Saturday, 30 August 2008

Saturday 30th August 2008

Sutton Town AFC v Yorkshire Main -- CML Supreme Division

I was hoping that Kev might volunteer to write this blog entry, but he politely declined my offer !! I'm not really too surprised, I am still trying to get my head around the events that took place during our latest visit to the Fieldings.

Anyone who has been to the Fieldings will know that parking spaces are always at a premium. The car park would be too big if it was only the football team playing, but with a cricket match taking place and a wedding reception, it was always going to be tough to find a space.
As it turned out I noticed an empty space in the far corner - but was a little worried about being blocked in - surely no-one would, would they? They did - well at least they tried!! At half time I happened to glance towards the car-park and noticed a couple of cars being positioned behind mine -- so I went and had a chat (!), and it was agreed that we change places - they were parking up overnight, so me blocking them didn't matter. So, while I was busy shuffling about in the car-park, the game restarted and before I could re-enter the ground Sutton scored!! I didn't swear, honest!..

That goal made the score 2-1 to Sutton. The visitors went ahead on the half-hour, a well taken penalty after their no.10 was brought down. 4 minutes later it got worse for the home team, Luke Shiels receiving a straight red for launching himself horizontally at the Main right back. So, 0-1 down and a man down, but a brilliant goal from Pete Stubley levelled the scores on 41. The former Eastwood / Rainworth front man received the ball on the edge of the box - he calmly flicked the ball past his marker before unleashing an unstoppable drive past the Main keeper from a sharp angle. H-T 1-1

A minute from the re-start, Stubley netted his second while I was in the car-park, a simple tap in apparently. He completed his hat-trick on 55, a corner headed on by Dean Hadley nodded home from close range. Yorkshire made it 3-2 in the 67th minute, a corner played to the near post was not cleared, leaving the visiting striker an easy chance. The playing numbers were then back level, after a Yorkshire Main player appeared to strike Sutton keeper Frost. Straight red offence.

That stirred the away team even more, and they levelled the scores on 76. A shot from outside the box was parried by Frost, and there appeared to be no danger until the ball struck an attacker on the hand and it went straight to the feet of his strike partner who tapped home. A bit harsh, but the Referee was advised by his assistant that here was no offence committed.

So there we are, finger nail biting at Sutton again - that was until Stubley lobbed the Main keeper with 3 minutes to go - the ball hit the underside of the bar before "Damo" ( sorry, I don't know his full name) beat the keeper to the rebound and nodded home......F-T 4-3

Phew... what a game that was ... the players decided to have a bit of a ruck in the tunnel afterwards - but instead of fighting they should be shaking hands and saying things like "well played" or " well done"... shake hands before the game then shake windpipes after? Respect!!!!!!!!!

Anyway -- Poor ref. Sorry, he was - and he called everybody "feller" .....
7 goals.
2 red cards.
A hat-trick.
Load of banter.
Magic stuff!

My heart may not be able to take many more visits to the Fieldings...but if Sutton stay in contention, we just have to go again - and soon !!!

Tuesday - was to have been Long Eaton Utd v Armthorpe Welfare, but Welfare drew in the FA Cup. Not much else on offer Tuesday, which is ok because there is the small matter of a double eviction on Big Brother!! Will wait until Wednesday instead to get our mid-week fix - Hucknall RR are playing Notts Police in a NSL game kick off 7:30pm

Monday, 25 August 2008

Monday 25th August 2008

Rainworth MW v Appleby Frodingham -- NCEL Div 1

With Kev having to work I decided to forego the planned Carlton v Rushall game and head off to Kirklington Road instead. Blimey - it was a bit windy -- gave me a flippin headache!!!!

Paid the £4 to get in and £1 for the programme. You have to feel sorry for the programme editors at holiday times ...Rainworth were at home on Saturday as well, so not a lot of time to prepare a programme for today. Still, for the £1 you got a copy of Saturdays programme + a supplement for todays game, a copy of the team sheet, plus a further supplement for Tuesdays ressies game.

"Frod" finished 4th from bottom of the CML Supreme Division last season, but were promoted to the NCEL Div 1 to make up the numbers after the formation of the EMCL robbed the league of a few teams. To be fair, they played fairly well, and some solid defending kept out unbeaten Rainworth until the 17th minute, when a superbly struck free-kick from skipper Lee Wilkinson beat keeper Lee Goodrum at his near post -- the keeper could maybe have done better, but the kick was well placed.

Hollingworth saw his cross-shot cannon off the bar soon after, but it was a cracking double save from Wrens keeper Mark Hales that meant they went in at the break 1-0 up.

Nothing much happened to write home about in the second half -- I spent a few minutes acting as ball-boy as the players continued to struggle with the wind, sending the ball flying everywhere - (you should see this old duffer trying to bend down and pick up footballs - it makes my face go red I can tell you!!) Rainworth hit the bar just before the end, but the weather was a real spoiler .....and even though this was not an action packed Bank Holiday thriller, Rainworth are still unbeaten in the league and with Bottesford hammering Worsbro Bridge 7-1 it means that the Wrens are top of the league

Treated myself to a pie ...genuine PUKKA any flavour you like as long as it's meat and tater - still it was very nice at £1.30 who could complain?

Att 76

Tuesday -- Gedling Tn v Gedling MW ( EMCL)

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Saturday 23rd August 2008

Gedling MW v Holbrook MW -- East Midlands Counties League

Our first glimpse of EMCL football, but in all fairness, last season these teams finished 6th and 5th respectively in the CML Supreme division. Should have been an even contest? Should have been, but wasn't. Apart from a 10 minute spell early in the second half, Gedling were hardly in this at all.
The visitors opened the scoring on 12, Smith firing in from close range after some iffy defending.

The score stayed at 0-1 until 12 minutes after the break.... this was Gedling's most productive spell of the game, but again poor defending from a free-kick allowing Kellogg to nod in from inches, totally against the run of play. The third goal came in the 63rd minute and was worth the entry fee alone - a corner from the left met with a fierce volley from Kellogg that gave Holmes in the home goal no chance. F-T 0-3

Gedling have made great efforts to meet the step 6 ground grading requirements, but seem to have under-invested in playing staff. I don't want to sound too harsh, but after moving up a level it seems Gedling have recruited quite a few players from the NSL - a league not even in the pyramid. No idea if Holbrook have new players or not, but they were superior in most departments, and thoroughly deserved their victory. ( Sorry, Tony!)

Should be interesting on Tuesday when Welfare visit local rivals Gedling Town ....

£3 admission and £1 programme. Att 50

It was great to see Tony Hay back in the fold after he almost lost his life in a viscious knife attack. Tony always has a moment to spare and is a dedicated "Mr Gedling MW".

I was asked last week why I don't mention matchday food any more!! The answer is really because usually it is over-priced and not very nice! Can't be said for the cheesburger at Gedling though. No frozen multi-buys here.... fresh burgers - cooked as you wait ... and although it does take a while, it is well worth it. £1.40 cheeseburger and £1 for a chip cob - marvelous!!!

Monday - Kev's working - I'm hoping to see if Carlton Town can upset 3rd placed Rushall Olympic in the UniBond Div 1 South.

Tuesday -- Gedling Town v Gedling MW

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Wednesday 20th August 2008

Worksop Town v Eastwood Town -- NPP

After praising Eastwood up to Kev for their performance on Saturday, we hoped that they would carry on the good work away at Worksop - the North Notts side were playing their first league game at their adopted home, Hucknall Towns Watnall Road.

Sadly, it was not to be a repeat of Saturday - the Badgers were poor throughout the game and were lucky to escape with a point.
Disappointing to have to pay £8 to watch UniBond football, but we countered that by not buying a programme or a 5-0/50 ticket .....

Almost 350 in attendance - how many from Worksop I have no idea -- it's a good old trek on a Wednesday night for a home game!!

The game itself saw Worksop play the better football for the first 40 minutes, with Eastwood only deciding to wake up with 5 of the half to go - a long range effort form Chris Shaw hit the foot of the post, and a piledriver from Ali Asher flying past the angle of post and bar. H-T 0-0

Eastwood made two changes 5 minutes into the second half, Meikle and Rhead replacing Smith and Gardner - and as on Saturday the change to 3-4-3 took time and only great keeping from Deakin kept Worksop out.

It was Meikle who opened the scoring on 76 - a long ball down the pitch from Deakin nodded on by Rhead, I think - Meikle was on hand to fire home from an acute angle. The lead lasted barely 7 minutes - Paul Dempsey hitting a sweet drive past Deakin from about 10 yards out as Eastwood failed to clear their lines..

Kev was praising the Referee - and for 70 minutes he was ok. Then he went funny -- blowing up left, right and centre and effectively stopping football from breaking out......
(strange that it was in this period that both goals were scored!!)

Eastwood were nowhere near as good as they were on Saturday, while Worksop were on the back of a 6-2 drubbing at Marine - should have been an away banker, but you never know with this game --- do you?

Saturday -- Gedling MW v Holbrook MW ( EMCL)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Tuesday 19th August 2008

Sutton Town AFC v Pinxton FC -- CML Supreme Division

Wow.. still trying to work this game out...finished 1-0 to Sutton - also finished 10 v 9 in Sutton's favour will hardly ever hear me criticise referees, but Mr.Langton was certainly deserving of some criticism. I think even he will admit he had a poor game -- but he was right to award the penalty in the 25th minute to Sutton that was eventually to decide the game, the visitors no. 5 handling in the box.

He was also justified in sending off the Pinxton no. 9 jacket and Sutton's no. 5 - the Pinxton player just wildly kicked out at a Sutton player - and when Mr. Langton called the Sutton no. to him, we were mystified as to why, and when the player was shown a straight red we were even more mystified - apparently he had grabbed the Pinxton 9 round the neck - straight red in anyones book.

Pinxtons no. 6 was given a straight red for what was the worst challenge we have seen for a long time - he cut Sutton's sub in half - flying at him horizontally with all his studs showing -- nasty........
A lot of the Refs other decisions were baffling - to both spectators and players alike, but who'd be a ref eh??

Apart from that - Kev's back in what I hope is full swing! It's a short trip up the M1 to the Fieldings - and it was like a mini-reunion - "Evening Post" Brian said hello, as did Rob Hornby from the CML - also caught a climpse of ex-Eastwood striker Ady Francis in a Sutton shirt.

Of course the main man at Sutton is our old buddy Danny Bryant - looks good does Danny, even though he has to carry cones and balls about as well as Manage the team!!
In the second half, Pinxton hit the bar, Sutton keeper Frost turned a close range effort over - but the Sutton defence held firm - and when Pinxton went down to 9 men with 6 or 7 minutes to go, the points looked safe for Sutton.

Sutton's penalty was stroked home by ex-Shirebrook striker Lee Widdowson. Over all, this was a good game, and both me and Kev thouroughly enjoyed the encounter -- 2 commited teams giving us a rare "nail-biter" !!

Weds 20th August -- Worksop v Eastwood at Hucknall Town FC

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Saturday 16th August 2008

Eastwood Town v Leigh Genesis -- UniBond Premier Division

With Kev away at the coast, I decided to take a look at the new Eastwood Town against league opposition - the Badgers entertained Leigh Genesis (nee RMI) in their first UniBond Premier league fixture of season 2008-2009.

Lots of new things at Coronation Park for the season opener.

New signage all around the ground.

New programme seller - young lady in hotpants and legs up to her bum... (announcing the golden goal and raffle at half-time she called herself "the one in the hotpants with the big gob!").

New kit -- very smart.

New Badger mascots.

New players -- 7 of the 11 were making their Eastwood debuts.

New idea - Manager, Assistant Manager watching from the terrace opposite the dugouts.

The game was played at a terrific pace, with Eastwood threatening right from the off. It took until the 23rd minute for the home team to make the breakthrough - a Dunning free-kick nodded down by Smith for IAN HOLMES to flick past the visiting keeper. It stayed 1-0 until the break, but in all honesty, the Eastwood backline were never in too much bother.

The second half was a different kettle of fish.
Meikle was brought on to replace Gardner and Rhead replaced Smith as Eastwood decide to chance formation to a 3-4-3 ... it was while this transformation was taking place that Leigh started to turn the screw a little - their 3 subs making a big difference forcing Eastwood onto the back foot, causing the Badgers defence a lot of problems. although Simon Sturdy was superb alongside Russell Cooke. It was LINDON MEIKLE that settled the game though 2 minutes before the end, nicking the ball off a Leigh defender before firing past the keeper. Enjoyed the game thoroughly.......

One thing stuck in my mind from watching the half-time "penalty shoot-out" - two young ladies were wearing Clifton FC training tops - these were emblazened on the back with a gold star surrounded by "Norman Archer" in gold letters. Anyone who has been involved with youth football in this area knows of Norman Archer and his love for the game - Norman sadly passed away a few years ago and for Clifton FC to remember this lovely man in this manner touched the heartstrings more than a little
.. really nice touch Clifton FC.

Tuesday -- may be up to see Sutton take on Pinxton, then a bonus on Wednesday -- Worksop v Eastwood at Hucknall Town's Watnall Road ground....

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Tuesday 12th August 2008

Rainworth MW v Scarborough Athletic -- NCEL Division 1

Our first league game of the season saw us visit one of our favourite venues - Kirklington Road in Rainworth.
A few new faces have been introduced by Rudy Funk this term, including Lee Soar (Gedling Town), James Whitehead, Alan Jeffries and Phil Massingham ( Shepshed Dynamo) and Will Heath (ex-Gedling Town).

Making his Rainworth debut was centre-back Craig Charlesworth, new signing from Shirebrook.
£4 entry, £1 programme plus a team sheet from old friend Gordon Foster, also known on many forums as "rainworthgord".. and an added bonus, Kev's son Dale bought the Lucozade and Mars Bars...

The game was not anything special, but if Referee Mr. Smith had taken a stronger stance early doors, then some of the latent anger between the teams may have been avoided and football may have had a chance. I know anger is a strong word to use when talking about footballers, especially ones who have to get up the next morning injury free to go to work, but there were some really serious moments on the pitch, and one or two off it as well!! Even the cultured Will Heath resorted to spoiling tactics, and as the game progressed it seemed as if neither team would be able to survive to the end with 11 men apiece.

Never mind - there were, apparently, 215 people in attendance - I imagine a good 150 from Boro... shame to come all that way on a cold, damp Tuesday and lose 1-0........

After being by far the better of the two teams on display, Scarborough had one lapse of concentration in the 88th minute, failing to clear from a rare Rainworth corner, allowing Danny Naylor to slot home.

Wrens keeper Mark Hales made one terrific save early in the second half, tipping a fierce close range drive over the bar ...but in the cold light of day, the table reads : Rainworth PLAYED 2 : WON 2 : POINTS 6.

Saturday Kev's off to the Coast so I'll be "billy no mates" again.....Sutton v Southwell is the game of choice, but with Eastwood Town kicking off their season against Leigh Genesis, I may opt for that game instead.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Saturday 9th August 2008

Carlton Town v Caribbean Cavaliers - pre-season friendly

This was supposed to be Carlton Town v Garforth Town, but Garforth were unable to travel for some reason or other.....

With Kev stuck at work again, I almost decided not to bother and when I arrived at the ground at 2:45pm to see a notice that the opposition was to be Caribbean Cavaliers, I thought twice about paying my £4 to get in - but having made the journey it seemed daft not to go in - and although not on the same sort of level as Garforth, the Cavs do have a decent pedigree, having walked away with the NSL Senior Championship last season.
Caribbean Cavaliers

Dean Gent and Willis Francis started the game for Carlton - both were in the Young Elizabethan League rep squad I was proud to manage some 10 years ago.
It was the Cavs who looked the more likely to score early doors, Carlton skipper Michael Martin misplacing his pass, forcing keeper Ali Bercherini to save from the resultant shot from the loose ball.

15 minutes in, Steve Chaplin opened the scoring for the home team, side-footing past the Cav keeper. 10 minutes later Dean Gent made it 2-0, a delicate flick from a ball fired in from the left.
H-T 2-0

Simon Wilkinson came on at half-time - and he looked very lively. He created the third Carlton goal for Terry Hawkridge on the hour. The Cavs pulled one back 4 minutes later through, I think Tom Simpson, but when Phil Bignall tapped in the Carlton 4th on 72 and Dominic Thomas the 5th, the visitors heads went down a bit and their legs went a little leaden.
Finished 5-1 to Carlton - not the game that gaffer Tommy Brookbanks would have wanted the week before the season starts, but I have to say that this was not too bad overall.... indeed, I am looking forward to seeing a few NSL games throughout the coming season ..

Tuesday sees our first league action of the season, Rainworth are at home to Scarborough in the NCEL Div1.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Tuesday 5th August 2008

Supposed to have been Rainworth v Blidworth - but apathy took over again...

Taking some doing, going out to games -- not quite ready yet, and some of the league seasons begin on Saturday!
Anyway, hoping to go to see Sutton v Gedling MW on Saturday our final pre-season game (but Teversal v Brighouse looks inviting as our 1st league game), then it will be Rainworth v Scarborough on the Tuesday.....

Monday, 4 August 2008

Eastwood Town v Macclesfield Town

Monday 4th August 2008 -- Pre-season friendly

Got to the ground at 7:25pm .. no team bus, only about 5 cars in the car-park. One quick phone-call to find out if Macclesfield had bothered - youth and reserves and no Keith Alexander. Went home to watch Big Brother ....

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Gedling Town v Eastwood Town

Saturday 2nd August -- Pre-season friendly

With Kev working, I had decided to stop in and watch the Emirates Cup matches on telly - but at 2:15pm, decided I was in need of a bit of where did I opt for? The Riverside to watch Gedling Town host Eastwood Town ---- and anyone who knows this particular area of Nottingham will tell you there is not a lot of fresh-air there... in fact it stank! The air was decidedly rank, the wind blowing the pong from the maggot farm directly towards us........boy - it was bad -- made my eyes water and gave me a headache!!!

Anyway, met my brother and sister-in-law there and had a bit of a chin-wag.... also met former Mansfield Town photographer Dan Westwell - Dan is now freelance after Mansfield Town decided to dispense with his services. He was working for the Evening Post and I helped him with the Eastwood line-up - Deakin, Asher, Shaw, Cooke, Sturdy, Swinscoe, Duik, Dunning, Holmes, Smith, Gardner. Subs used - Bailey, Rhead, Meikle, Brookes, Foster, Mathews, Breach.....
I have no idea if Dan remembered me at all, but he has taken my picture a few times at Mansfield games, both home and away........... !!

As for the game, it was a massacre -- Eastwood went 1-0 up through Smith's far post header on 37 seconds! Then Holmes made it 2-0 on 17. Gedling took advantage of some slack defending to pull one back soon after, but Gardner netted for the Badgers to make it 3-1, then Smith netted his second to see the Badgers go in at the break 4-1 up.

No respite for the Gedling keeper in the second half - Holmes added his second, Smith completed his hat-trick on 67. Rhead scored four minutes later and Lindon three minutes after that. Brookes scored straight from a corner to make it 9-1. Foster scored with a great shot across the keeper to make it 10-1 and Mathews rounded it all off with a near post header.

Never seen an 11-1 scoreline before.

I know Eastwood are looking good, but to put this into some perspective, Gedling have a completely new team from the one they had last season - and they are struggling to put an 11 together, even enlisting Eastwood's Rob Paling to make up their team....

Can't say I enjoyed the game - should be a bit of a stiffer test for the Badgers on Monday when they take on League 2 Macclesfield Town.