K.S.K. Ronse v K.V.K. Westhoek


National League

Division 2 Amateurs V.F.V. A

Sunday 10th December 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.03

K.S.K. Ronse 1 K.V.K. Westhoek 1,  attendance 143

44’ 1-0

57’ 1-1

@ Orphale Cruckestadion 

Oude Leuzesesteenweg 183A

9600 Ronse

€10 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

After the trip to Belgium last Sunday, where the overnight snow meant it was touch and go as to whether our chosen matches went ahead or not, I had decided to call it a day for trips over here until the new year. However, I was then offered this trip, where I wouldn’t have to drive, so thought, why not ?

I was the only one of us who had visited J.V. De Pinte, in Oost Vlaanderen Provincial 1, which was where the driver was heading as first choice match. No problem, as I could be dropped at a Provincial 3 match at V.C. Zevergem Sportief, which was just a couple of miles away. On arriving into Calais, to white fields and icy roads, it meant that today might not go completely to plan.

There had already been a couple of provinces that had called off this weekends fixtures en masse, then whilst en route to Gent, we lost firstly, West, then crucially, Oost Vlaanderen fixtures as well. By the time we had lunch, every non league match in the country was now off. This now meant if we were to see a match today, it would have to be in the Belgian League.Unfortunately, this meant there would be no new ground visit for the driver, or one of the passengers, but there was a chance for the other two of us, although, for me, it was K.S.K. Ronse, or bust. The Belgian F.A. were still showing this match as ‘not being off’, so as it was hardly off route back to The Tunnel, it was decided we would head off here and take our chances…………..

We arrived around 40 minutes before kick off and spirits were lifted when we could see people in the clubhouse and main stand, then thankfully, both teams on the pitch, warming up. Apparently, at one o’clock, there was an inch of snow covering the pitch, but, with it now raining, this had virtually gone.

This was really entertaining and had plenty of goal mouth action, aided by a very strong wind that must have been a nightmare for the goalkeepers. Ronse opened the scoring with a 25 yarder that the ‘keeper should have saved, with the equaliser being somewhat controversial, as the Linesman flagged for offside, but the Referee waved play on and the cross was converted from close range.

We had altered our return crossing by half an hour on Eurotunnel, but it wouldn’t have made a lot of difference, as once again it was a shambles when we got back there. We actually left at 19.53, which wasn’t as bad as first feared, but we later found out that delays had increased to two and a half hours for those behind us. As there is no competition, apart from the very much slower alternative of the ferry, then the service provided will continue to be run to an appalling standard. Mind you, they did have toilets on the train that were in working order, which is seldom the case these days !

Having looked at the results from yesterday, our match was one of just six that survived the weather, barring the top division match at Club Brugge. There were two later scheduled top level matches that took place, at Anderlecht and Sint-Truiden.

Lyne v Horsley

Surrey F.A. Intermediate Cup 3rd Round

Saturday 9th December 2017

Kick Off 13.30 Actual 13.32

Lyne 4 Horsley 4 (3-4 pens),  attendance 23

12’ 0-1

17’ 1-1

23’ 2-1

36’ 2-2

42’ 2-3

48’ 2-4

54’ 3-4

90’ 4-4

@ Jubilee High School

School Lane


KT15 1TE

No Admission or Programme.

With my first choice matches today, down in Sussex, both falling victim to frozen pitches, then my next 2 choices, both in Kent, having Twitter accounts that had not been updated. I decided on this match, as they had tweeted around 12 o’clock that the match was on, even though it was between two clubs that play in the same league, the Surrey County Intermediate League (Western), Premier Division and with this being 4th v 2nd in the league table, it looked like a decent match up. It certainly was, being in the balance throughout and contained some goals that were of very high quality for this level.

Lyne equalised in the last minute, to make it 4-4, but we then had five minutes of added time. We were expecting extra time, especially as the match had kicked off half an hour earlier than if it had been a league fixture, but it was straight to penalties. Lyne went first, scoring their first three kicks, to lead 3-1 in the shootout, but missed their next two. Having missed their second penalty, Horsley converted their next three to go through to the next round.

Middlesex University v Canterbury Christ Church University

British Universities & Colleges Sports

South Eastern 3B

Wednesday 6th December 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.08

Middlesex University 0 Canterbury Christ Church University 2,  attendance 3

4’ 0-1

71’ 0-2 (pen)

@ Barnet Copthall Playing Fields

Greenlands Lane



No Admission or Programme.

This was bottom v 2nd bottom in the league table and easy to see why they occupy these positions. Canterbury were marginally better and just about deserved the win. As the game kicked off late, the Referee decided to play 2 x 40 minute halves, which helped with still getting away on schedule for the battle against the rush hour traffic going home.

Swansea University v Ynysygerwn

Welsh League

Division 3

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Kick Off 20.00 Actual 20.04

Swansea University 1 Ynysygerwn 0,  attendance 124

75’ 1-0

@ Swansea University Sports Centre Stadium

Sketty Lane



£2 Admission, including Programme, 8 pages.

When you first read the match programme, it soon becomes apparent that English Language is not one of the courses on offer at the University. The punctuation is dreadful and as for the sentence including “every time you cross onto the pitch YOUR not just representing the team”……… Obviously needs a proof reader.

Anyway, as for the match, Swansea made really hard work of this one, but finally nicked it late on, to cement their second place in the league table. They have now won nine and drawn one, of their first eleven matches. The visitors had only lost twice before tonight, but the fact that they have drawn their other five matches, means they sit one off the bottom of the league. They were quite well organised at the back, but just never looked capable of scoring.

K.S.V. Sottegem v K.F.C. Eendracht Zele


Oost Vlaanderen Provincial 1

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Kick Off 18.00 Actual 18.04

K.S.V. Sottegem 2 K.F.C. Eendracht Zele 1,  attendance 204

35’ 1-0

44’ 2-0

54’ 2-1

@ Stedelijk Sportstadion Jules Matthijs 

Kastanjelaan 85

9620 Zottegem

€7 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

It had taken 23 minutes to drive south east to Zottegem (spelled with a ‘Z’, unlike the club, who spell their name with an ‘S’) and with each mile, the snow looked to have fallen heavier. We were quite surprised how little snow was on the pitch when we arrived, although the pitch markings had been swept clear. There seemed to be some doubt over whether the match would be going ahead. The three match officials seemed rather laid back, finally finishing their coffee and biscuits, before heading out to do their pitch inspection at 17.20. It was given the go ahead, but the pitch markings would have to be re-done, as they claimed they weren’t visible, although they could clearly be seen by everyone else !

The Stadium here has a capacity in the region of 8,000, illustrative of their former status as a Belgian League club, playing as high as level two.

Sottegem were thirteenth in the league table, whilst the visitors arrived in third place. Zele were well on top in the first half, but somehow trailed by two goals at the break, which were totally against the run of play. Having conceded early in the second half, it was pretty much backs to the wall for Sottegem and with resolute defending and some ridiculous time wasting, they hung on for the 3 points.

Having rained for most of the first half, the snow had pretty much disappeared by the end of the match, but at least it stopped before our mad dash back to The Tunnel. The match had dragged on, which meant it was 19.58 when we left the car park at the ground. It wouldn’t normally be a problem, but according to Eurotunnel, we were on the last crossing of the night, at 22.21, so had to make the check-in by 21.51. If we missed this, it would mean waiting until 01.42 for the next shuttle. An excellent run back meant we were checked in at 21.42 and for once, the U.K. Passport Control were working at a good pace, meaning we actually made it onto the earlier 22.06 train by the skin of our teeth.

K.F.C. Merelbeke v K.V.K. Ninove


National League

Division 3 Amateurs

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Kick Off 14.30 Actual 14.32

K.F.C. Merelbeke 1 K.V.K. Ninove 1,  attendance 247

42’ 0-1

90’ 1-1

@ Kloosterstraat

9820 Merelbeke

€10 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

I had previously visited Merelbeke, back on 24th August 2014 (2-1 versus K.V.V. Vlaamse Ardennen, Oost Vlaanderen Provincial Cup) which was my third match that day (having been to Bon Air Sport and K.V.C. Itna Itterbeek earlier that afternoon, for Brabant Provincial Cup matches). However, on that occasion, the match was played at their ‘B’ ground, Sportcomplex Ter Wallen.

The fixtures had fallen perfectly today, as there were two 6 o’clock kick offs scheduled in the Oost Vlaanderen Provincial 1, both of which I needed, and both less than half an hours drive from Merelbeke. The weather forecast for the Gent area was for a cloudy 8 degrees. Unfortunately, forecasts can be totally wrong and today was certainly the case. As the SatNav was showing we were just 13 minutes from our destination, we noticed the fields had suddenly turned white, with a good covering of snow ! Despite it being dry and 6 degrees, this might cause us a problem.

We decided to have lunch, as we would need food, regardless of whether the match was going to be on or not. We also had plenty of time to head back in to West Vlaanderen, as we knew the weather there was fine, so we would be guaranteed of getting a match in today, even if it wasn’t our intended one. We arrived at the ground around 13.50, to be told by the gateman, that the game was on, despite the pitch being covered in snow, although a group of volunteers were putting in a superb effort, having already cleared the lines, they were now starting to remove the snow from a vast majority of the goal areas as well ! If this had been in England, there is no way the match would have taken place, as our clubs look at every possibility of calling a match off if they can, rather than the attitude taken here, that it is the same for both teams and not dangerous in any way. The snow around the terrace and walkways would have had the health and safety brigade up in arms back home, but thankfully, here, common sense prevailed.

Despite the snow, this was a decent contest. Ninove, backed by a good following, deserved their halftime lead, but were unable to add to it. Merelbeke, who were tenth in the league table, two places above the visitors, came on strong towards the end of the match and bagged a deserved last minute equaliser. As Ninove re-started the match, the clock above the changing rooms clicked to 90.00 minutes played and the Referee blew his whistle for full time. The decision did not go down well with the hosts, as there was no time added for any of the substitutions, or an injury that had taken place in the last few minutes. Despite getting the last gasp point, they still felt they had a winning goal in them !

Well done to everyone who made sure that the game went ahead today. Now on to the action………

Rogate ‘08 v T.D. Shipley

West Sussex League

Premier Division

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.05

Rogate ‘08 0 T.D. Shipley 1,  attendance 16

17’ 0-1

@ Rogate Recreation Ground

North Street


GU31 5BH

No Admission or Programme.

This was 3rd bottom(10th) v 5th in the league table, the visitors now up to third following this hard fought win. This could have gone either way, but T.D.S. held on to their slender lead and looked the more likely of the two to score if there had been further goals.

Unusually, for a Saturday afternoon match at this time of year, the visitors stayed out on the pitch for the halftime break. With it only being 6 degrees, the majority of the crowd ventured into the Village Hall (which houses the changing rooms )for a welcome cup of tea.