Stokenchurch v Long Crendon

Hellenic League

Division 2 East

Saturday 30th September 2017

Kick Off 15.00. On Time

Stokenchurch 3 Long Crendon 1,  attendance 27

23′ 1-0

27′ 2-0

48′ 3-0

86′ 3-1

@ Loop Burrow

Park Lane

Stokenchurch

HP14 3TQ

No admission or programme.

I took the opportunity to visit Stokenchurch for a fixture versus a fellow first team, something that is not easy in the Hellenic League as the lower divisions are crammed with reserve and development teams. In fact, they won’t host another first team until December.

Today was 8th v 5th, although it was only the third league match of the season for the hosts. Long Crendon, who are new into the league this season, had played four games before today. If the visitors had put as much effort in to playing, as they did to moaning constantly at the Referee, then this might have been a more even contest.

Kings College Wimbledon Old Boys v Old Wykehamists

Arthurian League

Premier Division

Saturday 30th September 2017

Kick Off 11.00 Actual 11.13

Kings College Wimbledon Old Boys 1 Old Wykehamists 0,  attendance 5

41′ 1-0

@ Southfields Academy, 3G Pitch

333 Merton Road

Wandsworth

SW18 5JU

No admission or programme.

I started off today at a ground I had visited previously on 11th February 2012, when I saw Old Hamptonians 3 Dorking 4, in a Southern Combination Cup match. Today’s game was nowhere near as entertaining. Very few chances and Kings missed a chance to double their lead when they had a penalty saved just before the hour mark.

A.C.S. Hillingdon v Bury Grammar School

Independant Schools F.A. Cup 1st Round

Thursday 28th September 2017

Kick Off 14.30 Actual 14.32

A.C.S. Hillingdon 1 Bury Grammar School 1 (AET) 2-4 pens,  attendance 23

34′ 0-1

56′ 1-1

@ Iver Fields Sports Ground

Billet Lane

Iver Heath

SL0 0LT

No Admission

Team Sheet, free.

This was a dreadful game and neither team really deserved to win. A.C.S. (American Community School) missed their first two penalties in the shootout and there was no way back, as Bury scored their first four kicks to win it and they now entertain Harrodian School in the next round.

Park View v Cockfosters

Spartan South Midlands League

League Challenge Trophy 2nd Round

Wednesday 27th September 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.53

Park View 1 Cockfosters 3,  attendance 36

11′ 0-1

26′ 0-2

70′ 1-2

78′ 1-3

@ New River Stadium

New River Sports Centre

White Hart Lane

Wood Green

N22 5QW

No Admission

£2 Programme, 16 pages, 1 blank.

This is yet another stadium that I have previously visited to watch rugby league. On 29th June 2003, I saw London Skolars 6 Workington Town 52, attendance 324, in National League 2. The only change of note since then is that the grass pitch is now a 3G surface, which was probably a good thing tonight as it poured with rain for most of the match, although Park View did have their first home midweek game this season postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, so perhaps not.

Park View have started well in their first season in the Spartan South Midlands League, Division 2, and are unbeaten, winning five of their first six matches, which sees them second in the table. Cockfosters are two divisions higher, so were always favourites to win this.

Another match that kicked off late for no apparent reason, other than the incompetence of the match officials to get started on time and the game didn’t finish until 21.43.

Clay Cross Town v Askern

Central Midlands League

Floodlit Cup 1st Round

Tuesday 26th September 2017

Kick Off 19.45  On Time !

Clay Cross Town 7 Askern 2,  attendance 53

15′ 1-0

17′ 2-0

19′ 3-0

22′ 3-1

31′ 4-1

43′ 5-1

48′ 6-1

72′ 6-2

84′ 7-2

@ Mill Lane

Clay Cross

S45 9QF

£3 Admission

£1 Programme, 20 pages.

These two are in CML North, being 2nd v 6th in the league table. Clay Cross have won all five of their opening league fixtures, including a 10-1 thrashing of Askern on the opening day of the season, so this result probably wasn’t too much of a surprise. It should really have been double figures before halftime as Clay Cross were just too quick for Askern to cope with and the woodwork came to their aid three times as well. In all competitions, Clay Cross have now scored 30 goals at home already.

R.S.C. Habay-La-Neuve v R. Entente Bertrigeoise

Belgium

National League

Division 3 Amateurs ACCF B

Sunday 24th September 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 14.59

R.S.C. Habay-La-Neuve 2 R. Entente Bertrigeoise 0,  attendance 280

19′ 1-0

34′ 2-0

@ Stade E. Mathieu 

Rue Des Carosses

6720 Habay

€8 Admission

No Programme.

Division 3 Amateurs is actually level 5 of the Belgian League. Unusually, the province of Luxembourg has four clubs competing in this division this season, as normally, whoever wins Provincial 1 from here swaps places with the bottom club from the league, which is invariably the champions of the previous season of Luxembourg Provincial 1. These two are joined by R.R.C. Mormont, who broke the mould by serving last season, and R.R.C. Longlier and there are actually two further league clubs from the province, as  R. Excelsior Virton play at level 3 and R. Entente Durbuy at level 4.

Despite only being a few weeks into the season, this was already a relegation battle. Habay, who are competing in the Belgian League for the first time in their history, were second bottom in the league table, without a point, whilst Bertrix were fourth bottom, with 4 points. The game was not great, between two very average teams, although at least Habay are off the mark now.

Horrendous traffic jams on the E411 motorway meant we missed our check in for the 21.50 return on The Tunnel, but problems with trains running late meant we managed to get on the 22.20 instead, although this didn’t leave until 22.46.

At least with this ground now done, all the remaining Belgian League grounds I now have left to visit are less than 300 miles from home !

A.F.C. Solihull v Central Ajax

Midland League

Division 3

Saturday 23rd September 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.02

A.F.C. Solihull 2 Central Ajax 2,  attendance 23

33′ 0-1

75′ 1-1 (pen)

84′ 2-1

89′ 2-2

@ Tudor Grange Leisure Centre

Blossomfield Road

Solihull

B91 1NB

No admission or programme*

*Apparently there was a programme done for the game, but the person who does it had left it in his porch at home. At least it makes a change from the usual excuse that the printer broke down/the man who does it is on holiday etc, etc.

There can’t be too many grounds better than this for the level of football it hosts. Today’s game was 15th (second bottom) v 4th. Solihull played really well and it was a shame they couldn’t hold out for the win, but at least this point has lifted them one place up the league table. After the last minute equaliser, there were a couple of punches thrown during the goal celebration, which resulted in a red card for each team.

Stockton Town v Marske United

Northern League

Division 1

Wednesday 20th September 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.47

Stockton Town 0 Marske United 3,  attendance 415

10′ 0-1

66′ 0-2

71′ 0-3

@ Bishopton Road West

Stockton-on-Tees

TS19 0QD

£6 Admission

£1 Programme, 16 pages.

I had visited Bishopton Road West to watch Stockton Town when they were members of the Wearside League ( 12th March 2011, 1-2 v Darlington Cleveland Bridge, attendance 20) when they played on a grass pitch about 300-400 yards from the clubhouse. The clubhouse is still in use, but they have now moved to a 3G pitch in another part of the complex. When entering the car park, the new ground is in the near left hand corner, whilst their old pitch, which is still used by youth teams, was through a gate in the far right hand corner of the car park.

Stockton have been a club very much on the rise since my last visit. They won the Wearside League for four consecutive seasons from 2012/13 through to 2015/16, then won Northern League Division 2 following their promotion. Two Wearside League Cups, two Monkwearmouth Charity Cups and the Shipowners Cup were also won during this period.

This season has seen them struggle a bit, losing their first eight matches of the season, but they have got off the mark by winning their last two league fixtures, which currently sees them sitting 19th in the league table (fourth bottom), whilst the visitors were fifth coming into this game. The early goal by Marske settled them down and the victory was very comfortable.

The ground is awful, sadly the case for so many of these ‘functional’ stadiums that are now replacing those that had some individual character. There are too many areas around the pitch where spectators cannot stand and far too many poor sight lines, especially with the number of spare sets of goal frames leaning inside the pitch barrier.

Apparently, tonight set a new record crowd for a Stockton Town league match, although they did better it with an even more impressive 432 for an F.A. Vase tie. The ground, in its current lay out, would not offer great viewing if crowds increase much more on this, although with the team now struggling a bit, the increased numbers may also level off.

Even with a good run, it was still 02.15 when I got home, but at least the Northern League is completed once more.

Yorkshire 2nd XI v Durham 2nd XI

Friendly Match

Day 2 (of 3)

Wednesday 20th September 2017

10.30 Start

Yorkshire 2nd XI v Durham 2nd XI

@ Scarborough Cricket Club

North Marine Road

Scarborough

YO12 7TJ

Free Admission

£1 Official Scorecard, 4 pages.

I am not really a cricket fan, but with a full day to kill before an evening football match, this fitted the bill perfectly. Even better when it was free !

I had only ever been to one cricket match before…….New South Wales ‘SpeedBlitz Blues’ v England, played at Sydney Cricket Ground, Monday 13th November 2006 in a warm up to The Ashes. That was also Day 2 and played in a place beginning with the letter S, so at least I was continuing a theme….

Scarborough Cricket Ground has been hosting games since 1863 and has a current capacity of 11,500. The two ‘ends’ here are known as the Peasholm Park End and The Trafalgar Square End.  Nowadays, it still hosts Yorkshire home games, when they are not at Headingly, and has previously hosted England One Day Internationals versus New Zealand and The West Indies, albeit back in the 1970’s. The record attendance here is 22,946 when Yorkshire hosted Derbyshire in 1947.

After a little over 4 hours here, it was time for a late lunch, before heading off for my evening football fix in County Durham. Yorkshire had batted all day and were just over 50 runs short of Durhams total as I headed for the exit.

Scarborough Athletic v Mossley

Northern Premier League

Division 1 North

Tuesday 19th September 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.46

Scarborough Athletic 4 Mossley 1,  attendance 819

5′ 1-0

45′ + 2, 1-1

59′ 2-1 (pen)

71′ 3-1

90′ + 1, 4-1

@ Flamingo Land Stadium

Scarborough Sports Village

Ashburn Road

YO11 2JW

£10 Admission

£2 Programme

20p Team Sheet.

Back on 14th October 1989, I visited the McCain Stadium, in Seamer Road, when I saw Scarborough 3 Grimsby Town 1, attendance 2,828, in Division 4 of the Football League. Since then, Scarborough were wound up in the High Court in 2007 and the stadium was also to disappear and the site is now a Lidl supermarket.

Scarborough Athletic were then formed, competing in the Northern Counties (East) League, playing their home matches at Queensgate, home of Bridlington Town, some 18 miles down the coast. This year they have ‘returned’ to the town, at their brand new 2,070 capacity (250 seats) stadium, complete with 3G pitch.

Quite what sort of view spectators would actually have if the attendance was anything near the quoted capacity is hard to say. Tonight, with just over 800 here, it wasn’t great. It is quite clear that if the club are to progress, the stadium will need quite a bit of work to accommodate increased numbers through the gate, but it will get them by in the mean time. Of course, they might never get back to the heights of the Football League.

It was a good job Boro scored early, as Mossley looked content to play for a 0-0 draw. They still lacked adventure having conceded so early in the game and the eventual 4-1 score line was a good reflection of the way the game went. Goals number three and four for the hosts were superb strikes. I would go as far to say that this was easily the best match I have seen this season and it kept the interest throughout, despite the visitors negative attitude.

£10 admission is a bit steep for this level of football, in my opinion, and the programme is rubbish for £2. It was nice to park at the stadium for free and it took less than five minutes to get away afterwards. At least the Northern Premier League is re-completed.