Monday, 31 October 2016

Goodbye Wiggo - the public still love you

Friday & Sunday 28/30 October 2016 - London 6 Day Cycle - Lee Valley Velodrome

I had been to the track 3 times before, Revolution, World Cup and World Championship but this was my first taste of 6 day cycling and I am hooked.

Next will be to see it on the continent - the races are similar but whilst in the normal Keirin it is 6 sprinters behind a derny (moped) but at the six day it was 8 cyclists behind 8 derny bikes!

Best way to describe the 6 day event - cycling mixed with disco and the darts from the Ally Pally - just go you will love it.

And Wiggo? His last event in the UK and racing with Cav - but not the glorius end he wanted as a big cloud over his head with the use of prescribed drugs - but by day 4, he knew the public not only trusted him but they still love him.

In the end Wiggo and Cav lost it on the last race, but what a way to go out- spectacular, full throttle racing with the crowd right behind him- make sure you book tickets for next year.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Time running out?

Saturday 29 October 2016, Ipswich Town 2 Rotherham United 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Is it time for Mick to go?

Last minute equaliser at home to the bottom of table team - support turning on the manager, poor and boring football - not sure anyone can do better but is time running out for Mick?

Monday, 24 October 2016

Strong team but still lose

Monday 24 October 2016, Ipswich Town U23 0 Cardiff City U23 1 - U23 Professional Development League 2,  Portman Road

Not a great display!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

How many refs?

Saturday 22 October 2016, Yaxley 0 Stanway Rovers 1 - FA Vase 1st Round Proper, In2itive Park

G3 Pitch, good club house, some odd seated stands, cracking burger and a good sized crowd - what more could you ask for? Maybe for there just to be one ref! It became obvious quite early on that both sets of players and both benches thought it was their duty to help the referee in his decision making. But when they were not bickering, both teams played some good football with Stanway winning in the end with an early goal and some great second half defending.

From this game it seems the Eastern Counties and the United Counties league are very evenly matched.

Best bit of the day (on top of the burger) were the home supporters who watched the game from a viewing point above the clubhouse.

New name, new venue but still no support

Friday 21 October 2016, Haringey & Waltham 0 Redbridge 2 - Essex Senior League, Terrence MacMillan Stadium

An easy drive down the A12/13 to an east London Athletics arena - but for me it was an opportunity to complete all the grounds in the Essex Senior League (does that make me a real groundhopper?)

Haringey the home team are a strange club- this is about their 4th name change - last season they were Greenhouse Sports, they are linked to the  Greenhouse Charity. Last year they played at Haringey Borough, so the strange thing is they move from North To East London, Haringey to Newham then they change their name to include Haringey.

They are bottom of the league and will struggle to get any higher this season, they have some good players and friendly (and young) bunch of volunteers but with a crowd today of about 35 and very few of them supporting Haringey, you wonder what the future holds for this club.

Highlight of the evening was the celebration of the first goal by Neil the pretend commentator- famous in non-league circles in East London.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

New pavilion but no cup glory for Ransomes

Saturday 15 October 2016, Ransomes Sports 1 Waveney 3 - Suffolk Senior Cup, 2nd Round - Sidegate Avenue (Ipswich)

Just a 15 minute walk today to my nearest football ground, but one that I have seen cricket played on more than football.

This season Ransomes are now using the new million pound pavilion and changing rooms, built by the local Labour council – a facility shared with local cricket club.

The council had to regain control of the sports ground after the local clubs hit financial difficulties, facilities were poor and Suffolk Cricket had left with the pitch not up to standard, this left a football club, a local cricket club and a wooden pavilion and social club that was close to falling down.

Now Ransomes have a facility to be proud of – changing rooms better than most league clubs. There is small community room and tea, coffee and soft drinks were on sale before and during the game. The fence has rail and posts on half of it and a rope on the cricket pitch side, impressive dug outs and a small piece of cover coming off the groundsmans hut, the game cannot be watched from the new pavilion as that faces onto the cricket pitch.

Waveney from the Anglian Combination are the cup holders and took an early lead but Ransomes hit back and had the better of the rest of the first half missing a great chance to go in front on the 44th minute.

The second half had only just started when Waveney scored from the spot and a third goal soon followed, Ransomes then had most of the possession but other than one great save and a free kick hitting the bar they never really challenged the Waveney keeper and so the North Suffolk side marched onto the third round.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Welcoming club, but not from all

Tuesday 11 October 2016, Phoenix Sports 0 Haringey Borough 3 - Mayplace Ground, Ryman League, Division One (North)

Arrived in Kent early, entered the ground and was straight away impressed by the neat little ground.The brand new fence surrounding the ground, the immaculate turf and the quaint little pavilion, I also was approached by some of the home committee who asked where I had come from and spoke fondly of their club.

A quick pint in the clubhouse followed by a tea and a burger, it became obvious that this was a well run club, and a club also doing well on the pitch as they started the evening top of the league. So both my welcome and pre-match form made what happened afterwards a complete surprise!

Haringey were physical but would not say dirty, the ref was not great but have seen far worse but they have made a small impact on the result but the reason I think Haringey won easy is that  wanted it more and were better organised than Phoenix. But results like that happen and should not be such a big surprise but what was a shock was the abuse coming from one individual in the Phoenix coaching team, aimed at his own players, then the ref, followed by the linesman and eventually at the visitors bench - non stop moaning and swearing! But for all his abuse it did nit seem to help his team and actually the example he set may have helped get his own player sent off.

The second half was quieter- Haringey got a third goal then dominated against the ten men and the Phoenix coach was now in the stand - not sure if sent there by the ref or his own club officials - but it did mean the second half passed off with far less incidents than the first half!

But do not let the antics of one man put you off visiting Phoenix, they are a friendly club with a great set up - well worth a visit.

Monday, 10 October 2016

One to watch- Ben Morris

Monday 10 October 2016, Ipswich Town Under 23 3 Hull City U23 1 - Professional Development League 2, Ipswich Town Training Ground, Playford Road

Scored one, made two and looked a threat all afternoon- Ben Morris

Saturday, 8 October 2016

How green is that pitch?

Saturday 8 October 2016, Eynesbury Rovers 3 Rothwell Corinthians 2 - United Counties League, Premier Division, Alfred Hall Memorial Ground

Neat ground, friendly fans, good game, 5 goals and a penalty save but what I will remember the most is ....the pitch, it looked like it would be more at home at a premier club training ground. Looked like a cross between a snooker table and an astro pitch - must be great to play on it each week.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Trams outdone by the Rams

Wednesday 5 October 2016, Croydon 0 AFC Croydon Athletic 3 - Southern Counties East Football League, Premier Division, Croydon Arena

The Croydon Derby match - 'The Trams' v 'The Rams', but only a small crowd in a vast athletics arena - not great atmosphere  and a cold windy night but we did some goal mouth action! In fact it could have ended up 5-5, the score certainly did not reflect the football played.

The visitors actually used to share this athletics arena, bet they are glad they are back at their own ground - even if the lights occasionally fail!

So Athletic stay top and am sure there will be plenty more good football this season, but even if many of the games are against close neighbours it does not seem to attract the crowds you would expect.