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

No pens allowed but pyrotechnics are OK!

Saturday 8 April 2017, Partizan Belgrade 2 FK Radnik Surdulica 1 - Supa Liga, Stadion Partizan

Technically superb

Saturday 8 April 2017, Partizan Belgrade U19 1 FK Brodarac 4 - Omladinska Liga, SC Partizan-Teleoptik

Free beer, free handbooks and plenty of rain

Friday 7 April 2017, MIP Majdan Pozarevac 4 Sloga Dubravica 0 - Opstinske Liga Grupa Dunav

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

We all leave smiling!

Tuesday 4  April 2017, Ipswich Town 3 Wigan Athletic 0 - Championship, Portman Road

Shock of leaving the ground smiling and those 3 points may now mean we are safe.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Entertaining but still we lost!

Monday 3 April 2017, Ipswich Town Under 23s 0 Sheffield Wednesday Under 23s 1 - Professional Development League, Playford Road Training Ground

An entertaining game that we dominated but then went onto lose with a last minute open goal!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Who will go first the Manager or the Owner?

Saturday 1 April 2017, Ipswich Town 1 Birmingham City 1 - Championship, Portman Road

OK till Birmingham scored then a very nasty atmosphere came over the club - who is to blame? the fans? The Manager? Or the owner? Probably all three!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

No Food!

Saturday 25 March 2017, Raunds Town 2 Olney Town 2 - United Counties League, Division1 - Kiln Park

For the second week running we went to a UCL Division One game for our football fix,easy to find and a large car park, the ground was easily good enough for this level and probably two levels up plus had a large clubhouse but trouble is no support!

The clubhouse just had a couple of supporters in it and the final crowd at the game just hit the 40 mark so the seated stand plus the covered terraces were easily big enough to cater for all of us - but many moved in the second half to the grass bank on the other side of the pitch. This seemed a great sun trap whilst the clubhouse side was like a wind tunnel.

Disappointingly the tea hut did not open till the 40th minute and then we found that there was no food - hot or cold! So I missed my regular Saturday afternoon burger,

The first half was evenly matched but the visitors were slightly  the better footballing team but it was Raunds who got the only goal and went in at the break one up.

Second half started in the same fashion but after 50 minutes the home side went two up and five minutes later the Olney number 9 saw red (he did look like he was past his sell by date) that should have been game over.

But 10 man Olney now dominated and soon were back on terms. the last 10 minutes saw a number of players also try to get an early bath - is there a problem with hot water at Raunds? The home goal keeper seemed to be one quite keen to leave the pitch early luck for Raunds he stayed on the pitch as in the 87th minute he stretched himself to save a penalty, ensuring the game finished all square.

What did amaze me was how the ref never sent any of the Olney bench off - they certainly were not a great advert for non-league football.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

'Pork Pie' army go home happy

Saturday 18 March 2017, Potton United 0 Melton Town 2 - The Hollow, United Counties League, Div 1

On league positions expected a home win but in the end the lads from the home of the Pork Pie won with ease, impressed not only with the way they played football but also their work effort.

Potton may have lost but they have got a lovely neat ground, a brick seated stand stand that was needed with the rain and a (posh but) welcoming clubhouse and reasonably priced burger and bovril. Add to that a programme with plenty to read in it and you can see that Potton are a well run club. But that did not help them today against a Melton side that just seemed to want it more.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

On their way to Portman Road?

Saturday 11 March 2017, Capel Plough 2 Leiston St Margaret's 0 - Suffolk Senior Cup, quarter final, Friars Playing Field

Cup match and great cake, what is there not to like about watching local non-league football. My third Senior Cup match of the season and all have been close and this one was also competitive but Capel never looked in any trouble after going in front.

A good set up at Capel, great little club house - mugs of tea, tasty cake and a bar! The pitch was over 100 metres away but was in good shape, plenty of grass and fully roped off. Surprised the crowd only hovered at about 30 as it is the quarter, Woodbridge got over 200 in the all  Eastern Counties League tie.

Match slightly spoilt at the end with two needless sending offs, not that you can blame the ref as neither player helped themselves. it looked like the trouble would spill over to include the two benches but the incident was soon forgotten and great to see a few minutes later at the end of the match, handshakes all round and the Leiston team wishing Capel good luck in the next round.

So will i be seeing Capel again in the final at Portman Road next month?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Quality pitch

9 March 2017, Beckenham Town 1 Crowborough Athletic 3- Eden Park Avenue, Southern Counties East League

The ground is beginning to look a bit tacky, the home team are near the bottom - but when you arrive you just can't believe how green the pitch is for this time of the year.

It was not just the pitch that was a nice surprise, Beckenham may be just one off the bottom and the visitors just one place from the top but what we saw was a very competitive game and  Crowborough had to work hard to get the three points.

Beckenham  have a talented young team maybe just need a bit more encouragement from their coaching team who just seemed to want to shout and moan at both the ref and their own players.

All in all, it was a good evening of football and really like the feel of the place, just hope they find enough to stay up.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

One word - Poor!

Tuesday 7 March 2017, Ipswich Town 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 - Championship, Portman Road

Maybe two words, very poor!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Sun, rain, hail, sun and more rain - typical match day at Playford Rd

Monday 6 March 2017, Ipswich Town Under 23s 2 Bristol City Under 23s 1 - Playford Rd Training Ground, Professional Development League.

Not a bad game, good win and we had various micro climate changes during the 90 minutes!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Not as bad as it was (or as good as it has been)

Saturday 4 March 2017, Ipswich Town 1 Brentford 1 - Championship, Portman Road

Played better recently but still did not lose!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Distant stand

Wednesday 1 March 2017, Wodson Park 2 Codicote 1- Spartan south Midlands League, Division 1, Wodson Park Athletics Ground

Not a bad game, 3 goals, 2 red cards and a friendly (if small crowd) but hard to like football grounds that are also athletic stadiums. Some do it well, Enfield and Hornchurch but some are cold bleak places- Croydon.

Not all bad at Wodson, a bar, tea and coffee and a good programme but the one stand - is big enough for their small crowds, it keeps the rain off, you can stand or sit but the big issue? It is over 60 metres from the pitch - with the track and 2 long jump pits )and  some grass) between the stand and the pitch. It could be worse! When I visited in the Summer the stand was placed down by the corner flag.

But at least Wodson have a home and far better than the G3 cgae next door where Ware