February 2020

Saturday 1st February 2020
Sky Bet EFL League 2

Swindon Town 2

Eoin Doyle 20, Hallam Hope 45+2

Exeter City 1

Randell Williams 34

Referee:- Kevin Johnson. ……………………………………………Attendance:- 13,095
Admission:- OMGDS £17.00 (£25). …………………………….Programme:- £3.00
The last time I was at The County Ground was for a Premier League match in 1993. Swindon drew 2-2 that day with Ipswich Town. Today’s match attracted the host’s highest crowd of the season by a considerable margin. Sadly, the windy conditions meant that play was scrappy and disjointed in this first against second confrontation. The home side fans were passionate throughout and the hosts just about deserved their narrow victory.

Monday 3rd February 2020

A gem of a walk in blustery conditions from Empingham across the edge of Rutland Water to Normanton with snowdrops bristling amongst the trees and even the occasional yellow aconite. Alison was fetchingly accoutred in a garb of many colours and the return to Empingham followed a route that swung away from Rutland Water across the fields and the main road to Stamford. Five stiles and 7.7 miles with Alison Merricks, Maureen Owens and Norma Jarvis.

Alison Merricks, Walk Leader!

Monday 3rd February 2020
Premier League 2 Division 1

Tottenham Hotspur u-23 1

Malachi Fagan-Walcott 16

Brighton & HA u-23 2

Peter Gwargis 6, Warren O’Hora 47

Referee:- Elliott Swallow. …………………………….Attendance:- 153 (h/c)
Admission:- OMGDS £2.00 (£5)…………………………programme:- NONE
Free teamsheet

Tuesday 4th February 2020
Emirates FA Cup 4th Round Replay

Derby County 4

Andre Wisdom 28, Duane Holmes 35, Scott Malone 51, Wayne Rooney 77(pen)

Northampton Town 2

Nicky Adams 46, Sam Hoskins 84 (pen)

Referee:- David Webb. ………………………………………….Attendance:- 15,860
Admission:- OMGDS £11.00 (£16)………………………….. Programme:- £2.00

Wednesday 5th February 2020
Uhlsport United Counties League Division 1

Long Buckby 3

Jimmy Smith 5, 41, 73

Wellingborough Whitworth 3

Jack Daldy 7, Maciek Skwirowski 49, Remy Brittain 59,

Referee:- Harry Price……………………………………………………………..Attendance:- 41
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5)………………………………………..Programme:- £1.00
High flying Bucks were foiled by a spirited, counter-attacking performance from mid-table Whitworth’s. Home striker, Jimmy Smith, helped himself to a hat-trick, but despite leading twice, the hosts found themselves a goal adrift entering the final fifteen minutes. Heavy pressure secured the equaliser, but the winner remained elusive! With Graeme Askham and Dave Gooding.

Thursday 6th February 2020

A bright, sharp, cold morning with ice crunching underfoot and an opalescent clear blue sky overhead. We walked from Wing Maze to Rutland Water and Burley House (not to be confused with Burghley House near Stamford) was clearly visible across the water. After a break at Normanton we returned via the tiny village of Lyndon where the church tower peeps out from behind the squire’s manor! Pretty muddy underfoot towards the end, until we crossed the main railway line from Leicester to Peterborough and began the final steep pull up to Wing! No stiles! 8.6 miles. With Alison Merricks, Harry Hamill and Maureen Owens

Saturday 8th February 2020
Southern Counties Least League Premier Division

K Sports 7 (seven)

Alex Arif 7, Jack Bray 24, Matthew Gething32, 48, 56, James Aldeman 81, Connor Pring 90,

Edith & Belvedere 0
Referee:- Richard Joss. …………………………………………………….Attendance:- 82
Admission OMGDS £4.00 (£8). …………………………………..Programme:- £2.00
A frustrating day started off with the closure of The A14 and just got worse. Tunbridge Wells v Canterbury City – our destination of choice – was called off just as we arrived, due to a waterlogged pitch, so we rapidly adjusted our sights and repaired towards Maidstone. K Sports was not an arena to titivate the tastebuds, being a 3G stadium with a single Meccano stand seating around 100, but the welcome was warm, we saw a good match – with the majority of the opposition playing their first games for the club after a financial crisis and a half time invitation to the boardroom for refreshments. Surprisingly, we really enjoyed the visit! With John Main


Tuesday 11th February 2020
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1

Stotfold 0

London Lions 0
Referee:- Jon Panconi. ……………………………………………Attendance:- 168
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6)……………………………… Programme:- £2.00
Only Stotfold’s second game (and their first under lights) at their new stadium – The New Roker Park – on a bitterly cold evening with a biting wind. The ground is functional rather than aesthetically pleasing, plenty of car parking, decent club house, a seated stand for maybe 125 spectators and standing cover on the opposite touchline. The match was a disappointment. The hosts barely mustered an attempt on goal whilst the visitors had a couple of second half opportunities. A draw, however, was a fair result. With Graeme Askham, John Main, Phil Evans and any number of interested hoppers!

Friday 14th February 2020
Bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund 4

L. Piszczek 33, Jordan Sancho 49, E. Haaland 54, Raphael Guerneiro 74,

Eintracht Frankfurt 0 
Referee:- Bastian Dankert. …………………………………….. Attendance:- 81,365
Admission:- €51.00 …………………………………………………..Programme:- NONE
Magnificent experience! The far away end changed from dancing supporters to a tableau of Dortmund history in the blinking of an eye! The match was a walk over for the Signal Iduna (the old timers still prefer The Westphalion Stadion!) side and Jordan Sancho looked every penny worth 100 million -pounds or euros – couldn’t believe how easy it was to access and leave the ground. The underground railway was free and I was back in my hotel within half an hour of the match finishing – despite the massive crowd!
Why are we leaving the European Community? They do things SO much better over here!

Saturday 15 February 2020
Regionalliga 4 West

Wuppertaler SV 1

M. Osenberg 90,

SV Rodinghoussen 4

F. Backszat 43, L. Meyer 54, S. Engelmann 60, 72,

Referee:- Mitja Stegenann ………………………………………………Attendance:- 1,871
Admission:- OMGDS €8.00 (€11)………………………………………Programme:- €1.00
Stadion am Zoo has a capacity of over 23,000 so today’s crowd had plenty of room! To get to the stadium, we travelled by overhead rail swinging from side to side as it negotiated the bends! The match itself, was a pretty turgid affair. The visitors, top of the league, enjoyed a regulation victory over the seventeenth placed hosts, but it was laboured and sterile, although the efforts of the home ultras leant some drama to the occasion! With Gary Miller, Daz Bibby, Dave and my son Mike.

The overhead railway – a feature of Wuppertaler and our means of transport from the Hauptbanhof to The Stadion am Zoo

From the left:- Dave Alderson, Gary Miller, Mike McGeown, Daz Bibby.

Saturday 15th February 2020
Bundesliga

Fortuna Dusseldorf 1

E. Thommy 29

Borussia Moenchengladbach 4

J. Hoffmann 22, L. Stindl 51, 77, F. Heuhaus 82,

Referee:- D. Siebert……………………………………………Official Attendance:- 51,000
Admission:- €30.00. ……………………………………………Programme:- Free A4
Probably not a good idea to leave it late to catch the tram from the station to the ground for what was a local derby match. We were crammed in like sardines!! Even worse getting back – we were crammed like sardines just waiting to board a tram!!! Lovely ground, though and a wonderful atmosphere. The away fans had overflowed out of their penned area and we were surrounded! Great game. The visitors were lethal on the break and fully deserved the victory. Another great German experience!

The away fans celebrate an emphatic victory

Sunday 16th February 2020
Bundesliga 2

SV Darmstadt 98 1

I. Hohn 59,

SV Sandhausen 0
Referee:- B. Kempkes ………………………………………………….Attendance:- 14,310
Admission:-(seated)€16.00………………………………….Programme:- by donation
Darmstadt’s stadium resembled a building site. The new stand was being used for only the second time and the ultras stand behind the goal had a very temporary feel to it. The ground was maybe three or four thousand short of capacity, the ultras gave it all they’d got to burst the air of somnambulism that stretched like a shroud over the game. The only goal came after an hour and the hosts just about deserved the victory and the spoils, but it was a dour contest!!! Dave, Daz, Gary and son Mike were with the ultras. I took a seat in the new stand.

Sunday 16th February 2020
Bundesliga

FSV Mainz 05 0

Schalke 04 0
Referee:- D Winkmann. ………………………………………………Attendance:- 27,482
Admission:- €30.00. ………………………………………………………Programme:- NONE
The Opel Arena stands out on the horizon as the (free) shuttle bus service decants spectators for a half mile trek to the stadium. It is bigger than it looks but there were plenty of unused seats for today’s game. Some of us who had seats were forced to stand because everyone else was! Despite the lack of goals, this was a tense encounter with the plucky hosts giving a good account of themselves against high flying Schalke. The draw was a fair result but both sides had good chances at the death!

Saturday 22nd February 2020
North West Counties League Macron Cup
Quarter Final

Shelley 3

Joshua Dyson 38, Matty Waller 45+1, Alex O’Keefe 66,

Ellesmere Rangers 2

Jack Briscoe 36 (pen), Karl Bailey 53,

Referee:- Zac Bambek …………………………………………………………..Attendance:- 55
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5) ………………………………………..Programme:- £1.50
High up at the top of the Peak District and almost in Huddersfield, Storthes Hall houses many of the university’s students and The Stafflex Arena, home to Shelley FC for the last five years or so. The ground lies in the shadow of the Emley Radio Mast – presently under repair – on the side of a windswept moor. There is some cover along the near side with tarmac terracing, but narrow hard standing only around the rest of the pitch. Heavy rain which blanked out the radio mast heralded the commencement of this match between two fairly evenly matched sides. In a hard exciting encounter, the hosts just about deserved their victory and progression into the semi-finals of The League Cup. Lovely club, very welcoming!

The Emley Radio Aerial, presently undergoing renovation. The thin mast adjacent is the temporary structure whilst the work is taking place!

Monday 24th February 2020
FA Premier League

Liverpool 3

Gini Wynaldum 9, Mohamed Salah 68, Sadio Mane 81,

West Ham United 2

Issa Diop 12, Pablo Fornals 54,

Referee:- Jonathan Moss. ………………………………………………Attendance:- 53,313
Admission:- £46.00. …………………………………………………………Programme: £3.50
Another step closer to their first league title since 1989 and tonight’s nervy display kept the fans on their toes until the final whistle! West Ham United belied their lowly position and for the first hour, comfortably held the champions elect and could arguably have won the match but for two Fabianski howlers. As usual, a tremendous atmosphere at Anfield. The stadium looked magnificent, but it lacked the theatre of Borussia Dortmund when I was there ten days ago! With Graeme Askham, Chris Berezai and John Lord.

Friday 28th February 2020
Austrian Liga 2

Floridsdorfer AC 3

Milan Jurdik 8, Marco Krainz 17, Christian Bubalovic 83,

SV Horn 3

Jorge Peláez-Sanchez 52, 56, 72,

Referee:- Manuel Schuttengruber. ………………………………….Attendance:- 632
Admission:- €15.00……………………………….Programme and teamsheet:- F.O.C.
This was the ground where Marco Arnautovic commenced his career. It resembles a building site in parts, but we had a very friendly reception and I sat next to the father of Canillas, the hat-trick hero for the opposition this evening. At half time, the result seemed beyond doubt as the hosts held a two goal advantage and had spurned several other inviting opportunities. By the hour mark, the lowly visitors, with two second half substitutes, had not only wiped out the deficit, but had taken the lead! It took a goal seven minutes from time to spare home embarrassment! Very enjoyable and only a twenty minute journey by train from the heart of Vienna. With Jonny Crane, Mark Sumner and son, Jim.

Saturday 29th February 2020
Austrian Liga 2

FC Blau Weiss Linz 1

L. Tursch 61

Grazer AK 1

D. Hackinger 27,

Referee:- G Gmeiner. ………………………………………………Attendance:- 1,285
Admission:- €19.00. ………………………………………………..Programme:- F.O.C.
An hour and a half on the Salzburg express brought us to Linz on The Danube and The Linzer Stadion which is a large athletics arena with a football pitch in the middle and very interesting illumination with floodlight pylons that resemble a finger dotted with diamonds at the tip! The ultras from both teams kept up a fervent support of their icons but, in truth, the match was no classic and a draw was probably the fairest outcome! With Jonny Crane, Mark Sumner and son, Jim!

_____________________________________________________________________

Other Matches:-

Sunday 2nd February 2020

FA WSL Championship

Leicester City Women 1 Lewes Women 0 Attendance:- 172

__________________________________________________________________

Thursday 6th February 2020

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports 4 March Town United1 Attendance:- 60

__________________________________________________________________

Thursday 20th February 2020

Women’s FA Cup 5th Round

Leicester City Women 2 Reading Women 1 Attendance:- 266

_____________________________________________________________________

Matches:-

This month:- matches: 18 new grounds: 10

This Season: matches: 151 new grounds: 70

TOTAL: matches: 4,321 new grounds: 1,624

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January 2020

The Football Pitch That dad Built (continued)

Often the net broke, even with our shots,

but it was worth spending time

knotting the net together again

just to see that one shot

hit the top left hand corner

leaving the goalie helpless

just like Goal of the Month

on Match of the Day.

by Paul Cookson

Wednesday 1st January 2020
Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division South

Weston-super-Mare 3

Scott Laird 38, 90+2, Mike Symons 90+5

Truro City 2

Daniel Rooney 14, Ryan Dickson 73,

Referee:- Andrew Sheppard Attendance:- 602
Admission:- OMGDS £7.00 (£11) Programme:- on line only
On a grey, murky day, Woodspring stadium did not look its best. There was an impressive covered area behind one goal with standing and crush barriers – and seating for around 200. The rest of the ground was hardly distinguishable from any well kept step 5 or 6 stadium, except, perhaps, for the extensive club facilities. On the pitch, Truro were the better side and were a tad unlucky, after leading 2-1 on ninety minutes, to concede two goals in added time! With Graeme Askham.

Thursday 2nd January 2020
Sky-bet EFL Championship

Derby County 2

Jack Marriott 45, Martyn Waghorn 57,

Barnsley 1

Elliot Simoes 51,

Referee:- Dean Whitestone. Attendance:- 27,782
Admission:- OMGDS £28.00 (£38). Programme:- £3.00
There was a pretty sizeable audience for this bottom of the table clash – but it was the debut of Wayne Rooney in his first match since leaving DC United last October! To be fair, he did ping one or two sublimely accurate long passes, but most of his work was sideways or backwards – although he did have a hand in the first goal. To be honest, it was a poor game of football between two struggling teams, but my grandson enjoyed it, as he added another league ground to his growing list! With Mike and Freddie McGeown.

Saturday 4th January 2020
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division 1

Cove 0

Jersey Bulls 1

Fraser Barlow 51,

Referee:- Jarnail Singh. Attendance:- 153
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5). Programme:- £1.00
A sparsely equipped ground with perhaps one hundred seats and shelter only down the far side of the pitch and a pitch that undulated alarmingly and defied the best attempts of both sides to play constructive football saw The Bulls maintain their 100% record in this division, but the game was not a spectacle! With Graeme Askham.

Saturday 4th January 2020
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division 1

Ash United 3

Ben Wyatt 35, Matthew Pearse 47, 60,

Chessington & Hook United 1

Jordan Vidal 45+1

Referee:- William Siegmund. Attendance:- 76
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5). Programme:- £1.00
The last time I was here, Badshot Lea were the tenants, so it was good to see the landlords playing. There is cover behind one goal and covered seating down one side. This was a much better contest than the morning offering and after a slow start, the hosts gradually gained the ascendancy with Matthew Pearse scoring two pretty impressive second half goals – one with each foot to ensure a comprehensive victory. With Graeme Askham.

Sunday 5th January 2020

Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round

Crewe Alexandra 1

Paul Green 50

Barnsley 3

Jacob Brown 31, Conor Chaplin 75, Luke Thomas 90+3

Referee:- James Linington. Attendance:- 5,158
Admission:- OMGDS £10.00 (£15). Programme:- £2.50
It was good to bump into Tony Morehead in the club shop prior to the match! I was there with my eldest son, James, and my three grandsons to enjoy an afternoon of cup football. Alex gave it a real go, after conceding and early strike and equalised just after half time. Even a second Barnsley strike did not deter them, but it did undo them in the 93rd minute when their goalkeeper joined the attack for a corner and they were stranded when the ball was cleared to Luke Thomas who ran the length of the pitch to seal the victory and the tie!

Monday 6th January 2020
JW Hunt Cup 2nd Round

Coleshill Town 6

Amarvuir Sandhu 7, Ethan Mannion16, 55(pen),

Edilson Panzo-Antonio 22, 42, George Washbourne 90+3

Darlaston Town (1874) 0
Referee:- Richard Booth. Attendance:- 74
Admission:- OMGDS £7.00 (£10). Programme:- £1.50
Thank god for teams that play on Mondays!!! Fresh from their defeat of league leaders, Corby Town on Saturday, Coleshill were utterly dominant in this cup tie against much lowlier opposition. Pack Meadow is not the most photogenic of stadia and I’m usually suspicious of 3G surfaces, but tonight was a good game and the hosts deservedly progressed!

Monday 6th January 2020


First walk of the new year and this medium journey from The majestic Byzantine parish church in Irthlingborough across the lakes and The River Nene to Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre and then on to Rushden town centre and railway station, which was once a bustling stop on The Northampton to Peterborough line. We had coffee in Higham Ferrers before returning across the A45 and back to Irthlingborough. No stiles and 7.8 miles with Alison Merricks and Maureen Owens.

Saturday 11th January 2020
Sky Bet EFL League 2

Crawley Town 2

Ollie Palmer 21, 40,

Bradford City 1

Aramide Otah 85,

Referee:- Neil Hair. Attendance:- 2,361 (509)
Admission:- hospitality. Programme:- included. (£1.00)
A really cracking day out for our party of seventeen at Crawley Town’s Broadfield Stadium and really excellent hospitality. Bad news for highly placed Bradford City who just didn’t turn up until the last ten minutes and deservedly forfeited the points. Crawley were the hungrier and more determined of the two sides and scored two first half goals. The Bantams late strike was a mere consolation!

Saturday 18th January 2020
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League
Premier Division

Banstead Athletic 0

Southall 3

Aaron McLeish 6, 72,Sandio Fernandes 83,

Referee:- David Payne. Attendance:- 38
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7). Programme:- NONE
Not the most alluring of arenas on a bright sunny, but cold afternoon. The ground is surrounded by a substantial metal fence and has cover on three sides, but only, maybe, fifty seats. There is a very pleasant clubhouse, but it is outside the ground footprint AND there was no programme! The hosts, fourth from the bottom of the table were well beaten by the visitors who lie fourth from top and possibly the most entertaining incident was the first half melee which saw a member of the visiting management team dismissed! With Graeme Askham and John Main.


Monday 20th January 2020

On a cold morning, the ground was crunchy underfoot – except where the sun had got to it and softened it up! We walked from Exton village green past the private RC cemetery on the Exton Estate and up to Greetham and then, onto Greetham Valley Golf Club for a welcome cup of coffee. The return route took in the folly known as Fort Henry and then round the lake and back to Exton village green. Four stiles and 7.2 miles with Maureen Owens and Alison Merricks.

Tuesday 21st January 2020
Surrey Senior Cup 2nd Round

AFC Croydon Athletic 2

Nahum Green 7, Jake Rose 19,

Guildford City 0
Match abandoned at half-time because of frost
Referee:- Stephen Matthews Attendance:- 49
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£8). Programme:- £2.00
A difficult journey and a ground that was hard to find – even with sat-nav, but it was well worth the visit. Mayfield Stadium has a fine stand with seats for, maybe, 400 spectators and cover on two other sides of the ground and hard standing all round. The pitch was hard, but not dangerous and The Rams secured a very deserved 2-0 half time lead, but then the referee dropped a bombshell and abandoned the match because of hard frost in one corner of the pitch and despite both teams being prepared to carry on. Very friendly club and even teamsheets could be had! With John Main.

Saturday 25th January 2020
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League
Premier Division 

Frimley Green 2

Sammy De St Croix 20 (pen), Connor Holland 71,

Egham 1

Jake Sobalak 18,

Referee:- Neil Keirs. Attendance:- 86
Admission:- OMGDS £5.00 (£7). Programme:- £1.50
After a fine repast at The Old Wheatsheaf we repaired to the Frimley Green Recreation Ground, close by the hostelry. It was a tight arena surrounded by green railing and difficult to negotiate with the dug-outs hard against the club house wall. On the opposite side of the ground was a Meccano stand with seats for around 100 spectators and there was narrow hard standing all the way round. These two teams were placed comfortably in the upper echelons of the table and after an entertaining first half, the score was level at 1-1. The hosts got the break through late in the second half and just about deserved their victory.

The Old Wheatsheaf in Frimley Green prior to the match between Frimley Green and Egham – with Graeme and John.

Sunday 26th January 2020

A little diddy walk from East Carlton Country Park, taking the Ashley road and then cutting back along the path that leads to Middleton. Onwards into Cottingham and up to and past the village shop (open on Sundays) and the across the front of the parish church, up the steep field and back into East Carlton along the walled road. Dull but dry, 3.25 miles, no stiles, with Charlotte.

Tuesday 28th January 2020
East Midlands Counties League
Jenkins & Jenkins League Cup Quarter Final

Barrow Town 2

Bryce White 73, Ashley Way 77,

Sherwood Colliery 2

Gareth Curtis 35, Klarke Greenham 83,

No extra time. Barrow Town won 7-6 on penalties.
Referee:- Alec Simpson. Attendance:- 18
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5). Programme:- Free
It is more than four years since my last visit to Riverside Park with its distinctive footbridge behind the far goal which climbs across the A6 dual carriageway, running adjacent to the ground. A paltry attendance for tonight’s fixture, but the two teams served up a cracker of a match – end to end stuff with the lead changing hands throughout the match. It was very cold but there was a warm welcome and even free refreshments at half-time in the club house. Each side took nine penalties and it was the hosts who narrowly squeezed through to the semi-final.

Wednesday 29th January 2020
Uhlsport United Counties League Division 1

Bugbroke St Michael’s 4

Dan Quigley 34 (pen), Dan Porter 45, 56, Jake Beatles 77,

Rushden and Higham United 2

Jory Mann 31, Jake Reynolds 90+2

Referee:- Scott Hanna. Attendance:- 48
Admission:- £5.00. Programme:- NONE
Futbolog awarded me a recognition of my tenth match at Bugbrooke since 2000 – something I hadn’t realised – and it was good to see the hosts, perennial members of the lower division of the UCL, riding high at the top of the table! They had to survive an early scare as the visitors scored the opening goal, but four unanswered strikes either side of half-time took the game away from Rushden and Higham and their second goal was a mere added time consolation.

Other Matches:-

Friday 3rd January 2020

Barclays Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City u23 5 Wolverhampton Wanderers u23 1 Attendance:- 294

Wednesday 8th January 2020

Carabao EFL Cup Semi Final 1st Leg

Leicester City 1 Aston Villa 1 Attendance:- 31,280

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Loughborough University 4 Anstey Nomads 0 Attendance:- 81

Monday 27th January 2020

Barclays Premier League 2 International Cup Matchday 3

Leicester City u23 2Dinamo Zagreb u23 1 Attendance:- 256

Thursday 30th January 2020

Thurlow nun Youth League West Division

Godmanchester Rovers u18 1 Holbeach United u18 2 Attendance:- 31

Matches:-

This month:- 17 New Grounds:- 6

This Season:- 133 New Grounds:- 60

Total :- 4,303 New Grounds :- 1,614

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December 2019

The Football Pitch that Dad Built (continued)

At last they arrived.

Dad unwrapped the parcel

and unravelled the nets.

He stretched them between his vice like hands

testing their strength and smiling his approval.

Eventually the bright orange nets hung over the posts.

He put the ball down, took three paces back

ran… and then…thump!

The ball flew into the top corner.

The net billowed gracefully.

Then broke

and the ball went twenty yards behind the goal.

by Paul Cookson

Monday 2nd December 2019
Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division Central

Hitchin Town 1

Jacob Hutchinson 44,

Lowestoft Town 3

Jake Reed 39, Malachi Linton 48 (pen), Marcus Wilkinson 65,

Travis Cole s/o 81


Referee:- A List Attendance:- 214
Admission:- OMGDS £8.00 (£12). Programme:- £2.00
Match:- 99. New grounds this season :- 48
It’s Monday, so it must be Hitchin! On a very cold evening, some of the iconic wooden terracing was closed – and some of it was covered in sand, and some had hoar frost visible! Lowestoft were the better of the two sides and after reaching the interval at 1-1 courtesy of a penalty saved by the visiting keeper, they bossed the second half even when they had a man dismissed with ten minutes to go!

Tuesday 3rd December 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League
Kitmanuk Cup Quarter-final

Loughborough University 2

Jack Turner 5, Kamen Cashmore 88,

Leicester Nirvana 1

Deen Mastler 46,


Referee:- Lauren Impey Attendance:- 70
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6). Programme:- £1.00
Always a pleasure to visit Holywell and the university’s well appointed stadium. The club are ever helpful with things like team sheets and the official attendance and tonight’s programme was even reduced due to a typing error! An early home goal suggested an easy victory, but no further score came until the first minute of the second half when a rejuvenated visiting side scored following a goalkeeping error from a corner. Nirvana were good value, but just as we were preparing g for penalties to decide the tie, the hosts scored a second and decisive strike to take them through to a semi final against Holbeach United!

Wednesday 4th December 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Northampton ON Chenecks 1

Matty Reeve 9,

Lutterworth Town 1

Marshall Keenan 57,


Referee:- Georgia’s Markov. Attendance:- 22
Admission:- £6.00. Programme:- £1.00
On a freezing night with frost clearly visible across the pitch, it was hardly surprising that there was such a sparse attendance for this match. ONs (Old Northamptonians) play their matches on a corner of the extensive Billing Road site mainly dedicated to rugby. Theirs is really only a two sided ground with a couple of covered areas down one side offering a restricted view. Tonight’s match was a close affair with the visitors equalising the hosts first half opener, but only after spurning a penalty opportunity. Good to see Mike Dean there!

Saturday 7th December 2019
Combined Counties League Premier Division

Knaphill 0

Banstead Athletic 0
Referee Karl Parker. Attendance:- 67
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7). Programme:- online
The Surrey Hire Stadium at Reddings Lane is a ground of contrasts with the rustic charms of autumnal trees overhanging the floodlights down one side and the Teutonic red and black flags and staff uniforms – yes, and even the stand seats are red and black. This was a truly awful game where, despite several opportunities neither side looked remotely like scoring. The final whistle came as a blessed relief – and then, and only then was the online programme available from 5.00pm! With Graeme Askham and John Main.

Tuesday 10th December 2019
Leicestershire & Rutland FA Challenge Cup
Quarter-final

Loughborough Dynamo 3

Tyreece Robinson 14, 25, Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson 38,

Anstey Nomads 4

Michael Reeve 55, Tom Mangan 76, 90+3, Reece Medway 77,

Referee:- M. Karia. Attendance:- 65
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5). Programme:- NONE
Not the plush opulence of Loughborough University’s Holywell Stadium but the more prosaic residence of The ATM Stadium, home of The Dynamo! By half time, the hosts who ply their trade two steps higher than the visitors, had built a commanding 3-0 lead. It only seemed a question of ‘how many’? What a turn around! Nomads changed their formation, brought on two substitutes and Dynamo, shortly after half time lost their main striker. The result was a tense finale as the visitors grew in confidence, drew level and then, in a grandstand finish, scored the winner in the third minute of added time!

Saturday 14th December 2019
Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round

Dorking Wanderers 3

Jake Barham 33, Tom Richards 53, Jason Prior 73,

Bromley 0
Referee:- Samuel Allison. Attendance:- 759
Admission:- OMGDS £9.00 (£12). Programme:- £3.00
On a cold, clear and bright afternoon at Mill Road, a healthy crowd came to support the locals in their tussle with a team vying for promotion to The Football League! The ground was less impressive than I had expected, being cramped and tightly appointed with around 300 seats and a couple of covered terraces – one at each end of the ground. The floodlights were dim and underpowered – surprising for a club of this stature! The team, however, made mincemeat of the opposition, hardly allowing their illustrious opponents a sight of goal and advanced deservedly to the next round! With Graeme Askham.

Monday 16th December 2019
Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round REPLAY

Boston United 1

Jordan Thewlis 48,

Rochdale 2

Ian Henderson 4, Aaron Morley 79 (pen),


Referee:- Ollie Yates. Attendance:- 4,190
Admission:- OMGDS £10.00 (£13) programme:- sold out
This was my 97th visit to York Road (over a period of 42 years) and at the end of this season, it will be no more, as the club move to a new purpose built complex on the edge of the town. Tonight, the old stadium was heaving and the fireworks were plenty in evidence! The crucial goal came in the third minute when a mistake by the home custodian gifted the visitors the lead. Right at the start of the second half, the hosts drew level following a slick and incisive attack. The game was won with a penalty to the visitors just after the hour mark, but despite the result, the huge crowd left, happy with the efforts of their team, even in defeat!

Tuesday 17th December 2019
Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division Central

Coalville Town 1

Kairo Mitchell 38,

Peterborough Sports 2

Dion Sembie-Ferris 32, Joshua McCammon77 (pen),


Referee:- Andrew Ellis. Attendance:- 116
Admission:- OMGDS £7.00 (£10). Programme:- £2.00
On a bitterly cold evening with the frost glistening on the pitch, these two teams served up a cracker, despite the Stygian gloom created as the fog increased in intensity throughout the match. The Ravens will be scratching their heads in wonderment at how they contrived to lose this game, they had several clear cut opportunities which they either spurned or were saved by the outstanding display of The Turbines’ custodian. The winning goal came courtesy of a penalty strike after the Ravens captain was dismissed for his part in the incident leading to the penalty award! With Graeme Askham.

Saturday 21st December 2019
Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division South

Dorchester Town 1

Klaidi Lolos 65,

Tiverton Town 5

Chris Shepard 7, 43, River Allen 55, Alex Fletcher 67, Jordan Bastin 72,


Referee:- James Robinson. Attendance:- 247
Admission:- OMGDS £8.00 (£12). Programme:- £2.00
The rain came down in Biblical proportions on the impressive Clayson Stadium, built some thirty years ago and just beginning to show some rough edges like the water pouring off the stand roof onto the access steps. We were given a very friendly reception and enjoyed the hospitality of the bar, but we were surprised by the food kiosk which was quite outrageously expensive. As for the match, the gulf between second top visitors and second bottom hosts was immense and Tiverton polished off a very comprehensive victory! With Graeme Askham and Jack Warner.

Boxing Day Thursday 26th December 2019
Skye-Bet EFL Championship

Stoke City 3

James McLeam 11, Tyrese Campbell 90+3, Sam Vokes 90+7

Sheffield Wednesday 2

Morgan Fox 67, Tom Lees 74,

Referee:- John Brooks. Attendance:- 25,359
Admission:- OMGDS £22.00 (£33) programme:- £3.00
First visit in five years to Stoke City and in the rain and the cold, an unlikely but deserved win for the hosts who scored first, but went a goal behind midway through the second half and then scored two goals deep into added time to claim the victory and the points! With Graeme Askham.

Friday 27th December 2019
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Biggleswade United 3

Dave Parkinson42, 90+2 (pen), Charlie Clayton 60,

Potton 1

Tony Williams 27,


Referee:- Connor Griffin. Attendance:- 141
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7). Programme:- NONE
This local derby between A1 rivals featured the hosts who are well placed this season and Potton who struggled early on but have been on a recent running streak! The visitors opened the scoring and looked sprightly early on, but United grew into the game, equalised by half time and ground down their opponents (who also had a man dismissed) and rounded off the game with a last minute penalty!

Saturday 28th December 2019
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division 1

Farnham Town 0

Jersey Bulls 2

Karl Hinds 28, Harry Cardwell 85,


Referee:- Ben Wright. Attendance:- 232
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7). Programme:- £1.00
The scheduled 12.30pm start was put back and put back as the Jersey Bulls struggled to get from airport to ground. The Bulls raced from coach to pitch already changed and play began at 1.29pm. Farnham’s tightly enclosed ground is an absolute gem, with seats behind one goal and covered standing down one side. Most of the big seasonal crowd watched from high up behind the goal with the covered seats. The Bulls have won every league game this season and lead the division by more than twenty points! Farnham ran them close however in a very entertaining encounter which was only settled when the second goal went in with around five minutes to go!

Saturday 28th December 2019
Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League 
Premier Division

Guildford City 2

Benga Ogunseye 3, 39,

Sheerwater 1

Luke Taylor 81,


Referee:- Peter Georgiou. Attendance:- 112
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7). Programme:- £2.00
Not much of a stadium (an Athletics stadium) and two teams struggling in the lower reaches of the Premier Division of The Co-Co League! Two first half goals from Benga Ogunseye won this match, but the visitors had plenty of second half chances to snatch at least a draw!

Other Matches:-

Sunday 1st December 2019

FA WSL Championship

Leicester City Women 2 Blackburn Rovers Women 0 attendance:- 125

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Thursday 5th December 2019

Leicestershire Midweek Floodlit Youth League South Division

Lutterworth Athletic u-18 1 Oadby owls u-18 0 attendance:- 35

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Monday 9th December 2019

Barclays Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City u-23 2 Everton u-23 1 attendance:- 218

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Wednesday 11th December 2019

FA Womens Super League Cup Group C

Leicester City Women 0 Everton Women 3 attendance:- 174

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Sunday 15th December 2019

FA WSL Championship

Leicester City Women 1 Sheffield United Women 4 att.:- 129

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Boxing Day Thursday 26th December 2019

Midland League Division 2

Solihull United 9 Lane Head 0 attendance:- 40

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Matches:-

This month: 19 matches 5 new grounds

This Season: 116 matches 53 new grounds

Total: 4,286 matches 1,608 new grounds

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November 2019

The Football Pitch that Dad Built (continued)

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The goals we scored were okay,

may even have been good,

may occasionally have been brilliant

but they were nothing compared to the goals

they would have been with real nets.

Following that path of the ball

and seeing the net billow with the shot

would always be more spectacular

and would always be more like Match of the Day.

Plus the fact that we wouldn’t have to run

twenty yards to get the ball back afterwards

which always took away the thrill of the goal.

by Paul Cookson

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Saturday 2nd November 2019
Vanarama National League

Barnet 2

Jack Taylor 62 (pen),

Mauro Vilhete 80,

Chorley 1

Marcus Carver 30,
Referee:- James Durkin.                                                 Attendance:- 1,048
Admission:- Hospitality.                                                Programme:- online only
The heavens opened, and the wind swirled – especially in the second half at The Hive as my two elder sons – James and Mike – and I, remembered back just over thirty years to March 1989 and Chorley’s first visit to Underhill (as it was in those days) and a famous 4-2 victory. Sadly, it was not to be today. Chorley struck first for a half time lead, but were undone by a dubious penalty and a late strike despite an awesome display by central defender, Courtney Meppen-Walter! Also there today, youngest son Liam who was but a babe thirty years ago and grandsons, Sonny and Kingsley (and mother, Cora) along with Phil Evans!

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Jimbo with Kingsley and (nearest the camera) Sonny.

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Monday 4th November 2019
Bet-Victor Southern League Division 1 Central

Coleshill Town 1

Lewis Rankin 5,

Thame United 0
Referee:- Richard Cattell.                                              Attendance:- 89
Admission:- OMGDS £7.00 (£10).                          Programme:- £1.50
Same ground, different team, last Monday it was tenants, Chelmsley Town, tonight, the landlords were playing some two divisions higher than the tenants. A good, open game deserved more goals than the fifth minute decider which saw the hosts take the victory and the spoils.

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Tuesday 5th November 2019
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 Cup 2nd Rnd

Hillingdon Borough 4

Hamza Miezou 11, 70,

Ash Hunt 16,

Bilal Sanchez 45,

Park View 3

Francis Williams 8,

Kofi Appiah 82,

Edmond Kojo Sampong 87,
Referee:- Yasha Yekta.                                                         Attendance:- 17
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                         Programme:- Free
It may be called The Middlesex Stadium but it is a tired, dilapidated edifice. Conversely, the club house was an eye-opener with chicken and chips on the menu and big screen choice of European Champions League games! The match was a cracker, too. The visitors opened the scoring, but were 4-1 down with less than ten minutes left. Two goals late on gave them hope, but the hosts held on for victory! A paltry attendance, but the fireworks all around suggested alternative entertainment! With Graeme Askham and John Main.

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Saturday 9th November 2019
Emirates FA Cup 1st Round

Mansfield Town 1

Nicky Maynard 83,

Chorley 0
Referee:- Savvas Yianni.                                                 Attendance:- 2,418 (250)
Admission:- Hospitality.                                             Programme:- included (£2)
I never knew that Field Mill laid claim to being the oldest football ground in the world – since 1861. Considering the recent weather, the pitch was immaculate, but this match will not go down as one of The Stag’s finest. They struggled to break down a solid Magpie defence and it was only seven minutes from time that they managed the breakthrough. Chorley defended well but showed little in attack. Thoroughly enjoyable day with son, Mike and grandson, Freddie!

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Tuesday 12th November 2019
Smedley Crooke Memorial Cup 2nd Round

Quorn 2

Jack Henchcliffe 4,

Nathan Dale 44,

Warstone Wanderers 1

Connor Forrester 36,
Referee:- Najim Nagy.                                                   Attendance:- 33
Admission:- OMGDS £5 (£?)                               Programme:- NONE
If the hosts had played their strongest side then this match might have been out of sight for the visitors from very early on. As it was, the Wanderers (who play in The West Midlands Regional League Division 2) went a goal down after only four minutes. They drew level ten minutes before the interval, but found themselves adrift again to a goal on the stroke of half-time. There were several chances to both sides in the second half, but no further goals although the visitors squandered a penalty opportunity to equalise on the hour mark!

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Wednesday 13th November 2019
Lincolnshire Senior Trophy Quarter-Final

Bourne Town 0

Holbeach United 3

Spencer Tinkler 37,

Joe Braithwaite 50,

Jonny Lockie 76,

Referee:- Ashley Baldock-Smith.                                                           Attendance:- 97
Admission:- £5.00.                                                                          Programme:- NONE
Abbey Lawn is one of the gems of The United Counties League – even though they had to suffer enforced relegation to Division 1 because the ground is not fully enclosed. They are struggling this season and in the bottom three. On the other hand, a division higher, Holbeach are in the top four, but tonight’s team contained a fair sprinkling of occasional first team players. They won fairly easily on a cold evening, with the pitch white with hoar frost!

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Friday 15th November 2019
Danske Bank Irish Premiership

Carrick Rangers 1

Guillaume Keke 14,

Crusaders 3

Ross Clarke 56,

Jordan Owens 90+3

Jamie McGonigle 90+5
Referee:- Evan Boyce.                                                                   Attendance:- 644
Admission:- OMGDS £8.00 (£12).                                              Programme:- NONE
The Loughshore Hotel Arena didn’t really live up to its name. It had a quaint Victorian appeal with the vast stand down one side, but the ground was dowdy and careworn. Sad to see, there were no programmes, but we managed to snaffle team sheets from the press box. The hosts started brightly and went a goal up early on. Thereafter, however, they were under the cosh as the visitors increased the pressure, equalised around the hour mark and then right at the death and deep into added time, they pinched two further goals to give them a deserved victory! With Graeme Askham!!!

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Saturday 16th November 2019
Northern Ireland National U-14 League Group A

Linfield 2

Liam Burns 48,

Jay McDowell 51,

Ridgeway Rovers 0
Referee:- Gerard Thornton.                                                 Attendance:- 44
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                        Programme:- NONE
New ground number 1,600. Matches:- 4,259
It was good to see Linfield’s stadium considerably improved since my last visit and just across the car park – and part of the regeneration – is Midgley Park, a new fully enclosed 3G ground with covered seating for around 170 spectators. The game was not of the highest quality as Linfield battered their opponents, and yet, it was midway through the second half before they scored – and that was down to an elementary goalkeeping error! The second strike was a delightful individual effort, but, really, they out to have won by double figures!!!

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Saturday 16th November 2019
Danske Bank Northern Irish Premiership

Dungannon Swifts 0

Larne 1

Martin Donnelly 47,
Referee:- Tim Marshall.                                                       Attendance:- c600
Admission:- OMGDS £8.00 (£12).                                 Programme:- NONE
Stangmore Park is a delightful, neat and well kept facility with cover on all four sides and seating down one side and behind the far goal. None of the matches this weekend provided programmes – there is no demand, we were told – but team sheets were freely available at all of them. The Swifts are not enjoying much success this season and even the dismissal of of an opposition player after only 25 minutes, failed to ensure parity in this match. The only goal came very early in the second half and there was precious little chance of the hosts ever recovering. The large visiting support cheered their ten men off the pitch at the end of the match!

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Saturday 23rd November 2019
Spartan South Midlands League Division 1

Rayners Lane 1

Ronnie Blagden 7,

Winslow United 0
Match abandoned after 41 minutes – floodlight failure.

Referee:- Josh Burns.                                                              Attendance:- 53
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                   Programme:- £1.00
Rayners Lane FC, in the Harrow area of north London, has recently taken possession of a substantially upgraded stadium on more or less the same footprint as their former home. The pitch is 3G and there is a very luxurious club house (and covered seating on the opposite side of the ground). Today’s game in the rain was between 5th place and visiting 2nd place, but was sadly curtailed when the floodlights failed at the end of the first half! With Graeme Askham.

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Tuesday 26th. November 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Rugby Town 12 (twelve)

Ryan Seal 5,

Danico Johnson 13, 24, 34, 55,

Dylan Parker 17, 69, 78, 89,

Charlie Evans 20,

Fazel Koriya 37,

Jazz Luckie 84

Desborough Town 0
Referee:- Seth Galia                                               Attendance:- 129
Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£8).                  Programme:- £2.00
Rugby Town’s impressive Butlin Road Stadium had an immaculate pitch despite the recent and prolonged precipitation. The team were on fire, too, coming off the back of an 8-0 demolition of Sleaford Town at the weekend. Danico Johnson, a recently returned crowd favourite, helped himself to four before being taken off just after the hour mark. Dylan Parker also notched four as a bewildered Ar Tarn we’re knocked for double six. Good to see Chris Roberts there and Mike Dean!

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Saturday 30th November 2019
Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division South

Walton Casuals 2

Rene Howe 5,

Wayne Brown 89,

Salisbury 1

Warren Bentley 88,
Referee:- Daniel Simpson.                                                          Attendance:- 248
Admission:- OMGDS: £6.00 (£12).                                     Programme:- £2.00
On a cold, clear and frosty afternoon at Walton Casuals impressive Xcel Stadium, the high flying visitors found themselves a goal behind after five minutes. Thereafter, they showed that they were the better side but it took them until the 88th minuted to fashion an equaliser. Within a minute, the hosts had regained the lead and there had been more excitement in the final five minutes than in the previous eighty-five minutes. Free team sheets were available and a spacious club house to warm the cockles at half-time. With Graeme Askham.

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Other Matches:-

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Monday 18th November 2019

Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division

Rugby Borough 1 Sileby Town 2                                           Attendance:- 47

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Tuesday 19th November 2019

Smedley Crooke Memorial Trophy 2nd Round

Loughborough University 3 Barnet Green Spartak 1            Attendance:- 118

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Monday 25th November 2019

Barclays Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City u23 4 Derby County u23 1                            Attendance:- 232

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Wednesday 29th November 2019

British Universities and Colleges Sport Northern Premier Division

Loughborough University Women 2 Team Durham 2           Attendance:- 288

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Matches:-

This month:-     Games:- 16     New Grounds:- 5

This Season:-    Games:- 97     New Grounds:- 47

TOTAL:-       Games:-  4,267   New Grounds:- 1,603

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October 2019

The Football Posts that Dad Built (continued)

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They took ages to arrive

But we still played on the pitch

Late on Summer nights

And long on holiday afternoons,

All the kids round our way

bringing boots and trainers

To try and score against my Dad.

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By Paul Cookson (to be continued)

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The Western Hop

Friday 4th October 2019
Toolstation Western League Division 1

Lebeq United 3

Cameron Brown 10, 49,

Ibrahim Sarr 13,

Radstock Town 1

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

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 Saturday 5th October 2019
Toolstation Western League Division 1

Portishead Town 3

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

Callum Eastwood 72,

Longwell Green Sports 5

Danny Carter 30, 53, 

Lovejoy Mafini 59,

Sam Crumb 67,

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

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

Bradford Town 2

Tyson Pollard 40, 70 (pen)

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

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Saturday 5th October 2019
Toolstation Western League Division 1

Devizes Town 0

Ashton & Backwell United 1

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

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

Warminster Town 2

Jack Miluk 30,

James Vincent 33,

Bristol Telephones 3

Luke Bamfield 14, 57,

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

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

Bridport 0

Bridgwater Town 6

Dave O’Hare 11, 32, 33,

Mike Duffy 26,

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

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

Wellington 0

Exmouth Town 2

Jordan Harris 31,

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

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Stuart Long describes his experience

MIXED FEELINGS DON’T EVEN DESCRIBE IT!!

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

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


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

Craig Dabbs, Stuart Long and Chris Berezai

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Tony Morehead, Jack Warner and Stuart Long

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Stuart Long with John Main and Tony Morehead

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Stuart Long with Jack Warner and Laurence Read

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Tuesday 8th October 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Loughborough University 1

Ronan Silva 5,

Leicester Nirvana 1

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

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

Corby Town 2

Jordan Crawford 60, 

Gary Mulligan 64,

Barton Rovers 1

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

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Thursday 10th October 2019
Stratford Hospital Cup

FINAL

FC Wickhamford 2

Matt Irons 30,

Louis Brown 48,

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

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The Bedfordshire ‘Hop’

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

10.45am Real Haynes 7

Ali Buckhall 18

Aaron Lumsden 30, 32, 61,

Mas Ahmed 53,

Josh Pearson 78,

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

                             Programme:- £2.00 attendance: 196

1.40pm. Stopsley United 2

Ashley Prospere 9,

Sean Downey 90+1

Callum Frater s/o 61,

Harlington Juniors 3

Alex Frantezelli 7,  

Kevin Lambert 40, 77,

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

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

Peter Wilson 39, 75,

Jamie Nolan 42,

Costy Iancu 61,

Dean Wrench 89,

Luton All Stars 1    

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

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

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

Rugby Borough 5

Josh Turton 13, 17, 56,

Charlie Cook 72, 85,

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

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

Peterborough Sports 2

Jordan McLeod 11,

Mark Jones 73,

Nuneaton Borough 1

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

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

Horncastle Town 3

Andrew Bullivant 29, 56,

Luke Biondel 59,

Louth Town 2

Bailey Right 16,

Edward Addison 77,

Daniel Stevens s/o 58

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

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

Garstang 1

Alan Coar 63,

Stockport Town 1

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

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

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Tuesday 22nd October 2019
North West Counties League Premier Division

Irlam 3

Liam Pollitt 6,

Connor Martin 43,

Jordan Kely 89

Barnoldswick Town 2

Richard Seear 22,

Joseph Noblet 52,

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

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

Chadderton 1

Jordan Butterworth 39,

Shelley 1

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

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

Saturday 26th October 2019
Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division

Fareham Town 7

Luke Slade 12, 47, 78, 87,

Josh Benfield 52, 81,

Will Harris 84,

Alresford 1

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

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Monday 28th October 2019
Midland League Division 1

Chelmsley Town 3

Liam Norris 9,

Luke Barlone 32,

Kye Dryden 90+1,

Rocester 1

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

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Tuesday 29th October 2019
Carabao EFL Cup 4th Round

Burton Albion 1

Liam Boyce 52,

Leicester City 3

Kelechi Iheanacho 7,

Youri Tielemans 20,

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

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Wednesday 30th October 2019

DFB Pokal

Hertha BSC 3

D. Lukebakio 48

O Duda 85 (pen)

J Torunavigha 120, 

SG Dinamo Dresden 3

M Kone 36

P Ebert 90 (pen)

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

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

Admission:-                                                               Programme:-

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

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Other Matches:-

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Hitchin Town 8 Peterborough Sports 4                        Attendance:- 66

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Thursday 3rd October 2019

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Wellingborough Town 2 Rugby Borough 5                 Attendance:- 69

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Monday 7th October 2019

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

Rugby Borough 4 Solihull Borough 2                          Attendance:- 49

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Wednesday 30th October 2019

BUCS Midland 1

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

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Matches:-

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

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

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

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Walks

Thursday 3rd October 2019

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

Monday 14th October 2019

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

Thursday 17th October 2029

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

 

 

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September 2019

The Football Pitch that Dad Built

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Dad made a football pitch in our back garden.

He mowed the grass

Marked it out with creosote

And built the goalposts.

They had real nets.

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He painted the posts white

Just like on Match of The Day

And sent away to a special company for the nets.

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Paul Cookson (to be continued)

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Sunday 1st September 2019
FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round

Littlehampton United 1

Tom Fox 40,

Bexhill United 5

Craig McFarlane 5,

Jamie Bunn 11,

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

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Friday 6th September 2019
U-18 International Tournament

England 3

Alex Mighten21, 36, 65,

Australia 2

Noah Botic 5 (pen)

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

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Saturday 7th September 2019
FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying

Willand Rovers 1

Douglas Camilo 68,

North Leigh 2

Ekow Elliott

Trying Hunte 15,

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

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

Rugby Borough 2

Sam Davis (og) 80,

Tom Rawlings 90,

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

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

REPLAY

Peterborough Sports 3

Daniel Lawlor 6,

Cameron Johnson 45,

Dion Sembie Ferris 83,

East Thurrock United 2

Frankie Merrifield 34,

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

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

Biggleswade Town 2

Solomon Sambou 17, 60,

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

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Friday 13th September 2019
Northants Combination Premier Division

Thrapston Town 1

Henry Cade 85,

Wollaston Victoria 2

Craig Stedman 48,

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

Oppido servire – “To serve the town”

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Saturday 14 September 2019
Vanarama National League

Dover Athletic 1

Ricky Modeste 19,

Chorley 1

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

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

Hitchin Town 1

Layne Eadie 88 (pen),

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1

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

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

Cottesmore Amateurs 2

Harry Stannard 31,

Nathan Milne 38,

Rugby Borough 3

Josh Turton 67,

Shaun Barber 82,

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

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

Newark Town 2

Ben Castell 27

Lewis Chambers 81,

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

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Saturday 21st September 2019
Sky-Bet EFL League One

Bolton Wanderers 1

Jack Hobbs 50,

Sunderland 1

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

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Tuesday 24th September 2019
Carabao League Cup 3rd Round

Luton Town 0

Leicester City 4

Demari Gray 35,

James Justin 44,

Touri Tielemans 77,

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

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

Blackstones 5

Martyn Fox 24,

Ben Cowles 61,

Jones De Sousa 67,

Lee Clarke 89,

Josh Edmondson 90+3

Sleaford Town 4

Max Gee 15, 50,

Nathan Brettoner 74,

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

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

Hall Road Rangers 2

Chris Murray 5

Rich Metcalf 47,

Rossington Main 2

Ben Clark 19,

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

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Other Matches:-

Thursday 5th September 2019

FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round

Coventry Sphinx 5 Newcastle Town 6    AET                                       Attendance:- 113

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Thursday 19th September 2019

FA Youth Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Peterborough Sports 3 Kettering FC 2                                              Attendance:- 53

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Monday 23rd September 2019

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division                at Huntingdon Town

Cambridge City 0 March Town United 2                              Attendance:- 55

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Thursday 26th September 2019

Thurlow Nunn Youth League West Division

Peterborough Sports 4 Kings Lynn Town 3                          Attendance:- 56

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Monday 30th September 2019

FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Stamford 1 Long Eaton United 4                                         Attendance:- 77

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This month:-               20 matches             5 new grounds

This Season:-              55 matches            28 new grounds

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

 

Walks in September 2019

 

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

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

Harringworth Lakes

The shop at Bulwick

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

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

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

The Spectacular Gates

The ruined Parish Church of St John The Baptist, Boughton

The one time house of Philadelphus Jeyes

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

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Rockingham Castle

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

A tough climb to end the walk!

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

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The Parish Church at Glooston

The Old Vicarage at Stanton Wyville

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The gates to Noseley Hall

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0Comments

August 2019

Touchline Shouting

Touchline shouting, that’s all I ever hear,

I’m so confused and filled with fear.

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

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

“Get back in defence!” my manager shouts.

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

Loud mouth supporter, who knows all the rules.

(He takes the rest of us for fools)

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

Is it any surprise, with all this din?

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

FOOTBALL SHOULD BE FUN!

© Simon Icke

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

12noon                Invitational Cup Final
Netherseal St Peters 1

Josh Coates 8,

Renishaw Rangers 3

Luke Mancove 4, 76,

Craig Purcell 73,                                                                     Attendance:- 189

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3.00pm               CMFL Chairman’s Cup Final
Pinxton 5

Shaun Smith 20,

Sion Green 32, 33, 87,

John Fones 66,

Bakewell Town 1

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

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

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

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Sunday 4th August 2019
International Champions Cup

Tottenham Hotspur 1

Lucas Moura 3,

Inter Milan 1

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

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Graeme and John take in the action!

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Tuesday 6th August 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Harborough Town 2

Barnes Gladman 40,

Ben Williams 90,

Oadby Town 1

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

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Wednesday 7th August 2019
Pre-Season Friendly

Belton Villa 4

Kane Laird 34,

Ollie Meadows 37,

Joe Brett 41,

Matt Garner 89,

Sutton Bonington 1

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

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Graeme Askham

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Friday 9th August 2019
FA Premier League

Liverpool 4

Grant Hanley 7 (og),

Mo Salah 19,

Virgil Van Dijk 29,

Divock Origi 42,

Norwich City 1

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

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Saturday 10th August 2019
U-18 Professional Development League

Bolton Wanderers 1

Matt Wilcox 78,

Watford 5

J. Matthews 18,

JJ McKiernan 54,

M. Thompson 60,

Jordan Harrison 61,

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

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Saturday 10th August 2019
EFL League One

Bolton Wanderers 0

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

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Saturday 17th August 2019
Vanarama Nationwide League South

Maidstone United 1

Matt McClure 37,

Slough Town 1

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

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

Desborough Town 5

Nathaniel Ansu 50, 79, 84,

Brian Farrell 61,

Philip Dashit 64,

Wellingborough Whitworth 1

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

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Wednesday 21st August 2019
Peterborough & District League Division 1

FC Peterborough 0

Premiair 3

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

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Welsh ‘Hop’ 23-26th August 2019

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

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

Penybont 1

Luke Borelli 89 (pen),

Cardiff Met University 3

William Albert Evans 38,

Dylan Patrick James Rees 77 (pen),

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

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

Coed Eva Athletic 4

David Davies 8, 63, 64,

Damian Brean 37,

Newport Saints 3

Wayne Roberts 4, 50,

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

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

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

Undy Athletic 0

Cambrian & Clydach 1

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

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

Saturday 3rd August 2019

(Ashbourne) Summer League – Wayne Tabard Memorial Trophy FINAL

Doveridge 2 Legion 1

(at Mappleton Playing Field)                          Attendance:- 131

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Monday 19th August 2019

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City U23 1 Blackburn Rovers U23 1

(at King Power Stadium)                                     Attendance:- 620

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Matches:-

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

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June & July 2019

Soccer

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

Herbert Nehrlich

 

Thursday 13th June 2019
(Ashbourne) Summer League

Osmaston 8

Ricky Daly 18, 21,

Bromley Simpson 30, 75, 

Jez Oborn 46,

Jack Tyson 50, 

Harry Zona 62,

Lee Crampton 80,

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

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

Orkney 1

Owen Rendall 75,

Alderney 2

Josh McCullouch 44

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

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

Isle of Man 2

Rhys Oates 52,

Daniel Simpson 73,

Guernsey 3

Will Fazakerley 14,

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

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

Ynys Mon 2

Sam Jones 9, 42,

Shetland Isles 1

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

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

Jersey 3

Libby Barnett 47,

Megan Wood 89, 111,

Hitra 2 after extra time

Nina Antonsen 35,

Kristin Jørgensen 87 (pen)

Referee:- Richard Burge                                                                    Attendance:- 273

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

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

Ynys Mon Women 1

Catrin Evans 68,

Isle of Man Women 2

Becky Corkish 3,

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

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

Ynys Mon 2

Liam Morris 70,

Melvin McGinness 85

Guernsey 1

Keanu Marsh 5,

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

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Saturday 6th July 2019
Pre-Season Friendly

Charnock Richard 1

Nathan Fairhurst 83,

Chorley 2

Spencer Bibby 5 (og),

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

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

Accrington Stanley 2

Sean McConville 28,

Offrande Zanzala 37 (pen)

Olympique Marseille 1

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

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Saturday 13th July 2019
Pre Season Friendly

Badshot Lea 1

Nick Medcraft 20,

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

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

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Thursday 18th July 2019
Pre Season Friendly

AFC Rushden & Diamonds 0

Leyton Orient 1

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

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Saturday 20th July 2019
Official Opening of the new stadim

Horsham 3

Chris Smith 32,

Kieran Lavery 68 (pen) 79,

Crawley Town 1

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

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Saturday 17th July 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Rothwell Corinthians 3

Ryan Archer 5,

Niall Duffy 58,

Jordan Henson,

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

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

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Saturday 27th July 2019
Uhlsport United Counties League Division 1

Burton Park Wanderers 4

Zac Allen 7,

Lee Thompson 14, 20,

Adam Dalby 50

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

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________________________________________________________________

Other Matches:-

Monday 10th June 2019

(Ashbourne) Summer League

Kirk Langley 7 Mayfield 3                                            Attendance:- 11

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Monday 24th June 2019

(Ashbourne) Summer League

Broughton Wanderers 3 Biggin 2                             Attendance:- 38

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Tuesday 9th July 2019

Pre-Season Friendly

Harborough Town 0 Barwell 2                                 Attendance:- 60

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Wednesday 17th July 2019

Pre-Season Friendly

Bugbrooke St Michaels 0 Corby Town 3                 Attendance:- 81

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Matches from 1st July:-

Matches:-   19      New grounds;  9

Total Matches:-

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

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May 2019

Soccer Sonnet

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

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Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )

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

Potterspury 1

Lee White 45,

Stoke Hammond Wanderers 3

Elliot Sharp 7,

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

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“The Dave Miller Stand”

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

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

Abington United 2

Paul Sangha 37,

Sam Whittaker 56,

Barrington 2

Dijon Jones 10,

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

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

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Monday 13th May 2019
West Yorkshire League Premier Division

Salts 4

Luke Rhodes 35, 90+2,

Andrew Boote 37,

Sam Waterhouse 39,

Huddersfield Amateur 5

Glynn Haley 11,

Jacob Driver 42,

James Greenwood 77,

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

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

Swinton Athletic 1

Darren Walker 19,

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

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

Biggin 2

Tom Mellor 52 (pen), 56,

Broughton Wanderers 5

Alex Goodall 11, 16, 50,

Josh Greasley 13,

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

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Saturday 25th May 2019
Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division

Ripley 0

Mayfield 2

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

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OTHER MATCHES

Wednesday 22nd May 2019

The Coventry Charity Cup FINAL

Coventry Alvis 1 Rugby Borough 2                    Attendance:- 553

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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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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

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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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