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January 2017

from ” The Goals of Bingo Boot”

In nineteen hundred and twenty-two

A little boy was born

His baby cot was second hand

His baby shawl was torn

He had no teeth or teddy bear

His hair was incomplete

But he was the possessor of

The most amazing feet.


When Bingo Boot was two years old

He chewed his little crust

His poor old Dad was on the dole

His poor old pram was bust.

Yet Bingo wasn’t worried

Though his baby feet would itch

And he could hardly wait till

He could stroll – out on the pitch


In school young Bingo languished

At the bottom of the class

His ball control was good

It was exams he couldn’t pass.

His little pals all shouted ‘Foul!’

And tended to agree

If only teachers tested feet

He’d get a Ph.D.

Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )




Monday 2nd January 2017
Sky-Bet EFL League 1

Coventry City 2

Bolton Wanderers 2
Referee:- Carl Boyeson                  Attendance:- 10,339
The Ricoh Arena is a seriously expensive place to watch a match! It cost £10 just to park the car, beer was £4.20 a pint and even a packet of salted peanuts cost £1.50. It just felt that the club was ripping off the paying customer in every way possible. Maybe part of the reason is that the ground is owned by London Rugby Union Club, Wasps, and they have imported London prices with them!!! The Sky Blues posted their highest crowd of the season for this match and very nearly did maximum damage to promotion contenders, Bolton Wanderers, twice taking the lead and only being pegged back in the second minute of added time at the end of the match! The programme is headed PUSB and I had to ask!!! It stands for “Play Up Sky Blues”! Will I be returning? Not in the near future! I was very glad to get a phone call from Graeme at the end of the match to let me know that the evening game at Hook Norton had been called off due to a frozen surface!






Tuesday 3rd January 2017
Northern Counties East League Division 1

Teversal 1

Ollerton Town 1
Referee:- Christopher Darling                      Attendance:- 127
Admission:- OMGDS £3.50 (£5)                 Programme:- £1.00
On a bitterly cold night when the wind cut like a knife,The Teversal Grange Sports & Leisure Centre is not the most appealing arena. However, the welcome could not have been more warm and helpful. Programmes (past and present) and team-sheets were readily supplied and even the attendance was given early in the second half. However, this was not the best of matches from two teams at the wrong end of the lower division of The NCEL. All the action came in the final twelve minutes with a goal and a sending off to each side. Neither side deserved to garner a victory! Behind the far goal were a couple of covered standing areas clearly marked: “Tesco Trolley Park”!





Wednesday 4th January 2017
Premier League U-23 Cup

Leicester City 0

Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Referee:- Wayne Barrett                           Attendance:- 68
Admission F.O.C.                                       Teamsheet available
This match was played at The St George’s Park National Football Centre on Pitch 6. Pitch 8 was named ‘Alan Shearer’ and pitch 9 was ‘Michael Owen’, but pitch six with its grandstand outshone them both, but had no name! The site is huge with a hotel complex and even an outward bound facility. Leicester City, the hosts, were, as usual, welcoming and helpful and provided team sheets. There was a mobile stall with tea, coffee and snacks run by an enterprising pair of young ladies and excellent viewing from seating all along one side (see photos). The match, itself, was nothing to write home about. I liked the look of Leicester’s £7 million Polish winger, Bartosz Kapustka, who was a step above the rest, but he couldn’t help his team avoid defeat against a competent Seagulls who had right back, George Cox, as the pick of their team!




Pitch 6 looking towards the stand


The enterprising young ladies with their tea/coffee stall




Treating the pitch to ultra violet heat?


The hotel complex


Saturday 7th January 2017
Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round

West Bromwich Albion 1

Derby County 2
Referee:- Jonathan Moss                         Attendance:- 25,288
Admission:- OMGDS£10 (£15)              Programme:- £3.50
On a dank, slightly misty and drizzly day, the FA Cup served up one of its traditional upsets. My grandson, Freddie, accompanied Graeme and me to The Hawthorns and for the first half, it seemed to be developing into a fairly regulation home victory against lower league opposition! A goal down at half-time, but the Championship side turned over the deficit within ten minutes of the second half commencing, and for all the rampaging of giant striker, Salomon Rondon, it was the clever work done by Tom Ince that was the foundation of Derby’s victory. It was only my third visit to the ground, but I have yet to see The Baggies win there!



Freddie Arthur McGeown, grandson of the author!




The visitors wore a rather fetching aquamarine outfit!


Tuesday 10th January 2017
Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West

Mangotsfield United 0

Hereford 1
Referee:- Scott Jackson (Taunton)                        Attendance:- 602
Admission:- OMGDS£5 (£8)                                  Programme:- £2
Last November, we were sitting in the bar at Cossham Street, when this match was called off less than an hour before kick-off. Tonight, the Hereford hordes again descended and made plenty of noise, but little difference to a fairly turgid match in which the only bright spell was the beautifully crafted free kick from outside the area on 23 minutes, from which the visitors won the match. The moment was captured by Posh Girl from Hereford and can be seen on Facebook at “Hereford Goals”. John Main did the driving and we were both frustrated to find the M4 closed after the match! It was after midnight when I got home!







Wednesday 11th January 2017
The Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup 2nd Round

Coton Green 2  

Bilston Town Community 2

No extra time. Coton Green won 3-2 on penalties
Referee:- Alan Buchanan                        Attendance:- 48
Admission:- £3.00                                   Programme:- NONE
I could see the floodlights, but the narrow entry initially eluded me! This is a very basic ground with hard standing (just about) all around the pitch and a substantial rail with boarding on three sides. The only cover is provided by a terrace on the far side. Excellent changing rooms and club house facilities and very helpful and friendly staff. The match was a second attempt after an earlier match, at the end of last year, was abandoned because the pitch became frozen! Bilston, of The WRML triumphed over their Midland League rivals after a penalty shoot out where four of the nine penalties taken, failed to score!







Tuesday 17th January 2017
Midland League Premier Division

Loughborough University 0

Sporting Khalsa 1
Referee:- Andrew Ellis                                  Attendance:- 75
Admission:- OMGDS£2.00 (£5.00)          Programme:- £1.00
It is hard to believe that this stadium won Groundtastic’s “New Stadium of The Year” in 2012. I seem to have been coming here for much longer than that! It is a lovely arena, warm inside, good viewing, good refreshments and teams prominently displayed before the start. Sadly, tonight we were treated to a very UN-sporting display by the visitors, who, decidedly, did not live up to their name!. They scored the only goal straight from a corner midway through the second half, but their petulant, bad-tempered, mouthy, arrogance, detracted severely from the ambience of the occasion.






Saturday 21st January 2017
Pete’s Patisserie Sheffield County Senior League Premier Division

Denaby United 5

Denaby Main 2
Referee:-Stephen Granger Linesmen:-Natasha Wilson, Craig Holland Attendance:- 53         Admission:- F.O.C.           Programme:- £1.00
Denaby United have a proud history, competing in The Midland League during its heyday and fighting through to FA Cup battles with several league clubs. In 2002 their existence ended when they were ejected from their home ground and it wasn’t until nine long years later that the club re-appeared playing in the Doncaster Senior League. They lost their ground again, this time at Conisbrough when the FA deemed that their toiletting facilities were not adequate, but they hope to return for next season. Meanwhile, today’s visitors have taken over at their previous, but now derelict stadium and whilst both clubs have advanced two divisions of The Sheffield County League in the past two seasons, they now sit together at the foot of The Premier Division. United deservedly won this encounter whilst only playing with occasional flashes of the ability they possessed. They were three up in twenty-five minutes and could easily have reached double figures. Nonetheless, it was a welcome victory and may keep them in The Premier Division.

One of the Denaby Main players enjoying a half-time smoke!

The officials team; Referee Stephen Grainger flanked by Craig Holland (left) and Natasha Wilson

Tuesday 24th January 2017
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League Cup

Desborough Town 5

Wellingborough Whitworth 1
Referee:- Vincenzo Byatt (Peterborough)                 Attendance:- 63
Admission:- £5.00                                                 Programme:- £1.00
With matches falling to the weather all round the country like leaves in Autumn, I was happy to find that my favourite UCL team were at home this evening. It was good, too, to see John Main (after an abortive trip to Biggleswade!) and Jack Warner. There is an olde worlde atmosphere about The Waterworks Field. It is a real old fashioned ground and one of the best in the league. This evening, they entertained Whitworth from one division below them and after a quiet first half when it seemed that Ar Tarn made but two forays into their opponents half and scored each time, the second half heated up with the dismissal for a pretty awful tackle, of a Whitworth defender. Thereafter, Ar Tarn were on top and deservedly took the tie. Good to see a former pupil excelling at right back for the hosts!

Wednesday 25th January 2017
British Universities & Colleges Midland 3A

Anglia Ruskin University Ladies 1

Leicester University 6
Referee:- Spencer Warburton                                 Attendance:- 12
Admission:- F.O.C.                                             Programme:- NONE
On a bitterly cold and misty afternoon, John Main and I were surprised that this match went ahead, especially as the men’s fixture on an adjoining pitch was called off just a couple of minutes before kick-off, allegedly because a section of the pitch was frozen! This pitch, at The Girton Recreation Centre in Cambridge, was in perfect condition and despite the seeping cold the ladies served up an entertaining fare. Millie Cutler scored four goals for Leicester, who were by far the superior team, but player of the match was the Leicester midfield dynamo Hannah Watts (pictured below, about to pass the ball).

Player of the match, Hannah Watts, about to play the ball.

Saturday 28th January 2017
Sky Bet League One

Gillingham 1

Deji Oshilaja 44

Shrewsbury Town 1

Alex Rodman 63
Referee:- Trevor Kettle                             Attendance:- 5,316
Admission:- Corporate Hospitality        Programme:- F.O.C.
The annual football jaunt, this year took sixteen of us to Gillingham Football Club and hospitality in the boardroom. Every year our party visits a different football club. This season it was Gillingham. The (MEMS) Priestfield Stadium is somewhat cramped and hemmed in by the surrounding housing, but the welcome was warm and cordial and the meal was excellent! Sadly, the same could not be said for the match which flattered to deceive and ended up with honours even and a goal apiece. It was, nonetheless, a very enjoyable occasion!

I was impressed with the arrangements for our visit and not least, the fact that we had access to the boardroom for our meal and refreshments. This was all arranged by James Knott, at Gillingham FC, but it was only late in the day when he imparted the little gem that we would all need to wear ties!!! Some of us had to really dig deep to find a suitable facsimile!

We had been worried in the week leading up to the match. On the previous Tuesday, Gillingham’s match against AFC Wimbledon at Priestfield, had been called off and, I gather, the covers had remained on the pitch for two weeks. On the way down on the train (first of all, to London St Pancras and then to Gillingham), the weather was increasingly pleasant with blue skies and sunshine – although it did cloud over later on.

There is a little bar downstairs at The Priestfield Stadium, full of nooks and crannies and with screens showing Liverpool Reserves inept performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. Then it was time to climb to the third floor and enter the boardroom.

Young Freddie was a last minute addition to the party, but I think he enjoyed his day and I was impressed and grateful that the catering staff found him something suitable for his meal!

We had excellent seats for the match, right at the back of the stand, on the half-way line and wonderfully padded for increased comfort.

Jonny Crane

My grandson, Freddie Arthur McGeown

from left:- Aman Singh, Liam McGeown, Jim McGeown, Rory Clark, Jonny Crane and Mike McGeown

from left:- Jack Warner, Chris Berezai, John Main, Graeme Askham

from left:- Mike McGeown, Aman Singh, Freddie McGeown, Gary Miller




This season:-     Matches:- 156             New Grounds:- 79

TOTAL:-             Matches:- 3,602         New Grounds:- 1,306




Other matches in January 2017:-

Wednesday 18th January 2017

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division

Corby Town 1 Coalville Town 2                         Attendance:- 454

Thursday 26th January 2017 

Northants Senior Youth League David Joyce Cup 2nd Round

Rushden & Higham United 1 Desborough Town 6        Attendance:- 41

Friday 27th January 2017

Emirates FA Cup 4th Round

Derby County 2 Leicester City 2                          Attendance:- 25,079

Monday 30th January 2017

Barclays U-23 Premier League 2

Leicester City 3 Manchester City 3                    Attendance:- 613

Tuesday 31st January 2017

East Midlands Counties League Cup Quarter-final

Aylestone Park   P    Radford   P     ***

*** This match was declared “OFF” after we had paid our entrance and bought programmes. Apparently, it was not the pitch, which was perfectly playable, despite the heavy rain, but that Radford only had six players available for the match!

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