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August 2018

Football Wedding Match


It’s a special day for us all

We’ve been waiting till now

To run with the ball

Stood in the sidelines

Cheering them on

Wondering when the game would be won

Now that it’s here we can hardly wait

Crowds are here for this special date

We’ve come to see the match of the year

Some of us may just shed a tear

The vows will be spoken, the promises made

The knot will be tied and the rings exchanged

When it is finished, the ref will declare

That Graeme and Rose …… are truly a pair!



Five years ago on 29th July 2013, Graeme and Rose were married at 5.00pm at The Ullesthorpe Court Hotel. It was a football themed wedding and amongst the guests were Chris and Jenny Berezai, Laurence Reade and yours truly and Charlotte. Somehow, the above ditty was included in the proceedings and it becomes this month’s introductory poem to celebrate their wedding anniversary!!!

 Thursday 2nd August 2018
Pre-Season Friendly

Aslocton & Orston 4

Cole Maule 31,

Robert Lakin 57, 63, 64,

East Bridgford 1

Baffy Oken 9,
Referee:- Tristan Churcher.                                 Attendance:- 21
Admission:- F.O.C.                                           Programme:- none
A lovely setting which couldn’t be further into the middle of nowhere! Not a house in sight for miles around! There was a fairly new club house with changing rooms and a bar, not quite finished, some plastering and fitments still to be completed, but very impressive for such a small club. Club badges on sale in the club house! In the match itself, the visitors made the early running, scored first and still managed to stay level by half time. However, in the second half, the hosts moved up a gear, pulled away and scored an emphatic victory!

Saturday 4th August 2018
Sky Bet League 2

Grimsby Town 1

Mitch Rose 31,

Forest Green Rovers 4

Carl Winchester 51,

Danny Collins (og) 67,

Christian Doidge 70, 84,
Referee:- Martin Coy.                                        Attendance:- 5,879
Admission:- hospitality.                            Programme:- Incl. (£3)
A very hospitable start to the new EFL season with Graeme Askham and Chris Berezai at Blundell Park! Sadly, for the home side, after leading at half time by a goal to nil, they pressed the self destruct button in the second half with two incredible mistakes to gift the match to the visitors! The sea air was bracing with fine views across the roof of the far stand of ships out at sea but fine views, too, of the disgruntled home support drifting away in droves when the fourth goal went in!!

Chris Berezai and Graeme Askham

A lady on an adjacent table in hospitality getting stuck into a bit of fish!

The view across the opposite stand roof at the ships on The North Sea!

Wednesday 8th August 2018
Peterborough & District League Division 1

Oundle Town 7

Ben Lockley 36, 88,

Ryan Pickstone 56,

Jimmy Hipwell 65,

Brian Smith 68,

Ira Ellis-Scott 75,

Jack McDermott 79

Bretton North End 0
Referee:- Lauren Impey.                                  Attendance:- 30
Admission :- F.O.C.                                      Programme:- none
Bretton only brought eleven men and one of those was late and only came on after twenty minutes or so. Five minutes before half time, he went off injured and never reappeared! Playing up the slope in the first half, the visitors confined the score to a single 35th minute strike. However in the second half, they were torn apart and at 6-0 lost another player to a sending off for a second bookable offence. The nine men played out the final ten minutes conceding only one further goal!

The Bretton North End team sheet contained the names of only eleven players – and one of those turned up late!

The parched and rock hard pitch after the recent heat wave!

Saturday 11th August 2018
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Melksham Town 4

Neikell Plummer 13,

Luke Ballinger 19,

Jon Davies 24,

Gary Higdon 88,

Badshot Lea 0
Referee:- Jack Clench                                     Attendance:- 238
Admission:- £6.00.                                     Programme:- £1.00
A first visit to Melksham’s largely functional ground at Oakfields on the outskirts of the town. Not a patch on The Conigre! Melksham were far too good for their Combined Counties opponents and should make good progress in their new league -The Southern League. Three goals before half time and a fourth near the end crowned a convincing victory. With Graeme Askham and John Main.

There was plenty of room behind the stand in the upstairs bar and plenty of office space behind that, but why did they have to build a seated stand that offered no respite from the elements?

Tuesday 14th August 2018
Irn Brew Scottish Challenge Cup 1st Round

Stranraer 0

Partick Thistle 5

Thomas o’Ware 10,

Aidan Fitzpatrick 34, 90,

Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo 36,

Max Melbourne 89,
Referee:- Alan Newlands.                                       Official attendance:- 480
Admission:- OMGDS £6.00 (£12).                             Programme:- £2.00
Stair Park is quite an impressive stadium with plenty of seating and plenty of cover and segregation for visiting supporters. There was no bar, however and the club shop had no badges, but (free) team sheets were available and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. Sadly, their team were pretty abysmal – even against a team one division higher and I expect them to struggle this season. Very enjoyable evening with John Main who bore the brunt of the journey, driving up from Leicester.

Wednesday 15th August 2018
Staffordshire Senior League Premier Division

Foley Meir 12 (twelve)

Mark Grace 13, 26, 30, 65, 71, 75,

Pete Williams 17, 25, 90+1

Sam Arnold 52, 57,

Own Goal 68,

Florence 0

Referee:- Ant Roden.                                     Attendance:- 43
Admission:- £2.00.                                    Programme:- Free
The reasonably new club house contrasts with the genteel poverty of the rest of the ground. The faded remnants of terracing and stands and embankments are plain to see. Plans are afoot to take the club to the next stage, but substantial tidying up will need to take place! On the field, the hosts dominated methodically and ruthlessly. Mark Grace helped himself to a double hat trick and but for the away keeper, the score could have been much higher. With John Main on our way down from Stranraer.

Saturday 18th August 2018
Vanarama National League

This months featured match is AFC Fylde v Dover Athletic.I let Virgin Trains take the strain from Rugby and changed at Preston onto the infamous Northern Line with its dirty, old and tinny rolling stock and its propensity for lateness and cancellation! I arrived safely, however, at 1.45pm and made my way to the small, neat and beautifully appointed stadium. I was too late for hospitality, but food was available in a bar attached to the outside of the stadium and whilst waiting for my meal, I met Lisa Young, who was there with her husband, Ted and ten year old son, Luke who plays for one of the development teams at the club. They live in Wesham and the former name of the club was “Kirkham & Wesham”. As this was my first visit to the stadium, I was extremely glad of their advice as to where to sit  and to hear their experiences of supporting the club AND, the state of the nation at Blackpool FC, where fed-up supporters are trying to remove The Oysten family from control of the club. Many more of their fans have turned to Fleetwood Town and AFC Fylde for their football fix! It looks as if there is plenty of scope for developing the stadium at AFC Fylde and, perhaps, my next visit will be to see young Luke playing in The AFC Fylde first team  ………..and  ………..maybe even in League 2 or League 1. Can one dare to dream higher?

AFC Fylde 4

Dover Athletic 0
Referee:- Daniel Middleton.                                 Attendance:- 1,258
Admission:- OMGDS £18 (£20)                         Programme:- £3.00
Only a short fifteen minute walk from the station, AFC Fylde’s impressive new stadium is beautifully appointed – It even has padded seats in the stand and an excellent array of real ale – but it is quite small, smaller than FC United of Manchester for instance, and I was surprised at the paucity of the attendance for quite an attractive match. They started quietly and led by a goal in an evenly contested opening half. Thereafter, they floored the pedal and cruised to an emphatic and well deserved victory!

Monday 20th August 2018
Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division

Moira United 1

James Ward 64,

Castle Donnington 3

Jordan Davies 63,77,

Pete Campbell 72,
Referee:- Tim Meredith.                                      Attendance:- 30
Admission:- F.O.C.                                              Programme:- by donation
Smart little ground with a fairly steep slope and surrounded by an ongoing new housing development. A bevy of hoppers including Martin Hayden, Peter Ford and John Main saw a pretty dreadful goalless first half, but matters picked up after an hour of so and a couple of spectacular volleys graced a spell of four goals with the visitors deservedly taking the spoils. Excellent hostelry – The Railway – across the road serving fine ale!

Wednesday 22 August 2018
Eco-Stik Southern League Division 1 Central

Corby Town 1

Connor Kennedy 19,

Sutton Coldfield Town 0
Referee:- Alan Cox (Coventry).                                         Attendance:- 362
Admission:- OMGDS £6 (£10).                                          Programme:- £2
A largely forgettable match on a mild evening with son, Mike and grandson, Freddie!

Thursday 23rd August 2018
North Bucks & District League Division 1

Tattenhoe 5

Shaun Carr 16,

Patrick Crouch 35,

Lee Griffin 44,

Shane Blake 59,

Ben Gibbs 70,

Newport Pagnell Athletic 1

Dave Rutherford 47,
Referee:- Simon Castleton                                         Attendance:- 23
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                 Programme:- none
On the opening day (unusually) of the season for Division 1 sides, a small bevy of hoppers (Graeme and John, Bob, Dave Wooding – and me) gathered to witness the hosts demolish poor old Pagnell Athletic in a game where more chances were missed than scored! Handbags after an hour saw one non-combatant ordered from the field after he grappled with a player – and then he returned later to vent his spleen, before being re-ordered off!

Graeme Askham braves the evening chill to show off his pins in the main stand at Tattenhoe!

The Welsh Hop – Friday August 24th – Monday August 27th 20-18

There were eleven matches in South Wales in three different leagues. The weather was a the great talking point on this year’s foray into The Principality. There was reasonable weather on the Saturday, after rain during the initial match on Friday evening, but Sunday was the real washout, with heavy rain for most of the day making hopping wet and miserable. On the final day, there was initial drizzle, but the weather cleared up for the last two games! Once again, we were staying in student en-suite accommodation at The University of South Wales at Treforest. The accommodation was at the top of a very steep hill which could be negotiated by climbing over 200 steps! The Ottley Arms (at the bottom of the hill) with its vast array of real ale was our nightly jaunt and we took breakfast each morning at The Upper Boat Inn in Rhydyfelin before our sorties to the day’s matches.. Many thanks to Chris Berezai, who arranged and choreographed proceedings, the only blip being when one of the Cardiff City supporters coaches, coming back from Huddersfield Town on Saturday, broke down and our coach company nabbed one of our coaches to recover the stranded fans. Fortunately we were all ferried safely back to base!

Friday 24th August 2018

Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Premier Division

Canton Liberal 2

Kieran Cotterill 4, 49,

Grange Albion 1

Christian Churchill 43,

Referee:- Wayne Tregonning. Attendance:- 189
Admission:- £3.00. Programme:- £1.00
Playing in the shadow of The Cardiff City Stadium and across the way from The Leckwith Road Athletics ground, this match was played out on a wet, cold evening and the hosts just shaded an evenly contested affair in a game with a bit of edge to it! First match of the August Bank Holiday weekend South Wales “Hop”. Not much cover for travelling group of “hoppers”!

Yours truly and Graeme Askham consulting on the team sheets before the match!

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

AC Pontymister 3

Gavin Thomas 54,

Neirun Davies 72,

Laurie Kidman 86,

Blaenavon Blues 2

Kai Burton 28,

Matthew Cuff (og) 76,
Referee:- Mark Roberts.                                    Attendance:- 238
Admission:- £3.00.                                         Programme:- £1.00
On a fine, bright but cool morning, these two teams served up an entertaining contest with the Croatian blue of the visitors being somewhat unfortunate to come away with nothing. The backdrop of the Welsh Hills was stunning. With so many trees being cut down up there, the scenery resembled a partly shaved face, with the stubble being the remaining trees!

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 2

Rogerstone 1

Ian McIntosh 90+3,

Newport Corinthians 2

Joe Morgan 30 (pen)

Nathan Lewis 81
Referee:- S. Rogers (Caerwent). Attendance:- 161
Admission:- £3.00. Programme:- £1.00
Never in the field of football conflict have so many chances been spurned by so many players. The hosts should have won by a country mile but could only post a consolation in the third minute of added time! From our fine vantage point on the executive hospitality park bench (see below), with the busy A470 high up on the opposite side of the field, Rogerstone must have wasted thirty or more good chances, but fell to a goal in each half from the visitors’ only shots on target!!!

Graeme Askham, Eddie McGeown, John Main and Peter Miles

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

Villa Dino Christchurch 1

Dan Butler 61,

Newport Civil Service 3

Aysa Eidoori 8, 10,

Will Ridler 80,
Referee:- Mark Roberts.                                      Attendance:- 201
Admission:- £3.00.                                          Programme:- £1.00
A feisty affair between two fully committed sides saw the depleted hosts (depleted with Bank Holiday absentees!) finally sunk after halving a two goal half time deficit. One sending off for two bookable offences in a minute for a fiery redhead visiting team substitute and another fine refereeing performance from Mark Roberts, who also referred our first game today! I understand that Villa Dino is a well established, family run Italian Restaurant opened in 1984 and that they sponsor the football club!

Saturday 25th August 2018
Autocentres Gwent County League Division 1

Pill YMCA 0

Niall Simmons s/o 66,

Lliswerry 2

McCorey Allmän 23,

Luke Verren 87,
Referee:- John Jenkins.                                                     Attendance:- 174
Admission:- £3.00.                                                        Programme:- £1.00
The last game of the day in Newport,  was a disappointment not helped by the long grass and bumpy surface! The hosts looked favourites early on, but Lliswerry grew into the contest and when Pill suffered a sending off after an hour or so, the visitors took control and scored a decisive second strike in a game played in the shadow of an electricity pylon and, more impressively, in the shadow of the enormous Newport Suspension Bridge! I can remember in the early seventies, climbing to the top of that bridge, a structure that was patently unsafe, but which now appears to have been given a new lease of life (and a new coat of paint!).

Sunday 26th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 2

Vale United 7

Oliver Waagenes 13, 36,

Jay Tominey 36,

Philp Caseley 74,

Lewis Richards 83, 85,

Dan Hunson 90+2

STM Sports OB 1

Robert Partridge 47,
Referee:- Keith Redford.                                    Attendance:- 165
Admission:- £3.00.                                        Programme:- £1.00
The village of Corntown is situated in The Vale of Glamorgan, just outside Bridgend and slightly more than twenty miles from Cardiff. The rain lashed down unmercifully on a ground where the ONLY cover was in the dug-outs. The pitch – known locally as The Corntown carpet – played remarkably well and the visitors were on the wrong end of a thrashing – but possibly didn’t deserve to ship seven goals! Ian Royer from the south coast and a Chelsea supporter (would you buy a second hand car from ……..?) is our featured fan!

A special addition brew of ale to commemorate The Hop and our visit!

The only shelter from the constant precipitation was the dug outs on the field. After the match, even my socks were sodden inside my shoes

Ian Royer, our featured “fan” of the match!

Sunday 26th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 1

Porthcawl Town 4

Tom Warren 8,

Jorge Crofts 17,

Sam Rowley 22,

Andrew Fisher 90+1

Cornelly United 0
Referee:- Ian Hollyoake.                                                   Attendance:- 234
Admission:- £3.00.                                                         Programme:- £1.00
The rain continued into the second match but had abated by half time. The wind, however, continued to swirl around which didn’t help the game to flow. What sounds like a pretty convincing home victory, could so easily have been a draw, had the visitors taken their chances.

Sunday 26th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 2

Llangeinor 4

Simon Lock 38, 74,

Callum Evans 45,

Jack Laidler 84,

AFC Wattstown 2

Adam Fisher 52,

Grant Huggins 66,
Referee:- Andrew Wallen.                                               Attendance:- 130
Admission :- £3.00.                                                     Programme:- £1.00
Low cloud and a heavy mist produced a thin drizzle for the first half of this match and did nothing to improve the gloomy, washed out appearance of the venue. The pitch had a slope, grass that was too long and it was also boggy in parts, but the two sides produced a contest of end to end action and six goals. There was some cover, too on the far side of the pitch, but the battle weary were glad to get back to the coach!

The low cloud over the hill opposite the ground, had largely disappeared by the end of the match!

The 74th minute penalty by Simon Lock which made the score 3-2 to the hosts

Monday 27th August 2018
The Taff Ely & Rhymney Valley League Premier Division
Rhydyfelin 2
Jake Mahoney 4(pen), 73 missed penalty 38
Ynysybwl 4
Carl Jones s/o 4,
Jamie Tooze s/o 37
Daniel Davies 40,
Marcus Livock 45, 53,
Leigh Price 56
Referee:- Mike Ford.                                   Attendance:- 229
Admission:- £3.00.                                 Programme:- £1.00
If ever a game spiralled out of reality, this was the one. When the visitors had a second man dismissed only just over half an hour into the game, and for the same offence of handling the ball on the line, they were a goal down from the first penalty and staring a two goal deficit with only nine men! However, the penalty was missed and the nine men roared back to score four unanswered goals before a late consolation strike for the hosts. Fan of the match (pictured) is Lord Squires, Earl of Edgbaston, a long suffering supporter of Birmingham City!
Dog Track Racing came to Rhydyfelin in 1932 when the dog track at Pontypridd closed down. There was a 500 metre circular track and good crowds came to watch the racing. The track closed sometime in the 1960s.
Mike squires, our featured “fan” of the match
Monday 27th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Premier Division
Caerphilly 7
Gareth Tedstone 30, 48, 55, 76,
Alfie Leadbeater 44, 74,
Alex Edwards 50,
Cwm Welfare 0
Referee:- Clive Layne.                                                  Attendance:- 252
Admission:- £3.00.                                                  Programme:- £1.00
This was a walk in the park for the hosts, quite literally as the match was played at Morgan Jones’ Park in the middle of Caerphilly, but also figuratively as they scored seven, but were scandalously wasteful in terms of the number of shots that rained on the visitors goal. Cwm Welfare were very poor and have conceded in double figures on three occasions this season already! Caerphilly should have made it a fourth occasion!
Monday 27th August 2018
Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Division 1
AFC Whitchurch 1
Alex Would 67 (pen),
Cardiff Corinthians 3
Referee:- Clive Layne.                                       Attendance:- 312
Admission:- £3.00.                                       Programme:- £1.00
Cardinal and gold quarters are the official colours of Corinthians (looks like maroon and yellow) and that is written into their constitution. At Whitchurch Hospital (an old, now disused asylum) today, they were too good for the hosts in front of the biggest crowd of the “hop”.
 Thursday 30th August 2018
North Bucks & District League Intermediate Division
Buckingham United 6
Ryan Guinnane 22
Lee Williams 61,
Lewis Parkin 63, 72,
Will Wrighton 86, 89,
Brackley Sports 0
Referee:- James Ward.                                     Attendance:- 23
Admission :- F.O.C.                                      Programme:- none
The Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre is, as its name suggests, on top of a hill with good views all round on the edge of a fairly new housing development on the outskirts of Buckingham. Graeme treated us all to chips before the match in The Buckingham Fish Bar (recommended), as there were no facilities open at the ground. This is the second tier of The North Bucks & District League and in three games this season so far,  Brackley Sports have conceded half a dozen goals in each match, and yet, for the first hour, they looked the match of their hosts!  They tired in the last twenty five minutes or so, conceding five goals but a defeat of such magnitude was hardly merited! A good gathering of hoppers including Martin Hayden, Peter Ford, Graeme Askham, John Main and Dave Wooding!


 Other matches:-

Friday 3rd August 2018

Pre-Season Friendly

Corby Town 1 Sheffield Wednesday XI 5                     attendance:- 323


Monday 13th August 2018

Premier League 2 Division 1

Leicester City u-23  1  Swansea City U-23  0              attendance:- 783


Friday 17th August 2018

Premier League 2 International Cup Group B

Leicester City u-23  0  Reading u-23  2                                         attendance:- 169



This month:-               Matches:- 24                  New Grounds:- 17
This Season                 Matches:- 36                  New Grounds:- 23
Total:-                           Matches:- 3,968            New Grounds:-  1,468

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