA Steel in Port Talbot – and well worth the visit. Very helpful teams – and referee kept us well informed as to who was playing and both of these teams suffered heavy defeats on the opening day of the season last week, the hosts shipping fifteen goals and the visitors, seven! Fewer goals this week, but an emphatic victory for The Wildcats.
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Sunday25th August 2019
Gwent Premier League Division 2 k.o.:- 3.00pm
Cefn Fforest 4
Bob Hodson,
Luke Bowen 77, 90+1,
Na than Williams 83,
Gilwern 1
Andrew McCarthey 85,
Referee:- Nigel Baldwin.                       Attendance:- 247
Admission :- £3.00.                           Programme:- £1.00
The duel in the sun between last season’s bottom club and newly promoted visitors was played against the exciting backdrop of a third Ashes Test won by England by one wicket! On the field, the hosts won comfortably!
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Seated on the left, Graeme Askham and on the right, Johnny Holland.
Yours truly, standing behind!
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Sunday 25th August 2019
Gwent Premier League Premier Division k.o. 6.00pm
Wattsville 2 Pill YMCA 2
Referee:- Ben Skuse.                                  Attendance:- 243
Admission:- £3.00.                               Programme:- £1.00
A picturesque ground with a very steep backdrop once covered in trees, but now almost bare after several fires was the venue for this very entertaining tussle between two sides in the top division of the league. Each side had periods in the ascendancy but in the end, the draw was a fair result.
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Monday 26th August 2019
Gwent Premier League Premier Division k.o.:- 11.00am
Abertillery Excelsiors 2
Dafyd Jones 18, 54 (pen),
Vila Dino Christchurch 0
Referee:- Dave Mason.                                Attendance:- 236
Admission:- £3.00.                                  Programme:- £1.00
A little gem of a ground nestling at the foot of a rather steep mountainside, with floodlights and hard standing, an extensive pavilion and securely fenced in, this was by some distance the best ground in the league this weekend! A monument just outside commemorated William Williams, who died in a Chartist riot in 1839. Inside the ground, the adversaries were separated by a goal in each half to the home side.
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Monday 26th August 2019
Gwent Premier League Division 1 k.o.:- 2.00pm
Pentwynmawr 3
Daniel Suter 7,
Luke James 31, 37,
Lucas Cwmbran 2
Jamie Arnold 14,
Connor Silcox 41,
Referee:- Chris Palmer.                                   Attendance:- 237
Admission:- £3.00.                                      Programme:- £1.00
Vehicle chaos attempting to reach this tight little ground tucked between a long row of terraced housing and a deep ravine. The first half was decisive with all the goals arriving in the first frenetic forty minutes. The pace was maintained throughout the second period, but there were no more goals!
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Monday 26th August 2019
Gwent Premier League Premier Division k.o.:- 5.00pm
Newport Civil Service 2
Luke Edwards 10, 87,
Abercarn 0
Referee:- Gary Mobley.                          Attendance:- 252
Admission:- £3.00.                              Programme:- £1.00
Newport Civil Service have spent time considerably higher up the Welsh beanpole, but not recently. The ground has a tired, careworn appearance with some cover provided by an inventively renovated shipping container. There was even some hard standing around part of the perimeter, but also some very long grass to trample through! The hosts won with a goal at the beginning of the first half and a second in the final five minutes.
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Tuesday 27th August 2019
Leicestershire Senior League
Beacon Hill League Cup 1st Round
Bottesford 3
Callum Bell 53,
Paul Stokes 70,
Stuart Brown 80,
Sutton Bonington 2
Callum Bell 40 (og),
Jack Tormey 51,
Referee:- Alfie Finch-Critchley.                           Attendance:- 24
Admission:- F.O.C.                                          Programme:- NONE
Right on the northern border of Leicestershire, a few hundred yards from Nottinghamshire lies the well appointed playing fields of Bottesford. Two games were being played and on the far pitch it was raining goals for Bottesford U-11s. Meanwhile the senior team were falling two goals behind to league newcomers, Sutton Bonington. The weather changed, it got quite dark, lightning flashed and, spurred on by the elements, the hosts crashed in three unanswered strikes to win the tie!
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Wednesday 28th August 2019
Kershaws Cambridgeshire County League Senior “A”
Huntingdon United 1
Ellis Ogle 72,
Gamlingay United 0
Referee:- Andrew Clenshaw.                                 Attendance:- 51
Admission:- F.O.C.                                           Programme:- NONE
A fairly basic venue with changing rooms, but little else. The hosts lay claim to being the premier club in Huntingdon – although Huntingdon Town might dispute that! The facilities consisted of changing rooms, but nothing for the visiting spectator (and there was a good crowd this evening!). Tonight, the hosts had Tommy Evans out, injured and they struggled, clearly the inferior team for long periods. The only goal came after 72 minutes, a deflected shot from the boot of man of the match, Ellis Ogle!
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Gamnlingay United playing strip!
The changing rooms at Stoney Close, Sapley Road in Huntingdon. On an adjacent pitch there was a friendly match being played, Houghton & Wyton v Eunice Huntingdon 
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Saturday 31st August 2019
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round
Southwick 1
Andy Hales 80,
Billingshurst 2
Tre Trowers 37 (pen)
Seb Barrientos 86 (pen),
Referee:- David Barnard.                                    Attendance:- 44
Admission:- OMGDS £2.50 (£5).                    Programme:- £1.00
Down in deepest Sussex, Southwick ply their trade in the first division of The tautologically named Southern Combination League. Their ground is a tad careworn and in need of a strong dose of TLC. In the same division, Billingshurst have lost all their league games this season and prop up the table. Today, they won a narrow victory despite a strong rearguard action from the hosts!
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Other Matches:-

Saturday 3rd August 2019

(Ashbourne) Summer League – Wayne Tabard Memorial Trophy FINAL

Doveridge 2 Legion 1

(at Mappleton Playing Field)                          Attendance:- 131

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Monday 19th August 2019

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City U23 1 Blackburn Rovers U23 1

(at King Power Stadium)                                     Attendance:- 620

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Matches:-

This month         27 matches         19 New Grounds
This Season        35 matches         23 New Grounds
TOTAL           4,204 matches    1,578 New Grounds

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June & July 2019

Soccer

I always have liked soccer.
Such a rough game.
Such skills required.
And popular.
Hometown watching,
on Sunday morning.
When one day,
I found that I needed
to withdraw.
It was the honourable
thing to do.

Herbert Nehrlich

 

Thursday 13th June 2019
(Ashbourne) Summer League

Osmaston 8

Ricky Daly 18, 21,

Bromley Simpson 30, 75, 

Jez Oborn 46,

Jack Tyson 50, 

Harry Zona 62,

Lee Crampton 80,

Ashbourne Old Boys 0
Referee:- Jim Conway.                                                       Attendance:- 25
So much rain fell today that two matches in the league were postponed due to waterlogged pitches, but the surface at Osmaston was in pristine condition – probably the best playing surface in the league! The hosts are league leaders, whilst The Old Boys are enduring a challenging season. The match went according to form and Osmaston could – and maybe should have scored more goals. The visitors were competitive to the end despite some of their players being in the twilight of their careers!

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Thursday 20th June 2019
Huws Gray Ynys Mon 2019 Inter Island Games
Seventh Place Play-off

Orkney 1

Owen Rendall 75,

Alderney 2

Josh McCullouch 44

Joe Blackham 87,
Referee:- Gareth Barry.                                                 Attendance:- 36
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                   Programme:- £3.00
On a blustery, sunny day in the Shadow of Snowdonia at Glantraeth’s neat ground in the very middle of nowhere, Alderney just about deserved their narrow victory against Orkney to round off the tournament for both these teams!

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Thursday 20th June 2019
Huws Gray Island Games Ynys Mon 2019
Semi-Final

Isle of Man 2

Rhys Oates 52,

Daniel Simpson 73,

Guernsey 3

Will Fazakerley 14,

Matt Loaring 43, 89,
Referee:- Aaron Wyn Jones.                                           Attendance:- 276
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                        Programme:- £3.00
Gwalchmai were the hosts for this first semi-final on a blustery, but sunny afternoon and the good sized crowd were treated to a titanic struggle between the tenacious defence of Guernsey and the marauding attack of Ellen Vanin. Guernsey led 2-0 but were pegged back to 2-2 and the winning goal came after 87 minutes of a game that Isle of Man were perhaps a little unlucky to lose!

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Thursday 20th June 2019
Huws Gray Inter Island Games Ynys Mon 2019
Semi-Final

Ynys Mon 2

Sam Jones 9, 42,

Shetland Isles 1

Ronan Grant 57,
Referee:- Alex Williams.                                                              Attendance:- 1,506
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                      Programme:- £3.00
Llangefni’s impressive stadium hosted this second semi final which was definitely a disappointment after the thriller of the first tie. A huge crowd turned out to support the home team (aka “Anglesey” by the hated English invaders) and the hosts took a two goal lead by the interval. However, Shetland came back strongly in the second half, pulled a goal back and had chances to equalise, but Ynys Mon held on for a narrow, if uninspiring victory.

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Friday 21st June 2019
Huws Gray Inter Island Games Ynys Mon 2019
Bronze Medal Match

Jersey 3

Libby Barnett 47,

Megan Wood 89, 111,

Hitra 2 after extra time

Nina Antonsen 35,

Kristin Jørgensen 87 (pen)

Referee:- Richard Burge                                                                    Attendance:- 273

Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                       Programme:- £3.00
Amlwch Town hosted this keenly contested encounter. Hitra, an Island, or collection of islands off the west coast of Norway, really ought to have won as the technically superior side and it seemed that the would when they took a 2-1 lead with three minutes remaining, but back came Jersey to score in the last minute and to seal victory nine minutes from the end of extra time! There were around 150 Primary schoolchildren in the crowd – all uniformed and well behaved!

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Friday 21st June 2019
Huws Gray Island Games Ynys Mon 2019
Women’s FINAL

Ynys Mon Women 1

Catrin Evans 68,

Isle of Man Women 2

Becky Corkish 3,

Ellie Gawne 37 (pen)
Referee:- Cheryl Foster.                                                             Attendance:- 1,010
Admission :- F.O.C.                                                                    Programme:- £3.00
Holyhead Hotspur, probably the premier team in Anglesey, hosted the first of two finals with the big, strong and powerful Ellen Vanin side taking the title in their stride. The home side were roared on by a large and enthusiastic crowd and even pulled a goal back with twenty minutes remaining, but it was always going to go the way of the irrepressible team from The Isle of Man! Referee, Cheryl Foster, played over fifty games for Wales Women!

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Friday 21st June 2019
Huws Gray Inter Island Games Ynys Mon 2019
Men’s FINAL

Ynys Mon 2

Liam Morris 70,

Melvin McGinness 85

Guernsey 1

Keanu Marsh 5,

Tyler McKane s/o 13
Referee:- Alan Wyn Davies.                                                          Attendance:- 3,020
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                         Programme:- £3.00
The New Oval was packed to the rafters and more for this mighty tussle for the right to be called Inter Island Champions. Thirteen minutes into the match, Guernsey were reduced to ten men when one of their players tried to stop the ball entering the net ….. with his hand. He was unsuccessful, the ball looped into the net. The ref had already blown, however and the resultant penalty was saved and Guernsey kept the lead they had taken in the fifth minute. The ten men battled valiantly, but were undone by two late strikes and the jubilant, but good natured, throngs commenced their celebrations with gusto!

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Saturday 6th July 2019
Pre-Season Friendly

Charnock Richard 1

Nathan Fairhurst 83,

Chorley 2

Spencer Bibby 5 (og),

Chris Doyle 28,
Referee:- Peter Shacklady.                                                Attendance:- 403
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                Programme:- £2.00
With Chorley about to start a big adventure in The Vanarama National League, this was an early opportunity to see the preparations being made for their first foray into the league since 1988/89. Graeme and I enjoyed a splendid repast at The Dog & Partridge hard by the ground. A crowd that was more than double their average league gate last season saw an entertaining encounter in the sunshine. Chorley had a penalty saved, but Charnock Richard scored their spot kick and they look likely to be strong NWCFL premier division contenders.Four steps higher, Chorley have much work still to do!

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Thursday 11th July 2019
The AJ Bell Stadium – Pre-Season Friendly

Accrington Stanley 2

Sean McConville 28,

Offrande Zanzala 37 (pen)

Olympique Marseille 1

Florian Thauvin 78
Referee:- Ollie Langford.                                                 Attendance:- 1,266
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£10).                                Programme:- £1.50
This was the first match of Marseille’s tour of GB and it was played at the home of Salford Red Devil’s Rugby League club and Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club, because the Accrington Stanley pitch was not yet up to match readiness. The visitors were deservedly two goals adrift at the interval and changed all ten of their outfield players for the second half. They managed to pull one goal back, but Stanley deserved the victory over the 1993 European Cup winners!

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Saturday 13th July 2019
Pre Season Friendly

Badshot Lea 1

Nick Medcraft 20,

Farnborough 0
Referee:- Jack Ohene                                                         Attendance:- 160.

Admission:- £8.00                                                          Programme- £2.00
Badshot Lea’s new home looked strangely drought ridden, the pitch the colour of straw! Bit of a rip off to get in (see above). Farnborough brought about fifteen triallists but it was the hosts who triumphed in a lack lustre contest.

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Thursday 18th July 2019
Pre Season Friendly

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

Leyton Orient 1

Dale Gorman 14,
Referee:- Will Finney.                                               Official Attendance:- 415
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£8)                                   Programme:- £2.50
Diamonds are the tenants at Rushden & Higham Town’s Hayden Road ground, but they have plans (and a piece of land) for a ground of their own at Higham Ferrers. The two Meccano stands they have erected here are easily transportable to any new location. Meanwhile, the landlords have applications for grants to repair the iconic stand closed since 1989. Although there was but one goal in this match, it was nonetheless, an enthralling contest, despite each side making wholesale changes around the hour mark!

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Saturday 20th July 2019
Official Opening of the new stadim

Horsham 3

Chris Smith 32,

Kieran Lavery 68 (pen) 79,

Crawley Town 1

Reece Grego-Cox 39
Referee:- Tim Robinson.                                        Attendance:- 1,080
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£11)                       Programme:- £2.00
The new arena has already witnessed a couple of wins for the hosts in pre season, but today, the ground was packed to the rafters – it looked even more than the official figure! The new stadium sparkled and the beer and wine flowed non-stop. On the field, Horsham deserved the victory against an under strength league side, who, nonetheless, provided a stern test for the hosts!

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Saturday 17th July 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Rothwell Corinthians 3

Ryan Archer 5,

Niall Duffy 58,

Jordan Henson,

Lutterworth Town 0
Referee:- David Jarrett.                                                 Attendance:- 316
Admission:- £5.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
With pretty persistent and increasingly heavy precipitation all day, my cricketing responsibilities were abandoned and I was able to take in two matches on The UCL/PDFL Hop. Rothwell Corinthians were always the poor neighbours of Rothwell Town, but, Cecil Street, former home of Town is no more, and is now a housing estate and Corinthians hold the torch for Rothwell. Today, they were too strong for newly promoted Lutterworth and ran out easy winners!

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There was a bit of a fracas midway through the second half – handbags, really!

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Saturday 27th July 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Division 1

Burton Park Wanderers 4

Zac Allen 7,

Lee Thompson 14, 20,

Adam Dalby 50

Lutterworth Athletic 0
Referee:- Mark Wardell.                                                             Attendance:- 284
Admission:- £5.00.                                                                  Programme:- £1.00
I remember watching my eldest son,James, playing here in a Schools cup final – and he scored – and it must be all of twenty five years ago! Perennial UCL strugglers, Burton Park Wanderers looked anything but tonight as they convincingly demolished their opponents, squandering a penalty opportunity in the process!

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________________________________________________________________

Other Matches:-

Monday 10th June 2019

(Ashbourne) Summer League

Kirk Langley 7 Mayfield 3                                            Attendance:- 11

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Monday 24th June 2019

(Ashbourne) Summer League

Broughton Wanderers 3 Biggin 2                             Attendance:- 38

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Tuesday 9th July 2019

Pre-Season Friendly

Harborough Town 0 Barwell 2                                 Attendance:- 60

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Wednesday 17th July 2019

Pre-Season Friendly

Bugbrooke St Michaels 0 Corby Town 3                 Attendance:- 81

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Matches from 1st July:-

Matches:-   19      New grounds;  9

Total Matches:-

Matches:-  4,189     New Grounds:  1,564

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May 2019

Soccer Sonnet

Now children, said the teacher with a smile
Put down your books and let your pencils fall
Come out into the playground for a while
And run around with me and kick a ball.
We’ll pick two teams and use our coats for goals
(But leave our bags and worries at the door)
And play the game with all our hearts and souls
And never mind the weather or the score.
I’ll promise not to test your soccer skills
The ball’s the only thing you’ll need to pass
Ther’ll be no Key Stage Three or spelling drills
There’ll be no top or bottom of the class
So let’s forget the gold stars for the day
And get outside – and run around – and play.

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Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )

Wednesday 1st May 2019
North Bucks & District League Premier Division

Potterspury 1

Lee White 45,

Stoke Hammond Wanderers 3

Elliot Sharp 7,

Luke Anthony 81, 86,
Referee:- Andy Halladay.                                                     Attendance:- 10
This season:- matches 223.                                              New grounds:- 99
This match was a slow burner which turned into a tetchy second half and exploded at the final whistle into full blown warfare. At least two players were decked and the melee lasted several minutes. The hosts should have won this match, but their minds were on a Cup Final on Saturday and their lowly visitors took full advantage in a lacklustre contest.

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“The Dave Miller Stand”

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The unseemly meleé at full time when both teams slogged it out for several minutes. Three players from the home side were dismissed, but it was the visitors who suffered the most. The result was taken away from them and awarded to Potterspury by 1-0. Allegedly, Stoke Hammond Wanderers had put out several players who were not registered with the club and this cost them the match and the points. Potterspury went on to win their cup final, despite having one player so badly injured in the scrap after the final whistle that he was unable to take part in that match!

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Saturday 4th May 2019
Kershaws Cambridgeshire County League
Mead Plant & Grab Division 3A

Abington United 2

Paul Sangha 37,

Sam Whittaker 56,

Barrington 2

Dijon Jones 10,

Luke Chadwich 21,
Referee:- Jonathan Askew.                                              Attendance:- 31

Admission:- F.O.C.                                        Programme:- NONE
At a beautiful tree lined setting, deep in the heart of rural Cambridgeshire, cricket and football were being played side by side. The hosts were entertaining the divisional champions and the visitors soon eased into a two goal lead. Abington pulled one back before the interval – and after a volley of hailstones fell like Agincourt arrows – and then, in the second half, they drew level, deservedly so, and earned a well fought point! As the players trooped off, the cricketers had March Town at 88 for 6, but I didn’t linger to see the outcome!

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Monday 13th May 2019
West Yorkshire League Premier Division

Salts 4

Luke Rhodes 35, 90+2,

Andrew Boote 37,

Sam Waterhouse 39,

Huddersfield Amateur 5

Glynn Haley 11,

Jacob Driver 42,

James Greenwood 77,

Slater Barnes 82, 90+1
Referee:- Kieran Dawson                                         Attendance:- 55
This season:- Match 225.                                     New grounds:- 101
Saltaire, cultural capital of Shipley in West Yorkshire and founded over 150 years ago by Sir Titus Salt. He it was who built the town and the sports facilities, but wouldn’t allow alcohol to be consumed in his metropolis. His huge mill dominates the sky line and houses a Hockney collection. Tonight, already relegated Salts were a goal down after ten minutes and 3-1 ahead half an hour later! The visitors pulled one goal back before the interval and added two more immediately after the break. Two more goals came in added time – one to each side – in this pulsating thriller! With Graeme Askham, John Main and Chris Berezai – and Nigel Askham and Peter Abbott!

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Wednesday 15th May 2019
Pete’s Patisserie Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League
Premier Division

Swinton Athletic 1

Darren Walker 19,

Wombwell Main 0
Referee:- Daniel Brown.                                              Attendance:- 61
Admission:- F.O.C.                                               Programme:- NONE
Playing at the very impressive former home of Mexborough Athletic, a three sided ground with a substantial seated stand and concrete terracing on two sides of the pitch and which is shared with Mexborough CC, Swinton Athletic are very fortunate! This evening’s result cements third place in the table, but in a game of few chances and many wayward passes, they were somewhat fortunate to come away with the victory in what was a very evenly contested match.

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Thursday 23rd May 2019
(Ashbourne) Summer League
The Bill Redfern Memorial Trophy Semi-Final

Biggin 2

Tom Mellor 52 (pen), 56,

Broughton Wanderers 5

Alex Goodall 11, 16, 50,

Josh Greasley 13,

Max Thornberry 45 (pen),
Referee:- Richard Robinson.                                            Attendance:- 57
Admission:- £2.00.                                                     Programme:- NONE
When you visit The Red Lion Ground, give yourself time to visit The Red Lion pub in Hollington with their magnificent pies! Bit of a trek twixt ground and pub, but well worth it! Newcomers, Broughton Wanderers started this game at a gallop with three goals in the first quarter of an hour and then a further strike, a penalty, on the stroke of half-time. Biggin pulled things round and won the second half by 2-1, but it is Broughton who will face Doveridge in the final!

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Saturday 25th May 2019
Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division

Ripley 0

Mayfield 2

Josh Dales 64, 66,
Referee:- Chris Petcu.                                              Attendance:- 63
Admission:- F.O.C.                                            Programme:- £2.00
This match was played at Eastwood CFC after earlier attempts to stage the game at Basford and Kilburn and it was the last match of the MRA Premier Division season. It is ten years since my last visit, just after the new stand was built and in the intervening period, the hosts had fallen seriously in status. They have, however, installed a 3G pitch and levelled off the playing area. Today’s match was lacklustre, both teams having difficulty acclimatising to the artificial surface, but the visitors deserved their victory. With Graeme Askham.

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______________________________________________________________

OTHER MATCHES

Wednesday 22nd May 2019

The Coventry Charity Cup FINAL

Coventry Alvis 1 Rugby Borough 2                    Attendance:- 553

______________________________________________________________

Matches

This month:-  Matches:- 7       New grounds:-  4

This Season:-  Matches:- 229 New Grounds:- 102

TOTAL:-    Matches:- 4,160    New Grounds:- 1,554

_____________________________________________________________

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0Comments

April 2019

It’s just a Saturday ritual my dear;
So have no fear
And let’s be clear,
I’m not gallivanting,
I’ve no bird in tow,
Think of it more
Like I’m off to a show;
I’ll be back before you know.

And yes the pub is also part
Of the ritual we must trek,
But please take heart
As I never really notice,
The barmaids so buxom
And breasts so pink;
I never ever touch them,
I just order the drink.

And when we lose,
I’m sorry if I swear;
It’s like when the junior stylist
Fucks up your lovely hair.
And that time I kicked the cat
I swear it was not meant,
But still you banished me that night
To the garden and the tent.

And you know I can’t go shopping,
We tried that once before;
Your brolly jab really hurt
When I tried to see the score;

And you know you can’t come with me,
Last time you caught the flu,
Your hands turned blue, your face to ice,
As the final whistle blew.

So help me with this ritual,
It’s generations old;
Just spare a thought for us poor souls
As we shiver in the cold.

Phil Miles (1957 – )

Tuesday 2nd April 2019
Northants Combination Division 1

Higham Town 1

Ben Aidulis 48,

Weldon United 2

Ian Blake 39,

Jamie Gilsenan 67,
Referee: Paul Martin.                                                Attendance:- 23
Admission:- F.O.C.                                             Programme:- NONE
The clocks have gone forward and the lower leagues can start their evening games without floodlights! However, 6.30pm was a touch too late and by 7.45pm when the referee called a halt to proceedings, only 65 minutes had been played! By then, the gloom and the hailstones made further play positively dangerous! Weldon are challenging for the championship, but they made heavy weather of this tussle against a side in the lower half of the table!

A rough translation of “Vi et Animo” would be “With Heart and Soul”

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The match was replayed on 16th April and Higham Town won 3-2

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Wednesday 3rd April 2019
Samba Nottinghamshire Senior League Division 1

Bestwood Miners Welfare 3

Gary Harris 28, 29,

Stefan Dalmedo 50,

Burton Joyce 2

Cameron Marsh 4,

Terry Geurbouy 90,
Referee:- David Southern.                                        Attendance:- 29
Admission:- F.O.C.                                               Programme:- NONE
This match was supposed to start at 6.00pm, but Nottingham was gridlocked as I found on my way over and the teams were still trickling in at 6.15pm. The Park Road Ground is shared with the cricket club and has a seated stand behind one goal and a strange high – but very small – covered standing area on the half way line behind the dugouts. The visitors in fourth place and with seven games in hand on the leading two in the division, were expected to win this match and took an early lead. It was the hosts, however who showed the greater determination and they thoroughly deserved their victory in a match reduced to 35 minutes each half. There were a fair few hoppers there, too!

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Thursday 4th April 2019
Kershaw’s Cambridgeshire County League
Bambridge Cup

Melbourn 4

Don Gorman 5,Tom Bradley 43,

Kris Walters 56, 90,

Guilden Morden 3

Ryan Hagger 22, 73,

Jason Nash 69,
Referee:- Mark Wilson.                                      Attendance:- 12
Admission:- F.O.C.                                     Programme:- NONE
Down in deepest Cambridgeshire, hard by The Melbourn Science Park, at ‘The Moor’, Melbourn’s stout stalwarts eventually triumphed over a very resilient Guilden Morden team. There was a sharp shower before the match began but otherwise it stayed dry, but VERY cold. The hosts took an early lead, were pegged back but led once again by half time. Soon it was 3-1 and the game seemed beyond the visitors but back they came to draw level until they were finally beaten by a goal in the 90th minute (yes, the full ninety minutes were played). With Andy English.

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Saturday 6th April 2019
Syenhams Wessex League Premier Division

Sholing 6

Dan Mason 42, 58, 90+2 (pen)

Lee Wort 44, 67,

Dan Miller 74,

Brockenhurst 2

Michael Amoah 45,

Ronan Moore 77 (pen),

Will Tickle s/o 74,
Referee:- Andy Dunn.                                    Attendance:- 298
Admission:- FREE.                                     Programme:- £1.50
Before the match, Sholing were presented with The Championship trophy which they have won with eight games still to play. The former VT Sports (Vosper Thorneycroft) we’re relegated from The Southern League at the end of last season and have made an immediate return. The first forty minutes of this match were lacklustre in the extreme with the hosts looking distinctly inferior to their struggling opponents. A burst of three goals in three minutes on the stroke of half-time gave Sholing a slight advantage, but in the second half, they moved into top gear – helped by a stupid dismissal for the visitors – and took the game – and the points convincingly!

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Monday 8th April 2019

And now for something a little different! My eldest grandson, Freddie wanted to come on a walk. A gentle walk from Gretton Village Hall down to Kirby Hall in increasingly warm weather. Onwards, past the roofless hall and up to Fort Knox, the extremely secure unit which seems to be a state secret and back via the farm and the fields – and the road works in the village – to return to the village hall! 5.55 miles and five stiles with Alison Merrick, Marion Cardy and, of course, grandson, Freddie!

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Tuesday 9th April 2019
Kershaws Cambridgeshire County League Senior B

Bluntisham Rangers 1

Connor Beaumont 78,

AFC Barley Mow 6

Martin Cooper (og)35,

Jake Shepherd 61,

Josh Turner 64,

Jack Cleghorn 66,

Salvatore Merola 80, 83
Referee:- Richard Hart.                                  Attendance:- 70
Admission:- F.O.C.                                   Programme:- FREE
These two clubs are probably best in the division and, for an hour there was barely a cigarette paper between them. The visitors lead by a goal to nil at the interval, but then added three more goals in quick succession just after the hour mark and a further two in the final ten minutes. In reply, the hosts could muster but one strike barely ten minutes from time. An excellent and informative programme was produced by Peter Miles – one of nine hoppers that I recognised at the game – and there was a pretty healthy turn out for this top of the table clash with the visiting support providing loud wind instrument encouragement reminiscent of a flatulent bull! With Graeme Askham and John Main.

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Wednesday 10th April 2019
Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Rotherham United 1

Will Vaulks 36 (pen),

Aston Villa 2

Jonathan Kodjia 48 (pen),

Jack Grealish 51,

Tyrone Mings s/o 34,
Referee:- A. Madley.                                Attendance:- 10,668 (2,588)
Admission:- hospitality.                        Programme:- included (£3.00)
A match with plenty of fire in its belly! Villa had a Tammy Abraham penalty saved twelve minutes in and lost Tyrone Mings to a second bookable offence when he handled in the area nine minutes from the interval. Captain Will Vaulks stepped forward to give the Millers a half-time advantage. The ten men of Villa pressed hard and successfully in the second half. Jack Grealish was influential in their second goal and substitute Jonathan Kodjia was successful from the spot for the equaliser on 48 minutes. Good match – six bookings and a dismissal and three penalties – and a very acceptable hospitality package! With son Mike and grandson, Freddie!

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Grand Dad and grandson prepare for the match!

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Thursday 11th April 2019
Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division

Heyford Athletic 2

Callum Lloyd 5,

Matt Gardner 7,

Marston Saints 0
Referee:- Keith Godfrey.                                    Attendance:- 44
Admission:- F.O.C.                                      Programme:- NONE
Lovely evening though it soon got quite cold. The Bell just down the road is an excellent hostelry for both drink and food. The club have a pretty new facility for changing rooms and a bar. Two goals in the first seven minutes settled this match between fourth and fifth place. On the hour mark, the visitors had a man dismissed for deliberate handball in the area. The resultant penalty rebounded off a post and was cleared to safety. Eight or nine hoppers in attendance! With John Main.

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Saturday 13th April 2019
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League
Premier Division

Redhill 2

Azeez Elegusiu 6,

Jesse Sentamu 42,

CB Hounslow United 3

Gavin Bamford 23,

Luke Dunn 69,

Barry McWilliam 74 (pen),
Referee:- David Lanuni.                                      Official Attendance:- 64
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£8).                            Programme:- £1.00
Matches this season:- 203. New grounds:- 88
Compared to some of the stadia in The Co-Co this season, this ground was a veritable palace – well, apart from the actual pitch, which was shocking, heavily coated in sand and very bumpy! Relegation threatened Hounslow pulled off a great comeback victory after going 1-2 down just before the interval. With John Main.

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Tuesday 16th April 2019
Kershaws Cambridgeshire County League Division 1B

Houghton & Wyton 3

Bozo Saso 14,

Jordan Brockett 26,

Trafford Hudson 87,

Fenstanton 2

Ben Hall 13,

Luke Males 67,
Referee:- Richard Hart.                                      Attendance:- 34
Admission:- F.O.C.                                       Programme:- NONE
Houghton and a Wyton boast a Marina and an RAF base as well as a holiday home site. Tonight’s match was played on the edge of the picturesque village and the hosts almost let their opponents get away with a point! One way traffic for the first fifteen minutes but then, against the run of play, the visitors struck to take the lead. Normal service was resumed by half-time when a rampant home side led by 2-1, but really should have been in front by a country mile. The onslaught continued in the second half, but back came Fenstanton with a surprise equalising goal! The hosts continued to press, but it took until two minutes from time for them to squeeze over the line. Good match! Dedicated to Les Bull, who loved this league!

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Wednesday 17th April 2019
North Bucks & District League Premier Division

Hanslope 3

Dan McKenzie 49,

Neil Walton 72,

Tom Marvin 90,

Olney 2

Alex Email 64, 77,
Referee:- Tony Hawkins.                                Attendance:- 39
Admission:- F.O.C.                                    Programme:- NONE
Far away in deepest Northamptonshire in the shadow of Hanslope Parish Church with its majestic flying buttresses, these two teams – neither of whom come from Buckinghamshire, either north or any other point on the compass – fought out a tense relegation battle. No score at the interval but five second half strikes as the sides traded blows and, crucially, a ninetieth minute winning goal from the hosts, sent poor Olney down.

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________________________________________________________________________

The Hellenic League “Hop”

Thursday 18th April 2019
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 West

Almondsbury 3

Lewis Sheppard 45,

Daniel Lane 85,

Alex Bisp 88,

Malmesbury Victoria 2

Gareth Jones 6,

Joe Tranter 77,
Referee:- Martin Tudor.                                     Attendance:- 195
Admission:- £6.00.                                         Programme:- £1.00
Perched at the noisy junction of M4 and M5, The Field, home of Almondsbury is a fairly bleak venue with one seated stand for around fifty souls and an even smaller covered standing area. The hosts eventually defeated their exalted rivals and in the process denied them any chance of winning the title!

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Friday 19th April 2019 12.00noon
Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division

Longlevens 2

Jonty Welch 60,

Jay Malshanskyi 62,

Reading City 1

Ousman Darboe 14,
Referee:- Tom Green (Oxford).                                   Attendance:- 331
Admission:- £5.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
In the shadow of a fairly new looking Ibis Hotel and in glorious weather, these two sides played out a pretty close encounter. The visitors – who include “Ibis” amongst their previous nomenclature – were top dogs in the first half, but two goals in two minutes around the hour mark dragged the game around in favour of the hosts.

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Friday 19th April 2019 3.30pm
Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division

Lydney Town 2

Lewis Thompson62,

Lewis Halford 87,
Windsor 0
Referee:- Craig Jinks (Gloucester).                               Attendance:- 337
Admission:- £5.00.                                                      Programme:- £1.00
Some serious improvements have been made to this ground since my last visit! The stadium is now enclosed with stands and seats for about 100 spectators. There are floodlights and a good club house, too. Today, they defeated Windsor fairly comfortably, but it took an hour for the first goal to arrive and then Matt Stockhill, for the visitors, missed an absolute sitter from inside the six yard box and at the death, the visiting keeper attempted a dribble in his area and had the ball taken off him and poked into the net!

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Friday 19th April 2019 7.00pm
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 West

Newent Town 0

Cheltenham Saracens 1

Matt Barnard 55,
Referee:- Darren Hill (Wantage).                               Attendance:- 369
Admission:- £5.00.                                                   Programme:- £1.00
I’ve passed the sign to Newent on The M50 countless times over the past sixty years or so. Tonight, I actually went there! There was evidence of recent major development, a new stand and floodlights and hard standing on two sides. Even the railway embankment behind the new stand had been flattened. The best crowd of the day saw possibly the worst match of the day as the highly placed visitors eventually overcame the stubborn resistance of the hosts with a single goal just before the hour mark.

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Saturday 20th April 2019
Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division

Launton Sports 0

Middleton Cheney 3

Ross Atkins 7,

Elliot Gunter 60,

Josh Markham 64,
Referee:- Tom Martin.                                           Attendance:- 28
Admission:- F.O.C.                                          Programme:- NONE
A railed off pitch and a good sized club house – and the gorgeous weather helped – this was expected to be an easy game for mid-table Launton against their relegation threatened rivals. The hosts got a shock in the seventh minute when a long range shot from the half way line sailed over the custodian and into the net. Things didn’t get any better for the hosts as the visitors helped themselves to two further goals and thoroughly deserved their victory. Sad to say, not one of the visiting side had a number to correspond with his name on the referee’s team sheet!!

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Saturday 20th April 2019 5.00pm
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 2 East

Long Crendon 0

Yateley United 0
Referee:- John Mowatt.                                    Attendance:- 269
Admission:- £5.00.                                        Programme:- £1.00
Champions elect, Long Crendon were given a hard time of it by their plucky and determined rivals. The reverse fixture had resulted in a 5-1 defeat for Crendon early in the season and they have not lost since! They spurned several good chances and really ought to have taken the points, but full credit to Yateley – stubborn to the end! Must mention the cakes! They were lovely!

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Sunday 21st April 2019 11.00am
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 2 West

Bourton Rovers 3

Steve Nurse 19,

Sam Tyack 75,

Danny Way 90+5,

Headington Amateurs 1

Ben Curtis 84,
Referee:- Paul Herbert.                                      Attendance:- 278
Admission:- £5.00.                                          Programme:- £1.00
The beautiful, hot and sunny weather brought the crowds out in Bourton-on-the-Water. The car parks were bursting at the seams! There was a good turn out at Lamberts Field, home of The Rovers, too. The locals had worked hard to be welcoming – they even awarded me a prize in the raffle – but the match itself was no classic despite a couple of peach goals – one from each side – and the hosts comfortably took the spoils!

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Sunday 21st April 2019 2.15pm
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 2 West

Moreton Rangers 0

Adderbury Park 1

Josh Northam 65,
Referee:- Max Thompson.                                Attendance:- 384
Admission:- £2.00.                                        Programme:- £1.00
This was supposed to be the host’s celebration of winning the championship, then along came the visitors and pooped on the party – at the ground where Newport County re-formed after going bust in the late eighties and being refused a groundshare in Wales because they were part of the English pyramid. The biggest crowd of the hop so far were treated to an eminently forgettable football experience, although the hosts made the most of their commercial opportunities!!

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Sunday 21st April 2019 6.00pm
Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division

Brimscombe & Thrupp 4

Sam Blackie 6,

Kyle Pitts 55,

James Campbell 73,

Jack Smith 90,

Abingdon United 0
Referee:- Tom Kelly. Attendance:- 403
Admission :- £5.00. Programme:- £1.00
The Meadow is one of the iconic grounds in non-League football, steeply banked on two sides with seating and cover against the wintry elements, but today’s weather gave the ground added lustre! This match hinged largely on the 54th minute dismissal of the influential visiting skipper. Up to that moment, Abingdon we’re competing despite being a goal adrift. In the last half hour they shipped a further three goals and the hosts returned to the summit of the league, dependent upon the result of Wantage final match tomorrow!

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Monday 22nd April 2019 11.00am
Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division

Bishops Cleeve 5

Jack Watts 29, 57,

Harrison Iddles 48,

Jacob David 59,

Kacey Johnstone 82,

Shrivenham 1

Tom Ballard 65,
Referee:- Kieran Dolphin.                                       Attendance:- 231
Admission:- £7.00.                                               Programme:- £1.00
Bishops Cleeve’s new build at Kayte Lane is beginning to look a little bit tired at age seventeen (or thereabouts). Today, the fourth placed hosts battered their fifth placed opponents with a second half onslaught that should have yielded more goals but for some appalling misses by the home strikers!

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Monday 22nd April 2019 2.15pm
Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division

Tuffley Rovers 3

Adam Bloomfield 19, 28,

Kieran Alder 72,

Fairford Town 0
Referee:- Thomas Staten.                                        Attendance:- 221
Admission:- £5.00.                                               Programme:- £1.00
Quirky little ground, much improved since my last visit with the addition of a substantial seated stand behind the near goal and a covered standing area at the same end. The hosts are struggling a bit this season, fourth from the foot of the table, but they gave a good account of themselves today, as they brushed poor Fairford aside in an emphatic 3-0 victory. Good to see my son, James, there with my grandsons, Sonny and Kingsley!

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Grandsons Sonny and Kingsley!!!

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Monday 22nd April 2019 6.00pm
Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 West

Thornbury Town 2

Harry Brock 52,

Marcus Wormwell 90+8

Newent Town 2

Jacob Nutting 24,

Sanchez Grange 37,
Referee:- Craig Jinks.                                             Attendance:- 295
Admission:- £5.00.                                              Programme:- £1.00
Mundy Park is little more than a field with a fence around it, but it does have floodlights and a tiny Meccano stand with seating for around fifty souls, squeezed into the corner behind one goal. Newent were pinned in their own half for much of the first half, but they broke away twice and scored each time!. The second half was an enthralling war of attrition as the hosts determinedly fought to get back into the match. They pulled one goal back but had to wait until the eighth minute of added time at the end of the match before finally crashing in the equaliser! There was no time to restart the match!!!

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Wednesday 24th April 2019
Hertfordshire Senior County League Premier Division

Letchworth GC Eagles 4

Sam Nicholls 10,

Scott Piggott 61,

James Endacott 86,

Kain Brown 87,

Ware Sports 0
Referee:- Jordan Gibson.                                      Attendance:- 36
Admission:- £3.00.                                           Programme:- £1.00
This little gem of a ground is hidden behind the Herts FA County ground in Letchworth. Floodlights and a sixty seater stand, hard standing and even a very acceptable programme, this venue would compete very well with many of the grounds we visited last weekend in The Hellenic League. There will, however, be no promotion – the suits at The FA deemed that they hadn’t put appropriate railings in – so after taking not only the victory and the points, but also the championship from tonight’s match, they will not gain promotion to The Spartan League!

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Saturday 27th April 2019
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League
Premier Division

Cobham 2

Chris Davis 2,

Nathan West 60,

Abbey Rangers 2

Bradley Thomas 44 (pen),

Ben Kersley 71,

Bradley Thomas s/o 90+3
Referee:- Nigel Owen.                                    Attendance:- 68
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5)                Programme:- FREE
Down in deepest Surrey, the chips tasted good in The ‘Blue Fish’ and Cobham’s very basic – but adequate – arena hosted their last game of the season. Ambitious -cgi – plans were posted for a new clubhouse at the ground, but planning permission is still required. High flying Abbey Rangers were held to a draw and there were six bookings and a sending off by a somewhat officious referee! With Graeme Askham and John Main!

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A representation of the new club house at Cobham FC – awaiting planning permission!

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______________________________________________________________

OTHER MATCHES:-

Monday 1st April 2019                          Bearscroft Lane, Godmanchester

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Godmanchester Rovers u-18 Peterborough Sports u-18 12                attendance:- 31

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Sunday 14th April 2019                                  King Power Stadium, Leicester

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City u-23 0 Liverpool u-23 6                                               attendance:- 1,852

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Thursday 25th April 2019                                      The Dog & Duck, Wellingborough

Northants Senior Youth League Cup FINAL

Irchester United u-18 0  Cogenhoe United u-18 6

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Monday 29th April 2019                                      New Rowley Park, St Neots

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Championship Play-off

St Neots Town u-18 3 Peterborough Sports u-18 2

_____________________________________________________________

MATCHES:-

This Month:-   28 matches            New grounds:- 18

This Season:- 222 matches           New grounds:- 98

TOTAL:-         4,153 matches         New Grounds:- 1,550

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0Comments

March 2018

Dream Football

Dream Football is the harder game

The grass is devilishly long

And growing

Fish appear in the trainer’s bucket

Your mother has set upon a small shop

On the halfway line

You are obliged to play in your underpants.

Allan Ahlberg (1937 – ) 

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Friday 1st March 2019
Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division
Godmanchester Rovers 4

Oris Hyem 25,

Mike Hyem 72,

Can King 81, 85,

Haverhill Rovers 1
Luke Haines 12,
Referee:- Jeffrey Aldous.                              Attendance:- 92
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6).       Programme:- NONE
There have been substantial improvements at Bearscroft Lane since Godmanchester’s emergence some twenty five years ago, but for all that, it is still a pretty basic stadium. The team, however, are handily placed in the challenge for the championship. They gave their opponents a goal start, drew level by the break and smote three second half strikes and, maybe, should have had more!

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Saturday 2nd March 2019
Combined Counties League Premier Division
CB Hounslow United 3
Lewis Wood 36, 60(pen)
Trisdon Andrews 75,
Knaphill 1
Martin Smith 22,
Matthew Kellet s/o 88
Referee:- Callum Peter                          Attendance:- 50
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£7)       Programme:- £1.00
Bit of a turn up for the books, rock bottom hosts, CB Hounslow, defeating mid-table visitors, Knaphill, but it was a well deserved victory as the visitors lost their cool in the second half, conceding two goals and having a man dismissed after going into the interval at 1-1. This is only the second season at Green Lane which boasts seating down one side for maybe 200 and cover behind one goal. There is a very adequate club house, but this is outside the confines of the stadium. With Graeme Askham and John Main.

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The ‘planes from Heathrow fly low over the ground!

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Tuesday 5th March 2019
Sydenham Wessex League Premier Division

Tadley Calleva 3

George Callahan 26, 40

Brad Neal 27,

Bournemouth FC 2

River Smith 29,

Ali Zintany 90,
Referee:- Thomas Copping.                                               Attendance:- 80
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                               Programme:- £1.00
This exotically named club are based in Tadley in Hampshire, but the second part of their title is taken from the Iron Age headquarters of the Atrebates tribe at Calleva in nearby Silchester. The club is barely thirty years old and Calleva is their third addendum. The ground is a work in progress with cover for around sixty seated spectators and the foundations for what looked like a couple of small covered standing areas. The match was an entertaining encounter with the hosts looking comfortable with a 3-1 half time advantage. Late in the second period, the visitors struck a second, but were ultimately unable to gain an equaliser. With John Main.

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Evidence of some improvements being made to the ground, which is pretty basic!

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Wednesday 6th March 2019
Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 Central

Barton Rovers 5

Connor Vincent 9, 45, 90

Victor Osobu 52,

Robbie Goodman 71,

Corby Town 2

Joel Carta 37,

Steve Diggin 41,
Referee:- Tim Donnellan                                       Attendance:- 103
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£8).                   Programme:- £2.00
Made my first visit to Sharpenhoe Road forty six years ago on 17th March 1973. Barton Rovers were champions, that season, of The South Midlands League, but there were no stands, no floodlights and no turnstiles – a man with a bucket came round after half time – pay what you want! Tonight, they humbled highly placed rivals, Corby Town, despite the visitors taking the lead late in the first half. It was 2-2 at the interval, but the hosts decisively swept up the points and the victory with a fine second half display!

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The North West Counties League “Hop”

8 – 10th March 2019

We were billeted in Warrington for this year’s NWCL ‘Hop’ and seven games were scheduled for completion. Sadly, only six were completed as the bad weather took its toll of the very last fixture at Irlam. Otherwise, and bearing in mind the pretty foul weather, it was a good ‘hop’!

Friday 7th March 2019
North West Counties League Division 1 South

Barnton 0

Jordan Cobley s/o post match.

Vauxhall Motors 2

David Webb 35 (pen),

George Hassall 67,
Referee:- Matt McQuillan.                              Attendance:- 272
Admission:- £5.00.                                         Programme:- £1.00
On a soggy and cold evening in Cheshire, the hoppers descended on Barnton for the first match of The NWCL ‘hop’ and were very warmly welcomed! Sadly, the hosts were well beaten by a much superior Motors side who really ought to have struck more than twice in a game that they dominated.

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Widnes FC had been ground sharing here until recently when they got the chance to return to Halton Park, home of Wines Vikings RL.

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Saturday 9th March 2019
North West Counties League Premier Division

Bootle 4

Carl Peers 11, 19,

Ryan Cox 72,

Steven Jones 90+1

Ashton Athletic 2

Adam Gilchrist 23,

Charlie Munro 50
Referee:- Martin Holmes.                                       Attendance:- 391
Admission:- £5.00.                                               Progamme:- £2.00
“Respice, Aspice, Prospice” roughly translates into the vernacular as “Look to the past, the Present and The Future”. You can forget the past because at present the future looks bright for Bootle who survived a stern examination by visitors, Ashton Athletic and continued their drive for promotion!

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Saturday 9th March 2019
North West Counties League Premier Division

Litherland REMYCA 1

Paul Foy 45+2

City of Liverpool 2

Daniel Dalton 61,

Karl Clair 71,
Referee:- B. Atkinson.                                            Attendance:- 574
Admission:- £5.00.                                            Programme:- £2.00
Top of the table City of Liverpool brought a very healthy contingent of followers who kept up a constant volume of noise even when their side went a goal behind to a dubious penalty in first half added time. In the second half, they exerted their superiority and took the lead, but the game ended fractiously with four bookings in the final moments. Not a stadium that I will easily be enticed back to!

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That is one I’m glad I don’t have to go back to!

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Saturday 9th March 2019
North West Counties League Division 1 North

Lower Breck 6

Stephen Milne 19,60, 90+2,

Peter Moore 32,

James Colbeck 45

Jamie Henders55,

Ashton Town 1

Matthew Johnson 86
Referee:- Zach Chambers.                             Attendance:- 339
Admission:- £4.00.                                    Programme:- £2.00
A very friendly club and they even donated a club mug to each of us on the coach! They are a good side, too, well placed in the division, but promotion is probably a step too far this season. The ground is a 3G pitch inside a cage and probably would not qualify for more than one promotion!

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Saturday 9th March 2019
North West Counties League Division 1 North

St Helens Town 1

Liam Diggle 49,

Garstang 3

Richard Coar 12,

Shaun Sailor 60,

Jonathan Hothersall 76 (pen)
Referee:- Phil Woodward.                                    Attendance:- 292
Admission:- £4.00.                                             Programme:- £2.00
Bert Trautman commenced his career with St Helens Town and in 1987, the club won The FA Vase with a 3-2 victory over Warrington Town at Wembley! Nowadays they play in a green metal cage with a plastic pitch and are languishing near the foot of their division. Garstang were the better team, but they rode their luck and more accurate finishing from the hosts could have made this a much tighter contest.

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Sunday 10th March 2019
North West Counties League Division 1 South

Rylands 3

Stephen Boothman 5, 45+1

Jamie White 87,

Cheadle Heath Nomads 5

James Green 10, 27 (pen),

Kieran Herbert 37,

Ashley Harrison 68,

Andrew Simpson 71,
Referee:- Alex Beckett.                                                   Attendance:- 319
Admission:- £4.00.                                                    Programme:- £2.00
Rylands is a pretty basic stadium, but even so, it was much improved on my last visit some five years ago, with floodlights and a small seated stand. The team top their division, but today, they were undone by the elements. They were unable to cope with the high wind in their faces in the first half and the visitors’ offside trap in the second half. The visitors had an Andy Carroll lookalike who led the line well and scored one of his side’s goals!

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……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Tuesday 12th March 2019
Sky-Bet EFL League 2

Cambridge United 0

Crewe Alexandra 0
Referee:- Charles Breakspear.                                   Attendance:- 3,448
Admission:- hospitality (£50.00).                                 Programme:- included (£3)
All the local non-League games wiped out by the weather, I chose to take in The Abbey Stadium with a spot of hospitality. The hospitality was fine, the match was pretty awful. It had 0-0 written all over it from very early on and there were precious few attempts on goal – although the visitors did miss a couple of gilt edged chances at the death. The windy weather didn’t help and it was a night to wrap up warm! This was my 22nd visit to The Abbey Stadium since my first (26th December 1974 – Cambridge United 2 Brentford 0 in Football League Division IV, attendance:- 3,959).

As someone said, the logo is looking a little tired and could do with an update!

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Saturday 16th March 2019
Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Corinthian 7

Emmanuel Oyolede28, 72, 78 (pen),

Shaun Brown 31, 68,

Jack Bath 54,

Oscar Housego 85,

Crowborough Athletic 1

Jack Funnell 23,
Referee:- Richard Joss.                                      Attendance:- 60
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£7).              Programme:- £1.00
Just inside Kent, a stone’s throw from nowhere, but within earshot of Brands Hatch, this homely club whose players are all amateurs are dominating the league and look likely champions. Today, they gave the visitors a goal start and then smashed seven unanswered strikes to record an impressive victory. With John Main.

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Tuesday 19th March2019
Future Lions United Counties League Division 1

Lutterworth Town 1

Jordan Small 18,

Northampton Sileby Rangers 0
Referee:- John Bullen.                                          Attendance:- 111
Admission:- OMGDS £2.00 (£5).                  Programme:- £1.00
Lutterworth Town look very likely to gain promotion this season and there were changes since my last visit. There was a small covered 50 seater Meccano stand behind the nearest goal and what looked like (according to Mike Dean) a Primary School woodwork project fifty seater stand down one side. Neither were here last time I visited! Poor old Sileby had lost their manager and all their players in the last month, but this evening, they defended stoutly in a scrappy encounter where the piano shifters outnumbered the piano players on both sides!

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Wednesday 20th March 2019
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League

Black Dragon North Division

Retford FC 5

Will Tomlinson 2 (pen), 41 (pen), 58,

Jack Johnson 29,

Oli Bilham 83,

Retford United 0
Referee:- Wayne Gray.                                       Attendance:- 704
Admission:- £5.00.                                         Programme:- £1.50
The hosts only came into existence in 2015 and yet it looks highly likely that they will top the division this season and move onwards and upwards – probably to The NCEL. They now have some cover and hard standing on three sides and the main railway line to Edinburgh runs right alongside the ground. Tonight, The Choughs we’re far too strong for their neighbours and won at a canter, with a hat trick (including two penalties) from their centre half!

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A high speed express train flashes past on the far side of the ground!

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Saturday 23rd March 2019
Vanarama National

Barrow 2

Harrogate Town 2
Referee:- Peter Gibbons. Attendance:- 1,934 (107)
Admission:- OMGDS £14.00 (£18). Programme:- £3.00
Teamsheet:- 20p
There was a large crowd for this encounter on a bright sunny afternoon at Holker Street. The hosts rather threw the game away. Having worked hard for a two goal interval advantage, they then contrived, through comical defending, to gift the visitors two goals and were lucky not to concede more!

I travelled north by train from Rugby. Got in early around 1.00pm and dined at ASDA’s cafe hard by the ground!

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Wednesday 27th March 2019
Bedfordshire FA Senior Cup FINAL

Biggleswade Town 3

Liam Brooks 29, 

Sean Lucien 59,

Jack Bradshaw 89,

Barton Rovers 0
at Bedford Town FC
Referee:- Will Finnie.                                            Attendance:- 201
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£8).                     Programme:- Free
The Beds FA showpiece final not only provided free programmes, but also a free portion of chilli and rice with Naan bread! The New Eerie was sparsely populated as this final went to form with the Southern League Premier Division side comfortably disposing of their first Division rivals. Even worse for the beaten finalists, their skipper was caught in traffic on The M25 and could only join the fray as a second half substitute!

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The East of Scotland League “Hop”

29 – 31st March 2019

Once again, we were based in a hotel in East Kilbride and on the way up from Birmingham International Train Station, where I caught the coach, we stopped for the first game at Denny. So it was well gone 10.30pm when we got to the hotel! This was a great ‘hop’. There were some fine stadia (and some not so fine) we always got a warm welcome and the weather, though generally cold, was usually bright and sunny. Best ground of the ‘hop’? In my humble opinion, I like Linlithgow Rose the best, but closely followed by Camelon!

Friday 29th March 2019
East of Scotland League Division B

Dunipace 0

Bonnyrigg Rose 4

Aaron Murrell 6,

Lee Currie 60, 84 (pen),

Leith Lough 87,
Referee:- Tony Fullerton.                                          Attendance:- 380
Admission:- £6.00.                                                 Programme:- £1.00
First match of the Scottish Hop at Denny in Stirlingshire at Westfields Park, the recently refurbished home of hosts, Dunipace. Floodlights and a 4G pitch and plenty of expensive wire fencing to keep the ball away from the neighbours, but no seating AND no cover! Championship chasing Bonnyrigg Rose spent most of the match encamped deep in Dunipace territory and yet it was only two late strikes which gave the score line some credibility!

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The building on the side of the pitch housed the “hospitality” suite where for fifteen pounds you could enjoy an elevated view (and some free drinks!). However, there was still no seating!

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Saturday 30th March 2019
East of Scotland League Conference C

Camelon Juniors 5

Alan Doherty 9,

Alan Sneddon 11, 26,

Connor McKenzie 44, 47,

Edinburgh United 1

Gabriele Auiramma 42 (pen)
Referee:- Andrew Strang.                                   Attendance:- 352
Admission:- £6.00.                                            Programme:- £1.00
What a little gem of a ground, full of olde worlde charm! Concrete terracing on three sides – albeit a little care-worn, a few plastic seats scattered around, cover on two sides, but no floodlights, a very warm welcome and a good game until a couple of minutes after the interval when the hosts scored their fifth goal and the game died a death!

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Saturday 30th March 2019
East of Scotland League Conference C

Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 2

Ryan Cowie 71,

Brodie Hamilton 75,

Heriot Watt University 4

Calvin Muttitt 27, 58,

Tyler Huxford 57,

Arron Singh 82 (pen)
Referee:- Barry Reid.                                      Attendance:- 301
Admission:- £6.00.                                     Programme:- £2.00
On just about the only flat piece of land in Inverkeithing, The Swifts had marked out a pitch and railed it and that is about all you can say about their home at Ballast Bank. Just over the far hills, the peaks of The Forth Railway and Road bridges stood out like the skeletons of Martian space craft! On the field a fairly mundane opening half cracked into life after an hour when the hosts – 0-3 down – had a man sent off and then pulled two goals back before having TWO more men dismissed and conceding a fourth goal to a twice taken penalty!

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High up, you can just see the peaks of The Forth Railway Bridge!

Again, high up, you can see the peaks of The Forth Road Bridge!

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Saturday 30th March 2019
East of Scotland League Conference C

Blackburn United 4

Darren Downie 2 (pen), 5, 64,

Michael Browne 82,

Preston Athletic 1

Kieran Jack 75,
Referee:- Alan MacLean.                             Attendance:- 328
Admission:- £6.00.                                  Programme:- £2.00
A 3G pitch and a securely enclosed stadium with covered standing down one side – but once again no seating. There was floodlighting – and it was needed and another warm welcome at this community club in a quite deprived area. The game opened with an explosion of two goals in the first five minutes, nothing more until after half time when the hosts were playing up the slope, doubled their score whilst the visitors, who should have claimed more than the single strike gifted to them by the home custodian!

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Saturday 30th March 2019
East of Scotland League Conference C

Linlithgow Rose 3

Roddy macLennan 16, 38,

Thomas Coyne 63 (pen),

Jeanfield Swifts 2

Rhys Davies 6,

Connor McLaren 46,
Referee:- Colin Drummond.                                          Attendance:- 618
Admission:- £6.00.                                                     Programme:- £2.00
Wow! What a cracker of a ground! Terracing on three sides and a grassy knoll behind the far goal and then ………. la piece de la resistance …. a huge cantilever stand with maybe 250 seats in it! This was a big match and a huge crowd came to enjoy the joust. The hosts are in second place in the league and their opponents, one place behind. The contest lived up to expectations with each side enjoying the advantage, but at the end it was the hosts who deservedly took the victory and the points!

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Sunday 31st March 2019
East of Scotland League Conference A

Peebles Rovers 1

David Lindsay 72,

Newtongrange Stars 3

Sean Jamieson 14,

Kyle Scott 41,

Ryan Porteous 78,
Referee:- Brian Colvin.                                  Attendance:- 288
Admission:- £5.00.                                        Programme:- £1.00
The football team shares Whitestone Park with the local rugby and cricket teams so that on two sides of the pitch were flimsy plastic railings easily removable in the cricket season and on the other two sides were substantial wooden fencing with some terracing and a fine stand down the length of the pitch. This match went according to form. The hosts, fourth from bottom were well beaten by the visitors who are fourth from top.

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Jack Warner with the big grin on his face in the blue coat sitting on the Peebles Rovers Terrace!

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__________________________________________________________

Other Matches:-

Wednesday 13th March 2019

Premier League 2 International Cup Quarter Final

Leicester City U-23 1 Bayern Munich U-23 1 AET

Bayern won 5-4 on penalties                                          attendance:- 465

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Tuesday 21st March 2019

Northants Senior Youth League Jayman Shield Group Stage

Cogenhoe United U-18 1 Corby Town U-18 0               Attendance:- 24

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Friday 22nd March 2019

Future Lions United Counties League Reserve Division Knock-Out Cup Final

Deeping Rangers Reserves 1 Cogenhoe United Reserves 3            Attendance:- 162

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Thursday 28th March 2019

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Deeping Rangers U-18 0 Peterborough Sports U-18 1                Attendance:- 60

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MATCHES:-

 

This month:-  Matches:- 27     New Grounds:- 14

This Season:- Matches:- 198   New Grounds:- 83

TOTAL:-  Matches:- 4,126 New Grounds:- 1,532

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0Comments

February 2019

Touchline shouting, that’s all I ever hear,

I’m so confused and filled with fear.

I’m only ten years old and football should be fun,

But with all this noise I don’t know which way to run.

“Get back in defence!” my manager shouts.

Dad shouts, “Get up front and deal with these louts!”

Loud mouth supporter, who knows all the rules.

(He takes the rest of us for fools)

Shouts, “What are you doing lad? Your head’s in a spin!”

Is it any surprise, with all this din?

I am only a boy, so why do you all try to destroy, what I’d love to enjoy?

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by Simon Icke

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Saturday 2nd February 2019
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 West

Widnes 0

Trafford 1

Declan Rydings 28,
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£7)                                          Attendance:- 255
Programme:- £2.00. Pin badge:- £3.50                 Referee:- Christian Silcock
On a very cold and sharp day, The Widnes return to Halton Park was not a happy one! They had spent the season so far at Barnton whilst the Widnes Vikings RL re-surfaced the 3G pitch at their home ground. It is a huge stadium – probably able to hold more than 10,000 spectators comfortably seated. The parent Rugby League side were shortly to go into administration and their future looks uncertain, which throws into doubt the football teams position! It is more than fifty years since my last visit – for a Rugby League match – and I remember not one jot of it! The visitors were wasteful. This was probably the most one sided 1-0 victory I have ever seen! They should have been at least four goals to the good by half time. In the end they staggered over the line after five added minutes! With Graeme Askham and John Main

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Graeme Askham at the Halton Park main entrance.

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Sunday 3rd February 2019
Buildbase FA Vase 5th Round

Biggleswade 6

Ryan Inskip 47, 64,

Lee Northfield 72, 82,

Alex Marsh 79,

Nick Henebery 87,

Windsor 1

Matthew Stockill 90+3
Referee:- Jack Packman.                                          Attendance:- 557
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                          Programme:- £2.00
Barely a month since my last visit for a rugged encounter with Stowmarket Town in the 4th Round of The Vase and today, yet another attendance record was set! Windsor looked fine in the first half in their eccentric red shirts with a green and white Union Jack emblazoned front and back. 0-0 at half-time. The second half was a very different kettle of fish as the hosts ripped into Windsor and tore them apart. They were well worth their victory and progress to the last eight in the competition. Windsor’s consolation goal came right at the end! With grand-son, Freddie.

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Grandson, Freddie enjoys an FA Vase tie at Biggleswade Town’s ground.

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Tuesday 5th February 2019
Combined Counties League Premier Division

Colliers Wood United 5

Mario Embalo 11, 30,

Will Efambe 32, 75,

Luke Tan 52,

Hanworth Villa 0
Referee:- Richard Morris.                                          Attendance:- 26
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                            Programme:- £1.50
We allowed ourselves three hours for the ninety mile journey down from Blisworth and we only just made it! Found ourselves facing the wrong way on The A3 dual carriageway and the devil’s own job to find a way back down on the right side! A tiny crowd, probably half of whom were hoppers, were sprinkled around the sparse stadium and they were treated to an impressive display by the hosts. These two teams are struggling in the lower reaches of the division, but, after an even start, United pulled away like a Rolls Royce turning on the after burners! Good match – with Graeme Askham and John Main.

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Friday 8th February 2019
Netherlands Erstedivisie (second tier)

FC Eindhoven 1

Alvin Daniels 52,

Yong PSV 2

Zakaria Aboukhial 63 (pen),

Justin Lonwijk 73,
Referee:- A. Bos.                                             Attendance:- 3,285
Admission:- €13.00.                                     Programme:- NONE
Enjoyable visit to FC Eindhoven’s neat, small ground on the edge of town, even if it was pretty cold and wet! There were no programmes, but team sheets were freely dispensed. The hosts were unlucky. After a goalless first half, they took the lead, only for the PSV youngsters to come back with a penalty and a gift of a goal from an horrific attempt at a clearance by the home custodian. With son Jim, Jonny Crane and Mark Sumner.

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Jim, on the left with Jonny Crane and Mark Sumner in front!

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Yong PSV brought hardly any support, even though this was a “derby” match. Putting second teams of big sides lower down the league does NOT Appeal to the football watching public!

Saturday 9th February 2019
Netherlands Tweedie Divisie (third tier)

Hardenberg HC 2

Derian Reinders 55,

Kevin Gortz 85,

VVSB 5

Lulinho Martins 8,

Tommy Bekooij 15, 52,

Frank Tervoert 60, 82,
Referee:- RH Hensgens.                               Official Attendance:- 850
Admission:- OMGDS €5.00 (€10)                       Programme:- F.O.C.
Half way up the single track railway line from Zwolle to Emmen is the small town of Hardenberg with its windmill and a long walk to the outskirts where the Sportpark is situated. The hosts sit comfortably in mid table, but today, they were blown away by bottom of the league VVSB. Two goals in the first ten minutes started the rout and a further three goals in a half hour spell midway through the second half completed the demolition and, to add to their misery, the hosts had a player dismissed right at the death! With son, Jim and Jonny Crane and Mark Sumner.

Hardenberg HC (Heemse Combinatie) – founded 1954 as a result of a merger between Hardenberg Voetball Club and SV Heemse.

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Jim, Mark and Jonny outside the gates of Hardenberg HC

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Sunday 10th February 2019
Netherlands Eredivisie

FC Emmen 3

Alexander Bannink 7,

Sven Broken 24,

Anco Jansen 88,

ADO Den Haag 2

John Goossens 71,

Thomas Necid 77,
Referee:- Dieperink.                                      Official Attendance:- 8,300
Admission:- €16.00.                                     Programme:- €1.00
On a bitterly cold day, we walked the three miles or so from the centre of Emmen to De Oude Meerdijk. There was a pretty poor welcome when we got there – nowhere to go inside to get warm, loud Germanic pop music booming from the outdoor bar, no team sheets ….. but, it was a good game! The hosts, in a nearly full stadium, took a two goal lead to half-time only to find themselves pegged back with ten minutes to go. A real thunder blaster from the home full back, two minutes from time ensured a home victory. Today’s match completed once again, The Eredivisie. With son, Jim, and Jonny Crane and Mark Sumner.

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Yours truly and Mark Sumner outside FC Emmen

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Tuesday 12th February 2019
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1

Bedford 1

Michael Fisher 43,

FC Broxbourne Borough 4

Chris Wells 28, 53,

Charlie Davies 45+1,

Dustin Fitzgerald 86 (pen),
Referee:- P-V Mihalache.                                      Attendance:- 22
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                    Programme:- incl.
Hadn’t been here for more than ten years and McMullen Park looked somewhat scruffier than on my last visit when the hosts were known as “Bedford United & Valerio”. Tonight saw the fourth placed hosts thrashed by fifth in the table Broxbourne. With John Main.

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Friday 15th February 2019
SC Paderborn 3 1st FC Koln 2

Really brassed off that I missed this match. I could have got there, but only for the second half. Flew from Stansted to Dortmund and the plane landed like a ton of bricks and bounced right back up into the air again only to come down a second time, hard onto the runway! Enjoyed a really excellent Indian meal in Dortmund in the evening and very reasonably priced. Tomorrow? Schalke – and on Sunday, Beyer Leverkusen!!!

Saturday 16th February 2019
German Bundesliga

Schalke 04 0

SC Freiburg 0
Referee:- F. Willenborg.                                            Attendance:- 58,271
Admission:- €31.00.                                                  Programme:- NONE
Breathtaking stadium with an emotional atmosphere to match and entertainment and refreshments for best part of a mile leading up to the ground. Sadly, the game itself was pretty turgid. Two sendings off in a match without spark and a huge crowd singing non-stop, trying to get their team going – without success! With sons, Mike and Liam and also, Gary Miller and Daz Bibby (but they all went and stood and jumped up and down all match!).

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Mike and Liam and Gary and Daz were all behind this goal jumping up and down for all they were worth!

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The legend reads:- “North Bank Gelsenkirchen”

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Sunday 17th February 2019
German Regionalliga West (4th tier)

Viktoria Koln 0

Rot-Weiss Oberhausen 0
Referee:- Jorn Schafer.                                             Attendance:- 1,814
Admission:- €17.00.                                Programme:- free teamsheet
On a balmy, warm and bright afternoon, we took a couple of tram rides out of Cologne to Sportpark Hohenberg where League leaders, Viktoria Koln took on the fourth placed visitors and the result was fairly predictable from the first ten minutes! The ground was pretty basic with no spectators behind either goal and a pen for the 500 or so visiting fans on the opposite side to the main stand which housed the home support! The match did spring to life briefly in the last quarter of an hour, but, at the end, both sides were relieved to earn a point!

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.Gary Miller, son, Liam, Daz Bibby and son, Mike

Sunday 17th February 2019
German Bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen 2

Kai Havertz 18,

Leon Bailey 66,

Fortuna Dusseldorf 0
Referee:- Markus Schmidt.                                       Attendance:- 27,717
Admission:- €32.00.                                                 Programme:- NONE
At last a goal! Relief after a goalless first two games this weekend. The Bay Arena is similar in size to The King Power at Leicester City, but contains many refinements – some cosmetic like the additional ring of floodlighting and some functional like the standing area across the entire width behind one goal and exterior access to the upper tiers. Once again the atmosphere was magical and electric and even at the end with their side well beaten, the Fortuna fans sang as loudly as ever! With sons, Mike and Liam and also Daz Bibby and Garry Miller.

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The passionate home support hidden amongst a sea of flags!

The passionate away support were setting off flares!

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Tuesday 19th February 2019
Sky-Bet EFL League One

Accrington Stanley 4

Billy Kee 37,

Sean McConville 57,

Jordan Clark 73,

Luke Armstrong 90+3

Oxford United 2

Luke Garrett 63,

Curtis Nelson 89,
Referee:- Chris Sarginson.                                     Attendance:- 2,095
Admission:- OMGDS £15.00 (£20)                    Programme:- £3.00
On a filthy night in East Lancashire, you had to feel sorry for the hundred or so bedraggled away supporters behind the far end where there was no cover at all! Both sides started cagily, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock before half time and doubled their lead early into the second period. The visitors reduced the arrears, but fell to a third home strike. With five minutes to go, Oxford pulled it back to 3-2 and a draw looked distinctly possible. A home strike four minutes into added time deservedly sealed the win and the points! Good match.

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Wednesday 20th February 2019
North West Counties League Division 1 North

Bacup Borough 0

AFC Liverpool 2

Jordan Foster 25,

Jonathan Croasdale 85,
Referee:- Niall Eaves.                                     Attendance:- 76
Admission:- £6.00.                                  Programme:- £2.00
This was only my second visit to West View Park – the first visit was on 14th March 1970 when Chorley visited and recorded a fine 5-1 victory! Not a lot appeared to have changed in the meantime. The ground had a faded, dilapidated feel to it and inside the club house the floor creaked and felt very unstable. Out on the pitch, which sloped quite substantially from one side to the other, there was cover on three sides and seating for maybe 150 souls. In a very evenly contested fixture, the hosts missed all their chances whilst the visitors took two of theirs and consolidated their position in second place in the table!

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Saturday 23rd February 2019
Total Motion Midland League Premier Division

Shepshed Dynamo 2

Matt Melbourne 32,

Jordan Wilson 90+7

Dunkirk 1

Ryan Ejezie 41,
Referee:- Darren Laska.                                     Attendance:- 172
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£6)                  Programme:- £1.50
It was a warm day more suited to cricket than football, but the pitch was bare and uneven and for long periods, the game failed to flow. The visitors, deep in relegation trouble, looked the better side for much of the match and it wasn’t until the seventh minute of added time at the end of the game that the hosts finally, and a little unfairly, secured the victory and the points! Who remembers Shepshed Charterhouse and Shepshed Albion? With Graeme Askham and grandson, Freddie.

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Tuesday 26th February 2019
Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 Central

Welwyn Garden City 2

Elliott Bailey 12, 20

Corby Town 5

Elliot Sandy 41, 71,

Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson 49,

Steve Diggin 67,

Joel Carta 73,
Referee:- Alan Cresswell.                               Attendance:- 157
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£8)            Programme:- £1.00
Twenty minutes into this match, the visitors were two goals adrift against the rampant hosts! They managed to pull one goal back before the interval and whatever went into the half-time cuppa had the desired effect as they crashed four unanswered goals into the home net in the second half. With sons, Mike and Liam, grand son Freddie, Graeme Askham and the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Corby and East Northants, Beth Miller!

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Beth Miller, the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Corby and East Northants

Grandson, Freddie with his Dad, Mike

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_______________________________________________________________

OTHER MATCHES:-

Wednesday 6th February 2019

Leicestershire Midweek Floodlit Youth League Southern Division

Harborough Tow U-18 4  Blaby & Whetstone United u-18 1     attendance:- 33

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Monday 25th February 2019

Northants Senior Youth League Jayman Shield Group Stage

Corby Town u-18 1 Cogenhoe United u-18 3                            attendance:- 37

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Wednesday 27th February 2019

The FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final

Leicester City u-18 1 Watford u-18 2 after extra time            attendance:- c600

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This month:- matches: 17   New Grounds:- 8

This Season:- matches: 167  New Grounds:- 66

Total:  Matches: 4,099   New Grounds:- 1,518

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January 2019

Football – The Most Beautiful Game

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After stepping into the field
there is no way out
even before you start the game
you hear the fans shout

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The players then sings their anthem
its football……
the most beautiful game…..

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And when the whistle blows
the crowd starts their roar
in the 90 tensed minutes
the players got to score

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Football is friendly only in name
because friendliness is not meant for football….
the most beautiful game….

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So when the hard tackles go in
and injured fellow goes out
the crowd becomes furious
and starts to shout

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Even after breaking one’s leg
there seems to be no shame
because its football….
the most beautiful game….

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by Rohan Roy

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Tuesday 1st January 2019
Welsh Premier League

Connahs Quay Nomads 4

Michael wilde 15,

Michael Parker 38,

Andrew Owens 59,

Michael Bakare 62,

Bala Town 1

Henry Jones 31,
Referee:- Kevin Parry.                                                    Attendance:- 374
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£7)                            Programme:- £2.00

A good start to The New Year! I am still like a cat on a hot tin roof! On Wednesday 9th January, I will be up in court in Northampton and could lose my driving licence for six months as well as incurring a fine. This was because last May 30th I was caught speeding for the fourth time in three years and that meant twelve points on my licence and a driving ban!!!
Connahs Quay Nomads sit proudly at the top of the pyramid after years of domination by TNS. On a mild day on the banks of The River Dee, they demolished mid-table Bala with a very comfortable victory in their impressive little stadium which, apparently, has a capacity of only 420. They’ll have to play their European matches elsewhere if they qualify next season!

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Saturday 5th January 2018
Buildbase FA Vase 4th Round

Cray Valley PM 3

Francis Babalola 44,

Kevin Lisbie 49,

Denzel Gayle 64,

Baffins Milton Rovers 1

Jason Parish 87 (pen),
Referee:- Elliott Kaye.                                      Attendance:- 139
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£8)               Programme:- £1.00
Down in darkest Eltham at the bottom end of The Blackwell Tunnel, is Badger Park, home of Cray Valley Paper Mills (and Greenwich Borough). It was very cold and a large gathering of Baffins fans were making themselves heard in the bar. Free team sheets were available, but the home side decisively scotched any hopes the noisy visiting supporters may have harboured. They missed a penalty and several other very good chances and thoroughly deserved to make it to Round Five! With Graeme Askham!

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Graeme Askham

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Sunday 6th January 2019
FA Buildbase Vase 4th Round

Biggleswade 1

Pat McCafferty 83,

Stowmarket Town 0
Referee:- Sunny Gill.                                         Attendance:- 527
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£6)                   Programme:- £1.00
Recently formed Biggleswade FC play at Biggleswade Town’s ground and become the third team to play in the small town. Today, they faced wealthy Stowmarket who are high up in The Eastern League and whose supporters had all come wearing gold hats to match their team’s colours. It was a very close contest and the hosts shaded it with a goal only six minutes from time.

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The hats, the hats worn by the visiting supporters!

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Tuesday 8th January 2019
Essex Senior League

Saffron Walden Town 3

Spike Bell 14,

Charlie Portway 27, 78,

Redbridge 1

Conner Okus 84,
Referee:- Max Pond.                                              Attendance:- 123
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                       Programme:- £1.00
The only County in the entire country with its own step 5 League, another example of The FA’s asinine pyramid building. Along with John Main and Graeme Askham, I enjoyed a very acceptable fish ‘n’ chip platter in the centre of town before we moved onto The Meadow, home of tonight’s hosts. Seating on three and cover on four sides, this traditional ground had much to recommend it. The home side deservedly took the points over opponents well down at the bottom end of the table, but in a lacklustre second half, the visitors dominated for long periods.

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Somehow, in memory, the church was far better lit than this photograph shows!

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There was good news on the motoring front! On 9th January, I attended Northampton Magistrates Court regarding a speeding offence which brought my total speeding points to twelve and in line for a driving ban! The magistrates were lenient and they let me off with a fine, but did not enforce the driving ban!

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Saturday 12th January 2019
FA Premier League

Crystal Palace 1

Craig Cathcart (og) 38,

Watford 2

Craig Cathcart 67,

Tom Cleverly 74,
Referee:- Paul Tierney.                                               Attendance:- 25,010
Admission:- Hospitality.                                            Programme:- incl. (£3.50)
A good day out at Selhurst Park – well, perhaps not for the hosts – but certainly for our party of football enthusiasts! Young Freddie reckoned that it was his eighth Premiership ground – one for each of his years – and eight more than I’d got by his age! Palace led at half time and even early in the second half, they looked the team most likely. Two goals from the waspish visitors, saw them off and one couldn’t help feeling that the hosts had tossed it away!

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Besides Freddie (pictured), also there were:- Jim, Mike, Liam, Daz, Graeme Askham, Chris Berezai, Phil Evans, Rob Hardcastle, Gary Miller, Ian Widdows, Jonny Crane, Aman Singh, John Lord – and, of course, me!

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The eagle that was released before the match – very impressive!

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Our party have been to hospitality at many English and foreign grounds – from Arsenal to Ajax Amsterdam and from Manchester United to Milan. We also take in smaller venues, and in recent years we have been to Brentford, Millwall, Gillingham, Chesterfield and Grimsby Town. Last season, we went to Bristol City and for many of us, that was deemed to have been our best experience to date (the worst one – by a long way – was a birthday visit to West Ham United for my eight year old grand son!). After the match on Saturday, the consensus was that The Crystal Palace experience was at least the equal of last year’s visit to Bristol City. We were very impressed with the welcome from all of the attendants and with the input by the former players. The food and the service was excellent and, bearing in mind that there was a wide cross section of tastes and ages, from golden mouldies like me to my young grand son, everyone was catered for superbly well!
 
None of us are Crystal Palace supporters, but then again, none of us are Watford supporters, but we all had a wonderful time in The Legends Lounge. I have to admit, that after the West Ham experience at The London Stadium, I was dubious about going to another London Premier League club. I am so very glad that we went ahead with the visit!
 

Sunday 13th January 2019
FA Women’s Championship

Leicester City Women 3

Melissa Johnson 4,

Libby Smith 36,

Ella Franklin-Fraiture 53,

Millwall Lionesses 2

Evie Clarke 31, 74 (pen),
Referee:- Gareth Davis.                                                 Attendance:- 284
Admission:- OMGDS £2.50 (£5)                                 Programme:- £2.00
With grandson, Freddie at Quorn FC where Leicester City Women play their home fixtures. Bottom of the table and without a win, The Lionesses put up a good fight, but in truth, the hosts were lacklustre, having a penalty saved and casual in defence. The sun came out and there were five goals!

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Freddie Arthur McGeown – match number 112

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Saturday 19th January 2019
Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division

Rhos Aelwyd 2

Ieuan Jones 31,

James Haynes 34,

Corwen 3

Harry Pooler 39,

Joe Williams 44,

Sam Henry 51,

Sam Henry s/o 58,
Referee:- Steve Taylor.                                       Attendance:- 63
Admission:- F.O.C.                                       Programme:- £1.00
On a dank, dismal, dark and dirty day in North Wales, Ponciau Park did not look its best. The pitch was heavy and the dark green of the small stand and changing rooms did little to brighten the scenery!

picture courtesy of Graeme Askham

Before the match, we adjourned to Rhostyllen where we found Eddie’s Chip Shop and dined sumptuously – in my case I had fish cake and chips with mushroom and onion gravy!!!

There was a warm welcome, programmes and badges were available and the match, itself, was a breezy affair with the lowly placed hosts taking a surprise two goal lead playing up the hill in the first half. Corwen were level by half time and took the lead themselves, early in the second half. Then, they had a man dismissed and spent the rest of the game defending what they had – deservedly taking the victory and the points! With Graeme Askham.

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Matchday programme

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Sunday 20th January 2019
The FA Sunday Cup 4th Round

Birstall Stamford 5

Rikki Bates 7,

Paul Pallett 61,

Adam Parry 69,

Ryan Seal 82 (pen), 90 (pen),

Old Southall 1

Bilal Butt 38,
Referee:- Elliott Kaye.                                                 Attendance:- 181
Admission:- £3.00.                                                Programme:- NONE
This match was played at United Counties League, Birstall United’s Ground on Meadow Lane in Birstall, a small suburb of Leicester. A large, good humoured crowd seemed intent on drinking the bar dry and the visitors arrived late and with a history of a brawl in an earlier round. Nothing like that, today! Until half time the game was very even and even early in the second half, the visitors were extremely competitive, but then the hosts exerted themselves and four goals from the hour mark ensured their progress to the next round!

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Tuesday 22nd January 2019
Essex Senior League

Stansted 3

Billy Coyne 25,

Connor Hammond 60,

Paul Clayton 89, 

Enfield 1893 1

Nathan Cook 20,
Referee:- Mark Pond.                                                       Attendance:- 54
Admission:- £5.00.                                               Programme:- included
There was snow around tonight at Hargreave Park and it was touch and go whether the game went ahead. Eventually, the referee made the correct decision and the match started as the snow relented. Top of the table, Stansted, made heavy weather of this victory against lowly opponents. They fell behind, but were level by the interval. A horrendous error by the visiting keeper who palmed a regulation shot into the net, gifted the league leaders the advantage and in the final minute, they added a third. With Graeme Askham and John Main and good to see Daniel Turner there as well!

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Thursday 24th January 2019

The Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup Quarter Final

Loughborough University 1

Harry Bayles 44,

Mitchell Welch s/o 90+3

 Malvern Town  2

Finley Clift 62,

James Febery 89,

Referee:- Ravel Cheosiaua                                    Attendance:- 117

Admission:- OMGDS £2.00 (£5)                       Programme:- NONE

There was a good turn out for this Charity cup tie and a good selection of hoppers. I had come with John Main and Graeme Askham and Peter Ford, Dave Woodings, John Hague were there among others. Holywell Stadium is a fine venue and worthy of a much higher status of football. A VERY scratch looking university team took a rather undeserved half time lead but the visitors came back in the second half, equalised after an hour and scored the winner with but a minute to go! There was still time for a home substitute to be dismissed for some angry retaliation in added time.

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All pictures from this match, courtesy of John Hague

Saturday 26th January 2019
Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Rotherham United 1

Semi Ajayi 29

Leeds United 2

Mateusz Klich 51, 86,
Referee:- T. Robinson.                                                 Attendance:- 11,259
Admission:- OMGDS £17.00 (£27)                           Programme:- £3.00
The New York Stadium is an impressive arena – particularly in the eyes of my two young grandsons – but surprisingly, it wasn’t full for this juicy Yorkshire Derby! Leeds United fans made enough noise in letting us all know that they are top of the league, but, in truth, this was a poor game and Leeds trailed for a great portion of it. They scored the winner in added time, which was hard on the hosts who had matched them every stride of the way. Sometimes, being top includes a large dose of luck! With son, Jim and grandsons, Sonny and Kingsley.

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One minutes silence for the player from Nantes, Emiliano Sala, who disappeared over The Channel Islands during a light aircraft flight from Nantes to Cardiff.

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Kingsley, with Sonny behind him – my two grand sons and Dad, Jim

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OTHER MATCHES

Monday 7th January 2019

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City U-23 1 Everton U-23 0                                 Attendance:- 209

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Tuesday 15th January 2019

FA Youth Cup 4th Round

Leicester City 4 Crewe Alexandra 0                                Attendance:-360

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Wednesday 16th January 2019

Premier League 2 League Cup Group Stage

Leicester City U-23 1 Exeter City U-23 1                        Attendance:- 120

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Monday 28th January 2019

Northants Senior Youth League Jaymann Cup Group Stage

Stamford AFC Young Daniels U-18 4 Rothwell Corinthians U-18 4      Attendance:- 38

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Tuesday 29th January 2019

Premier League 2 International Cup Matchday 3

Leicester City U-23 3 Feyenoord U-23 1                           Attendance:- 56

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Thursday 31st January 2019

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports U-18 6   Godmanchester Rovers U-18 0        Attendance:- 46

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Matches:-

This month:-  Matches:  17    New Grounds:   3

This Season:-  Matches: 150   New Grounds: 58

Total:- Matches:- 4,082  New Grounds: 1,510

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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December 2018

Lullaby for a Referee’s Baby

The pitch is cold and dark

The night is dark and deep

The players have all gone to bed

So sleep, baby, sleep.

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The whistle’s on the shelf

The boots are in a heap

The kit is in the laundry bag

So sleep, baby, sleep.

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The house is warm and dark

The stairs are dark and steep

And Daddy’s here beside your cot

To send you off … to sleep.

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Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )

 

Saturday 1st December 2018
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League
Black Dragon South Division

Hilton Harriers 1

Karl Chadfield 31,

Mickleover RBL 1

Shaun Smith 77 (pen),
Referee:- James Thornhill.                                        Attendance:- 45
Admission:- £3.00.                                         Programme:- included
My 50th new ground of the season was at The Mease Pavilion, Hilton, just off the A50 north of Burton-upon-Trent. This is their second season in The CML and the ground is very basic. No floodlights and no cover, just a railed off field with the rails painted in club colours. There is a sizeable club house with basic refreshments and a large car park liberally pockmarked with rain filled potholes! The match was a close affair which either side could have won, but a draw was probably the fair result! With Graeme Askham and NO CHIPS on the way – there wasn’t enough time!.

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Sunday 2nd December 2018
SSE Women’s FA Cup 2nd Round

Loughborough Foxes 3

Charlotte Broad 17,

Becky Knight 94, 103,

Gillingham Ladies 1 aet

Alice Bussey 66,
Referee:- Thomas Bingley.                                       Attendance:- 56
Admission:- £2.50.                       Programme:- NONE – free team sheet
Loughborough University’s fine stadium at Holywell hosted this Women’s FA Cup encounter. The match started late, because the away team were held up on the M1 – as were we! The Foxes were clearly the better side but at ninety minutes, the score was 1-1. Two goals in extra time saw the hosts deservedly into the next round. With Graeme Askham and grandson, Freddie.

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Young Freddie’s 102nd game!

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Tuesday 4th December 2018
Future Lions United Counties League Premier Division

Desborough Town 1

Daniel White 8,

Wellingborough Town 1

Troy Johnston 26,

Shaun Wilkes s/o 74

Troy Johnston s/o 82
Referee:- Matthew Lake.                                Attendance:- 72
Admission:- £5.00.                                    Programme:- £1.00
A first visit of the season to one of my favourite grounds and a match delayed when the floodlights had a temperamental switch on, taking nearly fifteen minutes to warm up to full power! There was a minute’s silence in memory of John Weekes, the chairman of the league, who died at the weekend and who had been twenty-nine years serving on The UCL Committee. An entertaining game seemed to be drifting the way of the visitors, but two second half dismissals saw them clinging on at the end!

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At the right of the picture you can see the water tower which gives the ground its name!

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Saturday 8th December 2018
Spartan South Midlands League Division 2

Berkhamsted Raiders 2

Luke Bartlett 5,

Ryan McMahon 15 (pen),

The 61 FC (Luton) 1

Yvesilin Eugene 87 (pen),
Referee:- Warren Northcott.                                Attendance:- 19
Admission:- F.O.C.                                        Programme:- NONE
There was a pub in the town – The Crown, a Wetherspoons – where Graeme and I had a passable lunch. It was a busy pre-Christmas shopping Saturday. A swirling wind and occasional sharp showers on a cold afternoon were not ideal conditions for flowing football. The Raiders play in a 3G cage at the rear of Ashlyns School. There was, at least, the saving grace of a 100 seater stand along one side which kept the worst of the weather out. The hosts should have wrapped this game up well before half time with the wind in their favour. Their 2-0 lead lasted until ten minutes from the end when a penalty to the visitors made for a nervy finish!

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Tuesday 11th December 2018
Eco-Stik Southern League Premier Division Central

Banbury United 0

Stourbridge 0
Referee:- Ryan Williams.                                     Attendance:- 313
Admission:- OMGDS £7.00 (£10)                 Programme:- £2.00
My first 0-0 for 66 matches as the hosts drew 0-0 at home in consecutive matches. High flying Stourbridge looked the stronger of the two sides, but The Puritans remained resolute and the draw was a fair result in a keenly fought contest. With eldest son, Jim.

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Saturday 15th December 2018
Eco-Stik Southern League Division 1 South

Barnstaple Town 0

Cirencester Town 5

Alan Griffin 4, 28,

Ben Whitehead 56,

Tommy Ouldridge 81,

Will Christopher 86,
Referee:- Lewis Sandoe.                                            Attendance:- 55
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£8)                     Programme:- £2.00
We couldn’t believe that the game was on after the heavy rain and spray on the M5 – and the wind, but the ground took all that the elements could throw at it and played pretty well! There was a warm welcome and team sheets were made available, whilst just behind the far goal, a rugby match had already started and there were probably 500 or so in attendance! Barnstaple are bottom of their division and it is easy to see why, they were toothless in attack and porous in defence and the result was a fair reflection of the match! With Graeme Askham, John Main and Jack Warner.

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Above is the stand of the rugby club next door where a huge crown were supporting the muddied coats  in their closely contested fight against Brighton

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Tuesday 18th December 2018
Future Lions United Counties League Division 1

Northampton Sileby Rangers 1

Leon Lobjoit 17,

Rushden & Higham Utd 3

Nat Gosnal-Tyler 4,

Jory Mann 41 (pen),

Dylan Wilson 57,
Referee:- James Kavanagh.                                      Attendance:- 46
Admission:- £6.00.                                              Programme:- £1.00
On a filthy night in Northampton, the playing area at Fernie Fields was like a billiard table, there were even groundsmen out at half time, tending to the pitch. The visitors are on a recent good run and they surprised fifth placed Sileby with their pace and skill. They won comfortably despite having a man sent off for dangerous play after 70 minutes.

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Saturday 22nd December 2018
Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division South

Blackfield & Langley 1

Lerone Plummer 50,

Yate Town 2

Michael Bryant 37,

Nick Peare 90,
Referee:- Tristan Greaves.                                 Attendance:- 106
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£8).                Programme:- £1.00
“Gang Warily” is the eccentric nomenclature of the host’s ground, hidden between a Community Centre and the vast Fawley Oil Refinery in Southampton. The ground is not much to write home about – a stand seating maybe 200 and a very small covered standing area on the opposite side of the pitch. There was a warm welcome and complimentary programmes and team sheets, but the hosts, sitting pretty at the top of the League did not do themselves justice and second placed Yate Town deservedly reduced the differential to one point!

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The vast Fawley Oil Refinery in the background.

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Boxing Day 26th December 2018
Total Motion Midland League Division 3

Central Ajax 6

Matt Layton 15, 49,

Craig Robins 32,

Jordan Lewis 69,

Lewis Fathers 76,

Alex Andrews 79,

Leamington Hibernian 2

David Jones 73,

Matthew Wright 84,
Referee:- Jack Stenson.                                       Attendance:- 27
Admission:- F.O.C.                                       Programme:- NONE
They may be in the lowest division of The Midland League. They may play on a roped off pitch next to the M40, but they treated John Main and me right royally! We were served with bacon butties and coffee and team sheets were sorted out – all free of charge, just like the entrance! Ajax are highly placed in the division, but Hibernian are not only struggling, but, as one of their players put it, they’d had too much Christmas Pud yesterday! The hosts deserved their emphatic victory!!!

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Boxing Day Wednesday 26th December 2018
Total Motion Midland League Premier Division

Wolverhampton SC 3

Kieron Clarke 16 (pen),

Taylor Allen 45+1,

Kyle Burke 47,

Westfields 4

Aidan Thomas 4,

Ben Hayes 18,

Keanu Cooper 60,

Olli Price 86,
Referee:- James Scerri.                                                Attendance:- 42
Admission:- £6.00                                                  Programme:- £1.50
The backdrop of the clubhouse behind the goal resembles the frontage of a Lancashire Cotton Mill and the surrounds of the pitch have been ripped up due to a major sewage leak. The hosts are propping up the Division, whilst the visitors are in second place. An away goal three minutes into the game pointed to an easy victory, but the hosts were good value and at half time the score was 2-2. Three minutes into the second half, the hosts scored a third, but then had a player dismissed. Thereafter, it was a desperate rearguard action, but the visitors eventually struggled over the line, the winner coming four minutes from time!

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