Ynysddu Welfare v Machen

Gwent County League

Division 2

Monday 18th September 2017

Kick Off 20.00 Actual 20.01

Ynysddu Welfare 3 Machen 0,  attendance 75

27′ 1-0

57′ 2-0

64′ 3-0

@ Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre, 3G Pitch

Coed Cae Ddu Road

Blackwood

NP12 2DA

No admission

Programme, free, 32 pages.

The first thing to note here, is the superb programme they issue, (produced by Manager Benjamin Murphy) which is free, and puts many clubs to shame higher up in the game who produce far inferior programmes to this, but have the cheek to charge £2 for them !

The club are now playing out of their own village, having left Ynysddu Welfare Park (visited 30th September 2003, 1-1 versus Cwmaman Institute, South Wales Amateur League Division 1) for the 3G pitch here at the Leisure Centre. We were told that despite being relatively new, this site is to be sold off for housing, but apparently there is already a replacement facility built nearby, so another visit to the valleys will have to be made some day.

As for the game, which was 3rd v 7th, Ynysddu were the better side throughout, with the third goal being the pick of the bunch. The win now sees them go second in the league table behind Wattsville, who are top by way of a superior goal difference.

S.V. Herkol v K.V.V. Weerstand Koersel

Belgium

Limburg Provincial 1

Sunday 17th September 2017

Kick Off 15.00  Actual 15.02

S.V. Herkol 2 K.V.V. Weerstand Koersel 2,  attendance 141

12′ 0-1

57′ 1-1

78′ 2-1

86′ 2-2

@ Herent

3910 Neerpelt

€8 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

S.V. Herkol are newly promoted into Provincial 1 this season. On this performance I don’t think either club will be challenging for promotion into the Belgian League system at the end of the season, although the game itself was very entertaining as a neutral, especially the second half.

Pretty uneventful journey outbound, but once again the UK Passport Control were pathetically slow on the return journey, which caused us to miss our 20.36 train, having queued for 45 minutes once through the check-in, but instead were on the 20.50.

Freeland v Chalgrove Cavaliers

Oxfordshire Senior League

Premier Division

Saturday 16th September 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.02

Freeland 3 Chalgrove Cavaliers 0,  attendance 16

31′ 1-0

57′ 2-0

77′ 3-0

@ Freeland Village Hall

Wroslyn Road

Freeland

OX29 8AL

No admission or programme.

Early days, but this was 3rd v 6th. A young Chalgrove team competed well throughout, but the hosts had that extra bit of quality and were deserved winners. Having decided to give up the evening match that I had intended to do when leaving home this morning, I stuck with my original choice of Freeland for my afternoon game, as I had seen them away at Mansfield Road, towards the end of last season, when they were a very entertaining team to watch. Nothing looks to have changed.

Drayton v Uffington United

North Berks League

Division 3

Saturday 16th September 2017

Kick Off 10.45 Actual 10.52

Drayton 7 Uffington United 1,  attendance 92 

8′ 1-0

16′ 2-0

29′ 3-0

51′ 4-0

55′ 5-0 (pen)

57′ 6-0

67′ 6-1

69′ 7-1

@ Diamond Light Source

Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

Chilton

OX11 0DE

£4 Admission, including programme *

* As I will not buy programmes on ground hops organised by Groundhop UK, I jokingly asked the girl on the gate if it was any cheaper to get in if I didn’t want the programme. “Go on then, £2” was the reply. Still £2 more than any other game in this league, but much better than the extortionate £4 that Groundhop UK force the clubs to charge for this level of football.

This was the first of three matches today on the ‘North Berks League Hop’. This match was to be a ‘one off’ at this ground, as it has never been used previously by a Saturday club. Drayton have featured on a previous NBL Hop, when the game was staged on their proper ground in the village, a few miles north of here.

On arrival, it became apparent that both teams were in yellow and black. Both having black shorts and socks, but the Drayton shirts had black stripes. However, due to the colour clash, Drayton played with their shirts inside out, which looked more of a clash than when they were the correct way……plus it meant they had no numbers visible !

This must have been embarrassing for the North Berks League officials in attendance, especially when they went round trying to sell copies of the league handbook, which clearly neither of today’s clubs had bothered to reference following the cock up with the kits !

Even the programme (I was shown a copy by someone) could have done with proof reading, as the front cover stated the ground address as being in ChiltERN, rather than the correct spelling of the village ChiltON !!!!

Two very poor teams, with Uffington being absolutely awful. The only decent player on view was the lad up front for Drayton who bagged four goals. No idea what his number was…… and once again the attendance figure was inflated, with the official attendance according to Groundhop UK being 112.

I had already seen a match at the middle game on the schedule, so was planning to go elsewhere, before returning to take in the third game. After watching this farce, I decided to cut my treble down to a double instead and not bother with the evening match at Westminster.

K.F.C. Meulebeke v K.S.V. Diksmuide

Belgium

West Vlaanderen Provincial 2A

Friday 15th September 2017

Kick Off 20.00 Actual 19.58

K.F.C. Meulebeke 1 K.S.V. Diksmuide 1,  attendance 149

23′ 1-0 (pen)

38′ 1-1

@ Dr. Leo Abeele Stadion

Inglemunstersteenweg 11

(entrance via Ter Borchtlaan)

8760 Meulebeke

€6 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

This was 6th v 1st. Diksmuide have played as high as the third division of the Belgian League and were relegated back into the Provincial league less than 10 years ago.

Diksmuide had a player sent off for a handball that led to Meulebeke taking the lead from the penalty spot, but they were well worth the draw, and even had a second player red carded in the last minute for an over the top tackle.

Delayed both ways on The Tunnel……9 minutes late going out, due to a re-timed schedule, then 7 minutes late on the return, this time thanks to the UK Passport checks causing massive queues, despite the time of night. It doesn’t help when only one booth is open !

Lingfield College v Trinity School, Croydon

Independant Schools F.A. Cup

Preliminary Round

Wednesday 13th September 2017

Kick Off 15.15. On Time

Lingfield College 4 Trinity School, Croydon 4 (AET) 7-6 penalties,  attendance 20

9′ 1-0 (pen)

14′ 1-1

30′ 1-2

40′ 1-3

55′ 2-3

73′ 3-3

82′ 3-4

86′ 4-4

@ Lingfield College

St. Pier’s Lane

Lingfield

RH7 6PN

No admission or programme.

The senior competition of the Independant Schools F.A. involves the U-19 age groups, where matches are 80 minutes duration and extra time, if required, is played as 2 x 10 minute periods.

There wasn’t much between these two teams. The penalties were all scored up until it was 6-6. Trinity, who had gone first, missed their next two, with Lingfield missing their first chance to win it, but scoring the next kick to advance to the 1st Round, where they will visit Bolton School.

R.S.G. v Southside Star

Cheltenham League

Junior Charity Cup

Group Match

Tuesday 12th September 2017

Kick Off 18.00 Actual 18.05

R.S.G. 5 Southside Star 3,  attendance 13

2′ 0-1

22′ 1-1

29′ 1-2

37′ 2-2

62′ 2-3

64′ 3-3

75′ 4-3

90′ 5-3 (pen)

@ Springfields Park

Springbank Way

Cheltenham

GL51 0LT

No admission or programme.

This was to be my final ‘early kick off’ as the nights now begin to draw in. Despite kicking off five minutes late, the Referee still played the full 45 minutes each way, as well as a couple of minutes stoppage time in each half, so it was very gloomy when this finished at 19.43.

R.S.G. had to win this match to progress from the group. A very even contest, that could have gone either way and it was only settled when the hosts scored a last minute penalty, the visitors having had a man sent off for dissent following the award of the spot kick.

Coventry United v Tipton Town

F.A. Vase

1st Qualifying Round

Sunday 10th September 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.01

Coventry United 3 Tipton Town 1,  attendance 282

38′ 0-1

50′ 1-1

58′ 2-1

83′ 3-1

@ Butts Park Arena ( Coventry R.U.F.C.)

Butts Road

Coventry

CV1 3GE

£7 Admission

£1.50 Programme, 16 pages

Free Pocket Guide, 40 pages.

Butts Park Arena was built in 2004 and has a capacity of 3,000, which is basically the number of seats in the main stand. It is mainly used for rugby and has been home to Coventry R.U.F.C. since it opened, as well as Coventry Bears R.L.F.C.(I visited on 5th September 2004, 36-18, versus Sheffield Hilsborough Hawks, National League 3) and from 2005-2010 the Coventry Jets American Football team also played here. This season, it has also become home to Coventry United, who were formed in 2013 and started life at The Alan Higgs Centre. On the pitch they have had a very successful start, winning promotion from the Midland Division 3 in 2014, then being champions of Division 2 the following season, before winning Division 1 in 2016. They are currently top of the Premier Division, having won five and drawn one, of their opening six league matches.

There looked like there might have been a cup shock when the visitors, from West Midlands (Regional) League Division 1, took the lead just before halftime, although once they were pegged back, they never looked capable of scoring another goal and Coventry comfortably progressed to the next round.

Despite the ground being floodlit, the chance to visit on a Sunday was too good to miss. Others were obviously thinking the same, as incredibly, almost a third of the attendance were ground hoppers !

Clee Hill United v Craven Arms Town

Shropshire Premier League

Premier Division

Saturday 9th September 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.02

Clee Hill United 6 Craven Arms Town 1,  attendance 35

18′ 0-1

24′ 1-1

35′ 2-1 (pen)

42′ 3-1

65′ 4-1

74′ 5-1

90′ 6-1 (pen)

@ Knowle Sports Ground

Tenbury Road

Knowle

Clee Hill

SY8 3NJ

No admission or programme.

For the second successive Saturday I was at the Knowle Sports Ground, although this one being some 160 miles north of last weeks venue down in Hampshire and also a fair bit higher up, which at 950 feet, is one of the highest grounds above sea level in the county of Shropshire.

I had previously seen Clee Hill United play a ‘home’ game in the nearby town of Cleobury Mortimer, at Cleobury Mortimer Sports & Social Club, Love Lane (1-0 v Wellington Amateurs, Shropshire County League, Ron Jones Memorial Cup Semi Final, 21st May 2003) during a period when they were unable to play in Knowle as the pitch was being levelled.

Craven Arms have been promoted into the Premier Division of the newly named Shropshire Premier League (formerly Mercian Regional League and before that Shropshire County League) this season and suffered a 1-7 home defeat last week, whilst Clee Hill had a resounding 9-2 win away at Gobowen Celtic. When CAT took the lead it looked like a shock may be on the cards, but a quick leveller for CHU meant the game went as expected.

Bilborough Town v Basford United Community

Nottinghamshire Senior League

League Cup

1st Round

Friday 8th September 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.54

Bilborough Town 2 Basford United Community 3,  attendance 52

27′ 0-1

51′ 1-1

57′ 1-2

62′ 1-3

77′ 2-3

@ Harvey Hadden Stadium

Wigman Road

Nottingham

NG8 4PB

No admission or programme.

Back on 10th March 1991 I came here to watch rugby league, seeing Nottingham City 20 Runcorn 14 in Division 2 of the national league set up. I returned last season, on Wednesday 15th February, to watch football, but despite the home club tweeting throughout the day that the pitch was perfect and that the game was on, this was far from the case, and on arrival i found out that the match had been postponed. Hardly surprising given the size of the puddle in the goal mouth !

With this game brought forward from Saturday, it was a good opportunity to visit the ground before the winter weather sets in and one where I wouldn’t have to rely on misleading information from the home club regarding pitch conditions. The only draw back was battling the Friday traffic. This meant a dreadful 4 hours 37 minutes drive north. Even with three sections of single lane roadworks on the M1 and M25, the return journey took two hours less.

The match itself took a while to get going, and not just because the match officials somehow managed to get the game started nine minutes late, but Basford were deserved winners and perhaps a surprise result, as it was 3rd v 14th in the league table.