May 20th

The Willows

Junior Team Regular
Dec 8, 2019
Mansfield Town
Monday 20th May 1985

Mansfield Town 1 Wigan Athletic 1 A.E.T. (9,214)

Stags equalised in the last minute to send this Freight Rover Northern Area Final to extra time, I think this was the last time I ventured onto the pitch. Unfortunately our dreadful record with penalties ensued, losing 3-1.


Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Thursday 20th May 1993
Luxembourg 1 Iceland 1
World Cup Qualifying Group 5

A match between two of Europe's minnows although Iceland have improved since then in what the first match of another two week Interrail trip.I had flown out in the morning from Birmingham to Dusseldorf and then by train to Luxembourg. It was a very wet day and with no tickets available for the stand I decided to stand behind one of the goals rather than sit out along the side in the open.The Stade Municipal just had the one covered stand,a rather basic ground but as the attendance was only 1,965 there isn't the demand for massive stadiums in the Duchy!
I seem to recall that Iceland were the better team and took the lead through Gudjohnsen on 40 minutes before an own gaol by Birgisson levelled the scores on 70 minutes.To complete a poor night for Iceland they also had Orlygsson sent off. After the match I walked back into town for a drink and to dry off.Luckily I had accommodation for the night rather than having to get an overnight train when soaking wet!!


Youth Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
Hemel Hempstead Town; Trust Portsmouth FC and the Reds of Cincinnati
May 20th and everything was USA this day, in 2018

Chicago Fire 2-3 Houston Dynamo
(Major League Soccer) Match 11
- played at Toyota Park, 7000 South Harlem Ave, Bridgeview IL from 3.00pm

Att – 14,206; Entry - $55; Prog – free; Parking lot next to the stadium - $25
Weather – damp and overcast
Colours – Fire in all red, with white panel to shirt .. Dynamo in all black, with orange panel to shirt.

This trip was part of a long week-end trip into the Mid-West .. and having watched the Reds host the Chicago Cubs for three of their four game series down in Cincinnati, over the previous two days .. I was able to call in on my way home, to see this MLS Sunday afternoon game.

Toyota Park (now SeatGeek Stadium) is a purpose-built venue, made for soccer and used from 2006 to 2019 by the Fire (now left, in favour of going back to Soldier Field in 2020 .. whilst the Chicago Red Stars, Women soccer team remain) .. the ground has various all seater stands, made of a variety of structures .. two main seating areas on the side-lines, with one end open and a stage area opposite, to provide for concerts .. typical concourse food outlets available and compliment for the crowd.

Game was enjoyable, given the match unfolding .. the locals love their skilful players .. with the goals coming early and late .. Dynamo always the stronger and well worth their win .. having come back from 2-1 down at half time. A pleasure to see how things are set up for the soccer fans in the States.
- photos
Match summary from MLS

Match highlights -

.. oh, and that trip in 2004 .. I was somewhere around Lake Tahoe, splashing about in NV and CA.
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Lord Lucan

Youth Team Sub
Dec 9, 2019
1991 (Monday)

Ajax 2 Feyenoord 0
Dutch Eredivisie
@ Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam (KO 14:30)
Att; 48,000
Adm f 22.50, Prog f 2.35

With four games left Ajax were level on points with PSV at the top of the table, but with a poorer goal difference. Feyenoord were mid table.

The line ups featured many names who have played for English clubs:
Feyenood - Ed de Goey, John Metgod, John de Wolf, Ulrich van Gobbel & Regi Blinker.
Ajax - Edwin van der Sar, Wim Jonk, Brian Roy & Dennis Bergkamp.
The Witschge brothers featured on opposite sides - Richard for Ajax, Rob for Feyenoord.

Bergkamp finished joint top scorer in the Eredivisie this season, alongside Romario of PSV, but the scorers today were Aron Winter & John van t'Schip.

At the end of the season Ajax and PSV were still level on points and PSV still had the better goal difference.

Due to the low capacity at De Meer, Ajax usually played Feyenoord at the Olympisch Stadion, opened in 1928. By 1991, it was in a state of decay - peeling paintwork, corroded concrete and rusting metal. Inside was no better, many of the open wooden bench seats behind the goal were rotting or broken. The reason was that a new stadium had been mooted for the east of the city and the intention was that the Olympisch Stadion would then be demolished to be replaced by housing. Fans of both clubs seemed intent on speeding up the demolition - breaking up benches and throwing them over the fences in the direction of the security forces.

The new stadium ('Arena') finally opened in 1996, and Ajax moved there from De Meer, but a change of heart saw the Olympisch Stadion being renovated, after removal of the 1937 extensions. It is now used mainly for athletics with a 22,000 capacity. Ajax did, though, play one competitive game there after 1996 - a Dutch Cup tie in 2014 as the away team.

As it was:

Finally, a prominent advert in the programme announced (in English):

"London talks about it, Paris thinks about it, Rome dreams about it, but ..... Amsterdam has it!!!
Visit the Red Light District".
Featured venues were the Casa Rosso Erotic Theatre & the Banana Bar - with appropriate illustrations. :D

The vulture

Youth Team Regular
Dec 10, 2019
Swansea Senior League Cup Final @ Swansea City training academy, Landore :
Penlan Club 5 West End Rangers 0.
Entry £4 Att 600 (est).

It should have been a much closer game than it actually was, the 2 best teams in the League meeting in the showcase Cup final.

However after a strong start by Penlan ill discipline saw West End reduced in numbers. With Penlan 2 goals up and having the advantage numbers wise they then stupidly got a red card for something that was said. Strolling to an easy win against your rivals it really was a case of why?? HT 2-0.
Into the 2nd half and Penlan scored 3 more to win at a canter, however the undercurrent of petulance was always there.

The Swansea training academy is the other side of the railway line from the Liberty stadium and is easily spotted as the train goes over the Landore viaduct.

The match was played on the pitch furthest from the dressing room block, a pitch with spectator accommodation down one side in the form of atcost stands. Viewing was also available from behind one of the goals.

As to be expected of a Premier League academy the facilities were good, it was also pretty clear where us plebs could go and where we were not welcome.


Youth Team Starter
Mar 10, 2020
Oxford United / groundhopper
1983/84 Stansted v Basildon United - Courage Eastern Floodlit Final 2nd Leg *

* Any further information on these two games would be appreciated
Having checked my records, I can now tell you the score, it was;

Stansted 1 Basildon United 0

(Stansted won 1-0 on aggregate according to my notes, although I did not attend the first leg)

This match was played on a Sunday morning with a 11.15 am kick-off. Why it was on a Sunday rather than in midweek (Stansted had just installed floodlights) is unclear.

I had found out the fixture by chance from a newspaper at Barking station a few days earlier, and not having been able to attend a game the previous day (due to it being FA Cup Final day) I was only too glad at this chance to tick a new ground at the very end of the season. The most notable aspect of the day was that I had to walk all the way from Bishops Stortford (this took around 45 minutes) because in 1984 the train services were so bad that there were no trains calling at Stansted Mountfichet station until around 11.30 am. After the game I also walked back to Bishops Stortford, probably because I had bought a ticket for that station and would have had to pay extra if I used Stansted Mountfichet.

I arrived at the ground about 20 minutes before the start and fortunately there were programmes still available. I recall that there was quite a good crowd present, perhaps somewhere around 400 at a guess. I also remember that the stand was packed, possibly because it may have been a showery morning although I think it improved later on. The ground had hardly changed at all when I had a look at it in 2012 while on my way to ticking nearby Takeley, with the same old stand, clubhouse, etc all still there.

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