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March 2017

from:- “The Goals of Bingo Boot” by Allan Ahlberg

And so the years went flying by

In liniment and sweat

Life was a great high-scoring game

An ever bulging net

And Arsenal won the cup and league

Six seasons on the trot

All on account of Bingo Boot

And his most amazing shot.


But now the storm clouds gathered

And at last the whistle blew

for the start of a really crucial game

The battle of World War Two.

It was England versus Germany

And Bingo heard the call

He marched away in his shooting boots

To assist in Adolf’s fall.


Then when the war was finished

And he’d left the fusiliers

Brave Bingo served the Gunners

For another fifteen years.

No net was ever empty

No sheet was ever clean

He scored more goals a season

Than even Dixie Dean.




Wednesday 1st March 2017
British Universities & Colleges Sport
Womens Cup – Semi-Final

Cambridge University Women 2

Becca Hirst 24, 90+1

Leicester University Women 1

Millie Cutler 81
Referee:- Peter Howard                                         Attendance:- 18
I can remember umpiring cricket matches at Fitzwilliam Playing Fields, but it didn’t make it any easier for John and Graeme and myself to find the place tucked away off a side road opposite Fitzwilliam College itself! We had high hopes for Leicester Women, but on the day they played like a hen party on the morning after. Cambridge were a good side who passed well and Leicester were unable to play with their usual freedom. They missed several straightforward chances in the first half, whilst Cambridge scored with their only effort on target. In the second half of a very even match, Millie Cutler equalised with ten minutes to go, but Cambridge won it in the first minute of added time!

Friday 3rd March 2017
Barclays U-18 Premier League North Section

Stoke City 0

Manchester United 2

Josh Bohui 47

DJ Buffonge 81,
Attendance:- 107                                             Admission:- F.O.C.
No programme – Free team sheets provided.
With all the rain around, we were never quite sure if this game would go ahead. In the event, the pitch was in very good condition and the match was played at a high tempo. Always a pleasure to visit Stoke City’s Clayton Wood Academy, where the welcome is warm and the impression is given that spectators are appreciated rather than begrudged! This was a match betweenn the whippets from Manchester against the carthorses of Stoke. There was no score in the first half, despite the visitors being awarded a penalty, which was saved. In the second half, the hosts performed much better and were themselves awarded a penalty which they, too, squandered! Either side of this second penalty, the visitors struck, but they were made to work hard for a victory they should have achieved at a canter!

Saturday 4th March 2017
Ryman Isthmian League Division 1 South

Faversham Town 1

Luke Harvey 16,

Molesey 0
Referee:- Jack Packan Attendance:- 188
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 (£10) Programme:- £2.00
Let the train take the strain, an hour from Kettering to St Pancras and an hour from St Pancras to Faversham, then a ten minute walk to the quaint old fashioned stadium with lots of evidence of prefabrication and brand new changing rooms almost completed – with room for another storey on top if they can find the funds! The game wasn’t much to write home about. A goal after sixteen minutes put the hosts in front and all the huffing and puffing that Molesey could offer came to nought. That’s three times I’ve seen Molesey, now, in a fortnight, and each time they have lost!

Tuesday 7th March 2017
East Midlands Counties League

Anstey Nomads 3

Mark Foster 62, 

Joe Hartopp 72,

Chris Rudkin 90+5

Barrow Town 2

Sam Beaver 65,

Chris Shaw 79,
Referee:- Adam Brierly-Lewis                          Attendance:- 52
Admission:- £5.00                                           Programme:- £1.00
This was my first visit to Nomads since 2009 and there has been a raft of improvements which rendered the stadium almost unrecognisable from my first visit!. Maybe they could have improved the floodlights, because they were very dim (as you can see from the photos). Barrow had won the reverse fixture handsomely by 4-0 and the hosts were seeking revenge. There were no goals at all in the first hour but then an avalanche as each side scored in succession. Right at the death, the visitors had a golden chance to score the winner and missed it only for Nomads to score in the fifth minute of added time to seal a victory they barely deserved!

Friday 10th March 2017

Welsh League Division 1

Risca United  1

Kyle Williams 46,

 Monmouth Town  3

Craig Lewis 38, 42,

Kaz Kareem 56,

Referee:- Mark Lynch                                Attendance:- 147

Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£5)           Programme:- £1.50

Plastic pitch at a fairly new stadium which had a rugby union stadium attached across the top behind one goal to form a T-shape double arena.

Plenty of ritzy light and colour and a pretty big main stand, but totally lacking in atmosphere. I even went down the road for a pint before the match!

Both of these teams are struggling this season and Risca United are in the more precarious position, some five points behind their opponents and in the relegation places. Monmouth fended them off for most of the first half and then produced a couple of strikes to kill the game off as a contest. Risca pulled a goal back immediately after half-time, but Town restored their two goal advantage some ten minutes later and deserved the win and the points.


Saturday 11th March 2017

K.O. 10.45am Carmarthenshire League Division 2

Kidwelly Town  3

Kyle Griffiths 36,

Gideon Griffiths 38 (og)

Ryan Jones 89,

Drefach  1

Chris Amos 7,

Referee:- Phillip Johns                      Attendance:- 154

Admission:- £3.00                             Programme:- £1.00

Above is a view of the entrance to The Ivy Bush Hotel where we have stayed for several years now, following both The Ceredigion League and The Carmarthenshire League. Always happy to return here!

Interesting place, Kidwelly! There is a really good castle, which John Main and I found time to explore. It is well preserved and obviously lovingly looked after by the people of the town. It was a great fortress in medieval times and passed from side to side as the English sought to establish hegemony in The Principality.

The football club is an appendage on the far edge of Kidwelly RFC. The rugby club boast floodlights, but the football club have only a field with a rope round it!

The three pictures above were all taken from a vantage point at the top of Kidwelly Castle!

For most of the opening half, the visitors held the lead through a 7th minute Chris Amos strike. Two goals, however, just shy of half time, sent them in arrears. In an end to end second half, it seemed that no further strikes would accrue, but then, in the last minute, Ryan Jones struck for the hosts to seal their victory!

Sir Alfred Stephens, who, at the beginning of the last century, brought prosperity to Kidwelly with the building of a vast brickworks. It is his name that adorns the town’s playing fields!

Saturday 11th March 2017

K.O.:- 1.30pm  Carmarthenshire League Premier Division

Evans & Williams 0 

Trostre Sports  1

Christopher Waters 23,

Referee:- Mike Jones                             Attendance:- 134

Admission:- £3.00                                Programme:- £1.00

This was a hastily arranged fixture between the two top sides in the division. It was played on a pitch on local council owned playing field and there was room for about five or six pitches, although only one other match was being played around the same time!

Evans & Williams were, apparently, wagon builders in the area.

This was a dour struggle of a match. Each side had chances to score – and to win, but it was the visitors, courtesy of a 23rd minute strike by Christopher Waters, who stole the contest and the points.

For Evans & Williams, it was only a third league defeat of the season. Their opponents, too, have only lost three league matches, but it is the hosts who, despite this defeat, look the most likely to take the championship!


Saturday 11th March 2017

K.O.:- 4.00pm   Carmarthenshire League Premier Division

Seaside   2

Sean Rogers 33, 66,

Carmarthen Stars  0

Referee:- Matt Deschoolmeister                Attendance:- 175

Admission:- £3.00                                  Programme:- £1.00

I could be wrong, but I don’t really think that there is a place actually called “Seaside”. I think that it is just the name of a football club on the south Carmarthenshire coast inside the borough of Llanelli. For all of that  – and the fact that it was little more than a field with a rope around – it was warm, friendly and welcoming and if they didn’t quite get the timing right for the curry and chips, it was well worth the wait!

Seaside have quite an impressive club house and England’s clinical dissection of Scotland in The Rugby was screened all during the match. There was a quite reasonable selection of beer on offer as well!

There is a little hillock on the far side of the ground, which offers a better view of the game and would, if there had been no mist, have offered sight of the sea across the road.

As for the game, Seaside are probably the only real challengers to Evans & Williams at the top of The Carmarthenshire League Premier Division. They lie six pouts adrift of the leaders and a point ahead of third place Trostre Sports.

Carmarthen Stars have ambitions to advance further – one of the few teams in this league who are so minded. However, it won’t be next season as a goal in each half from the hosts sent them home pointless!

Sunday 12th March 2017

K.O.:- 11.00am   Bridgend & District Sunday League

Premier Division

Garth Vader   2

Nathan Whelan 65,

Josh Garfield 86,

St Patricks Rovers   7

Lloyd Howells 14,

Dylan Llewellyn  23, 41,

Jack Thomas 29,

Sean Kyle  42,

Paul Evans 53, 87,

Referee:- Ron Preece                           Attendance:- 79

Admission:- F.O.C.                             Programme:- £1.00

This was Sunday League football at its most primitive! I doubt that the match would have been played except for the crowds of hoppers who came to watch this hastily arranged detour from the original plan, when one of the Carmarthenshire League clubs decided a week ago that their pitch would not be fit to play on this Sunday!

The mist hung low over the valley. Garth Vader play their home matches in Maesteg – or a suburb thereof. They are languishing at the foot of their league table, whilst their opponents are leading the pack and favourites for the title.

It was going to be one way traffic, surely. The very heavy pitch intervened. Parts of it were virtually unplayable and a dribble likely to be terminated by the pitch rather than any opposing player.

Despite this, St Patricks amassed five goals in the first half and a double digit scoreline certainly seemed to be on the cards.

Give credit to the hosts. The may have lost the opening half and conceded five goals, but the second half ended all square with the hosts proving their resilience – and determination not to be humiliated.

Chris organised a raffle for the club which raised £80 from the hoppers and spectators!

Sunday 12th March 2017

K.O.:- 3.00pm  South Wales Alliance Premier Division

Cardiff Corinthians  1

Jake Bartlett 50,

Pontyclun  2

Shaun Moss 49 (pen),

Joel Woodington 70

Referee:- Mark Boucher                         Attendance:- 189

Admission:- £3.00                                  Programme:- £1.00

The last match of the ‘hop’ brought us to Cardiff for another dip into The South Wales Alliance. Last August, we saw Grange Albion thrash today’s hosts by 3-0 as they started life in The Alliance after their fall from The Welsh League.

The ground was hard by the railway station and access was via a low bridge under the railway line. It is, in reality, a cricket club where Corinthians have purloined one end to play football. There is some cover on the far side of the football pitch and the club house was doing a roaring trade in bottled ale, faggots and chips and pizza slices!

For this match, the club had printed out souvenir tickets.

Mike Squires won’t thank me for this photo from before the match, as he sinks his teeth into today’s speciality of faggots and peas!

After a pretty awful first half and the scores 0-0, the game burst into life five minutes into the second half. I was standing behind the goal where the penalty was awarded to the visitors and I would have said that it was ‘soft’ at best. It was scored however, yet, within a minute, Corinthians swept down to the other end in a sweet, direct move and scored the equaliser.

The visitors always appeared to have too much in reserve and so it proved when they score the winner, some twenty minutes from the end

There was a good turnout for this ‘hop’, despite TWO last minute glitches which meant that matches had to be picked up elsewhere. However, there was a pretty good spirit amongst the hoppers and I think they appreciated the efforts that Chris had made on their behalf. I certainly did!

Tuesday 14th March 2017

EUFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg

Leicester City  2

Wes Morgan 27,

Marc Albrighton 55,

Sevilla  0

Samir Nasri s/o 73

Referee:- Daniele Orsato                        Attendance:- 31,520

Admission:- OMGDS£45.00                              Programme:- £4.00
What an absolute belter of a match! The King Power was rocking and the impossible came about through a circuitous route of happenstance. A worthy goal in each half from The Foxes, a crucial penalty save from Kasper Schmeichel at 2-0, Samir Nasri sent off for the visitors, the Sevilla coach dismissed to the stands, Jamie Vardy a prowling predator who pounced at every opportunity and the wonderfully supportive crowd who remained behind well after the final whistle had gone. It was a great night for Leicester City fans!

Leicester City win 3-2 on aggregate.

Wednesday 17th March 2017
British Universities & Colleges Sport
Women’s Midland Division 3A

Leicester University 5

Millie Cutler 51, 56, 87,

Shauna Cossens 59,

Emma Aspinall 76,

Nottingham Trent University 2

Dominique Moran 3,  5,
Referee:- Ian Danson                                          Attendance:- 31
Admission:- F.O.C.                                             Programme:- None
This was the last league match of the season and the championship decider, although the hosts were some three points better off and with a vastly superior goal difference. It was a warm Spring day and the sun shone down on the two best teams in the league. Two goals from Dominique Moran, the visitors striker, in the first five minutes gave a huge boost to Trent and it could have been more as a very lacklustre home team toiled through the first half. The second half was an altogether different affair as the Leicester phalanx rolled into action and battered the visitors mercilessly. A hat-trick from top scorer Millie Cutler and additional goals from Shauna Cossens and Emma Aspinall crushed the spirit out of the visitors and there should, perhaps have been more with better composure in front of goal. At the end, the Leicester team celebrated raucously, all the more so, as this time last year, it was Trent who were toasting the victory and the championship. The visitors, meanwhile, trudged off disconsolately, having been well beaten.

There was good support for this championship decider – especially from the women’s second team, who turned out in force!

I’ve enjoyed following the Leicester University Women’s team this season. Of course it is much better watching them on a fine sunny afternoon in Leicester in March, rather than a cold dank afternoon at Girton College in January. I like the way they play, without inhibition and with a good team spirit. Maybe I’ll see them again, next season!

Friday 17th March 2017

Netherlands Erstedivisie

Fortuna Sittard 3

Djibril Dianessy  11,

Emran Bassan  29, 70,

De Graafschap  2

Piotr Parzyszek  6 (pen),

Bart Straalman 90,

Referee:- A. Lindhout                         Attendance:- 1,512

Admission:- €25.00       No programme, but a free team-sheet.


An early morning flight from Luton Airport and a languorous non-stop train journey  on a double-decker train down to Sittard, a lovely olde worlde town with a huge square at the centre and a football club some mile and a half outside the centre.

I met up with my son James and two friends, Jonny Crane and Mark Sumner, who were completing their Odyssey through Dutch football some eight years after we had all started out. For me, this was a second visit to Sittard. I was last here in February 2011 when the hosts went down by a single goal to Go Ahead Eagles Deventer.

Some three hundred away fans made plenty of colourful noise with their fireworks and flares.

The last time I was here, the ground, which holds some twelve thousand spectators and has seated stands all round, was called “The Trendwork Arena”. Now, it has reverted to its original title – Euregionaal Sport- & Congrescentrum, Sportcentrumlaan 6 – which is a bit of a mouthful, and suggests that it is a council owned stadium.

It was sad to see how paltry was the attendance. It was even some twelve hundred less than on my last visit. The club has surely fallen on hard times!

It was a good game, though, De Graafschap were as recently as last season in The Dutch Eredivisie and they took the lead with a penalty after only six minutes. Back came Fortuna with two goals to take them into a half-time lead. It was a lead that they extended with only twenty minutes to go, but De Graafschap were not finished yet and clawed one goal back, right at the death.


Saturday 18th March 2017

German Bundesliga

FC Koln  4

Yuya Osako 6,

Anthony Modeste 36, 38, 64

Hertha Berlin  2

Vedad Ibisevic 50 (pen),

John Brooks 69,

Referee:- Marco Fritz aus Korb               Attendance:- 49,500

Admission:- €58.00                                  Programme:- F.O.C.

Another early morning journey by train from Sittard to Aachen, where I boarded a Thalys Train for the last leg of the journey to Cologne. I arrived there almost at the same time as my middle son, Michael and two of his friends, Gary Miller and Rory Clark arrived at the station from their flight to Cologne from Stanstead.

My middle son, Michael, on the right with yours truly in the centre and Rory Clark on the left on the approaches to The Rheine Energie Stadion.

The Rheine Energie stadium is a truly imposing piece of architecture. It perhaps lacks the flowing, majestic splendour of The San Siro Stadium and is much more Teutonic in design. Nonetheless it is very impressive!

Pre-match entertainment included these cheerleaders who kept up a non-stop show for a good half-hour!

The goat is the mascot of 1st FC Koln, and it duly appeared on the pitch before kick-off.

There are two areas for standing at the stadium. One for the home fans, behind the goal and festooned with flags and drums. The other, is behind the opposite goal and a smaller coterie of away fans did their best to break into the home-side’s cacophony.

Our seats must have been at least one hundred metres above pitch level. Not one for heights, I was pleased that there was a bar in front of each row of seats for the queasy to hang onto! We were right on the half-way line and it was a magnificent view!

It was also a thrilling match.Cologne were a couple of places below Hertha in the top half of the table, but they started like a train with a goal from Yuya Osako in the sixth minute and two more from Anthony Modeste in the final ten minutes of the half. In the second half, Hertha did pull a goal back through a penalty (see above) in the fiftieth minute, before Anthony Modeste (once on loan at Blackburn Rovers from Bordeaux) completed his hat-trick and John Brooks scored a consolation strike for the visitors.

Sunday 19th March 29017

German Bundesliga 2

VFL Bochum 1848   1

Johannes Wurtz 62,

Erzgerbirge Aue  1

Dimitrij Nazarov 11 (pen)

Referee:- Christian Dietz (Munich)      Attendance:- 13,875

Admission:- €34.00                             Programme:- F.O.C.

I don’t know if we chose a particularly difficult weekend, but German trains ran very badly for us today! There were delays and delays upon delays, but fortunately, we didn’t miss any of the action! In fact we got to Bochum under the mistaken apprehension that the match kicked off at 12.30pm, when in fact it started at 1.30pm!

from left:- Gary Miller, Mike McGeown, Rory Clark

I would class Bochum as a team like Bolton Wanderers in England. They have a pretty impressive stadium which can hold around thirty thousand spectators, but they are bogged down in the mediocrity of Bundesliga 2.

Even a town like Bochum has a tram service from the railway station to the football ground. We got there far too early. We thought the match kicked off at 12.30 and in fact it was a 13.30 kick-off!

Bochum are in the bottom half of the table, but higher than their opponents, Erzgerbirge Aue, who are flirting with relegation. Prior to this match, however, the visitors had pulled off a couple of wins and a draw to ease their relegation worries. They didn’t look a bad side, either. They scored early on with a penalty and easily kept the hosts at bay until they conceded an equaliser just after the hour mark. Judging from the play, they must have been disappointed to concede two late points and be forced to settle for the draw!

It was a dull day with squally rain showers. The floodlights were on for the second half.

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

Leicester Nirvana 3

Ryan Calver 37,

Jurelle Phillip 55,

Jahdatin Harper 90+4,

Harborough Town 2

Greg Usher 25,

Ben Williams 88
Referee:- Oliver Mackey                                    Attendance:- 64
Admission OMGDS£3.00 (£5)
Programme:- £1.00
This is the third home of Nirvana that I have visited and judging by the amount of ‘hoppers’ present, it was a new ground for all of us! It was a cold evening with a biting wind and Hamilton Park, although up and running, is not quite finished yet with some covered standing still being erected adjacent to the Meccano seated stand. It is a stark and bare ground – but then again, the weather didn’t help! Nirvana have slipped of late and are languishing in the bottom four. Harborough, on the other hand are on the up, but this evening was not to be their night. Having led 1-0 and been down 2-1, they pulled the match back to 2-2 in the 89th minute, only to lose to a nonchalant flick of a goal in the 95th minute!

Tuesday 28th March 2017
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Premier Division

Barwell 1

Dec Towers 50,

Rushall Olympic 1

Joe Hull 54,
Referee:- Daniel Hanna                                           Attendance:- 146
Admission:- OMGDS£6.00 (£10)                     Programme:- £2.00
After a week of enforced absence it was good to get out to a football match again! Not that this was a good match. It was probably marginally less boring than watching England playing Lithuania! A goalless first half was followed by two goals in the first ten minutes of the second half, when the game then reverted to type. Perhaps the real entertainment came from the group of eight or ten fans of The Norwegian Barwell Fan Club who kept up a cacophony of noise throughout the match!

Wednesday 29th March 2017
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League

Premier Division

Huntingdon Town 0

Desborough Town 1

Jason Turner 24,
Referee:- Lukas Wood                                   Attendance:- 40
Admission:- £5.00                                        Programme:- £1.00
Huntingdon is the coldest, windiest ground in the United Counties League, but this evening, it was mild and still. In 2010, over £1 million was spent on a new clubhouse and changing facilities. Hunts FA hold many of their finals there, but the home club just seem bedevilled by lack of success. It was a good match. Ar Tarn should have won more convincingly given their territorial possession, but The Pilgrims stuck tenaciously to their task. the only goal came midway through the first half.



This Season:                Matches :- 197         New Grounds:- 97

Total:-                          Matches:- 3,643     New Grounds:- 1,325


Other matches:-

Wednesday 1st March 2017

Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League

Black Dragon North Division

Collingham  2  Askern  1                             Attendance:- 36

Monday 6th March 2017

Barclays Premier League 2 Division 1 (at St George’s Park)

Derby County U-23 0 Leicester City U-23 0      Attendance:- 162

Monday 13th March 2017

Barclays U-23 Premier League 2 Division 1 (at The Ipro Stadium)

Derby County U-23  2  Everton U-23  3                  Attendance:- c600

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