April 2024

FIXTURES

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love nothing more
than to commune with Mother Nature.
But what can I do? It’s out of my hands:
Nigeria are playing Croatia.

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What’s that? Another meal on your own?
You’re quite right, there is nothing bleaker.
But this is the big one. I’ve waited all day.
Switzerland – Costa Rica.

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Sorry I shall miss your mum’s funeral
but I should be there in time for the wake.
Do understand, it’s Morocco – Iran
and for both teams there’s so much at stake.

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I see that you’ve filed for divorce.
I’ll sign the papers as soon as I can,
just ten minutes more (plus time added on)
of Colombia versus Japan.

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by Brian Bilston
Tuesday 2nd April 2024
Staying at Garth Ucha, a lovely, but lonely old farmhouse near Llanyblodwel in The Welsh Marches, south and west of Oswestry. Our walk took us down to the fast flowing river and across a rickety footbridge. A false turn brought us into contact with an alpaca, before we encountered a steep bridleway with a bubbling stream cascading downwards which making the footage fairly risky. High up at the top was the tiny hamlet of Soar with its own Methodist Chapel … whilst far away, across the valley, we could espy another, much more conventional religious establishment. We descended by waterlogged fields and a narrow road which drew us toward the church of St Michael the Archangel. The rector, Kathy Trimby, has been in charge for ten years, but is shortly moving to Australia. Across the narrow bridge over Afon Tanat (River Tanat), is “The Horseshoe Inn”, but, sadly there was no sign of life. A mile and a half along the riverside and a steep rise brought us back to Garth Ucha. 6.2 miles and three stiles.
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Tom Parkin & Matt Knowles
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Tom Parkin & Matt Knowles
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Eddie at the front and Matt behind
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Wednesday 3rd April 2024
Lock Stock Ardal North East Division
Penrhyncoch 3
Rhys Jenkins 45+1, 72, Dion Phillips 61,
Dolgellau Athletic 1
Isaac Pridmore (og) 32,
Referee: Jefferson Townsend.                                               Attendance: 131
Admission: £5.00.                                                                   Programme: £2.00
The tiny village (1,500 souls) of Penrhyncoch down on the Welsh west coast, houses a pretty efficient football set up. The ground has a stand behind one goal with 200 seats and a stand along one side with maybe 70 seats and a further covered standing area. On the pitch, they sit proudly at the top of Ardal North East by a considerable margin and though they fell behind (playing up the gradient) in this match, they had drawn level by the interval and two second half strikes assured them of victory against their local rivals and a step nearer the championship. Very friendly club and a good contest!
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Thursday 4th April 2024
North East Wales Football League Premier Division
Castell Alun Colts 2
Craig Worthington 79, Daniel Woosey 81 (pen),
Mynydd Isa 3
Jack Aitken 38, Lewis Tudor 42, Braden Lavin 90+2,
Referee: Arthur Smallman.                                              Attendance: 43
Admission: F.O.C.                                                             Programme: NONE
This is the fourth level of Welsh football, the ground is a railed pitch with hard standing down one side and no cover, which was prescient on a wet evening. It was, however, a cracker of an encounter. Last week, the hosts led 1-0 at Mynydd Isa until the 86th minute when they were hit with two goals. Tonight, they went two goals down by half-time and fought back with vigour, as the local railway train chuntered by, to gain parity with less than ten minutes to go. Mynydd Isa scored the winner in the second minute of added time. Very entertaining contest.
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Saturday 6th April 2024
West Midlands (Regional) League Division 1
Bustleholme 3
Ethan Masson 6, 80, Joe Clarke 56,
Wyrley 0
Referee: Ajay Sharma.                                                  Attendance: 25
Admission: £4.00.                                                        Programme: NONE
Bustleholme, in their short history, have played home fixtures at Bilston and Tipton and on Oldbury United’s old ground in Rowley Regis. Now, they are ensconced at the Walsall campus of The University of Wolverhampton on a plastic pitch in a soulless cage with viewing down one side only and no cover or seating. On the pitch, this afternoon, they effectively disposed of the opposition, despite the very windy conditions. The ground is heavily outlined at the foot of the plan of the Walsall campus photo (see below).
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The ‘ground’ is the heavily marked oval to the left of the plan
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Home side
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Away side
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March 2024

Springtime casts a spell of green,

Paints flowers opening to the sun,

Rains falls softly, saying ‘Wake’,

In a fresh world just begun.

Grow and burst, hatch and run.

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From “Seasons’ by Jo Peters.

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Friday 1st March 2024
Premier League 2
Manchester United u21 2
Zac Baumann 31, Ethan Williams 67,
Derby County u21 4
Tony Weston 22, 38, Cruz Allen 44, Bayo Fapetu 45+2
Referee: Elliot Bell.                                    Attendance: 956
Admission: F.O.C.                                      Programme: NONE
On a bitterly cold evening at Leigh Sports Village, Manchester United’s youngsters were well beaten by a rampant Rams team who might easily have added to their already emphatic victory. Entry was free, but complicated by having to acquire an on line ticket. There were no programmes or teamsheets, nor was the official attendance available. Made me quite pleased that Derby County won!
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Saturday 2nd March 2024 11.00am.
North West Counties League Premier Division
Longridge Town 2
Morgan Homson-Smith 20, Mitchell Marshall 45+1
Padiham 3
Jack Price 27, Joel Brownhill 38, Tyler James 78,
Referee: Joe Hind.                                           Attendance: 438
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                  Programme: £2.00
Cold and wet, but a great welcome from the club and a pretty good match with a decent atmosphere. Padiham probably deserved the victory, but the hosts made them work hard for it. All square at 2-2 at the interval, Padiham struck a late winner around ten minutes from time.
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On the far side of the ground was the cricket pavilion with the foothills of the Pennines looming behind.
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There was snow on the hills in the distance, but no more than a thin drizzle below!
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Saturday 2nd March 2024, 2.00pm
East Lancashire League, Bob Little Trophy – Group B
Peel Park 4
Joe Shaw 17, Ryan Bramley 36, Ash Adair 74, Jimmy Broadhurst 85,
Hapton 4
Shane Kennedy 40, 64, Charlie Trickett 70, Steve Burbeck 81,
Referee: James Sykes.                                                  Attendance: 31
Admission: F.O.C.                                                         Programme: NONE
A first visit to Peel Park, former home of Accrington Stanley FC, on a wet, rainy afternoon. The referee had teamsheets, but none of the numbers corresponded to the numbers on the players shirts! This was step ten or eleven, after all. There was some small evidence of the old ground and The Peel Park Inn was serving drinks to take to pitch side. The match was a rip roaring tussle with neither side managing to gain the upper hand on a mud encrusted match. In this trophy, these two teams are 3rd and 4th out of five, so not a lot rested on the outcome, but both sides gave it their all in an eventful match.
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The Peel Park Hotel
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The forbidding brick built changing rooms with not a window in sight!
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Accrington Stanley FC played in The Football League from 1921 until 1962. Their predecessor, simply named Accrington, were founder members of The Football League in 1888, but resigned in 1893 rather than accept relegation to Division 2. They folded in 1896. Accrington did not have a Football League club again until in 1921/22, when the Lancashire Combination’s Accrington Stanley, who used to be rivals of the original Accrington, were promoted to Football League Division 3 North. Accrington Stanley resigned from The Football league in March 1962 (before the end of the season) with debts of around £60,000. The present club were founded in October 1968 and regained Football League status in 2005/06 following promotion from Conference National. Peel Park is the original home of Accrington Stanley, though little now remains to identify it as such.
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Sunday 3rd March 2024 11.45am
North West Counties League Division 1 North
Euxton Villa 3
Dan Singleton 24, 63, Joshua Briggs 37,
Darwen 0
Referee: Sam Oldfield.                                                  Attendance: 618
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£6).                               Programme: £2.00
Spelt “Euxton” pronounced “Exton”, three or four miles from the great metropolis of Chorley, they moved to their present ground in 1986, a gift from a benefactor and joined The NWCL in 2022. The attendance today set a new record for the club, who are presently ensconced in mid-table security. On the other hand, Darwen have the pedigree of being a former football League club, but today it was the parvenu who had the upper hand with a convincing victory on a fine sunny morning.
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Sunday 3rd March 2024, 2.30pm
North West Counties League Premier Division
Charnock Richard 7
Luke Power 5, Spencer Bibby 32, Nathan Nickeas44, 55, 64, Fenton Davies 79, Kevin Spinelli 87,
Skelmersdale United 1
Jacob Rodrigues 89,
Referee: Thomas De Prez.                                         Attendance: 534
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                            Programme: £2.00
More than just a motorway service station on The M6 and more than just whipping boys for Chorley’s pre-season preparations, Charnock Richard were promoted to the NWCL in 2016 after several very successful seasons in the West Lancashire League. They were immediately promoted to the Premier Division and have remained there ever since gradually improving facilities at their Mossie Park home. Skelmersdale United, despite the inclusion of former Wigan Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland (amongst others) defender Pascal Chimbonda in their defence, as player coach, were no match for the home sides clinical and devastating attack. Seven goals were plundered before the visitors purloined their 89th minute consolation!
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Monday 4th March 2024, 7.00pm
Premier League 2 (at Seagrave Sports Complex)
Leicester City u21 2
Silko Thomas 15, 45+1,
Leeds United u21 0
Referee: Greg Rollason.                                                 Attendance: 260
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                 Free team sheet
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Saturday 9th March 2024
Western League Division 1
AEK Boco 1
Sam Thomas 25,
Cheddar 0
Referee: David Trevaskus.                                             Attendance: 82
Admission: OMGDS £2.00 (£6).                                 Programme: £1.00
The hosts, with their Greek/Argentinian derivation, too esoteric to explain concisely, are enjoying only their third season at Step 6, and have constructed a small, but comfortable stadium which sadly will not support the team above Step 5. They hope to gain promotion to The Southern League and have plans for an alternative stadium and a 3G surface. Today’s contest was not a classic. Cheddar, along with Bishops Sutton, are well adrift at the foot of the table, but they fought well and the hosts were restricted to a single early strike. The groundsman and Trustee, Jack Winter, was very forthcoming on information about the club and its ambitions. He also gave both me and John Main a club badge!
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The ground (True Clarity Walton Pavilion) is owned by South Gloucestershire Council and leased at a peppercorn rent to the club, who have built the club house and erected floodlights. However, it is in a public park and rights of way have to be observed, so, should the club reach a higher standard than Step 5, they will need to find a new home!
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Yours truly, captured from behind by John Main!
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The 2024 Scottish “Hop”

Took a hire car – a little one litre VW Golf – up to Scotland with John Main doing most of the driving, because I was not feeling particularly well. I’ve had a bad chest for a couple of weeks and I just can’t seem to shake it off! We had booked in at The Premier In south Stirling at junction 9 on The M9 motorway for two nights, but before that we went to the first match!

Friday 15th March 2024 7.45pm
East of Scotland League Division 2
Armadale Thistle 3
Kameron Jackson 13, Colin Strickland 83, Declan Wood 85,
Ormiston Primrose 2
Jacob Riley 11, 42,
Referee: David Gallagher.                                         Attendance: 436
Admission: OMGDS £5.00 (£8).                            Programme: £2.00
Armadale FC once graced the Scottish second tier, but they faded and Thistle took over the mantle without ever reaching those dizzy heights. They presently ply their trade in the eighth tier of Scottish football at their eccentrically named Volunteer Park. This season, they are pushing for promotion, whilst their opponents are several points adrift of safety at the foot of the table. It was squeaky bum time tonight. The visitors, demolished 5-0 by tonight’s hosts on their own ground, twice took the lead, deservedly, in the first half and only succumbed to two very late strikes to save the host’s blushes. They deserved better! Good game, good to see so many friends once again.
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Saturday morning at 9.15am we set out for the first game of the day at Luncarty, north of Perth. It lies between the A9 to the west and The River Tay to the east.
Saturday 16th March 2024 11.15 am
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Luncarty 5
Kyle Woolley 21, Ross McLachlan 33, Jamie Mackie 34, Rhys Davies 41, Ben Scarborough 82,
Crossgates Primrose 3
Jake Sutherland 3, Cameron Muirhead 31, 74,
Referee: Daniel Graves.                                         Attendance: 386
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                        Programme: £2.00
Nestling in the morning sunshine, but with minimal facilities and cover (gravel behind the near goal, the only hardstanding), Scotrail trains chuntering over the viaduct down one side, this match between two of the graveyard sides turned into a thriller, 4-2 to the home side at the interval and a mere two second period strikes provided a healthy crowd, (some eight times the clubs average attendance this season), with a very entertaining encounter!
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A Scotrail DMU passing by on the embankment!
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Michael Squires sitting in noble splendour!
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Saturday 16th March 2024 2.00pm
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Kinnoull 0
Pencuik Athletic 0
Referee: Robert Bowie.                                              Attendance: 356
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£7).                             Programme: £2.50
A very basic ground on Tulloch Road in Perth with no cover, no hardstanding and no floodlights (although new ones have been acquired and will be installed when funds allow). There were no goals, either, in a poor match where neither side seemed to be able to shoot accurately and the home side gained only their fifth point of the season from twenty-one games. The final whistle was a relief!
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Saturday 16th March 2024 4.45pm
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Jeanfield Swifts 1
Fraser Smith 6,
Dunbar United 1
Taylor henry 90+2 (pen)
Referee: Terry Ormiston.                                            Attendance: 385
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                               Programme: £2.50
A compact ground with good facilities, but still no hardstanding round the pitch, apart from a fine covered terrace down one side. This was a dour encounter between two sides on the fringe of the promotion race. The hosts struck early in the sixth minute and the visitors replied late with a penalty right at the death. A fair result. Towards the end of the match, ominously, the rain began to fall.
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The away team strip was turquoise and navy
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The heavens opened on a foul evening and the drive to the final match – maybe an hour in the dark and wind and rain and pot-holed roads was very challenging.
Saturday 16th March 2024 8.00pm
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Sauchie Juniors 3
Danny Smith 10, 35 (pen), 45, Ross Kavanagh s/o 43
Hill o’ Beath Hawthorn 2
Daniel Watt 46, Jordan Tosh 83,
Referee: Chris Hobbs.                                                    Attendance: 447
Admission: OMGDS £5.00 (£10).                               Programme: £2.00
In filthy weather and on a seriously waterlogged pitch, at Sauchie Juniors fine Beachwood Park stadium, these two teams played out a rumbustious encounter with the hosts establishing a three goal first half advantage despite the dismissal of one of their players. Hill o’ Beath started the comeback within seconds of the restart and attacked the ten men with determination. Sadly, their only reward was a Jordan Tosh strike in the 83rd minute and Sauchie narrowly took the points and the victory.
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Sunday 17th March 2024
East of Scotland League Division 1
Whitburn 1
Darren Liddell 65,
Whitehill Welfare 0
Referee: Richard McCartney.                                               Attendance: 540
Admission: OAP £5.00 (£8).                                                Programme: £2.00
Central Park in Whitburn is a generic junior Scottish football ground. Indeed, Whitburn were a junior side until a couple of seasons ago, since when they have enjoyed two promotions. The pitch was heavy and undulating and not conducive to good football as these two sides slogged it out, aided and abetted by a concatenation of drum beating. A 65th minute strike settled the encounter in the host’s favour and they just about deserved it! Many thanks to Chris and the team for a very enjoyable weekend!
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Craig Dabbs at the entrance to Whitburn 
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The main drum band whose cacophony was kept up throughout the match
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Matchday programme
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Sunday 17th March 2024
Scottish AFA Inter League Trophy 1st Round
Scottish Premier AFA 13 (thirteen!)
Connor McCabe 3, Shaun Rodgers 25, 34, Danny McBath 30, Mark Taylor 33, 37, 49, Liam Rowan 56, 86,Brandon Carmouche 60, 67, Connaire Dawson 80,
Andy Gilmartin 83
Dundee Saturday Morning League 0
@ New Tinto Park
Referee: Joe Cheney.                                          Attendance: 52
Admission: F.O.C.                                               Programme: NONE
Scott Struthers found this little tit-bit to round off the weekend oop north and it was a first visit to New Tinto Park, home of Benburb, after visiting the original ground almost exactly ten years ago. Houses cover the earlier footprint and the new home of Benburb is little more than a 3G pitch with no seating and a small covered stand on one side of the ground. The contest was a mismatch. Scotland’s premier amateur association demolished a pedestrian Dundee side with six first half goals and seven second half strikes.
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Saturday 23rd March 2024
Velocity Wessex League Premier Division
Hamble Club 1
Clayd Roach 77,
Brockenhurst 1
Ronan Moore 90+3
Referee: Christopher Cass.                                         Attendance: 95
Admission: £7.00 (£4).                                               Programme: On Line
Twelve years ago, I went to see GE Hamble play Fareham Town at Folland Park. Today’s team have no connection with that side (who are now called Folland Sports). Hamble Club play at The Abbey in Hamble-le-Rice in Southampton and are nicknamed (not surprisingly), ‘The Monks’. Brockenhurst, the visitors, are considerably higher in the league, but, today, they were fortunate to escape with a point, garnering an equaliser in the third minute of added time at the end of the match, having had a first half penalty saved.
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Tuesday 26th March 2024
Northern Premier League Midlands Division 1
AFC Rushden & Diamonds 4
Cairo Taylor 31, Tarik Dallas 35, Ryan Inman 69, Scott Jacob 79,
Cambridge City 1
Ryan Ingrey 6
Referee: Manesh Gupta.                                       Attendance: 269
Admission: OMGDS £8.00 (£11)                       Programme: On Line
The heavens opened on approach to the ground and the precipitation continued all evening. Hayden Road has been considerably improved by the hosts, but the iconic main stand is still out of use. Diamonds have endured a hellish season and before the match were rock bottom of the division. They went behind early on, but recovered to take a 2-1 interval lead. Cambridge then lost a player to a second yellow and the hosts drove home the advantage to win deservedly and convincingly …… but they only moved up one place and the threat of relegation still hangs over them!
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The South West Peninsular ‘Hop’

Thursday 28th March 2024. 250 miles to Exeter, booked into hotel. 25 miles to Honiton Town v Sidmouth Town. Arrived in plenty of time. Despite torrential rain, earlier in the day, the pitch looked perfectly playable. A lot of work had been undertaken by club volunteers, and yet, the referee called the match off at 6.45pm. He should have been at Sauchie juniors or Whitburn Juniors, two weeks ago. THEY PLAYED on surfaces substantially inferior to Honiton’s pitch. He could AT LEAST have started the match and called it off if conditions demanded. Was he frightened of a league referee’s assessor?
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Friday 29th March 2024 – 11.30am
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division East
Torrington 1
Tom Davey 19,
Crediton United 0
Referee: David Middleton.                                                 Attendance
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                      Programme: £2.00
The parish church of St Michael and all the angels commands the skyline at Vicarage Field. In 1646, after the Roundhead capture of Torrington, the Royalist captives were imprisoned in the church …. along with 80 barrels of Royalist gunpowder. Sadly for the captives, they were blown to kingdom come when somehow, the explosives ignited! The hosts – The Supergreens – considerably lower in the division, nonetheless took a deserved interval lead. They contrived to miss a penalty in driving rain in the fiftieth minute, but hung on till the end for victory and the points. Yours truly won the raffle worth£50.00!!!
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Eddie McGeown at the gates of Vicarage Field, Torrington.
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Eddie McGeown adorned in his Doctor Who scarf
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Friday 29th March 2024 – 3.00pm
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division East
Torridgeside 0
Okehampton Argyle 3
Brad Ausden 8, 12, Luke Mortimore 23,
Referee: Krzysztof Wegrzynowski.                                   Attendance: 451
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                     Programme: £2.50
The only hard standing at the ground is down (most) of the near side, but there is a good covered area and a small seated stand. Torridgeside are the junior of the two Torrington sides having been formed in 1989 and the major improvements to the ground were begun in 2020. They are struggling however around the foot of the table and a first half comical error by the home custodian started a mini goal spree for the visitors who held a three goal advantage at the interval. In the second half, the hosts were considerably more competitive, but the damage had been done and the hosts, try as they might could not pull back even one strike!
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Laurence Reade, right next to the stand with his satchel.
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Friday 29th March 2024 – 7.00pm
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division West
Holsworthy 0
Bude Town 0
Referee: Luke Dennis.                                                              Attendance: 906
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                           Programme: £1.00
The ground staff worked wonders on the sodden turf and the referee allowed play on a pitch that was not as good as Honiton, last evening. These two teams, less than ten miles apart served up a rip roaring first period, but lacking in goals despite the visitors having the edge, playing up the slope. The second period was more of the same, except that the hosts contrived to fluff two clear cut chances. Good game, despite the lack of goals!
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Saturday 30th March 2024 – 11.30am
South West Peninsular League Premier Division West
Liskeard Athletic 2
Ruben Kane 23, Max Gilbert 50
Dobwalls 0
Referee: Paul Redding                                                                Attendance: 508
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6)                                              Programme: £1.00
Liskeard are flying high in the West division and took this game very comfortably despite the match opening with a monsoon of Biblical proportions. That had died away by the time the hosts scored the opening goal. After that, it was all plain sailing.
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Saturday 30th March 2024 – 3.00pm
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division East
Elburton Villa 1
Bentley Alcantara 56 (pen), Bentley Alcantara s/o 90+10
Bovey Tracey 2
Josh Haynes 15, 31, Mitch Thomas s/o 56, Neil Last s/o 90+10
Referee: Murat Kaymaz.                                                Attendance: 311
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                 Programme: £2.00
A minimalist ground with no cover, except that provided by a fifty seater Meccano stand. Two mid table teams and the visitors were comfortable winners despite having a man dismissed around the hour mark. The referee was exceptionally fussy and did not endear himself to a host of hoppers, and there were a further two dismissals deep into stoppage time!
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Saturday 30th March 2024 – 6.30pm
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division East
Ivybridge Town 6
Connor Rush 40, 90+3, Owen Pritchard 64, 74, 82, Bailey Mabin 79,
Dartmouth 0
Referee: Brandon Hawkins.                                                        Attendance: 388
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                               Programme: £1.00.
At half-time you would not have thought that more than 70 points separated these teams as top of the table Ivybridge held a slender single goal advantage over a spirited and challenging Dartmouth. The second half was a completely different kettle of fish. First of all, the rai s came and livened up the pitch, the visitors got tired and towards the end, the hosts piled on the pressure and the goals. They deserved to win, but one felt a certain admiration and sympathy for the visitors
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Sunday 31st March 2024 – k.o. 10.15am
Exeter & District Sunday League
Premier Division Cup Group B
Ide Green Rovers 3
Logan Burns 7, Sam Chapman 32, Jack Pullman 49,
St Martins AFC 2
Jake Langmaid 52, Matt Titmarsh 64,
Referee: Ashley Horn.                                                    Attendance: 11
Admission: F.O.C.                                                          Programme: NONE
Played at St Martins Minster Park ground which hosted a ‘hop’ match exactly six years ago today. The match had been switched because Ide Green Rovers haven’t been able to play a home match since January! It was a very good match. The hosts took a two goal interval lead and increased it within five minutes of the re-start and then had to withstand heavy St Martins pressure. Indeed, it is a miracle how they survived to achieve the victory. With five minutes to go, a St Martin’s player suffered a broken leg.
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Sunday 31st March 2024
FA Women’s National League
Division 1 South West
Torquay United Women 2
Kate McKane 32, Anthea Kaptein 45,
Maidenhead United Women 3
Izzy Stockton 22, Jade Hockney 82, Trinity Esprit 84,
Referee: Nuria Bonet.                                                             Attendance: 98
Admission: £5.00.                                                                  Programme: NONE
This match was played on the 3G surface at The Devon FA County Ground on Coach Road in Newton Abbot. The hosts are firmly ensconced in the relegation places whilst the visitors are ten points and four places better off. The visitors opened the scoring, however, against the run of play, but back came the hosts for a 2-1 interval advantage. The second half was an entirely different matter. The visitors ran the show, but it took two late goals to @claim the victory!
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Tuesday 2nd April 2024
Staying at Garth Ucha, a lovely, but lonely old farmhouse near Llanyblodwel in The Welsh Marches, south and west of Oswestry. Our walk took us down to the fast flowing river and across a rickety footbridge. A false turn brought us into contact with an alpaca, before we encountered a steep bridleway with a bubbling stream cascading downwards which making the footage fairly risky. High up at the top was the tiny hamlet of Soar with its own Methodist Chapel … whilst far away, across the valley, we could espy another, much more conventional religious establishment. We descended by waterlogged fields and a narrow road which drew us toward the church of St Michael the Archangel. The rector, Kathy Trimby, has been in charge for ten years, but is shortly moving to Australia. Across the narrow bridge over Afon Tanat (River Tanat), is “The Horseshoe Inn”, but, sadly there was no sign of life. A mile and a half along the riverside and a steep rise brought us back to Garth Ucha. 6.2 miles and three stiles.
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Tom Parkin & Matt Knowles
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Tom Parkin & Matt Knowles
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Eddie at the front and Matt behind
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February 2024

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

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Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

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The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

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For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

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by William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)
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Thursday 1st February 2024
Northants Senior Youth League North
Rothwell Corinthians u18 1
Preston Prins
AFC Rushden & Diamonds u18 6
Cian Shea 2, 29, 68, Jack Kuspert 14, Connor Buswell 42, Tomas Oliveria 86,
Referee: Chris Walton.                                             Attendance: 64
Admission: OMGDS £1.50 (£3).                           Programme: NONE
Corinthians’ youngsters were undone this evening by a Rushden side who have won every match this season. Four first half strikes put Diamonds firmly in control, but Corinthians fought gamely after the interval and scored one whilst only conceding a further two. Good game on a chilly evening.
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The results for the South division were:
Bugbrooke St Michaels White 2 ON Chenecks 1
Wellingborough Whitworth 0 Bugbrooke St Michaels Black 2
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Friday 2nd February 2024
Premier League 2 Cup Group G
Leicester City u21 3
Wanya Marcal 18, Silko Thomas 45+3, Oliver Ewing 75,
Brentford u21 2
Iwan Morgan 48 (pen) Kyreece Lisbie 86,
Referee: Alan Dale                            Attendance: 348
Admission: OMGDS £3.00            Programme: Free team sheet
After months of watching Leicester City u21s struggling and being regularly well beaten at Seagrave, tonight’s match was a welcome change. The young Foxes were well worthy of their victory and the margin of victory would have been even wider were it not for a careless defensive error some four minutes from time.
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Saturday 3rd February 2024
Velocity Wessex League Division 1
Verwood Town 0
Millbrook 3
Archie Greenhough 35, Jamie White 61, 90+2,
Referee: Omid Farjadpour.                                Official Attendance: 43
Admission: OAP £3.00 (£5).                             Programme: £2.00
We weren’t expecting much, but we were pleasantly surprised both by the friendliness of the welcome and the picturesque, rusticity of the ground. There were two covered areas down one side (one with a hundred seats) and hardstanding on three sides, but the ground was fairly open and you could easily watch the match without paying! Top of the table Millbrook eventually achieved a convincing victory, but the hosts competed well throughout and belied their lowly position in the table. The attendance conflicted with our head count of 77. With John Main.
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There were a lot of power cables overhanging the ground!
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Sunday 4th February 2024
FA Premier League
Manchester United 3
Rasmus Højlund 24, Alejandro Garnacho 49, 84,
West Ham United 0
Referee: Andrew Madley.                                         Attendance: 73,612
Admission: £39.00.                                                  Programme: £4.00
Only my twenty second visit to Old Trafford since my first in January 1962, but a lot has changed, yet despite it being an all seater ground, we stood for the entire match! The Hammers showed little appetite for the fight and meekly succumbed in an otherwise entertaining encounter. With son, Jim and grandsons, Sonny and Kingsley.
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I still have the programme from my first visit to Old Trafford in January 1962. Then, it cost 4d, today it cost £4
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Jim, Sonny, Kingsley
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Kingsley, Sonny and Jim
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Tuesday 6th February 2024
EFL League One
Cambridge United 0
Bolton Wanderers 0
Referee: David Rock.                               Attendance: c6,000
Admission: OMGDS £19 (£23).            Programme: £3.50
Quite how this match got started is questionable. It had rained all afternoon and evening and from the start the ball was held up by puddles and areas of waterlogged turf on the pitch. Nine minutes elapsed before the referee bowed to the inevitable and took the players off the pitch. He returned, briefly, with his colleague, but very soon appreciated that no further play would be possible!
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A very soggy Ed, Freddie and Mike!
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The massed banks of Bolton Wanderers fans behind the goal to our left – and the waterlogged goal area!
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Wednesday 7th February 2024
Lincolnshire League Premier Division
Crowle Colts 4
Joe Hare 7, 39, 76, Liam Snow 48,
Keelby United 4
Daniel Scrimshaw 6, Ben Cousins 50, Matthew Darwood 66, Coby Kavanagh 88,
Referee: Robert Elliott.                                              Attendance: 68
Admission: £2.00.                                                      Programme: £1.50
This was ambitious Crowle Colts second game under floodlights and more improvements are planned – hard standing around the pitch (with an avenue of silver birch behind one goal) and even plans for a large seated stand. In tonight’s crazy hotch-potch of a match, The Colts went behind after six minutes but regained parity a minute later, then took a 3-1 lead a couple of minutes into the second period, only to be pulled back to 3-3, taking the lead again with ten to go and then right at the death conceding the equaliser to an own goal! Good match, several ‘hoppers’ in attendance!
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Photograph, courtesy of Crowle Colts Twitter feed.
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The atmospheric avenue of silver birch behind the left hand goal.
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Saturday 10th February 2024
EFL Championship
Hull City 0
Swansea City 1
Liam Cullen 11,
Referee: Geoff Eltingham.                                              Attendance: 21,017
Admission: Hospitality (£154.80).                               Programme: incl. (£3.50)
Excellent hospitality. We were very well looked after and, of course, we all drank far too much! The game was pretty entertaining, but after the visitors scored in the eleventh minute, there was no way back for the hosts, try as they might.
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from left: Freddie (in grey), Kingsley, Jim, Jonny Crane, Liam, Aman Singh, Gary Miller, Rory Clarke, Sonny
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from the top: John Lord, Phil Evans and Mike
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Sonny to the front, then, Freddie, Kingsley and Jim.
From top left: Jim, Jonny Crane, Liam, Aman Singh
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Gary Miller and Rory Clarke
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Sonny, Freddie and Kingsley
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Tuesday 13th February 2024
EFL Championship
Leicester City 2
Abdul Fatawu 4, Jamie Vardy 36,
Sheffield Wednesday 0
Referee: Tom Nield.                                                   Attendance: 31,550
Admission: OMGDS £32.00 (£40).                       Programme: £3.50
A night out with two of my sons and three grandsons at a very wet King Power Stadium. The Owls were very poor in the first half, conceded after only four minutes and then again after 36 minutes, an exquisite strike by Jamie Vardy. The second half was much more even and there were times when the Foxes’ defence was rattled, but there was no question of where the points and the victory were going.
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Ed, Jim and Mike
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Sonny
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Freddie and Kingsley
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Wednesday 14th February 2024
Inter Services Triangular Tournament
British Army u23 1
Owen James 90+8
Royal Navy u23 1
Matthew Iceton 58
Referee: George Salloway.                                         Attendance: 70
Admission: F.O.C.            Programme: F.O.C.       Free team sheet.
The Military Stadium is, really, a one sided arena with a running track around the football pitch and viewing from a fifteen hundred seater stand down one side. The Army lost their opening fixture to The RAF and when The Navy opened the scoring just before the hour mark, it looked like a second defeat looming, in spite of the constant pressure exerted by the hosts. As the game wore on, so the pressure increased, until, eventually, in the eighth minute of added time, The Army clawed back a last gasp goal to draw the match!
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Saturday 17th February 2024, 3.30pm
Bundesliga
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 0
Stanley Nsoki s/o 45+4
FC Union Berlin 1
Kevin Volland s/o 45+6 Brenden Aaronsson 84,
Referee: Robert Hartman.                                  Attendance: 19,050
Admission: OMGDS €42 (€44).                       Programme: NONE
A fine stadium barely two thirds full and a poor match punctuated by a tennis ball protest which added twelve minutes onto the first half, during which petulant period two players were dismissed (one from each side). The only goal came four minutes from time. The protest was over the increasing influence of money over football in Bundesliga, and it was the away contingent throwing the tennis balls. The walk up to the stadium gives a fine view of a couple of supersonic Concords high over The Sinsheim Technical Museum.
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The Sinsheim Technical Museum, on the way to the ground.
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Gary, Kevin Rory, Daz, Mike, and Adam on the right.
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Saturday 17th February 2024, 8.30pm
(German) Bundesliga 2
Karlsruher SC 2
Igor Matanovic 49, David Herold 64,
Fortuna Düsseldorf 2
Christos Tzolis 37, 51,
Referee: Karl Fritz.                                            Attendance: 26,563
Admission: OMGDS €24 (€26).                    Programme: NONE
A thoroughly rumbustious, raucous, and rowdy match! Brilliant entertainment! Flares, flags and choir masters perched precariously conducting the away fans. The BBBank Wildpark is an impressive stadium with free transport to and from the station. These two teams are perched just above mid-table, with the visitors in the higher position. Twice they took the lead and each time they were pegged back in a match that ebbed and flowed in tune with the enthusiasm of both sets of fans. Wonderful atmosphere.
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The smoke behind the far goal was the result of numerous flares being set off!
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The man in grey top and black trousers is precariously perched to conduct the away fans!
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Sunday 18th February 2024, 1.30pm
(German) Bundesliga 3
SV Waldhof Mannheim 0
FC Saarbrucken 2
Referee: Florian Lechner.                             Attendance: 19,210
Admission: OMGDS €26 (€30).                 Programme: €1       Team sheet: Free
Mannheim, where the first car was driven by Greta Benz, wife of Carl, after whom the stadium is named. However, in a more sinister memory, Mannheim, where Zyklon B was manufactured in WWII. Today’s match ticket came with a free transport pass to and from the town and free tram passage to and from The Carl Benz Stadion. It makes me ashamed to be British when I see how flexible public transport is in Germany. Every tinpot town has trams, buses and underground trains and much of it – certainly for the football fan – is free! We managed a pre-match drink in “Murphy’s Law”, an Irish pub in the town. These two teams are ninety miles apart, but the match – heavily policed – is regarded as a local derby and, today’s crowd was more than double their average for the season. The hosts are in deep relegation trouble. Regionaliga beckons, and on today’s evidence, they will do well to escape the drop. Lovely ground, great atmosphere!
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Before the match all the group met up in an Irish pub in Mannheim. From left (clockwise): Mike, Alan Eathorne, Gary Miller, Rory Clark, Jim, Daz, Adam Vallance and Kevin, with Dave missing with a sore foot and yours truly taking the picture.
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Monday 19th February 2024
U21 Premier League 2
Leicester City u21 1
Will Alves 39,
Crystal Palace u21 1
Luke Plange 26,
Match abandoned after 86 minutes after serious injury to Crystal Palace player. The referee was unable to continue the match because the required amount of medical support was not available having been used to treat the serious injury.
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Tuesday 20th February 2024
EFL League One
Cambridge United 1
Eoin Toal 8 (og), Lyle Taylor s/o 90+1
Bolton Wanderers 2
Paris Maghoma 52, Carlos Gomes 63,
Referee: David Rock.                                    Attendance: 6,525
Admission: F.O.C.                                         Programme: £3.50
Following the wash out of the abandoned game two weeks ago, tonight saw the match replayed and all tickets for the previous encounter were valid for tonight’s match. The Trotters had an appalling first half and were lucky to go in at the interval only one goal behind. Two second half goals in the space of ten minutes turned the game around, but Cambridge fought right to the end and looked the more likely, even after a dismissal for violent conduct. With son, Mike and grand son, Freddie.
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The massed ranks of over 900 Wanderers fans who had made the two hundred mile trip down to Cambridge.
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Son, Mike and Grandson, Freddie
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Wednesday 21st February 2024
Shropshire League: Tony Bywaters Cup Q/F
Dawley Town 3
Ross Jones 20, Reece Evans (og) 29, Sam Rigby 77, 
Ellesmere Rangers 1
Max Jones 81,
Referee: Lewis Tomkins.                                      Attendance: 56
Admission: F.O.C.                                                 Programme: NONE
Lilleshall, the former centre of excellence for the English FA (replaced in 2012 by St George’s Park in Staffordshire), provided the backdrop for this evening’s match in wet and muddy conditions. Dawley Town, nominally the hosts and in second place in The Salop League, are ambitious and currently raising funds for floodlights at their own ground. Ellesmere Rangers lie next to the foot of the division, but have played in The North-West Counties League. Dawley dominated throughout and were two goals to the good at the interval, they added a third, with fifteen minutes remaining, but Rangers had the last word with a goal of their own in the last five minutes. With John Main and a net full of hoppers!
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Saturday 24th February 2024
Cymru South
Abertillery Bluebirds 2
Carmarthen Town 0
Referee: Tegid Richards.                                                Official attendance: 124
Admission: £5.00.                                                           Programme: ON LINE
Bluebirds play their home games in the Six Bells area of the town where a disastrous mining explosion in June 1960 cost 45 miners their lives. In 2010, a statue called “The Guardian” was unveiled to commemorate all miners who lost their lives. It is said to be Wales’ answer to “The Angel of the North”. The ground nestles in the fold of a valley with stunning views all round, and was included in the football magazine 4-4-2s top forty best grounds to visit. They were promoted last season, but this season, they are struggling in the bottom two. Carmarthen, relegated last season from the top table lie in fourth place. Two second half strikes were enough to ensure a very well deserved victory for the hosts, but the win is unlikely to save them from relegation. With John Main.
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This month:- Games: 17       New Grounds:8
This Season:  Games: 112    New Grounds:- 65
Total:              Games: 4,922    New Grounds: 1,985

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January 2024

New Year

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1850-1919

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Monday 1st January 2024
Northern Premier League Midlands Division 1
Corby town 3
Toby Hilliard 5, 39, Ben Isaacson 47,
AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2
Caiko Taylor 44, Jarvis Wilson 67,
Referee: Joe Woolmer. Attendance: 714
Admission: OMGDS £6.00 (£12). Programme: £2.00
Lovely bright sunny morning and The Steelmen, at last, claimed their first home victory of the season in a nervy encounter against bottom club, Diamonds. There were a high number of hoppers there due to the early start and the number of afternoon kick-offs close by. Corby started brightly and were ahead within five minutes. They added a second towards the end of the half, but Diamonds responded with a strike of their own just on the interval. The Steelmen struck in the opening couple of minutes of the second half, but once again, just after the hour mark, Diamonds pulled a goal back. There was no further scoring, but a nervy final twenty minutes before Corby were able to claim their first home league win of the season!
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Monday 1st January 2024
Northern Premier League Midlands Division 1
Harborough Town 2
Tendai Daire 33, Ben Williams 64,
Rugby Town 1
Loyiso Recci 90 (pen),
Referee: Karl Donaghey. Attendance: 357
Admission: OMGDS £5.00 (£10). Programme: £2.00
In contrast to this morning’s match, the rain beat down incessantly after half-time onto Harborough’s 3G pitch. There has been a new seated stand installed since my last visit but it did little to keep the rain out! Considering that the hosts are top of the table and the visitors were third from bottom, this was no one-sided contest. Harborough held a two goal lead just after the hour mark, but Rugby pressed towards the end, and reduced the arrears. As at Corby Town in the morning, there was a goodly gathering of hoppers in attendance!
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Friday 5th January 2023
FA Cup 3rd Round
Fulham 1
Bobby De Cordova-Reid 24,
Rotherham United 0
Referee: Dean Whitestone.                                    Attendance: 15,083
Admission: OMGDS £15.00 (£20).                     Programme: £3.50
By train from Corby to St Pancras and then tube to Putney Bridge. The District Line was particularly busy and is apparently experiencing difficulties due to engineering works. I have not been to Craven Cottage since I went there to see a friendly International match on 3rd May 2014, where Italy and Republic of Ireland drew 0-0. The new Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage is not yet in operation, but looks impressive. Kids got in for £1 for this match which pleased my grandsons. Dad and mum were there, too. The match itself was nothing to write home about. A severely depleted Fulham side dealt economically with The Championship’s bottom club and progress to Round 4.
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Craven Cottage
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from the front :- Sonny, Kingsley, Jim and Cora
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The new Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage  …. was not in use for this match  ….. or is it not yet completed?
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Saturday 6th January 2024
Northern Premier League Midlands Division 1
Coleshill Town 2
Jonathan Letford 58, Alex Tomkinslon 90+2 Lamin Ceesay s/o 83,
Corby Town 2
Jack Keeble 48, Toby Hilliard 97 (pen),
Referee: Michael Wright.                                Attendance: 215
Admission: OMGDS £8.00 (£10).                Programme: £2.00
With so much precipitation over the last few days – and weeks – 3G was the only surface to rely on for a game taking place! Coleshill is a regular watering hole because they play their midweek matches on a Monday evening and, today was an opportunity to visit Pack Meadow in daylight. There was little to report in a goalless opening spell, but the second half burst into life with The Steelmen twice taking the lead, but twice being pegged back. The hosts also had a player dismissed some ten minutes from the final whistle.
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A pensive Freddie at Coleshill Town.
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Sunday 7th January 2024
FA Cup 3rd Round
Luton Town 0
Bolton Wanderers 0
Referee: Andrew Madley.                                                                         Attendance: 10,739
Admission: Hospitality (£85 adults and £35 for children).              Programme: incl. (£3)
I love trains and football days – even when the first train is cancelled when you get to the station! We had a wee spot of hospitality at Kenilworth Road in a packed stadium, creaking and groaning, and seriously in need of replacement. Despite the lack of goals, it was a pretty tense and exciting encounter and Wanderers fully deserved to fight another day.
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Freddie and Ed
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Jim and Sonny
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Freddie, Kingsley and Sonny
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Freddie and Ed
Monday 8th January 2024
Premier League 2
Leicester City U21 2
Harvey Godsmark-Ford 18, Oliver Ewing 90+3
Newcastle United U21 2
Dylan Stephenson 2, Ben Parkinson 74,
Referee: Abigail Byrne.                                       Attendance: 199
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                     Free team sheet
It looked like it was going to be another defeat for Leicester after Newcastle took a second minute lead. We were all thinking if it was a question of ‘how many?’. The Foxes fought back, however, and were level by half-time. In the second half it was just a question of when Newcastle were going to regain the lead – and they did, midway through the half. A scrambled goal deep into injury time at the end of the match, allowed the hosts to grab a draw from what seemed certain defeat!
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Tuesday 9th January 2024
Nathaniel MG Welsh League Cup Semi-final
Guilsfield 0
Iwan Matthews penalty saved 84,
The New Saints 2
Jordan Williams 42, 74,
Referee: Huw Jones.                                            Attendance: 296
Admission: OMGDS £5.00 (£7).                      Programme: £1.00
Locating the floodlights was fairly straightforward, but finding an entrance to the ground was a tad more fraught – at one point, I ended up in a farmyard. Pleasant ground, seated stands on both sides and hardstanding all round, the bell ringers, from St Aelhaiarn’s church in the town, kept up a cacophony of campanology, but it didn’t help the host’s players. They were well beaten on the night, but their’s was a spirited defeat. They never gave up. However, TNS progress to the final and a prize of £10k plus a place in next season’s Scottish FA Cup at stake.
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Saturday 13th January 2024
Wessex League Division 1
Millbrook 6
Krysiek Krysztofowicz 9, 11, 22, 30, Mark Barker 69, Jamie White 74 (pen),
Frimley Green 1
Ronan Smith 52, Ben Harris s/o 73
Referee: Jack Hussey.                                   Attendance: 53
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£6).               Programme: £1.00
Millbrook – the Southampton variety – are comparative newcomers to the football fraternity having been formed (by amalgamation) in 2021, but they can trace their antecedents back as far as the formation of Bush Hill FC in 2002. They play at The Test Park Sports Ground, part of the Solent University sports complex. They are currently riding high in the play-off places, whilst their opponents are flirting with relegation. Four first half goals for the unpronounceable Krysiek Krysztofowicz set the tone for the match, but the visitors scored first in the second half, before having a man dismissed and conceding two further strikes.
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Tuesday 16th January 2024
Northern Premier League Midlands Division 1
Walsall Wood 2
Joshua Mansell 28, Alec Bradley 72,
Corby Town 4
Jack Keeble 35, 45, 52, Connor Tomlinson 36,
Referee: Richard Walker.                                 Attendance: 136
Admission: OMGDS £5.00 (£6).                    Programme: £2.00
Ten years since my last visit to Oak Park, the neat and tidy home of Walsall Wood and quite surprised at how reasonable the entrance fee (my grandson was charged just £1). The game was full of goals. The hosts scored first, but found themselves 1-3 down at the interval. In the second half, The Steelmen scored a fourth and then attempted to shut up shop, not a wise decision. The hosts pulled one goal back and could easily have had two or even three more goals, but in the end Corby hung onto and took the victory and the points. With grandson, Freddie.
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Belgium 2024

The 05.35 train from Corby to St Pancras to link up with Jim, Jonny Crane and Mark Sumner for the 09.01 Eurostar train to Brussels. Once in Brussels Midi-Suid, we caught a local train to Ghent.. Lovely city (and we walked a great deal around it, even our apartment was over a mile from the station). It was VERY COLD – much colder than in England – and there was ice and snow all around, but not recent. Lunch, then onto the apartment, I had a room to myself, but they had left the windows open and it was very cold!

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Friday 19th January 2024
(Belgian) Erste Klasse A
KAA Gent 1
Julien De Sart 60,
KV Mechelen 2
Daam Foulon 26, Bill Leroy Antonio 83,
Referee: Jonathan Lardot.                 Attendance: 12,696
Admission: €20.00.                            Programme: NONE, free teamsheet
If you think it’s cold in The UK, it’s Baltic in Belgium, with the temperature never rising above freezing and footpaths treacherously icy. Third placed Gent were out thought and undone by tenth place Mechelen, who attacked well on the counter and made the most of their few opportunities. For all their possession, the hosts carried little threat. With Jonny Crane and son, Jim.
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We heard, early on Saturday morning, that our second game – Erste Klasse B: FC Dender v FC Seraing – had been called off. Postponed due to the icy conditions. So, we entrained for Bruges and spent the afternoon looking round the city, visiting the Club Brugge shop and dining at Delaney’s Irish bar. In the central square, a procession in fancy dress was taking place with horse drawn carriages, but we never did find out what it was all about!
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The main square in Bruges
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The main square in Bruges.
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Naturally, we sampled the local brews
Jonny, across the table!
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Saturday 20th January 2024
(Belgian) Erste Klasse A
Club Brugge KV 3
Thiago 37, 65 (pen),Antonio Nusa 80,
KVC Westerlo 0
Arthur Piedfort s/o 90+1
Referee: Nicolas Laforge.                               Attendance: 18,583
Admission: €35.00.                                        Programme: NONE
Our earlier match at FC Dender having fallen to the icy conditions, tonight’s encounter in sub zero temperatures was our only match of the day. Westerlo started brightly, the little club from the sticks with average crowds of around 6,000 were up against the mighty Club Brugge in their fine stadium and it was the mighty Brugge who eventually prevailed with a first half goal from Thiago, a second from the same player, just after the hour and, ten minutes from time, Antonio Nusa struck the third. The visitors also had a player dismissed right at the end for a second yellow card. With Mark Sumner, Jonny Crane and son, Jim. We had a taxi pre-booked to take us back to the station in time to catch the very last train of the day back to Gent.
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Jonny Crane, Jim and Mark Sumner
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Jonny Crane
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Sunday 21st January 2024
(Belgian) Erste Klasse A
Royal Antwerp 4
Sporting de Charleroi 1
Referee: Eric Lambrechts.                                      Attendance: 12,444
Admission: €35.00                                                  Programme: NONE
The awesome approach to the ground belies the work in progress to bring it up to standard. An entire stand down one side is out of action and in need of replacement. Much has already been achieved, but much still needs to be done! The ground is, apparently, privately owned and there is some discussion about the best way forward to bring it up to modern standards. On the field, the hosts had little difficulty in dismantling the visitors defence, the only surprise was that Charleroi managed a very late consolation goal. With Mark Sumner.
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                                                       Yours Truly, Eddie McGeown
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