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Another two games, Alsager Town vs Hallam – THE BIG ONE :)

I am certainly one to go on about the weather, as an avid football fan its valid. The weather in the run up to this Saturday’s two games was (being blunt yet totally fair) f**king crap.  Rain for an entire week. Was it just North West Derbyshire or the whole of the country. I’ll answer that one in two words, micro climate. Derbyshire’s rainfall must excess that of all but 2 county’s in England. Cumbria and Cornwall. Cumbria is far north and all weather systems hit the South West first.

This was to be my 49th ground, I’ve seen football at 48 different places, furthest North being Esh Winning in County Durham and furthest South, Hastings United. I’ve been to the national stadium of Gambia but not for a match. It was also game 99 in watching Hallam, it may also bring forward game 100, game 100 would be a replay vs Alsager Town.

Anyway it was an early start again 7:30 and we had set off for Darley Dale at 8:10 arriving in 50 minutes that were uneventful. I had made the mistake of wearing my black trainers for a game where hard standing was the car-park and rain was part of it. I was stood waiting for the game to start with Dad, at kick off time the shed where the goals were kept weren’t open and this delayed kick off. We put them up in the rain and just as the game was about to start I was given the chance to be a linesman. Like an idiot I took the flag

Now I will never criticise linesman yet again, its a hard job and at first rather daunting. In this game the referee made most of the decisions anyway. Buxton Wildcats vs Buxton Wolves it was by the way. Had the Wolves not defended so deep I’ve of been able to call 20 offsides in this 70 minute encounter. I actually flagged just 2. The ball went out so it didn’t matter.

The rain was that fine stuff that gets you wet and my feet were soaked. Half-Time it was 1-1, second half 5 goals went in, 5-2 it ended. Mini TJ wasn’t gonna come through to Alsager so I could enjoy a Cheshire pie instead of match photos, I’d rather eat than have photos of the game, many would agree. A pie is part of football.

The game ended at 11:15 and it was time to yet again depart Darley Dale Cricket Club without any sort of win. We jetted back off to Chapel arriving at about 12:20 in good spirits. By the way we didn’t set off till 11:30, somebody can talk for England….

Having arrived back in Chapel I got last minute things done, bring my bag containing Clipboard, 10 pens, my horn and a flag. I made myself a flask of tea and got some food out for Mum and Dad taking me to Alsager Town. I was actually organized and so I decided to go and get the navigator ready. We never waited for 1:30 and set off at 1:10 knowing I’d actually arrive more than 1/2 an hour prior to kick off, this somewhat of a rarity nowadays with me.

The journey down to Alsager was so uncomplicated I couldn’t believe it, A6 to Buxton, A54 over to Congleton in pouring rain! Having got to Congleton it was a case of working out how to get through it, it was signposted really well and we went on the A34 on the Newcastle road and then a right into Alsager. The ground is on one of the first right turnings, we followed the road round taking several turnings and eventually arrived. The ground address is a cul de sac, the ground entrance a car’s width gap in the far corner.

The ground opens up below you once you enter, there are three stands, all in very different condition, the near terrace looked quite modern and so I never moved. The game itself was worth watching, www.hallamfc.co.uk/matchreports.htm for a detailed report. Hallam really should of won and of course didn’t, two equalisers and two Alsager goals that should never have happened.

I quite like Alsager, dump to some but not to me. This was my 49th different ground, I don’t hate any really, some places are worse to go to than others. This remindered me of Eccleshill United in the NCEL. The mini flag I had and the annoying horn and consistent shouting was just like what I did at Eccleshill but here the locals didn’t mind one Hallam fan. They are probably used to it, the Far Side Ultras have gone but away fans making a racket are always welcome apparently.

I met Dogsy123 and Drawoh off NLZ and Alsager’s forum. They are excellent and I felt very welcome. I had a pie at half-time this was half warm, Meat and Potato swimming with Gravy for £2.00, ok not brilliant but I like a pie all the same.

The game went to extra time and it really wasn’t worth it, both sides were tired. I can’t stress that enough.

The replay is Wednesday night at Sandygate, I hope to go but don’t think I can.

Tom

13 goal thriller and Hallam vs Mickleover – Saturday 27th September – Game 20 and Game 21

Mini TJ was involved in her first league match of the season, I was supposed to be at Hallam vs Mickleover and my Dad was supposed to be picking up our new car. The original plans had been for, TJ match morning, me to Sandygate, get the car at three. Somehow after a confuzzling week that I’ve gained a cold, football fever and lots of homework.

This didn’t go according to plan and another 7am start was in store. Friday evening had been interesting, I played football for a bit and my right foot was getting worse the more I shot. Fortunately 2 days rest and 2 action packed days would get me through a bad time. This week I got 2 dead arms, a cut 6 inches long down my leg and belief I can play football again. After ‘that’ display on Wednesday I was starting to enjoy playing again, my badly bruised foot hadn’t got any better though, just worse. I could hardly walk on Wednesday night.

So back to Saturday morning, I woke up after 8.5 hours sleep, a record for me in school time, I normally get 8 hours max. Friday I had barely a 66cl bottle of Becks, some what of a record low for a Friday night drinking for me. Most of £200 going towards my birthday is going on booze, were going to have a drink up on my birthday, then Armthorpe vs Hallam on the Saturday. Thats if I get up on the Saturday, I might just go and watch Chapel Town or something.

Anyway, up at 7 I had a cuppa and ate 5 weetabix putting on some jeans, a shirt and my orange jacket, not exactly looking the best but for a Saturday, looking ok at 8am is fantastic. We flew into Sheffield within 45 minutes and by 9:15 everything was signed and we were ready to get off in the new car. Its quite nice, ok fusion blue is a dodgy colour and I’m not keen on it but its better than the old Y reg Saab. That was falling to bits and everyone is glad to see the back of it. At 9:38 we were ready to get off to Darley Dale, home of Dfs, a cricket club and a foreign company called Enthoven. Really, not much to see there and many will agree. It sits between Bakewell and Matlock.

We flew out towards Fox House, taking a left towards Calver, cutting down through Froggatt and into Calver. We found it easier to go on the Hassop road to Bakewell then A6 to Darley Dale. The pitches are a bit of a kick in the face to find. I’m generally the car navigator, this car has it built in, happy or unhappy days for me depending on which way you look at it. We got to Darley Dale and took a right onto Station Road, after getting mixed up we turned round in Darley Bridge and arrived at Darley Dale cricket club at 10:23. As you’ve noticed my timing is exact, I like to run on time. Everything is exact with me.

Anyway mini TJ was supposed to kick off at 11. She was playing New Mills for Buxton Wolves, the Wolves lost 5-1 to Buxton Wildcats a few weeks back. Hallam won 6-1 that day, I was hoping the same would happen this afternoon. So mini TJ got a new kit, she’s now in the Under 13s, 9 a side football on a small sided pitch. The game itself I was interested in, just goals, me and Dad grabbed a Bovril and stood to watch the game from behind one goal.

I quite frankly didn’t expect what happened next. Wolves took the lead after two minutes, after 5 minutes it was 1-1. After 11 minutes of the 35th minute half it was 3-3. Buxton Wolves had led 3 times, the dangerous striker for New Mills was seening the ball too much. Rather interestingly this ping-pong style game continued, Buxton Wolves were 6-5 up with 7 minutes to go. What nobody saw coming next was New Mills grabbing an equaliser and winner, 7-6 New Mills it ended.

That game broke many records from me watching football, most goals in one game, most times a team has had the lead 6, most goals scored by an away side, 7. Glapwell scored 6 vs Hallam a few years ago, the less said about that the better! So at full-time we helped take the goalposts down and at 12:40 we set off for port of call three, getting my phone back from 02 shop in Buxton.

It came back repaired well, the joystick now functions and I can again take a photo on my phone. Then was for the journey back to Chapel taking about 15 minutes we had 40 minutes to get sorted to get to Sandygate for Hallam vs Mickleover Sports.

I spent time making a flask, getting changed again and organising what to take to the game. Always I forget something, this time my camera. The journey into Sheffield was without incident and the 40 minute journey flew by. I arrived at Sandygate with mini TJ and proceeded into the ground, straight out the brand new car. I’m not one for superstitions but normally I shower on the morning of the game, with a tight schedule this didn’t happen

Anyway I took a seat on the back row of the main stand with no camera and started to watch the game. I will not post a report but advertise instead… www.hallamfc.co.uk/matchreports.htm

Don’t worry I was absolutely infuriated after that game, however listening to Wednesday beat Charlton was excellent. The chips at Hallam are good mind, unfortunately I’m not keen on the brown sauce and the salt doesn’t get out easily. I hate chips without salt, at Carlton Town 2 years ago there was no problem. The best chips I’ve had I think, Esh’s were quite good though in the same season.

Anyway Hallam travel to Alsager on Saturday, our President’s Cup tie vs Winterton Rangers has been put back 4 weeks.

Hallam should win and bring me some merriment, the week has been not brilliant

Tom

Buxton vs Boston United – Game 19 – Tuesday 23rd September

I’d had a tough day and after contracting a cough at New Mills the previous night I headed up to Buxton where you can get flu in the middle of July. We headed up to mini TJs training at Buxton Community School and I spent the entire hour listening to Sheffield United fans complaining £30 million wasn’t enough off West Ham and that they were gonna smash Arsenal’s Young Guns to pieces. All living in cuckoo land.

I got dropped off at 7.10 near Aldi and I slowly walked to the ground getting there within 10 minutes. I paid £4 and slowly walked round the ground. The open end would be impressive if it had a stand on it, its just a vast open terrace that slopes but just big.

I went to stand on the Railway End as I usually do when Shez doesn’t have the money to get to games. It was seriously cold stood in jeans, reebok t-shirt and black jacket. The game started well and then slowed down, it turned into Sheffield Wednesday vs Grimsby Town in 2002/2003 style, absolutely mind bogglingly crap.

Half-Time came and I grabbed a hot chocolate, pie, peas and gravy, £2.80 altogether. A summary of the pie would be more interesting than a summary of what happened in the first half. The pie was rather good, meat and potato and it swimming in gravy, lovely jubbly to me. More gravy = better pie. Despite various changes, Scott Hartley had to tip a header onto the post and then have it cleared off the line. Ollie Ryan ran through and smashed the only goal of the game into the far corner for Boston.

With 9 minutes left I decided to get back for the train, the game was getting no better and I was getting colder. After 6 minutes I was walking into Buxton station, I ran over to the other side but no train had its lights on so asked this woman where it was and she pointed me to the train on the near side. A welcome relief for me anyway.

She turned out to be the conductor and I paid my £1.20 and was back at Chapel station for 9.49. The walk back wasn’t as such a walk but rather a run. Station Road was well lit up and it was only on Rowton Grange Road I decided I could be home in 7 minutes from there. I ran like something else and ended up going through the door a few seconds after 11 minutes. 11 minutes downhill was a record, beating the previous 13 minute time. I would never though try and beat that 14 minute record there, I always leave 20 minutes to get there.

I went straight to bed like the previous night and was left to dwell on a decision to go to a boring game where I spent £8.00.

Hallam vs Mickleover Sports next.

Tom

New Mills AFC vs Maine Road – Game 18

There really is no story to this match. When planning fixtures for September I highlighted this as a possible game to go to. On Sunday money looked good and still I wasn’t bothered about going. As Monday passed it became clear I had nothing to do on Monday night. After a quite strange and long day at school I decided to go at 4:22 in the afternoon, 3 hours 23 to kick off.

I got in the car at 5:15 and headed back home to Chapel. Here it was a 1 hour race to get things sorted for the game. After a quick change and washing my hair I put my black jacket on, B-Line, £6.00 in change and my phone I ventured upto The New Inn bus stop. The 199 to Manchester Airport which stopped in Newtown.

The journey up to the bus stop took about 5 minutes and I sat and waited. I hadn’t caught a bus in 10 months and that the only one in 3 years since leaving Sheffield. I normally prefer to get the train to games but tonight the bus was easier as the train times are to be honest awful for getting back. I normally complain about 90% of bus drivers and as usual I got on and bought a ticket off Mr Miserable. Having asked for a half return to New Mills he looked at me and said £2.65 much to my disgust, I questioned this and he then wasn’t going to give me a ticket. Once I asked, he said WAIT very loudly and this made me look stupid infront of 10 other passengers. I don’t think he thought I was 15. I took a seat at the back and waited for the bus to set off.

I got to Furness Vale, I asked where was best to get off, he was very grumpy and when I got off Mr Miserable’s bus I felt like giving him a torrent of abuse but being a passionate football supporter I relented. I set off for the ground from Newtown, I had to try and set a time for departing the ground to get back. I quickly found a path leading me to Newtown Station and I walked down the road from there you have to walk all the way down then walk back up the other side! It took about 10 minutes and I reached the top, at the traffic lights darted across the road and straight into Church Lane.

As usual it was £2.50 admission and duly paid it. I knew I would be seeing quality football so really the £5.15 I’d splashed out so far didn’t seem a great amount. I originally was going to stand on the main terrace as I’m not a fan of sitting when I can stand. I took a walk round the ground to waste some time having been limited to two and a half sides last time I came due to flooding at the bottom end.

The ground really is classic and in my opinion one of a kind, the old and new features fit in well together. After a good look round I made my way to the main terrace again where I met up with Paul and we spoke for a bit and walked down to the seated stand on the near side where we stood to watch the first half.

Maine Road started far better, the Number 8 providing great problems for New Mills left back and Maine Road were putting decent balls into the box. Unfortunately for them they weren’t testing New Mills’s keeper and the Millers were getting back into the game. Band eventually scored a quick turn and shot into the far corner and within minutes it was 2-0, Giggs headed the ball over the Maine Road and from there on New Mills looked comfortable.

At half-time I grabbed a Bovril for 60p and stood towards the top goal on the West Side. Carlos Meakin grabbed a 25 yard thunderbolt for 3-0 midway through the half, ruined by a pathetic set of officials with no idea what so ever.

The game went on and on and on eventually at 21:36 the referee blew up for full-time, 6 minutes after he indicated just 3. I set off on a jog back to Newtown, goal tally 64 after 18. I was back in the centre of New Mills within 3 minutes, 17 minutes until the bus and still a hill to climb. I walked most of it getting to Swizzels Mallow at around 9.45 at a quicker pace than I usual walk and after finding that shortcut at Newtown station again I was on the corner at 9.49. I slowly walked round to the bus stop just past the school and sat back and waited for bus trying not to fall asleep.

The bus arrived and I got on and sat near the front, it arrived at around 10:10. I took a quick walk up Church Brow then ran back home within a few minutes. I then went straight to bed, knowing in 24 hours I’d be on my way back from Buxton vs Boston

Tom

Hallam vs Winsford United – Game number 17, 20th September

After the season Hallam have had this was possibly the biggest game of the season so far. I was insistent on Vase progress, the 06.07 cup run was fun, a great Vase run would be fantastic. Hallam result’s had been of the 3 biggest wins, 3 silly defeats and 1 non expected 6-1 thrashing. Certainly an insane start, the Winsford game turned out to continue this silly run.

Last season in the Vase we beat Winsford 1-0 at the Barton Stadium, Ashton Town 3-1 away, carefully beat Glasshoughton 1-0 at Sandygate before being annihilated 3-0 by a fantastic Salford City side at Moor Lane. After that the Senior and League Cups were there, we lost to Dinnington 8-0 in the Senior Cup, Winterton beat us on penalities in the League Cup Semi final. Silverware wasn’t an option this year, it was essential, Hallam have gone 4 years without a trophy, for a side of our stature we needed one this year. With the best squad and manager in years, this season is our best chance for a trophy

After last week’s early start at 7:00 this was more like normality, up at 10 and headed off into Buxton, in Buxton I struggled to find a replacement stopwatch for my current two that after 3 years are now sodded. From Buxton I went straight into Sheffield, after a trawl round town for a bit and time to enjoy the rare sunshine I headed off to Sandygate at around 2 o clock.

Sandygate is a fantastic ground and with the nice weather it was perfect time to take some new photos of the ground. Not much has changed in 7 months really, new fencing and thats just about it. After walking in I found my usual place at the back of the main stand, no laptop for me today, a report for a home game usually takes very little time. I was armed though with that loud horn of mine, 3 pens and a clipboard. Usually you need a jumper at Sandygate in August, as was proved against Silsden 2 seasons ago. Today jeans and shirt was necessary as on previous saturdays I haven’t needed my jacket, what a change.

I slowly waited for the game to kick off. At Liversedge 3 weeks back I listened to music for 40 minutes while my laptop charged up, quite good really, until I realised it hadn’t been charging post match on the way home. The teams came and as expected Winsford wore their ‘lucky’ orange kit but only with black shorts. The new respect initative continued and I’m greatful of it. Some players actually take this into the games, the majority don’t, dissent is still rife

My match report from the game:

Hallam vs Winsford United

Hallam line up: 1) Martin Taylor, 2) Gavin Hunter, 3) Darren Holmes, 4) Richard Patterson, 5) Rob Ward, 6) Carl Smith, 7) Richard Carrington, 8) Andrew Brownrigg, 9) Scott Bates, 10) Matt Griffin, 11) Chris Siddall  Hallam Subs: 12) James Tevendale, 14) Rob Cam, 15) Ryan O Carroll, 16) Wes Hill, 17) David Knaggs

Winsford kicked off and played up the slope in the first half in their Dark Orange and Black kit. Winsford started the first 5 minutes the better with a free-kick being headed wide at the back-post. Unfortunately for them Hallam looked very lively and a Richard Carrington free kick on 8 got deflected towards the top left of the goal but somehow the Winsford keeper clawed the ball away. Carrington was in the thick of the action again on 15 but his diving header trickled past the post.

That man again Richard Carrington was involved in the first absolute definite chance, his cross hit the bar and bounced out and was met by ?? whose header rolled into the corner – 1-0 HALLAM!! After that Winsford’s 7 blazed over on the angle, Darren Holmes fired over from 20 yards and Scott Bates twice tested the keeper with low efforts. Winsford had the last shot of an action packed first half, 7 thundering a 35 yard shot that Martin Taylor could only push away

Half – Time at Sandygate – Hallam 1 Winsford United 0

Hallam started for the first minutes of the second half anyway, a Gavin Hunter cross was headed just inches from goal, smacking the bar and coming out. Winsford got themselves an equaliser with arguably the best goal of the game a 20 yard shot on the angle curling to the top left corner past Martin Taylor – 1-1. This feat was almost repeated just 10 minutes later but 6 curled his effort over the crossbar.

Hallam look really uncomfortable and in comparison to the first half looked poor, seconds after I said it Winsford scored another, a shot from 20 yards was diverted past Martin Taylor and bounced in – 2-1 Winsford United. Hallam looked totally beaten, Rob Ward had a goal ruled out for offside and the 4th October looked like an Arnold day not an Alsager day. Batesy fired at the keeper after a smart turn with Winsford pushing for a 3rd.

The last 10 minutes looked to be a case of finding an equaliser and head for extra time…Richard Patterson had other ideas as he hit an unstoppable 20 yard effort on the angle into the top left corner 2-2!! Hallam were back in it and extra-time seemed likely, Winsford looked more likely to win it from there and with 2 minutes to go had Hallam pinned in their own half. A quick ball through caught the Winsford backline out and James Tevendale raced through and slotted into the corner – 3-2 HALLAM!! ALSAGERBOUND!! The whole ground erupted as Hallam grabbed a possible winner. The referee signalled 2 minutes extra and despite the Winsford pressure and 4 minutes more played Hallam held out!

Full – Time at Sandygate – Hallam 3 Winsford United 2

Verdict: The absolute best comeback I’ve seen, Hallam to come from 2-1 down and out of it to win was fantastic, perhaps lucky but definitely over 90 minutes deserved

My Man of The Match: Richard Carrington, he was everywhere and played very well.

Putting the last 5 minutes into context, it was an awesome end to the game. After much criticism Tevendale scored a belter of a goal, my mouth will remain firmly shut when he plays badly from now on. I was celebrating, the club was celebrating, the players, the manager was celebrating, Winsford felt the effects of conceding two goals in the last 10 minutes to an NCEL side again.

WERE OFF TO ALSAGER the headline and to be honest, you couldn’t say it any better. The Vase run starts and in dramatic fashion, if this is a sign to come then this Vase run will continue well.

After the game I got in the car after a few minutes with my sister, getting in to listen to Lee Croft hit a 92nd strike against Sheffield United. The Owls result didn’t filter through for about 10 minutes, Wednesday had drawn a blank, it seemed a perfect three, on dramatics it was, in reality it wasn’t.

TJ

Double-header and loadzaaa goals! – Game 15 and Game 16 – Saturday 13th September

This is something I have aimed to do for a long-time, watch 2 football matches in one day. If you count Junior Football as a match then its a double-header. After the Witton game I’d got very little money left, worked once in 7 weeks and hadn’t even been paid for it. Luckily the money I had at the start of August was in supply for another few days at least. By the time there is nothing I will have £100 sat in my backpocket anyway.

I’m used to early starts with football matches, two trips to Pickering Town and I part of the 43,000 Wednesdayites that travelled to the play-off final 3 years ago. How things have moved on since then. I best get used to travelling, Bridlington Town, Pickering Town and Hall Road Rangers are all still to come on the road with Hallam F.C. This start wasn’t that bad though, up at 6:30 every morning anyway it was a 7:30 start

By 8.20 we were off to Matlock, not Matlock Town F.C but Cavendish Fields. I was wearing jeans and shirt, the weather wasn’t in brilliant, little did I know it was a scorcher in South Derbyshire! I had the job of navigating, A623, turn off for Ashford in the Water, head down the A6 through Bakewell, Matlock and turn left up Steep Turnpike in Matlock, take a left at the top and bear right, follow the lane round, your there. My sister was playing for Buxton Wolves vs Buxton Wildcats, we arrived around 9 and in time for a 9.30 kick off.

The game itself didn’t exactly live up to expectations and after the Wolves took the lead they looked comfortable until the last kick before half-time, Wildcats equalised. The Wildcats got four more after the break on a warm morning in Matlock, the pitch itself was in good condition albeit on a slope. The whole complex was massive and about 4 other matches were going on at the same time. After final whistle went we made our way back to the car. Within 10 minutes we were off. We took the same route back and were back in the Frith for noon.

I went straight to my room, updated my website and sat back and chilled for a while listening to Pendulum as I was on msn. I had a bacon buttie with a cuppa for lunch and watched the remaining 10 minutes of football focus. I then went and got reready this time for Buxton vs Bootle. At about 2 I set off to Chapel station. Its supposed to be 20 minutes away, I can now walk it in 12 minutes. I don’t know but I feel I’m cheating the route.

I walked past Chapel Town F.C who were taking on AVRO at Rowton Park, AVRO were wearing a kit that only be described as strange, Aqua blue and Claret. I know Burnley, Villa, West Ham wear similar kits but this was mainly Blue. I got up to the station with 10 minutes to spare for the 2.22 train and waited, eventually the inevitable announcement sounded…”We are sorry to the 2.22 Northern service to Buxton has been delayed by approximately 5 minutes” not only angry at that but the fact when it arrived I had to run 20 yards to get on it!! When I did get on Mr Conductor was nowhere to be seen and I sat back and waited for him. For the countlessth time I arrived at Buxton having not paid. Arriving at 2:41 I made a slight dash to the ground.

When I payed my £4 I looked towards the Railway End, Mark Percival the Liverpool fan was stood there. After a chat we found Shez and Dan, (whose a Wednesdayite) and went and stood infront of the Shed. The game itself lived upto expectations with Gav Knight with number one, he got in the way of a left footed shot, luckily it flicked off his chest, Bootle’s keeper having already dived was helpless as the ball rolled into the opposite corner. Bootle looked lively and a rampage of blocked shots twice ended up with the hitting the Railway End roof. This was Bootle flurry and it had came to nothing

Just before half-time we headed for the Burger Van in the Shed/Railway End corner, £2 for a burger that was average, I didn’t get my pie, just 3 15 year olds moaning they wanted burgers and couldn’t be bothered to go to the servery. They had bought fizzy drinks and could hear bletching as I drank my cuppa. Irritated wasn’t quite the word.

Buxton grabbed another goal through Gavin Knight, a superb header from a left wing cross. The Bucks looked comfortable against a battling Bucks team that never stopped trying. Bucks vs Bucks?? Bucks = Buxton, Bucks = Bootle. Bootle did score, a well taken shot into the corner. Despite the boost for them they switched off and Mark Balfe ran through and arrowed a shot into the goal on the angle just minutes later. Game over and bring on the 2nd Qualifiying Round 

At full-time we went to look at the FA Cup that was on display, a pure rip off to pay £2.50 to see the trophy. I didn’t pay it and headed for Pavillion Gardens to get picked up and get home.

I went in and checked Hallam’s result, a 6-1 annihilation at Eccleshill United. That made me extremely pleased going into the Winsford game

TJ

Buxton vs Witton Albion – Tuesday 9th September – Game 14

After a week of heavy rain this game was always going to be in doubt. New Mills had stood up to the wet on Saturday but this game was different. After the idiocy of Bradford Park Avenue not to hold a pitch inspection on a pitch flooded until 30 minutes before kick off Buxton had to get it right. The day itself was fairly quiet, school the next day and to be honest wanted to see a good match before I went back

Throughout the day I checked the Buxton forum and it was on, at 4ish the rain came down and down and down. The match was in doubt and with Witton having to start travelling within 1 hour a decision had to made. Infact at 6:45 the game was declared on.

I was in ready already and after a quick bite to eat my Dad dropped me off at Chapel Station. It was scheduled for a 7:21 time but didn’t arrive till 2 minutes after. I got on, didn’t pay again and the train roared over to Dove Holes, infact it took 10 minutes to get to Buxton from Dove, a total joke and I thought the train driver was taking the p*ss. I then faced a 10 minute walk with 7 minutes to do it in. I ran out the station, through the car-park vaulted the railings and over the wall. Ran through the car-park and by the time I reached the hill couldn’t be bothered and just walked. Good timing though as I arrived just as Buxton were kicking off.

My mate hadn’t been bothered to come and watch so I stood on the Railway End instead. The Railway End is the ground’s largest stand, a terrace with 8 steps, holding around 1000. I stood just right of goal with a pole in my way. The game itself was good, Buxton started very well and should of scored several times. The rest of the half calmed down and Witton looked good, Scott Hartley making two very notable saves both from free-kicks.

Half-Time was coming up and so I made a move to get a pie, peas and gravy with a hot-chocolate. By the time I got back to my place the whistle had only just gone for half-time. The second half well the first 40 seconds was a disaster for Buxton as Witton scored within 40 seconds of the restart. Witton fans had now effectively moved me off my standing place to the back of the stand were things were getting a little heated.

Buxton looked poor but gradually got into the game more, 5 minutes before I was due to leave Gavin Knight smashed in an equaliser, surely the game couldn’t take another twist. I left 7 minutes till the end to catch a train back to Chapel. I walked back to the station 5 minutes in time for my train. A job in itself 4 two carriage trains on each side and I was lucky I got on the right one.

I got back and checked the score knowing I’d missed something, yes! A Gavin Knight penalty 5 minutes from the end! Buxton 2 Witton 1.

Next up its a double header on Saturday

Tom

New Mills v Wolverhampton Casuals – Saturday 6th September

The week has been eventful. After last week’s action packed trip to Liversedge I was extremely annoyed, despite my annoyance I thought we always have Nostell next Saturday. The week has also been as washout. On Tuesday night I took in Chapel Town vs Stockport Georgians, 4 goals and an average of 3.416 a game now. Superb stats.

Wednesday it continued to rain, I was in Stockport with a lass from New Mills and two mates. It never stopped and we dashed from Burger King to the station for our train back. We were completely wet through. We were thinking of going away but the weather put pay to it and I had no intention of travelling to Nostell. With the weather I didn’t bother contemplating it, I did complete a Next Match Preview.

So back to today. I woke up at 11 ish. I was asked about Hallam’s game, my parents almost wanting me to go. I checked the ncel forum, game off. No game on today. I was disappointed but happy all the same. I knew New Mills game was on, this was my original plan 3 weeks ago but I thought nothing more of it. I didn’t think it would be on, after all just 4 miles away the weather would be the same. Oh no it wasn’t. Game on and it seemed like no better chance to get to Church Lane where I’d been wanting to go for quite a while.  I asked about going, with everyone else off to Stockport it was a yes as its on the way

I got ready for the game and at 2:20 set off for the 10 minute journey to Church Lane. Normally away fans go up the A6 and straight up through New Mills to the ground. Instead A6, Furness Vale to the railway station and go over the track and follow the backroad to New Mills. The road brings you out at some crossroads, on the right across the crossroads is the ground.

In the FA Vase and FA Cup the FA set minimum admission. Its because they get a cut of the gate money and so do the away team. The only thing glamorous about this for Wolves was the gate money. £2.50 to get in, not bad as I was sure this game would see goals, goals and more goals.

My opinion on goals was right. Wolves Casuals looked weak from the off in their Green kit with a black stripe. They are in Step 6 in the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division. My opinion is the NCEL is the strongest Step 5 and 6 leagues in the North, NWCFL a close second, Northern League about the same as NWCFL and Midland Alliance and its feeders even weaker. I was quite right. 

New Mills got number one on 16, Adam Mather clipped over the keeper and within 15 minutes it was two. A clumsy foul in the area, penalty by Kharas and it was game over and New Mills looked deadly. Howard fired into the corner for 3-0 on 41 and at half-time New Mills could be on for a heavy win. Wolves looked poor.

The second half started like the first, rather uneventful but a 4th look inevitable and Vinnie Braine got it. He raced forward, shot straight at the keeper, turned around only to find the keeper had spilled back to him and he turned and slotted home. The game looked to be heading for 4-0 as New Mills missed bags of chances, Booth in the Casuals goal keeping the score down how it wasn’t 6 or 7 nobody actually knew.

This was until Garry Kharas headed home not once but twice in the last two minutes, timed at 89 and 90 by myself. It was confirmed as this. Casuals kicked off after Kharas’s 2nd header and hat-trick goal and the referee blew up for full-time. 

Full-Time at Church Lane – New Mills AFC 6 Wolverhampton Casuals 0

So New Mills won £800, virtually doubling their earnings after a good gate of 204. Me and mini TJ had the job of walking for 1/2 in the direction of home. We turned out of Church Lane and through New Mills and headed towards the A6. We reached it and turned left down towards Furness Vale, after the half hour we were virtually out of Furness Vale and we got picked up and went home.

For a seperate ground review =  http://footballgroundguide.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=17828

Tom

Chapel Town vs Stockport Georgians – Game 12 – Tuesday 2nd September

This was a game I knew would be tough for Chapel, Georgians had had a bad start but despite this I always knew they would be a threat. So after a rainy day I had doubts the game would be on but set off for Rowton Park in time for a kick off at 6:30pm. Taking around 5 minutes.

I arrived just after 6:20 only to find the game had kicked off 5 minutes earlier with no score. Luckily I was in for a treat as the cold set in. I went to a match yet again without a coat and it got colder and colder and colder. On about the half-hour Georgians slotted in number one, Chapel looked overrun and sh*te to be honest. Half-Time came and Chapel in their new AC Milan style kit looked like they were going to get hammered.

As it were Georgians got their 2nd from the penalty spot just after half-time. They then got a 3rd halfway through an incredibly crap second half for Chapel Town. As it were got a fourth and missed a penalty. Stockport were taking home 3 points and 4 goals and well deserved. At least when I don’t pay I see something good, at least from one team.

TJ

Buxton vs FC United of Manchester – Saturday 23rd August

After a pathetic and dismal perfomance vs Ilkeston Town on tuesday night Buxton must have been looking for a win to rekickstart the season for themselves. At least thats what we hoped for. Having bought these precious tickets around 2 weeks before the game I had hoped they were going to be worth something. Although hope and reality is totally different.

The day came, up early at around 8ish to walk the dog only to go back to bed for a couple of hours. After messing about on message boards, playing with the dog and talkin to my mate did I finally go and get ready for the match. I wore my usual sort of clothes, trainers, jeans, shirt/designer t-shirt with my black jacket on. Despite the warmth I had to find somewhere to put the tickets. At around 12:40 I finally decided to take the dog for a quick walk before everyone came back from Sheffield at around 2ish. 12:50 I locked the door, set off and headed for the station.

The walk to the station as mentioned in earlier posts is bloody difficult. From the market place cut down between Chandlers and the Stocks cafe, down the steps to the main road. Cross the road, walk past the park and around through Rowton Grange, this is about 1/2 a mile in all and still only half the distance. The walk from here is undoubtedly silly, cross over onto Station Road from the end of Rowton Grange. Up Station Road which just keeps going up till you arrive at the Station where you can see all of Chapel.

I arrived around 10 minutes early and considering the heat, 19 minutes wasn’t a bad time. So with the train scheduled to come for 13:21 at 13:19 the usual announcement voiced over the station, “We are sorry to announce that the bla bla bla has been delayed by approximately 10 minutes.” Great, it arrived only 6 minutes late, that almost proved to be a fatal mistake for me.

I got on the train and it was packed to the rafters with Mancs, standing was the only option. I bought a ticket, now thats different for Northern Rail. We arrived at Buxton and the police looked well prepared for the afternoon and credit to them. My mate had already fled the station and I set about looking for him. He had no phone effectively and I walked round Buxton, up through the town to Terrace Road, to the ground, to the station then back to the ground where I went to get a Dr Pepper the long way round and got it. After an hour walking back along towards Silverlands I found him, god damn that was lucky.

We went in and took a place behind the goal. The ground filled up and I said 1939 the attendance before the game and didnt find out until 6 ish. The football was drab only at half-time I grabbed a Steak ‘n’ Ale pie with peas and gravy, ooooffttt it was worth it 🙂

FC United inevitably scoring when Jamie Baugley lashed the ball into the roof of the net, as much as the 900 strong home record willed for a winner it wasn’t to be and the poor performance wasn’t helped by Mark Hume again using his temper. The police performed better than either of the poor sides, keeping law and order well and keeping drunk idiots from ruining the game. 

At full-time I had 40 minutes to my train and with around 2/3rds of the 1200 FC United fans after a train it was race to get back. Northern Rail need to be praised as well for putting on 4 long carriages to help ease the need for a train, a wonderful gesture and great organisation. When it set off it was a quick service back to Chapel when I made an advance to cross the driver nodded then pipped loudly at me, I greeted him with 2 fingers and a loud f**k off ya c**t!! Not necessary by him or me, why pip at me though? I walked back home to discover the attendance….a grand total of 2090, just 141 off my estimate, something was going right for me ha ha

TJ


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