Sandbach United v Alsager Town

North West Counties League

Division 1

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.49

Sandbach United 2 Alsager Town 2,  attendance 90

12’ 0-1

39’ 0-2

58’ 1-2

90’ + 5, 2-2

@ Sandbach Community Football Centre

Hind Heath Road

Ettiley Heath

Sandbach

CW11 3LZ

£5 Admission

£2 Programme, 20 pages.

This is yet another new ground that has been built with very little thought for spectators. Yes, there are two pieces of cover behind the goal, but why the small seated stand is in a corner, where only three people bothered to sit in it, beggars belief. It is a total waste of money, but probably ticks the right boxes as far as ground grading goes. Also, one end, and one side, of the ground are out of bounds, presumably due to the lack of hard standing. The very poor programme, which doesn’t even have a league table, or numbers listed next to the players names, is another negative, and is a good example of why so many people don’t buy them anymore and why they will surely become a thing of the past if too many clubs continue issuing such awful publications as this.

The game itself, which was 6th v 4th in the league table, looked like being an easy win for Alsager, as they were coasting it at halftime. The first goal for Sandbach was debatable as to whether it had actually crossed the line, but the Linesman was up with play and signalled for the goal immediately, so it looked like ‘game on’, but the game just died and Sandbach never looked like getting a point and it was harsh on Alsager to concede the equaliser so deep into stoppage time.

At least the North West Counties League is complete again.

University Leicester v Aston University

British Universities & Colleges Sports

Midlands 3A

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.03

University Leicester 6 Aston University 4,  attendance 5

6’ 0-1

14’ 0-2

16’ 1-2

21’ 1-3

23’ 2-3

32’ 3-3

47’ 3-4

66’ 4-4

80’ 5-4

88’ 6-4

@ Stoughton Road Playing Fields

Stoughton Road

Oadby

LE2 4FS

No Admission or Programme.

Stoughton Road Playing Fields is a typical university set up, with numerous pitches for different sports. The pitch used today is actually on a piece of land that is separate from the rest of the complex, being through the hedge, to the right of the changing rooms, and on a plateau that is much higher than the other pitches.

It was a superb match that looked like there would be a goal with every attack and one where a draw would have been a fair result. Leicester had a penalty saved when it was 4-4, but somehow it seemed inevitable that someone would get another goal in the remaining seventeen minutes.

Leicester Nirvana v Blackstones

United Counties League

Knock Out Cup Quarter Final

Tuesday 28th November 2017

Kick Off 19.45 Actual 19.46

Leicester Nirvana 5 Blackstones 2,  attendance 32

5’ 1-0

18’ 2-0

23’ 3-0

43’ 4-0

45’ 4-1

51’ 5-1

65’ 5-2

@ Hamilton Park

Sandhills Avenue

Leicester

LE5 1LU

£5 Admission

£1 Programme, 24 pages.

The result here was pretty much as expected. Nirvana are second in the Premier Division, whilst Blackstones play in the division below. Nirvana attacked at every opportunity and could easily have scored ten goals in the first half alone. When Blackstones scored to pull it back to 5-2, they had a couple of very good chances, which, had either of them gone in, it could have been a totally different story.

Hamilton Park only hosted it’s first match in late 2016 and tonight’s visit saw me complete the top division of the United Counties League. It was also the last ground i hadn’t seen a match on at Step 5 and the only ground I now haven’t visited from Premier League to Step 6, is that of Slough Town, at Step 3.

Rotherham United Reserves v York City Reserves

Central League

East Division

Tuesday 28th November 2017

Kick Off 13.00 Actual 12.58

Rotherham United Reserves 3 York City Reserves 1,  attendance 46

17’ 1-0

35’ 2-0

53’ 2-1

82’ 3-1

@ Roundwood Training Ground

Green Lane

Rawmarsh

S62 6LA

No Admission

Team Sheet, 20p.

Rotherham had been playing their Reserves matches on the main pitch at Parkgate F.C. which I had visited on 11th October 1994. They have now developed two pitches of their own, which are down below the main pitch here, and have now enclosed the area, which also means that the new development also has its own entrance, albeit from the same car park.

This was not a bad game, as far as reserve matches go. Rotherham were well on top in the first half, but York dominated the second and were a bit unlucky to not get a draw in the end.

With the game over at around 2.50pm, it meant I had more time than I really needed, to head south for my second match of the day.

Alfold v Upper Beeding

Southern Combination League

Division 2

Saturday 25th November 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.04

Alfold 3 Upper Beeding 0,  attendance 34

41’ 1-0

66’ 2-0

77’ 3-0

@ The Recreation Ground (Alfold Sports Council & Social Club)

Dunsfold Road

Alfold Crossways

GU6 8JB

No Admission

£1 Programme, 16 pages.

This was the last of the three clubs that play in this division that needed tidying up, as I had done matches on different pitches in the complexes  on previous visits. I came here for a pre-season friendly, when they were in the West Sussex League, on 30th July 2011, with the game that day taking place on a parallel pitch, behind the hedge that runs along the side where the dugouts are situated on the main pitch. There was no permanent barrier in place back then on the main pitch.

It was 8th v 5th in the league table, but after this comfortable win for Alfold, their positions are now reversed. It was very squelchy walking to the pitch, but the playing area stood up well, helped no doubt by a cool wind, with a bit of warmth from the sun, which only dropped behind the hills towards the end of the match, and was most welcome as the pitch is rather exposed.

F.C. Verbroedering Dender Eendracht Hekelgem v K.F.C. Dessel Sport

Belgium

National League

Division 1 Amateurs

Friday 24th November 2017

Kick Off 20.00 Actual 20.03

F.C. Verbroedering Dender Eendracht Hekelgem 0 K.F.C. Dessel Sport 1,  attendance 425

13’ 0-1

@ Van Roystadion

Stadionlaan 5

9470 Denderleeuw

€12 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

F.C.V. Dender E.H. were a merger of K.F.C. Denderleeuw Eendracht Hekelgem and Verbroedering Denderhoutem at the end of the 2004/05 season. The Van Roystadion was opened in 1997, known in those days as Florent Beeckman Stadion, which is still the name above the gates at the entrance to the ground. It was renovated in 2007 and has a current capacity of 6,429, with the open terrace behind the goal at the entrance end of the ground being unused.

Tonight’s match was 13th v 2nd in the league table and was a match more deserving of the single goal that won it for the visitors. It started raining an hour and a half before kick off, then poured down for the entire match, which saw both teams emerge for the second half in clean kit, with Dender actually changing to their away colours.

U.K. Passport control did their best to make everyone miss their departure slots on the return leg, having taken them 31 minutes to process the dozen cars in front of us, but we got on the 00.45 with two minutes to spare, although it left 5 minutes late anyway.

Sporting Kampenhout v Eendracht Termien

Belgium

National League

Division 3 Amateurs V.F.V. B

Sunday 19th November 2017

Kick Off 14.30 Actual 14.31

Sporting Kampenhout 0 Eendracht Termien 2,  attendance 198

8’ 0-1

68’ 0-2

@ Sportcentrum De Zeype

Zeypestraat 26A

1910 Kampenhout

€10 Admission (including token for 1 free drink)

Team Sheet, free.

Sporting Kampenhout are a merger of S.K. Kampenhout and S.K. Kampelaar, with this being their first season under the new name. I had already visited S.K. Kampelaar, pre-merger, at their Votvinkenstraat ground, for a Belgian Cup 1st Round match, when they were in Brabant Provincial 2, seeing them lose 0-2 versus R.R.C. Waterloo, on 26th July 2014.

Today was 11th v 7th in the league table and was never really much of a contest once Termien went in front. It should have been a much bigger winning margin than the two goals, considering the balance of play, and it is quite easy to see why Kampenhout have now lost 5 consecutive league matches.

The driver today was heading for V.K. Linden, but I had been there, so went for the option of being dropped off at Kampenhout, as did the other two passengers. We were picked up around twenty five minutes after the match, so back at The Tunnel  before 19.00. Once again it was total chaos, this time the excuse being that U.K Border Control had had a total power failure, which had caused huge backlogs. We managed to get a crossing that left at 20.15, which we assume was the 19.50 running late.

Montpelier Villa v Clymping

Southern Combination League

Division 2

Saturday 18th November 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.06

Montpelier Villa 4 Clymping 3,  attendance 2

19’ 1-0

32’ 2-0

42’ 3-0

47’ 3-1

54’ 3-2 (pen)

76’ 3-3

79’ 4-3 (pen)

@ Falmer Sports Complex at Sussex University

off Ridge Road

Falmer

BN1 9PJ

No Admission or Programme.

Back in 1997 I saw Brighton & Hove Albion play a Youth Alliance game at Sussex University. I only found out this season that Montpelier Villa play their matches on a pitch that is in a separate part of the complex to the one I visited, so I would need another trip to the South Coast.

Today seemed a good day to visit, as it was 3rd bottom v 2nd bottom in the league table, and a game that both teams would fancy their chances of picking up a rare win. It turned out to be the right choice as this was a really entertaining match. I can’t remember if I have ever been to a game on a Saturday where there was only one other spectator present, which is a poor turn out for this level of football.

All three of the Montpelier goals in the first half were headers, two of them from corners, plus they hit the post and crossbar and looked to have sewn it up by halftime. Clymping then came out all guns blazing after the break and deservedly levelled it, only to be beaten by a penalty just a few minutes after the equaliser. They then had a man sent off in stoppage time, but still had a great chance of nicking a point with the last effort of the match, which came seven minutes into added time. The game eventually finished at 15.59.

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.