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Showing posts from May, 2018

Runcorn Albion v Moorfield

6.15pm  29 May 2018 Warrington and District League, Division One Runcorn Albion 5 Moorfield 0 (att 25) Large divisions and a bad winter are the main reasons why the Warrington and District League is completing its fixtures, finally, in the last days of May. Helpful to groundhoppers like me, but it must be difficult for players and officials. Nothing at stake in this fixture, but unlike some late season Warrington League matches it wasn't given as a walkover, and both teams team turned up with full teams and substitutes. It wasn't a bad game in the circumstances. Moorfield had the better of the opening exchanges, but they went behind to a 25th minute goal and from then on the game swung very much in Runcorn Albion's favour. The home side got a second just before half time, and scored three more in a second half that they dominated. Runcorn Albion play at The Heath Playing Fields, a surprisingly pleasant location with pitches spread out over a wide area.

Workington Athletic v Cleator Moor Celtic reserves

7pm  23 May 2018 Cumberland County League, Premier Division Workington Athletic 1 Cleator Moor Celtic reserves 3 (att 40) Cleator Moor's second team went into this, their final fixture, bottom but one in the table and knowing that nothing short of a win would remove the threat of relegation from the Cumberland League's top division. Given the circumstances they could have hoped for a better a fixture than a visit to champions Workington Athletic, but the home side had nothing to play for and it showed in a flat first half. The sole highlight was Cleator Moor's opener, which had a suspicion of offside about it. They doubled their lead early in the second half, but Workington Athletic upped their game and pulled a goal back. The home side pushed hard for an equaliser, but a mixture of resolute defending and luck preserved Cleator Moor's advantage. The visitors were finally able to breathe more easily when in stoppage time they hit on the break for a decisive 3-

Silsden Whitestar v Grassington United

6.30pm  21 May 2018 Craven and District League, Premier Division Silsden Whitestar 4 Grassington United 2 (att 50) Silsden Whitestar's title hopes remained intact after an incident-packed and long evening, although the goals they conceded leave them with a tough task ahead of their final league fixture on Wednesday. They went into this game knowing two wins form their last two fixtures, provided they won them by a combined margin of clear seven goals, would be enough to overhaul Settle United and win the Craven League. They couldn't have wished for a better start against Grassington, going ahead after four minutes. But chasing more goals left gaps at the back and the visitors, third in the league with a chance of being runners-up should they win, were soon level. It was still 1-1 at half time, and Grassington had looked the better side. Ten minutes into the second period Silsden went ahead, and the points looked safe when they got a third about 10 minutes after that.

Dundonald Bluebell v Newtongrange Star

2.30pm  19 May 2018 SJFA East of Scotland Cup. Quarter-Final Dundonald Bluebell 1 Newtongrange Star 1, 5-4 on penalties (att 150) The last time I tried to watch a game at Dundonald I arrived to find it was off, but no such problems this time and Moorside Park looked a picture in the warm sunshine. It's a great junior football venue, with three separate areas of cover for spectators, some steep grass banking, a social club and a snack bar from where I enjoyed an excellent steak pie. There's no shortage of cup competitions in junior football, but the East of Scotland Cup is one of the better ones, and as expected it was a tight and competitive battle between two Super League sides. We had to wait until well into the second half for the opening goal, a well placed header for the home side. They couldn't hang onto their lead though, and Newtongrange were well worth their equaliser. No extra time in junior football (except the national Scottish Junior Cup) so it was

Maryhill Thistle v Glasgow Island

10am  19 May 2018 Glasgow Colleges League, Premier Division Maryhill Thistle 3 Glasgow Island 2 (att 15) Having had my first taste of Glasgow Colleges FA football a few weeks ago, when I watched Maryhill Thistle lift a cup at Petershill's ground, I visited the champions as I made my debut in its league competition. I had planned to watched Blochairn Star's Strathclyde Saturday Morning League game, but I arrived to find little sign of life less than 30 minutes before kick off, so I assumed it was off and diverted to this game as a back up. Blochairn played, so maybe I should have held my nerve and been patient, but as it turned out I was rewarded by an entertaining game on a 3G pitch at the Firhill Complex. Despite having nothing to play for Maryhill Thistle were good in the first half, and two goals looked to have put them on the road to a comfortable win. But in the second half they eased off and Glasgow Island - many of whose players come from the Western Isles

Silsden Whitestar v Skipton Town at Gargrave AFC

6.30pm  15 May 2018 Craven and District League, Northern Plant Hire Trophy Final at Gargrave AFC Silsden Whitestar 1 Skipton Town 0 (att 90) I never visited Gargrave's impressive ground when the village had a team in local football but, fortunately, since the club's demise the venue has continued to host occasional cup finals. I'm told the final of the Northern Plant Hire Trophy, the Craven League's league cup competition, is always held at Gargrave. It makes sense as not only is it currently guaranteed to be a neutral location, but the facilities are good. The pitch is enclosed, it's partly railed off, and there's a large covered area for spectators. Tonight that was used by Skipton fans, while those supporting Silsden Whitestar gathered on the opposite touchline, where the ground borders the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The site, on the edge of the village, is shared with the local cricket club, whose own ground is self-contained and right next door.

Kello Rovers v Cambuslang Rangers

2pm  12 May 2018 SJFA West Region, Super League, Division One Kello Rovers 0 Cambuslang Rangers 3 (att 160) Nithside Park is a bit of an outpost of Scottish junior football, with Kirkconnel-based Kello Rovers the only club in Dumfries and Galloway to play that grade of the game. It's a nice ground, and a good example of the 'old style' traditional junior venues that help make football north of the border so tempting. The main feature is a large covered enclosure, which is terraced. There's a small covered area on the opposite side, in front of a building that houses the changing rooms and a tea bar, while the rest of the ground is open, with a mixture of terracing, paved hard standing and grass. Both these sides were in need of points at opposite ends of the table, and it was Cambuslang who took all three to keep their promotion challenge on track. Kello may go down, although I think restructuring is planned for West Region football next season and I'm no

Southside White Cart v Barshaw

10am  12 May 2018 Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur League, Championship B Southside White Cart 2 Barshaw 0 (att 8) Overlee Playing Fields in Clarkston was busy with parents and players for junior football matches when I arrived, making me wonder if my game might have been moved elsewhere until I spotted some adult footballers among the youngsters. There's a pair of full-sized pitches at Overlee. They're next to each other and enclosed at the far end by a high fence designed to limit the number of balls that would otherwise disappear down the steep drop beyond. The near end is bordered by a steep grass bank, complete with flowering daffodils, which leads up to the changing rooms. It's one of Glasgow's better amateur football venues, particularly on a warm and sunny morning. Neither side had much to play for on the pitch, and it was a game of fluctuating quality. Southside White Cart - named after the river that borders Overlee, or perhaps a pub that's