C.B. Hounslow United v Camberley Town

Combined Counties League

Premier Division

Tuesday 31st October 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.46

C.B. Hounslow United 0 Camberley Town 1,  attendance 72

57’ 0-1

@ Green Lane

Hounslow

TW4 6DH

£6 Admission

£1 Programme, 40 pages (double issue with game on Saturday 4th November).

The ‘C.B.’ stands for Cater Bank, which was the company owned by the father of the current Chairman. According to the match programme, it has taken 17 years of fund raising and negotiation to enable the club to finally get a ground of their own, after many years of ground shares. The new ground is ok, as far as new builds go, and the pitch is absolutely superb and hard to tell that it is real grass, rather than artificial, due to the immaculate appearance. Sadly, once again, the social side of the layout is awful. Everything from toilets/clubhouse/tea bar are outside the ground, which must greatly affect the takings, especially for the tea bar, as it is on the far side of the building and has the slowest service imaginable.

As for the match, it was really poor and looked like a 0-0 banker. Hounslow missed a stoppage time penalty, that was well saved, but they didn’t really deserve a point had it gone in. The boredom of the match meant plenty of time to view the endless stream of airplanes coming low over the ground as they make their approach into nearby London Heathrow Airport, with the gap at roughly 90 seconds between planes for the entirety of the game and something that would be far better seen at a non floodlit match from a plane spotters view.

This once again completes visits to all the Combined Counties League grounds, although technically I do still need Walton & Hersham at their new ground, but as it is also home to Walton Casuals, who play at a higher level, then I would rather save my first visit for one of their home games.

K.F.C. Meise v V.C. Houtem-Oplinter

Belgium

Brabant Provincial 1 V.F.V.

Sunday 29th October 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 14.59

K.F.C. Meise 2 V.C. Houtem-Oplinter 2,  attendance 106

19’ 1-0

39’ 2-0

83’ 2-1

84’ 2-2

@ Sportpark De Nekker

Sint-Annastraat 29

1860 Meise

€8 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

Meise are newly promoted into Provincial 1. The visitors are a merged club, last season being V.V. Houtem (Prov 1) and K. Arsenal Oplinter (Prov 2).

They are both struggling this season, today being bottom of the league table v third bottom. Meise have only managed 2 points from their first six matches, but they blew a great chance of getting their first win of the season today and in the end were lucky to hold onto a point.

Eurotunnel were once again struggling to cope on a busy weekend, due to it being the end of the schools half term. Our booked 08.20 shuttle was cancelled and we were placed on the 08.31, which failed to leave until 08.44. Still problems on the way back, as our booked 19.36 departure didn’t depart until 19.50.

N.P.L. v A.F.C. Spelthorne Sports

Surrey Elite Intermediate League

Saturday 28th October 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.03

N.P.L. 1 A.F.C. Spelthorne Sports 2,  attendance 22

28’ 0-1

40’ 0-2

79’ 1-2

@ N.P.L. Sports Club

Queens Road

Teddington

TW11 0LZ

No Admission or Programme.

N.P.L. stands for National Physical Laboratory. I arrived here to find a game in progress,(another one followed it at 3pm) on a pitch to the right of the entrance, The main pitch here is to the left, being nearest the cricket pavilion, clubhouse and football changing rooms. There are also tennis courts beyond the far touchline.

This was a mid table battle, being 7th v 8th. Spelthorne just about edged it, although they did survive a 90th minute penalty miss, that was well saved by the ‘keeper and a ridiculous eleven minutes of stoppage time, to take the points.

Old Sennockians v Old Cholmeleians

Arthurian League

Arthur Dunn Cup 1st Round

Saturday 28th October 2017

Kick Off 12.00 Actual 12.05

Old Sennockians 2 Old Cholmeleians 1,  attendance 3

3’ 0-1

57’ 1-1

66’ 2-1

@ Barn Elms Sports Centre, Pitch 5

Queen Elizabeth Walk

Barnes

London

SW13 9SA

No Admission or Programme.

This was probably my last Saturday double until March, unless I take in a floodlit match as part 2, but I prefer to save those grounds for midweek. The league website had the venue as Barn Elms Playing Fields, but that is the first set of pitches along the driveway on the right. The game was actually at the Barn Elms Sports Centre, which is a mixture of rugby and football pitches and is 100 yards further along the road. There was another noon kick off on the adjacent pitch, as well as four more games due to kick off at 2pm. There were also 6 rugby games, one of them being Barnes first XV, where there is a small seated stand. Clearly visible, on the other side of the Thames, is Craven Cottage, home to Fulham F.C. Despite it not getting dark until around 6 o’clock, the floodlights were on at 1.30pm, as they were hosting Bolton Wanderers at 3pm.

The main event, as far as I was concerned, was 5th in Division 3 v 5th in Division 1, the hosts only having the bare eleven players, whilst the visitors at least managed a substitute, although apparently he was injured, although he did come on for the last twenty minutes. Two very poor sides, lacking in many of the basics. The game was won when a defender hacked a clearance from near the halfway line and it sailed over the ‘keeper who appeared to totally misjudge where he was and had he taken a step backwards, could have easily tipped it over. We were spared extra time when the visitors smashed an effort off the crossbar with the last kick of the match.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town v Oxford City Nomads

Hellenic League

Premier Division

Wednesday 25th September 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.48

Royal Wootton Bassett Town 0 Oxford City Nomads 5,  attendance 72

8’ 0-1

44’ 0-2

50’ 0-3

79’ 0-4

86’ 0-5

@ Gerard Buxton Sports Ground

Brinkworth Road

Royal Wootton Bassett

SN4 8DS

£6 Admission

£1.50 Programme, 60 pages.

I had visited Wootton Bassett previously, before the ‘Royal’ was added, to take in a match at their old ground. They took a hammering that night as well, losing 0-4 versus Abingdon United, again in Hellenic League, Premier Division, on 24th September 2002. Oddly, it was just three days after I made my first visit to the ground I had been to this afternoon.

Despite being a relatively new ground, it is poorly laid out. Neither the clubhouse(which is really in the cricket club) or the toilets are within the fence surrounding the ground and the floodlights were really poor and must be some of the dimmest anywhere at Step 5. The photos don’t really show how bad the lights were to the naked eye.

I very rarely look at my match programme until I get home, but it is a pretty good effort, with plenty of reading amongst the mammoth 60 pages. Only one criticism really, it needed being more up to date, as the results page was 11 days behind. It would be far better to do a programme half the size and bang up to date and therefore more relevant to the match.

The result was rather unexpected, as it was 8th v 15th at start of play. Bassett had only lost one of their last twelve matches, but were flattered by the 0-5 score. It could easily have been double figures and a red card for the hosts, on 65 minutes, just rounded off a bad night for them.

Tonights visit completes the Hellenic League, Premier Division once more.

Imperial College London v University East London

British Universities & Colleges Sport

South Eastern 1A

Wednesday 25th October 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.01

Imperial College London 2 University East London 3,  attendance 4

18’ 0-1

26’ 0-2

27’ 1-2

51’ 2-2

86’ 2-3 (pen)

@ Harlington Sports Ground, 3G Pitch

Sipson Lane

UB3 5AQ

No Admission or Programme.

I had been here for a game previously, when the ground was shared with Chelsea, who had their training ground here at the time (Chelsea U19 0 Norwich City U19 1, 21st September 2002), but that game was played on a grass pitch, in the far left hand corner of the complex if looking from the entrance to the car park. Nowadays, it is Queens Park Rangers who share the facility and they have a fully railed pitch, with advert board infills, immediately to the left of the entrance of the car park. Today’s game was being played on the 3G Pitch, which is to the right of the entrance, sandwiched between the road and the artificial hockey pitch.

East London were far the better team, but somehow managed to nearly throw it away, having been in total control and coasting to victory.

A nice early finish meant ample time to head off for an evening match, west along the M4.

Baffins Milton Rovers v Fareham Town

Portsmouth Senior Cup

2nd Round

Tuesday 24th October 2017

Kick Off 19.45  On Time

Baffins Milton Rovers 1 Fareham Town 2,  attendance 133

10’ 0-1

12’ 1-1

90’ + 2, 1-2

@ Kendall Stadium

Kendalls Wharf

Eastern Road

Portsmouth

PO3 5LY

£5 Admission

No Programme.

Baffins Milton Rovers were formed in 2011 following the amalgamation of two Sunday League teams, Baffins Milton and Milton Rovers. They started out using the pitch at the southern end of Langstone Harbour Sports Ground (visited 8th April 2009, East Lodge 3 Fair Oak 0, Hampshire League 2004) but in 2015 they obtained a 50 year lease to develop a ground at the northern end of the complex. They moved at the start of 2015/16 season and the ground is still a work in progress. The new clubhouse structure is finished, but still needs kitting out, whilst there are currently half a dozen portacabins behind the goal at the entrance end of the ground  being used for changing rooms/toilets/clubhouse/tea bar.

Both these two are in the Wessex League, Premier Division (9th v 14th) so it was a pretty even match up. Late in the second half, Fareham hit the post and then missed a far post header that looked impossible to miss. Just as it looked like we were heading for penalties (sensibly, there is no extra time in this competition) the visitors snatched victory in stoppage time, when a right wing cross was headed into the top corner, going in off the underside of the bar.

This now completes visits to all the grounds in this division.

Toronto Marlies v Charlotte Checkers

Canada

American Hockey League

Saturday 21st October 2017

Puck Drop 16.00

Toronto Marlies 4 Charlotte Checkers 0,  attendance 5,628

1-0 Mason Marchment

2-0 Mason Marchment

3-0 Dmytro Timashov

4-0 Colin Greening

@ Ricoh Coliseum

45 Manitoba Drive

Toronto

ON M6K 3C3

CAD $37 Admission

No Programme.

Ricoh Coliseum was opened in December 1921, undergoing renovation in 1963, 1997 and 2003. Capacity here, for ice hockey, is 7,851. It is situated at Exhibition Place, which is reached by Tram Number 509 from Union Station, for CAD $3 each way. This is the same stop as if going to B.M.O. Field, the home of Toronto F.C. some 300-400 yards to the west.

Toronto Marlies are the top affiliate of N.H.L. team Toronto Maple Leafs. They are named after the former Toronto Marlboros junior hockey team, known as the ‘Marlies’. Due to the name being the same as a well known cigarette brand, they use the abbreviated form as the official team nickname.

As with most American sports, the game never started on time, but just eight minutes late for this one. It was very dull until the first goal, which didn’t come until the second period, but was much more entertaining for the remainder of the game. The announced attendance also looked about right.

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls

Canada

National Basketball Association

Eastern Conference

Thursday 19th October 2017

Tip Off 19.30

Toronto Raptors 117 Chicago Bulls 100, attendance 19,800

Raptors Starters ;

Norman Powell : 15pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl

Serge Ibaka : 8 pts, 4 reb, 2 blk

Jonas Valanciunas : 23pts, 15 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl

DeMar DeRozan : 11pts, 6 reb, 5 ast, 2 blk, 1 stl

Kyle Lowry : 12pts, 4 Feb, 9 ast, 1 stl

Used Subs ;

CJ Miles, OG Anunoby, Fred Van Vleet, Jakob Poeltl, Delon Wright, Pascal Siakam, Alfonzo McKinnie

Bulls Starters ;

Paul Zipser : 7pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl

Lauri Markkanen : 17pts, 8 reb, 1 blk

Robin Lopez : 18pts, 8 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl

Justin Holiday : 15pts, 4 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

Jerian Grant : 7pts, 2 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl

Used Subs :

Denzel Valentine, Cristiano Felico, Ryan Arcidiacono, David Nwaba, Quincy Pondexter, Kay Felder, Antonio Blakeney

@ Air Canada Centre

40 Bay Street

Toronto

ON M5J 2X2

CAN $123 + CAN $15.25 fees.

No Programme.

The Air Canada Centre is in the heart of Downtown Toronto, immeadiatly to the south of Union Station, which it is connected to via a pedestrian walkway. It was opened in February 1999 and has a capacity of 19,800 for basketball. It is also home to Toronto Maple Leafs, of the National Hockey League and Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League. It was announced in August, that from July 2018, it will be renamed Scotiabank Arena, following a new sponsorship deal of CAD $800 million over 20 years.

Tonight was the season opener and despite being announced as a 19,800 sell out, there were quite a few empty seats, so the actual ‘attendance’ in the building was probably around a thousand less than claimed. The game itself ended up pretty one sided after the Raptors outscored the Bulls 33-14 in the second quarter to lead by 58- 37 at the interval. Despite the Bulls edging the second half by 4 points, the damage was done. CJ Miles scored an impressive 22 points from the bench on his debut for the Raptors

As the Raptors are the only non-American team in the N.B.A. it was the first time I have been to a top level game where the fans are there to watch the match, rather than being there just to eat and drink throughout, getting in and out of their seats every ten minutes, paying little attention to the actual action on the court. The same thing happened when I visited Canada to watch Montreal Impact play a Major League Soccer match at the Olympic Stadium…..it must be a Canadian thing and the match day experience is so much better for it !

Humber College Hawks v Sheridan College Bruins

Canada

Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association

Wednesday 18th October 2017

Kick Off 16.30 Actual 16.44

Humber College Hawks 1 Sheridan College Bruins 0,  attendance 91

54’ 1-0

@ Ontario Soccer Centre 

7601 Martin Grove Road

Vaughan

ON L4L 9E4

No Admission

Programme, free, 4 pages.

Humber Hawks are the Number 1 ranked College team in Canada, which is no great surprise considering they won the O.C.A.A. Championship five times between 1995 and 2001 and have won it seven times in the last eight years, including this year. They were also the overall Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association champions in 1995, 2001, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 and head to this years play offs as favourites. Apparently, it is 1,090 days since they lost a game in a O.C.A.A. match, having gone 41 games unbeaten (40 wins, 1 draw) before today and they have won all 16 games they have played this season.

Despite this being 1st v 3rd, it was dreadful, and looked like a definite 0-0, but Humber finally put another win on the board with a shot that went in off the inside of the post. With both teams guaranteed their play off places, it was a chance for them to rest any players that would miss the first round of games if they picked up another yellow card today. There certainly won’t be any problem of them all going straight back into the team if this performance is anything to go by !

Ontario Soccer Centre is in Vaughan, which is about 30km North West of Downtown Toronto. It is the ground that has been used by Toronto F.C. II from 2015-2017 in the U.S.L., but they will play elsewhere from next season, as there are not enough seats to meet the minimum requirement to play at Level 3 Soccer in U.S.A. under the new regulations. The journey there and back was possible on public transport, which meant a subway train and two busses going, with a single bus and the subway back. It was a very cheap CAD $3 each way, but ridiculously slow, taking 2 hours 8 minutes there (rush hour and road works) and 1 hour 29 minutes back, not counting the 12-13 minute walk from the bus stop. Public transport is far from convenient and is certainly not a patch on driving right to the venue, plus you have to travel with the numerous low life that you can thankfully avoid when using your own car.