Saturday, 22 February 2014

Another case of catching up...

Over the past few weeks I have attended three games of football, one an Oadby Town home game and the others being both semi finals of the Leicestershire FA Sunday Intermediate Cup...

Saturday 8th February 2014
Oadby Town 4-0 Olney Town
United Counties League Division 1
Freeway Park, Wigston Road, Oadby, Leicestershire

match photos can be viewed in the slideshow below:

Sunday 9th February 2014
Oadby Owls Mens 1-1 Athletic Oadby
(after extra time, 4-3 on penalty kicks)
Leicestershire FA Sunday Intermediate Cup
Judgemeadow Community College, Marydene Drive, Evington, Leicester

match photos can be viewed in the slideshow below:

Sunday 16th February 2014
Frolesworth United 5-1 Leicester Foxes Old Boys
Leicestershire FA Sunday Intermediate Cup Semi Final
Gilmorton Playing Fields, Kimcote Road, Gilmorton, Leicestershire

match photos can be viewed in the slideshow below:

I arrived in Gilmorton early and armed with a list of listed buildings in the village, had a walk round and took some photos of them plus a few others...

Sunday, 2 February 2014

football in a cage

Saturday 1st February 2014
Peterborough & District League Premier Division
Uppingham Community College, London Road, Uppingham, Rutland

For a second consecutive Saturday my football game of choice is in the Peterborough & District League (PDL). I had no plans for watching football today, but for some reason I checked the fixtures during the middle of the week, and noticed a change of venue for this fixture. Oakham United currently play their home games at the Vale of Catmose College in Oakham itself, but with all the wet weather they have hired out the 3G pitch at Uppingham Community College. I knew of the establishment but was not aware they had installed an artificial playing surface in the grounds, and as far as I am aware this venue has not been used for any open-age football before, and unless it is hired out by any of the local non-league clubs, will probably be never used again. With this in mind it would be foolish of me to miss this opportunity of "ticking" this venue to watch a game of football, especially as one of my aims is to watch football at two hundred different venues in Leicestershire & Rutland.

Uppingham is a market town in Rutland, located approximately half way between Leicester and Peterborough and six miles south of the county town of Oakham. The journey from my home on the other side of Leicester took around an hour, though about half of that was trying to find a way across the city due to several routes being gridlocked. Once I crossed to the other side of the city centre, traffic was light and I arrived in Uppingham twenty minutes before kick off. The community college is located on the southern edge of the town, and as I later found out is also home to Stoneygate RFC who have moved here from Covert Lane in Scraptoft. 

On paper this game had away win written all over it with Oakham in the lower reaches of the Premier Division table, while their opponents from Peterborough sit top of the pile and are in a battle with King's Lynn Town Reserves for the league title. I have seen both these teams before at their respective home grounds - Netherton in May 2012 when they beat Uppingham Town and Oakham in February last year. In snowy conditions they beat Leverington Sports. 

Arriving at the college there was noticeable factor that would make the game interesting as it were, and that was the wind which was heading in an easterly direction towards the far goal. The first two goal kicks from the Netherton keeper didn't reach the half way line and flew outside of the cage. Despite playing into the wind Oakham didn't take advantage and it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the dying seconds of the half. The opening few seconds of the second half made the trip worthwhile as those who were there witnessed probably their goal of the season. At the kick off the ball was touched to the visitors #4 who hit a superb strike into the wind that dipped over the Oakham keeper and into the net. Having watched over 800 games of football over the years this was the first time that I have seen that happen. From then I expected Netherton to push on and add a few more goals, but the game became sterile and it wasn't until the latter stages that they added a third. 

The game attracted a decent attendance of around 40 with a few number of them being hoppers. Also in attendance were SRSN (Stamford & Rutland Sports Network).   

websites / social media:

Oakham United - official website - twitter
Netherton United - twitter
Peterborough & District League - FA Full Time site - twitter

29 photos can be viewed in the slideshow online below:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Getting one over on God!!!

Saturday 25th January 2014
Peterborough & District League Intermediate Shield 2nd Round
Fulbridge Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire (access via Tennyson Road)

With what seems like an eternity of low pressure weather systems crossing the Atlantic Ocean, it is case of trying to figure out where the weather is to be best, what time during the day it will rain and what games are going to be postponed due to waterlogged and / or flooded pitches. Thankfully the East Midlands has not been as badly hit as in some parts of the country, and those particularly in Somerset. Despite this there has been an awful lot of rain recently and to be honest I am grateful and thankful that prior to today, I have managed to watch four games of football in 2014. Leading up to the weekend I was keeping an close eye on the weather forecast and come the day before, decided that heading east to Peterborough would be the best bet. I managed to find a 1pm kick-off which, if the forecast was correct would mean we (my Dad and I) would not encounter the rain until we were on our way home back to Leicester. 

I picked up dad at around 11.30am and we then headed east along the A47 for around forty miles. This was to be our first game in the Peterborough League since February last year when we paid a visit to Whittlesey United. The ground was very easy to find, located about 1/4 mile south of exit 19 of the A47, and with arriving about half an hour early before the scheduled kick-off went in search of a local pub. This we managed to do which was a few minutes drive away, though I didn't pay any attention to the name of it. 

The venue is a very basic set up and is literally a public park with a football pitch marked out. There are changing rooms and a small car park but no facilities for spectators, pitch side or off the field. The car park is accessed between houses on Tennyson Road, though with it being tight decided to park on the road itself. 

As expected their was no admission charge or programme issued which is the norm in the PDFL. The game pitted two teams doing very well in their respective divisions - Rovers currently second in division 2 and Wittering top of division 3. The game started off in blistering fashion with the visitors opening the scoring after only a few minutes, but by the quarter hour mark were 2-1 behind. Come the end of the first forty five minutes Wittering had drawn level. The second half was not as enjoyable as the first - Wittering re-took the lead early on and were fairly comfortable after that, with the home side not looking capable of getting back on level terms. In the final throws of the game, with the wind picking up and the clouds darkening Wittering broke and made it 2-4 to confirm their place in round 3.

About ten miles east of Peterborough was when we encountered the forecasted rain. This along with some impressive strikes of lightning around the Uppingham area and a few damaged trees lying in the road made for an interesting drive home. 

Websites / social media:
Peterborough & District League - FA Full Time Site - twitter
Stamford & Rutland Sports Network - official site - twitter

Grounds visited in Cambridgeshire - currently 22
New grounds visited this season - currently 30

37 photos of the game can be found in the slideshow below:

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

18th / 19th January

Two games of football last weekend and at both games photographs were taken.

Saturday 18th January 2014
Oadby Town 9-1 Buckingham Town
United Counties League Division 1
Freeway Park, Wigston Road, Oadby, Leicestershire

With a serious case of indecision of where to go, not helped by the weather and as such causing postponements, I decided to go and watch Oadby for the first time since mid-December. The afternoon turned into quite a decent one weather wise and come kick-off time at 3pm the sun was making an appearance!!! 

As the score suggests Oadby were comfortable winners, and the nine goals scored is the highest I personally have seen an Oadby team in over fifteen years score. 

49 match photos can be viewed in the slideshow below:

Sunday 19th December 2014
Phoenix United 6-4 M.D.H. Knights
Alliance Football League Bill Walton Cup 3rd Round
Kingfisher Youth Centre, Boulder Lane, Leicester

For my first Sunday League game of 2014 I decided to stay relatively local, with the venue being only a fifteen minute drive away. The game pitted Division 3 Phoenix against Premier Division MDH Knights, and although I expected an intriguing cup tie it certainly didn't turn out the way I envisaged. Phoenix got at the opponents from the off and by half time deservedly led 3-1. Not long into the second half and it became 5-1. The home side had enough chances to put the game to bed when at 5-2, as the visitors then started playing at got it back to 5-4 with a few minutes left. In the dying seconds of stoppage time Phoenix broke on the counter attack and sealed victory with a sixth goal.

55 match photos can be viewed in the slideshow below:

Sunday, 12 January 2014

first games of 2014

After a four week break from watching football due to work, the weather and a case of c.b.a, this weekend saw me watch two games of football and taking photographs at one of them.

First up was a game on Friday night (10th January) in Peterborough:

Peterborough Sports 3-5 Peterborough Northern Star Reserves
Northamptonshire FA Junior Cup Quarter Final
@ Peterborough Sports & Leisure Club, Lincoln Road, Peterborough

Admission: £3 including programme

My interest in this game was primarily the ground. Peterborough Sports FC joined the United Counties League (UCL) from the Peterborough & District League last season, and their home venue at the start of the season was one of only two that I had not seen a game of football at in the UCL. The other ground was the Elgoods Fenland Arena, home of Wisbech Town FC and I visited them for a pre-season game at the end of July. 

After a few hours sleep after finishing work that morning I made the trip east to Peterborough and met friend and fellow Oadby Town (and Ipswich Town) supporter Owen Jones at the ground. The ground is easily missed with it being down a track between buildings, though it opens up with an ample sized car park to the left and the decent sized social club and ground entrance to the right. A pre-match pint of Deuchars IPA cost £2.70 was had before paying the £3 admission fee. A good ground turned up for this local derby and witnessed a cracking game of football. Four goals were equally shared in the first forty five minutes before yours truly went to collect his winning raffle prize, which was a bottle of white wine. The second forty five minutes was equally as entertaining as the first. Sports led 3-2 after the visiting keeper put the ball into his own net, but Northern Star reserves turned the tie around with three goals of their own.

An enjoyable evening out, and after dropping Owen off at his abode I was back home at 11pm.

I was being my usual indecisive self for my game on the Saturday (11th January) and add several options in mind. Then came a u-turn as a posting on twitter caught my attention - the Kegworth Imperial - Whitwick game was to be played away from their normal home venue in the village. After getting confirmation of the address my decision was made.

Kegworth Imperial 6-1 Whitwick
North Leicestershire League Premier Division
@ Moor Lane, Normanton on Soar, Nottinghamshire

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: not many

Normanton on Soar is a small village a few miles north of Loughborough, though literally just over the border in Nottinghamshire and took me around half an hour to get to from my home in Braunstone. The ground is home to the Imps' junior set up and is located on the northern edge of the village about a hundred yards from the A6006. There is a small car park, clubhouse and external toilets but as expected nothing pitch side.

Despite the pitch being very heavy it was perfectly playable and a pretty decent ninety minutes of football followed. Kegworth scored first when, after an accidental collision between one of their players and the Whitwick keeper, they played on and put the ball in the back of the net. I heard the referee say to one of the visiting players that no foul had been committed so let play go on. A minute later and Whitwick were awarded a penalty but the resulting kick was skewed wide. The visiting then had the better of things for the remainder of the first half. They were denied by a cracking save from the Kegworth keeper, but deservedly equalised before the end of the first forty five minutes. The second half was less than a minute old when Kegworth re-took the lead, and then proceeded to add a further four more goals to run out convincing if slightly flattering winners. 

50 photos of the game can be viewed in the slideshow below:

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Photos of the year

With only just over twelve hours of 2013 left as I'm typing this, and with nothing better to do, I have gone through my sporting photographs that I have took during this calender year and come up with a top eight. Thanks to everyone who has viewed the photographs and this blog over the past twelve months and hopefully some even better ones will be taken during 2014. 



They eight are in order of date taken:

1. 2nd March - A Uttoxeter Town player being fouled in the penalty area in their game against Chesterton AFC.

2. 29th March - MDH Knights lifting the Alliance Football League EW Foster Cup after beating KS Leicester Polska in the final @ Holmes Park. 

3. 27th April - A collision between an AFC Emley player and the goalkeeper of Hemsworth Miners Welfare.

4. 22nd May - Howzat - Leicestershire's Claude Henderson (out of picture) taking a wicket in a 3 day 2nd XI friendly against Nottinghamshire.

5. 13th July - Manchester Titans' Chris Heap scoring a touchdown despite the attention of three of the Leicester Falcons defense.

6. 25th August - goalmouth action in a Burton & District Sunday League encounter between Moira United and New Inn.

7. 30th November - an Old Northamptonians player being being tackled in their game @ Coalville
8. 8th December - an Ellis Park player makes a perfect sliding tackle in their Sunday Premier Cup tie @ Egerton Park in Melton Mowbray.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

recent Sunday League football...

Blog reports and photos on the following three games:

1) Sunday 24th November 2013
FC Azzurri 2-1 East Goscote Athletic

2) Sunday 1st December 2013
Albion All Stars 2-1 Red Lion Repton

3 Sunday 8th December 2013
Melton Lions 0-2 Ellis Park