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December 2017

Dream Football

Dream Football is the harder game

The grass is devilishly long

And growing

Fish appear in the trainers bucket

Your mother has set up a small shop

On the halfway line

You are obliged to play in your underpants.

by Allan Ahlberg (1937 – )




Saturday 2nd December 2017
JD FA of Wales Cup 3rd Round

Llanrhaedr YM 3

Iwan Matthews 25, 85,

Kyam Whitton 88,

Cefn Druids 2

Jamie Davies 19, 83,
Referee:- Ashley Jones                                               Attendance:- 101
Admission:- OMGDS£2.00 (£3)                      Programme:- included
Minnows, Llanrhaedr Ym Mochnant from The Spar Mid-Wales League, took on mighty Cefn Druids from The Welsh Premier League. The match started at 1.30pm in case extra time was needed and it very nearly was! The small village hosted a fish ‘n’ chip shop which Graeme and I patronised and then we met Tony Morehead inside the neat little ground with a club house and a separate stand that housed around fifty spectators. The game was 1-1 with ten minutes to go and drifting towards extra time. Druids scored after 83 minutes and we all thought that was that!!! Back came the hosts, playing up the hill in the second half, they scored two goals in the final five minutes for a famous victory!


About fifteen miles before we reached Llanrhaedr, we passed through the village of Knockin. Yes, you’ve guessed it, there was a Knockin Shop there (see photo).

Tuesday 5th December 2017
Boodles ISFA Cup Quarter -final

Repton School 2

Elliott Killington 28, 47,

Harrow 0
Referee:- Nigel Freelove                                                                                     Attendance:- 96
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                                          Programme:- Free
Repton School, where “Goodbye Mr Chips” was filmed in 1939, provided the backdrop some seventy-eight years later for a titanic struggle between two teams vying for a place in the semi-finals of The Boodles Cup competition! Repton were the stronger and more determined and a goal in each half proved sufficient for them to advance!

A scoreboard was kept by the side of the pitch – a very old throwback! I can remember playing for my school with something similar to remind us of the score – and that was more than fifty years ago!

Tuesday 5th December 2017
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League
Premier Division

Leicester Nirvana 0

Daventry Town 0
Referee:- Danny O’Sullivan                                                                                   Attendance:- 63
Admission:- OMGDS£3.00 (£6)                                                                    Programme:- £1.00
There wasn’t much to write home about this game. The referee was tardy in arriving and so we started seven minutes late. It was cold and windy and the pitch was like a rice pudding. All of which contributed, I suppose, to probably the worst game I’ve seen this season! Nirvana in third place, have been off the pace recently and they were thwarted by a ninth placed Daventry determined not to lose!

This is the third ground that I have seen them play. Last season, they played at Highfield Rangers and in a previous incarnation as Thurnby Nirvana, they had a floodlit ground in Thurnby.

Thursday 7th December 2017
Leicestershire Midweek Floodlit Youth League – South

Allexton & New Town Youth 2

Cain Beckett 10, 32,

Aylestone Park Youth 1

Kieron Cooper 90,
Referee:- Andy Collin                                                                                                Attendance:- 37
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                                             Programme:- NONE
“The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas”, and it was very cold, too, as these two clubs met for the second time this season and once again Allexton triumphed, though not nearly as convincingly as their 5-1 victory in the away fixture. Two well drilled sides with plenty of individual talent, but it was the hosts who took a 2-0 half-time lead and the visitors were only able to grab a consolation in the final minute of the game.

Saturday 9th December 2017
Bostik Isthmian League Division 1 South
Chipstead 1
Sam Bell 19,
Ramsgate 1
Alfie Paxman 10,
Referee:- Jamie Wells                                                                                    Attendance:- 66
Admission:- OMGDS£6.00 (£9)                                                        Programme:- included
On a very cold day we were apprehensive that this match might fall to the weather. Not a bit of it! We got there in good time and even had a fine repast at The White Hart Inn, just down the road. The ground is very basic, shared with Epsom & Ewell FC, but in good condition with cover on three sides and seating down one side. The match involved two clubs lower down the division, but in an open attacking match, it was probably fair to see the outcome drawn. Enjoyed the visit with John Main and Graeme Askham.
Wednesday 13th December 2017
FA Youth Cup 3rd Round
Derby County   2  
Connor Dixon 3,
Jayden Boyle 24,
Manchester United  2              After extra time. Score at 90 mins 2-2
Tahith Chong 13,
Aidan Barlow 58
Aliou Traore s/o 99,
Referee:- Edward Pidduck                                                                      Attendance:- c400
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                     Programme:- Free teamsheet
We had no idea when we arrived at The Ipro Stadium of the drama that was about to unfold! I suppose we expected Manchester United to take the tie with some ease, but after only three minutes, the hosts scored and, although United levelled ten minutes later, a second goal from The Rams ensured that they took a well earned half-time lead.
Manchester United equalised once again on the hour mark and so it stayed until the end of normal time, with neither side able to fashion an opening.
 In extra time, the visitors had a straight red card for substitute Aliou Traore and then lost another player through injury with six minutes of extra time remaining.
All the while the snow fell unremittingly and a thin coating covered the pitch. Two well matched teams were unable to break the deadlock and so it went to penalties.
Manchester United missed all of their first three penalties and by the time James Garner scored from their fourth spot kick, Derby County who had only missed the first of their penalties, had Jason Knight on hand to strike for an unassailable 3-1 lead and victory to the hosts.
Friday 15th December 2017
Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League
Division 1
Irchester United  2
Ethan Goodman 53,
Josh Burge 60,
 Thrapston Town  0
Referee:- Cameron Smith                                                                       Attendance:- 40
Admission:-  £3.00                                                                           Programme:- NONE
On a very cold Friday evening, the club house at Alfred Street was very welcoming! There was nobody on the gate to take an entrance fee, but half way through the first half, the club secretary came round to collect the money. It was, apparently, at the request of the visitors that the match was played on a Friday evening (Thrapston usually play their home matches on a Friday evening), but it looked like the hosts were unprepared for the occasion! Besides the eccentric entrance fee collection, there wasn’t even a programme!
 The match was fairly even in the first half, but gradually as the second half progressed, the hosts took control and two goals around the hour mark settled the contest.
Saturday 16th December 2017
Spartan South Midlands League Division 2
Mursley  4
Lewis Delahaye 5,
Adam Moore 54,
Jamie Green 79,
Mitchell Spiers 84,
 Grendon Rangers  3
Sam Jay (og) 17,
Joe Walls 25,
Dean Garrad 73,
Referee:- Chris Flack                                                                                 Attendance:- 30
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                                    Programme:- £1.00
 In the morning, we had gone to see MK Dons U-18s play Leyton Orient at Woughton Green in Milton Keynes. No rain had been forecast, but it poured down like stair rods and then when we went to MK Gallacticos for our second match  ……….surprisingly it was off! By now, time was pressing and with less than five minutes to spare (and a large portion of chips for each of us!!!) we arrived at The Station Road Playing Fields in Mursley on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. We found out later that it was the only match played in the area and Mursley’s small, homely ground had a stand of sorts with seating – and, especially, cover from the incessant rain. Not only that, we were able to obtain drinks (with free biscuits) and a list of the two teams!
Mursley are a strong team, this season, in The Spartan South Midlands League Division 2. Last August, when we were at Tring Town, they won convincingly by 5-2. Today was a very different affair. Grendon Rangers are struggling in the lower reaches of the division, but by half-time, they had established a 2-1 lead. In the second period, they fell behind, only to drag the scores level at 3-3 with but ten minutes remaining. Sadly, they couldn’t hold out and an 84th minute winner saw the victory and the points go to the home side.
Tuesday 19th December 2017
Carabao Cup Quarter Final
Leicester City 1
Jamie Vardy 90+5 (pen)
Manchester City 1
Bernardo Silva 26,                      after extra time.     Manchester City won 4-3 on penalties.
Referee:- Robert Madley                                                                         Attendance:- 31,562
Admission:- (Walkers Hall – West Stand) £35                        Programme:- Incl. (£3.50)
 Sadly, the new Leicester City boss didn’t play his best team from the start. If he had done, I suspect that they just might have nudged this very even contest! As it was, Manchester City without Kevin De Bruyne and Kun Aguerro amongst others, led for most of the match until Claude Puel, the Leicester manager brought out his big guns in Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, but only after an hour had been played. It was Jamie Vardy who equalised, well into added time at the end from a very dubiously awarded penalty.
When it came to the penalty shoot out, City were leading 4-3 after each team had been successful with their penalties and it was The Foxes turn to take TWO penalties in succession under the new (and daft) ABBA system. First of all, Jamie Vardy missed with his penalty and then Riyad Mahrez had his shot saved and Leicester were OUT!
 Before the match, grand dad and grand son writing up the teams in their note books!
 Mike, with son, Freddie and Dad Ed!
Father and son in The Walkers Suite after the match at The King Power Stadium!
Friday 22nd December 2017
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League
Black Dragon South Division
Keyworth United  3
Adam Taylor 56,
Jordan Newton 78,
James Price 84,
Linby Colliery  0
Referee:- Lewis-Saunder Johnson                                                                 Attendance:- 45
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                                     Programme:- £0.50
 Graeme Askham and I drove up for this match and met up with Chris Berezai and Stuart Long and Tony in the bar at Keyworth, before the game. There was no entrance charge, but there were programmes available at 50p each – or there would have been if we had got there in time and not had to queue for so long for out chips! As it was, Tony kindly donated his programme to me and Chris gave his to Graeme, which was a fine gesture by both of them!
 It was a cold night and there was no cover at all at pitch side. Keyworth were much the better side, but they didn’t make their superiority count until well into the second half when three goals in half an hour gave them a very solid victory!
Saturday 23rd December 2017
Kershaw Cambridgshire County League Senior B
Steeple Bumpstead 4
Elliott Knight 4, 86,
Kurtis Nobbs 53,
James Haylock 66,
Jake Rawlings s/o 84
Needingworth United  1
Cam Stephens 2,
Referee:- Malcolm Mizon                                                                                  Attendance:- 23
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                                                     Programme:- NONE
I have to admit that it was the name that attracted me to this fixture! Steeple Bumpstead has all the resonance of Agatha Christie’s murderous 1930s England. It smacks nostalgically of the lord of the manner and country yokels.
 I cajoled Graeme into accompanying me and when we got there, we had travelled through Cambridgeshire, touched on Suffolk and into Essex! There were two pubs in the village, The Lion and The Fox and Hounds and it was to the latter that we betook ourselves for a small repast.
 It is hard to believe that the village of Steeple Bumpstead had a church with a TOWER!!!!
 Needingworth United, the visitors, opened the scoring as early as the second minute. They were ahead for a scant couple of minutes before Bumpstead replied and then added three second half strikes to score a resounding – and deserved – victory.
 Boxin Day Tuesday 26th December 2017 12.30pm k.o.
Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 East
Moneyfields 1
Joseph Briggs 12,
Fleet Town  1
Chris Wales 79 (pen),
Referee:- Rob Ablitt                                                                                     Attendance:- 118
Admission:-    OMGDS£4.00 (£8)                                                       Programme:- £1.00
It was John Main who took charge of the driving, today, as we all met up at Blisworth and travelled down to Portsmouth for a couple of Boxing Day games.
 Moneyfields FC, who have risen from relative obscurity of late to take their place in The Evo-Stik Southern League, are to be found on Moneyfields Avenue in Cocknor and is squeezed in behind a housing estate. Besides the main pitch, there is a second and full sized pitch behind a row of tall Leylandii growing on the far side of the pitch.
 There was not much to say about the game. There was a gulf between the two teams in success rate with Moneyfields aspiring towards the top and Fleet Town looking anxiously beneath themselves! When the hosts opened the scoring early on, it seemed only a matter of time before the floodgates would be opened and a substantial margin being developed. However, Fleet Town showed great determination and hung on grimly until achieving a deserved equaliser some ten minutes from time.
 Boxing Day 26th December 2017 3.00pm k.o.
Vanarama National South
Havant & Waterlooville  0
Bognor Regis Town  0
Referee:- Wayne Cartmel                                                                      Attendance:- 1,010
Admission:- OMGDS£9.00 (£14)                                                     Programme:- £2.00
 The weather was now deteriorating quite rapidly. When we got to Westleigh Park, we found a parking space on the wrong side of the ground. Hence we had to cross round three sides of the stadium on very soggy and muddy grass! Once inside the ground and having garnered a couple of team sheets, we headed for the main stand which offered the best defence against the now torrential rain!
 We had made this match with but a few minutes to spare and sitting behind us in the stand was the radio commentator for the club. He kept up a commentary of sorts throughout the match. We wouldn’t have missed him had he gone AWOL.
 Westleigh Park is quite an impressive venue with cover on all four sides and a food outlet at opposite corners of the ground. Mind you, it wasn’t just the rain that made life difficult for players and spectators alike. There was a cutting wind and it was very cold!
 Bognor Regis Town, today’s visitors from along the coast, are struggling somewhat this season, whilst the hosts are vying for promotion to The Vanarama National (“Conference Premier” to the likes of you and me!). Not that you would have noticed the differing fortunes of the teams involved from this match! From very early on the signs were out. “This match has 0-0 written all over it”, we said, and so it proved. It wasn’t a bad match, however, there was plenty of action and not a little thud and blunder. Sadly, little of either took place in or around either goalmouth!
Friday 29th December 2017
Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division
Haverhill Borough  3
Ryan Weaver 49,
Charlie Holmes 90+2
Ash Botten 90+5,
 Haverhill Rovers  2
Rafal Wozniak 6, 21,
Referee:- Richard Holmes                                            Attendance:- 463
Admission:- OMGDS£3.00 (£6)                                Programme:- £1.00
 This match should have been played on 29th September last. Indeed, I was there that night as a medical emergency occurred and an elderly gentleman had to be airlifted to hospital. That evening, the players never even reached the pitch and the game was finally abandoned without a ball being kicked at 9.15pm.
 Once again, a huge crowd had assembled for this local derby, yet I was able to meet up with Brian Buck and Terry and Dave Wooding and Andy from Colchester, whom I had last seen at Motherwell last season!
 An early injury left the hosts unbalanced at the back and they conceded a goal whilst their centre half was off the pitch. Indeed, Rovers, the visitors were very much in control in the first half and fully deserved their 2-0 lead. The second half was a completely different kettle of fish. Borough replaced their faltering centre-half with a substitute who grafted the defence together and they got back into the game with a goal in the 49th minute! There was high drama in added time at the end of the match as the hosts grabbed two goals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and it was a victory which they deserved.
 Saturday 30th December 2017
Bostick Isthmian League Division 1 South
East Grinstead 2
Jordy Mongoy 28,
Alex Gaggin 83,
Chipstead 1
Allan Tait 56,
Referee:- Ollie Butcher                                                                                                            Attendance:- 122
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 (£10)                                                                                     Programme:- £2.00
We travelled in hope, John Main and Graeme Askham and I down to East Sussex, and were rewarded, en route, when Twitter announced that the pitch had passed inspection and the game could go ahead. Before the match we enjoyed a sumptuous repast in The Dorset Hotel and then we adjourned to The GAC Stadium which was East Grinstead’s neat and tidy home. It really is a well kept ground with a hundred seat stand on a raised bank down one side. The Wasps are not enjoying the most successful of seasons, but today they prevailed, when, perhaps, a draw might have been a fairer result!
 Sitting in the stand with her husband, was Heather Armstrong, the Chipstead match secretary (amongst other titles!), whom we had met some three weeks earlier when we had visited Chipstead for their match against Ramsgate.


Friday 1st December 2017

U-23 Premier League Cup Group Stage

Birmingham City 1  Nottingham Forest 3                                Attendance:- 63


Friday 8th December 2017

Chromasport & Trophies United Counties League Division 1

Thrapston Town  2  Bugbrooke St Michael  2                        Attendance:- 52


Tuesday 12th December 2017

The Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round Replay

Peterborough United  5  Woking  2                                       Attendance:- 3,022


Saturday 16th December 2017

EFL Under-18 Youth Alliance

MK Dons  1  Leyton Orient  0                                                  Attendance:- 45


Thursday 21st December 2017

Premier League 2 Cup Group F

Leicester City U-23   7   Barnsley U-23   1                            Attendance:- 209




This Month:-             Matches:-  21

                                              New Grounds:-  9

This season:-            Matches:- 135

                                              New Grounds:- 67

TOTAL:-                     Matches:-  3,840

                                             New Grounds:- 1,407

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