Saturday, 9 December 2017

Too dark to see

Saturday 9 December 2017, Felixstowe Harpers Utd 1 Achilles 6 - Suffolk & Ipswich, Trimley Sport & Social Club

2pm Kick off but it still meant the game finished in near darkness but that did not stop us witnessing a very professional performance by Ipswich based team, Achilles.

Felixstowe started the game as league leaders but Achilles were only just behind and had games in hand and a superior goal difference, not sure we will see the home team lead the table gain this season.

Achilles soon took charge and went ahead, Felixstowe and plenty of possession but never had a clear cut chance in the first half. Achilles went three p but disappointingly they still challenged any decision the ref gave. With almost the last chance of the half, Achilles got a 4th goal, a spectacular goal that may have started off as a cross!

We feared for Felixstowe in the second half but a combination of a better attitude from the home team and Achilles coasting meant the second half was more competitive. But Achilles still had the luxury of bringing on their best player as a sub late on in the game, he then found the net with the best goal of the game. Felixstowe did not let their heads drop and in the last minute gained a consolation, not that we could see who scored it as by then it was almost pitch dark.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

All about the 'Beast'

Sunday 3 December 2017, Wycombe Wanderers 3 Leatherhead 1- FA Cup Round 2, Adams Park

Often we go on about fans of big clubs not caring about the FA Cup, but it seems not all lower league fans are that keen on shelving out cash to see another game, very few Wycombe fans at the game and those who did turn up were out sung by the brilliant Leatherhead fans.

Football wise Leatherhead took an early lead from a disputed penalty but after the the ref struggles to control the game, too many needless yellow cards, not that he was helped by the antics of one of the Leatherhead forwards, who was very quick to go to ground.

Wycombe got back on terms with a great free kick but they knew they were fortunate to go in at the break on level terms.

Second half and fitness told as Wycombe got on top and then took the lead after a fantastic bit of skill from the 'Beast' - Adebayo Akinfenwa - the game got easier for the home team after the Leatherhead player-manager got a second yellow and an early bath.

The game ended with a fantastic final goal from the 'Beast' - it turned out to be his day!

Plenty to watch, Little to hear

Wednesday 29 November 2017, Heybridge Swifts 5 Kingstonian 1 - Scraley Road, FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying round, replay

Heybridge have played 27 games this season but only 9 in the league after local cup games and long runs in the FA Cup and now the Trophy, they will now have another cup game after an easy win tonight.

The home team were impressive, young, fast, good passing, good football, skillful wide players, no moaning and an obvious good team spirit unlike Kingstonian who were poor and a neutral would never have thought the Surrey side played a division higher.

Heybridge were 2-0 up at half time but it could have been 4 or 5, in the second half they did tire but still added a further 3 goals as they were superb on the break. Kingstonian got a late consolation from the spot after a needless penalty was given away.

I froze in the first half sat in the main stand but was slightly warmer in the second half when I sat in the old wooden stand behind the dugouts. We were joined in the second half in the stand by Glen Little an ex Premier League player with Reading, I had watched Glen for a season in the mid nineties when he played for Glentoran. Glen is now involved in the coaching set up at Heybridge, and he also runs an academy that brings Spanish speaking players over to the UK, and attempts to get them fixed up with non-league sides.

Glen spent the whole half taking to 4 young lads about his career in the pro game, interesting stories but he did muss a good half of football!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Went home happy

Saturday 2 December 2017, Ipswich Town 4 Nottingham Forest 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Great game, great win - can we play like this every week?

Sunday, 26 November 2017

More from the Marakana

Second visit in 2017 to the home of Red Star Belgrade, the Marakana - also known as  the Rajco Mitic or the latest sponsor name, still to see a game here but hope to remedy that one day.

Vauxhall Road - full of character

Saturday 25 November 2017, Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Bognor Regis Town 1 - FA Trophy, 3rd Qualifying Round, Vauxhall Road

First of all the game - Home team on top in the first half, score early on but do not add to that even when well on top. Second half and it is the visitors time to get on top, they equalise and it is only because of a mixture of wasted chances and good goalkeeping that stops them from getting an away win.

But this is a ground you visit not just because of the football on show, it is a fantastic mixture of stands , sheds and even a hut for the local pigeon racing club! The ground is not that old and it had looked quite rundown in the past but a couple of new stands has given it a real football feel.

The clubhouse even had a naked Roman statue on the stage, everywhere you look there is something different to see, definite a 'must visit' for any serious groundhopper.

How much injury time?

Wednesday 22 November 2017, Ipswich Town 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Should have won, but somehow the Ref found 5 minutes injury time!