Monday, 4 May 2015

catching up

It has been a while since my last post which has been partly due to my laptop being in for repair for a couple of weeks due to a hard drive failure. Rather stupidly I had not backed up my files for quite a while and thought I had lost a lot of my photos that had taken over the past year. Thankfully though Knowhow managed to retrieve the data and backed it up to an external hard drive I provided. Lesson learnt.

Anyway I managed to get to three more games of football during April in three different counties. First up was a short drive up the M1 to the village of Selston in Nottinghamshire for a game in the top division of the Notts Senior League...

Saturday 18th April
Selston 1-0 Sandhurst
Notts Senior League Senior Division
@ The Parish Hall Ground, Mansfield Road, Selston, Nottinghamshire

Admission: Free
Programme: 50p
Attendance: 249

Selston had organised their second annual Chairman's Day and there was plenty going on along side the football. This included a bouncy castle and inflatable slide for the kids, bbq, real ale and cider on tap, music etc etc. Luckily the weather played ball and it drew a decent crowd, though most as expected were interested in the goings on off the field than actually watching the football. This itself was a wise choice as the game was one of, if not the worst I have seen this season. As always it was good the catch up with Rob Hornby and this visit now leaves with me just four current grounds left to complete this division - Awsworth Villa, Bingham Town, FC Cavaliers and Sandhurst. Subject to any changes going on in the Summer, then I will visit these remaining venues and clubs next season.

35 photos taken can be viewed in the slideshow below:

Sunday 19th April
Swinford Chequers 3-5 Sileby Athletic
Alliance Football League Division 3
@ Rowland United Cricket Club, Lutterworth Road, Swinford, Leicestershire

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 17

My choice of Sunday League saw me head into the far South of Leicestershire to the village of Swinford. The village is located a stones throw from the M1 / M6 Catthorpe Interchange and it was a very easy drive South on a Sunday morning. The location of the playing fields is on the north side of the village and is a tidy set up. The visitors went into this game needing just four points to win the division, while their hosts were comfortable in mid-table. Apart from an early scare the games for first hour was dominated by the visitors and they raced into a three goal lead by half time. Two further goals in the opening five minutes of the restart put this game to bed as a contest. The hosts got one back around the hour mark from the penalty spot, then added two more in the final ten minutes to make the score closer than the game would suggest.

34 photos can be viewed in the slideshow below:

My final game of the month would see me reach 600 in regards to the number of different grounds / venues that I will have seen football at.

Saturday 25th April
Newmarket Town 1-4 Norwich United
Eastern Counties League Premier Division
@ Cricket Field Road, Newmarket, Suffolk

Admission: £6
Programme: £1
Attendance: around 100

I had several options for what would be ground number 600 and after some decent sleep Saturday morning after work, I got up at midday and started checking the weather forecast. With it being better in the East that was the direction I headed in. Newmarket had been on my "to do" list for a few years now and thought this would be as good as time as any. The drive mainly across the A14 took me around one hour forty minutes and I arrived around 2.30pm. A warm welcome was had by the person taking the admission money. 

The game was not to bad with the visitors already being confirmed as league champions. A couple of their goals came from mistakes by the Newmarket defence, but fair play to Norwich as they took them well. The second was a beauty of a free kick. Come the end of the game and a three goal margin was a tad harsh on on the hosts. 

On another point Newmarket are another club that are to replace their grass pitch with an artificial one. I know there are plenty that argue that football should be played one grass, but I have seen a few games on the new standard of artificial pitches and am all for them. They allow clubs to generate much needed income and it increases the standard of football on show. I know they need replacing every ten years or so, but as long as clubs put some of revenue they generate aside, then the costs should be covered easily. The last game I saw on one was last year at Clyde FC in Scotland and to be honest after a short while I didn't even notice that the pitch was not real.  

32 ground and match photos can be viewed in the slideshow below:
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