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Showing posts from September, 2017

Hedon Rangers v Sculcoates Amateurs

7pm  26 September 2017 Humber Premier League, Premier Division Hedon Rangers 3 Sculcoates Amateurs 1 (att 45) Midweek games under floodlights are rare in the Humber Premier League, so I was keen to make the most of an opportunity for a Tuesday night game at the South Holderness Technology College, just east of Hull in Preston. Having done well to negotiate the rush hour M62 heading east from Manchester, arriving about 15 minutes before kick off, I was little worried my efforts might have been in vain, as mist, verging on fog, descended for the final few miles of the journey. Thankfully it lifted as the game got underway, and Hedon and Sculcoates produced a very enjoyable 90 minutes that was a good advert for the league. Sculcoates were unfortunate to leave without a point. They went ahead early on, but Hedon equalised before a fantastic strike put the home side in front before half time. Hedon's third came in the 90th minute, when they hit Sculcoates on the break after

Grange v Millhead

2pm  23 September 2017 North Lancashire & District League, Division One Grange 4 Millhead 3 (att 23) This was real grassroots amateur football at its best, and most entertaining. Two sides whose effort and commitment made up for any lack of skill, plenty of goals, and lovely views from a pitch close to the shore of Morecambe Bay. To be fair to the players there were some well taken goals, and the quality of the surface at the Memorial Playing Fields, in Grange-over-Sands, would have tested the most skillful of professionals. Three times Grange went ahead, and each time Millhead hit back to level. The visitors lost their keeper to injury with about half-an-hour left, although the stand-in who took over could do nothing about the home side's decisive fourth goal. For a league that's mostly based around Lancaster and Morecambe, Grange AFC are a little out on a limb. It's a nice town though, and the football pitch is a good place to enjoy views across the bay.

Preston North End U18 v Bury U18

10.30am  23 September 2017 EFL Youth Alliance, North West Preston North End U18 1 Bury U18 2 (att 58) North End's academy is based at the UCLan Sports Arena, a large and very impressive facility run by the University of Central Lancashire. This was my fourth visit for football, each time on a different pitch in a different part of the site. Preston's Youth Alliance side play on what I think is 'pitch three', adjacent to a changing room pavilion that serves a large playing field housing pitches three to seven. Like most professional youth team venues, there are roped off areas for spectators on one side, while coaching staff line the opposite touchline. The pavilion provides some pitchside cover, but was out of bounds. The game wasn't a thriller. Bury's youngsters always sharper than the hosts, and a two goal lead by half time put them in control. Preston North End gave themselves a chance by pulling a goal back with about 10 minutes left, but despite

Ravenshead v Ashland Rovers

7.30pm  19 September 2017 Nottinghamshire Senior League, Division One Ravenshead 2 Ashland Rovers 2 (att 42) Midweek games under floodlights are a rarity at this level so full credit to Ravenshead and Ashland for staging their local derby on a Tuesday evening, and by doing so giving me a welcome opportunity to tick off the ground. Ravenshead Leisure Centre is a curious football venue, as apart from the floodlights there's little in the way of facilities. Part of one side of the grass pitch was roped off, and with trees bordering three sides and and grass bank behind one goal, beyond which is a larger playing field, it at least feels like an enclosed ground. It's perfectly acceptable for the second tier of the Nottinghamshire Senior League though, and Ravenshead and Ashland produced an entertainingly competitive game that was a good advert for the division. Ravenshead, newly promoted from division two, started well and took an early lead. Ashland, from nearby Kirkby-i

Upton St Leonards v Berkeley Town

2pm  17 September 2017 Stroud and District Charity Cup (Section A), Quarter-Final Upton St Leonards 1 Berkeley Town 5 (att 25) The south west of England still has a few local cups, like this, that provide chances to visit Saturday teams for ties on Sundays. Upton St Leonards is a village just outside Gloucester, and so in good range for a day out including a game on a new ground. The home club are newly-promoted to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League this season, but as a division two side they proved no match for their first division visitors, who came from a goal behind to win convincingly. It could have been different though, as Upton St Leonards started well and deserved the early lead they got thanks to a penalty. The spot kick was well saved, but the Berkeley keeper couldn't keep out a follow up shot. An own goal levelled the score, and Berkeley gradually took control, leading 3-1 by half time. In the second period Upton pushed forward trying to get back int

AFC Macclesfield v Daten

3pm  16 September 2017 Cheshire League, League One AFC Macclesfield 2 Daten 1 (att 15) I needed to stay local today, and Macclesfield fitted the bill after I'd failed earlier when there was no sign of the Manchester Saturday Morning League game that should have been played in Ashton-under-Lyne (a result has appeared online so it must have been played somewhere). No such problems at AFC Macclesfield's new ground at All Hallows Catholic College, where players were warming up on the artificial pitch when I arrived. It's very much a move 'home' for the club, who had been playing miles away in Stockport. Unfortunately the ground isn't among the the more interesting to visit, it's a typical caged and floodlit 3G pitch, although one good thing is that the entire near touchline is barriered off to provide an area for spectators. It wasn't the greatest of games, but AFC Macclesfield were just about worth their win. They came from behind, recovering aft

Coventry United v Tipton Town

3pm  10 September 2017 FA Vase, First Qualifying Round Coventry United 3 Tipton Town 1 (att 282) Coventry United are one of a growing number of clubs created by supporters dissatisfied by the professional game, in this case by frustration at the goings on at Coventry City. It takes a lot of effort and commitment to get a club like this off the ground, and United have done well to grow a decent fan base and to secure a stadium, which they moved into this season, to match. Butts Park Arena is primarily a rugby ground, but with a large seated stand running the length of one side it's certainly one of the best venues in the Midland Football League, even if only the stand and one uncovered end are open for football spectators. There was plenty of room for the 282 crowd, boosted by a large number of groundhoppers, like me, making the most of a chance to visit a new ground on a Sunday, the FA Vase tie having been switched after clashing with a rugby fixture. It was little sur

Llanllyfni v Bontnewydd

2.30pm  9 September 2017 Gwynedd League Llanllyfni 0 Bontnewydd 12 (att 18) I missed visiting Llanllyfni when they were a Welsh Alliance side, so after they resigned from that league just before the end of last season I was pleased to see them reappear in the Gwynedd League. It's been a struggle for them so far though, and they remain pointless at the foot of the fledgling table after a defeat that was every bit as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests. At times it was little more than shooting practice for Botnewydd, and had their shooting been more accurate they'd have scored plenty more. Llanllyfni weren't helped when injury reduced them to 10 men with 30 minutes left, but they'd already conceded half the dozen by then. Hopefully Llanllyfni will come through this difficult patch, and they'll have easier opponents to play as the season progresses. Their ground, just off Rhedyw Road, is a railed off pitch with a dugout on each side. From the entrance