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

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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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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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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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0Comments

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

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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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Friday 28th December 2018
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Potton 1

Danny Webb 62,

Biggleswade United 2

Tony Williams 10,

Sam Holmes 51,
Referee:- Harry Tarrant.                            Attendance:- 318
Admission:- £6.00.                                 Programme:- £1.00
There was a sizeable crowd there even at 7.00pm when I arrived and the team lists were already posted just inside the club house. These two close rivals were meeting for the first time in this league – since Potton were transferred from The United Counties League at the beginning of this season. Only a point separated them in fourth and fifth place, but the visitors have four games in hand and, to be fair, they deserved their success, despite a spirited fight back by the hosts in the second half. The attendance of 318 was the second highest in the league this season, beaten only by the 323 who were at the Biggleswade United v Biggleswade match on Boxing Day!

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Saturday 29th December 2018
Sky-Bet EFL League 1

Rochdale 0

Bradford City 4

Nathaniel Knight-Percival 24,

Anthony O’Connor 48,

Eoin Doyle 61 (pen),

George Miller 89,
Referee:- Andy Woolmer.                                    Attendance:- 5,673
Admission:- OMGDS £16.00 (£22).                 Programme:- £3.00
Almost fifty years since my last visit to Spotland (10th May 1969 Football League Division IV Rochdale 3 Southend United 0 Attendance:- 9,095) and I didn’t recognise any of it!!! Went by train from Rugby with Graeme Askham, my son Jim and grand sons, Sonny and Kingsley. In a surprisingly good match, the visitors dominated throughout, despite their perilous relegation threatened position in the league. They were faster, fitter and more skilful than their opponents and thoroughly deserved their emphatic victory. Spot of bother shortly after half time when a small group of home fans exchanged smoke bombs with the huge away contingent!

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Son, Jim with Graeme Askham and, in front, grandsons, Kingsley and Sonny.

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There must have been around 3,000 Bradford City fans filling this stand!

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Other Matches

Monday 3rd December 2018

Coventry Charity Cup Quarter Final

Rugby Borough 3 Coventry Plumbing 0                            Attendance:- 59

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Wednesday 12th December 2018

National League U-19 Alliance Group G

Rugby Borough 4 Rugby Town 2                                        Attendance:- 41

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Thursday 20th December 2018

Premier League 2 International Cup Group F

Derby County U23 1 Manchester United U23 1                Attendance:- 426

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Friday 21st December 2018

Future Lions United Counties League Division 1

Lutterworth Athletic 4 Long Buckby 1                               Attendance:- 72

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Matches:-

This Month:- 16           New Grounds:-  6

This Season:- 133       New Grounds:-  55

Total:-   4,065         New Grounds:- 1,507

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November 2018

How to Score Goals

Approach with the ball

Sudden Sound of bagpipes

(For this you will need an accomplice)

Goal

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Approach with ball

Plus cake

Sing “Happy Birthday to you!”

Invite goalie

to blow his candles out

etc.

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Approach with ball

Point skywards

Say,”Oh look – a vulture!”

(he will have forgotten the rabbit by this time)

Goal

by Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )

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Thursday 1st November 2018
FA Youth Cup 1st Round

Peterborough Sports 0

Barnet 1

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

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

Ashford United 2

Danny Parish 21,

Sam Come 26,

Horsham 3

Chris Smith 65,

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

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Sunday 4th November 2018
FA Women’s Championship

Sheffield United Women 1

Bex Rayner 83,

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

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

Spelthorne Sports 1

Jake Flatman 1,

Balham 2

Jack Robinson 28,

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

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

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

Blackstones 2

Matthew Simpson 68,

Lee Clarke 87,

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

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

Boldmere S&S Falcons 4

Reece Gibson 36, 89,

Kyle Hudlin 57, 71,

Earlswood Town 1

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

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Sunday 11th November 2018
FA Cup 1st Round

Chorley 2

Josh O’Keefe 2,

Courtney Meppen-Walter 42,

Matt Challoner sent off on 72 minutes for dangerous play

Doncaster Rovers 2

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

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The away support in The Pilling Lane end.

Remembrance Day Silence prior to the match.

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

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

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

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Grandson Freddie with his Grandad Ed.

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

Wednesday 14th November 2018
Essex Senior League

Stanway Rovers 4

Jay Nash 30,

Joe Irnti 50, 62,

Gaz Dauti 75,

Ilford 2

Danny Haigh 53,

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

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Friday 16th November 2018
Friendly International

Brazil 1

Neymar 76 (pen)

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

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Saturday 17th November 2018
Sky-Bet EFL League One

Shrewsbury Town 3

Ollie Norburn 32 (pen), 72,

Fejiri Okenarbirhie 66,

Rochdale 2

Brad Inman 45+1,

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

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Son, Jim and grandsons, Sonny and Kingsley.

Rochdale had a very fetching away kit.

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Tuesday 20th November 2018
FA Cup 1st Round Replay

Doncaster Rovers 7

Alfie May 7, 30, 36, 81,

Matty Blair 21,

Herbie Kane 29,

John Marquis 85

Tom Anderson sent off on 59 minutes – second bookable offence

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

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

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There were 599 Chorley supporters in the away end.

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

Rushden & Higham United 2

Nat Gosnal Tyler 25,

Ben Aidulis 80,

Blackstones 2

Lee Clarke 36 (pen),

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

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

A new covered terrace behind the goal.

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

Lutterworth Athletic 3

Barnes Gladman 28, (penalty saved on 7 minutes)

Jeff Woodward 82, 90, 

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

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

Scarborough Athletic 0

Gainsborough Trinity 2

Simon Russell 74,

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

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Flamingo Land is a theme park between Pickering and Whitby.

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

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Wednesday 28th November 2018
Birmingham FA Midweek Cup

Dudley Town 3

Sean Geddes 12,

Jordan Davies 16,

Kartell O’Neill-Martin 88,

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

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Other Matches:-

Wednesday 7th November 2018

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

Rugby Town 2 Rushden & Diamonds 2

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

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Thursday 8th November 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports 10 Downham Town 2                                       Attendance:- 30

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Friday 9th November 2018

Future Lions United Counties League Premier Division

Oadby Town 4 Wellingborough Town 2                                         Attendance:- 76

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Monday 12th November 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

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

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Tuesday 13th November 2018

Smedley-Cooke Memorial Charity Cup 2nd Round

Loughborough University 3 FC Darlaston 1                              Attendance:- 161

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Thursday 15th November 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports 2 Peterborough Northern Star 1           Attendance:- 45

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Monday 26th November 2018

Thurlow Nunn Youth League Cambridge Division

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

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Wednesday28th November 2018

National League U-19 Alliance Group G

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

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Thursday 29th November 2018

Premier League 2 International Cup Matchday 2

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

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MATCHES

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

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

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

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0Comments

October 2018

How to Score Goals

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(1)

Approach with ball

Point left

Say, ‘Ooh, look – a bunny rabbit!’

Shoot right

Goal

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(2)

Approach with ball

point right

Say ‘Ooh, look – a fiver!’

Shoot left

Goal

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(3)

Approach with ball

Say, ‘sorry about all this trickery

I never saw any rabbit’

Offer to shake hands

shoot

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(by Allan Ahlberg 1937 – )

 

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

Harrowby United 1

Tyrell Shannon Lewis 77,

Anstey Nomads 4

Tindai Chitiza 24, 28,

Ash Day 49, (penalty saved 36,)

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

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

Blackstones 0

Melton Town 5

Robbie Parsons 6,

Michael Reeves 32, 35,

Sam Thorpe 49,

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

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The Western ‘Hop’ 5-7th October 2018

Friday 5th October 2018
Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Brislington 2

Clarke Taylor 41,

Connor Biggins 76,

Odd Down 3

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

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

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

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

Longwell Green Sports 2

Connor Britton 2

Courtney Charles 35,

Welton Rovers 3

Lewis Hunt 27,

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

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

Clevedon Town 1

Alex Camm 12,

Buckland Athletic 3

Charlie Johansen 30,

Ryan Bush 72,

James Richards 86,

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

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

Hallen 0

Shepton Mallet 3

Ashley Willmott 45

Tyson Pollard 59

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

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

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

Cribbs 2

Ben Dowdell 6,

Sol Wanja-Smith 81,

Hengrove Athletic 1

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

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Sunday 7th October 2018 k.o. 11.00am

Toolstation Western League Premier Division

Bridgwater Town 1

Tom Ellis 74,

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

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

Bristol Telephones 1

Ben Griffiths 12

Keynsham Town 2

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

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

Bedford Town 1

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

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Wednesday 10th October 2018
Essex Senior League

Leyton Athletic 2

Francesco Cicconi 61,

Dwade James 90+2

Clapton 4

Jason Ajoodha 12,

Steve Sardinha 33 (pen),

Hadi Habboushi 55,

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

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The Bedfordshire County League ‘Hop’

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

Bedford Albion 9

Ryan Kelly 3,

Paul Babbington 17, 30, 44, 50,

Chris Wright 23,

Adam Lewis 35, 39,

Jessie Sidhu 63,

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

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

Queens Park Crescents 3

Dominic Parella 32,

Danial Rasol 54 (pen), 90+1,

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

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

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Saturday 13th October 2018
Bedfordshire County League Premier Division

Wootton Blue Cross 2

Lui Sarrington 53, 

Antony Wright 64,

Marston Shelton Rovers 2

Nick Skolsky 25,

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

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

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Tuesday 16th October 2018
Essex Senior League

Hullbridge Sports 4

Rob Hodgson 14,

Luke Hornsley 23,

Jimmy Cox 45+2,

Nathan Scarborough 87,

Clapton 2

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

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Wednesday 17th October 2018
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1

London Lions 1

Adam Bolle 45+1

Park View 2

Ricardo Price 4,

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

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

Morpeth Town 5

Jack Foalle 33, 43,

Ben Sayer 57,

Tom Potter 66, 90+3,

Gresley 1

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

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Tuesday 23rd October 2018
West Midlands Regional League Premier Division

Pegasus Juniors 0

Wednesfield 3

Jammall Pinnock 37,

Harry Cunningham 48,

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

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Wednesday 24th October 2018
EFL Championship

West Bromwich Albion 1

Jay Rodriguez 83,

Derby County 4

Jade Marriott 10,

Tom Lawrence 15,

Harry Wilson 51,

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

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Thursday 25th October 2018
EUFA Europa League Group L

Chelsea 3

Ruben Loftus-Cheek 2, 9, 54,

BATE Borisov 1

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

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

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

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

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Saturday 27th October 2018
Leicester & District League Premier Division

Northfield Emeralds 3

Mitchell Birt 7, 51,

Gonncarlo Santos 90,

Braunstone Trinity 5

Quentin Thomson 1,

Macauley Parnell 28, 67,

Ryan Charles 81,

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

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Monday 29th October 2018
FA Youth Cup 1st Round

Rugby Borough 2

Sean Doyle (og) 19,

Husama Noma 32,

Sutton Coldfield Town 6

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

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

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

Biggleswade United 1

Kane Farrell 72,

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

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Thursday 1st November 2018
FA Youth Cup 1st Round

Peterborough Sports 0

Barnet 1

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

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Other Matches:-

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Monday 1st October 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

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

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Thursday 4th October 2018

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Nuneaton Borough 8 Halesowen Town 9                              Attendance:- 92

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

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Monday 8th October 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League  – Cambridge Division

St Neots Town 6 Newmarket Town 1                                Attendance:- 45

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Thursday 11th October 2018

Thurlow-Nunn Youth League –  West Division

Peterborough Sports 4 Holbeach United 0                     Attendance:- 42

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Monday 15th October 2018

FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

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

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Wednesday 17th October 2018

Northern Premier Football League Academy – Traider Division

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

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Thursday 18th October 2018

FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

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

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Sunday 21st October 2018

FA Women’s Championship

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

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Monday 22nd October 2018

Northants Senior Youth League – East Division

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

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Wednesday 24th October 2018

BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Premier Division North

Loughborough University 0 Stirling University 3                  Attendance:- 54

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Friday 26th October 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

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

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Sunday28th October 2018

Women’s National League Premier Division South

Leicester Foxes  6  MK Dons Ladies  0                                Attendance:- 88

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Wednesday 31st October 2018

Northern Premier League Academy – Traider Division

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

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Record

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

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

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

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September 2018

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

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August 2018

Football Wedding Match

.

It’s a special day for us all

We’ve been waiting till now

To run with the ball

Stood in the sidelines

Cheering them on

Wondering when the game would be won

Now that it’s here we can hardly wait

Crowds are here for this special date

We’ve come to see the match of the year

Some of us may just shed a tear

The vows will be spoken, the promises made

The knot will be tied and the rings exchanged

When it is finished, the ref will declare

That Graeme and Rose …… are truly a pair!

.

.

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

 Thursday 2nd August 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Aslocton & Orston 4

Cole Maule 31,

Robert Lakin 57, 63, 64,

East Bridgford 1

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

Saturday 4th August 2018
Sky Bet League 2

Grimsby Town 1

Mitch Rose 31,

Forest Green Rovers 4

Carl Winchester 51,

Danny Collins (og) 67,

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

Chris Berezai and Graeme Askham

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

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

Wednesday 8th August 2018
Peterborough & District League Division 1

Oundle Town 7

Ben Lockley 36, 88,

Ryan Pickstone 56,

Jimmy Hipwell 65,

Brian Smith 68,

Ira Ellis-Scott 75,

Jack McDermott 79

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

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

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

Saturday 11th August 2018
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Melksham Town 4

Neikell Plummer 13,

Luke Ballinger 19,

Jon Davies 24,

Gary Higdon 88,

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

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

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

Stranraer 0

Partick Thistle 5

Thomas o’Ware 10,

Aidan Fitzpatrick 34, 90,

Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo 36,

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

Wednesday 15th August 2018
Staffordshire Senior League Premier Division

Foley Meir 12 (twelve)

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

Pete Williams 17, 25, 90+1

Sam Arnold 52, 57,

Own Goal 68,

Florence 0

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

Saturday 18th August 2018
Vanarama National League

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

AFC Fylde 4

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

Monday 20th August 2018
Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division

Moira United 1

James Ward 64,

Castle Donnington 3

Jordan Davies 63,77,

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

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

Corby Town 1

Connor Kennedy 19,

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

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

Tattenhoe 5

Shaun Carr 16,

Patrick Crouch 35,

Lee Griffin 44,

Shane Blake 59,

Ben Gibbs 70,

Newport Pagnell Athletic 1

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

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

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

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

Friday 24th August 2018

Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Premier Division

Canton Liberal 2

Kieran Cotterill 4, 49,

Grange Albion 1

Christian Churchill 43,

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

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

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

AC Pontymister 3

Gavin Thomas 54,

Neirun Davies 72,

Laurie Kidman 86,

Blaenavon Blues 2

Kai Burton 28,

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

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 2

Rogerstone 1

Ian McIntosh 90+3,

Newport Corinthians 2

Joe Morgan 30 (pen)

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

Graeme Askham, Eddie McGeown, John Main and Peter Miles

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

Villa Dino Christchurch 1

Dan Butler 61,

Newport Civil Service 3

Aysa Eidoori 8, 10,

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

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

Pill YMCA 0

Niall Simmons s/o 66,

Lliswerry 2

McCorey Allmän 23,

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

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

Vale United 7

Oliver Waagenes 13, 36,

Jay Tominey 36,

Philp Caseley 74,

Lewis Richards 83, 85,

Dan Hunson 90+2

STM Sports OB 1

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

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

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

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

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

Porthcawl Town 4

Tom Warren 8,

Jorge Crofts 17,

Sam Rowley 22,

Andrew Fisher 90+1

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

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

Llangeinor 4

Simon Lock 38, 74,

Callum Evans 45,

Jack Laidler 84,

AFC Wattstown 2

Adam Fisher 52,

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

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

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

Monday 27th August 2018
The Taff Ely & Rhymney Valley League Premier Division
Rhydyfelin 2
Jake Mahoney 4(pen), 73 missed penalty 38
Ynysybwl 4
Carl Jones s/o 4,
Jamie Tooze s/o 37
Daniel Davies 40,
Marcus Livock 45, 53,
Leigh Price 56
Referee:- Mike Ford.                                   Attendance:- 229
Admission:- £3.00.                                 Programme:- £1.00
If ever a game spiralled out of reality, this was the one. When the visitors had a second man dismissed only just over half an hour into the game, and for the same offence of handling the ball on the line, they were a goal down from the first penalty and staring a two goal deficit with only nine men! However, the penalty was missed and the nine men roared back to score four unanswered goals before a late consolation strike for the hosts. Fan of the match (pictured) is Lord Squires, Earl of Edgbaston, a long suffering supporter of Birmingham City!