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Showing posts from March, 2016

South Elmsall United Services v Kinsley Boys

2pm  28 March 2016 Doncaster and District FA Challenge Cup, Quarter Final South Elmsall United Services 1 Kinsley Boys 4 (att 27) A wet and windy Bank Holiday meant I had to settle for a relatively local trip and just a single game, once my evening's intended game in Derbyshire was off. It wasn't a bad one though, as two rivals from the Doncaster and District Senior League battled it out for a place in the last four of the district FA's cup. Kinsley had the benefit of a strong wind behind them in the first half and used it to good effect, although they should have scored more than the one goal they managed by half time. South Elmsall's second half leveller may also have been aided by the conditions, although the long-range strike looked destined to beat the keeper from the moment it was struck. It turned out to be just a minor setback for Kinsley, who got back on top for a convincing win. South Elmsall United Services are based at the Quarry Lane home of Up

Padstow United v Roche

2.30pm  26 March 2016 East Cornwall League, Division One Padstow United 0 Roche 4 (att 18) I'd barely dried out from standing in the wind and rain during the morning's match at Sticker when I arrived at Padstow's Jury Park ground. It's an exposed venue, high up and well out of the town, and perhaps not the best place to be on a wet and windy day. Many of the small crowd watched from cars parked close to the pitch, but I stuck it out and braved the conditions as I watched as Roche stroll to a surprisingly easy victory. Both sides struggled in the bad weather, and clear chances were few. There was little between the sides until Roche edged ahead before half time, but in the second half they were much the better side, adding three further goals. Jury Park is easy to spot on the Wadebridge road out of Padstow. The pitch is roped off, through permanent posts, and there's a dugout on either side of the pitch. The changing rooms are towards the corner near the

Sticker v Wadebridge Town

10.30am  26 Match 2016 South West Peninsula League, Division One West Sticker 6 Wadebridge Town 1 (att 372) A larger than usual crowd for Sticker's Saturday morning kick off against Wadebridge was mostly groundhoppers, as this was one of the matches chosen as part of the South West Peninsula League's "Easter hop", As usual for hop games, the host club were well organised to cope with the influx of visitors, and their players put on a decent show on the pitch, especially in the first half. It didn't take long for Sticker to go in front, and by half tine they were 5-0 up, Then again, the horrendous weather was a factor, with Wadebridge playing into very strong wind and rain for the first 45 minutes. With the conditions behind them Wadebridge did get the second half's opening goal, but Sticker soon scored again to confirm their superiority. Sticker is a small village not far from St Austell. Burngullow Park is a neat ground a little way from the vill

Brixham v Galmpton United

11am  25 March 2016 South West Peninsula League, Division One East Brixham 5 Galmpton United 0 (att 154) Opportunities to visit new grounds on Good Friday are few are far between these days, and it took an early start to get from Manchester to south Devon in time for a morning kick off between local rivals Brixham and Galmpton. Heavy traffic around Paignton made the final few miles more stressful than they should have been but I just about made it to Wall Park Road in time. It was a good job I did, as Brixham had this game wrapped up early on. Three goals in the first 25 minutes settled matters, the third a penalty that also resulted in a red card for a ragged Galmpton side. It was still 3-0 at half time, and in the second half Galmpton at least tightened their performance enough to stop Brixham running riot. The home side did manage two more goals, one with about 20 minutes left, and a fifth in stoppage time, moments after Galmpton had a second man sent off. Brixham AFC h

Llanystumdwy v Rhyl Town at Nantporth 3G

5pm  19 March 2016 North Wales Coast FA Intermediate Cup, Semi Final at Nantporth 3G, Bangor Llanystumdwy 2 Rhyl Town 1 aet (att 50) My second game of the day was a 5pm kick off on the artificial pitch next to Bangor City's impressive new home. The North Wales Coast FA used the ground to stage both semi finals, the early game starting at 1pm. Fenced-in 3G pitches aren't usually great venues but this one is better than most, with a pair of small seated stands either side of the entrance. For the last couple of seasons it's been home to Beaumaris Town, of the Gwynedd League, despite its distance from Beaumaris itself. It was one of Beaumaris' league rivals, Llanystumdwy, who eventually came on top of a very enjoyable semi final. That it took until the final minute of extra time before they scored a winner was remarkable, as they'd dominated the final half-hour of the 90 minutes, and all of extra time. Rhyl Town, from the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League, had

Pentraeth v Llanberis

2pm  19 March 2016 Welsh Alliance, Mawddach Challenge Cup, Second Round Pentraeth 0 Llanberis 1 (att 40) Anglesey-based Pentraeth put up a decent fight against their higher division opponents, in the Welsh Alliance's league cup, but were undone by a single second half goal. The visitors could have sealed the tie before the end, but a penalty that would have put them 2-0 up was well saved. Llanberis were the better side, and should have scored more, but Pentraeth stayed in the contest until the final whistle. Perhaps the narrow pitch at Pentraeth's Bryniau Field was a something of a leveller, which would be ironic as the one thing it isn't is level. Llanberis' second half dominance came when they were playing down the steep end-to-end slope. The pitch is fully railed off, although on the road side the rail is so close to the boundary wall that it is, in effect, a three sided venue. There's hard standing on the opposite side, and at the end nearest the entr

Dunbar United v Rosyth

2.30pm  12 March 2016 SJFA East Region, South Division Dunbar United 7 Rosyth 2 (att 85) I've been making slow progress with Scottish Junior grounds this season. New Countess Park in Dunbar was only the second one I've managed, but it was an enjoyable, if one-sided, 90 minutes that reminded me why I enjoy this grade of football. Dunbar are towards the top end of this league, the third and lowest tier of East Region football, but promotion looks to be out of reach. Rosyth are lower down the table, and were blown away by the home side. I don't usually take sides when watching games, I enjoy football as a neutral, but I was rooting for Dunbar in this. Not only were the home side friendly and welcoming (I was invited into the committee room for a half time cuppa), but Rosyth's roughhouse tactics, and their complaints when decisions went against them, became tiresome. At one point in the first half the referee booked three Rosyth players in as many minutes. Amazin

Whitehill Welfare v Gala Fairydean Rovers

11am  12 March 2016 Scottish Lowland League Whitehill Welfare 3 Gala Fairydean Rovers 0 (att 324) Frustrating late changes to the schedule of this year's Lowland League "hop" limited the number of new grounds I could get to, but thankfully I'd not been to Ferguson Park in Rosewell so I made an early start to head north for an 11am kick off. Rosewell, south of Edinburgh in Midlothian, was once a mining village and the former colliery lives on in the name of the local football club. Whitehill Welfare, like Borders visitors Gala, were founder member of the new Lowland League, having previously played in the East of Scotland League. In front of a larger than usual attendance, boosted by groundhoppers from across the UK (most of whom were watching their first of four games in the day) Whitehill were comfortable winners. Two first half goals put them in control, the third followed after the break. Gala's cause wasn't helped by a second half red card, and