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Showing posts from March, 2015

Wavertree West Derby Old Boys v Cardinal Newman

6pm  31 March 2015 Liverpool Old Boys Amateur League, Division One Wavertree West Derby Old Boys 4 Cardinal Newman 2 (att 6) Once the clocks go forward it's the start of what many groundhoppers refer to as the "silly season", the chance to spend midweek evenings watching matches you might not bother with on a Saturday afternoon. I didn't have much choice tonight, so I kicked off my "silly season" in Wavertree, and my first ever game in the Liverpool Old Boys Amateur League. It was a game when winning the pre-match coin toss looked to be important. I assume the home side lost it, as they spent the first half with the bright but low sun in their eyes, and kicking into a chilling gale. They did well despite the conditions, a penalty helped them come from behind to lead 2-1, before Cardinal Newman were awarded the game's second spot kick, which they scored to leave the sides level at the break. Wavertree had looked the better side, and I expecte

Millhead v TIC Dynamos of Overton & Middleton

2pm  28 March 2015 North Lancashire & District League, Division One Millhead 3 TIC Dynamos of Overton and Middleton 2 (att 24) I'd long wanted to see a game at Millhead's Iodine Park ground, which is built into the site of a former quarry and is a great example of the quirky football venues that can be founded in football's lower reaches. The stone quarry face, apparently popular with amateur climbers, encloses one end of the small pitch and tails off around the half way line on the far side. The other end is open, with views across the north Lancashire countryside. A small stand, shared by both subs and supporters, is on the near side, while rough banking opposite gives another option for a decent view. The game was well suited to the setting, it wasn't always pretty but it was well worth watching. The sides were closely matched, but the clumsily-named visitors just shaded the first half and led 1-0 at the break. Millhead were much better in the second h

Cassidys v Baguley Athletic

10.15am  28 March 2015 Manchester Saturday Morning League, Division Two Cassidys 4 Baguley Athletic 2 (att 12) This was the sort of morning when I question my own sanity. Opening my front door and being confronted with wind and very heavy rain, I nearly opted for a leisurely breakfast indoors rather than game in Manchester's Saturday Morning League. I was glad I made the effort to drive the four miles from home to William Hulme's Grammar School though, as Cassidys and Baguley made light of the conditions and provided a very enjoyable 90 minutes. Cassidys made good use of having the gales behind them in the first half, establishing a two goal lead. They could have scored more though, and Baguley had shown enough quality to suggest that with the conditions in their favour they were capable of a second half comeback. That's how it went, as the visitors scored twice to draw level, then won a penalty which looked likely to put them in front. But the spot kick was save

Heriot-Watt University v Duns

7.30pm  25 March 2015 East of Scotland League, Division One Heriot-Watt University 2 Duns 2 (att 25) Having spent the afternoon at the Dundee University sports ground I headed to Scotland's capital for an evening match at another university sports centre, this time at Heriot-Watt. The sports facilities are within the university's Riccarton campus, on the western edge of Edinburgh, and take a bit of finding if, like me, you're not sure where you're going. Having found the pitch, and what I think was the nearest available car park, I found a venue that's functional rather than interesting. There's no doubt the facilities here are first class for football, but it's rather basic for spectators. Two railed-off floodlit pitches are side by side, one 3G and one grass. Heriot-Watt play East of Scotland League games on the grass pitch, which was immaculate, but there's no cover for spectators and nowhere nearby, as far as I could tell, for pre-match or

Dundee University v Strathclyde University

3pm  25 March 2015 BUCS Scottish Conference Cup Final Dundee University 0 Strathclyde University 3 (att 100) My second visit to Dundee within a week, and the second game I've seen this season at Dundee University's Riverside Drive sports ground. Last time at Riverside it was a Saturday Morning League game on one of the many outside pitches, but this match, effectively the Scottish universities cup final, was on the enclosed and floodlit all-weather pitch. The cup final began late, as the preceding women's cup final needed a penalty shootout to find a winner. There was never much danger of the men's final needing penalties though, as Strathclyde started strongly and bossed the game throughout. They scored just once in the first half, doubled their lead in the first minute of the second half, then wrapped the game up with a late third goal. They could easily have scored more, a penalty was saved and they hit the Dundee woodwork three times. Dundee had their m

Swaffham Town v Kings Lynn Town reserves

7.45pm  24 March 2015 Eastern Counties League, Division One Swaffham Town 2 Kings Lynn Town reserves 0 (att 124) Table-topping Swaffham kept on track for promotion thanks to a goal in each half in an entertaining local derby against Kings Lynn's second team. Both sides produced some good football, and the match was played at a frenetic pace throughout, but the home side, cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, deserved their win. Swaffham gave the impression of a thriving football club at the heart of the local community. The three-figure crowd may have been boosted by a few from Kings Lynn, but is still impressive for this level, and the cosy clubhouse was a hive of pre-match activity The sloping pitch at Shoemakers Lane has a small seated stand on one side, a curious small wooden shelter opposite, and a substantial covered area, with a row of bench seating, behind the goal. I liked it as a venue, and it made a welcome change from the near-identical ground with prefab stan

Downfield v Brechin Victoria

2.30pm  21 March 2015 SJFA East Region, North Division Downfield 3 Brechin Victoria 0 (att 70) I had a choice of matches for the afternoon, but having made it as far as Perth with time to spare I pushed on to Dundee to visit the club top of the North Division of the East Region Juniors. Downfield kept on course for the title, and promotion, with a comfortable win against Brechin Victoria. The home side scored two in the first half, and added a third after the break. They should have scored more, and the visiting keeper had a busy afternoon, pulling off a string of good saves, including stopping a penalty. Downfield Park is a great venue, one of the many gems hidden in Scottish Junior football. There's a small amount of cover built onto the back of the pitchside social club, but the ground is dominated by a huge covered terrace on the opposite side, built into the grass bank and with a few chairs for those who prefer to sit. The steep grass bank extends along the whole of

Cresswell Lane v Whitefield Rovers

10am  21 March 2015 Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur League, Premier Division Cresswell Lane 0 Whitefield Rovers 2 (att 8) Having stayed overnight after the game at East Kilbride I decided on a Saturday morning game at a venue that's tricky to get to in time for a 10am start. Cresswell Lane play at Colquhoun Park in Bearsden, to the north east of Glasgow. It proved to be a tricky journey even from East Kilbride, and arriving just before 10am I was confronted with limited parking spaces and a huge park with several games about to begin. Needless to say, Cresswell Lane's pitch was just about the furthest from where I'd managed to park, although, had I known, there was actually plenty of parking along the road that runs alongside the pitch. Colquhoun Park is busy place on a Saturday morning, and with sunshine and a blue sky it was lovely place to watch a game. Whitefield Rovers, top of the league but likely to be overtaken by a Tynecastle side with games in hand