Wellington College v Bradfield College

Independant Schools F.A. Cup 3rd Round

Thursday 16th November 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.02

Wellington College 2 Bradfield College 3 (AET),  attendance 81

67’ 1-0

77’ 1-1

81’ 1-2

100’ 1-3

100’ + 1, 2-3

@ Duke’s Ride

Crowthorne

Berkshire

RG45 7PT

No Admission or Programme.

This was a very tight game which Wellington should really have won, but they were unable to hold out, despite going ahead with just 13 minutes of normal time left. They then managed to concede a goal in the first minute of extra time, before having a man sent off halfway through the second period. Having conceded again in the last minute, they did get a consolation goal with the last effort of the match.

Whitgift School v Leeds Grammar School

Independant Schools F.A. Cup 3rd Round

Wednesday 15th November 2017

Kick Off 13.00 Actual 12.59

Whitgift School 4 Leeds Grammar School 1,  attendance 25

13’ 1-0

32’ 2-0

37’ 3-0

40’ 4-0

79’ 4-1

@ Nottingham Road

Haling Park

South Croydon

CR2 6YT

No Admission or Programme.

The first half was probably the best I have ever seen in this competition. Superb passing, movement off the ball and quality finishing from Whitgift meant this was all over by halftime. Leeds didn’t play badly, but simply had no answer to a very strong home team.

Walton Casuals v Greenwich Borough

Isthmian League

South Division

Tuesday 14th November 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.48

Walton Casuals 1 Greenwich Borough 1,  attendance 89

70’ 1-0 (pen)

90’ 1-1

@ Elmbridge Sports Hub

Waterside Drive

Walton-on-Thames

KT12 2JP

£10 Admission

£2 Programme, 32 pages.

Casuals used to play in a different part of the complex. The old ground, which I visited 14th March 2000 (1-1 v Bedfont, Combined Counties League) is now covered by an athletics track, which is behind the main stand here at the new stadium. In between leaving the old ground, then moving in here a few weeks into the season, they played their home games at Cobham F.C. The new council owned facility is shared with Walton & Hersham, who have recently vacated their old ground at Stompond Lane.

Casuals, who are ninth in the league table, were so on top for most of this match, that it was hard to believe the visitors are in third place. Greenwich did very little, but their equalising goal was a quality finish after the striker beat two players before slotting the ball into the far corner of the net.

This visit completed the grounds in the South Division, The Isthmian League overall, and also Step 4.

Aveley v Barking

Isthmian League

North Division

Monday 13th November 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.50

Aveley 0 Barking 1,  attendance 241

54’ 0-1

@ Parkside

Park Lane

South Ockendon

Aveley

RM15 4PX

£10 Admission

£2 Programme, 24 pages.

Team Sheet, free.

I had visited the former home of Aveley, Mill Field, back on 7th September 1997 ( 1-2 versus Epsom & Ewell, Isthmian League Division 3) which was a Sunday morning fixture, which was due to the Saturday being the funeral of Princess Diana, and most sport closed down that day. Following the 11.30am kick off, I see from my records,that at 3pm I went on to visit the new ground of Crawley Town (0-0 versus Halesowen Town, Southern League Premier Division).

The new ground here is very impressive, having cover on all four sides and, unlike so many new builds, it has been completed in one go, rather than making additions if, and when, required. Sadly, the team here are rubbish and are left third from bottom of the league table with this result. Barking were marginally better and must normally be better than this as they occupy 9th place in the table.

This once again completes visits to all the grounds in this division of the Isthmian League.

Union Clubs Espagnols Liege v F.C. 1912 Raeren-Eynatten

Belgium

Liege Provincial 1

Sunday 12th November 2017

Kick Off 14.30  Actual 14.31

Union Clubs Espagnols Liege 2 F.C. 1912 Raeren-Eynatten 0,  attendance 108

57’ 1-0

75’ 2-0

@ Plaine Des Manoeuvres

Rue De Herve, 132

4030 Grivegnee

€7 Admission

No Programme.

Heading north from our overnight base in Arlon, along the E25, which took us through the high areas of The Ardennes and on towards Liege, we did question whether our intended match would survive the weather as snow had fallen overnight, but thankfully, as we dropped down, the fields returned to their natural green and there was no problem with the pitch when we arrived in Grivegnee, to the south east of Liege.

Our match today was 2nd v 3rd in the league table and two teams who we had seen win away matches in the last few weeks. The visitors had the better chances, but having failed to take them, the home side nicked it with two goals somewhat against the run of play and the win now takes them top of the league.

The journey back to The Tunnel was horrendous, with torrential rain and high winds, along with heavy spray on the motorway, meaning we missed the check in for our 19.50 booking by a few minutes. Not a problem though, as we were scheduled on the next train at 20.20. Unfortunately, this was then re-timed to 20.36, eventually leaving ten minutes late, at 20.46. The poor service is now becoming a regular thing and it isn’t helped when the trains are then running at full capacity, but with most of the toilets out of order. One near us was still in use, but the flush was broken…..it is times like this that I am glad to have no sense of smell !

R. Jeunesse Freylangeoise v R. Etoile Sportive Aubange

Belgium

Luxembourg Provincial 2A

Saturday 11th November 2017

Kick Off 20.00 Actual 20.04

R.Jeunesse Freylangeoise 5 R. Etoile Sportive Aubange 1,  attendance 58

22’ 1-0

32’ 2-0

41’ 2-1

71’ 3-1

83’ 4-1

90’ + 2, 5-1

@ Chemin Du Jungenbusch

6700 Arlon

€5 Admission

No Programme.

Despite having rained for most of the day, it did eventually stop around 5pm. The pitch here was no problem at all, even though there were a couple of very small puddles in one corner. Freylange are top of the league table, having won 9 and drawn 1, of their opening ten matches before tonight and look a good bet to make an immediate return back up to Provincial 1, having been relegated last season. Aubange, who were 10th, put up a good fight and were far better than the score line suggests and were easily the better side for large spells of the middle part of the match.

S.V. Saar 05 Saarbrucken v F.S.V. Viktoria Jagersburg

Germany

Oberliga Rheinland-Pfalz/Saar

Saturday 11th November 2017

Kick Off 14.30 Actual 14.35

S.V. Saar 05 Saarbrucken 1 F.S.V. Jagersburg 3,  attendance 112

10’ 0-1 (pen)

17’ 1-1

72’ 1-2

75’ 1-3

@ Stadion Kieselhumes, 3G Pitch

Am Kieselhumes

66121 Saarbrucken

€7 Admission

Programme, free, 32 pages.

As we had booked this trip some time ahead, we were not sure what options we would have for our Saturday afternoon fix. Only one fixture came up in Belgium, but I had already been there. The National League fixtures for Luxembourg offered us nothing at all, so it was a choice between heading north into The Netherlands, or the far easier option, considering where we were based on Friday evening, of nipping across in to Germany.

I am certainly not a great fan of German football, as I find the football very boring and have enjoyed very few of the games I have attended here. Also, on too many occasions, I have arrived at the very impressive stadium, only to find that the game is being played on a feature less synthetic pitch elsewhere in the complex. Sadly, this was another one to add to the list. The main stadium has a large seated stand and a full length open terrace opposite, whilst the 3G is just a pitch with a couple of raised steps along one side and no facilities whatsoever.

The excuse for not using the main stadium was that it had rained all morning, but the pitch was certainly not soft when walking on it. It is remarkable that a country of such standing, in football terms, can just switch games to a back pitch at level 5. I can’t imagine it would happen at a Football Conference match in England, although, I suppose, the game would be called off at the drop of a hat here, where at least you still get to see the match in Germany. Then again, it would be hard to imagine any club in the Conference only getting 112 spectators !

Saar are bottom of the league, whilst the visitors are eighth. It was a poor first half, but reasonable second. Saar had enough chances to win this, but Jagersburg scored with their first two decent chances of the second half, and that was game over.

From here, it was around 1 hour 20 minutes drive to our overnight stop, back in Arlon, Belgium, then another 5 miles to our evening match.

R. Sporting Club Rendeux v F.C. Petit-Han

Belgium

Luxembourg Provincial 3E

Friday 10th November 2017

Kick Off 20.30 Actual 20.29

R. Sporting Club Rendeux 1 F.C. Petit-Han 4,  attendance 53

15’ 0-1

48’ 0-2

55’ 0-3

61’ 1-3

90’ 1-4

@ Rue De Hotton 64A

6987 Rendeux

€5 Admission

No Programme.

This was game 1 of a long weekend that would take in matches in Belgium and Germany. The only minor problem tonight was that the first choice match for the driver was a ground that I had already visited, so I was being dropped here, whilst the others continued to their match. At least the rain that had been falling for most of the afternoon had stopped, so it was a dry walk of fifteen minutes to the ground from our hotel.

It was 8th v 4th in the league table, with Petit-Han dominating throughout, the win lifting them to second in the table, at least until the other weekend fixtures were completed. Rendeux finished the match with ten men, when their captain was dismissed in stoppage time, for a ‘last man’ foul.

Goldsmiths University London v Anglia Ruskin University 4th (Chelmsford)

British Universities & Colleges Sports

South Eastern 4D

Wednesday 8th November 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.01

Goldsmiths University London 4 Anglia Ruskin University 4th (Chelmsford) 2,  attendance 1

17’ 1-0

23’ 1-1

46’ 1-2

83’ 2-2

90’ + 1, 3-2

90’ + 7, 4-2

@ Loring Hall Sports Ground

Water Lane

Sidcup

DA14 5EJ

No Admission or Programme.

Well, it had to happen one day. For the first time ever, I was the only spectator !

The match was bottom v second bottom in the league table, with neither side having won a match yet. The visitors are part of Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge), who are listed as having the 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams. Rather oddly, the two teams run from the campus in Chelmsford are listed as the 4th and 5th teams, when in reality they are the 1st and 2nd teams, as all other Universities in the BUCS leagues are listed by their location, rather than which establishment they are governed by.

Anyway, as for the match, it was very entertaining considering the level. Ruskin took the lead early in the second half, then for some reason decided to try and hold what they had. They nearly managed it, but totally lost it when they conceded the equaliser with seven minutes left. There were a few scuffles and then when Goldsmiths took the lead in stoppage time, all hell broke loose. There were at least 4 fights, Ruskin had a man sent off for punching the Goldsmiths Coach and somehow the Referee managed to get the game going again and played a further eight minutes of added time, in which Goldsmiths added a fourth goal. At the final whistle there was more fighting as a number of the away team attacked the Goldsmiths Coach once more, but he managed to run to the changing rooms in an effort to calm the situation and avoid any further attacks, leaving the Referee and Ruskin Coach to try and sort it all out.

Caterpillar v Anstey Town

Leicestershire Senior League

League Cup 2nd Round

Tuesday 7th November 2017

Kick Off 19.30 Actual 19.29

Caterpillar 0 Anstey Town 2,  attendance 18

40’ 0-1

60’ 0-2

@ Caterpillar Sports & Social Club

Peckleton Lane

Desford

LE9 9JU

No Admission or Programme.

I never visited Caterpillar during their first spell in the Leicestershire Senior League, as they unexpectedly dropped out of the league at the end of the season. After a few years playing in the North Leicestershire League, they are now back in senior football.

The club had tweeted that the game was definitely on and club officials couldn’t recall a game being off due to waterlogging, which was good news, as it rained most of the day and only stopped a few minutes into the second half, but the pitch stood up to it without any problems.

Both these teams are in Division 1 of the L.S.L. (3rd v 13th) so the result was rather unexpected, but totally deserved. Caterpillar created very little, whilst the visitors could have added a couple more goals to the two that won it for them.

Match day visits to sporting stadia