Tin Plate

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Thursday 27th July 2006 ko 19.30

UEFA Cup 1st Qualifying Road 2nd Leg

LLANELLI AFC 0

GEFLE IF 0 Hedlund sent off 27 (DOGSO)

Llanelli won 2-1 on aggregate

Att 2,500 at Stradey Park, Llanelli (Llanelli RUFC)

Entry £10

Programme £2

Just occasionally as a groundhopper you get an opportunity so good, virtually everyone drops everything just to be there. This was one of those occasions, as back in 2006 Llanelli’s home at Stebonheath Park wasn’t yet up to UEFA ground-grading regulations, so the club decided to play their UEFA Cup fixture at Stradey Park, the home of Llanelli Rugby Union Club. Continue reading

Third Parties

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Tuesday 26th May 2015 ko 18.30

Coventry Alliance Premier Division

FOLLY LANE OLD BOYS 2 (Jones 44 Fitzharris 50p) Pidgeon sent off 45 (violent conduct) Fitzharris sent off 90 (violent conduct)

WHITNASH TOWN 2 (Wilkinson 30 Scott 83) Watkin missed penalty 90

Att 353

Entry FREE

Programme 50p

Recently I saw a comment on Twitter about this game. It said something along the lines of “It’s not often you see a league’s season boiling down to a final game shoot-out for the title.” I allowed myself a wry smile, this was the third such shoot-out I was to witness this season after the tense afternoons at Harold Wood and Dowty Staverton! This one was to surpass both of them. Continue reading

Mistress

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Saturday 23rd May 2015 ko 14.15

Maidstone & District League Premier Division

THREE SUTTONS 2 (Barham 22 Todd 68)

WEST FARLEIGH 2 (Nibbs 33 Foster-Couch 44)

Att 39

Entry FREE

No Programme

When the games begin to run out at the end of the season, you also have to contend with the possibility that sides will simply decide not to bother playing the game. It doesn’t help when some leagues award those ties as 0-0 draws; you can actually be better off not playing which can’t be a good thing. My original idea was a Middlesex League game at Paddington Elite, but the visiting team couldn’t raise a side so I cast my net a little wider. With that propensity for call-offs having two games in the same league less than 3 miles apart looked a good plan for me, the idea being is there were no signs of life at the first, simply drive on to the second! Continue reading

Setting it up

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Tuesday 19th May 2015 kop 18.15

Coventry Alliance Premier Division

AMBLESIDE SPORTS 0

A.E.I. RUGBY 6 (Halim 2 60 Vince 63 65 76p Glover 85)

Att 47

Entry FREE

No Programme

Start with the obvious I suppose, this is Ambleside Way in Nuneaton, not the pretty town in the Lake District, and the club takes its name from the Ambleside Sports Ground, which in turn is named after the street. After all, the other Ambleside would be a little far for the Coventry Alliance’s footprint! Incidentally the ground is a few hundred yards from the Hinckley and North Warwickshire College ground, used for some Midland U21 League fixtures Continue reading

Gas Panic

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Sunday 17th May 2015 ko 14.00

Conference Promotion Final

BRISTOL ROVERS 1 (Harrison 30)

GRIMSBY TOWN 1 (John-Lewis 2)

AET Bristol Rovers won 5-3 on penalties

Att 47,0229 at Wembley Stadium

Entry £10 (Member clubs’ allocation- “Neutral Zone”)

Programme £5

Now I know the Conference Premier is pretty much League 3 these days. I know it’s almost entirely full-time and I know there are many former Football League clubs in its ranks. The vital word here is “Former” though, and take it from me, a fan of a club that did lose its place in the League, it hurts a lot it when you get relegated. You get used to the comments like “How on earth did you end up there?” and every time you go to a game you cheer your club on straining every mental sinew to get back to whence you came. There’s nothing wrong with the Conference, but believe me the fans of at least half of the clubs in its top flight hate being there.

Continue reading

Pickin’ ’em

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Saturday 16th May 2015 ko 14.30

Essex Olympian League- Premier Division

HAROLD WOOD ATHLETIC 4 (Tolan 45p Ziepe 68 Suchley 73 Foley 86) WADHAM LODGE 1 (Holt 6)

Att 212

Entry FREE

Teamsheet FREE

When the games start to run out what do you look for? The pretty ground? The game with something on it? I even know one hopper whom eschewed this one as there wasn’t a programme on sale! He wasn’t the only one who put the paper-based souvenir before the match, the club put up notices advertising the lack of a programme, and the strap-line on their website told the same story. You could only imagine the number of phone calls they’d taken…. Continue reading

Second Class Post

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Wednesday 13th May 2015 ko 18.30

Middlesex County League- Premier Division

L.P.O.S.S.A. 0

HILLINGDON 4 (Altomare 34 Casey 51 Rose 63 Mohamed 71)

Att 66

Entry FREE

Programme £1

I suppose I should start by answering the obvious question, its London Post Office Sports and Social Association. The club plays at the London Post Office Association Club, close to Sudbury Hill Harrow railway station and Sudbury Hill tube station. Continue reading

Tested For The Unexpected

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Tuesday 12th May 2015 ko 18.30

Coventry Alliance Premier Division

DUNLOP 0

A.E.I. RUGBY 2 (Linton 13 Newman 48)

Att 32

Entry FREE

No Programme

A tip for those visiting Coventry, always allow plenty of time to negotiate the suburbs, it took me 30 minutes to negotiate the final mile to the Dunlop Sports and Social Club, in Burnaby Road! As the joke goes, the Luftwaffe did horrible things to Coventry during the Second World War but the town planners did worse afterwards! Continue reading

Rounding It All Off

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Saturday 9th May 2015 ko 19.00

North Berkshire Cup Final

BERINSFIELD 5 (Saunders 21 D Murphy 26 37 90 Holdsworth 60)

SAXTON ROVERS 0

Att c450 at Northcourt Road, Abingdon (Abingdon United FC)

Entry & Programme £3

If there’s one game at the end of each season I hate to miss its this one, and please don’t confuse it with the North Berkshire League Cup Final, this one is open to all first XI’s in the league, and you get a far better class of guest of honour, the trophy was presented by Angela Lawrence, Mayor of Abingdon. She was rewarded for her efforts with a champagne soaking! It’s the traditional closing of the NBFL season, a celebration, but this year there was more than usual to consider.

Continue reading

But It Was Gone

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Saturday 9th May 2015 ko 15.00

FA Vase Final

GLOSSOP NORTH END 1 (Bailey 55)

NORTH SHIELDS 2 (Bainbridge 80 Forster 96)

After Extra Time

Att 9,674 at Wembley Stadium

Entry- Complimentary (Many thanks to the Wessex League)

Programme £4

I do enjoy my annual trip to the Vase final, even though on this occasion I found myself photographing the same people I did a few years ago! There’s something touching about the trip to the hospitality seats and seeing all those officials from Step 5 leagues. These people aren’t the career administrators from the higher echelons, these are the people who do it for the love of it, and I do wonder whether when the event will switch to a joint Trophy and Vase day that flavour will be lost in a sea of professionalism? Continue reading

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