Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Village life

Wednesday 30 August 2017, Fulbourn Institute Reserves 1 Milton 1 - Cambridgeshire, Kershaw 'A' League, Home End

My first venture into the Cambridgeshire League and I found it an enjoyable watch. It was the second tier of the league but some decent football was played, a small league so many of the players know each other, maybe a reason why the games  (first half) was played in such a good spirit.

Second half was much more scrappier and a number of the subs seemed more willing to roughen up the opposition so the ref had to use his yellow card.

Set up was basic, with the pitch a long way from the pavilion but at least it was roped off and in very good condition, which helped both teams play football.

How not to take a penalty!

Tuesday 29 August 2017, Ipswich Town U23s 3 Sheffield United U23s 2 - Professional Development League, Portman Road

Great game for entertainment with Celina and Rowe impressing, until late on when Celina attempted a 'Panenka' penalty and almost put the ball over the North Stand roof.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Seasiders take the spoils in Kent derby

Monday 28 August 2017, Tonbridge Angels 2 Folkestone Invicta 3 - Bostik Isthmian Premier, Longmead

Some football watching days are better than others but this was one of the better ones - Longmead, the home of Tonbridge is fantastic non-league ground - you have a media tower! Various other stands, a clubhouse, two tea bars and on a hot day they sold ice cream as well as burgers.

Plenty of room to enlarge the ground, and a large free car park, but the best part of the ground is the 80M long seated stand, the main part of the stand is quite old and came from their old ground, but it now has 5 rows of brand new seats and a great place to watch football from - even better than the odd VIP/Directors/Press stand that sits opposite.

On the pitch, we had a cracking game that the visitors eventually won 3-2, but the game could have easy enough finished 5-5!

Not as many Folkestone fans present  as I thought would turn up but they did have a dog.. dressed in a Folkestone shirt! Must be a Kent thing!

Owners v old tenants

Monday 28 August 2017, Banstead Athletic 1 Epsom & Ewell 1 - Cimbined Counties, Premier Division, Merland Rise

For a number of years, Epsom were the tenants at Banstead, so this was like a homecoming for them - not that many of their fans know what a real home is as they continue to live a nomadic life.

When they were tenants the ground had to be improved as Epsom played at a higher level at the time than Banstead. This investment paid off for Banstead, as it has helped them as they have gone up the non-league pyramid.

Cracking clubhouse, stands will do but the pitch is a joke - long grass, dead grass, and bumps and slopes all over - certainly did not help either team with their passing.

The Combined Counties Premier is at the same level in the pyramid as the Eastern Counties Premier but it was obvious today that in both the standard of football played and crowd size the Combined Counties lags well behind their East Anglian equivalent.

But still can't complain as there was still plenty to entertain the crowd on a Bank Holiday morning.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Still second!

Saturday 26 August 2017, Ipswich Town 0 Fulham 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Time wasting at it's best

Wednesday 23 August 2017, Slavia Prague 0 APOEL Nicosia 0 - Champions League, Play-off, 2nd Leg, Eden Arena

Brilliant atmosphere, an almost full house and Slavia put the early pressure on - it looked  like they would get the two goals they needed to level the tie but somehow APOEL hung onto half time. Trouble was at the break the best Slavia player had to hobble out of the match.

In the second half Slavia huffed and puffed but could not get close to getting a goal back and in fact it was APOEL who came close to scoring as they caught the home side on the break numerous times.

But APOEL annoyed many with their constant time wasting, players falling over and the slowest trainer ever seen in football. APOEL were that good they did not need to time waste but iu expect they will say they do not care as they look forward to the Champions League group games.

Arrive by Funicular

Wednesday 23 August 2017, FK Olympia Prague 0 Dynamo Ceske Budejovice 0 - FNL, Stadion Evzena Rosickeho

First of all if you visit Olympia Prague ignore google directions,no need for the recommended tram or bus  you can get to this ground by funicular railway!

When you get to top of Petrin Hill a short walk takes you to the Stahov Stadium, once the second biggest in the world. So large that the ground is the size of 9 pitches, now the training ground for Sparta Prague.

Next to the Strahov is the Evzena Rosickeho, the Czech national athletics stadium but also home to Olympia Prague. Olympia were promoted last year but under a different name - Olympia Hradec Králové, but as the ground was not good enough for the FNL, They just decided to change their name and move over 100km to Prague! A Czech MK Dons?

The stadium (for an athletics arena) is not a bad one to watch football from and you will have plenty of seats to choose from as Olympia only attracted just over 400 fans to this game.

But there is cheap beer, hot dogs and some of the best floodlights you will see at a football march!

Village Champions

Tuesday 22 August 2017, Henley Athletic 2 Westerfield United 0 - SIL Senior Division, Community Centre

This was a closer game than the score suggests and Westerfield certainly made Henley work for the points, but I expect them to be up towards the top of the table again this season.

Off the pitch this is a well organised club, good pitch, roped off, 2 substantial dug outs, advertising hoardings and a superb club house - plus throw in a free glossy programme!

Well worth a visit and good too see them draw a crowd of nearly 100 on on one of their rare evening games.