To Budge?

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Saturday 28th October 2017 ko 12.30

Scottish Premiership

HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN 1 (Lafferty 24)

RANGERS 3 (Miller 43 65 Windass 72)

Att 32,852 (14,102 away) at Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Entry £30

Programme £3.50

The home of Scottish Rugby Union certainly sees a lot more football than its English equivalent does. Be it Celtic using it for 2 European qualifying matches in 2014 when Celtic Park was in use for the Commonwealth game, or Edinburgh giants Hibs and Hearts have used it for friendlies, or when Easter Road, or Tynecastle has been either unsuitable, or out-of-use. This time round, it was Tynecastle’s turn to be unavailable, but for bizarre reasons! Continue reading

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The Old & The Young

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Friday 27th October 2017 k0 19.15

Development Squad Fixture

RANGERS 1 (Shiels 19)

LIVERPOOL 4 (Lewis 9p Adekanye 20 Miller 32 Camacho 56) Johnston sent off 62 (Serious Foul Play)

Att c1,500

Entry £5

Let’s face it, when you think of Scottish football you really can’t avoid the Glaswegian behemoths Rangers and Celtic can you? Very much the yang to the other’s ying I suspect both clubs have grown from the obvious political and sectarian rivalry between the two clubs. But let’s make one thing absolutely clear right from the start, I cannot abide sectarianism, I’m the product of a Catholic mother and a Protestant father, after all! As for football and politics listening to slogan chanting and virtue signally leaves me completely cold. I go to football in part to escape from all that.  Continue reading

New Beginnings

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Tuesday 24th October 2017 ko 19.45

Combined Counties League Premier Division

WALTON & HERSHAM 1 (Okai 68)

BEDFONT SPORTS 0

Att 126 at Elmbridge XCEL Sports Hub

Entry £8

Programme £1.50

A few weeks ago Robyn and I were fortunate enough to attend a funeral. That’s not a sentence I often write but it was a privilege to be at Walton & Hersham’s final game at Stompond Lane. For the sadness, at the fact that the old ground was falling to pieces, and the club were and are moving into a uncertain future. But as we walked away it did feel that we’d only told half of the story. So here’s the other half. Continue reading

White Line Fever

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Monday 23rd October 2017 ko 19.45

Southern League- Eastern Division

BEACONSFIELD TOWN 0

AYLESBURY 3 (Scott 52 66 Deacon 80)

Att 91

Entry £8

Programme £2

I suspect many see Beaconsfield’s Holloways Park as the ground next door to the M40 Service Station, you can see the lit gibbet from behind the goal. A less well-known fact is that the original plans for the M40 saw the service placed between the Wycombe and Loudwater junctions, you can see the truncated slip roads on either side of the carriageway. But one way or another the motorway has been good for the club. Continue reading

Into The Light

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Wednesday 18th October 2017 ko 19.45

Wiltshire Senior Cup- First Round

SHREWTON UNITED 0

CHIPPENHAM TOWN 7 (Ricketts 15 77 81 Richards 24 Smile 51 87 Bowman 54)

Att c115

Entry £5

When groundhoppers get deeper into the hobby they tend to realise that the number of floodlit grounds is far more finite than those without, so tend to go for unlit grounds on Saturdays and save the floodlit grounds for midweeks when the lights are in use. That throws up the unusual sub-set of grounds who have floodlights, but seldom use them. An extreme example of this is North Berkshire League club Uffington United who currently are the only club in their league to have lights, and have only used them twice, both times for games I’ve helped organise! Shrewton’s case is less extreme, as their lights are there as a legacy. Continue reading

Flight Path

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Saturday 14th October 2017 ko 18.00

Bedfordshire County League Premier Division

CRANFIELD UNITED 1 (Allen 62og)

RENHOLD UNITED 0

Att 116

Entry FREE

Programme £2

I’d greatly enjoyed the Bedfordshire Hop’s first two games, and I suspect everyone else had too. So I was disappointed but not surprised as I left AFC Kempston to see a steady stream of hoppers walking back towards Bedford and the railway station rather than turning right like me and making for Cranfield.  Continue reading

New Turf

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Saturday 14th October 2017 ko 14.00

Bedfordshire County League Premier Division

AFC KEMPSTON TOWN & BEDFORD COLLEGE 2 (Smith 23 Ronayne 36)

CALDECOTE 2 (Boyd 9 Aris 34)

Att 109

Entry FREE

Programme £2

From one ground I couldn’t find on a map it was time to head to another. It meant travelling from the south side of Bedford to the north, and hop organiser Craig Dabbs supplied directions. They were needed, as not only was this to be the first game at Kingsfield, a lot of the roads to Great Spur, Biddenham were new too. Whilst it was lovely to be present as the opening of the new ground, I also know how much stress this place put Craig under. Continue reading

The Invisible

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Saturday 14th October 2017 ko 11.00

Bedfordshire County League Division One

WIXAMS 4 (White 5 Tibbett 1 Natola 36 Battams 59)

SANDY 1 (Beall 64)

Att 125

Entry FREE

Programme £2

Bedfordshire Hop organiser Craig Dabbs and I have reached the point where we can look each other in the eye and know exactly what the other is thinking. Because his Bedfordshire is my North Berkshire and in so many ways the two hops have similar, clubs, clienteles and aspirations. The issues he has making this hop work are so similar to my own, and as I was working to make my game at the Diamond Light Source work, he was doing the same at AFC Kempston. One thing Craig did managed to do that was new to me though was putting on two games at places that I couldn’t find on a map. Continue reading

The Belle of Snodland Town

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Wednesday 11th October 2017 ko 19.45

Southern Counties East Division One

SNODLAND TOWN 0

LYDD TOWN 1 (Lockyer 65)

Att 86

Entry £6

Programme £1

The Kentish town of Snodland grew based around, like so much in the area around paper making, in principle due to the lime deposits in the area. Today the town is still well-to-do in an unobtrusive way, but it’s the story of the village nearby that needs to be told.  Continue reading

Atmospheric

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Tuesday 10th October 2017 ko 19.45

Southern Combination Premier Division

LOXWOOD 2 (Pritchard 52 Holvey 85)

CHICHESTER CITY 4 (Jones 13secs Heggarty 44 Clack 76 Herbert 90)

Att 46

Entry £6

Programme £1

On one hand non-league photography is a good deal easier in daylight, to the extent I’ve built up a collection of lenses that Robyn use more or less specifically for night games. But if you can product the pictures, photographing non-league at night does produce a feel all of it’s own. Loxwood’s Plaistow Road Recreation Ground does though take that idea to a new dimension altogether. Continue reading