Sunday, 23 April 2017

Relegated - but a cracking ground.

Saturday 22 April 2017, Chatham Town 0 Lewes 0 - Ryman League, Division One South, Sports Ground, Maidstone Road

Chatham are down but they were the better team today as Lewes seemed to have already left for their holiday! But for all their domination they never looked like scoring- maybe the reason they were relegated?

This ground  will be a loss to the Ryman League, 2 cracking side stands - very different in style, a bar, club shop, obviously a club that cares about it's history - hope it is just one season away from the Ryman.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Sir Bobby Robson Day - and a win

Monday 17 April 2017, Ipswich Town 3 Newcastle United 1 - Championship, Portman Road

We won, we played well, there was big crowd and money was raised for the Sir Bobby Robson foundation - all in all a great day.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Close to home

Saturday 15 April 2017, Achilles 3 Capel Plough 2 - Suffolk & Ipswich League, Senior Division - Paul's Sports and Social Club

After last weekend in Belgarde and a long drive on Friday for 2 games today I decided to stay local. Achilles are on the other side of Ipswich to me but their enthusiastic chairman lives in my street so I had promised to visit.

Paul's Sports club used to be a lot bigger but part of the site was sold for housing but sports facilities were kept and along with the football the site includes a bowls and tennis club. Add to that a large car park and a good clubhouse it is an excellent place to watch your Saturday afternoon football. Another advantage of just leaving one pitch on the site is that the ground has an enclosed feel to it. The social club is just a few feet from the goal line and the large trees on one side of the ground plus large buses behind the goal keeps the wind off the pitch and also gives some shade on a sunny day.

Achilles are currently second in the Suffolk & Ipswich League but may run out of games to try and catch the leaders but they do have 2 cup finals to look forward to, whilst their opponents Capel are fighting to stay in the league. I had watched Capel win a Senior Cup quarter final a few weeks ago but they then had gone on to lose to Achilles in the semi so they were not only seeking points to stay up but also to gain some revenge for their cup defeat,

Achilles have some quality players and they quickly took control of the game and their supremacy was rewarded with two goals but they could not add to the total and just before the break, Capel scored a great goal from a free kick and went in just one behind at half time.

The second half followed the same pattern of Achilles domination, they hit the bar, the post but had to wait to late on to add a third goal - that should have been it but Capel never gave up and on one of their limited visits to the Achilles half the home team keeper had a nightmare when dealing with a back pass and handed Capel a tap in for a second goal but Capel never looked like pushing on for an equaliser.

I was impressed with Achilles even if they made hard work of what should have been an easy win, the Capel number 9 also had a great game. Both sides attempted to play a passing game and it was a good game to watch. Very little for the ref to do and very little arguing or whinging from either team - may have been helped by the absence of the Capel player who was sent off in the cup quarter final from the match.

A crowd of 80 plus also indicated that Achilles have a good following and the bar was doing good business, but Capel may get smaller crowds but they are champions when it comes to cake and food at their clubhouse.

We are not going for a Burton!

Friday 14 April 2017, Burton Albion 1 Ipswich Town 2 - Championship, Pirelli Stadium

Mick like Luke Varney when he played for us and after his own goal put us on our way to an away win and almost certain safety I guess 'Reg' will still be on his Xmas card list

New modern build ground, not sure how they will make it all seater if they stay in the Championship.

Big Jon

Friday 14 April 2017, Solihull Moors 1 York City 2 - National League, Automated Technology Stadium

York City are on their way to Wembley but at the same time are struggling to stay in the top non-league division. Maybe a surprise to many when their team has experienced Pro's in their side like Scott Loach and 'Big' Jon Parkin.

Scott would have little to do till the second half but Jon was involved in everything in the first half, when York got a free kick over 30 yards out it was Jon who strolled up to take it - too far out I thought, but with all that weight behind him Jon can hit a ball, it beat the keeper, hit the post and a York played followed up to put the visitors one up. A second soon followed and it just seemed to be how many they would score but just before the break and brilliantly taken free kick and Solihull were back in the game.

The second half was all Solihull, not sure why York stopped playing but they did, so now Jon Parkin was quiet and it was Scott Loach who had to show why he had played at a higher level.

Solihull threw everything at York but the visitors held on and jumped the hosts in the table. But if Solihull keep playing like that they should still reach safety.

The ground was packed and i loved the fantastic main stand with an executive tier perched on top of it. A good day out.

Dodgy Ref (s)

Sunday 9 April 2017, FK Rad 0 FK Red Star Belgrade 4 - Supa Liga, Stadion Kralj Petar I

'El Tankeo'

Sunday 9 April 2017, FK Selo Mladenovac 4 OFK Mladenovac 2 - Beogradska Liga Grupa 'C' - Stadion Selters