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Watcombe Wanderers v Lakeside Athletic

3pm  23 October 2021 Devon Football League, South and West Division Watcombe Wanderers 0 Lakeside Athletic 6 (att 10) The last time I watched Watcombe Wanderers, in April 2014 , they were a dominant force in the South Devon League. I speculated that only their facilities might hold them back. They resolved that problem by moving to a new home, and are now playing at step seven in the Devon Football League. They're no longer quite such a force though, and were fortunate not concede more against Plymouth-based Lakeside. The visitors opened the scoring with a penalty, and three goals in each half gave them the easiest of victories. It wasn't a good afternoon for Watcombe, as on an adjacent pitch their third team were beaten 9-1 in the South Devon League's bottom division. Watcombe's new home is the former ground of now-defunct Buckland and Milber FC. It's on the outskirts of Newton Abbot and accessed via a very bumpy track called Long Lane. The main pitch is fenced on

Goytre v Treowen Stars

7.30pm  22 October 2021 Ardal League, South East Goytre 2 Treowen Stars 3 (att 100) For a club based on the outskirts of a small Gwent village, Goytre have done remarkably well to establish themselves among the top levels of Welsh football. They're currently in one of the four parallel Ardal Leagues, which make up the third tier of the Welsh pyramid. A strong start to the season suggests promotion is within their grasp, so this defeat will be a disappointment. It'll most likely be a blip rather than any longer term change in fortune, but Treowen battled well and deserved the slices of luck that came their way at crucial times. They seized upon a defensive mix up to score the game's only first half goal. Goytre began the second period on the front foot, and soon scored twice to go in front. But that was as good as it got for the home side. Treowen were soon level again, and while Goytre had seemed more likely to get a winner it was the visitors who scored the decisive goal.

Liverpool Hope University v University of Central Lancashire II

3.30pm 20 October 2021 BUCS Northern 3A Liverpool Hope University 2 University of Central Lancashire II 0 (att 13) My first BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) match for a while. There aren't many nearby universities who play on grounds I've not been to now, but the pitch at Hope Park is one that had evaded me. It's within the Liverpool Hope campus, and is  a typical 3G set up . There's a wide spectator area running most of the length of one side, which was more than adequate for the handful of spectators. In truth it wasn't the most thrilling of matches. The home side took a first half lead, and when a UCLan player was sent off for a second booking, well before half time, it looked like game over. But the outcome remained in the balance until a few minutes from the end. Liverpool Hope spurned chances and a gutsy performance from the visitors ensured they were always in with a shout of a leveller. Their hopes of an unlikely point were finally dashed when

West Allotment Celtic v Billingham Town

7.30pm 19 October 2021 Northern League, Division One West Allotment Celtic 2 Billingham Town 1 (att 82) West Allotment Celtic's move to a new ground seems to have happened without much fanfare, at least outside the North East. Perhaps it was because it would have happened last season had it not been abandoned. Maybe it was because they moved into an existing ground, home to Northern Alliance side Forest Hall.  Or perhaps it's because it still has the feel of a work in progress, as many new grounds at this level do.  That said, there are two small seated stands along one side and a covered standing area behind the near goal, making East Palmersville Sports Pavilion perfectly adequate for the Northern League. There's floodlights of course, and plenty of room for expansion with only two sides currently paved and open to spectators. Having been nomadic for many years, it's good to see the club with a permanent base close to West Allotment. The club earned promotion to the N

Peckham Town v Tudor Sports

2.45pm 16 October 2021 Kent County League, Premier Division Peckham Town 4 Tudor Sports 0 (att 186) Like Newcastle Blue Star , Peckham Town are a step seven club who are pulling in the crowds and who look set to move up into the semi-professional ranks. A crowd of close to 200 on a Saturday afternoon is impressive. Especially in London where there's plenty of competition and, compared to other parts of the UK, sometimes a lack of a collective local community. But Peckham have worked hard to be part of their area's diverse community. It's paying dividends, not just in the number of people watching but in their ages. This isn't a non league club watched by a few elderly diehards. The crowd for the visit of Tudor Sports may have been boosted by nearby Dulwich Hamlet not having a game. In some respects they're kindred spirits, having both found a way of tapping into latent support for non-League football. Dubbing the likes of Dulwich Hamlet and Peckham Town as 'hips

Royal Russell School v Brooke House College

12 midday  16 October 2021 Independent Schools FA Cup, Third Round Royal Russell School 1 Brooke House College 3 (att 25) My second game in this competition in less than a week. Ties on Saturdays are unusual, and usually the result of earlier postponements, but this noon start allowed me to get to two games in the day. My plan might have been scuppered had this gone to extra time though, and I was getting nervous as the referee added an unlikely 10 minutes of stoppage time as Royal Russell pressed for an equaliser. I was relieved when Brooke House, who'd come from behind, broke forward to score a decisive third goal. It ended what had been a very entertaining, and high quality, game. Royal Russell started well and took an early lead. They had chances to increase their advantage but failed to take them. Brooke House grew into the game and finished the first half strongly. They continued to be on top into the second half, and deservedly turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. Brooke Ho