Cistercian

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Saturday 13th January 2018 ko 14.15

East Gwent League Division 1

TINTERN ABBEY 4 (Hollow 11 G Reynolds 24 30 Morgan 42)

MATHERN FC “A” 4 (Wright 2 65 Pearce 44 55)

Att c20

Entry FREE

I’d been faintly amused by the reaction of a few “Lower numbers” hoppers after I’d published my article on Altis. I know and understand the groundhopper that has to have a stand, a programme, and the game at a certain level but but had I, and others been “Barrel-scraping?” It is of course a question without an answer, the title of this blog suggests location rather than a place in a pecking order after all! What really made me smile was what I had planned for the weekend!

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Purpose

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Tuesday 9th January 2018 ko 20.15

London FA Junior Cup 4th Round

ALTIS 1 (Aalit 62) McCausland sent off (DOGSO) 90

UNITED LONDON 1 (Texeira 10)

No extra time, United London won 4-2 on penalties

Att 86 @ London Marathon Community Track

Entry & Programme £3

“Altis” ; Greek def. “The Sanctuary of the Gods.”

The thanks for this should go to Talksport radio presenter Tony Incenzo. It was he that spotted that former warm-up track for the 2012 London Olympics had been converted for use as a mini stadium and his suggestion was how Altis came to move there. He then encouraged the club to play one of their games midweek under lights and to produce a one-off programme. And when you know roughly 60 of the attendees you know the ruse worked! Continue reading

Newton

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Friday 5th January 2018 ko 19.45

Isthmian League Division One

AVELEY 0

AFC HORNCHURCH 2 (Fanimo 45 Fairweather-Johnson 85)

Att 398

Entry £10

Programme £2

Robyn and I zoomed round the M25, almost unbelievably clear on a Friday evening, the fact that we were both wearing our work clothes testament to how little time the satnav thought we had. It is of course the law of such things that we arrived half-an-hour early.

If any town could say to be in the shadow of the Dartford Crossing, it’s Aveley to the extent that that just about everywhere you stand you can see the red-lit tops  of the QE2 bridge’s towers. Continue reading

Tactics

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Saturday 30th December 2017 ko 14.00

Suffolk & Ipswich League, Senior Division

EAST BERGHOLT UNITED 2 (Collins 83og Jay 87p)

CAPEL PLOUGH 3 (Alderson 6 Middlebrook 21 Webb 60)

Att 104

Entry FREE

Put yourself in my position. Driving a car-load of hoppers heading east with the ground sodden, and a pitch inspection due at Eastern Counties League outfit Woodbridge Town. The game falls due to a waterlogged pitch so you interrogate the Football Traveller for alternative fixtures. One solution is to divert to Aveley Town’s new ground, it’s on 3G and the game is on. Another is to roll the dice and go for something at Step 7 on grass. So what would you do? Continue reading

Initiative

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Friday 29th December 2017 ko 19.45

Western League Division One

KEYNSHAM TOWN 5 (Brown 19 90 Box 64 M Curnock 75 Harvey 82)

BISHOP SUTTON 2 (Hind 45 Downes 90)

Att 184

Entry/Programme/ Mince Pie £6

They say the lord helps those who help themselves (so why do thieves go to prison?) so all credit should go to Jules French at Keynsham Town and Martin McConachie at Hengrove Athletic for coming up with a cute little marketing ruse. They spotted that Bristol City‘s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers the next day was being televised with a 5.30pm kickoff so moved their kick-offs to the Friday and Saturday at 1.30 pm respectively. Continue reading

The Localist Derby

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Saturday 23rd December 2017 ko 14.00

Somerset County League Division One East

MENDIP BROADWALK 0

BROAD PLAIN HOUSE 1 (Scadding 58)

Att c35

Entry FREE

Dear Knowle West, that surburb of South Bristol, within sight of Ashton Gate down Novers Hill. It is of course the home of my girlfriend Robyn, and Filwood Fields just stone’s throw from where she was brought up. Other than Bristol City either of these clubs could lay claim to be her local club. Both of Robyn’s parents worked at the Broad Plain House Social Club too. And therein lies the quirk of this particular game…. Continue reading

The Last Resort

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Saturday 17th December 2017 ko 14.00

Oxford City FA League

FLORENCE PARK 2 (Simpson 20p Foley 79)

CHEQUERS 4 (Constant 13 Ventriglia 14 Sherman 33 Thomas 90)

Att c25

Entry FREE

I do like a game in an area’s league of last resort; a league that’s at the bottom of the pecking order in its footprint. In Oxford city that’s the single division OCFA League, nominally a feeder the Oxon Senior League. 4 years ago it was struggling, down to just 5 teams, but a new committee and a lot of hard work have seen something of a renaissance in its fortunes.  Continue reading

Football By (and in) Coventry

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Wednesday 6th December 2017 ko 19.45

FA Vase 3rd Round Replay

COVENTRY UNITED 3 (Rankine 80 Morris 90og Mussa 90)

BROMSGROVE SPORTING 3 (Clark 4 Gregory 18 Cowley 40)

AET Bromsgrove won 4-3 on penalties

Att 205 at Butts Park Arena, Coventry

Entry £7

Programme £2

There can’t be many clubs in the Midlands as groundhopper-friendly as Coventry United. Easy parking (for £2), midweek games on a Wednesday, and an informative Twitter feed. In fact so hopper-friendly are they that earlier this season the league version of this fixture was scheduled for a midday kick-off allowing for all kinds of doubles. Now okay it probably took 20-30 off of each the attendances on the North Berkshire Hop that day and as event organiser that was a shame, but there was no malice in it. As organiser sometimes you have to simply shrug your shoulders and make the best of it. And there are so many reasons to like Coventry United. Continue reading

Hangar 146

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Tuesday 5th December 2017 ko 19.45

Friendly

ROYAL AIR FORCE 2 (Campbell 57 Harbottle 67)

HALESOWEN TOWN 0

Att c40 at RAF Cosford Outdoor Stadium

If you’re roughly my age you’ll remember RAF Cosford as where the UK Indoor Athletics Championships were held in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember the sound of athletes feet against the wooden boards as they ran around the steeply banked 200 metre circuit. Here Seb Coe set the indoor world record for the 800 metres at 1:46.00 in 1981. You’d like to see that wouldn’t you? Continue reading

The Wrong Floodlights

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Saturday 2nd December 2017 ko 14.00

Combined Counties League Division One

SHEERWATER 5 (Rideout 30secs 6 Wilson 3 Machay 35 76)

AC LONDON 1 (Silva 69) Dallal sent off (DOGSO) 35

Att c40

Entry £4

Programme £1

Sheerwater is of course the home of mod band The Jam. Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler were all residents of this 1950’s suburb of Woking before hitting the big time with their first single “In the City.” It is a typical commuter town’s suburb with the community’s facilities all at the southern edge but within all of that the local football club has a real problem.

Without doubt the pressure is increasing on those Step 6 clubs whose grounds fail ground grading. The reasons for failing are varied, sometimes it’s because the ground isn’t enclosed and a common one is lack of floodlights, but Sheerwater’s reason is unusual, they do have floodlights, it’s just that they are the wrong ones! Continue reading