Tiger Feet

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Friday 30th March 2018 ko 19.00

South West Peninsula League Division One East

AXMINSTER TOWN 2 (Hurford 13 Dibling 21)

CREDITON TOWN 1 (Morish 32)

Att 306

Hop ticket £25 (programmes not included)

Entry £4

Programme £1.50

We left Exwick Villa, and Exeter’s suburbs and headed east. It was good that hop organiser Phil Hiscox had confirmed that the day’s final game was definitely on. The weather was dreadful, we passed Honiton and when we climbed into the southern foothills of the Blackdown Hills the torrential rain turned into sleet. Surely the game couldn’t still be on, could it? Continue reading

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Head Above Water

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Friday 30th March 2018 ko 15.00

South West Peninsula League Division One East

HONITON TOWN 0

ILFRACOMBE TOWN 1 (Montague 55)

Att 227 at Exwick Villa FC

Hop Ticket £25 (no programmes included)

Entry £3

Programme £1

On any organised hop there’s always a “Highlight” game, it’s the game that as organiser you know that your patrons will look at the hop’s fixtures, and think “That’s the one I really want.” It doesn’t have to be the best appointed ground, just the one that grabs people’s attention, and for this hop it was Honiton’s Mountbatten Park, if for no other reason than it’s Honiton’s first season in the Peninsula League and so the fewest number of hoppers would have visited before. Continue reading

Reputations

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Friday 30th March 2018 ko 11.30

South West Peninsula League Division One East

SIDMOUTH TOWN 3 (Davies 32 Knight 74 83)

BUDLEIGH SALTERTON 4 (Taylor 37 Antat 49 A Boere 54 White 78_

Att 336

Hop Ticket (programmes not included) £25

Entry £3

Programme £1.50

The alarm sounded at Robyn and I’s bed and breakfast, and I didn’t need to open the curtains to check the weather, I could hear the torrents hammering the cars parked outside. Whilst the Full English breakfast was superlative, we ate in near silence knowing that the weather was at best going make watching 3 matches in a day difficult and at worst curtail the fun early. It was a day to trust Phil Hiscox the event organiser, and take what was coming. Little did we know that their would be a whole series of problems beyond the organiser’s control.  Continue reading

The Spur

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Thursday 29th March 2018 k0 19.30

South West Peninsula League Division One East

NEWTON ABBOT SPURS 2 (O Aplin 13 Metters 51)

TEIGNMOUTH 1 (Ayre 18) 

Breslan sent off 83 (2nd booking 83)

Eves sent off 90 (2nd booking 90)

Att 318

All games Hop ticket £25 (entry only)

Entry £4

Programme £1

I was around half-way down the M5 heading for the South West Peninsula Hop and was debating whether to stop for a coffee. Robyn was, as normal, fast asleep in the passenger seat, so I delayed my stop for another service station; there are no lack of them in this part of the world. I spent the extra few minutes imagining what hop organiser and League General Secretary Phil Hiscox was doing at that moment. I knew what I’d been feeling on eve of the Easter Hop I’d helped organise the previous year but as the Thursday and Friday games in Devon proved, I didn’t succeed in coming remotely close. Continue reading

The Replacements

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Monday 26th March 2018 ko 19.45

Southern Counties East League-Division One

SPORTING CLUB THAMESMEAD 3 (Weatherly 22 Patrick 61 Jeffery 71)

CROCKENHILL 1 (Brett 3)

Att 44

Entry £6

Programme – none, teamsheet FREE

Thamesmead is the kind of town that exists due to circumstance. It’s there to service the docks at Tilbury and other Thames dock towns, themselves only there because the Port of London docks were too small to service the huge new container ships so in the 1960’s the whole operation moved east and the town grew with the new industry. You could say that Docklands’ loss was Thamesmead’s gain, but the club in situ at Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead isn’t the club that originally called the ground its home. The tale is a little tangled… Continue reading

Fulfilment

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Tuesday 20th March 2018 ko 19.45

Hertfordshire Senior County League Premier Division

WORMLEY ROVERS 3 (Linger 26p 56 90)

SANDRIDGE ROVERS 2 (Jarvis 43 Chanhunduza 72)

Att 35

Entry FREE

At Step 7 in the south you can spot the ambitious clubs a mile off. In Wormley’s case that’s almost literally the case, you see the floodlights as you turn into Church Lane. You’re in Hertfordshire suburbia here, and there are no end of potential rivals for Wormley, by means of an example I passed Cheshunt’s ground on my way here.  Continue reading

Flower of Scotland

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Saturday 17th March 2018 ko 17.00

East of Scotland League

HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY 2 (Ward 11 34)

Dows sent off 77 (dangerous play)

Lane sent off 90 (2nd booking)

LEITH ATHLETIC 3 (Robertson 40 67 Mein 87)

Att 207 at Oriam Indoors, Riccarton, Edinburgh

It was with some regret that we crossed over the new Forth Bridge and left Fife, the county, or is that kingdom (?) had been good to us, despite the biting cold. We headed back towards Edinburgh and Riccarton, and aimed for the game that was virtually guaranteed to be on, whatever the weather! Continue reading

The Stalking Horses

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Saturday 17th March 2018 ko 13.30

East of Scotland League

KELTY HEARTS 11 (Ritchie 10 Dalziel 27 51 McCabe 42 Douglas 45 75 84 Husband 55 79 Cargill 60 Greig 81)

TWEEDMOUTH RANGERS 1 (McKenna 21)

Att 278

Entry £5

Programme £2

Climbing up to the former pit village of Kelty involved a lot more than a further drop in temperature and a steady increase in the snow flurries. Kelty Hearts switched from the East Region Juniors to the Senior ranks for this season, and their reasoning was abundantly clear. Continue reading

Shippy

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Saturday 17th March 2018 ko 11.00

East of Scotland League

BURNTISLAND SHIPYARD 1 (Graham 44) 

Kinnaird sent off (violent conduct 77)

Galloway missed penalty 84

PRESTON ATHLETIC 2 (Binnie 38 Grotlin 62) 

Att 166

Entry £5

Programme £2

Brave ancient isle, thy praise if I should sing,
The habitation of a Pictish King,
Dreftus, who made against the Roman strokes,
Forth’s snakie arms thee to enclose with rocks,
They often pressed to vanquish thee with fire,
As Macedon did the sea embordering Tyre,
But thou didst scorn Rome’s captive for to be,
And kept thyself from Roman legions free. 
Traditional

I was sat at breakfast at the hop hotel in East Kilbride contemplating a Lorne Sausage. All was right with the world, the coffee was warm, and the world outside looked frost-free and bright, but then a flurry of snowflakes blew across, shattering my illusions. 5 minutes later I aimed for the hotel’s revolving door, and once outside the cold stopped me and others in our tracks.  Continue reading

Whether

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Friday 16th March 2018 ko 19.00

South of Scotland League

MID-ANNANDALE 6 (Gibson 9 D Smith 11 36 Neill 34 53 Thom 47)

LOCHMABEN 3 (Milligan 33 G Smith 38p Howat 89)

Att 235

Entry £5

Programme £2

Over 4 years the Scottish Hop has developed a method all of its own. That’s a coach running from Hillingdon via Birmingham up the M6 via the first game to our base, usually in East Kilbride. I normally run the coach from Hillingdon to Birmingham when Chris Berezai takes over and I take a fast car to the first ground to make up the programme packs using the time taken for the coach driver’s mandatory 45 minute break half way up. However this time round it didn’t quite work out as we’d planned. Continue reading