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April 2016

Picture this, you’re gazing down

Upon that smoky factory town.

Weaves of streets spread out, converge

And from the houses boys emerge.


Specks of Boys, a broad selection

Heading off in one direction

Pulled by some magnetic itch

Up to the park, onto the pitch.


Boys in boots and boys in wellies

Skinny boys and boys with bellies

Tiny boys with untied laces

Brainy boys with violin cases.


The match was played to certain rules

By boys from certain streets and schools

Who since their babyhood had known

Which patch of earth to call their own.




Saturday 2nd April 2016
Evo-Stik Southern League
Division 1 South & West

Taunton Town 3

Lewis Powell 11,

Craig Veal 46,77,

Bishop Cleeve 0
Referee:_ Andrew Turner (Exeter)               Attendance:- 373
Admission:- £8.00                                           Programme:- £2.00
Taunton is probably better known as the home of Somerset County Cricket Club. We didn’t see any sign of it today as John Main guided us into the ground after negotiating a long and sometimes difficult journey from Leicester in his comfortable chariot. The peacocks are flying high this year, however, and challenging strongly for a place at the Southern League’s top table. Their neat little ground was well appointed and bathed in sunshine and it was a pity that the game itself was unremarkable as the hosts dismantled a rather inept Bishops Cleeve side for a fairly comfortable 3-0 victory. A very enjoyable visit, nonetheless
This season – Matches:- 202 New grounds:- 107








Monday 4th April 2016
North West Counties League
Premier Division

Congleton Town  3

Richard Bailey 63,

Michael Koral 77, 90,

Alsager Town 0
Referee:- Thomas Parsons                   Attendance:- 203
Admission:- OMGDS: £3.00 (£6)      Programme:- £1.00
For the second time this season Jack Warner and I found ourselves at Ball Haye Green of The Staffs County League on a beautiful evening – pitch in perfect condition, but match off and no reason given. We just about had time to scoot the ten miles or so down to Congleton and The Bears neat stadium at Booth Lane for a little local banter with neighbours, Alsager Town. The stadium is hidden in a housing estate fairly close to the centre of town. It is well maintained with cover on all four sides and a seated stand for around 200 spectators. This evening, all the first half pressure came from their lowly visitors, playing down the slope, but there was no score at half-time. Three goals in the second half deservedly won the match for The Bears and maybe, next time we are at Ball Haye Green, they will actually play the match! Enjoyed Congleton, though!







Tuesday 5th April 2016
Northants Combination Premier Division

Blisworth 8

Steven Healey 8,

Dale Lewis 28, 29,

Joshua Dawson 46, 53, 56, 57,

Joseph Hanley 77,

Milton 0

Referee:- Trevor Martin Attendance:- 43
Admission:- F.O.C. Programme:- NONE
They’ve moved the pitch at Blisworth and built a club house. It looks a different place from the leafy glade I visited thirty years ago. There was bottled “Lancaster Bomber” in the bar and it was good to meet up with Graeme Askham again. Blisworth are top of the league, beaten only once this season, whilst Milton from down the road are firmly ensconced in mid-table. This was a fine victory for the hosts, but they were helped by circumstance which forced the visitors to play their goalkeeper in outfield and put an injured player in goal! It was 3-0 at the break, but four goals from striker Joshua Davison in ten minutes immediately after the break, killed the game off with a final strike coming three minutes from time!









Wednesday 6th April 2016
Uhlsport Hellenic League
Division 1 East

Bicester Town 2

Jordan Weaver 16,

Daniel Bone 54,

Chalfont Wasps 0
Referee:- Thomas Blanch                    Attendance:- 50 (h/c)
Admission:- £6.00                               Programme:- included
Bicester are back in The Hellenic League after a four year absence, but they are playing their home games at Ardley United. They are fighting to regain possession of their former ground in the town which is the subject of a tug of war between the club and The Bicester Village project (Shops for designer labels). The town council appear sympathetic, but there is no sign of movement yet! Meanwhile, they top Division 1 East and look on course for promotion to the Premier Division. A goal in each half led to a regulation victory against lowly Wasps.










Thursday 7th April 2016
Northants Combination
Duston Garages Premier Division

Kettering Nomads 3

Shaun Morris 48,

Sam Johnson 51, 53,

Earls Barton United 0
Referee:- Trevor Martin                                Attendance:- 14
Having avoided the blandishments of Kettering Town (they beat Dunstable 3-1 this evening), I drove a little further down the road to Isham, where I have both played and umpired cricket and where Kettering Nomads play their home fixtures. It was an evening of sunshine and showers and in the first half, the match was decidedly tedious, without a single shot on goal! The thin crowd were rewarded for their patience with three goals in the first ten minutes of the second half, all to the hosts who culled the points and the victory, but should have scored several more!






Friday 8th April 2016
Thurlow-Nunn Eastern Counties League
Division 1

Haverhill Borough 0

Halstead Town 1

Daniel Cripps 17,
Referee:- George Byrne                          Attendance:- 121
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5)         Programme:- £1.00
Haverhill Borough are the junior partners at The New Croft, sharing the ground with Haverhill Rovers, but they soon hope to be moving out – maybe as soon as the beginning of next season – into a brand spanking new stadium with a 3G pitch adjacent to the present arena. This evening, they were pretty woeful and lost for the second time this week, at home by 0-1. Halstead still have designs on promotion, but it may be beyond them, this season. Good to meet up with Daniel Turner from Braintree, an enthusiastic young ‘hopper’!










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Saturday 9th April 2016
Molten Spartan South Midlands League
Division 2

Pitstone & Ivinghoe 2

George Armstrong 26,

Harry Elliott 74,

Grendon Rangers 2

Matt Ginger 40 (pen), 77,
Referee:- Mike Chisholm                                           Attendance:- 34
Graeme and I let the train take the strain from Rugby down to Tring. We hadn’t realised that Pitstone & Ivinghoe are moving at the end of the season to a new ground almost opposite across the road, so, no doubt, we will have to return next season! There was little on offer in the way of stadium furniture, but there was shelter under the wall of the Memorial Hall from the elements, and thankful we were for that! The hosts should have run away with this, but they twice let a lead slip and despite enjoying most of the possession, were denied by a spirited and determined Rangers, who probably just about deserved their point!


Monday 11th April 2016
Pete’s Patisserie Sheffield County Senior League
Division 1

Silkstone United 0

Wombwell Main 6 (six)

Ryan Hallsworth 11, 45+2,

Daniel Frost 14,

Marc Schofield 36, 78,

Luke Whitfield 39,
Referee:- Paul Jackson                              Attendance:- 22
This combined football and cricket arena has the cricket clubhouse and playing area on the upper level and behind it and around ten metres lower, is the football pitch. The match was scheduled to commence at 6.00pm, but the referee allowed some degree of lassitude and the game commenced about ten minutes late. The home side goalkeeper did not cover himself in glory, allowing two goals in the first fifteen minutes – one at long range went straight through his legs! The visitors had total control, and as so often happens, they took their foot off the pedal in the second half having established a 5-0 interval lead! Very pleasant and helpful members of both teams made sure that we had the teams and changes. Good to get to another game with Graeme Askham!


Tuesday 13th April 2016
Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division

Stratford Town 0

Poole Town 1

Luke Burbidge 19,
Referee:- Mark Howes                                   Attendance:- 232
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£10.00)        Programme:- £2
On a fairly balmy evening (with black thunder clouds in the distance), this was another solid victory consolidating Poole Town’s claims to The Southern League Championship and with it, promotion to Conference South. Stratford have had a dreadful season and the comparatively large crowd turned up more in hope than anticipation. The slick visitors made the hosts look ponderous and pedestrian, but only one goal was scored and that as early as the nineteenth minute.


Saturday 23rd April 2016
Ryman Isthmian League
Division 1 South

Dorking Wanderers 1

Kev Terry,  86,

South Park 5

James McElligott 42,

Dean Moody 50, 80,

Dean Lovegrove 61,

Dylon Merchant 90+1
Referee:- Graham Pearce                                    Attendance:- 130
Admission:- FREE (£8/£5)                               Programme:- £2

This season:- Matches:- 220 New Grounds:- 120
Nothing at all like what I expected! I thought it would be a ground hidden amidst the slums of South London, but what we saw was an idyllic location in the lee of Box Hill (where Young Jolyon retired to live with Irene in John Galsworthy’s novel – ‘The Forsyte Saga’). Local planning restrictions meant that the club (who were only formed in 1999) had constructed a stadium built almost entirely of wood. It is a little gem, but they will be staying there for but one season more, before joining neighbours Dorking at a purpose built 3G community arena. Wanderers are already in the play-offs and this afternoon probably put out a largely weakened formation to preserve their warriors for the play-off semi-final this week. South Park took advantage and thoroughly enjoyed – and deserved – a handsome victory. We didn’t know when we arrived that the hosts were offering free admission for their last home league game of the season! On a cool afternoon, Dorking’s cricketers were opening their season next door! With John Main and Chris Berezai


Wednesday 27th April 2016
Evo-Stik Southern League
Premier Division Play-off Semi-final

Hitchin Town 2

Brett Donnelly 56,

Robbie Burns 59,

Hungerford Town 3

Scott Rees 64,

James Clark 75,

Stefan Brown 84,
Referee:- G. Viccars                                      Attendance:- 1,305

Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£10.00)        Programme:- £2.00
My last visit to Hitchin for this season and it ended on a disappointing note. The old stadium was bursting at the seams and the parkland opposite Top Field had been opened up as a car park at £2 per car! The first half was pretty drab, but the contest certainly opened up after the break, with the Canaries grabbing a two goal lead by the hour mark. Back came Hungerford, with two goals in ten minutes to level the score. They added a third and winning goal six minutes from time and their celebrations at the end of the match were extensive and shared with the large coterie of away support!


Thursday 28th April 2016
Northants Combination Division 1

Gretton 5

Lee Greig 19, 67,

Joey Rees 48, 76,

Matty O’Neill 50,

Corby Shamrock 3

Arron McGinty 4,

Carl Richards 53,

William Wells
Referee:- Gary Gurney                                    Attendance:- 18
Admission:- F.O.C.                                          Programme:- NONE
There is a covered standing area at Kirby Road and tonight it was particularly welcome as the rain came down in sheets in the second half. The match started about ten minutes late because the visitors had players still arriving, but they managed a full team and snatched an early lead in the third minute. This is only my third visit to the ground, even though I have only to open my front door and cross the street to get there! My house features on one of the photos below! Gretton laboured to achieve half-time parity, but in the second half as the rain teemed down, they wrested the contest away from the visitors. Two goals each for Joey Rees and Lee Craig and a goal from Matty O’Neill, sealed a handsome and deserved victory.


Not included :-

Friday 1st April 2016 Holt United 3 Sheringham 1 Anglian Comb Div 1. Att.:- 122

Tuesday 5th April 2016 Blisworth 8 Milton 0 Northants Comb Premier Att.:- 43

Thursday 7th April 2016 Kettering Nomads 3 Earls Barton United 0 Northants Comb Premier Att.:- 14

Friday 15th April 2016 Garden Village 2 Ton Pentre 1 Welsh League Premier Div Att.:- 108

Saturday 16th April 2016 Abergwili 4 Llansteffan 1 Carmarthen League Div.1 Att.:- 140

Saturday 16th April 2016 Llandeilo 5 Llangennech 0 Carmarthen League Div. 2 Att.:- 107

Saturday 16th April 2016 Johnstown 1 Drefach 3 Carmarthen League Div. 2 Att.:- 137

Sunday 17th April 2016 Llandovery 4 Porth Tywyn 0 Carmarthen League Div. 2 Att.:- 111

Sunday 17th April 2016 Carmarthen Stars 7 Ponthenri 1 Carmarthen League Div.! Att.:- 214

Wednesday 20th April 2016 North Leigh 1 Bishops Cleeve 3 Southern League Div1 Sth & West Att.:- 47

Thursday 21st April 2016 Rothwell Corinthians 2 Holbeach United 1 UCL Premier Att.:- 57

Friday 22nd April 2016 Alvis 2 Nuneaton Griff & Coton 1 Telegraph Junior Cup FINAL Att.:- 72

Monday 25th April 2016 Desborough Town 1 Kettering Town 3 Northants Senior Youth Leg. (East) Att.:- 32

Tuesday 26th April 2016 Christ the King 1 Folly Lane 7 Coventry Alliance Prem. Div. Att.:- 31





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