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January 2018

Football Haiku


Football teaches you
teamwork; reaching goals in life
by striving to win


Carolyn Brunelle





Monday 1st January 2018
Sky-Bet EFL League Two

Barnet 1

John Akinde 21,

Swindon Town 2

Ellis Iandolo 18,

Matt Preston 45+3,
Referee:- Craig Hicks                                                    Attendance:- 2,035
Admission:- OMGDS£14.00 (£24)                            Programme:- £3.00
They’ve built a new stand behind the goal since I was here last and Phil Evans says that the old one is going to Exeter City for their away end! The car parking was a bit steep (£6.00), but the match tickets (for old men) were just about right. It wasn’t a bad match. Barnet didn’t deserve to lose, but they missed that little spark of creativity which might just have gained them a draw – or even victory. The Robins weren’t much better, but they always seemed to have just that little bit extra. 

The ‘new’ stand behind one goal – well, new since I was last there – for away supporters. There were 629 away supporters at this match!

The covered standing area behind the goal at the opposite end!

Thursday 4th January 2018
Leicestershire Midweek Floodlit Youth League South


Mashmoud Idrisse 7, 20, 72, 75,

Hicham Koultoumas 14,

Kiril Vasilev 90

Oadby Owls 6

Dan Boydon 15, 28,

Charlie Woolerson 24,

Jordan Clarke 27, 57,

Dylan Sandhu 61,
Referee:- Kevin Sinclair                                       Attendance:- 19
Admission:- F.O.C.                                               Programme:- NONE
This U-18 match could easily be dismissed as a schoolboy kick about, but it was much more than that. Two evenly balanced sides with not a little real talent between them, fought out an absorbing encounter in very cold and windy conditions. The hosts were 3-1 up after twenty minutes and 3-4 behind at the interval. It got worse for them in the second half as they went 3-6 behind. However, inspired by Mahmoud Idrisse, their skilful striker, who scored four goals, they dragged themselves back into the match and fully deserved to gain the draw. The Guru Nanak Gurdwara ground, The Riverside stadium, is almost the mirror image of Aylestone Park who play in The East Midlands Counties League. There is no cover, however, but they did have lighting in their dug-outs!

They did have lighting in the dug-outs!

Saturday 6th January 2018
Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round

Coventry City 2

Jordan Willis 25,

Jack Grimmer 68,

Stoke City 1

Charlie Adam 54 (pen),
Referee:- Martin Atkinson                                      Attendance:- 14,199
Admission:- semi-hosp. (£48.00)                        Programme:- incl.
Possibly the shock result of the round, the pitch at The Ricoh Arena looked tired and worn, there was a pretty huge following from The Potteries, an entire area behind one goal was unused and the attendance was comfortably the hosts best of the season. I went with two of my sons and a grandson and enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining match. Joe Allen and Charlie Adam probed away for the visitors, but it was The Sky-Blues who took a half-time lead after some sterling defensive work. A second half penalty brought the scores level, but the Sky Blues were not to be denied and a blistering strike from Jack Grimmer after 68 minutes decided the tie. You had to feel a touch of sympathy for Mark Hughes!

Freddie and Ed record the teams in their note-books!

Coventry City had their largest crowd of the season, but still, the area behind one goal was completely closed!

This smoke bombe was thrown near the end of the match from the away supporters end!

Mark Hughes last match in charge of Stoke City!

Sunday 7th January 2018
Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round

Tottenham Hotspur 3

Harry Kane 63, 65,

Jan Vertonghen 71,

AFC Wimbledon 0
Referee:- David Coote                                                 Attendance:- 47,527
Admission:- OMGDS£7.50                                        Programme:- £3.50
John Main and I caught the train from Bicester and rolled into Wembley a scant hour before kick-off. There was a very much larger attendance than either of us had anticipated and much of it was made up of a noisy, vocal away section. The game was pretty pedantic for an hour as the hosts kept chipping away and the visitors kept their tight defensive formation, but two Harry Kane goals in as many minutes killed off the Dons and briefly woke me from my slumbers! Below, is the view from our seats!

Tottenham Hotspur are playing their games here this season, whilst their White Hart Lane ground is being completely rebuilt!

Photo courtesy of John Main

Tuesday 9th January 2018
Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 East

Chalfont St Peter 0

Fleet Town 0
Referee:- Steven Rea                                          Attendance:- 67
Admission:- OMGDS£5.00 (£9)                Programme:- £1.00
Tonight was a bit of a disaster, really! The usual awful traffic on M25, then, just as we got within a mile of the ground, the road was closed and a further six mile detour was added to the journey! The ground has deteriorated since my last visit. The main stand is no longer in use, the club house is used as a nursery, there was no food and then the match itself was a dire, dreadful contest with 0-0 written all over it from the moment it kicked off! Worse was to follow on the journey home, with the M1 closed at Luton Airport, we traipsed all the way through Luton and Dunstable town centres to reach the A5 to continue our journey. It was well after midnight when we got home! As far as Graeme and John were concerned, it got even worse! The M1 was closed again at junction 18 which added further time and miles to their journey.

The last time I was here, I sat in this stand, but it has since been rendered unfit for spectators!

Wednesday 10th January 2018
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Hadley 4

Jake King 18, 43,

Tom Milton 32,

Tariq Turag 54

London Tigers 0
Referee:- Neil Fyfield                                          Attendance:- 54
Admission:- OMGDS:£3.00 (£6)              Programme:- £1.00
Right at the bottom end of the A1 is Brickfield Lane, the homely setting for Hadley FC. It has a rustic feel to it with wooden palisades surrounding the ground and a wooden cottage for the clubhouse. On an evening which grew increasingly cold, they put poor London Tigers to the sword. 3-0 up by the interval, they were content to play out the second half with the addition of only one further strike, but they were worthy winners.

Saturday 13th January 2018
Bostick Isthmian League Division 1 South

Shoreham 0

Phoenix Sports 2

Jack Barry 32,

Jeff Duah-Kessie 79,
Referee:- Peter Cruize                                          Attendance:- 84
Admission:- OMGDS:£6.00 (£9)                 Programme:- £1.00
Shoreham-by-the-Sea was definitely not sunny, today. There was gloom in the sky and a nip in the air. John and I enjoyed a fine repast at a very reasonable cost at a hostelry just down the road and then repaired to the stadium on Middle Road (The Taxi-Link Community Sports Ground). This is Shoreham’s third (and likely, last) season in The Isthmian League. They currently lie fourteen points adrift at the bottom of the table and today’s visitors had no trouble in wrapping up a confident victory with a goal in each half in a lack-lustre game. The ground barely meets step four requirements but there was every help from the club’s officials who were positive and cheerful.


Monday 15th January 2018
Total Motion Midland League Premier Division

Coleshill Town 2

Daniel Tymon 54,

Reece Leek 72,

Westfields 1

Aidan Thomas 52,
Referee:- Luis Martin                                         Attendance:- 92
Admission:- OMGDS£4.00 (£6)                      Programme:- £1.50
It is more than ten years since I last visited Pack Meadow and the stadium has improved. There is a 3G pitch with a secure rail around it, but there are any number of eccentric buildings around the ground – mainly of the container variety. These two teams have been making strong running of late. There was a large and vociferous away contingent in the crowd and perhaps, they deserved something out of the game. They were the stronger team for an hour but when the scores were level at 1-1, the visiting defender decided that he was playing volleyball in the penalty area. The penalty was saved but the rebound was stroked home and the victory went to the hosts!

Tuesday 16th January 2018
Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round REPLAY

Leicester City 2

Kelechi Iheanacho 43, 77,

Fleetwood Town 0
Referee:- Jonathan Moss                                                       Attendance:- 17,237
Admission:- Legends Lounge (£72.00)                             Programme:- incl (£3.50)
A spot of hospitality with Graeme Askham and John Main and a seat in the directors box for this match AND the first goal awarded by VAR (video assistant referee). I was also at Burnden Park on 21st August 1965 when Keith Peacock became the first substitute in English football! Tonight’s game was not a thriller. Kelechi Iheanacho netted three times but only two of them counted and the third one only after consultation with VAR. Adrien Silva, (see below), fourteen seconds late in arriving in the transfer window last August, was man of the match!

Adrien Silva, Man of the Match being interviewed by Steve Walsh

picture, courtesy of John Main

Friday 19th January 2018

La Liga

Getafe 2

Jorge Molina 21 (pen), penalty saved 51,

Angel 74,
Athletics Bilbao 2

Inaki Williams 13,

Raul Garcia 48 (pen)

Referee:- Jesus Gill                                                          Attendance:- 11,457
Admission:- €40                                                              Programme:- F.O.C.
Cracking game -good atmosphere. No roof to speak of anywhere on the ground – a sun hat for the main stand. Still it was 17 degrees and a very pleasant evening as these two teams fought out an entertaining contest!

from the left:- Jonny Crane, Mark Sumner, Jim McGeown and Ed

Jonny, Mark, Jim and Ed

The following morning, we decided upon a walk along the river. It was a walk of about two miles to The Estadio Vicente Calderon which is where Atletico Madrid used to play. There were cafes all along the river and the coffee was strong and sweet.

The Estadio Vicente Calderon has held up well since Atletico moved to their new arena on the outskirts of the city at Wanda Metropolitano. Goalposts were still in evidence on the grassed pitch and a huge dual carriageway went underneath the stand on the river side of the stadium (see middle picture above).

Saturday 20th January 2018
La Liga

Atletico Madrid 1

Antoine Griezemann 35,

Girona 1

Portu 73
Referee:-De Burgos Bengoetxea.                      Attendance:- 55,076
Admission :- €52.00.                                          Programme:- NONE
What a magnificent stadium. Vast by any standards with a glorious view! Girona are no mugs this year in La Liga and Diego Costa, despite an assist for the home goal, had a game to forget. The visitors regained parity after 73 minutes after some sloppy defending and a lack of confidence in the home side. Draw a fair result!

Jonny and Jim

Sunday January 21st 2018
La Liga Segunda

AD Alcorcon 1

Mateo Bakic 14

Cádiz CF 0
Referee:- Santiago Varon                                                       Attendance:- 3,873
Admission:-€25.                                                                      Programme:- F.O.C.
Not a cloud in the sky and bright sunlight, but still the floodlights shone throughout at this pleasant, small stadium on the outskirts of Madrid and presently gracing the second tier of Spanish football. The match was poor entertainment and if Cádiz – as looks likely – do gain promotion, then they will become La Liga cannon fodder. The standard was barely League 2!

Strange programme. Not sure what the connection is with Darth Vader!

Sunday 21st January 2018
Segunda B Group 1

Gimnastica Segoviana 1

Dani Arribas 3,

Rapido Bouzas 2

Alex Kaxe 24,

Pedro 71,

Referee:- Galech Apezteguia-Iosu                                                      Attendance:- 1.269
Admission:- OMGDS €6 (€12)                                                        Programme:- NONE
Segovia is around forty minutes by train (Renfe) north and west of Madrid and is well worth a visit at the third tier of Spanish football.
A quite spacious municipal stadium for the status of the club, but looking a bit tired. The hosts are threatened with relegation and the visitors challenging for promotion and the match went to form, but it was an enthralling and titanic tussle.

Jim and Ed

Jonny, Jim and Mark

Across the road behind the main stand is a full sized athletics stadium with a football pitch in the middle!

Saturday 27th January 2018

Sky-Bet EFL Championship

Bristol City 2

Famara Diedhiou 45+1,

Joe Bryan 67,

Nathan Baker s/o 33,

Queens Park Rangers  0

Referee:-Keith Stroud                                                             Attendance:- 21,492

Admission:- Hospitality                                       Programme:- included (£3.00)

The train took the strain for all of us on a wet drizzly day, but we came from different parts of the country! Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lancashire, Surrey, Kent, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, to name most of the counties of origin! The weather was pretty miserable with a thick drizzle falling for most of the day. Amazingly, the entire party was able to assemble before the official start of the hospitality and that despite train disruptions and bus replacement services for some of us!

I hadn’t been to Bristol City for a match since 25th August 1973 (Football League Division II – Bristol City 1 Bolton Wanderers 0 Attendance:- 13,288). The stadium was totally unrecognisable! The hospitality was superb and one or two of our party imbibed, not wisely, but too well! We were well looked after and the food was excellent. The match itself was a fairly nondescript affair emblazoned only by the sending off of the home number 6, Nathan Baker after 33 minutes. Even with ten men, Bristol City were well worth their victory!

from the left:- Ed, Lloyd, Jim, John, Daz, Graeme, Chris, John Lord

The Johnny Ayteo stand now houses the away fans and is probably the smallest stand in the ground!

Freddie with the vast new main stand behind him!

Rory, John Lord and Phil

Chris, Aman and Rory

Graeme, John and Chris

Daz, Lloyd and Wids

Liam, Gary and Mike

Freddie, Jim and Daz


Gary and Mike

Tuesday 30th January 2018

Chromasport & trophies United Counties League Premier Division

Deeping Rangers  2

Tom Smith 84,

David Burton-Jones  90+5

Desborough Town 1

Will Arnold 10,

Referee:- Robert Stanley                                   Attendance:- 63

Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£6)                 Programme:- £1.00

Things have improved at The Haydon Witham Stadium since my last visit in August 2014. A new board room has been added to the stand and incorporated into it, is a new snack bar. Behind the nearside goal, there is new covered standing and adjacent to the dug-outs, to each side was more covered standing area. This was a very competitive match which hinged on the injury just before to hour mark to Leo Adams, the visiting centre half. Up until then, Ar Tarn had dealt competently with everything that Rangers threw at them, however, when he was replaced following what looked like hamstring trouble, the Desborough defence came under increasing pressure. The equaliser came six minutes from time, but it wasn’t until five minutes into added time at the end of the match, that the hosts finally took the lead and won the match!



Wednesday 3rd January 2018

U-23 Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City  6  Tottenham Hotspur 1                                Attendance:- 497

Thursday 25th January 2018

Leicestershire Midweek Floodlit Youth (U-18) League

Allexton & New Parks Hawks  2  Heather St Johns  5       Attendance:- 58


Monday 29th January 2018

U-23 Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City  0  Manchester City  0                                 Attendance:- 652


Wednesday 31st January 2018

The National League U-19 Alliance Cup Quarter-final

Nuneaton Town  2  West Ham United  0                          Attendance:- 88




This month:-            Matches:-  19               New Grounds:-  7

This season:-           Matches:- 153              New Grounds:- 74

Total:-                      Matches:- 3852           New Grounds:- 1,414

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