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Showing posts from January, 2015

Cwm Welfare v Newport Civil Service

2pm  24 January 2015 Welsh League, Division Three Cwm Welfare 4 Newport Civil Service 0 (att 16) Comfortable win for league newcomers Cwm Welfare, and a result that should ease their fears of slipping towards the relegation zone. They dominated the match, scoring three in the first half and adding one more after the break, much to the delight of their small band of followers. Cwm Welfare are based in Beddau, which is very much rugby territory. The Mount Pleasant Park venue is almost bolted onto the side of the local rugby ground, which boasts several stands, floodlights, a PA system, and - as they were at home at the same time as the football - a large crowd. Like their crowds, Welfare's home is more modest. The pitch is railed off, with a few advertising boards attached, and a small, but perfectly adequate, covered standing area complies with Welsh League rules. Apparently the club have plans to lay some more hard standing for spectators, which on the evidence of the

Swansea City U18 v Crystal Palace U18

11am  24 January 2015 Under 18 Professional Development League Two Swansea City U18 2 Crystal Palace U18 4 (att 77) Swansea use a couple of venues for youth team games, most are played at Fairwood, developed by the club in conjunction with Swansea University, but a few, including this one, are instead at the Landore training ground, not far from the Liberty Stadium. It's a newish facility, with a two-tier building housing changing rooms and offices, beyond which are three parallel pitches, running widthways. This game was played on the one nearest the changing rooms, beyond it a second pitch has a trio of small seated stands, and beyond that is an all-weather pitch. All three are floodlit. This was the cliched game of two halves, or rather a game of the first 40 minutes and the following 50. Little of note happened during much of the first half, and I thought I'd be lucky to see a goal. Then Palace seized on a rare opportunity to go ahead five minuted before half time.

St Cuthbert Wanderers v Abbey Vale

3pm  17 January 2015 South of Scotland League St Cuthbert Wanderers 3 Abbey Vale 2 (att 62) Another Saturday when the weather made planning where to go a bit of challenge, although hardly unexpected in January. I had slim hopes of going to Dumfries YMCA, with this game as a back up, but when my first choice was called off early I decided to head to south west Scotland anyway, rather than waste time at home trying to find  other games that were going ahead. St Cuthbert have recently installed an artificial pitch at their St Mary's Park ground in Kirkudbright, and as the town missed the snow that blighted other parts of Scotland there was no doubt about this match going ahead. The excellent surface contributed to a very enjoyable match, between two sides who can clearly play a bit, and it seemed a better standard than I'm used to in the South of Scotland League. The home side started well, and deserved the lead they established thanks to two goals inside the first ha

Kent Football United v Crockenhill

2pm  10 January 2015 Kent Invicta League Kent Football United 2 Crockenhill 3 (att 31) Once again the weather was a major factor in deciding where to go. Kent Football United's helpful secretary told me on Friday night that the game was certain to be on, and Halls Athletic's Kent County League match on a 3G pitch nearby was a back-up just in case. As it was I needn't have worried. As predicted by the home side, the pitch at the Glentworth Club in Dartford drains well and was perfectly playable. Kent Football United moved here at the start of the season, and are working hard off the pitch to bring the venue up to standard for a "step six" league. They still have work to do, but the progress made so far is clear; the pitch is railed off on three sides, the exception being the far end, dugouts are in place, and other pitchside structures are being built. The club has some work to do on the pitch as well, but after a difficult start to the season results ha

Albion Sports reserves v Harrogate Railway Athletic reserves

7.45pm  9 January 2015 Lancashire League, East Division Albion Sports reserves 2 Harrogate Railway Athletic reserves 5 (att 20) Given the weather, tonight wasn't really a night to go out and watch football, but I try not to let wind and rain put me off, even if it just to see a reserve league game Albion Sports' second team plays on a 3G pitch at the Thornton Recreation Centre, on the western edge of Bradford. The venue is exactly what you'd expect, an enclosed pitch with dugouts and floodlights (not the brightest) and no shelter for spectators. I counted 20 people watching the game, but very few stayed until the end. The blustery conditions won't have helped, but if they were supporting Albion then the first half might have sent them packing, as the visitors scored four times without reply. Harrogate Railway had the better conditions in the first half, and I did wonder if Albion might manage a comeback after the break with the wind more in their favour. Inst

Walker Central v North Shields Athletic

2pm  3 January 2015 Northern Alliance, Premier Division Walker Central 0 North Shields Athletic 0 (att 15) The weather forecast correctly suggested the North East would be one of the few parts of the UK to stay mostly dry today, so with several games to choose from it seemed a sensible direction in which to head. My reward was the first goalless draw I've seen since August. As nil-nil games go it wasn't too bad, but for the most part it felt like an average game that just needed a goal to come properly to life, but unfortunately the goal never game. Both sides had chances, with the visitors most guilty of being wasteful in front of goal. North Shields Athletic were the better team, and played their best football in the first half. The second period was more even, but clear chances were fewer. Walker Central are based in a housing estate close to Newcastle's city centre. A modern pavilion houses the changing rooms and a refreshment bar, and is separated from the p

Needham Market v AFC Sudbury

3pm  1 January 2015 Isthmian League, Division One North Needham Market 1 AFC Sudbury 0 (att 473) The New Year's Day fixture list is slimmer these days than in years gone by, with more and more leagues taking a break over the festive period. I don't need many grounds at this level, and Needham Market was my only option for a new ground today. It's a long drive from Manchester to Suffolk, but the effort was rewarded with a feisty local derby. Needham Market top the league, and I expected them to be too strong for AFC Sudbury, even more so when the visitors lost a player to a red card for a dangerous challenge only five minutes into the game. But Sudbury defended well, and even came closest to scoring, in a goalless first half, when a shot from distance came back off the post. The second half was much better than the first. The home side upped their game and seemed to be just a matter of time before they'd score, but clear chances, and shots on target, were fe