Colden Common v Bush Hill

Hampshire Premier League

Senior Division

Wednesday 29th March 2017

Kick Off 18.00 Actual 18.02

Colden Common 1 Bush Hill 2,  attendance 23

13′ 0-1

47′ 1-1

76′ 1-2

@ Colden Common Park

Boyes Lane

SO21 1TA

No admission or programme.

This is supposed to be a temporary ground for Colden Common, whilst the changing rooms at their Main Road ground are brought up to standard for the Hampshire Premier League.

Bush Hill arrived as league leaders, and after this win, require a maximum of 4 more points to take the title, if Fleetlands pick up maximum points from their remaining fixtures.

With the game kicking off a couple of minutes late, and quite a bit of cloud cover, the game was played as 2 x 40 minute halves. As it was all over by 19.30 it would probably have been possible to get the other 10 minutes in before it was too dark (photo below was taken at the final whistle) but much more sensible not to have risked it.

Albion Rovers v Cwmbran Town

Gwent County League

Division 1

Tuesday 28th March 2017

Kick Off 18.00 Actual 17.56 !

Albion Rovers 5 Cwmbran Town 1,  attendance 30

10′ 1-0

43′ 1-1

64′ 2-1

78′ 3-1

80′ 4-1

86′ 5-1

@ Kimberley Park

Malpas Way


NP20 7BH

No admission or programme.

These two clubs have played at higher levels of the Welsh Pyramid than they currently ply their trade, the top division of the Gwent County League being the fifth level of football in Wales. I never got to visit Albion Rovers during their days in the Welsh League, whilst Cwmbran Town have played in the League of Wales, as it was known when it was formed, being the inaugural champions, thus going on to represent Wales in European Competition.

When I arrived at the ground at 17.35, I was surprised to see both teams on the pitch, although half a dozen home players were either forking the pitch, or sweeping standing water from the near goalmouth. This came as a complete surprise to me, as I had not encountered any rain en route.

The Referee had completed his inspection and said that as long as the water was cleared, then the game would go ahead on the proper pitch. If not, it would take place on a parallel pitch that had no facilities whatsoever, although they would need to get clearance from the Gwent County League Secretary to do this, as it is a league requirement that all pitches must be railed off. Ten minutes later, the nets were up and we were good to go…..on the proper pitch.

Albion were the better team throughout and were certainly not flattered by the result. If it wasn’t for a 12 point deduction, they would be well in the running for the league title and would be 4th in the table, three points behind the teams in 3rd and 2nd, with a game in hand on both and just a further 2 points adrift of leaders Malpas United, but with 4 games in hand ! Unfortunately, the points loss leaves them in ninth place.

Having kicked off some four minutes early, followed by a quick halftime turnaround, this was all over by 19.34, before it became too gloomy and an excellent start to the early evening kick offs where the clubs without floodlights are now able to schedule midweek games.

Bourton Rovers v Moreton Rangers

Hellenic League

Division 2 West

Saturday 25th March 2017

Kick Off 15.00  Actual 15.02

Bourton Rovers 2 Moreton Rangers 1,  attendance 124

25′ 0-1

47′ 1-1

83′ 2-1

@ Rissington Road


GL54 2EB

No admission or programme.

This was 3rd v 2nd at the start of play and a rare chance to do a league fixture involving two first teams, due to the Hellenic League being one of the worst leagues in the Step 5 to Step 7 bracket for being swamped with Reserve sides. A typical local derby, the visitors being from Moreton-in-Marsh, 8 miles up the road. It was a keenly fought contest, but looked like boiling over at times and the inevitable red card went the way of the visitors on 66 minutes.

What was totally laughable, was the official attendance for the game….251. As it is a two sided ground, the photos clearly show how exaggerated this figure was.

University Reading v St. Mary’s University

British Universities & Colleges Sport

South Eastern 2A

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.06

University Reading 3 St. Mary’s University 0,  attendance 17

31′ 1-0

67′ 2-0

87′ 3-0

@ University Reading Sports Park

Bulmershe Pavilion

Woodlands Avenue


No admission or programme.

With rain overnight and it forecast to continue for most of today, I gave up on the idea of heading north for Bilborough Town and settled for a guaranteed game, with the possibility of going to Hythe & Dibden in the evening. As it turned out, it was the correct decision, as both evening games were postponed. A phone call to Reading at 12 o’clock had confirmed that the game here was going ahead and even at the end of the game, the pitch looked just as good as it had at the start.

This division could still be won by three different teams, as going into this, the table stood at…….

St. Mary’s, Played 9, Pts 16……..Reading, Played 8, Pts 15…….Brunel, Played 9, Pts 15

This meant that St.Marys would have won the league with a win. The victory for Reading leaves them 3 Pts clear of Brunel, but with an inferior goal difference. The last game just happens to be Brunel v Reading, although Reading seemed of the opinion that they should receive a walkover win, as Brunel have failed to so far agree to a new date for this previously postponed fixture.

Shaw Lane A.F.C. V Loughborough Dynamo

Northern Premier League

Division 1 South

Tuesday 21st March 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.51

Shaw Lane A.F.C. 4 Loughborough Dynamo 0,  attendance 145

4′ 1-0

12′ 2-0

25′ 3-0

31′ 4-0

@ Shaw Lane


S70 6HZ

£6 Admission

£1.50 Programme, 20 pages.

Well, this went with the formbook, as the league leaders made short work of the second from bottom visitors. It was game over as soon as the second goal went in and the game went rapidly downhill from there. The second half was as bad a game as you could possibly see. Utter garbage.

Shaw Lane are not a very nice bunch. Constant whinging and moaning throughout. If they are like that when they win almost every game, then they will be unbearable when they meet better sides who will beat them regularly as they climb the pyramid.

There was also one of their ‘supporters’ who really let the club down with his behaviour. Stood next to the home dugout, beer can in hand, constantly shouting obscenities for the whole ground to hear, then directing homophobic shouts at the Dynamo ‘keeper who was receiving treatment to an injury received in an obvious foul. When challenged to keep his comments to himself, by an away supporter, he then threatened him and said he would wait for him in the car park afterwards and ‘stab him up’. What a great advert he is for the club !

The only bright spot from the evening is that this completes visits to all of the current Step 4 grounds.

R. Anhee F.C. V U.S. Pesche


Namur Provincial 1

Sunday 19th March 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.01

R. Anhee F.C. 0 U.S. Pesche 2,  attendance 65

3′ 0-1

4′ 0-2

@ Complexe Sportif d’ Anhee

Rue du Petit Bois

5537 Anhee

€6 Admission

No programme. (Team Sheet only available to Press).

Well, over half the crowd will have missed the two goals today, as there were barely more than a dozen spectators there at kick off.

It was a real relegation battle. Anhee are well bottom of the league, but had won two of their previous three games. Pesche are third bottom, so will have been looking at this as a good opportunity to pick up three points to aid their fight in avoiding the drop.

After less than five minutes it was game over. A goal at any stage for Anhee may have improved things, but that never really looked like it would happen.

As ever in Belgium, you never know what type of ground you are going to stumble across, as there are no requirements for seats or covered accommodation, whatever level you play at in Provincial football. Not a ground that will live long in the memory, apart from the fact that it was the 750th ground I have now seen a match on in Belgium.

A.F.C. Petersfield v Upham

Hampshire Premier League

Division 1

Saturday 18th March 2017

Kick Off 15.00, On Time !

A.F.C. Petersfield 0 Upham 1,  attendance 10

72′ 0-1

@ Love Lane


GU31 4BW

No admission or programme.

The ground is next door to Petersfield Town, of the Southern League. The car park is shared, so with both clubs kicking off at the same time, spaces were at a premium. At halftime, hot drinks were available from the changing room building and despite there being a price list displayed, they were free of charge !

A.F.C. are bottom of the table, and can’t finish any higher, whilst the visitors are third, and with just one more game to play after today, look like finishing in that position. Upham dominated for most of the game, but struggled to make the breakthrough, hitting the woodwork three times. When the winner came, it took a 25 yard effort, in off the post, to finally break the deadlock.

Redcar Town v Guisborough Three Fiddles

Teesside League

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Kick Off 19.30, On Time !

Redcar Town 2 Guisborough Three Fiddles 0,  attendance 38

61′ 1-0

84′ 2-0 (pen)

@ Mo Mowlem Memorial Park

Trunk Road


TS10 5BW

No admission or programme.

From the game in York, I had a couple of options, either go to Stockton Town, which would have completed the Northern League, or go here, which will probably host far fewer midweek games than the former. As it had been dry for a few days, it was better to do Redcar, as it is a grass pitch, whereas Stockton play on a 3G pitch, so it can wait for a day when the weather is less favourable.

It was only 4 miles further to come here, some 57 miles north of York, the majority of which was on the A19. The ground here is probably the best in the league, although I haven’t visited a Teesside League ground for at least 10 years, and wouldn’t require too much work for them to progress into the Northern League if they wanted to.

Another match that kicked off on time and we even had an earlier than expected finish, with both teams, and the match officials, staying out on the pitch for a five minute halftime !

A dreadful journey home, with the M1 having endless sections of 50 mph speed limits and the closure from Junction 20 to 18. Completed the 285 miles, including a couple of stops, in five and a half hours, climbing into bed at 0250.

York St. John University v Teesside University

British Universities & Colleges Sport

Northern 3B

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Kick Off 16.15, On Time !

York St. John University 0 Teesside University 2,  attendance 18

12′ 0-1

88′ 0-2

@ York St. John University Sports Park, 3G Pitch

Nestle Rowntrees Park

Haxby Road


YO31 8TA

No admission or programme.

A nice easy 35 mile drive to here from Leeds. Again, it was a venue I had previously visited for a match, having seen Nestle Rowntrees beat Bardsey 6-1 in the West Yorkshire League, Premier Division, on 18th March 2000. In those days, the ground was known as Mille Crux, and the grass pitch I saw the game on is still there, as is the small section of cover that runs along the Haxby Road side of the pitch.

The 3G pitch is built on the opposite side of some new buildings from the grass pitches and runs parallel to a brand new synthetic hockey pitch.

The match was 2nd v 3rd in the league table, although neither team could finish in any other position, whatever the outcome of today’s game.

Leeds Beckett University v Leeds Trinity University

British Universities & Colleges Sport

Northern 2B

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Kick Off 13.00 Actual 13.04

Leeds Beckett University 2 Leeds Trinity University 2,  attendance 53

37′ 1-0

49′ 2-0

68′ 2-1 (OG)

81′ 2-2

@ Carnegie Headingley Campus, 3G Pitch

Church Wood Avenue



No admission or programme.

Beckett knew a win would mean they had won the league and all looked to be going well, until they conceded an own goal and they totally lost their way. The late equaliser meant that they could be pipped for top spot by University Northumbria 2nds, who were due to play at home later in the afternoon. As it turned out, Northumbria lost 1-3 to University Leeds.

I had been to a game here on 16th March 2005,(4-6 AET, v University Northumbria, in a Championship QF) when they were known as Leeds Metropolitan University, but that game was played on what is known as ‘Top Pitch’, which runs lengthways beyond the 3G pitch, albeit slightly offset. The only difference being the green barrier around the pitch is now replaced by a white one. It had also been free to park on the university campus in those days. Today, it was £2.40.

I had left home at 0730, for the 227 miles drive north, via M25 and M1, which allowed time for a stop off at Shepshed Truck Stop, (off Junction 23 of the M1) and a very good ‘Full English’, on what was hopefully going to be the first match of an intended treble of games today.