Saturday, 31 December 2016

Hidden by the science park.

Saturday 31 December 2016, Sittingbourne 2 Hastings United 4 - Ryman League (South), Woodstock Park

Their ground now may be 5 miles out of time, stuck alongside the Kent Science Park and this may mean they do not get the crowds they require but the ground does have both character and potential. Also it must be remembered that the club is lucky to have any ground or even still be in existence after mismanagement and overspending at previous grounds in the town including their time at the Greyhound Stadium.

Xmas holiday games often see the highest crowds of the season and over 200 were here today to see a cracking match v Hastings United. For much of the game it looked like the home side, the 'Brickies' would end up winning but possibly fitness but certainly good substitutions saw Hasting not only get back in the game but end up winning by two goals.

So a great afternoon of entertainment, a nice early kick off and 6 good goals.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Crap year but great goal to end it

Friday 30 December 2016, Ipswich Town 2 Bristol City 1 - Championship, Portman Road

Not a great year for football at Portman Road, and so it was very unexpected to see a goal of real class bring down the curtain on the year.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Two bad Ipswich teams

Boxing Day Double Header 26 December 2016

Felixstowe & Walton United 3 Ipswich Wanderers 0 - Thurlow Nunn Premier, Dellwood Avenue

Ipswich Town 0 Fulham 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Two bad displays by two poor Ipswich teams, Wanderers and Town - 2017 has to be an improvement

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Long journey on the shortest day of the year for some football

Wednesday 21 December 2016, Sleaford Town 1 Peterborough Northern Star 1 - United Counties Premier Division, Eslaforde Park

Day of the winter solstice and I have to drive up to Lincolnshire for my football fix,well I did not have to drive over 100 miles on a dark cold night but it seemed a better way to spend an evening that be stuck upstairs whilst my wife entertained her work mates (they were still here when I got home!)

What i found in Sleaford was a nice modern set up and two teams who seemed keen to attack but were lacking in some of the basic skills - not helped by a poor pitch. Nice clubhouse but the burger and chips were the only food on offer and reports from others that the burger would not win any prizes- maybe a short trip down the road to Stamford for the club staff to taste their home made soup may give them an idea of what pre-match food can be.

The game itself deservedly ended a draw, but thanks to the (lack of)  quality of both the football and the food, I will not be quickly rushing back to South Lincolnshire

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Back to winning ways (and good football!)

Monday 19 December 2016, Ipswich Town Under 23 3 QPR Under 23 1 - Professional Development League, Ipswich Town Training Ground

Plus a great goal from Ben Morris

Pity they left the last opponents- Palace on the teamsheet!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Goals galore at the Dog and Duck

Saturday 17 December 2016, Wellingborough Town 5 Huntingdon Town 3 - United Counties Premier League, Dog & Duck Ground

Watched a few games in this league this season and this looked to be a much lower standard than previous games - Huntingdon are bottom of the league and seem to have not only a very young team but also have one of the shortest back fours in the league.

Home team soon got in front and continued to add goals at regular intervals - but Huntingdon did have chances but could not find the back of the net, no surprise in the second half that the home team got 4-1 ahead. But the young opponents never let their heads drop and suddenly they found the net and we found ourselves at 5-3.

The visitors kept pressing but could not find a fourth goal and in the last minute had their number 9 sent off- no one seemed to know why! So after a poor start, I ended up witnessing  a great game.

The ground is OK for UCL standard but a bit basic for their fellow tenants,  Rushden who play at a higher level.

Cracking 'old school; stand on one side in club colours with the seats at a high elevation giving a good view, two covered terraces at the ground. Simple but new clubhouse and a great tea and burger stand.

Just like Dundee, their town neighbours ( who play in the division below) are very close with Wellingborough Whitworths ground just sitting behind the main stand.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

At least the Bamba tantrum was exciting

Saturday 10 December 2016, Ipswich Town 1 Cardiff City 1 - Championship, Portman Road

Portman Road is becoming quite toxic.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Amongst the posh houses.

Wednesday 7 December 2016, Hadley 0 Hitchin Town 3 - Hertfordshire FA Senior Cup, Quarter Final, Brickfield Lane

At the bottom of the A1 amongst the houses of city stockbrokers (and Premier League footballers) sits the home of Hadley FC. I say the 'home' but in fact the club have only just returned after 8 years sharing the ground of Potters Bar Town, closer to the M25.

Seems locals not too keen on a non- league football club sharing their leafy commuter belt. But thanks to hydraulic floodlights, football is back in this part of Barnet. Money has been spent, neat fence, enough stands for this level and a good flat pitch - the clubhouse is under redevelopment but they still got the Christmas Tree up!

On the pitch, Hitchin were too good, crowd wise the locals seem to still be keeping their distance, with over half the crowd being made up of hoppers and Hitchin fans. Wonder how low the crowds will drop once all hoppers have 'ticked' off this neat little ground?

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A cup of sorts

Monday 5 December 2016, Ipswich Town Under 23s 0 Huddersfield Town Under 23s 2 -Under 23  Premier League Cup, Portman Road

And yet another cup we lose in!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Daniel who?

Saturday 3 December 2016, Stamford AFC 3 Newcastle Town 1 - Northern Premier League, Division One South, Zeeco Stadium

Daniel who? Stamford, the club with a great name for their new stadium - The Zeeco, also have a great nickname 'Daniels' - where does that come from?

Legend has it that the fattest person in England died near the site of their old ground in 1809 , Daniel Lambert was over 52 stone when he died.

Newcastle arrived sitting in second place and should have started favourites for the game but quickly found themselves one down, but in the second half they got back on terms and looked like they would go on and win it. But the home side had two young subs arrive on the pitch and in the last 6 minutes both scored to give the 'Daniels' a 3-1 win.

The ground is part of a sports complex and is just over 2 years old, it has plenty of potential for growth and they seem to be a club run well- their fans recomended the home made soup from the snack bar - not your usual cup-a-soup here.

Nothing to dislike about this ground even if it is new, only minus point was the quality of the other pitches next to the clubhouse - need a bit of loving care.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Up the slope

Sunday 27 November 2016, Cray Valley (PM) 1 Tunbridge Wells 0 - Kent Reliance Senior Trophy, 2nd Round, Badgers Sports Ground

South of the Thames for some Sunday football and a ground that I visited last season only for the game to suffer a late call off. 118 in the crowd so playing on a Sunday certainly pulled a few extra fans in - plus a load of groundhoppers. First thing I noticed was how well organised and friendly Cray Valley are- willing to chat, nice clubhouse and plentiful supply of colour teamsheets.

After leaving the clubhouse the next thing was the slope - very noticeable and did wonder if it would make a big differnce in how the football was played by each side in each half.

Cray were the better team but Tunbridge were certainly dangerous on the break trouble for all the good football by mainly the younger players on each side that was wasted by more senior players whos pent most of the game arguing with the Ref who quickly filled up his little black book with many of their names.

Some of the senior players also seemed to be lacking in both skill and fitness- but all in all it was a good cup game but as it started to get colder, I for one was happy that extra time and penalties were not needed.