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Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

rainy weather
today still raining

you are looking at the rain

longing for the sun

A Haiku by Dagmara Anna AuraDagimar

Tuesday 27th November 2012 Hinchingbrooke Cup 1st Round k.o.:- 7.45pm

Deeping Rangers                  2                       Wootton Blue Cross                     0

David Burton-Jones 70

Steve Julian  86

referee:- Vinnie Byatt                                      attendance:- 40

The weather has been a tad inhospitable recently and I have been suffering from a real stinker of a cold! Hence, there was no match last evening as I dosed myself liberally with aspirin and cough medicine. Then again, there were no matches last night that I could have reasonably reached. They were all postponed due to the seriously inclement weather! Feeling a little better today, but against the better judgement of certain others, I ventured out into the cold for an early round Hinchingbrooke Cup match.

I always have a soft spot for Deeping Rangers because a former education officer of my acquaintance who, tragically died young,  once played for them. The club has matured considerably over the last twenty-five years and in the summer, I can occasionally be found umpiring on the cricket field next door!

Tonight it was cold and miserable. I wrapped myself up warm with scarf, hat and gloves and a heavy coat and enjoyed a chicken and vegetable soup as the game got underway. Wootton are a division below their opponents in The United Counties League, but for an hour they contained their rivals with efficiency and even created chances for themselves. Deeping were not to be denied, however, and two goals in the last twenty minutes when the spectre of extra time was just beginning to loom, sent them through to the next round.

Wednesday 28th November 2012  Blue Square Bet North     k.o.:- 7.45pm

Chester                                2                                     Corby Town                         1

Matty McGinn 15                                                       Liam Hughes 70

Dave Hankins 88                                                       Carl Piergianni s/o 88

referee:- Matthew Bristow (Prestwich)                 attendance:- 1,853

Liam drove us all patiently up to Chester.  It was a journey of around one hundred and fifty miles in heavy traffic on a grey miserable evening, but we got there with something to spare – which something, the rest of them put to good use in the bar!

I was very impressed, when I couldn’t locate a programme seller and enquired in the ticket office where I might find one,  I was immediately issued with a programme free of charge! The meat and potato pie which was served out of a tureen and then had a puff pastry cap set on it was very tasty and welcome on a bitter evening. Most of the home fans were pretty good and very reasonable too. However, one parent (how did he ever get to be a parent?) insisted on hurling a cacophony of abuse at any away team infringement and derision at their mistakes, liberally accompanied by single finger and two fingered salutations. Not only that, but he encouraged his young offspring to join him!

Chester 2 Corby Town 1, Blue Square Bet North, Wednesday 28th November 2012

The match was a pretty ordinary affair. When the home side opened the scoring early on, I think we all anticipated an avalanche. However, after half time, the away team dominated and the home supporters grew increasingly tense and frustrated.  Then came the equalising goal and one or two fans began to drift away. They should have stayed! Two minutes from time, the away team were reduced to ten men following a defender’s second yellow card for a blatant foul on the edge of the area. Inevitably, the home team took advantage  and scored to win the match.

There was still time for more drinks in the bar and it was after 10.00pm when I began the long drive back and only reached home just after 1.00am. It was quite unbelievable just how busy the motorways could be at that time of night!

Number three son clutching victuals for the journey home after the match at Chester.

Saturday 1st December 2012  Baris Northern Counties East League  k.o.:- 3.00pm

Division 1

Bottesford Town                          1              Pontefract Collieries                  1

Mark La Rocca 30                                          Liam Ormsby 15

referee:-                                                              attendance:- 47

I was caught in a bit of a quandary today. There were no FA Cup matches that tickled my fancy and the weather recently, put many lower league matches in doubt. So I decided to go and see a League 1 match at Scunthorpe United and on a bright, reasonably sunny (but cold!) morning, I drove the ninety odd miles up to Humberside and came upon the very definitely shuttered gates of Glanford Park. The next home match, announced the adjacent board, would be against Bournemouth on 8th December!

Bottesford Town FC members of The Baris Northern Counties East League since 2007 when they became champions of The Central Midlands League.

I had dined well en-route at a pub called “The Pride of Lincoln” on the A46 ring road outside Lincoln. I had chicken curry with pappadoms, rice, naan bread and chips. Sadly with sixteen days of my enforced abstinence from alcohol still remaining, I could only boast a J2O to accompany it!

A darkening dank and cold December afternoon at Birch Park, Ontarion Road, Bottesford, Scunthorpe

The nearest match was at Bottesford town, some 4.3 miles away according to satnav and I tootled over there and joined the paltry gathering in a surprisingly neat and effective stadium. There was a club house and bar adjacent to the ground (but not accessible from inside the ground) and many of the locals were watching Sky Sports football when I arrived (West Ham 3 Chelsea 1).

The game was a dour affair. These were two sides who cancelled each other out with a huge amount of effort and determination, but without the slightest modicum of flair or inventiveness. A cup of hot chocolate at half-time kept the worst of the cold at bay and when the game was over, two exhausted teams dragged themselves from the arena with a single point each to show for their endeavours! I drove home sedately in the dark, listening to football on the radio!

Sunday 2nd December 2012     FA Cup with Budweiser 2nd Round     k.o.:- 12.30pm

MK Dons                               2                       AFC Wimbledon                          1

Stephen Gleeson 45                                           Jack Midson 59

John Otsemobor 90

referee:- Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)             attendance:- 16,459 (3,030 away fans)

Karl Robinson, the MK Dons manager interviewed in the Red Dot Room before the match.

This was the first meeting between these two bitter rivals. The original Wimbledon FC used to play at Plough Lane where I saw them in a second division match on Boxing Day in 1984. That day, in a tumble down wooden stadium, they defeated Notts County 3-2, but the attendance was a mere 2,991. Wimbledon re-located to Milton Keynes where I saw them several times at The National Hockey Stadium followed by several more matches at their impressive MK Stadium. Meanwhile, with ardent determination, AFC Wimbledon rise from the ashes of minor league football, ground-share with Kinstonian FC and then buy Kingsmeadow off their landowners and allow them to remain as tenants.More recently, they are promoted to the Football League from The Conference.

This match has been a long time coming, but I was surprised at the genteel manner in which the AFC Wimbledon support hurled petty insults at their so-called usurpers, but more impressed with the hiring of an aeroplane to fly around the ground trailing a banner entitled “We are Wimbledon”. I was even more impressed to see the tumult of a pitch invasion when Jack Midson hurled himself into the path of a cross to steer in an unlikely Wimbledon equaliser.

‘Why should Milton Keynes retain the “Dons” soubriquet’, is a question we asked a couple of the home team fans. They are adamant that many MK Dons fans are former Wimbledon fans. Some of them have re-located to Milton Keynes and some still travel up for matches from South London. It seems that this saga of a feud is set to continue ad infinitum!

When I last saw AFC Wimbledon at Morecambe, just over a week ago, they were comprehensively dismantled and a battering ram of a striker grabbed three goals off them. I feared for them in this encounter against higher league opposition.

In the event, I needn’t have worried. They played really well and easily contained their opponents who were in truth lack lustre and giving the minnows far too much respect. It took a strike from well outside the penalty area to open the home side account and a casual flick of the heal in the last minute to claim the victory. Midway through the second half, the away team scored quite the best goal of the match when Jack Midson flung himself head first to catapult the equaliser past David Martin in the home goal.

A draw would have been a fair result, but it will be MK Dons who travel to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup 3rd Round

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