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February 2017

from:- “The Goals of Bingo Boot”

And all the while in streets and parks

On pitches large or small

Without a proper pair of boots

Sometimes without a ball!

With tin cans in the clattering yard

In weather cold or hot

Young Bingo shimmied left and right

And scored with every shot


His poor old mum scrubbed office floors

His poor old gran did too

The pantry was an empty place

The rent was overdue

Then Bingo had a brainwave

Shall I tell you what he did?

He sold himself to The Arsenal

For thirteen thousand quid


The first game that he ever played

At the tender age of ten

Young Bingo just ran rings round

Eleven baffled men

The fans of course went crazy

The fans went ‘Ooh!’ and ‘Ah!’

While Bingo took the match ball home

And bought his dad a car.

by Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )




Wednesday 1st February 2017
British Universities & Colleges Sport Midlands Division 1

Cambridge University 0

Oxford University 0
Referee:- Andy Phillips                                   Attendance:- 10
Admission:- F.O.C.                                         Programme:- NONE
What a miserable morning, grey leaden skies and heavy rain as John Main and I drove to Clare College Cambridge only to find that the match had been transferred to the cork 3G surface at Newmarket Town. Had this been The Varsity Rugby Union match, there would have been seventy-five thousand spectators at Twickenham, even The Varsity Football match between these two teams scheduled for Barnet FC on the morning of the Boat Race in March, will attract a couple of thousand! This was a tight contest between two evenly matched teams and what few chances came along, were squandered extravagantly and unforgivably with some woeful shooting. A draw was a fair result and a watery sun came out of the gloomy skies as we drove back in the afternoon!

Friday 3rd February 2017

Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur League 

Cup Final

Plains   3

Cambusnethan Talbot  1

Referee:-                                                    Attendance:- c600

Admission:- £3.00                                  Programme:- NONE

I flew up to Glasgow early on Friday morning on a cheap return flight and collected my hire car to drive to Dumbarton, once a scion of the shipbuilding industry. I circumnavigated Dumbarton Castle in the company of a very knowledgeable local twitcher and then popped into the football ground which is in the shadow of the castle rock. There is viewing on only one side and the locals would love to move away to somewhere more traditional for football watching!

In the evening, I visited The Excelsior Stadium for a local cup final. I am under impressed with Airdrieonians home as, not only has it got a plastic pitch, but it has singularly little atmosphere. There was plenty of atmosphere this evening, however, as the two local sides put on a good encounter, which Plains eventually won deservedly, but not without a mighty struggle from Talbot!

Saturday 4th February 2017

Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League 12.30pm k.o.

Motherwell  0

Carl McHugh s/o

Hearts  3

Alexandros Tziolis 78

Esmael Goncalves 84, 88,

Referee:- Andrew Dallas                               Attendance:- 4,651

Admission:- OMGDS£16.00 (£23)            Programme:- £3.00

This was my second visit to Fir Park on a rainswept morning and I met a musician from The Army who had decided on a whim to leave his warm bed in Henlow, in Bedfordshire, at 3.00am in the morning and to drive up to Scotland for, first of all, this match and then a quick ten minute drive across to Hamilton for a 3.00pm kick-off.

Hearts were today’s visitors and they seemed to have brought their own referee with them! It was goalless until the final fifteen minutes when the visitors scored three times, saw a home team player sent off and a blatant penalty ruled out for ‘Well!

Saturday 4th February 2017

Ladbrokes Scottish Championship 5.15pm k.o.

Dundee United  3

Thomas Mikkelson 45, 68,

Tony Andreu 48,

Raith Rovers  0

Referee:- Alan Muir                                          Attendance:- 5,232

Admission:- OMGDS£12.00 (£23)               Programme:- £2.50

It was some eighty miles from Motherwell to Dundee , but I was confident that I could make the journey in time and so it proved. Tannadice Park and Dens Park are so close, being but a street apart! This evening, it was the United half of Dundee that I had come to see.

Adjacent to Tannadice Park, you can see the floodlights of Dens Park at the bottom left of the photo.

Dundee United, recently demoted from the Scottish Premiership are locked in a battle with Hibernian to regain their Premiership place. At present, they are adrift of their rivals by some seven points.

This evening, they were far too good for their rivals, Raith Rovers. Quick goals either side of half-time and a third, some twenty minutes from time, saw them deservedly triumph and collect the spoils.

After the match I drove back to Glasgow. I was staying at The Victorian House Hotel, just off Sauchiehall Street (is that how you spell it?). It rained all night.

Sunday 5th February 2017

Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League

St Johnstone  2

Watson 31,

Boyata (go) 43,

Celtic  5

Henderson 6,

Dembele 61 (pen),75,85,

Sinclair 81,

Referee:- Craig Thomson                                     Attendance:- 6,458

Admission:- Hospitality                                     Programme:- incl. (£2.50)

Not only did it rain all last night, it teemed it down all this morning and all the way up to Perth in the car. I seriously wondered whether the match would survive, but it did.

My hospitality package included a car park pass.

I couldn’t get into hospitality because I wasn’t wearing a tie! Fortunately, next door, a very helpful official offered me the choice of tie from a box of left-overs and I was able, at last to make my way in! I had a small table all to myself (see above). There was a light brunch breakfast, soup at half-time and then after the match the main course was Perthshire lamb shoulder. The bar was free! Sadly, I couldn’t do it justice because I was driving!

A band played before the match

The match was fast and furious, but ultimately disappointing. The Perthshire side lead deservedly at half-time, by 2-1. A series of second half misfortunes for the hosts, saw them go down to ten men before not being awarded what appeared to be a stonewall penalty and then having a very soft penalty awarded against them!

However, it was the introduction of young Dembele after an hour which proved the real turning point. He scored three times to sink the hosts without trace and in the end, Celtic won at a canter. The standard of refereeing was underwhelming!

Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic manager and formerly of Liverpool, prowls the touchline during the match.

This is my hire car. a 1.4 Kia C’eed which had all the toys that my Honda has (sat-nav, reversing camera, reverse and forward warning alarms), but it lacked the power of the Civic! Really enjoyed its company and my six hundred or so miles driving in it this weekend!

Tuesday 7th February 2017
Midland League Division 1

Hinckley 2

Javia Roberts 9,

Ryan Paddock 78,

Stafford Town 1

Matthew Beedell 90+5
Referee:- Alec Cross                                        Attendance:- 121
Admission:- OMGDS£4.00 (£6.00)            Programme:- £1.50
Hinckley, after their fall from grace, are now playing at St John’s Park, home of Heather St Johns. A new team, ‘Leicester Road’ now play at The Marston Stadium in Hinckley (in the same division, but much higher than rivals, Hinckley). Tonight’s match was a rip roaring affair which was much closer than matters appeared on the field. The hosts struck the bar or post three times and squandered numerous other chances in taking a two goal lead. Right at the death, Stafford pulled one back, but the hosts deserved their victory and the points!

Wednesday 8th February 2017
Northants Senior (Hillier) Cup Semi-final

Corby Town 3

Andre Johnson 65, 70 (pen)

Guiseppe Iaciofano 89

Desborough Town 0
Referee:- Andrew Humphries Attendance:- 286
Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6) Programme:- NONE
For three-quarters of this game you couldn’t have squeezed a cigarette paper between these two sides despite the two division gulf between NPL and UCL. Three goals in the final twenty-five minutes – all to the hosts – decided this tie and a meeting with either Kettering Town or Brackley Town in the final at Sixfields in April.

Saturday 11th February 2017

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 North

Tadcaster Albion 2

Josh Greening 49,

Jono Greening 74,

Bamber Bridge 1

Michael Potts 12,

Referee:- Mark Haywood                     Attendance:- 239

Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7)       Programme:- £1.50

It was a tad wet, in fact it was considerably more than a tad wet and had been so all weekend. Very few matches survived the weather, but Albion had installed underwater drainage to celebrate their promotion to The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League this season. This is a consolidation season for Tadcaster and they are well established in mid-table with Bridge but a few places higher. It was the visitors who bossed the first half and went into the interval leading by a solitary strike which in no way reflected their superiority. For some reason best known only to the management, they brought on two substitutes at half-time and the balance of the team was unduly affected. Taddy also upped their game and deservedly took the victory and the points in a pulsating encounter!

 Tuesday 14th February 2017
Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Reading 3

John Swift 22 

Danny Williams 77,

Roy Beerens 81,

Brentford 2

Jota 63,

Lasse Vibe 66,
Referee:- K. Stroud                                     Attendance:- 15,710
Admission:- Hospitality                           Programme:- included (£3)
The Madjeski Stadium is not the easiest football ground to get to and my grandson was travel sick on the way, as well! However, we were “Royally’ (sic) treated upon arrival even if we were an hour late. There was a knowledgeable and very friendly contingent of home supporters on our table including, no less, one of the host team’s scouts! The match was a cracker when it eventually opened up. The hosts led 1-0 at the interval, but could very easily have been two or three goals behind. In the second half, Brentford did stamp their superiority on the game and took a 2-1 lead, only for Jaap Stam to send for reinforcements by way of three substitutions at one go. This did the trick and very soon they had regained the lead. They held it to the end and claimed the points. However, if I were a Brentford fan, I would have felt very harshly done by. They deserved a draw at least!

Grandson, Freddie at The Madejski Stadium

The game was a special occasion to mark Jim’s 41st birthday!

Wednesday 15th February 2017
British Universities & Colleges Sport
Womens’ Conference Cup Quarter-final

Leicester University 5

Emma Aspinall 2,

Shauna Cossens 24,

Millie Cutler 55, 56, 66,

Loughborough University 2

Lucy Brown 6,

Maria Cienfuegos 37,
Referee:- John Carr                                           Attendance:- 17
Admission:- F.O.C.                                            Programme:- NONE
This was a close contest at The Manor Road Sports Ground, at least for the first half when the score was 2-2. Leicester, then, pulled away decisively in the second period and deservedly won the match and the right to travel to Birmingham or Cambridge for the semi-final. Hannah Watts, the host’s no-nonsense, swashbuckling midfielder was again the outstanding player on the park as she was three weeks ago at Girton College against Anglia Ruskin University. The rain came down like a monsoon and it was pretty cold, but these students served up a real treat!

Thursday 16th February 2017

Cottingham FC
The stand down the left hand side of the picture has gone and the moles have been active on the field! Cottingham joined The United Counties League in 1979/80 and promptly won the Division 2 title in their first season. The following season, the league was reduced to two divisions and Cottingham gained a creditable fifth place in Division 1. They were Division 1 champions in 1999/2000, but were never promoted to The Premier Division. Plenty of fine names have come and gone from the league during this period – Leighton Town, Milton Keynes Borough, Stevenage Borough, Towcester Town, Irthlingborough Diamonds, to name but a few! Sadly, 2003/04 was the last season that they played at Berryfield Road. The following season, they competed as Corby Cottingham, but then they folded and all that remains is what you see!

Friday 17th February 2017
Almary Green Anglian Combination Division 1

Aylsham 4

Stuart Boam,

Jack Mollicone (2)

Mark Gaskin

Scole United 4

David Coleman (3),

Ben Norton-Hugman
Referee:- Richard Gostling                          Attendance:- 114
Admission:- F.O.C.                                        Programme:- NONE
This is Aylsham’s first season at their spanking brand new ground and they are striding high at the top of their league as well. Tonight, however, for whatever reason, they were not at their best and with less than ten minutes remaining, found themselves 2-4 in arrears. A storming finale salvaged a point, with a penalty in added time, but it was hardly deserved! Lovely new ground, fine facilities for players and spectators, except that the only cover was a Meccano tin terrace which might hold twenty from the worst of any downfall!

The brothers, who play for Leicester Tigers, were born in Aylsham!

Saturday 18th February 2017
Ryman Isthmian League Division 1 South

Sittingbourne 2

Jono Richardson 71

David Abe 78

Molesey 0
Referee:- Isaac Searle                           Attendance:- 100
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 (£9)        Programme:- £2.00
Well, sat-nav brought us into the vicinity of the ground via a very rustic route which even had signs saying “unsuitable for motor vehicles”, posted all along the way! We never did see the town of Sittingbourne at all! The stadium was somewhat dilapidated and worn, with several interesting features! The welcome was warm and even team sheets were available! The match was a very slow burner and was positively soporific in the first half! Two goals in the final twenty minutes eventually brought the game to life, with the hosts just about deserving their success! We left by a different route!

 Monday 20th February 2017
Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division

Cambridge City 0

Kings Lynn Town 0
Referee:- Anthony Pope (Braintree)                         Attendance:- 213
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 (£10)                            Programme:- £2.00
Cambridge City are currently playing their home fixtures at Westwood Road, home of St Ives Town. Their woes continue as another High Court ruling sets back their move to Sawston and relegation is a very real threat. Kings Lynn are happily ensconced in mid-table and, quite frankly, this game was dire. As Peter Ford said: “it wasn’t just the worst game of this season …….”. Glad to get away at the end!

Tuesday 21st February 2017
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League
Premier Division

Desborough Town 0

Newport Pagnell Town 1

Stuart Smeathers 21,
Referee:- David Jarrett                                  Attendance:- 69
Admission:- £5.00                                         Programme:- £1.00
Ar Tarn were not at their best this evening and any casual visitor would have been hard pressed to believe that they occupy third place in the league whilst Newport Pagnell languish in the nether regions! It was a scrappy and, at times, ill-tempered game not helped by some weak refereeing, but it was good to meet up with all the Desborough faithful once again!

Wednesday 22nd February 2017
British Universities & Colleges Sport
Midland Division 3B

Warwick University Women 7 (seven)

Annie Begamovic 27, 81,

Madeleina Maria Te Mundo 43, 74,

Eloise Cresswell 61, 65, 76,
Oxford Brookes University Women 0
The heavy rain disappeared just before the start of the match and top of the table Warwick had little difficulty in disposing of fourth placed Oxford Brookes. The Warwick University playing fields are a very pleasant area on the outskirts of Coventry. With Graeme Askham and John Main.

February 22nd 2017
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League

Premier Division

Peterborough Northern Star 0

Peterborough Sports 0
Referee:- Trevor Basker Attendance:- 186
Admission:- £5.00 Programme:- £1.50
A second 0-0 draw in three days! If it’s 0-0 again tonight, said Peter Ford, I’m never coming to a match that you’re going to again!! These two city rivals stood toe to toe and slugged it out with chances few and far between, but surprisingly, only one yellow card was issued. It was a much better encounter than Monday evenings dreadful match at St Ives, but …………. there were no goals!

Saturday 25th February 2017
Ryman Isthmian League Division 1 South

Molesey 0

Lewes 4

Jonte Smith 21, 67,

Callum Kealy 79,

Wilkfred Grimaud 89,

Referee:- M. Heavey                                       Attendance:- 101
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 ((£10)              Programme:- £2.00
Another dip into the lower reaches of The Ryman League, but this was a pleasant surprise, for the ground was neat and well kept with a lovely stand adorning one side and cover on all the other sides – albeit somewhat primitive! Today, they were entertaining once proud Lewes who were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season. Molesey are flirting with the relegation places whilst Lewes need more points to support a play-off spot. The visitors rarely got out of second gear as they brushed aside a brittle home outfit, particularly in the second half which yielded three goals and especially after the hosts had striker Dre Grobler sent off with just over ten minutes to go for what appeared to be injudicious use of the elbow. Also there were John Main and Chris Berezai.

Monday 27th February 2017
Northants FA David Joyce U-18 Cup
Quarter Final

Desborough Town 0

Peterborough United 4

Anorea Bora 8,

Josh Davison 23, 54,

Frazer Garner 80,
Referee:- Wayne Bright                             Attendance:- 57
Admission:- £2.50                                     Programme:- NONE
Desborough Town are flying high this season, unbeaten in The Northants Senior Youth League and including an 8-1 thrashing of Corby Town. It was a different story this evening as cool, classy, cultured Posh took them apart with a team, some of whom are rumoured to be on full time contracts! Two goals in each half and it could have been more except for the brave goalkeeping of sixteen year old Carl Curtis. Ar Tarn were well beaten, but not disgraced!




Other matches this month:-

Monday 6th February 2017

Barclays U-23 Premier League 2

Leicester City  0  Southampton  2


Wednesday 15th February 2017

FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final

Leicester City 0 Chelsea 1


This season:-    Matches:- 176               New Grounds:- 85

Total:-                Matches:- 3,621           New Grounds:- 1,313

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