AFC Hucknall 4 Harworth CI 2

Wednesday 29th December 2010
AFC Hucknall 4 Harworth CI 2
Quartet Catering League Challenge Cup First Round
At: Watnall Road
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (20 pages)
Mileage: 111.0
Weather: cold, foggy
Attendance: 35 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 46:08; second-half: 47:57

This game wouldn’t normally be on my radar as I don’t tend to watch league cup games and I don’t tend to head out so far anymore on dark evenings when the clocks are on GMT. However, the ‘need’ to watch a fourth game this month, to avoid watching less than four games in December for the first time since 1982, and an opportunity to meet up with some of my East Midlands football friends proved too hard to resist. Fog was a menace both on the way and during the game but didn’t really spoil what was an enjoyable way to see out football in 2010.

The Quartet Catering League Challenge Cup is the league cup competition of the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League and this first round tie pitted Premier Division newboys AFC Hucknall against higher-ranked Supreme Division Harworth CI. Rob Hornby reckoned the game may have been postponed four or five times already.

When I left home, fog was closing in and with some trepidation I decided to head for Hucknall trying to ignore the 5Live travel bulletin which mentioned that ‘fog was a problem on the M1 between junction 29 and junction 15’.

I knew my way to Hucknall’s Watnall Road ground, being close to A611 Hucknall bypass and next to the roundabout with the B6009. I’d previously been to the ground on three occasions, all to see Hucknall Town – against Eccleshill United in 1993 and twice against Stafford in both 2004 and 2006.

True to their word, Rob, and Malc and Kev (of ‘On The Road’blog fame) were there as were ‘Bob L. Hatt’, ‘osborne’, and Margarete Henke and Jens from Germany, amongst other travellers – a nice post-Christmas gathering.

Prior to kick-off a one-minute silence was held in memory of Tom Brogan, a man who was ‘secretary at Harworth Colliery for over 30 years and involved with the club for over 40 years - a giant of a man who gave his life to the club’. With fog making it difficult to identify players in the distance, AFC Hucknall (wearing yellow shirts, black shorts and yellow socks) got the tie underway attacking the Watnall Road end of the ground during the first half.

This was the first Central Midlands League game of any description to be played since Wednesday 15th December. Hucknall were the better side during the opening quarter and forced a save out of Harworth keeper Steve Lindsay in the 19th minute who got a boot in the way of Cashel Walters’ shot. Lindsay also used his legs to thwart Jake Fisher as well. Just before the interval Harworth created a couple of decent scoring opportunities. Hadlee Dunn turned over a rising drive from Fisher and from the resulting corner the Hucknall keeper pushed away a fierce shot hit by Simon Ward.

The deadlock was broken at the far end (we were standing under cover behind the Watnall Road goal) four minutes after the restart. An initial shot hit a post and the same or another plyer hammered home the rebound. Was it ‘11’ or ‘9’ who scored. The tannoy announcer said ‘Max Wright’. A mere 115 seconds later, including the time taken to get the action underway again, before AFC Hucknall scored again. Fisher got on the end of a deep left-wing cross and fired home at the far right post. Another goal came, Hucknall’s third, 113 seconds after the second one and this time it was Wright who converted a left-wing cross at the far right post.

In eight second-half minutes, the game had progressed from 0-0 at half-time to 3-0, and the goals kept on coming. Just after the hour mark, Harworth substitute Ryan Paczkowski, from the left side of the area, lifted the ball over Dunn who could only parry it into the far side of the net.

Stood up amongst the covered seats the fog was making it difficult to make out players on the far touchline where the dugouts were situated. Hucknall’s made a change in the 75th minute which for a time remained a mystery before I established it was ‘14’ replacing ‘10’.

AFC Hucknall restored their three-goal lead in the 80th minute through Fisher’s close-range shot. The goals weren’t over. Harworth scored again when unchallenged Kevin Shelley headed home from Paczkowski’s cross. The visitors kept pressing to try and force an unlikely replay. Wayne Duik fouled Lloyd Wilkinson inside the area but Dunn kept out Gareth Sides’ penalty with his boot.

I made good time heading home and the fog didn’t bother too much, apart from the unlit stretch from Alrewas to Armitage.

And as ‘On the Road Malc’ wrote: ‘it was a really good night, and the company was superb’. Rob added: ‘Was good to see some footie and some good faces as well..even the lino asked me in the clubhouse after, was there anyone in the crowd that didn’t know me lol’ Can’t disagree with either of them and I picked up two new Facebook friends in Kev and Margarete.

AFC Hucknall (yellow/black/yellow): 1. Hadlee Dunn, 2. Richie Holmes, 3. Sam Clare, 4. Joel Goodacre (capt), 5. Joe Pheasant, 6. Wayne Duik, 7. Cashel Walters, 8. Sam Sims, 9. Jake Fisher, 10. Danwell Francis, 11. Max Wright. Subs: 12. Josh Henry, 14. Kamran Hussain (for Francis, 75), 15. Ben Waplington (for Fisher, 80).

Harworth CI (red/white/black): 1. Steve Lindsay, 2. Greg Fox, 3. Stuart Needham, 4. Martyn Gee (capt), 5. Luke Edwards, 19. Simon Ward, 7. Chris Belshaw, 8. Lee Edmondson, 9. Gareth Sides, 10. Kevin Shelley, 11. Dean Burrows. Subs: 12. Ryan Paczkowski (ffor Edmondson, ht), 16. Lloyd Wilkinson (for Burrows, ht), 20. Lewis Reid (for Edwards, 51).

Referee: Harry Hawkins.
Assistants: Robin Bourne and Paul Thomas.

1-0 Max Wright (49)
2-0 Jake Fisher (51)
3-0 Max Wright (53)
3-1 Ryan Paczkowski (61)
4-1 Jake Fisher (80)
4-2 Kevin Shelley (86)

Hucknall: none
Harworth: Ryan Paczkowski (YC, 61)

AFC Hucknall report

AFC Telford United 3 Redditch United 1

Tuesday 28th December 2010
AFC Telford United 3 Redditch United 1
Blue Square Bet North
At: Bucks Head Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £11; Programme: £2 (64 pages)
Weather: cold, dry
Attendance: 1690
Duration: first-half: 47:03; second-half: 48:27

Following the postponement of Worcester v Stafford that followed the postponement of the games at Morecambe and Chesterfield, I'd decided to stay in. But, suddenly at around 1-25 pm, I hit the road for Telford. All the goals came in the first half as the Bucks moved top of the BSB North table. The squads on the back page of the programme listed seven former Stafford players though only two - Marco Adaggio and Jemiah Richards - played any part.

AFC Telford United (white/black/black): 1. Ryan Young, 2. Will Salmon, 3. Sean Newton, 4. Carl Rodgers, 5. Stuart Whitehead, 6. Shane Killock (capt), 7. Greg Mills, 8. Phil Trainer, 9. Adam Proudlock, 10. Andy Brown, 11. Jon Adams. Subs: 12. Liam Murray (not used), 13gk. Daniel Platt (not used)), 14. Courtney Pitt (for Adams, 79 mins), 15. Alex Meechan (for Proudlock, 86 mins), 16. James Lawrie (not used).

Redditch United (red/red/red): 1. Dean Coleman, 2. Joseph Hull, 3. Shaun Timmins, 4. Jordan Fitzpatrick, 5. Lee Ayres (capt), 6. Gavin Hurren, 7. Robert Ager, 8. Wayne Dyer, 9. Matt Smith, 10. Marco Adaggio, 11. Josh Quaynor. Subs: 12. Luke Edwards (for Ager, 60 mins), 14. Adam Newbury (for Fitzpatrick, 72 mins), 15. Jemiah Richards (for Adaggio, 79 mins), 16. James Dormand (not used).

Referee: Sarah Garratt (Halesowen).
Assistants: Ross Crawford (Stoke) and Nigel Day (Burslem).

1-0 Carl Rodgers (11)
1-1 Josh Quaynor (19)
2-1 Andy Brown (21)
3-1 Adam Proudlock (30)

AFC Telford: none
Redditch: Gavin Hurren (YC, 90)

Monday 27th December 2010: OFF Part III

Monday 27th December 2010

Portishead v Shepton Mallet OFF
Hengrove v Keynsham Town OFF
Errea Somerset Senior League ALL OFF

I was right! Day 16 of the enforced winter break! Nothing else to say other than a family gathering in Bristol instead.

Sunday 26th December 2010: OFF Part II

Sunday 26th December 2010

Stafford Rangers v AFC Telford United OFF
Shrewsbury Town v Bury OFF

The snow which fell what must now be 10 days ago is still on the ground, Stafford continues to be gripped by freezing temperatures and the seems to be no end in sight to this arctic-like cold snap. So, it was no surprise there will be no action today at Marston Road where I was planning to watch the home game against AFC Telford United in the company of my Dad and Laurence Reade.

With no fixtures scheduled today below Blue Square Bet North, my long-term plan was to make a second visit of the season to Marston Road. However, a news item add as early as Tuesday on Rangers’ official website told of a planned inspection:

‘In view of the current ground conditions and the long range weather forecast a preliminary ground inspection will be carried out at 3pm on Friday 24th December.
It should be stressed that this is a preliminary inspection and a final decision may not be made at this time.’

Come Thursday, the game was described as being in ‘serious doubt’ and the aforementioned Christmas Eve inspection came to an inevitable conclusion:

Boxing Day Match Off
Following a pitch inspection today, the pitch is still frozen and covered in snow and unfortunately the match will not be able to go ahead.

My thoughts then turned to League action and a short list of two games: Reading v Bristol City and Shrewsbury Town v Bury. To be honest in these conditions, it didn’t make any sense to make a 280 mile round trip to the Madejski Stadium especially but Shrewsbury’s Greenhous Meadow Stadium was a short journey along the M54. Better than that, when I checked their website yesterday evening, the game looked set to go ahead with a precautionary inspection planned for this morning. Could it survive after an incredibly cold Christmas Day night?

In a word ‘no’! At 9-05 am this morning I heard on 5Live that there were ‘a couple more games off: in League One Exeter v Swindon Town and League Two Shrewsbury Town v Bury’.

Shrewsbury’s website confirmed the news:

‘After a monumental effort by the ground staff and volunteers the Referee has deemed the Towns game against Bury to be non playable, conditions have not significantly improved to ensure supporters safety in and around the ground.

‘Despite the efforts of everyone involved when the groudstaff [sic] started to take the covers off early this morning the pitch froze as soon as it was uncovered. Referee Rob Lewis was at the Greenhous Meadow as scheduled and with temperatures now [sic s/b not] forecast to rise during the day he had to [sic s/b no] hesitation in postponing the game.’

So, what is left on a 15th consecutive day without football? For start with, enjoy the fact that England finished day one of the fourth test on 157-0 after bowling Australia out for 98. It was sheer delight to be up during the night watching the Aussie innings disintegrate. And, a trip to the cinema to watch Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Digital 3-D.

Prospects don’t look any brighter for tomorrow either. I’ve got a family gathering in Bristol to attend, and can’t possible see my escape route of a game at either Portishead, Hengrove or something on in the Somerset Senior League taking place. We can hope!

Saturday 18th December 2010: OFF Part 1

Saturday 18th December 2010

Plan A - Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa OFF
Plan B - Bristol Rovers v Colchester United OFF
Plan C- Northampton Town v Morecambe OFF
Plan D - AFC Telford United v Eastwood Town OFF

Today was a rare day when heavy snow and health and safety resulted in Plan A, Plan B, Place C and even Plan D failing to produce a game to watch.

Snow fell in Stafford on Thursday, more snow fell yesterday and even more snow fell this morning. The same was true for the virtually the whole of England. So, yesterday, with chances of watching a non-league football in my usual haunts looking bleak, I came up with Plan A which was a trip to either Wigan Athletic, Cardiff City or Hull City, grounds I’d not previously visited. Cardiff’s home game was never really on the agenda (postponed yesterday afternoon anyway), nor was Hull (due to expensive and lengthy train trip) so after much pondering and checking weather forecasts I opted for Wigan v Aston Villa the DW Stadium.

The Wigan part of Plan A was put into action late last night when I booked a ticket online and worked out I needed to catch one of three mid-morning trains from Stafford to Manchester Picadilly to pick up a connection to Wigan Wallgate. Sorted!

But ‘sorted’ turned to ‘doubtful’ when I heard, at 8-15 am, of problems on both the M6 and M61 near Wigan due to snow, If these motorways had problem the surely the town of Wigan had problems too. Spot on, as a message appeared on Wigan Athletic’s website reported under the headline ‘GAME IN SEVERE DOUBT’ that ‘despite the best efforts of the club to keep today's game on by bringing in snow ploughs and gritters, today's game against Aston Villa is now in serious doubt after 10 inches of overnight snowfall’.

So expecting an inevitable postponement, my attention turned to Plan B and a trip to Bristol Rovers. It was possible to catch a train from Stafford around 11 am to Bristol Parkway and a walk to the Memorial Stadium in plenty of time before kick-off. Rovers’ website seemed confident about the pitch but, around 9-40 am, came the announcement that the game was off. The message read: ‘Today's match against Colchester has been postponed. Referee Michael Naylor visited the Memorial Stadium this morning and had no hesitation in calling the game off. Although the pitch was perfectly playable, the car park and surrounding areas were deemed too dangerous for spectators.’

Time to hatch Plan C: a trip, again by train, to Northampton and the League Two game against Morecambe. I’d seen to Sxifields 15 years ago though that didn’t matter as I went at night and didn’t take any photos. No pitch inspection was planned. While I was checking train times and printing a map showing the route from Northampton station to the ground, Sky Sports News announced, what I was expecting, that Wigan v Villa was off. Wigan’s website confirmed the bad news: ‘Today's Barclays Premier League game … has been called off after freak weather conditions in the town overnight … the ten inches of snow that fell overnight, and is still falling at the time of going to press, has made the surrounding area extremely hazardous for supporters travelling to the game’.

But, while I was getting ready to head for Stafford Station, Facebook friend Laurence gave the bad news at 10:37 am that Plan C had bit the dust: ‘Northampton Town OFF. Sorry’.

I’d spotted that AFCTelford’s home game with Eastwood Town in Blue Square Bet North wasn’t OFF, and indeed the Bucks’ website confirmed ‘GAME ON, GAME ON, GAME ON – VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED’. Great! Plan D will save the day. Even though it was snowing outside, we decided to head to Telford for a family shopping/football trip. But at 12:03 pm, shortly before we were due to set off, Ian Padley posted on Facebook: ‘Sorry. Its gone too (sic)’. What had gone? AFC Telford’s game due to ‘dangerous driving conditions’, etc.

So what was left was a rare football-free Saturday during the season. Hull City’s game with Bristol City was played but I must admit I’ve enjoyed today as something different – tidying the house, taking four charity bags to the British Heart Foundation shop and a revisit to Asda. And, I’ve still been able to blog around 650 words out of going nowhere!

Harborough Town 1 Burton Park Wanderers 1

Saturday 11th December 2011
Harborough Town 1 Burton Park Wanderers 1
Hereward Teamwear United Counties League Division 1
At: Bowden’s Park
Kick-off: 3-00 pm (delayed until 3-09 pm)
Admission: £3; Programme: free teamsheet
Weather: cold, dry
Attendance: 44 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 47:19; second-half: 48:03

'The case of the missing referee'

I was pleased to find a non-league game that was on at a ground not previously visited. However, joy almost turned to dispair when only one of the three match officials turned up. Thankfully, the assistant referee present moved into the middle with hurridly appointed local official and home Chairman running the line. The game, which kicked-off nine minutes late, wasn't a classic on what became a muddy pitch. Harborough led at the interval and BPW levelled after the break. It was good to meet up with several football travellers and watch the game in the company of John Revitt.

Harborough Town (yellow/black/black): 1. Luke Maher, 2. Sam Beckett, 3. Gary Owen, 4. Martin Callan, 5. Matt Gamble (capt), 6. Will Arnold, 7. Ben Gamble, 8. Callum Harris, 9. Andrew Wilson, 10. Chris Wake, 11. Andrew McMillan. Subs: 12. Dave Rogers (for Wake, ht), 14. Rich Hand (for Wilson, 68).

Burton Park Wanderers (red/white/red): 1. Liam Fox (capt), 2. Russell Escritt, 3. Jake Wesley, 4. Nathan Wills, 5. Anthony Fragola, 6. Leo Adams, 7. Jack Wisibriski, 8. Chris Davies, 9. Ben Morgan, 10. Wayne Brown, 11. Nick Fairhurst. Subs: 12. Jake Griffiths (for Brown, 84), 14. Fraser Smith (not used), 15. Ryan Clements (not used), 16. Kevin Fox (not used).

Referee: Charlie Sentence (Lincolnshire).

1-0 Andrew McMillan (10)
1-1 Ben Morgan (73)

Harborough: Will Arnold (YC, 45+1)
Burton PW: none

Derby County 1 Norwich City 2

Saturday 4th December 2010
Derby County 1 Norwich City 2
npower Championship
At: Pride Park
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £30; Programme: £3 (84 pages)
Weather: rain
Attendance: 26,134
Duration: first-half: 47:18; second-half: 50:09

The continued freezing weather meant a first-ever trip to Pride Park was the only option and, on Friday lunchtime, I booked a ticket in the East Stand. A slow moving queue in the bank why are bank queues so lengthy at the moment?) meant I missed my preferred train and so made my way to Derby via Birmingham New Street. What I saw was an entertaining game between two promotion-chasing sides with all the goals coming in the opening 17 minutes. Norwich took full advantage of poor home defending to score twice in 167 seconds before Derby pulled a goal back, but the Rams couldn’t find an equaliser. Back home via Stoke and in the house in time to see the end of Strictly Come Dancing!

Nottingham United 2 South Normanton Athletic 4

Saturday 27th November 2010
Nottingham United 2 South Normanton Athletic 4
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Black Dragon Premier Division
At Gresham Pavilion
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £1; Programme: £2 (20 pages)
Weather: dry, bitterly cold after sunset
Attendance: 66 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 45:00; second-half: 46:05

My shortlist of three possible games turned into one when Rob Hornby phoned to say Nottingham United’s game on a 3G pitch was definitely on with a 3 pm kick-off. The snow covered surface with lines cleared didn’t hinder a decent game in which visitors South Normanton Athletic went top of the Premier Division with a 4-2 win. Tall striker Andy White, who had a spell on loan at Stafford a couple or three years ago, opened the scoring for the visitors but the pick of the goals was Filip Filipov’s second.

Nottingham United (green and white stripes / white / green): 1. Jason Dalton, 2. George Clarke, 3. Jordan Stewart, 4. Aaron Cottrell, 5. Christophe Pinard, 6. Matthew Berry, 7. Ben Grounds (capt), 8. Rob Muncaster, 9. Filip Filipov, 10. Matthew Henshaw, 11. Akilu Giwa. Subs: 12. Dan Bramley, 15. Carl Brooks, 16. John Trueblood (for Clarke, 21).

South Normanton Athletic (red and white stripes / white / red): 1. Dave O’Hare, 2. Adam Taylor, 3. Chris Green, 4. Daniel Riley, 5. Daniel Henshaw, 6. Grant Hackett, 7. Adam Nicholls, 8. Jay Beecher, 9. Andy White, 10. Kyle Wadsworth, 11. Tom Leighton (capt). Subs: 14. Liam Kelly (for Beecher, 79), 15. Adam Moss (for Riley, 71), 16. Ben Summers (for Leighton, 27).

Referee: Rich Roberts
Assistants: John Hamer and David Viles

0-1 Andy White (16)
0-2 Grant Hackett (33)
1-2 Filip Filipov (41)
1-3 Kyle Wadsworth (74)
2-3 Filip Filipov (79)
2-4 Adam Nicholls (90 pen)

Nottingham: Rob Muncaster (YC, 38).
South Normanton: Daniel Riley (YC, 69), Daniel Henshaw (YC, 78), Adam Taylor (YC, 83).

Kiveton Park 5 FC Brimington 3

Saturday 20th November 2010
Kiveton Park 5 FC Brimington 3
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Black Dragon Premier Division
At: Hard Lane
Kick-off: 2-00 pm
Admission: none; Programme: £1
Attendance: 25 (headcount)
Weather: cold, dry
Duration: first-half: 49:41; second-half: 45:54

It was good to meet up with Rob Hornby and Hazel at Kiveton Park and watch an entertaining game on a sticky pitch that wasn’t settled in favour of the home side until a flurry of late goals including two penalties both converted by Robert Gorman who netted four times in total. FCB (who have a badge not dissimilar in design to that of Barcelona) took an early lead though Kiveton hit back to edge ahead by the interval. Brimington equalised soon after the restart, Kiveton regained the lead and extended it to 4-2 with Gorman’s first spot kick in the 87th minute. Brimington made it 4-3 before Gorman scored again from the spot in stoppage time. Subsequently, Gorman’s goal haul and Kivo’s win count for nothing FC Brimington have now resigned from the league. The 2 pm kick-off allowed plenty of time to get back home for the main event of the day, celebrating Diana’s birthday at Pizza Express!

Kiveton Park (navy blue / navy blue / navy blue): 1. Jonathan Parker, 2. Matthew Preece, 3. Jake Lee, 4. James Webster (capt), 5. Matthew Gilbert, 6. Daniel MacPherson, 7. Robert Warner, 8. Lee Brooks, 9. Carl Longmore, 10. Robert Gorman, 16. Jordan Cocks. Subs: 12. Shane White (for Lee, 70), 14. David Gribben (for Warner, 60), 15. Paul Gregory (for Cocks, 76). Manager: W. Burgin.

FC Brimington (red/red/red): 20. Adam Valente, 19. Matthew Tusinton, 30. Mark Clement, 4. Thomas Fairweather, 5. Sam Britton, 6. Craig Getliff (capt), 27. Dwayne Wiley, 8. Matthew Beavers, 24. Kirk Bradshaw, 10. Steven Ruff, 11. Mitchell Lax. Sub: 17. Matthew Smith (for Lax, 60). Manager: R. Williams.

Referee: Stephen Hall.
Assistants: Dennis Rawle and Steve Collingham.

0-1 Matthew Gilbert (5 og)
1-1 Jordan Cocks (24)
2-1 Robert Gorman (26)
2-2 Craig Getliff (47)
3-2 Robert Gorman (70)
4-2 Robert Gorman (87 pen)
4-3 Steven Ruff (89)
5-3 Robert Gorman (90+1 pen)

Kiveton: Carl Longmore (YC, 65)
FCB: none

Burton Park Wand. 1 AFC Kempston Rovers 0

Saturday 13th November 2010
Burton Park Wanderers 1 AFC Kempston Rovers 0
Hereward Teamwear United Counties League Division 1
At: Latimer Park
Kick-off: 2-00 pm
Admission: £3 including programme
Attendance: 72
Weather: weak sunshine, became cold
Duration: first-half: 47:13; second-half: 48:05

To be honest this wasn’t the best of games. In the end, it was settled by a single goal scored by home side Burton Park Wanderers in the 67th minute. On a sticky pitch that couldn't have helped, there were few chances and neither keeper had to make a serious save all afternoon. Still, well worth a visit to a club back on their own ground with a lease extension after playing home games last season at Rothwell Town.

Burton Park Wanderers (blue and black stripes / black / black): 1. Liam Fox (capt), 2. Tom Judge, 3. Jake Wesby, 4. Nathan Wills, 5. Anthony Fragoza, 6. Leo Adams, 7. Jack Wisienski, 8. Russell Escritt, 9. Leigh Chapman, 10. Ben Morgan, 11. Louis Dupree. Subs: 12. Wayne Brown (for Chapman, 84), 14. Chris Davies (for Dupree, 68), 15. Tom Strand (for Morgan, 89).

AFC Kempston Rovers (red and white stripes / red / red): 1. Martin Conway, 2. Dean Sturmiano, 3. Sam Brown, 4. Nyran Vaughan, 5. Craig Grieve (capt), 6. Josh Bamford, 7. Jack Weedon, 8. Sam Macree, 9. Kofi Shultz, 10. Aaron Baldwin, 11. Jamie Hilsden. Subs: 12. Emmanuel Pondayi (for Hilsden, 70), 14. John Hunt (not used), 15. Callum Mould (for Macree, 70).

Referee: Artwell Mpofu.
Assistants: G Williams and M Germany.

1-0 Russell Escritt (67)

Burton PW: Anthony Fragoza (YC, 64)
AFC Kempston: Craig Grieve (YC, 63)

Southwell City 2 Parkhouse 1

Saturday 6th November 2010
Southwell City 2 Parkhouse 1
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Buckingham Insurance Supreme Division
At: War Memorial Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £3 including 36 page programme
Attendance: 70 (headcount)
Weather: mild, dry
Duration: first-half: 45:12; second-half: 47:11

All the goals came in the second half as Southwell City took the points in this tight and entertaining contest. Tom MacDonald gave City the lead within three minutes of the restart which they held until the 65th minute. Chris Sharman hammered home a loose ball at close range after Craig Lamb did well to stop an initial free-kick from John Parsons. However, Southwell responded with the winner five minutes later. Grant Russell hit a dipping 35-yard drive which flew over Paul Coglan and just under the bar. This trip to welcoming Southwell was just what I needed and several people were genuinely interested that I’d travelled from Stafford to watch the game.

Southwell City (black and white stripes / white / white): 1. Craig Lamb, 2. Pete Campbell, 3. Kyle Croft, 4. Jamie Bennett, 5. Grant Russell, 6. Tom MacDonald, 7. Ben Smith, 8. Mark Davis, 9. Johnny Nussey, 10. Grant Blackhurst, 11. Robbie Mawer (capt). Subs: 12. Chris Peet, 14. Alex Turpin, 15. Jonathan Simpson (for Smith, 66),

Parkhouse (orange/white/orange): 1. Paul Colgan, 2. Karl Hallam, 3. Matt Shaw, 4. Chris Sharman, 5. James Goodison, 6. Steff Holland, 7. John Parsons, 8. James Dooley, 9. Kris Lowe, 10. Dave Chambers (capt), 11. Adam Smith. Subs: 12. Peter Maxey (for Lowe, 66), 14. Ash Balber (for Hallam, 78), 15. Joe Stone (for Dooley, 49).

Referee: Adie Seward (Sutton).
Assistants: Andy Dallison (Kirkby) and Graham Taylor (Mansfield).

1-0 Tom MacDonald (48)
1-1 Chris Sharman (65)
2-1 Grant Russell (70)

Southwell: none
Parkhouse: Steff Holland (YC, 86)

Holker Old Boys 8 Rochdale Town 0

Saturday 30th October 2010
Holker Old Boys 8 Rochdale Town 0
Vodkat League Division 1
At: Rakesmoor Lane
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £3; Programme: £1
Attendance: 45
Weather: sunny and showers
Duration: first-half: 48:12; second-half: 47:34

Holker Old Boys: 1. Ben Morsby, 2. James Bonner, 3. Gareth Smith, 17. Andrew Squirrell, 5. Graham Capstick, 6. Phil Coombe, 7. Guy Heffernan (capt), 8. Kev Watkins, 9. Tod Bamber, 10. Mike Kewley, 11. Bradley Hubbold. Subs: 12. Steve Kewley (for Bamber, 52), 14. Steve Forbes (for Mike Kewley, 61), 15. Mark Daly (for Watkins, 61).

Rochdale Town: 1. Mark Canning, 2. Michael Shepherd, 3. James Marsland, 4. Craig Doyle, 5. Steve McCann, 6. Steve Lester, 7. Matthew Wilkinson, 8. Kristian Evans, 9. Dominic Hession, 10. Matty Russell (capt), 11. Graham Jebb. Subs: 12. Tom Ward (for Evans, 57), 14. Simon Smith (for Wilkinson, 61), 15. Steven Howard (for Hession, 61), 16. John Chapman (not used).

Referee: Michael Crusham (Wigan).
Assistants: Kevin Hall (Burney) David Cowperthwaite (–).

1-0 Andrew Squirrell (9)
2-0 Mike Kewley (28)
3-0 Guy Heffernan (39)
4-0 Mike Kewley (45+3)
5-0 Tod Bamber (46)
6-0 Mike Kewley (50 pen)
7-0 Steve Kewley (56)
8-0 Steve Forbes (86)

Holker: none
Rochdale: Steve Lester (YC, 29), Craig Doyle (50)

Totton & Eling 3 Fareham Town 2

Saturday 23rd October 2010
Totton & Eling 3 Fareham Town 2
Sydenhams Football League (Wessex)
At: Little Testwood Farm, Salisbury Road, Totton
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £2 including programme
Attendance: 80 (headcount)
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 47:10; second-half: 47:22

Totton & Eling (red/black/red): 1. Sam Webb, 2. D. Wakefield, 3. Danny Steer (capt), 4. Kieran Earl, 5. Steve Marwood, 6. Mark Lloyd, 7. Adam Lowther, 8. Tom Hardiman, 9. Chris Marwood, 10. Kevin Reacord, 11. Steve Jenkin. Subs: 12. Adam Wiltshire (for Hardiman, 59), 14. Nick Jenkin (for Reacord, 85), 15. J. Tessem (for Wakefield, 82).

Fareham Town (white/white/black): 1. Luke Douglas, 2. Ollie Warren, 3. Ben Buckland, 4. Matt Jones, 5. Lee Wood, 6. Dan Hayes, 7. Wayne Boud, 8. Natahn Kirby, 9. Graham Lindsey (capt), 10. Bryn McKie, 11. Jimmy Cuthbert. Subs: 12. T. Woodward (for Cuthbert, 57), 14. Dan Byrne (for Warren, 63), 15. J. Steyens, 16. Mark Cotton.

Referee: Wayne Thomas.
Assistants: Ken Warrington and Steve Greenhalgh.

0-1 Bryn McKie (10)
1-1 Chris Marwood (45)
2-1 Tom Hardiman (53)
3-1 Chris Marwood (60)
3-2 Bryn McKie (69)

Totton & Eling: Chris Marwood (66), D. Wakefield (YC, 75), Danny Steer (YC, 90+2)
Fareham: Wayne Boud (YC, 17), Dan Hayes (YC, 37), Ollie Warren (YC, 42)

Oxhey Jets 1 Haringey Borough 3

Saturday 16th October 2010
Oxhey Jets 1 Haringey Borough 3
Molten Spartan South Midlands Football League Premier Division
At: Boundary Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00pm
Admission: £6 including 44 page programme
Attendance: 67
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 46:32; second-half: 48:21

It was time today to let ‘the train take the strain’ and tick off a county sufficiently far from home that the cost of the rail fare was on a par with the cost of petrol. An enticingly-priced day return with London Midland to Watford Junction encouraged me to leave the car at home to embark on another trip south using only public transport and foot power. The Molten Spartan South Midlands Football League Premier Division between Oxhey Jets and Haringey Borough fitted perfectly with the plan.

The beginning of the journey wasn’t without its problems and I needed luck to get me onto the 10.21 Stafford to London Euston train via Northampton. A necessary detour to the post office didn’t help, nor did bumping into to someone from church who was buying his daily newspaper there. All seemed lost until a number 3 bus stopped at The Oval bus stop. (fare/change???) So, instead of being late, I was now early and even the crossing by The Grapes was showing the green man without me waiting. Luck was now with me. Fast forward two-and-a-bit hours to 12.33 and arrival on time at Watford Junction.

With an hour to spare before I needed to make my way to Carpenters Park station, and the car safely at home, I was able to do something a lot of football travellers do but I can’t, seek out some real ale at a local pub. I did enjoy a half of Woodforde’s Wherry Bitter at The Moon on the Water on Watford High Street which, according to a sign promoting the town’s ‘CafĂ© Quarter’, is one of the longest high streets in the country and once formed the main road from London to Birmingham.

Carpenters Park, three stops from Watford Junction and two stops from Watford High Street where I boarded the train, is closest to Oxhey Jets. The walk south from station through the suburbia of South Oxhey to ground took around 15 minutes via Station Approach, left down Prestwick Road, a short cut on Ormskirk Road, left along Little Oxhey Way, across the main road by the parade of shops and right into Altham Way, where the ‘Oxhey Jets FC’ pointed the way.

Looking at the Premier Division table before kick-off, Oxhey occupied 17th position in the 23 team division with 13 points from 12 games. A bit further up the table in 13th position were Haringey with 17 points from 11 games.

With rain-threatening clouds gathering, I opted for a seat undercover in the stand. Visitors Haringey decided to attack the ‘houses’ end in the first half – after the referee had spent what seemed like an age giving instructions to the two captains. And, that wasn’t the only delay as Oxhey keeper Sam Styles had to change from grey to a green top to avoid clashing with the grey top worn by his opposite number.

Eventually, the visitors (wearing yellow shirts, green shorts and yellow socks) got the game underway and, to be honest, the first decent chance led to a goal… in the 26th minute. From near the left corner of the area, Jamie Brandon hit a well-struck left-foot volley which the leaping Styles could only fingertip into the top-right corner.

Early in the game Haringey’s keeper Nick Christofi picked up an injury which he clearly aggravated in the 41st minute and was forced to limp off. On came Jamaine Edwards and Nick Nicou took over the captain’s armband.

At half-time, I spotted the ‘Oxhey Jets FCMoaners Mount Stand with a bench in memory of ‘John Sinnott from his friends’. Nice touch.

Back to the action and the second half got underway in sunshine with hardly a cloud in the sky, and the visitors were unlucky not to extend their lead. Harry Honesty got down the right and pulled the ball back to Constantinos Georgiou who in turn set up David Boal to fire a low 30-yard shot that hit the outside of the right-hand post.

Oxhey (in blue shirts and shorts with white socks) got back on level terms in the 65th minute. Nathan Roberts crossed deep from the right to the far post where Tim O’Mara sent a right-foot volley into the far corner of the net.

With Haringey threatening to regain the lead, Styles produced several fine saves including one to turn round a header from Micou. However, the keeper couldn’t prevent the visitors finding the net in the 87th minute. From a move down the left, Brandon crossed low to the far post where Daniel Alley sidefooted home.

Haringey added a third goal in stoppage time. Fabiano Durimel exploited gaps at the back to fire home a close range.

“Wasn’t brilliant was it?,” said one local to me. I think the Oxhey manager agreed as he held an inquest on the pitch that was still continuing a good ten minutes after the final whistle.

Oxhey Jets (blue/blue/white): 1. Sam Styles, 2. Ian Bywater, 3. Lee Grace, 4. Steve Brown, 5. Chris Harding, 6. Chris Ingham (capt), 7. Luke Reid, 8. Nathan Roberts, 9. Dean Seabrooke, 10. Tim O’Mara, 11. Lewis Putman. Subs: 12. Colin Jenkins (not used), 14. Ant Shepherd (not used), 15. Lewis Cook (for Putman, 86), 16. Lee Armitt (for Seabrooke, 62).

Haringey Borough (yellow/green/yellow): 1. Nick Christofi (capt), 2. Rakim Richards, 3. Demetri Stratis, 4. Andrea Loizou, 5. Nick Nicou, 6. Constantinos Georgiou, 7. Miguel Martins, 8. David Boal, 9. Harry Honesty, 10. Daniel Alley, 11. Jamie Brandon. Subs: 12. Tolu Popoola, 13gk. Jamaine Edwards (for Christofi, 42), 14. Fabiano Durimel (for Martins, 81), 15. Daniel Couldridge (for Richards, 61), 17. Paul McGiven.

Referee: B. Zbirka.
Assistant Referees: D. Elkins and G. Garnham.

0-1 Jamie Brandon (26)
1-1 Tim O’Mara (65)
1-2 Daniel Alley (87)
1-3 Fabiano Durimel (90+2)

New Bradwell St Peter 7 Sport London e Benfica 2

Saturday 9th October 2010
New Bradwell St Peter 7 Sport London e Benfica 2
Molten Spartan South Midlands Football League Division 1
At: Bradwell Road Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: donation; Programme: £1 (24 pages)
Attendance: 42
Weather: sunny spells
Duration: first-half: 45:58; second-half: 47:29

How would a team respond after losing their previous game 18-1? There was only one was to find out – head to New Bradwell St Peters where the seemingly luckless Sport London e Benfica were the visitors. I’d picked out this fixture earlier in the week. Honestly. Diana and Sarah needed no second invitation for shopping trip to Milton Keynes – their first there for exactly a year – and New Bradwell’s home game fitted in perfectly, being played a couple of miles north of the retail heart. News of Sport London’s defeat just made me more determined to get us to the city.

New Bradwell St Peter FC, affectionally known as ‘the Peters’, is a long established club founded in 1902. The name ‘New Bradwell St Peters’ was, according to the club history, adopted in 1946/47 when Stantonbury St Peters FC merged with New Bradwell St James FC.

Driving to the ground along Bradwell Road, I noticed that most of the houses pre-dated the mass construction of the city of Milton Keynes and, indeed, New Bradwell was once a village in its own right. Close to the ground is a railway bridge crossing the now disused Wolverton to Newport Pagnall railway line with the former Bradwell station down below. The impressive and prominent windmill, next to the ground, gave the area a rural feel. According to the information board, it was erected around 1805 by a Samuel Holman at a cost of more than £500, which was not cheap by the standards of that time. Over the next 70 years, the mill, a ‘tower mill’ with a rotating cap, had a several owners until it became uneconomical to run by 1876.

The Bradwell Road Recreation Ground, where the Peters play their home games, is a large playing field that caters for both football and cricket. There is a clubhouse and a concrete walkway leads alongside the cricket pitch to the changing rooms block, with hard-standing in front next to the pitch and a few individual chairs. The changing rooms were opened in November 2009 by Mark Lancaster MP with league and county representatives in attendance. Opposite on the far touchline is a covered terrace, flanked by the dugouts, with a couple of metal benches at the front. The football pitch was railed off with plenty of pitch perimeter hand-standing, except for the roped off corner which overlaps with the cricket outfield. Interestingly, there were four floodlight pylons on the far side but only two on the nearside, so as not to interfere with.

Before kick-off, I had a look at the windmill and, after picking up a tea from the tea bar in the clubhouse, got talking to an official who turned out to be Hon. Secretary Ian Rollins. He gave some background information about the club and about the centenary celebrations in 2002 which they erected a marquee and enjoyed a hog roast. The late John Booden, who was a much-loved and valued man at the club for many years, penned a history to coincide with the milestone. Programmes were to be brought round by the chairman, John Haynes, before kick-off and duly were, sold for £1 each.

New Bradwell went into the game in 15th position with an even 14 points from 14 games. They played their first seven league games away from home and picked up just three points – a 4-2 win at Sport London e Benfica. It was not an ideal start for new player-manager Gary Flinn but since then they have moved up the table picking up points from predominantly home games.

Visitors Sport London e Benfica occupied 22nd and bottom position in the Division 1 table with just three points – a home win over Amersham Town – and conceding 79 goals in just14 games.

The Peters (wearing maroon shirts with sky blue sleeves, maroon shorts and socks) chose to attack up the slope in the first half towards the Bradwell Road end and created no serious chances until Danny Nicholls fired against the woodwork. Eventually, the Peters found the net in the 28th minute when central defender James Fletcher fired home after Adam Castagnetti’s free-kick into the area was flicked on. There were no more goals before the interval and it was clear that Sport London were not going to be a side to concede double figures again. One local was not impressed and hoped that ‘they get it sorted out for the second half’.

Because there are multiple entry points to the recreation ground, there was a no specific admission charge so I was more than happy to drop something into the ‘Attendance Donation’ box at the tea bar hatch.

Sort it out they did at half-time as the Peters dominated the early exchanges of the second half. An own goal scored by Chel Hayden made it 2-0 (52nd minute) and a superb low drive from leading scorer Stephane Kemoagna (66th minute) made it 3-0. The goals kept on coming. Castagnetti’s shot took a deflection off the again unfortunate Hayden on its way into the net (76th minute, goal officially given to Castagnetti), Nicholls fired home the fifth (80th minute) and Fletcher powered home a header (81st minute) to score his second and Peters’ sixth goal.

As full-time approached, I got chatting to a local fan called Alan, and we saw Sport London mount a late rally. The visitors were awarded a penalty for a foul on Michael Ludia and after Amir Kani-Zabihi saw his spot kick saved by Ben Donaldson, Martin Irungu smashed home the loose ball (88th minute). They pulled another goal back in stoppage time (90+2 minutes) through unmarked Rui Kaliton. That looked like being the end of the scoring but Castagnetti raced down the left, crossed low into the area where Nicholls fired home his side’s seventh goal (90+3 minutes).

New Bradwell St Peter (maroon with sky blue sleeves / maroon / maroon): 1. Ben Donaldson, 2. Mimir Patel, 3. Gary Ridgway, 4. Jack Leadbetter, 5. James Fletcher, 6. Matt Clinch, 7. Barry Bellhouse, 8. Mike Ward (capt), 9. Stephane Kemoagna, 10. Danny Nicholls, 11. Adam Castagnetti. Subs: 12. Duane Bashin (not used), 14. Gary Flynn (not used), 15. Chris Gunn (not used), 16. Ben Hill (for Ridgway, 81), 17. Greg Tite (not used).

Sport London e Benfica (white/white/red): 1. Sebastian Nddwbe, 2. Martin Irungu, 3. Darius McKenzie, 4. Peter Owen, 5. Chel Hayden, 6. Michael Ludia, 7. Amir Kani-Zabihi (capt), 8. Ismail Zakari, 9. Artur Stata, 10. Anton Frederick, 11. Abdul Abukar. Subs: 14. Milton Gomes (for Frederick, 54), 15. Nun Dos Santos (not used), 16. Rui Martins (not used), 17. Radoslaw Kaliton (for McKenzie, 71).

Referee: R. Morris.
Assistant Referees: R. Turner and T. Durnford.

1-0 James Fletcher (28)
2-0 Chel Hayden (52 og)
3-0 Stephane Kemoagna (66)
4-0 Adam Castagnetti (76)
5-0 Danny Nicholls (80)
6-0 James Fletcher (81)
6-1 Martin Irungu (88)
6-2 Rui Kaliton (90+2)
7-2 Danny Nicholls (90+3)

New Bradwell: none
Sporting: Michael Ludia (YC, 24), Peter Owen (YC, 36), Milton Gomez (YC, 84)

Runcorn Linnets 0 Ashton Athletic 2

Tuesday 5th October 2010
Runcorn Linnets 0 Ashton Athletic 2
Vodkat League Premier Division
At: Millbank Linnets Stadium
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £5; Programme: £1-50 (28 pages)
Attendance: 294
Weather: mild, dry
Duration: first-half: 46:12; second-half: 48:00

Today was one of those umming and arring about whether to head for a match this evening, especially as I’d declared, after the two trips to Devon last week, that I wouldn’t complain if the car didn’t leave Stafford between arriving home from Coventry last Saturday until leaving for Milton Keynes this coming Saturday. But at around 3 pm, after looking at the dates of Runcorn Linnets’s forthcoming midweek fixtures, temptation got the better of me and I made up my mind for a trip up the M6. My message to the club got a speedy reply from Press Officer Steve Pritchard and I was on my way at 5-45 pm.

Both clubs were down in the wrong half of the table and bottom side Ashton Athletic took home the points with first-half goals from Ben Stanford and Andy Gillespie.

Runcorn Linnets (yellow and green hoops / green/ yellow): 1. Phil Priestley, 2. Lewis Savva, 3. Chris Fitzsimmons, 4. Matthew Jones, 5. Allan Fleming, 6. Matthew Rigby, 7. David Dempsey (capt), 8. Andy Barlow, 9. Jake Ellis, 10. Richard Ratcliffe, 11. John Parry. Subs: 12. Michael Winer (for Dempsey, ht), 14. Andy McCoy (for Barlow, 64), 15. Ross Bain (not used), 16. Philip Johnson (not used), 17. Paul McNally (for Fleming, 76).

Ashton Athletic (blue/blue/blue): 1. Gary Bradshaw, 2. Jordan Hulme, 3. Ian Dickinson, 4. Chris Banasko, 5. Ian Barker, 6. Luke Charnley, 7. Andy Gillespie, 8. Sean Pearson (capt), 9. Ben Stanford, 10. Chris Brookes, 11. Matthew Carlisle. Subs: 12. Jordan Stevenson (for Stanford, 80), 14. James Gardner (not used), 15. Dave Eatock (not used), 17. Paul Eatock (not used).

Referee: A. J. Scregg.
Assistants: P. Howard and J. Simpson.

0-1 Ben Stanford (11)
0-2 Andy Gillespie (39)

Runcorn: Andy Barlow (YC, 63)
Ashton: Luke Charnley (YC, 41)

Coventry Copsewood 2 Heath Town Rangers 1

Saturday 2nd October 2010
Coventry Copsewood 2 Heath Town Rangers 1
FA Carlsberg Vase First Round
At: Allard Way
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £3; Programme: £1 (24 pages)
Attendance: 21
Weather: Sunny spells
Duration: first-half: 46:02; second-half: 51:10

It was very pleasant to wake up to the relaxing tones of Iain Carter, John Murray and the rest of the 5Live commentary team down at the Ryder Cup and then watch the action on Sky Sports. Outside, the weather forecast had proved accurate as yesterday’s heavy rain had been replaced by far more palatable sunny spells.

With a long daytrip to Devon on Thursday for hospital visiting (to follow-up last Sunday’s equally long trip), I didn’t fancy travelling too far today. One fixture that leapt off the page was the FA Vase tie between imoSports Midland Combination Premier Division side Coventry Copsewood and Heath Town Rangers who play in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division. Despite being within an hour’s drive of home, Copsewood’s Allard Way ground had remained one of two ‘Mid Comb Prem’ grounds I’d not previously visited, until today that is.

The respective league tables suggested nothing other than a routine and straightforward victory for the home side who went into the game in seventh position in the Combination table with 13 points from eight games. On the other hand, Heath Town Rangers propped up their divisional table with one win and three points from their opening 13 league games.

However, the league tables on their own didn’t provide the full picture. Copsewood picked up ten of their 13 points from their first four games which earned then the honour of ‘Premier Division Team of the Month for August’. Since then in September, they picked one league victory in four games and crashed out of the Telegraph Cup at Bedworth Ex-Service but they did beat Dudley Town in a replay to earn today’s tie. One supporter, to whom I was introduced by the Secretary David Wilson, told me that discipline had been a problem for Copsewood with no fewer than five red cards already this season.

I also got chatting to a Heath Town Rangers club official who told me that, despite losing all but one league game, the team were playing a lot better than results suggested. They were on a run of eight straight defeats since picking up their solitary league points with a 3-2 win at Stafford Town and got through to the FA Vase First Round courtesy of a bye in the previous round.

Perhaps, after all, this tie would be a lot closer that I initially thought.

Like Wolverhampton Casuals, Coventry Copsewood have undergone several changes of name over the years. The club was originally formed in 1922 by employees of Peel Connor, and was known as the ‘Connor’. They played in the Coventry District League and became were renamed ‘Magnet FC’ following an amalgamation with Magnito Ltd. They continued playing under this name until 1934 when they changed again to ‘GEC (Cov) FC’, which stuck for longer, lasting until the 1970s when they became ‘GPT (Coventry) FC’. A further name change in 1999 resulted in ‘Marconi (Coventry) FC’, and then when Marconi sold off their land, the present name of ‘Coventry Copsewood FC’ was adopted.

Arriving just before 2 pm, It quickly became evident that the Allard Way complex caters for a lot more than football. Games of netball and bowls were well underway along with a Coventry Alliance fixture on one of several football pitches within the complex. The local model railway society was in full swing as well. At the heart was a large two story social club with a balcony and I spotted a commemorative stone inscribed with ‘The stone was laid by Mrs M. J. Railing, September 1938’. As for the ground itself, it is three sided because of cricket and boasts a stand containing around 83 seats as well as additional covered standing behind the goal at the northern end.

Heath Town Rangers (wearing red shirts with black sleeves, black shorts and red socks) got the underway attacking the northern end in the first half.

Copsewood created plenty of chances without seriously testing Rangers goalkeeper David Hudson. Then, in the 29th minute, the visitors took the lead against the run of play. Mark Habbershaw, a strong forward, muscled his way past a defender and slotted the ball home at close range into the bottom right corner. Before the interval, Hudson tipped a dipping 25-yard shot from Ross Wimbush onto the bar and over for a corner.

The home side, having made a double substitution at half-time, failed to make a breakthrough during the opening 19 or so minutes of the second half – Ryan Fivey glanced a header wide – before a substitution prompted a change of formation: “Curtis down the middle, Calvin left, Scott to the right,” as well as a request for more urgency.

The changes did the trick as Copsewood soon equalised in the 66th minute. Tim Partridge crossed into the area from the left and Tom Murphy volleyed home at close range.

Even though the home side were in the ascendency, Rangers would have regained the lead had it not been for a great bock by goalkeeper Scott Furlong to keep out Habbershaw’s shot.

Copsewood scored what proved to be the winner in the 85th minute. Partridge got to the right bye-line and pulled the ball back for Curtis Jackson to hammer home first-time at close range.

Heath Town finished with ten men as Steven Lewis picked up two yellow cards within 25 seconds deep into stoppage rime.

Coventry Copsewood (blue/blue/blue): 1. Scott Furlong (capt), 2. Richard Elliott, 3. Ryan Fivey, 4. Gary Mead, 5. Inderpaul Khela, 6. Tom Murphy, 7. Tim Partridge, 8. Daniel Long, 9. Petajon Gordon, 10. Calvin Thompson, 11. Ross Wimbush. Subs: 12. Ross Perkins (for Gordon, ht), 14. Curtis Jackson (for Fivey, 64), 15. Joe Holcroft (not used), 16. Scott Easterhoa (for Long, ht).

Heath Town Rangers: 1. David Hudson, 2. Nathan Cain, 3. Ryan Jones, 4. Darren Williams (capt), 5. Leon Miles, 6. Raymond Facey, 7. Ashley Dicken, 8. Steven Lewis, 9. James McKerdy, 10. Mark Habbershaw, 11. Phillip McKerdy. Subs: 12. Aston McInnis (for Dicken, 78), 14. Curtis Simpson (for Jones, 88), 15. Daniel Watson (for Phillip McKerdy, 75), 16. Andrew Hopson (not used), 17. Michael Forrester (not used). Mgr: Mark Hopson.

Referee: D. Bullen (Leicester).
Assistants: M. Barker (Shepshed) and G. Bourne (Syston).

0-1 Mark Habbershaw (28)
1-1 Tom Murphy (66)
2-1 Curtis Jackson (85)

Copsewood: none
Heath Town: James McKerdy (YC, 73)Steven Lewis (YC, 90+6), Steven Lewis (YC/RC, 90+6)

Wolverhampton Casuals 4 Goodrich 1

Tuesday 28th September 2010
Wolverhampton Casuals 4 Goodrich 1
West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division
At: Brinsford Lane
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £3; Programme: £1 (20 pages)
Attendance: 45 (headcount)
Weather: mild, dry
Duration: first-half: 47:26; second-half: 49:05

Wolverhampton Casuals (green with white sleeves / green / green): 1. Steve Booth, 2. Carlo Franco, 3. Luke Tudor, 4. James Simmons, 5. Matt Turner (capt), 6. Amil Saman, 7. Curtis Ellis, 8. Danny Newman, 9. Mick Hancock, 10. Joe Pickering, 11. John Aldridge, Subs: 12. Paul Holden (for Simmons, 69), 14. James Davis (for Pickering, 57), 15. Matt Hawkins (not used), 16. Tom Maydew (for Hancock, 75), 17. Jonathon Clark (not used). Mgr: Mick Turner.

Goodrich (white/black/black): 1. Daniel Ware, 2. Daniel Lloyd, 3. Darnell Francis, 4. Steve Douglas, 5. Luke Charlton, 6. Josh Skidmore, 7. Matthew Harris, 8. Matthew Rutter (capt), 9. Levi Chambers, 10. Stuart Evans, 11. Adrian Jones. Subs: 12. Joey Williams (not used), 13. Laurence Newman (not used), 14. Robert Bates (not used), 15. Connor Edwards (for Chambers, 79), 17. Jamie Griffiths (for Douglas, 74). Mgr: Andy Rutter.

Referee: P. Reade
Assistants: M. J. Dicken and D. J. Evans.

1-0 Mick Hancock (17)
1-1 Daniel Lloyd (20)
2-1 Mick Hancock (47)
3-1 Mick Hancock (51)
4-1 Tom Maydew (87)

Casuals: Matt Turner (YC, 45)
Goodrich: Josh Skidmore (YC, 51), Luke Charlton (YC, 88), Darnell Francis (YC, 90+1)

North Ferriby Utd 5 Stocksbridge Park Steels 2

Saturday 25th September 2010
North Ferriby United 5 Stocksbridge Park Steels 2
FA Cup sponsored by E.ON Second Qualifying Round
At: Rapid Solicitors Stadium
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £8; Programme: £2 (44 pages)
Attendance: 196
Weather: sunny spells
Duration: first-half: 47:11; second-half: 48:31

Winterton Rangers 0 Nostell Miners Welfare 1

Saturday 25th September 2010 (12-00 noon)
Winterton Rangers 0 Nostell Miners Welfare 1
KoolSports Northern Counties East League Premier Division
At: West Street
Kick-off: 12-00 noon
Admission: £5; Programme: £1 (32 pages)
Attendance: 60
Weather: sunny spells, blustery wind
Duration: first-half: 45:23; second-half: 48:55

My original plan was for a ‘walk to Stafford Station, take the train somewhere and walk to the ground’ day. But when I started to study this week’s Football Traveller there was one fixture that simply leapt off the page at me. Right at the end of the fixtures for the KoolSports Northern Counties East League Premier Division, in bold type, was ‘(12-00)’ at a ground I hadn’t previously visited. Better still there were quite a few nearby options to double up with a 3pm kick-off – I just had to choose which one!

Clear blue sky and sunshine, admitted with temperatures around the 9°C, was all around as I made my way to Lincolnshire.

It turned out that the reason for the early kick-off was to avoid the football interrupting/disturbing a wedding reception being hosted by the club later in the afternoon. Zoe and Simon were the happy couple and the tables for their reception had an artistic theme judging by the names of ‘Lawrence’, ‘Bryon’ and ‘Rossetti’ I was able to spot.

Looking at the advertising boards on the drive and around the ground and adverts in the programme, Winterton are looking to make the most of their ‘Rangers Suites’ as a wedding, conference and party venue. And, just before Christmas there will be two pantomimes in one day, one aimed at families and a later one aimed at over 18s.

While the noon kick-off was appreciated by around ten groundhoppers, I’m not sure what the locals made of the early start. The gate of 60 was down on the average attendance of 86 from four home league and cup games this season. Yet, I know that the wedding celebration provided vital income for the club.

One familir face at the game was RAMBLER77 who was heading Nettleham for the second leg of his Saturday 'double'.

Both sides went into the game in the lower half of the Premier Division table in which one side had played just three league games, most had played six games and some had played as many as eight games. Out of the two teams in action this lunchtime, Winterton occupied a higher position of 12th with 7 points from 5 games while Nostell (6 points from 7 games) were two positions lower. Winterton had a 100% home record while Nostell were still seeking for their first away league win.

The game was settled by a single goal scored by the visitors in the 80th minute. Lee Maturine got into the area on the left and slipped a low shot wide of the keeper into the opposite bottom-right corner of the net.

All in all, West Street was a good place to mark what I think was the 1300th different ground that I’d watched a football match, ignoring the pitches I refereed on during the early 1980s or played/ran the line for Compower and the Trumpet during the 1980s.

Next stop... North Ferriby United via the Humber Bridge.

Winterton Rangers (blue/blue/blue): 1. Jack Ward, 2. Craig Robinson, 3. Graeme Severn, 4. Andy Walkden, 5. Scott Pickles, 6. Danny Smith, 7. James O’Neill (capt), 8. Rob Sanderson, 9. Liam Wilkin, 10. Liam Slack, 11. Lee Wilkinson. Subs: 12. Kirk Frost (for Wilkinson, 61), 14. Jack Cross (not used), 15. Gavin Cooper, (for Sanderson, ht) 16. Ryan Malee (for Robinson, 85), 17. Alex Yates (not used).

Nostell Miners Welfare (yellow/black/black): 1. Gavin Ainsley, 2. Sam Jackson, 3. Wayne Ball, 4. Darren Rushton, 5. Dave Watts (capt), 6. Toby Rutter, 7. Clifton Firth, 8. Mark Thompson, 9. Ernest Boafo, 10. Lee Maturine, 11. Jimmy Eyles. Subs: 12. Richard Collier (for Firth, 79), 14. Scott Colqhhoun (for Boafo, 90+2).

Referee: David Musgrave.
Assistants: Tony Lewis and William Pharoh.

0-1 Lee Maturine (80)

Winterton: Liam Wilkin (YC, 84)
Nostell: Dave Watts (YC, 61)

Stafford Town 1 Tividale 6

Tuesday 21st September 2010
Stafford Town 1 Tividale 6
West Midlands League Premier Division
At: Evans Park
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (24 pages)
Attendance: 70 (headcount)
Weather: mild, dry
Duration: first-half: 45:56; second-half: 48:06

Stafford Town (red/red/red): 1. Karl Smith, 2. Mat Dockerty, 3. Mark Jones, 4. Kirk Lowe, 5. Dave Woodvine, 6. Rob Tomlinson, 7. Craig Holland, 8. Wayne Bailey, 9. Russ Dematteo, 10. Josh Anderson, 11. Matt Wood. Subs: 12. Simon Chadwick (not used), 14. Paul McMahon (not used), 15. Zach Dellicompagni (for Dematteo, 74), 16. Ben Roberts (for Dockerty, ht), 17gk. Paul Burn (for Smith, 24). Mgr: Steve Dockerty.

Tividale (yellow/yellow/yellow): 1. James Trevalen, 2. Phil Mate, 3. Jason Chilton, 4. Andy Parsons, 5. Joel Kettle, 6. Adam Hill, 7. Todd Warner, 8. Richard Taylor (capt), 9. Chris Russell, 10. Lee Chilton, 11. Matthew Salmon. Subs: 12. Kyle Hill (not used), 14. Brett Clark (not used), 15. Tom Halford (for Hill, 70), 16. Stewart Marshall (for Salmon, 79), 17. Rob Perks (for Kettle, 74). Mgr: Dean Whitehouse.

Referee: Martin Swinscor
Assistants: Derek Plant and Neil Read.

0-1 Richard Taylor (7)
0-2 Matthew Salmon (14)
0-3 Matthew Salmon (38)
1-3 Mark Jones (44)
1-4 Chris Russell (49)
1-5 Lee Chilton (76)
1-6 Lee Chilton (90)

Stafford: Mat Dockerty (YC, 31), Rob Tomlinson (YC, 50), Rob Tomlinson (YC/RC, 51), Kirk Lowe (YC, 53), Matt Wood (YC, 58), Wayne Bailey (YC, 63), Mark Jones (YC, 87)
Tividale: none

Stafford Rangers 3 Gainsborough Trinity 1

Saturday 18th September 2011
Stafford Rangers 3 Gainsborough Trinity 1
Blue Square Bet North
At: Marston Road
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £11+£2; Programme: £2 (44 pages)
Attendance: 402
Weather: showers
Duration: first-half: 47:14; second-half: 49:29

Stafford Rangers (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Lee Evans, 2. Ashley Wooliscroft, 3. Jon Patrick, 4. Andre Francis, 5. Craig McAughtrie (capt), 6. Mark Dudley, 7. Levi Reid, 8. Darren Wrack, 9. Ben Mills, 10. Chris Sterling, 11. Fabrice Kasiama. Subs: 12. Ross Davidson (not used), 14. Tom Moss (for Wooliscroft, 71), 15. Tyree Clarke (not used), 16. Alex Forde (not used), 17gk. Tom Harrison (not used). Mgr: Chris Brindley.

Gainsborough Trinity (yellow/yellow/yellow): 1. Philip Barnes, 2. Andrew Milne, 3. Paul Mayo, 4. Mark Greaves (capt), 5. Mark Hume, 6. Luke Waterfall, 7. Sam Aiston, 8. Lewis McMahon, 9. Leon Mettam, 10. Luke Beckett, 11. Nathan Peat. Subs: 12. Neil Spafford (not used), 14. James Clarke (not used), 15. John Davies (for Greaves, 71), 16. Leon Hibbert (not used), 17. Jefferson Louis (for Mayo, ht). Mgr: Brian Little.

Referee: Neil Davies (Wirral).
Assistants: Ian Hurdle (Holmes Chapel) and Sam Mulhall (Northwich).

1-0 Chris Sterling (8)
2-0 Ben Mills (14)
2-1 Luke Beckett (17)
3-1 Chris Sterling (31)

Stafford: Fabrice Kasiama (YC, 45+2), Ben Mills (YC, 81), Levi Reid (YC, 90+3)
Gainsborough: Mark Hume (YC, 37), Luke Waterfall (YC, 81), Lewis McMahon (YC, 88), Jefferson Louis (YC, 90+3)

AFC Wulfrunians 1 Gornal Athletic 2

Tuesday 14th September 2010
AFC Wulfrunians 1 Gornal Athletic 2
West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division
At: Castlecroft Stadium
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (44 pages)
Attendance: 75 (headcount)
Weather: mild, dry
Duration: first-half: 47:17; second-half: 51:00

AFC Wulfrunians (red and white halves / black / red): 1. Danny Tipton (capt), 2. Thomas Southern, 3. Danny Crudgington, 4. Nathan Watkins, 5. James Skedgel, 6. Stewart Mason, 7. Mensah Kinch, 8. Robin Sheffield, 9. Ade Bandele, 10. Grant Joshua, 11. Michael Eagles. Subs: 12. Andy Mitchell (for Bangele, 84), 14. Ricky Anslow (not used), 15. Sean Pugh (not used), 16. Natty Lawson (for Watkins, ht), 17. Liam Evans (not used).

Gornal Athletic (blue/blue/blue): 1. James Pemberton, 2. Richard Young, 3. Paul Henley, 4. Craig Ball, 5. Peter Wood, 6. Kristian Green, 7. Gurdip Wilkhoo, 8. Lee Wherton, 9. Callum Martin, 10. Marvin Nisbett, 11. Bekir Halil. Subs: 12. Liam Morris (for Nisbett, 85), 14. Greg Gray (not used), 15. Chris Waterhouse (for Wood, 54), 16. Andy Dicken (for Martin, 81), 17. Tom Evatt (not used).

Referee: Mark Hancock.
Assistants: Tony Lloyd and Andy Luckett.

0-1 Stewart Mason (29 og)
1-1 Michael Eagles (53)
1-2 Lee Wherton (78)

AFC Wulfs: Mensah Kinch (YC, 42), Robin Sheffield (YC, 55), Michael Eagles (YC, 89), Mensah Kinch (YC/RC, 89), Natty Lawson (YC, 90+6)
Gornal: Gurdip Wilkhoo (YC, 7), Bekir Halil (YC, 13), Paul Henley (YC, 14), Richard Young (YC, 69), Liam Morris (YC, 90+5)

London APSA 2 Clapton 0

Saturday 11th September 2010
London APSA 2 Clapton 0
Essex Senior League
At: Terrance MacMillan Stadium
Admission: £6 including 20 page programme
Attendance: 12
Weather: sunny spells, dry
Duration: first-half: 52:48; second-half: 48:37

London APSA (green with white sleeves / green white): 1. Steve Brown, 2. John Langton (capt), 3. Barry Simmons, 4. John Hind, 5. Tim Cole, 6. Daniel Callaway, 7. Dean Smith-Shaw, 8. Gavin Toussani, 9. Dave Lee, 10. Anthony Scott, 11. Stuart Houghton. Subs: 12. Jamie Langton (for Smith-Shaw, 47), 14. Alex Smith (for Toussani, 69), 15. Steve McCullagh (not used).

Clapton (black and red stripes / red / red): 1. Jimi Shepherd, 2. Mark Beaumont, 3. Chris Dray, 4. Ted Stuckey, 5. Fahad Myanja, 6. Aston Bueesa, 16. J. Jairette, 8. James Orton, 9. Seif Muhammed, 10. Warren Mfula, 11. Kareem Hanson (capt). Subs: 7. David Zziwa (for Bueesa, ht), 12. A. Feydsio, (for Hanson, 77) 14. Nkuriza Suaibu (for Stuckey, ht), 15. R. Ceasar (not used), 17. T. Mowles (not used).

Referee: T. King.
Assistants: A. Amey and M. Ivanov.

1-0 Dave Lee (4)
2-0 Alex Smith (73)

London APSA: Dean Shaw-Smith (YC, 22)
Clapton: none

Brocton 4 Castle Vale 1

Tuesday 7th September 2010
Brocton 4 Castle Vale 1
imoSports Midland Combination Premier Division
At: Old Police Sports Ground
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (32 pages)
Attendance: 33
Weather: mild, dry
Duration: first-half: 46:03; second-half: 49:31

Brocton (green/white/green): 1. Adam Whitehouse, 2. Alex Barnfather, 3. Jamie Evans, 4. Richard Jones, 5. Ben Harrison, 6. Andy Chandler, 7. Steve Whieldon, 8. Rob Winstanley, 9. Gary Fife (capt), 10. David Berks, 11. Chris Darby. Subs: 12. Ashley Phillips (for Whieldon, 19), 14. Michael Hathaway (not used), 15. Mick Fox (for Berks, 89), 16. Andy Hoderin (for Winstanley, 68), 17. Richard Miller (not used).

Castle Vale (red/red/red): 1. Peter Maguire, 2. Reubon Wilson, 3. Karl Douglas, 4. Joe Halsall, 5. Kieran King, 6. Josh McCherson, 7. Tony Juxon, 8. Christian Crisp (capt), 9. Ashley Francis, 10. Danny O’Callagan, 11. Danny Tynon. Subs: 12. Dean Crowley (not used), 14. Kirk Maragh (for Crisp, 82), 15. Nicky Ellis (for O’Callagan, 78), 16. Ahore Robinson (not used), 17. Ryan Nash (for Tynon, 72).

Referee: T. S. Sharratt.
Assistants: Brian Heath and Alan Dillon.

1-0 Ben Harrison (20)
1-1 Joe Halsall (43)
2-1 Gary Fife (55)
3-1 Gary Fife (72 pen)
4-1 Gary Fife (90+3)

Brocton: Richard Jones (YC, 86)
Castle Vale: Danny O’Callagan (YC, 54), Karl Douglas (YC, 82)

Glossop North End 1 Squires Gate 1

Saturday 4th September 2010
Glossop North End 1 Squires Gate 1
Vodkat North West Counties League Premier Division
At: Surrey Street
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £6 adult, £3 child; Programme: £1 (28 pages)
Attendance: 178
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 46:58; second-half: 48:00

Glossop North End (blue/blue/blue): 1. Johnny McIlwaine, 2. Nick Allen, 3. Luke Pearson, 4. Kelvin Lugsden (capt), 5. Mike Lomax, 6. Antony Trucca, 7. Alex Elliott, 8. David Morris, 9. Garry Kharas, 10. Darren Hamilton, 11. Adam Oakes. Subs: 12. Sam Hind (for Trucca, 58), 14. Glyn Barker (for Hamilton, 85), 15. Johnny Hussain (for Pearson, 65), 16. Danny Yates (not used), 17. Ash Woodhouse (not used).

Squires Gate (red/red/red): 1. Neil Beesley, 2. Andrew Richards, 3. Stuart Horn, 4. Thomas Benfield, 5. Nigel Taylor (capt), 6, David Woodruff, 7. Gareth Lewis, 8. Paul Ryan, 9. Kenny Mayers, 10. Lee Mulvany, 11. Scott Harries. Subs: 12. Mitchell Newsome (for Mulvany, 61), 14. Alex McKendrick (for Lewis, 71), 15. Russ McKenna (for Horn, 28), 16. David McCann (not used).

Referee: M. Walsh.
Assistants: M. Edwards and L. Freeman.

1-0 Garry Kharas (57)
1-1 Russ McKenna (83)

Glossop: Antony Trucca (YC, 52)
Squires Gate: none

Kerry 3 Meifod 2

Monday 30th August 2010
Kerry 3 Meifod 2
Spar Mid Wales League Division 2
At: Dolforgan Park
Kick-off: 5-15 pm
Admission: £38 hop ticket including 12 page programme
Attendance: 215
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 46:24; second-half: 46:57

Kerry (white / navy blue / navy blue): 1. Ryan Andrew, 2. Liam Andrew, 3. Tom Jones, 4. Kyrren Chawney, 5. Adam Pugh, 6. Dyfrig Rees (capt), 7. Keiren Groves, 8. Darren Holloway, 9. Adam Putson, 10. Elliot Jones, 11. Matt Mumford. Subs: 12. Danny Jones (for Holloway, 31), 13. Oliver Jones (not used), 14. Sam Morgan (not used), 15. Josh Morgan (for Liam Andrew, 69), 16. Daryl Mowatt (not used). Mgr: James Beaven.

Meifod (red/black/black): 1. Richard Downes, 2. Arwyn Richards, 3. James Ruggeri, 4. Matthew Jones, 5. Mark Williams (capt), 6. Richard Corbett, 7. Gareth Horton, 8. Hayden Clifton, 9. Philip Hughes, 10. Hamish Clifton, 11. Andrew Hughes. Subs: 12. Simon Hughes (for Andrew Hughes, 82), 14. Stuart Davies (not used), 15. Andrew Weaver (not used), 16. Mark Holman (for Corbett, 70). Mgr: Geoff Whittle.

Referee: Simon Jenkins (Twywn).
Assistants: Eddie Bryce (Llandinum) and K. Grogan (Welshpool).

1-0 Dyfrig Rees (3)
1-1 Andrew Hughes (11)
2-1 Elliot Jones (56)
3-1 Matt Mumford (88)
3-2 Philip Hughes (90+2)

Kerry: Matt Mumford (YC, 73), Matt Mumford (YC/RC, 90+1)
Meifod: none

Montgomery Town 5 Llanfyllin Town 0

Monday 30th August 2011
Montgomery Town 5 Llanfyllin Town 0
Spar Mid Wales League Division 2
At: Cwstanymur
Kick-off: 2-15 pm
Admission: £38 hop ticket including 12 page £1 programme
Attendance: 272
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 45:51; second-half: 48:49

Montgomery Town (red with red and black sleeves / black / black): 1. Steve Goodwin, 2. Daniel Lewis, 3. Peter Mills, 4. Lee Jones (capt), 5. Ryan Davies, 6. Jake Parr, 7. Tom Evans, 8. Shane Kirkham, 9. Gary Bromley, 10. Ross Harris, 11. Tony Meredith. Subs: 12. Alex Bromley (for Gary Bromley, 73), 14. Michael Cockram (for Harris, 68), 15. George McNatee (for Cockram, 83).

Llanfyllin Town (black and white stripes / black / black): 1. Jake Woodhouse, 2. Asheek Boolauky, 3. Nick Jones, 4. Lee Green, 5. Efyr Morris (capt), 6. Gary Ellis, 7. Llion Parry, 8. Gus Harris, 9. Steve Laws, 10. Mikey Booth, 11. Adam Weston. Subs: 12. Allan Richards (for Morris, 49), 14. Callum Vaughan (not used), 15. Joe Swanwick (not used), 16. Iwan Parry (not used), 17. Triston Curteis (not used).

Referee: Paul Ballantyne.
Assistants: Roy Price (Forden) and Marcus Vaughan (Llangollen).

1-0 Lee Jones (12)
2-0 Gary Bromley (31)
3-0 Jake Parr (73)
4-0 Jake Parr (80)
5-0 Alex Bromley (86)

Mongomery: none
Llanfyllin: none

Carno 1 Llanidloes Town 2

Monday 30th August 2010
Carno 1 Llanidloes Town 2
Spar Mid Wales League Division 1
At: Ty Brith Field
Kick-off: 11-00 am
Admission: £38 hop ticket including 24 page programme
Attendance: 311
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 47:10; second-half: 49:14

Carno (green and black stripes / black / black): 1. Chris Brown, 2. Chris Davies, 3. Lee Powell, 4. Dan Kenyon, 5. Tom Richards, 6. Steve Jones (capt), 7. Rob Bennett, 8. Dan Pierce, 9. Chris Gethin, 10. Pete Rees, 11. James Davies. Subs: 12. Geraint Jones (for Kenyon, 76), 14. Dave Jones (not used), 15. Gwyn Williams (for Parry, 36), 16. Greg Harries (not used), 17. Jamie Davies (not used).

Llanidloes Town (yellow/green/green): 1. Aaron Warwick, 2. Daniel Lewis, 3. Rhys Evans, 4. Colin Reynolds (capt), 5. Warren Sherwood, 6. Andrew Jones, 7. Nefyn Savage, 8. Jack Bermingham, 9. Andrew Green, 10. Barry Bellis, 11. Gareth Mansell. Subs: 12. Gareth Jones (for Green, 77), 14. David Jarman (for Evans, 52), 15. Rhys Jones (not used).

Referee: Aled Jones (Aberaeron).
Assistants: Sue Jones and Sam Richards (both Newtown).

0-1 Barry Bellis (44)
1-1 Chris Gethin (64)
1-2 Colin Reynolds (90+4)

Carno: Pete Rees (YC, 45), Colin Reynolds (YC, 73)
Llanidloes: Andrew Jones (YC, 43)

Llandrindod Wells 1 Bont 1

Sunday 29th August 2010
Llandrindod Wells 1 Bont 1
Spar Mid Wales League Division 2
At: The Broadway
Kick-off: 6-30 pm
Admission: £38 hop ticket including 24 page programme
Attendance: 374
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 49:50; second-half: 46:58

Newbridge-on-Wye’s hold on the record attendance for a Welsh groundhop fixture lasted barely two hours before Llandrindrod Wells set a new high of 374.

As mentioned in the Abermule blog, the Spar Mid Wales League Division 2 is new for the 2010/11 season, though Llandrindrod Wells have members of the Mid Wales League before. Indeed I saw them host Penparcau back in May 1993 when the competition has just one division.

After a goalless first half, visitors Bont, the current Cambrian Tyres League Division One Champions, took the lead on the hour. Captain Tristan Jones hit a rising 25-yard drive which Adam Wright could only fingertip into the top-right corner of the net.

However, the home sides grabbed a point with an 82nd-minute equaliser. Substitute Daniel Thomas delivered a corner from the left which was cleared to the edge of the area from where Michael Watkins hit a low right-foot shot into the bottom right corner of the area.

The full-time whistle signalled the end of the second full day and the start of a 92 mile or 2½ hour drive home before more football tomorrow at Carno, Montgomery and Kerry to round off the 2010 Mid Wales League Hop.

Llandrindod Wells (blue shirts with white sleeves / blue / white): 1. Adam Wright, 12. Marco Parry, 3. Will Green, 4. Sean Powell, 5. Michael Watkins (capt), 6. Shaun Williams, 7. Robbie Nicholls, 8. Johnny Williams, 9. Chris Davies, 10. Paul Watson, 11. Daryl Nicholls. Subs: 12. Huey Lewis (for Powell, 8), 14. Aaron Martin (for Davies, 71), 15. Daniel Thomas (for Parry, 67), 16. Ashley Thomas (not used), 17. Will Cleaton (not used).

Bont (orange/white/orange): 1. Trevor Jones, 2. Ceri Jenkins, 3. Tristan Jones (capt), 4. Gwynfryn Hughes, 5. Ben Jenkins, 6. Josh Davies, 7. Glyndwr Hughes, 8. Andre Marsh, 9. Jamie Evans, 10. Sion Meredith, 11. Owain Schiavone. Subs: 8(black shorts). Andrew Gilbert (for Davies, 71), 14. Dewi Hughes (not used), 15. Ifan Evans (not used), 16. Ian Lee (not used), 17. Owen Jones (not used).

Referee: Andrew Mills (Llanyre).
Assistants: Steve Fisher (Llandrindod Wells) and Steve Bradford (Cross Gates).

0-1 Tristan Jones (60)
1-1 Michael Watkins (82)

Llandrindod Wells: Will Green (YC, 63)
Bont: Glyndwr Hughes (YC, 22), Tristan Jones (YC, 45+1), Jamie Evans (YC, 80)

Newbridge-on-Wye 4 Builth Wells 2

Sunday 29th August 2010
Newbridge-on-Wye 4 Builth Wells 2
Spar Mid Wales League Division 1
At: Penbont
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £38 hop ticket including 12 page £1 programme
Attendance: 322
Weather: sunny
Duration: first-half: 45:31; second-half: 47:12

After Rhosgoch, the second match on today’s hop itinerary was the Division 1 local derby between Newbridge-on-Wye and Builth Wells which turned out to be, though only for a few hours, a Welsh hop record holder.

On the way down to the first game, a few miles north of Rhosgoch, I’d spotted a turn for a place called Glascwm. Now, the village isn’t one on the tip of many people’s tongue, but the name of ‘Glascwn’ brought back memories of cycling holidays and a simple-category youth hostel I planned to visit but never managed to visit. A quick look at the map suggested that driving to Newbridge via Glascwun wasn’t a detour at all. I expected the village to be at the top of a hill not as it was, downhill in a valley. The hostel closed in 1997 after 50 years of service and one of the outbuildings is still in situ.

After bad pre-trip planning for Rhosgoch, there was more of the same in Newbridge-on-Wye though this time I had the correct village but couldn’t find the ground. A quick drive round drew a blank and I asked a pedestrian. Trouble was this chap must have got his lefts and rights wrong as I ended up going round in a circle.

One feature in the centre of the village I kept noticing was a prominent fountain, made of polished pinkish granite opposite the New Inn. The inscription read: ‘Erected by public subscription in the memory of the Rev. J. E. Lloyd the first vicar of Newbridge-on-Wye & Llysdinam 1883-1902’.

Finally, to end the frustration, I asked someone else with a better sense of direction who told me the ground was down the B4358, signed Beulau, from the main road at the northern end of the village. Aha, there was the ground on the left immediately after crossing the Rover Wye.

As with all the hop grounds so far, the place was buzzing. The sun shone brightly and warmly. And, to the delight of a non-meat eater, baked potatoes with butter, cheese and baked beans were on the menu.

Though players changed at the farm near the main road and walked up to the pitch, the ground named ‘Penybont’ boasted a wooden stand containing three rows of bench seating, and also a refreshments hut.

Hop games are always special and today’s game had an extra special ingredient. Just eight miles separates Newbridge and visitors Builth Wells and local rivals were meeting for the first time at senior level.

Looking at the league table, Newbridge hadn’t got off to a good start, losing their opening two league games. Builth, in contrast, had six points on the board from home victories over Presteigne St Andrews and Dolgellau which followed an opening day defeat at Berriew.

Builth Wells (in orange shirts, black shorts and black socks) got the game underway in warm sunshine, admittedly with a blustery wind, and under a mostly blue sky. They attacked the near car park end in the first half.

Despite playing yesterday, Newbridge (wearing all white) got off to a great start by taking the lead in the 10th minute. Luke Boundford delivered a long throw into the Builth area which was poorly punched by keeper Ryhs Hughes. The ball wasn’t cleared and Jordan Cooper fired home. ‘Dan Farmer’ was announced as the scorer and there was logic to this – Farmer was no. 9 on the line-up borad but actually wearing no. 8 shirt.

The lead lasted nine minutes. Glen Huntley did well to tip Tom Brown’s initial shot onto the bar but Kevin Lewis slotted home the rebound. Playing into the wind, the visitors took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Steve Parry cross deep from the right and Shane Pritchard sent a looping header over Huntley and into the net.

The attendance headcount took place and the figure of 322 surpassed by just three spectators the previous record for a Welsh hop game of 319 set in 2006 at Aber Valley YMCA.

Newbridge levelled things up in the 63rd minute. Gavin Samuel brought down Adriani Girolami inside the area and Matt Aubrey, once of Bristol City, buried the resulting penalty into the corner of the net.

It got even better for the home side three minutes later as they regained the lead. Aubrey slipped the ball into the path of John Samuel on the left side of the area who fired a low shot into the opposite corner of the net.

And Newbridge put the outcome beyond doubt in the 81st minute. Substitute Sam Hope crossed from the left and Aubrey scored his second goal of the game with a glancing header.

Full-time and the short five or so mile drive to Llandrindrod Wells.

Newbridge-on-Wye (white/white/white): 1. Glen Huntely, 2. Taran Lewis, 3. Phil Ruell, 4. Adriano Girolami, 5. Luke Boundford, 6. John Foster, 7. John Samuel, 8. Dan Farmer, 9. Jordan Cooper, 10. Matt Aubrey, 11. Steve Morgan. Subs: 12. Dan Bradbourn (not used), 14. Sam Hope (for Farmer, 72), 15. Cephas Grey (for Aubrey, 85), 16. Danny Evans (for Cooper, ht), 17. Kieran McAuley (not used).

Builth Wells (orange/black/black): 1. Rhys Hughes, 2. Jason Samuel, 3. Gavin Samuel, 4. Lee James, 5. Steve Parry, 6. Shane Pritchard, 7. Greg Lawrence, 8. Neil Davies, 9. Harry Barnstable, 10. Tom Brown, 11. Kevin Lewis. Subs: 12. Aled Jones (for Parry, 59), 14. Tom Rowlands (not used), 15. Shane Claridge (for Jason Samuel, 85), 17. Phil Draper (for Lewis, 76).

Referee: Paul Morgan (Aberystwyth).
Assistants: John Davies (Aberystwyth) and Dave Bywater (Prestigne).

1-0 Jordan Cooper (10)
1-1 Kevin Lewis (19)
1-2 Shane Pritchard (29)
2-2 Matt Aubrey (63 pen)
3-2 John Samuel (66)
4-2 Matt Aubrey (81)

Newbridge: none
Builth Wells: Steve Parry (YC, 31)