Saturday 14th March 2020

Lord Lucan

Youth Team Sub
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
237
As for others, my original plan went out of the window. Instead I opted for a double:

First up in the Sheffield & District Fair Play League was Sheffield Saints 2 Railway 2. Another decent game in this competition where the goal of the day came right at the end in the form of a free kick from about 25 yards. The ethos of the league seemed not to be in the mind of the burly Railway defender who shouted "next time break his @[email protected][email protected][email protected]! leg" after a tricky Saints forward performed a mazy run which left 3 or 4 visitors floundering !

The advertised 1030 kick offs in this league are very much for guidance only. Today the start was at 1106 as one third of the 3G pitch at Hinde House School was in use until 1100 for children's training. Said pitch is at the highest point of the school grounds with spectacular views over the Don Valley, with the double deck Tinsley viaduct a long way below and hills away on the horizon. At a much lower level than the 3G is a grass pitch which I believe is often used for FPL fixtures.

Pre-match I took a bus up the notorious 'Le Cote de Jenkin Road' (from Tour de France fame) but walked back down to Meadowhall where I got a snack and a drink before catching an express bus to Barnsley. This dropped off 10 mins from my next ground or, to be precise, 10 mins from the pitch, but the perimeter fence prevents access and you need to walk a further 10 mins round to the Barnsley Academy entrance, go through the school buildings and then back up a steep bank to where you started. Unusually for a modern school there is no 3G cage here, only four grass pitches - the two on the bottom level and one on the middle level were close to waterlogged but the top level one, on which the match was played, was less wet but in poor condition more suited for growing crops than facilitating flowing football.

The match in the County Senior League Division 2 finished Bankend 3 Silkstone Utd 0. Silkstone had the best of the first half although the closest we came to a goal was when a long range Bankend shot came back off the crossbar. The second half was completely different with Bankend eventually winning comfortably against a bottom of the table Silkstone side who become more and more disheartened as the game progressed. Both clubs are new in CSL this season (Silkstone returning after a season out) ....... whether the season will actually be completed, who knows ?
 

Tom Foolery

Junior Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
19
Team{s}
UTFT
West Cheshire League Division One
Chester Nomads 2-2 Maghull
Free admission, no programme
Att: 23 (h/c)

After aborting my intended to Germany, and combined with limited options, I kept it local and watched a decent spectacle at Boughton Hall Cricket Club. The visitors came from 2-0 down to earn a point. The game could've gone either way and the homesters certainly had a couple of good shouts for penalties in the final few minutes.

The game took place on the pitch directly in front of the cricket pavilion, rather than the normal railed off pitch at the rear.

The afternoon was spent in the company of Davy C and because of the general nonsense chatted pitchside we managed to miss all four of the goals! 🤣

Pre-match was spent in two of Chester's finest drinking establishments - That Beer Place and The Cellar. The cricket club advertised 3 cask beers but I needed a hot drink at half time rather than another beer!

Unfortunately events seem to be indicating that this will be the last knockings of season 2019/2020. Take care, look after each other and hopefully see you in the future ❤✌❤
 

Hertspireite

Junior Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
38
Team{s}
Chesterfield FC
Other level 7 - 11 teams in the 3 Counties area of Beds, Herts and Bucks
United Counties League Division 1 (Tier 10)
Huntingdon Town 2 - 0 Blackstones FC (HT 2 - 0) penultimate (19th) v 8th
Jubilee Park, Huntingdon, Cambs

Admission £5/3, special offer for ST holders of other clubs £2.50
Programme online only, Tea £1
Attendance - no official figure yet, 85 reported on another blog, my est HC 65 and 1 dog

With limited options and my first choice postponed, I decided to look to the Utd Co League. The ground is easy enough to find, although my Satnav tried to take me to the wrong side of the road. A larger than average car park, as it appears to be shared with an archery club. Entry through the clubhouse, with the tea hatch in an adjacent hatch to the bar, within the clubhouse itself. The grass pitch looked to be in good condition, 2 seated stands and a covered structure that appears to house 2 original dugouts are down one touchline and 2 dugouts in use are on the opposite touchline. Attendance was probably their highest all season, with their average 34 and highest 50.

A very friendly atmosphere, from both the home and away fans, with the home fans not expecting too much, as Huntingdon aren't winning many games at the moment. Today was the debut game of their new manager. The home side scored within the first 90 seconds, and followed up with a second goal about 30 mins later. The second half had a lot less enthusiasm from either team.

I chatted to varying fans who are regulars here, as well as some first time visitors like myself.
 

LLD

Junior Team Regular
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
82
Team{s}
Livingston
With a blanket ban on all football on this side of the border, a sojourn to the North of England was too tempting in terms of extending my season for at least one more weekend.

Nothern Alliance - Second Division
Newcastle Blue Star Reserves 0-3 Haltwhistle Jubilee
at Druid Park, Woolsington
Attendance - c40
Admission free, no paperwork, no catering

I think I'm right in saying that this is the lowest level game I've watched in England, given that the Northern Alliance's Second Division (third tier) theoretically sits at Step 9.
The attractions were two fold - a new ground, a proper one that is normally used for Northern League games - and the 12noon kick off allowed a double. With the whole of the UK likely to become a footballing desert very soon, I thought I'd take what I could get.
The wonderfully named visitors were a class apart from the word go in this game. They scored within the first minute and generally dominated proceedings.
They went in 2-0 up at half time and added a third later. They could probably have scored twice as many and to be fair to Blue Star they should have had a goal for their efforts.
Decent entertainment, and a ground that I quite liked.
Formerly the Wheatsheaf Ground, Druid Park has an artificial pitch, an aging one by the look of it, that has a mismash of different lines on it - football and rugby league (I think) in white, with American football in yellow.
Otherwise it's old school - the dressing rooms and adjoining bar look like they date from the 1970s. Across the other side there's a seated stand equipped with benches and an enclosure alongside that was strewn with spare goals and other training paraphenalia.
A shortish half time and relatively light traffic meant that I arrived at the second game in loads of time for the 2.30pm start...

Northern Alliance - Premier Division
Percy Main Amateurs 2-1 Winlaton Vulcans
at Purvis Park
Attendance - c70
Admission £2, programme 50p, catering available

Percy Main's Purvis Park has been on my to-do list for ages, so I turned down the sell out Northern Premier League game between South Shields and FC United to finally tick it off.
Great little ground in the rustic category. Raised hard standing down on one side, with some cover hanging over from the clubhouse, and some accessible grass flat standing on a further two and a bit sides.
Some of the Northern Alliance's top sides have the facilities to fill some of the Northern League's upcoming vacancies, but the Villagers would have quite a bit to do with no seats and no lights.
A shame really, because they've got a decent side on the pitch.
This was a humdinger of a game, with both sides showing total commitment on a tricky and undulating pitch. The quality of play could have been better, but I'm happy enough with two competitive teams giving it their all.
The Vulcans were the better side throughout but were wasteful when it mattered.
After a goalless first half Percy Main took the lead, and their keeper had an excellent penalty save to preserve it.
A second goal duly came for the home side to secure the win, but there were some anxious moments late on as a second Vulcans' penalty was converted and they laid siege to the Percy Main goal.
I'd thoroughly recommend a visit to Purvis Park - all sorts of interesting stuff to look at inside the clubhouse and a friendly welcome, as is virtually guaranteed in north east England.
They do undersell the whole thing though - £3.50 for admission, a basic programme and a reasonable hot dog. I wouldn't have grumbled at paying double.
 

paulh66

Reserve Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
1,136
Team{s}
Tranmere, South Liverpool
Nothern Alliance - Second Division
Newcastle Blue Star Reserves 0-3 Haltwhistle Jubilee
at Druid Park, Woolsington

The attractions were two fold - a new ground, a proper one that is normally used for Northern League games....
.....Formerly the Wheatsheaf Ground,
Just to add it was also Blue Star's own home for many years before their ill-fated move to Kingston Park in the noughties, which essentially led to their demise on the eve of taking their place in the NPL Premier Division. Interesting to see that the reformed club's reserve team are playing there now.
 

LeedsPhil

Junior Team Regular
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
99
Team{s}
Leeds + groundhopping
Another one who refused to be dictated to by the nanny state that is Scotland. So I went to see Celtic.
Cleator Moor Celtic, that is. From Aberdeenshire it's a fair trek to cross the border to the Free World, but the very long daytrip was well worth it indeed:

Cleator Moor Celtic 3-5 Prestwich Heys
NorthWest Counties League, Div.1 North

Official attendance: 84
£3 in, prog £2. Sandwich £2

Thanks to Andy D for posting on Friday that this one had been reversed, thereby being my closest proper-ground tick today - 5 hours' drive from home.
I thought it wise to pull off at the Dundee Tesco to borrow their wifi to double check all was still OK, on the laptop from the car. Difficult to even get a parking space. So if three-men-and-a-dug Scottish amateur fitba is deemed too high risk, how come allowing massive crowds to gather together in supermarkets to pathetically fight over loo roll is apparently perfectly safe. And how many times have those trolley/basket handles been touched by the unwashed before the next punter lays their hands on them? Nothing to do with the money that there is to be made, of course...

Cleator Moor is in the Lake District, but very much a 'real' town, not a tourist chocolate box place like Keswick, where I paused en route to check whether there was anything new-to-me in the Keswick Brewery Tap which only operates shop hours so would be already closed on the way back. There wasn't, so immediately onward. From the car I observed a very bustling market, with far more cheek-by-jowl crowding than at our level of football, again making me angry that we'd been targetted.
Next pause was the village just north of Cleator Moor - Rowrah. The GBG lists the Ennerdale Brewery just as a brewery, but ought to give it the brewpub symbol - it's a large set up with café dining hall and bar with six of theirs on handpump. Too many, so just a (free) taster of each and a wish that I'd got a designated driver to allow a proper go. The café staff refused to charge me for such small amounts, so I left them a tip.

Descending into Cleator Moor, surely the ground visible on the left is it. But no, that turned out to be rugby league, and was hosting a fixture that was about to kick off. The football is off the main street. Even then, the first sighting of floodlights isn't it - that's the leisure centre 3G.
Third time lucky. The set up at the football ground is decent. Car park inside with plenty of room. Friendly gateman - in surgical gloves today, with a notice on his cabin telling those with a cough to go home. A small covered terrace, a small covered stand alongside, and on the other side of the entrance the changing rooms with clubhouse upstairs. Large windows overlook the pitch. I watched from the stand and headcounted only 35 spectators outside, but the official attendance reveals how many others stayed in the bar to watch through those windows!
No hot food in there at HT, only homemade sandwiches (mine was a generously filled doorstep) pre-wrapped in cling film. Teenagers nipped out to the chippy at HT, sitting right in front of me for the second half, the aromas tormenting me.

The match itself was superb entertainment. KO was delayed 15 minutes, presumably the away bus had arrived late (although all were out warming-up when I arrived half an hour early of the expected 3pm). The hosts took the lead after only 6 minutes. 5 minutes before the break the visitors equalized. Or had they? Celebrations were delayed for what seemed like ages whilst we had non-league's equivalent of a VAR review - a lengthy chat between ref and lino. Goal! That decision knocked the stuffing out of Celtic but boosted Heys - 3 minutes later they took the lead, a free-kick from 40 yards that was bulleted directly in to the top corner. Superb! Put that one on MoTD.

In the second half Prestwich carried on where they'd left off. 3 minutes into the second period and they'd got their third. From the number 7 who'd got the equalizer. Just after the hour and 1-4. Surely all over. But no! Straightaway 2-4. And with a good 15 minutes left 3-4 from a shot that hit the bar, then the goalie on his back, and in. Was a comeback on the cards? As the rain and the pitch both got heavier, it was a thrilling finish. Celtic were chucking the kitchen sink at it, Prestwich were desperately defending. Into stoppage time and still no 4-4 equalizer, on 90+3 the visitors had a breakaway attack. There was no way the chasing defender was going to do anything other than splatter him into the mud, taking a red for the team. 90+4 just a minute later his colleague had the same idea and he too got the early bath. 90+5 from the free-kick just outside the box the visitors number 7 curled it in for his hat-trick, and 3-5. Great entertainment! Very glad I didn't just give up on football today, as the Scottish authorities were trying to force me to.

Back to Keswick again on the way home, where the other brewery operates in the opposite sense - the Twisted Magnolia brewpub café only opens in the evenings. Only one new half in there for me.
A petrol stop at the Carlisle Tesco by Junction 43 turned into a longer pause to also grab something to eat, so it was after midnight when the key was in the door after a full and satisfying day out.
Didn't set an alarm, and evidently slept well - only waking up at 1pm! So Sunday morning 'never happened'. Breakfast at my local greasy spoon transport caff was taken at 2pm this week. Marvellous.
 

LLD

Junior Team Regular
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
82
Team{s}
Livingston
Just to add it was also Blue Star's own home for many years before their ill-fated move to Kingston Park in the noughties, which essentially led to their demise on the eve of taking their place in the NPL Premier Division. Interesting to see that the reformed club's reserve team are playing there now.
Think it may have been a one off rather than them being based there regularly
 

dtr1989

Junior Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 19, 2019
Messages
20
Team{s}
Bury FC
Manchester League - Division One

Elton Vale 4-2 Moorside Rangers

Admission - free
Attendance - approx. 40
Venue - Elton Vale sports club


Elton Vale sports club is actually one of the nearest grounds to me. I was impressed with the facilities for this particular level. The sports club is well hidden. It has a cricket pitch, some tennis courts and a fully railed football pitch on a plateau. The club house is large with a café/bar which was open for todays fixture.

The pitch itself was in excellent condition despite the recent poor weather. You can view the game from any side however the side where the away dug outs are was very marshy and it wasn't long before you sunk into the ground. The dug outs are on opposite sides of the pitch. If you watch from the away dug out side then you get a decent view with a nice church in the distance standing out.

Elton are run away leaders at the moment and you could see why. Moorside have had a pretty inconsistent season however were on the better side of mid table. It was Moorside who started quickly with the left back gambling on a cross and nicking a header in. Elton were the better footballing side however and this prevailed in the end. A few of Eltons players have played at North West Counties levels this season, mainly for Prestwich Heys. Rochdale midfielder Aaron Morley was in attendance watching his old club too.

Enjoyable experience overall, great to know that it is local to me!
 

Barnsley Dave

Junior Team Sub
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
46
Team{s}
Barnsley, Yorkshire CCC, Non-league in general
...shucks - was hoping to piggy-back on someone else's offering :p - as I thought the crowd here was swelled enough, to include one or two wandering posters - but not to be ....

Combined Counties Premier

Racecourse Ground

Ascot Utd 2-1 Spelthorne Sports

{1st vs 2nd}

Adm: £6 - no progs - sold out

Att: official 260 - I counted a good 50 odd more than that before I gave up.

Directions/facilities:
Car Park area pretty much full so parked alongside the middle exit road/track - bit swampy.

Arrived only 10' before KO my reduced match options were cut further by needing to take better half to meeting up in Tilehurst for 14:00h - opted against new tick at Kingsclere or revisit @ Hungerford which probably would have made more sense - directionally.

No trace of mate suspect he'd gone 'touring' in town without a game at the MadStad.

There were still a few new ticks available (HPL/OSL) but all were very low down and earlier KOs - so I'd already put together a list of nearby revisits in range, that appealed, based on food & travel time. This won out on the basis of it being a top table tussle.

Regular here - re-furb done in Oct - which also changed the surface to 3G - has made it look more spruce (sprucier?) than before - lots of nice green fenced surrounds and re-landscaped terracing and pathways in front of clubhouse and seated stand.

Taken down the tarps at the top end too so you have an open view of the Mile course again.

Only change from my visit late last year, was the entire facility once inside the turnstile/entrance pay hut, has now gone cashless - though I'm not sure they've completely shunned those with coin only but it does seem a trend nowadays - makes sense I spose.


Match: scrappy nervy affair and Spelly missed a chance to haul in the 'Yellamen', who were robust but wasteful with the ball and sat back 2nd half without much conviction or comfort.

- hosts led with a first minute pen - just as I was enjoying my first half of Hurricane Ale.
2nd goal came early 2nd half helped by some awful dithery defensive play - no 6 robbed of the ball on his own 6 yd line and the ball was smashed into the roof of the net.

Sports grabbed a goal back late on with a neat free-kick swerved over the wall but couldn't grab a leveler.

Ascot actually have a comparatively wretched home record since October, when they went all-weather. They had built such a big lead by that point, that they have managed to just stay ahead of the pack for most of the season and have put on a slight spurt in the New Year to open up a gap again.

Ultimately Sports didn't have the quality to unlock their hosts, who now sit 9 points clear with 8/9 games left - so that might be it for the season.

Not sure about grading here - pretty certain they would not have the necessary for STEP04 even if they wanted it.

Back home by 17:30
Hi Royals, the cashless thing was temporary due to the coronavirus, back to normal when life gets back to normal whenever that may be
 

Burgesshillbee

Junior Team Regular
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
84
Team{s}
Brentford
Eastbourne Town 3 v 0 Broadbridge Heath SCFL Prem Div Admission/Prog Comp Att 323

A decent crowd for the last game at the Saffrons for some time, despite Eastbourne Borough and United being at home. Gateman knew me and happily gave me free admission/prog and asked me to join him in committee room at half time. Hot food area was shut but tea bar was in operation. Bar facilities and hot food was available in the Saffrons club outside the ground at the far end. All 3 goals came in one sided first half, the first goal was down to the keeper spilling a shot into the path of an Eastbourne striker and by half time it was a surprise it was only 3-0, could easily have been 5 or 6. Second half saw Broadbridge Heath get more into the game but despite chances being created at either end no more goals were scored in probably my last game of the season but who knows.
 

Richie

Junior Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
17
Saturday 7th March 2020 @3pm
SCEFL Premier Division
CHATHAM TOWN 3-2 K SPORTS
Bauvill Stadium, Maidstone Road

Admission: £8
Programme: sold out (£2)
Attendance: 539


Scorers: Chatham - Evans 26, 84. Hayes 55. K Sports - Corke 12. Alderman 37

We were going to Crawley Down to follow Newhaven but that match fell foul to waterlogged pitch so the safe local match came into play. Thankfully this league hadn’t suspended their matches following the Isthmian decision to do so enabling what looks like my last match of the season.
 

Richie

Junior Team Hopeful
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
17
Saturday 7th March 2020 @3pm
SCEFL Premier Division
CHATHAM TOWN 3-2 K SPORTS
Bauvill Stadium, Maidstone Road

Admission: £8
Programme: sold out (£2)
Attendance: 539


Scorers: Chatham - Evans 26, 84. Hayes 55. K Sports - Corke 12. Alderman 37

We were going to Crawley Down to follow Newhaven but that match fell foul to waterlogged pitch so the safe local match came into play. Thankfully this league hadn’t suspended their matches following the Isthmian decision to do so enabling what looks like my last match of the season.
Oops should read 14th
 

MillwallCasual

Junior Team Hopeful
Joined
Feb 10, 2020
Messages
20
Team{s}
Millwall
Corinthian-Casuals
First and foremost thanks to all involved at the two clubs for giving the 100 plus of us who turned up a pandemic pause and to the players for supplying a decent watch.
Lingfield 1 Lancing 5
Southern Combination, Premier.
@ The Shooting Field, Steyning.

Final score a little harsh on a spirited Lingfield. Events unravelled in the final quarter with an outfield player replacing an injured keeper, then the manager and skipper being sin-binned, and the former completely unravelling in added time adding a red to his yellow and having to be restrained by colleagues from clambering over the fence and continuing his, ahem, discussion with referee Mr J Homewood.
All looked a lot rosier in the early going. It was a lively old pace at the start, and playing with the wind, Lingfield were sharper and generally looked more up for it than their table-topping opposition. They took a deserved lead in the 10th minute, when Boylan calmly converted a one-on-one with keeper Bromage.
On the front foot, they couldn’t convert a couple of half chances, and Lancing finally shrugged off their torpor and got to grips with the game.
Lingfield’s defensive modus operandi was a high line, very high at times, just one or two yards in their own half. Lancing’s front three dodged in and out waiting for something to run onto. For a while it ended with either an overhit pass – Lingfield keeper Nairne deploying a good start position to mop up – or the assistant referee’s flag (the young man deserves a mention, did extremely well).
Of course, as any fule kno, offside tactics are a dangerous game, and 35 minutes in, the trap was sprung by Lancing’s Laing, and a one-on-one was duly despatched.
Level pegging at half time, Lancing continued where they had left off. They play some good football, looking to play from the back via centre back Berry who had a good outlet in pacy left back Beresford.
It took Lancing until the midpoint of the second half to turn their superiority into something more concrete, Caplin capping a fine move. Further goals were supplied by Beresford, the pick of the bunch, and in Lingfield meltdown time by Hewens and Connolly.
And following the FA’s announcement yesterday, that’s yer lot (Copyright Jimmy Wheeler)
Good Night and Good Luck (Copyright Ed Morrow). The eponymous movie is well worth a watch.
 

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