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Showing posts from June, 2019

Stretford Victoria Athletic v Prestwich United

10.15am  30 June 2019 Manchester Summer Cup, Group A Stretford Victoria Athletic 1 Prestwich United 3 (at 3) The Manchester Summer Cup has allowed me to extend my 2018/19 season by a couple of extra matches this weekend, but this was definitely my final match before I begin a new season. It wasn't a bad note on which to end. With the weather thankfully cooler than on Saturday the two sides, who I think both play Sunday football in the regular season, produced an entertaining 90 minutes. Based on previous Summer Cup results I expected Stretford to win this comfortably, and over the 90 minutes they looked the more accomplished side,  but credit to Prestwich for making the most of the chances which came their way and defending resolutely. Their first half opened was fortunate, owing much to an over-confident goalkeeper and a lucky ricochet. Even then there was a dispute as to whether to ball had crossed the line before it was cleared. The referee, from some distance away, r

Total Football v AFC Royton

2.30pm  29 June 2019 Manchester Summer Cup, Group C Total Football 8 AFC Royton 2 (att 13) I thought I'd completed my 2018/19 season last weekend, but then I spotted the Manchester Summer Cup and the chance to squeeze in a bit more football before the calendar moves into July and 2019/20 begins. The cup has 24 teams divided into three groups of eight, followed by knock out stages. As far as I can tell the entrants are mix of Saturday and Sunday sides and a few, including Total Football, that are a mystery to me. Total Football is also the name of the company which organises the competition, as well as a similar one in Essex and maybe others elsewhere. They didn't quite live up to their name but they were far too strong for AFC Royton. Royton conceded twice in the first five minutes, and after a start like that they did well to keep the score down until near the end. They actually scored to make it 2-1, but the final first half action was a punt from inside the Total

Commercial HQ v Seacroft Working Mens Club

11am  23 June 2019 Leeds Sunday League, Play-off Cup Group A Commercial HQ 2 Seacroft Working Mens Club 3 (att 20) This was a summer league game but as my football season runs from July until June this will probably mark the end of my 2018/19 season. 2019/20 is likely to begin in a fortnight or so. A curiosity of this year's Leeds Sunday League is that while all the games are on pitches at Fearnville Playing Fields, one fixture each week is on what is designated as 'pitch six' which is some distance from the other three. The pitch is close to Fearnville Leisure Centre, and just beyond a railed off rugby pitch. No facilities for people watching football of course, not that you'd expect any at this level. In common with other Leeds Sunday League games each side is responsible for a goal net. It's a league with a big gulf between teams and some one-sided scorelines, but this was a closely contested match between two sides who haven't had the best of star

Khalsa Football Federation, Leicester Tournament

22 June 2019 Khalsa Football Federation Tournament at LCC Employees' Sports Ground, Leicester I hoped this year's Khalsa tournament in Leicester might allow me to watch games on different pitches after last summer's enjoyable visit , and I got lucky with most games being played over the road at a different ground. Three pitches at the LCC Employees' Sports Ground were in use this year, as well as the Aylestone Playing Fields and GNG FC's ground. All are on Braunstone Lane East, which was busy with players, officials and spectators. The fixtures were organised in a way that meant I could watch three games, one after the other, and ticking all three pitches at the Employees' Ground. That plan was nearly scuppered when unsavoury incidents after the opening matches caused delays. 9.30am Division Two, First Round GSA Youth 4 FC Panjab Sandwell 2 (att 30) This year the Khalsa Football Federation has split its tournaments into four grades. Divisi

Latvia v Slovenia

9.45pm  10 June 2019 UEFA European Championships, Qualifying Group G Latvia 0 Slovenia 5 (att 4,011) After watching Lithuania in Vilnius on Friday night I arrived in Latvia's capital, after a detour via the Baltic coastal resort of Palanga, in time for their Monday night game. The Daugava Stadium in Riga is very much in the style of former Eastern-bloc bowls with huge floodlight pylons that dominate the skyline. It's three-sided, with the side opposite the main stand having a scoreboard and little else, and there's no cover. Thankfully the rain stayed away. Wikipedia tells me the current capacity is around 10,500, in which case the official crowd figure looks a generous over-estimate. Perhaps they counted tickets sold rather than those who turned up, as Latvia's heavy home defeat to Israel on the Friday night must have deterred some. Home fans who stayed away might have a wise decision, as Slovenia romped to a comprehensive win while barely breaking sweat. Th

Lithuania v Luxembourg

9.45pm  7 June 2019 UEFA European Championships, Qualifying Group B Lithuania 1 Luxembourg 1 (att 3,263) It's been a while since I last made progress in my quest to see football in each of UEFA's 55 member nations, but I reduced the tally left to 12 thanks to the latest batch of international fixtures and a long weekend in the Baltic states. First up was a Friday night game at Lithuania's compact national football stadium in Vilnius. The ground is small, so unlike matches against some countries the visit of Luxembourg meant getting tickets was easy. It also meant it was a truly competitive fixture, a relative rarity for both these sides. I've seen Luxembourg a few times over the years, including a 9-0 defeat at Wembley, but this was the first time I'd seen them score. Their first half opener should have set them up for a win, especially when the hosts had a player sent off just before half time. But in the second half the 10 men staged a stirri