Bring Them Home

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Saturday 19th September 2020 ko 14.00

Mid Sussex League- Championship

SOUTHWICK 1882 2 (Russell 20 McDowell 80)

ASHURST WOOD 1 (Grafton 10)

Att c130

Entry & Programme – By Donation

You may remember 18 months ago I watched Southwick FC at their home Old Barn Way. I found a friendly club struggling with the weight of a storied history and a home that had clearly seen better days. I saw them lose, wrote about them, and hoped for better things for them. Sadly disaster befell them. Continue reading

Bear Necessities

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Tuesday 15th September 2020 ko 19.30

Southern Counties East League-Premier Division

BEARSTED 2 (Marshall-Katong 20p Abibio 24)

CHATHAM TOWN 5 (Evans 17 71 Butler 74 Bradshaw 80 Abioye 86)

Att 256

Entry & Parking £8

Programme- Free, online only

On Twitter, one of my followers has the following bio, “If it wasn’t for football I wouldn’t know where half the places in the UK are.”

Now that goes double for non-league I suppose; even I had to look up where Bearsted is, and just to make life even more difficult, the football club play in Otham, not Bearsted! Continue reading

Get Down

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Saturday 12th September 2020 ko 15.00

FA Cup Preliminary Round

SHEPPEY UNITED 4 (Carnegie 19 Midson 78 80 Hammill 84)

UXBRIDGE 1 (Haugh 65)

Att 235

Entry £7 (ALL TICKET)

Programme £1

I suppose I see the Isle of Sheppey as Kent’s Yang to Canvey Island’s Essex Ying. The bridge over The Swale is a little more impressive than its Essex counterpart, the slope (to allow for shipping below) is a little disconcerting! Sheppey does have its own quirks though. Continue reading

Fighting For It

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Friday 11th September 2020 ko 19.45

Hellenic League Division One East

WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK 5 (White 5 14 45 Eagle 26 E Day 27)

Clarke missed penalty 90

AFC ALDERMASTON 0 

Barna sent off 74

Att 150

Entry £5

Programme (by Aldermaston) £1

You could say I have history with Wokingham. I first encountered Wokingham Town in 1996 when my side Oxford United played a pre-season friendly at their ground Finchampstead Road. Friendly was the right term too, the Isthmian League club were notably friendly even though they lost the game 5-0. It is  worth mentioning that the visitors were able to name a back 3 of Matt Elliott, Darren Purse and Phil Gilchrist who all went on to play Premier League football so there was no disgrace in that scoreline ! The sadness came 3 years later when the club were forced to sell the ground for housing and moved into a groundshare with Windsor & Eton. Continue reading

Paper Chasing

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Saturday 6th September 2020 ko 14.30

Anglian Combination Division 4

DERSINGHAM ROVERS 5 (Wiseman 4 Welch 41 Willams 58 Kittle 53 Livoti 88)

ACLE UNITED RESERVES 0

Att 60

Free Entry

Programme £2

It was good to see the return of competitive football, but its arrival did cause a few dilemmas. For one, I suddenly had a far greater set of possibilities in terms of what I could go and watch, but greater responsibilities too. With crowd numbers restricted I pondered whether I wanted be the reason a fan missed out on entry. I quite fancied doing something on pyramid, but wanted to see how the Covid restrictions affected league football. In the end I did something I haven’t done for a while- I indulged in a spot of paper chasing. Continue reading

Preparation

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Saturday 29th August 2020 ko 14.30

Friendly

LUDGVAN AFC 2 (Goodspeed 8 Carew 14)

…. sent off 56 (violent conduct) 56

HAYLE AFC 1 (… 87)

….. sent off 56 (violent conduct) 56

Att c55

Free Entry

It has to be said that planning pre-season friendlies with all that has been going on in the world has been a bit of nightmare. A mixture of uncertain restrictions, and little publicity with clubs seemingly nervous about being ill-prepared for the new normal, and who could blame them? Local to me, I’d learned to work Twitter among clubs I knew to find games involving clubs I didn’t. If nothing else pre-season ended up being a wonderful excuse to find some local clubs to fall in love with! Cornwall though ended being another matter entirely! Continue reading

After The Break

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Tuesday 25th August 2020 ko 19.45

Friendly

SOUTHAM UNITED 1 (Coombes 25)

ATHERSTONE TOWN 4 (Naughton 45 61 80p Quinn 67)

Att c80 at Bobby Hancocks’ Park

Free Entry

It was a year late, and delayed by over a week more by Coronavirus restrictions, but finally Southam United’s new home has seen a game in front of an audience. I fully imagined visiting this time last year, and ended up seeing a game on Southam Juniors’ ground as the new ground wasn’t quite ready. Do have a read of that article before carrying on with this one; the background to the return of Southam United, and the building and delay to the new ground is there.

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Red, Gold & Green

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Saturday 22nd August 2020 ko 14.00

Friendly

HERSHAM FC 4 (O’Connor 28 Spencer 57 60 Long 86)
CLAYGATE ROYALS 2 (Heagney 48 Pitt 89)

Att c30 at Desborough Island, Walton-on-Thames

Free Entry

West of London there are no end of small islands in the River Thames, and given how easy it is to maintain privacy on any of them they do tend to be quite exclusive. Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has a houseboat studio “Astoria” moored at Hampton and D’Oyly Carte Island, once home to Richard D’Oyly the original producer of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas, is close to my destination, Desborough Island. Continue reading

The Duck Pond

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Thursday 20th August 2020 ko 18.30

Friendly

CHILDREY FC 5 (James 6p Triallist 23 28 Burgess 35 Austin 75)

KINGSCLERE 3 (Foster 52 Sopp 57 Murtagh 70)

Att 39 at The Mallards Nest, Froud’s Close, Childrey OX12 9NT

Free Entry

If you were to ask me what the quintessential North Berkshire League village ground would look like, I’d have always said Childrey, even if the village didn’t have a football club from 2013 to 2020. The village, just outside of Wantage lies alongside the likes of Challow and Letcombe who either have or currently stage North Berkshire League football. Continue reading

Down The Road

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Tuesday 18th August 2020 ko 19.00
Friendly

KING’S SUTTON 2 (Walker 1 Moore 89)

HOOK NORTON 1 (Rickard 53)

Att c30 at Wheeler’s Rise, Croughton

If King’s Sutton had played this game at home I’ve little doubt I’d have been there. But with work taking place on the pitch, they’re playing their pre-season friendlies a few miles south-east at Croughton Playing Fields. Since there’s been no adult team at Croughton for a couple of years, it was enough to see some of the more senior groundhoppers take advantage of a rare opportunity to tick the ground.

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