Sunday, 12 June 2022

Northern (Summer Sport) in the East

Saturday 10 June - Rugby League Double header 

@ 1pm

Eastern Rhinos Development - 38 Canvey Knights - 18

East of England League Division One

Colchester Sports Park (back pitch - grass)

First game was quite even till The Rhinos took full control in the second half - and then the home team slightly ran away with the game. On one of the back pitches, no dug outs or any sort of stand


Eastern Rhinos - 24 Wests Warriors - 48
Southern Conference League East Division
Colchester Sports Park 3G

This game was on the pitch by the cafĂ©, fully caged but at least some brick type bench seating was available. Disappointed that the game was not played on the fully railed pitch of Colchester RUFC.

Do not let the score fool you, this game was very close till the last 10 minutes when poor licking options chosen by the Rhinos on the last tackle gifted the West's a number of late tries.

Saturday, 4 June 2022

Baltic Day 3 - Nations League - Latvia

 Day 3 - Friday 3 June 2022, Latvia 3 Andorra 0 - Nations League, Daugavas Stadium

Admission - 9 Euros, on line, print your own
Programme: Nil
Attendance: 5863

9am bus from Tallinn to Riga, just 18 Euros, comfortable, TV , free coffee - 4 and half hours later in the Latvian capital.

Like Estonia, great public transport so just 30 minute bus ride to the stadium, another fan zone on edge of ground, DJ, Beer and peanuts but not much food on offer.

3 sided ground, athletics track and only two stands open - all open to the elements, the side stand was quite full with a small group of Latvian 'ultras;' behind one goal.

Expected more from Latvia, they took the lead after just 9 minutes but never pushed on and in fact it was Andorra who came closest to scoring with the Latvian keeper not looking confident, he left one shot, that hit the bar!

Second half was much of the same, Latvia having plenty of the ball but being very wasteful when it came to taking their chances. It took till the 77th minute for Latvia to get their second, and it then took a while for VAR to confirm the Robert Uldrikis had his and Latvia's second goal and taht he was not offside. Latvia then added a third from the spot in the 85th minute. Uldrikis not happy he was not allowed to take it and get his hat trick.

Like in Estonia the night before, very few people left early and just a short wait and the bus had me back in the town within 35 minutes.

Baltic trip - day 2 - Nations League Estonia

 Thursday 2 June 2022 - Estonia 2 San Marino 0, Nations League, A. Le Coq Arena

Easy bus trip to the ground, just 10 minutes from the 'Old Town'. Fan zone between the main stadium and the Sportland Arena, including 2022 Estonian Euro vision act, Black Velvet!

Beer on sale and hot dogs only food, same fare on sale inside the ground, very modern stadium and impressive. Game was not so impressive, Estonia got on top and scored twice in the first half but they did not look comfortable. 

The second half actually saw San Marino get on top for short spells and they  could have even scored, the game then drifted to the finish, what I did notice, even with a poor game, did not see one fan leave early, guess the low crowd and superb public transport service, means no rush to leave.

Baltic break day 1

Wednesday 1 June 2022,Tallin FC Eston Villa 1 Tallinn AS Cosmos 2

League 3 North

Sole Gymnasium Stadium, Tallinn, Estonia

F & N

Attendance: 14

Kick off: 8.30pm.

Great public transport system and cheap, meant just a short bus ride to this G4 pitch, built on the side of a large swimming pool/gym.

Game was third v first so expected a good game, the home side started on the front foot and after 5 minutes, won a penalty but then missed it! The visitors were having less of the ball but looked more of a goal threat when they did get it and after 21 minutes took the lead. 

After 55 minutes the home team got back on level terms but 3 minutes later were behind again after conceding a soft penalty. Home side kept trying but AS Cosmos had little difficulty defending their goal, the home players began to get more frustrated with their own display and what they thought was some poor refereeing. As the game came to the closing stages the Ref started giving out cards ( to both teams) but after 88 minutes the home team had a player sent off, followed by another in injury time. According to the Estonian FA site a third home player may have seen Red after the game was over!

Well kept arena, which actually had 250 seats built onto the swimming pool wall, but trouble was since they were built someone had placed portable changing rooms in between the stand and the pitch, so only about 20 of the seats had any view of the game. Fortunately no cage and on the side of the pitch they had placed benching which could seat 100 plus spectators.

Surprised how poor the crowd was as both Tallinn teams, both at the top of the table and a regional third division game.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

North Norfolk Cup Final fun

Friday 27 May 2022, Watlington Sports and Social Club Reserves 1 AFC Lynn Napier Reserves 2 - Charlie Day Cup Final (NW Norfolk Saturday League) at Station Road (Heacham FC)

Good opportunity to tick off Heacham before they enter the Eastern Counties League next season - tidy set up, well organised club, pavilion selling beer, hot drinks and burgers, small stand but no seats and stand stuck behind dug outs, good sized car park, pitch railed on 3 sides. Still work to be done, requires seats and floodlights.

Lynn Napier who had won the 3rd Division soon got on top against their opponents who had finished in the bottom half of the Second Division, took the lead in the 20th minute and made numerous other chances but failed to add to their one goal. Watlington had one attempt headed off the line but other than that did not really threaten the Lynn Napier goal.

Second half was more of a contest and Watlington got back on terms in the 53rd minute then had a short spell when they were on top. Lynn Napier then made a few changes and their young winger made a quick impact, making numerous chances, and Lynn Napier took one of those chances to get back in front. However they still could not add to their total so there was always the danger of giving away a goal on the break. Last few minutes saw some niggly challenges and with 5 minutes to go a Lynn Napier player received a red card, most in the crowd were amazed that the Watlington Number 9 did not join him for an early bath. Lynn Napier then saw the stoppage time out to win the cup.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

May be end of season but sill competitive

Saturday 21 May 2022, Hutton 'A' 2 Burnham Ramblers Reserves 3 - Mid Essex League, Premier Division, Hannakins Farm

My first venture into this league and was impressed how competitive the game was and the skill on display. Ended up being a great game to watch.

Hutton started off on top however Burnham had their moments, but after 38 minutes the home team took the lead.

Within 30 seconds of the second half starting, Burnham were level and very quickly got on top, with their young substitute impressing, Within 20 minutes they were 3-1 up and cruising, Hutton then got back into the game and equalised in the last minute however Burnham had no real problem seeing the added time out.

Hannakins Farm has rural feel, surrounded by trees with a very large community centre, but that has no facilities for spectators. The pitch is G4, but has hard standing on one side and railed on two sides, with lights. 

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Champions finish with a win

Saturday 14 May 2022, Belstone 3 Wingate and Finchley Development 0 - Herts Senior County League, Medburn Ground

Home team had won the league last week, so a good crowd present to see them presented with the trophy.

Both teams wanted to play football with the home side looking slightly shaper and far more organised. Two up at half time however the visitors also had a number of chances.

Third goal early in the second half meant as a contest the game was over, Wingate being unfortunate that Lino was not that fit so not up with play and missed the obvious offside.

No further goals as Belstone missed numerous chances, many due to 'end of season' greed hitting the home team. Last quarter of the game saw Wingate chasing shadows at times, and though the game was not dirty, maybe frustration got the better of one of the visitors as he received a straight red card for a two footed challenge towards the end of the game.

Nice setting to watch a game, superb pitch for Step 7, small but modern clubhouse and a fully railed pitch. Very friendly welcome by Belstone officials, even got a free cup cake at half time!