First Team Star
May 7, 2019, 5:51 AM
Location: exiled in Aberdeenshire
Team(s): Leeds + groundhopping
Post #51 of 56
Livingston United 2-0 Forfar West End
Scottish Juniors East, East Region Cup QF
£6 in, £1.20 pie, £1 raffle despite the gateman's best attempt to tempt me into the 3-for-2 offer.
With the Scotrail Club 50 offer back on again, I fancied a long-overdue bash at the Edinburgh real ale circuit, this being the liver-saving afternoon pause in proceedings.
A clean-up tick of a Livi U home game here, having previously been here when borrowed by Wishaw during the 2015 wind-damage closure of Central Park. Not many folk would choose to come to Station Park twice - a rusting away bleak exposed place. Thank goodness there wasn't a cold wind today.
Great match though - that's three top flight teams that level 2 Livi U have knocked out of this cup. Deservedly today. 1-0 inside half an hour, as the clock ticked down the visitors were becoming desperate to get back into it and conned the ref with a dive. As so often happens, the embarrassed penalty taker missed - hitting the post. And 5 minutes later the hosts went 2 up - a sub who'd just come on shot from inside his own half, over the head of the keeper stood on his line, who raised his hands to make the simple catch but fumbled it and the ball went through his fingers and in! Oh dear.
Closure (until mid June) of my rail line between Inverurie and Dyce meant up at 0530 to get the first rail replacement bus for the onward first arrival into Edinburgh. That early start was quite a challenge after having used a £17 special to spend all day Friday at the excellent Kingdom Of Fife CAMRA Beer Festival in Glenrothes - there are many tiny breweries in the county now but their ales are difficult to find in cask, this event being a gathering point for them, some producing festival specials and one doing its first ever cask. Friendly organizers too. Top day out.
But by 0930 arrival into Waverley the next morning I was off again with a 'liquid breakfast' in the three early-opening 'spoons to keep me occupied until first in the queue awaiting the 11am opening of the Guildford Arms ...where I discovered that they were having their Spring Beer Festival with all ten handpumps yielding me winners. A group of unsuspecting French tourists from the village of Evian wandered in, looking for some lunch. They were soon 'educated' that there are better uses of water than bottling it for the gullible, and were 'persuaded' to steer clear of the fizz fonts. The looks on their faces when they tried the very black porters and the bizarre Pigeon Toed Orange Peel Ale, showed that they didn't get such things at home!
Post match off the train at Haymarket to restart from that end, with multiple ticks found in the usual haunts before a relook in the GA showed that 5 had changed since lunchtime, all needed!
I'd long since given up on the 1930 train which allows connection back to Inverurie, so went for the 2143 that would get me to Aberdeen in time for the first Night Bus. Except that train was cancelled, with a rail replacement bus stopping at all the timetabled stations so the long way round via Kirkcaldy, Arbroath etc. It only just made it to Aberdeen in time for the last Night Bus. Home in my bed at 0330 after a fruitful 22 hour day.
At least the first Sunday train to the Nairn beer festival wasn't until 1021, so a small amount of kip was achieved before being at it again.
Strictly cups o' tea until Thursday when I've 'got to' be down at the Wakefield Red Shed beer festival since it's a cancer-charity fundraiser so I've sponsored one of the barrels and had better go and 'Quality Control' it...
First Team Sub
May 7, 2019, 3:56 PM
Location: Black Country
Post #52 of 56
Midland Regional Alliance Premier
Allestree 4-3 Moira United
Allestree needed to win by two clear goals to clinch the title from Melbourne Dynamo who had already finished their fixtures, failing that they needed to win and score four or more. So yes, this was one of those "You couldn't write the script better" games.
Despite clearly being the better side in possession Allestree failed to create many clear chances in the first half but did take the lead after about 25 minutes, when they then went 2-0 up just after half-time it looked like mission was to be accomplished, but Moira had other ideas and nicked a goal back.
Allestree then made it 3-1 but still Moira weren't finished, two quick goals from them looked like denying Allestree after all, but with just a couple of minutes left they scrambled in a winner, cue the celebrations! Allestree win the league by one goal having scored 106 to Melbourne's 105.
Great game and all credit to Moira who had little to play for but gave it a real go.
Attendance peaked at about 50 but most looked like families of the players.
The ground can be seen from Duffield Station but you have to walk through the village, back under the rail track and past Duffield cricket club which looks a really good set-up with two pitches both being used.
No football furniture except the changing rooms and only rope being used down both touchlines.
Unfortunately the pitch hadn't been marked recently so it was hard for the officials to see the lines, but they said they were never going to call it off and both sides were happy to play so no hassles.
Pre-match refreshment taken at the excellent Town Street Tap in the village which is an outlet for the local Tollgate Brewery.
Excellent day all round.
Reserve Team Regular
May 8, 2019, 12:34 AM
Location: North Suffolk
Team(s): The Pars
Post #53 of 56
Alcester Town 6 (4)
Enville Athletic 0 (0)
Admission - Free
Att' 64 (according to Midland League Full Time)
…certainly the 5 minute spell before half time ended this game as a contest giving Alcester the win in a game which was closer than the score suggests....
First Team Star
May 11, 2019, 11:21 PM
Team(s): Whoever plays Ipswich Town
Post #54 of 56
After a couple of weeks without the internet at home when I was about to post about the matches I saw on Easter Sunday. I feel it’s too old to post these now so just brief details of matches I saw.
Continuing my stay in Gloucester I went to all 3 Hellenic hop games on Easter Sunday. Parked at the ground at Bourton & paid £3. No wonder I heard them say they made over £2,000 on Easter Saturday. Had a wander around this beautiful place. Basic ground but enjoyable game. Then onto Moreton which has a small bit of cover which probably has limited viewing possible due to clubhouse next to it. Adderbury park deserved the win. Cheapest admission for games I saw on the hop at only £2. Finished off at the cracking venue of Brimscombe & Thrupp which lived up to the hype. B&T dominated the game but made hard work for the win. My 1st re-visit at a Wetherspoons followed at the ghost town of Stroud. The Spoons only had a few in it as well.
Easter Monday I had a very brief wander round Bishops Cleeve. Slow start to the game but once they got going they were very good & won easily. Then onto Tuffley Rovers, a ground I liked. Then finished at Thornbury where a walk around the small town before luckily parking at the ground as when I arrived 2 cars departed so I could get in. A very very late equaliser saw them come back from 0-2 down. Stopped off at the KFC in Slough & then home to end a cracking 4 days.
On Friday 26th April My dad accompanied me to Bala. We had another wander round Llangollen where Thomas was at the railway station. We stayed on the outskirts of Llangollen. On way to Bala we had a brief look at Corwen’s ground. They also played that night but the small bit of cover we saw had the shutters down. Bala has only a few shops & we had a lovely meal at the chip shop restaurant before visiting one of the pubs & met a ‘del boy type character.’
Horrible conditions spoilt the night really. Bala beat Caernarfon 1-0 with an early goal in the crowd of 565 with probably half from CT & most of those in Ponchos & sombreros. CT hit the post late on. Scenic ground.
On Saturday 27th April the horrible conditions continued as we made our way to see AFC Fylde put in a woeful performance (apparently rested a lot of their 1st team) to lose 0-2 against FC Halifax Town. Paid £5 to park close to the away end which we ended up in. No reduction in prices for OAP’s. Can’t say I was impressed with FCH fans. A lot behaved like fans from higher up the pyramid. Towards end of game we were in corner for a quick getaway & police had a take one of their fans away.
In no time at all we were at AFC Blackpool for their 1-0 win against Prestwich Heys. Clearly the best of the 3 games we saw. PH really should’ve won which would’ve sent home their amusing fans home happy. Plenty of good natured banter. Liked the ground as well with cover on all 4 sides. We had taken a look here a few years ago. Interesting journey home when Radio Lancashire did a 30 minute special about the old Great Harwood teams. Stopped at Cambridge Services & a diversion through Cambridge City added a lot of extra minutes to the journey.
Finally 4th May. I’d been advised that Mendlesham had moved pitch so I took a look for an important game. I’d previously visited in December 2011. Going into the game Bildeston Rangers were in the 2nd promotion spot level on points with Sporting 87 who were playing a few miles down the road at Champions Old Newton. BR had better goal difference by 1 goal & had scored a lot more.
Touchline Suffolk & Ipswich League Division 1
Bildeston Rangers 4 (37, 48, 55 & 89)
KO: 14:30 ATT: 26 h/c Cost: Free Saw no progs
Venue: Mendlesham Community Centre, Old Station Road, Mendlesham
Previous pitch used was adjacent the community centre/school. This is still their. The other side had a row of trees & bushes but they have been removed & replaced with a 2nd pitch adjacent. The far side now has grass area with some recently planted trees in front of a field. Behind goal is grass area with new looking houses behind. Behind other goal is wide grass area with new buildings currently being built.
Match: 12th (probably wont get relegated) v 2nd out of 13
Cold & windy with driving rain a couple of times. I had to wear hat it was so cold.
It was great having updates during the game from someone in the BR dug-out. 1st half saw BR playing with the wind almost camped in the half for almost the entire half. The 1st effort was saved on 33 seconds & early on it was known that S87 were 2-0 up. BR had a chance after chance after chance but continually found ways not to score. They finally scored fairly late in the half. Shots 0-15.
H/t lasted under 6 mins & near where we were standing the BR team talk was very interesting. A couple of players felt the pressure due to knowing the score of the other game but manager wanted them to know so they knew what they had to do. There were some disagreements as well.
Can’t remember when we heard that S87 were 3-0 up but BR got a 2nd & not long after got a 3rd. MEND shot just wide with their 1st shot on 67 mins. Late on a roar from BR bench when S87 only lead 3-1 & promotion was almost guaranteed when they got the 4th & celebrated at the end. S87 ended up winning 3-2. Shots 2-11.
Normally this would’ve been possibly too one-sided but due to the other game it made it very interesting.
Man City Transfer Target!
Sep 13, 2019, 3:43 PM
Location: North London
Team(s): Oxford United / Groundhopper
Post #56 of 56
South-West Peninsula League (Division One West) 3 pm
Bere Alston United 0 Dobwalls 2 (H/T 0-1)
Entry – see report
Programme – 12 pages for £2 (cover price, may have included admission)
Crowd – c. 30
This long trip down to the Devon/Cornwall border was a long-awaited opportunity for me to tick off a bit more of the British Rail network, as Bere Alston station is on the Plymouth to Gunnislake line, a line I had never travelled on before although part of it does overlap with the main line to Penzance. I still need to tick the section of line from Bere Alston to Gunnislake (more of that later)
Bere Alston United’s ground is about 15 minutes walk from the station, through the village centre, which is rather a small village although it does have a couple of convenience stores. The football ground is located in a road called ‘The Down’ and is relatively basic, not having any cover for spectators. Although the ground is reasonably enclosed, there is no turnstile-type entrance and the taking of admission money appeared rather informal, a person with programmes being stationed on a bench seat near the entrance. The pitch is railed off on all four sides, and a relatively old dressing-room building, with the club’s name on a large sign above the door, is situated in one corner. However, it does not have any bar facilities, just a small area for non-alcoholic refreshments to be served on match days. The ground appears to be situated on the highest land in what is a very hilly village, which might assist the pitch drainage. Dobwalls won the game with a goal in each half, and the closest the home side came to scoring was in the second minute when a header was cleared off the line. One bonus was that there were neutral linesmen, something that would not normally happen in this division but most of the other clubs had already completed their fixtures or were not playing this day, therefore making more officials available.
An enjoyable trip on a fine day and hopefully it will not take too long for me to tick nearby Tavistock, which is long overdue for me. It is possible to walk to Tavistock from Gunnislake station, although this might require a very early departure from Paddington at 06.30 am (going by the current timetable) and you would need to return by bus from Tavistock to Plymouth in order to be able to catch the last train from Plymouth back to London.