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May 2021

Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Athen (may his tribe increase)

Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,

And saw within the moonlight in his room,

Making it rich and like a lily in bloom,

An angel writing in a book of gold:-

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,

And to the presence in the room he said.

“What writest thou?” – The vision raised its head,

And with a look made of all sweet accord,

Answered, “The names of those who love the lord.”

“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”

Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,

But cheerily still, and said, “I pray thee then,

Write me as one who loves his fellow men.”

The angel wrote and vanished. The next night

It came again with a great wakening light,

And showed the names whom love of God had blest,

And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

Monday 3rd May 2021
Bedfordshire County League Supplementary Cup Group B Kick-off: 12 noon
Ickwell & Old Warden 4
Andrew Vallon 41, 59, Lee Threadgold 77, 83,
Flitwick Town Reserves 1
Reece Smith 4,
Referee:- Tom Welsh.                                             Attendance:- 23
Windy and cold, but dry as the village side gifted the visitors a goal start and then whipped in four unanswered strikes in response!
Monday 3rd May 2021
Bedfordshire County League Supplementary Cup Group B Kick-off:- 2.30pm
FC Polonia 4
Mateusz Antonium 2, 40, Marcin Bator 5, 50,
St John’s (Luton) 1
Mo Elbayan 67,
Referee:- Paul Medlin.                                                               Attendance:- 25
Two goals in the first four minutes put the hosts firmly in the driving seat, but they spent the remainder of the opening period withstanding some extensive pressure from the visitors. Then a further two goals- one each side of the interval ended the game as a contest. The visitor’s consolation came twenty minutes from the end.
Monday 3rd May 2021
Bedfordshire County League Supplementary Cup Group D Kick-off:- 5.00pm
Lea Sports PSG Reserves 1
Alex Bailey 77,
Shefford & Campton B 4
Tom Winch 32, 73, Sam Gibbins 45, Ryan Lewis 82,
Referee:- Peter Parkins                           Attendance:- 23
The rain finally arrived midway through the first period and grew increasingly heavy, but there was shelter! The hosts were devastatingly outplayed and at times were under siege in front of their own goal. That there were only two goals to the visitors in each half was a criminal waste of the opportunities on offer, but the best goal of the game came from the host’s player manager, Alex Bailey!
Tuesday 4th May 2021
Oxfordshire Senior League OSL Premier Cup Kick-off:- 6.30pm
Kennington Athletic 2
Steve Woodhouse 9, Matty Crossan 44,
Bure Park 2
Ryan Collins 1, Rowan Chappell 85,
Referee:- Justin Sercombe.                                                                    Attendance:- 57
An entertaining game on a cool evening, but the rain stayed away! The visitors scored in the first minute and equalised five minutes from time. The hosts looked comfortable with the lead for most of the second half, but couldn’t hang on until the finish.
Saturday 8th May 2021
Coventry Alliance Peter Toogood Cup 5th Round
Brinklow 7
Conor McKiernan 14, Scott McCulloch 25, 35, Ryan Byrne 32, Dave Mekush 39, Molsan Pulford 58, 69,
Craftsman 0
Referee:- Madhan Jassal.                                                                            Attendance:- 31
The rain fell voluminously, very much like the goals did for the hosts, who had amassed five before the interval and squandered nearly as many. Only two more strikes in the second half. It really should have been double figures! With John Main.
Sunday 9th May 2021
Rutland Cricket League Division 2 (at Oakham)
Oakham (won toss) 259 for 7 (45 overs)
Werrington 208 for 9 (45 overs)
by 51 runs
Considering the amount of rain that fell yesterday, the pitch played remarkably well and an opening partnership of 140 got the home side off to a good start. They posted a formidable total. However, the visitors kept pace for much of their innings, but unfortunately kept losing wickets. In the end it was a comfortable victory.
Monday 10th May 2012
Hope Valley League Premier Division
Ashover 1
Perry Richards 18,
Fairfield FC 2
Jake Keeling 11, 83,
Referee:- Chris Brown.                                                                                    Attendance:- 28
Nestling in the folds of the Peak District and battered by a pre-match cloudburst, the weather subsided and in a hotly contested match, the visitors came out on top, perhaps a little fortuitously. A fair smattering of hoppers in attendance!
Tuesday 11th May 2021
Nene Sunday League Division 6 Kick-off 7.00pm
Pitsford Obelisk 0
Illyrians United 0
Referee:- Mark Wetherall.                                                                              Attendance:- 13
The attraction of this match was the esoteric nature of the team names! There is an obelisk down the road from Pitsford, in the Kingsthorpe area of Northampton and it commemorates a former British prime minister, William Cavendish, the 4th Duke of Devonshire, whose claim to fame is that he had the shortest life (44 years) of any British premier! On a wet miserable evening, these two teams wouldn’t have scored if they’d played till midnight and the few chances that did occur, were woefully squandered. Interesting kit for the home side. With John Main.
Wednesday 12th May 2021
Hope Valley League Premier Division
Baslow 4
Lewis Talbot 23, 42, 74, 90+1, 
Dove Holes 3
Liam Sircar 11, Joe Cooke 12, James Gemmell 88,
Referee:- Darryl White.                                                                         Attendance:- 15
Another visit to the Derbyshire Peak District and another lovely ground at Baslow Cricket Club. Baslow have struggled badly this season and it was with some incredulity that we witnessed a wholly unlikely victory! The visitors started confidently with two goals in the first fifteen minutes and several more excellent chances spurned. Baslow were level by the interval and amazingly took the lead around the hour mark as the visitors continued to squander nailed on chances. Eventually, they had to score and they did, to draw level, only for Baslow to knock in a winner in the final minute! With John Main.
Thursday 13th May 2021
Nene Sunday League Division 7
Kingsthorpe Jets 2
Nori Sesay 56, 74
Thorplands Club 1
Gregorz Misiuria 11,
Referee:- Mark Wetherall.                                                                            Attendance:- 19
Rain fell remorselessly from an iron grey sky as these two teams matched each other in testing conditions. It was the visitors who held the half time advantage, but two goals from Nori Sesay, who begins a ban on Friday after a recent sending off, decided the contest in favour of the hosts. With John Main.

Monday 17th May 2021

Hope Valley League Premier Division

Youlgrave 1

Tom Bell 54,

Bamford 5

Elliot Maskrey 18, Chris Lawson 23, 25 Dom Mellor (og) 50, James Thompson 80,

Referee:- Josh Townsend. Attendance:- 46

Another visit to the rolling Peak District and the beautifully appointed home of Youlgrave FC at Youlgrave Lodge CC. Sadly, the hosts are struggling, some six points adrift at the foot of the table. The visitors took full advantage and rattled in three goals in the first half hour. Two more, second half goals and a consolation strike for the hosts settled the contest emphatically in favour of mid-table Bamford. With John Main and Graeme Holmes.

Tuesday 18th May 2021

Yorkshire Cup Group B

Golcar 2

Buddy Cox 42, Alex Hallam 44,

Liversedge 2

Alfie Raw 31, John Cyrus 33,

Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6). Programme:- £2.00

Referee:- Stephen Rushworth. Attendance:- 575

In front of a large, partisan crowd on a bright but cool evening in West Yorkshire, the visitors looked to be well on top after taking a two goal lead around the half hour mark. However, two goals in two minutes just before half time from the hosts saw the sides level at the interval. The second half was something of an anti climax and the match petered out into a tame draw. With John Main and a large gathering of hoppers amongst the impressive attendance!

Wednesday 19th May 2021

Nene Sunday League Division 4

AFC Brampton 3

Matthew Roberts (og) 30, Dan Clark 46, David Hicks 53,

Ashby Athletic 2

Joshua MacAfee 15, Alexandru Barbulescu 21,

Referee:- Graham Pinney. Attendance:- 30

The Racecourse in Northampton is a huge public park where horse racing was held up until 1904. It also staged a round of Jeux Sans Frontiers and a hot air balloon festival as well as public executions, the last of which was in 1880 when two men were hanged for passing forged notes. It is said that the condemned were offered a free drink at the hostelry on the edge of the Racecourse before execution! This evening, dodging heavy showers, these two teams, second and third in their league served up a very competitive match in which the hosts grabbed the win, the points and top spot after initially going two goals behind!

Thursday 20th May 2021

Nene Sunday League Division 2

Wootton Fields Wanderers 2

Omar Gharami 24, 75 (pen),

North Star 4

Hilton Arthur 40, 71, DJ Hixon 45, 73,

Referee:- Simon Castleman. Attendance:- 26

Wootton, a small suburb to the south of Northampton, is where four members of The Ding family, mother, father and two daughters, were murdered in 2011. The community centre in the village is undergoing extensive redevelopment, but on a wet, wild and windy evening, the football team were soundly dismantled by their opponents from Ecton Brook, another village to the east of Northampton. The wind and rain played havoc with the playing conditions, but it was North Star – displaying the star on the front of their shirts – who deservedly triumphed. With John Main.

Monday 24th May 2021

Hope Valley League Premier Division

Fairfield 5

Cameron Holford 20, Billy Halsey 37, 49 (pen), 80, Tallis Stone 63,

Baslow 2

Lewis Talbot 12, Josh Sears 32,

Referee:- Stephen Price. Attendance:- 23

In the shadow of the vast Dowlow quarry and the former High Peak and Cromford railway line, this match was played at Buxton RUFC on a very soft pitch and an increasingly chilly evening. Both clubs occupy places very close to the bottom of the division, but it was the hosts who triumphed after a shaky start which included a bizarre gift of a goal to their opponents. A cacophony of hoppers in attendance swelled the meagre gathering!

Tuesday 25th May 2021

Central Midlands League Division 1 Central

Woodhouse Colts 4

Liam Theakstone 2, 4, Baillie Hajman 73, Jayden Bull 85

Kilburn 3

Jordan Mighty 30, 55, Jordan Patten 65

Referee:- Lee Clarke. Attendance:- 39

Admission:- £2.00. Programme:- NONE

Woodhouse Colts have a ground on the same site as AFC Mansfield, but it is discrete, although accessed via The Forest Town ground. Their charitable visitors this evening, gifted them two goals in the opening five minutes, spent the next hour retrieving the situation and even taking the lead, before succumbing to two late strikes which took the game away from them – a little unfairly, I thought! An intelligence of hoppers boosted the attendance!

Wednesday 26th May 2021

Nuneaton & District Sunday League Premier Division

Grendon 2

Louis Taylor 60, Dan Creaney 68,

Lamb & Flag 0

Referee:- Rob Cairns. Attendance:- 48

There was the rustic smell of freshly mown grass on a very pleasant, sunlit evening for this mid-table clash. Plenty of action, but it took over an hour for the first goal to arrive, mainly due to some errant finishing by the hosts. A second strike was followed by a penalty saved, but the hosts deserved their victory. The referee blew his whistle some seven minutes early at the end! With John Main and Lee West.

Thursday 27th May 2021

Nene Sunday League Division 4

Ashby Athletic 3

Tom Jullings 12, 22, Alex Quatrine 17,

Naseby FC 2

Ricky Barby 4, 24,

Referee:- Nick Wheeler. Attendance:- 38

The genteel village of Mears Ashby in the heart of Northamptonshire hosted this tense championship decider. Nothing but a win would secure the title for the hosts. They fell behind to a fourth minute strike, took the lead after seventeen minutes, extended it by the twenty second minute and were pegged back two minutes later. There the scoring ended, but not the excitement with both teams going full bloodedly for victory. Joyous celebrations at the end for the home side. With grandson, Freddie, John Main and Lee West. Freddie enjoyed a bowl of chips in The Griffin in the village prior to the match!

Friday 28th May 2021

Nene Sunday League Cup Semi-final

North Star 0

Standens Leap 2

Ross Watson 12, 84,

Referee:- Darrell Horner. Attendance:- 121

Admission:- £3.00. Programme:- NONE

Played on Moulton’s 4G pitch, the pace was fast, furious and often feisty. Standens Leap sit at the top of the Premier Division and unbeaten this season, three divisions lower, North Star are second in the table, but they gave a good account of themselves this evening in a very entertaining encounter.

Saturday 29th May 2021

Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Division 1 Central

Bakewell Town 3

Freddie Hatcher 63, Joe Poste 75, Stuart Baker 89,

Kilburn 0

Referee:- Rob Neale. Attendance:- 119

On a fine afternoon, bank holidaymakers swelled the attendance as the hosts sought to achieve the win in their final match that might gain them promotion. They made hard work of it. They missed chances my grandson could have put away with his eyes closed. Eventually, after an hour, they opened the scoring and, in the end it was a comfortable win with two more goals in the last ten minutes. Now, however, they can only hope that Wirksworth Ivanhoe drop at least two points from their final two games! With Johnny Holland. (It didn’t happen!)

Monday 31st May 2021

Thames Valley Premier League Premier Division

Mortimer 1

Alex Miller 82,

Berks County 1

Charlie Craske 10,

Referee:- Jonathan Hales. Attendance:- 91

On a very warm evening, second in the table, Berks County came to the pleasantly appointed Alfred Palmer Memorial Playing Field to take on mid table Mortimer. They scored after ten minutes and dominated the rest of the half. The hosts came more into the contest after the interval, but the visitors should have been out of sight. They paid the penalty when an 82nd minute equaliser ended the game all square. A veritable coven of hoppers in attendance!

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