Saturday, 30 December 2017

Left it too late

Saturday 30 December 2017, Ipswich Town 1 Derby County 2 - Championship, Portman Road

For some reason, we decided to not start playing till the second half and when we were already two down - but at least we kept fighting.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Exciting to mundane

Saturday 26 December 2017 - Ipswich Wanderers 1 Felixstowe & Walton United 0 - Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, Humber Doucy Lane

Ipswich Town  0 QPR 0 - Championship, Portman Road

Boxing Day and an Ipswich double: Starting with an Eastern Counties game in East Ipswich, Wanderers were second from bottom and Felixstowe top but the first half was very close and Wanderers were making up for a lack of skill in producing a great work rate.

 The second half saw Felixstowe get on top and dominate the game but Wanderers were still dangerous on the break and from one of their rare attacks they took the lead. Felixstowe could have had a late penalty but in the end, their own poor finishing cost them victory.

If Wanderers manage to put the same side out every week and keep playing like today they could yet save themselves from relegation. If Felixstowe continue to play like toady they will soon see themselves leapfrogged in the table but possibly two teams.

Second game was at Portman Road, Ipswich had the best chances in the first half but the second half saw both teams fail to really test either keeper. QPR did lose a player to a second yellow card but their was little time for Ipswich to make any benefit from having an extra man, so it ended up all square.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

South Scotland

Saturday 23 December 2017, Corby Town 3 Spalding Utd 1 - Northern Premier League, South, Steel Park

Kids drinking Irn Bru, Scotch Pies on sale and a mix of accents - East Midlands and Scottish - this is not a normal East Midland town, this is  Corby, where many of the population came south from Scotland to work in the local steel works.

The locals - no mater what their accent is, are very happy with the current football being played at Steel Park, a young team, hardworking, fast full backs and plenty of goals in the team - and with the 3-1 win today they move into second place in the league.

The ground itself is only 6 years old, built at a large sports complex on the edge of the town, with their old ground, the Rockingham Triangle athletics stadium next door. A modern ground but the main stand has a distinct roof making it stand out and the terrace is named after a modern Corby hero, a young soldier who won the  Victoria Cross in Afghanistan - James Ashworth.

So if you like good football or Scottish drinks and pies, get yourself along to Steel Park.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Time to let Mckendry have a chance?

Monday 18 December 2017, Ipswich Town Under 23s 6 Coventry City Under 23s 0 - Playford Road Training Ground, Professional Development League

Flynn Downes has progressed to the first team this season but was back in the 'stiffs' today to get some match fitness, he played well but it was the young winger, Conor McKendry who stole the show - 4 goals including 2 direct free kicks. Will he be the next young player to make the first team?

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Best of the season

Saturday 16 December 2017, Ipswich Town 2 Reading 0 - Championship, Portman Road

Best display of the season but disappointingly the lowest crowd.

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.