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Showing posts from August, 2020

Winsford Saxons v Avon Villa

  2pm  29 August 2020 Friendly Winsford Saxons 0 Avon Villa 7 (att 33) abandoned after 70 minutes A quick return to Winsford Saxons now they've found a key to access the Arena pitch at their Knights Grange home, but as they've lost heavily both times I've watched them I doubt they'll want me back again. Worse for the home side was a nasty looking injury which brought a premature end to the game, although the stricken player was at least able to be helped off the pitch after the referee signalled an end to the contest. The 70 minutes or so that were played was enough time for Warrington League Avon Villa to prove their superiority. Six of their goals were during an impressive opening half, when their finishing was faultless.  Winsford Saxons are slick on social media, and seem to have generated a fair amount of local interest. Hopefully their results will improve once competitive football gets underway, and opposition in the Crewe League is unlikely

Cartmel and District v Endmoor KGR at Allithwaite

6.30pm  26 August 2020 Friendly Cartmel and District 2 Endmoor KGR 1 (att 27) at Allithwaite Playing Fields Further than I'd normally travel for a midweek pre-season game, even if the current lack of commuters means rush hour traffic is unusually light. But the attraction of this fixture was the venue. Allithwaite hasn't had a team of its own for several years, but Cartmel often use the village playing fields for reserve and third team matches. I'm unlikely to spend a Saturday afternoon watching one of those, but a first team match, even a friendly, was enough to tempt me to south Cumbria. It wasn't the greatest of games, although it had its moments, but on a sunny evening and with views across Morecambe Bay, it was a lovely way to spend an early evening. Cartmel's first team has steppped up to West Lancashire League for this season, and so were expected to beat Westmorland League Endmoor. Pre-season games can be tricky to predict though, and i

Bamford v Buxworth

  2pm  22 August 2020 Friendly Bamford 4 Buxworth 1 (att 39) My slow start to the resumption of football, after family duties took priority a week ago, continued with a friendly between two sides who will both be in the top division of the Hope Valley League when competitive action begins. This felt more like a competitive match than a friendly though, albeit played in very good spirits. There were none of the mass substitutions that can spoil pre-season fixtures, no mid-half drinks breaks and, while points weren't at stake, both teams were keen to win. The home side came out on top, but had to come from behind after a excellent direct free kick gave Buxworth an early lead. It was so early that few spectators were there to see it, as the match got underway nearly 10 minutes ahead of schedule. At least Bamford's followers were pitchside by the time their team scored twice ahead of the half time to edge in front of a lively match. There wasn't much bet

Acorn Albion v Sherwin

2pm  8 August 2020 Friendly Acorn Albion 1 Sherwin 7 (att 10) With the FA's ruling in midweek that the behind closed doors rule extended even to friendlies staged by clubs in regional feeder leagues (what was step seven), there was an extra challenge to finding a game to watch today. Both these sides are in the Midlands Regional Alliance, or at least they were last season, so the rule didn't apply at the Marston's Sports Ground in Burton-upon-Trent. With the crowd only just into double figures it wasn't hard to remain socially distanced anyway, and I had one side of the pitch to myself. Acorn finished top of the truncated division two last season, based on points per game, while Sherwin ended up bottom of division one. I don't know if they'll swap places for this season, but if so it could be a struggle for the home side. They scored the opening goal, an early penalty following their first attack of the match, but Sherwin were quickly level. I didn

AFC Burnley v Squires Gate

7.30pm  4 August 2020 Friendly AFC Burnley 0 Squires Gate 4 (att 40) Twenty-four hours ago I'd never heard of AFC Burnley, but following a convoluted Twitter trail looking for local pre-season matches led me to this fixture, against step five opposition from the North West Counties League. AFC Burnley are returning to Saturday football this season, and have a place in the Lancashire Amateur League. Squires Gate were always going to be a tough challenge, but the home side battled well and it took a while before the game was beyond them. The visitors went ahead about midway through the first half, but although they were well on top for the 90 minutes the score remained at 1-0 until into second half. In the end their extra quality and fitness made the difference. AFC Burnley's home for the season is an enclosed artificial pitch at the new Accrington Stanley Sports Hub, built on the site of the Higham Playing Fields. Hand sanitiser at the entrance and pitchside in the

Winsford Saxons v Dolphin Inn

12 midday 2 August 2020 Friendly Winsford Saxons 2 Dolphin Inn 5 (att 62) Another pre-season game that probably wouldn't have tempted me had there not been such a lengthy break since competitive football finished back in March. Winsford Saxons are a Saturday side, playing in the Crewe and District League, but visitors Dolphin Inn are a Sunday team, so maybe their comfortable win in was part due to being more used to playing on a Sunday. Dolphin Inn showed a Sunday football touch from the off by lining up with one player wearing a different kit to his teammates. But over 90 minutes they showed that Sunday football can be more than a match for Saturday teams at this level. The visitors got the only goal of a tight and rather scrappy first half. Goals flowed after the break, doubtless aided by tired legs, although two of Dolphin's strikes wouldn't have been out of place in a Match of the Day goal of the month line up. Winsford Saxons are based at the multi-pitch K

Keelby United v Westella and Willerby

2pm  1 August 2020 Friendly Keelby United 0 Westella and Willerby 1 (att 85) Twenty weeks ago I travelled to north Lincolnshire and saw the home side lose by the only goal. I suspected it might be my last match for a while, possibly of the season, and that's how it turned out. I've now book-ended the long gap with a similar journey and the same score. Keelby is further than I'd normally travel for a friendly. But these aren't normal times and after such a hiatus I was grateful just to have live sport to watch. I also had a back up of a game at nearby Immingham had there been any problems with this fixture. There were no problems though, and for a pre-season game it wasn't bad to watch. An early goal was enough for Humber Premier League Westella to beat Lincolnshire League Keelby, and although the visitors were marginally the better side there wasn't much between the two. Players on both teams looked keen, and while league football remains a few weeks