Monday, 31 August 2009

Mansfield Town 0-0 Kettering Town

Monday 31st August 2009 -- Blue Square Premier

With 249 away fans, there were a tad over 4000 at Field Mill. They witnessed a goal-less game but this was a very,very good Kettering team. Their back three of John Dempster, Ian Roper and Exodus Geohaghan were exceptional beating Perry and Duffy to the ball every time. Stags keeper Alan Marriott had to make one decent save in each half, but such was the defensive protection afforded by the Kettering back-line, their stopper, Lee Harper had a very quiet afternoon.

The Stags did have the ball in the Kettering net on 44, but Rob Duffy was adjudged to have used a hand, and was duly booked.

Both teams knew they had been in a game - both Dempster and Roper needed treatment for head wounds along with Stags' skipper Luke Jones. Another casualty for the Stags was veteran full back Craig Armstrong who appeared to pull a hamstring - he was replaced by Luke Graham.

Craig Armstrong

Luke Jones - ouch!

The one decent chance that the home team created in the second half came in the 83rd minute. A quick free-kick released Briscoe down the left - he fired the ball across the goal to where Daryl Clare was waiting, but the striker could only side-foot wide of the post when he ought to have scored. F-T 0-0

A good point I suppose, but as the season progresses the Stags are going to have to learn how to break down this type of defence - because there are going to be more occasions when a plan B is needed, something sadly missing today.
Still unbeaten at home though!!!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Hucknall Town 1-2 Ashton United

Saturday August 29th --- UniBond Premier Division

Watnall Road is the nearest ground to where I live, and as I wanted to get back in time to see Man U v Arsenal, Hucknall being at home was an ideal fixure for me. Not US you will note -- Kev's away at the coast leaving me as "Billy No-mates" again. No-mates was right as well. .. the only two people I spoke to all afternoon were Hucknall's Chairman Dave Gamble and my old F.A. friend John Waterall -- and the only reason I spoke to Mr. Gamble was because he was on the turnstile and was quite happy to relieve me of my £8.00!!

Hucknall have had a massive player clear-out since they were relegated to the UniBond Premier last season. Manager Bryan Chambers has drafted in almost a new squad - but as the majority of them are from lower leagues, they looked a little lost at times. The most experienced players in the Yellows' starting eleven were defenders Gary Sucharewyzc and Deon Meikle, both these players were at Watnall Road last season.

Never seen Ashton United before - and knew none of their players at all. Their main striker goes by the delightful name of Marlin Piana - and although the no. 9 had a relatively quiet game, he scored both the goals that handed the Yellows defeat.

Both teams began the game cautiously, and looked very evenly matched. Hucknall front man T.J. Nightingale went close with a header on 13, but it was wide player Terry Hawkridge coming in from the right who caused most of the problems for United. It was the former Carlton Town man that set up the games opening goal on in the 24th minute. He was given too much room down the right and he had time to pick out DEON MEIKLE on the far stick. The ex-Eastwood Town academy player hammered a terrific left foot volley that flew past Ashton keeper Terry Smith at his near post. It's usual to say "the keeper had no chance" - and on this occasion the keeper really did have no chance -left grasping at thin air as the ball fizzed past him....

Lee Whittington tried his luck from 35 yards when he spotted the visiting keeper Smith off his line. The ball was heading for goal, but Smith managed to back track and manged to push the ball over the bar for a corner.

The scores were level two minutes before the break - a neat cross into the box from the left met with a delicate glancing header from MARLIN PIANA that sailed past Yellows' keeper Dan Haystead. H-T 1-1

Called Kev at half-time - he'd been playing beach cricket and was a bit miffed that he was picked to be in the ladies side in a men v women game .... said something about man-boobs I think - but it wasn't a very clear line........ !!!

Anyone who was a bit late returing to their seat would have missed what turned out to be the winning goal - it was timed at 22 seconds from the restart! A ball punted forward from the kick off saw Gary Sucharewyzc and Marlin Piana in a race to get the ball. Gary has never been a 10 second 100-yarder and PIANA won the race, controlled well and slotted the ball under Haystead.

Hucknall created a few decent chances in the second period and saw a couple cleared off the line, but Ashton looked very composed and keeper Smith was not over-worked. Town were maybe worth a point, and on this showing they should take heart from what was, on the whole, a very good performance. F-T 1-2

Admission £8

Attendance 231

Car park £1

Monday. off to Field Mill again -- Stags v Kettering Town

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Forest Town 0-3 Clipstone Welfare

Tuesday 25th August 2009 -- CML Supreme Division

Blimey - this was a local derby that took some getting going!!!! The first half was hard work to watch - and although things improved after the break, we were left wondering as we made our way home, where the Forest Town team from last season had disappeared to. Answers on a postcard please!!

As it was -we had three goals ( a hat-trick), a penalty, two sendings off, several yellow cards, plenty of poor play, a couple of highlights - and possibly the worst cup of coffee ever.......

Had arranged to meet Steve Davies at the ground - Steve is a proper hopper, and badge/programme buff. Not being a collector, I had accumulated a carrier bag full of old programmes which he was only too pleased to take off my hands......

Steve offered to buy the drinks and it seemed a bit ungrateful when we threw them on the grass verge a little later. I have always complimented FT on their drinks in the past - but on this occasion 0/10 - sorry FT.....

The teams took to the field and shook hands in the now traditional way... but as usual, as soon as this formality is over the players decide they don't really like the other team and proceed to kick lumps out of each other..

Clippo lined up with a 6ft + striker who I thought I recognised.....turned out to be former Shepshed, Greasley and Eastwood centre-half Matt Millns - never thought of Matt as a centre-forward, but it has to be said that he didn't look too much out of place in his new role.

Clipstone took the lead 10 minutes before the break when a defensive calamity saw the ball land at the feet of the Clippo no.9 CRAIG BUCHANAN who had time to eat his dinner before picking his spot and lashing the ball past Forest Town keeper Jason Johnson from 8 yards out. What a poor first half - both teams guilty of some awful play and both teams looking like they had never played the game before. H-T 0-1

The second half started off much brighter - the new lights were now at full strength!!! The teams must have had a nice, quiet, constructive chat during the break, because they at least tried to get it right straight from the restart, playing some decent passing football and creating a few chances.

Things were still a bit feisty though, and it all came to a head on 65 when a 6 man brawl was noticed by the lino - he called over the Referee and Liam Pride from Clipstone and James McCann from Forest Town were given straight red cards.

As the game restarted, Millns raced into the area and was caught by a dreadful challenge by the home no. 4. He received a yellow, the visitors a penalty. CRAIG BUCHANAN struck the ball well enough, but Johnson made a fine diving save - only to see Buchanan hammer the loose ball past him with his defenders standing watching.

Five minutes later it was all over when a great ball in from the right was headed home by CRAIG BUCHANAN He was probably the smallest player on the pitch on the night, but he rose salmon like, to direct the ball into the net. F-T 0-3

Out of the ground at the final whistle and home just after 10pm........On The Road? Hardly!!!!

No pictures again, and a very short report - I am enjoying putting these blog entries together less and less - sooner or later I will end up just adding just the headlines and scorers!!!

Saturday - somewhere local so we can get back for the Arsenal v Man U game on t'telly -- how near is Hucknall Town v Ashton United - 5 minutes, that'll do nicely thank you........

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Worksop Town 1-1 Buxton FC

Sunday 23rd August 2009 -- UniBond Premier Division

Worksop play their home games this season at Ilkeston Town's New Manor Ground, and with Ilkeston playing on Saturday, Worksop had to move their game v Buxton to Sunday.... great for us - nice bonus game!

Not the biggest crowd you will ever see at the NMG, but the Worksop faithfull have a heck of a trek to get to every home game - fair play to those that made the journey.

Spent the first half with Brian Dennett in attendance - also managed to have a quick word with former Eastwood midfield player Wayne Duik who is on the verge of signing for Worksop.

Worksop took the lead on 25 when a cross into the box was missed by Bacon - but then a defensive blunder saw the ball come out to ALEX CALLERY who had a simple tap in from close range.

Danny Bacon had a great chance to double the lead right on the stroke of half-time after Ben Tomlinson had been upended in the area, but the former Mansfield and Hucknall striker hammered his spot kick against the foot of post. H-T 1-0

Worksop were made to pay for this miss just 3 minutes into the second half when GAVIN KNIGHT raced onto a through ball and fired past the Worksop keeper Jon Kennedy.

The game was half-decent, with boths teams showing plenty of effort, but little creativity. Buxton ought to have gone in front halfway through the second period but John Froggatt made a complete mess in front of goal - presenting the ball to Kennedy rather than smashing it past him.

At the other end, Worsop's Andy White was guilty of an even more glaring miss - a superb cross from the right went straight on the ex-Mansfield Town striker's noggin at the far post.....unfortunately the big man somehow managed to steer the ball wide of the goal. F-T 1-1

Nice to get out of the house on a Sunday afternoon - got back just in time to see the last 5 wickets fall at the Oval !!!

Next up -- Forest Town v Clipstone on Tuesday.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Mansfield Town 3-0 Ebbsfleet United

Saturday 22nd August 2009 -- Blue Square Premier

Another win for the yellows, but as on Tuesday night, they faced a real battle from a big, strong, talented side. Ebbsfleet United (formerly Gravesend and Northfleet FC ) were completely unknown to me and Kev, but we knew the Kent outfit had had a poor start to the season, drawing two and losing two of their four games.

The teams took to the pitch to a great ovation - over 3200 in attendance at Field Mill again... 50 odd made the journey from Kent, but on their teams current form you couldn't really expect many more..

The visitors attacked straight from the start, causing a few worries in the home defence. Tricky left winger Ishmael Welsh was linking up well with his left-back Jordan Collins, and they had the measure of Stags right back Gary Silk all throughout most of the game.

Brazillian Magno Vieira had Fleets best chance of the 1st half on 25, latching onto a long punt forward by keeper Lance Cronin, before curling a beauty just wide of the post. A great effort that had Stags keeper Marriott beaten all ends up ... and can you guess what happened next? Yep... Stags went ahead!!

A well worked goal that started with Marriott's long clearance finding Williams who in turn fed Armstrong. The left-back hit the ball first time picking out ROB DUFFY at the far post - the striker remained calm and took his time before drilling the ball across Cronin and into the back of the net.

Cue more dancing ........

H-T 1-0

A couple of weeks ago I was informed by a steward that I couldn't use my camera inside Field Mill. I queried this with MTFC and was told the official policy was no cameras. I have absolutely no problem with this, but I do have to mention the concern shown by the Stags security company ProTouch in the person of Mr. Peter Thompson.
For him to follow up and take the time to make personal contact with me is nothing short of brilliant. Peter also took time to say hello at half-time even though he was a very busy man.

My son worked as a Security guard recently and often related to me the abuse he took at times - "get a proper job" I have a bit of insight to the terrific work that security firms like ProTouch do. We would be in a right old mess without them. Thanks, Pete.

LOUIS BRISCOE has struggled recently, but when he found himself one-on-one with Cronin in the 52nd minute he composed himself really well before driving the ball under the keepers body.

The third Stags goal came on 67, and it was a bit special. Jake Speight had replaced Briscoe and made a solo run at the Fleet defence. Although he lost the ball on the edge of the box, his determination saw him win the ball back. He then played the ball in the box to Kyle Perry who smashed it goalwards. Cronin did well to palm the shot away, but could only look on in dismay as it looped to SPEIGHT who somehow managed to head the ball into the net while diving backwards..... great goal from a player who Mansfield may struggle to hold onto.
F-T 3-0

A brisk walk round the pond to the Odeon carpark and a trouble free drive home.

Next -- we're off to the New Manor Ground to see Worksop take on Buxton in the UniBond Premier division.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sutton Town AFC 1-2 Kirkby Town

Wednesday 19th August 2009 -- Central Midlands Supreme Division

Local derby that failed to live up to that billing, but did produce a bit of a shock result - newly promoted Kirkby defeating one of the league's fancied teams - although it has to be said that this version of Sutton was nothing like the team we have already seen this season.

Kev asked Sutton keeper Mark Frost where all the regular players were - the reply was that he didn't know, but there are six new players in the team and there will be a lot of strange calling, with players not knowing each other.

The only players I recognised in the starting eleven were Frosty, Brett Peel and Dean Hadley.....I did know most of the Kirkby players, mainly because I was at their previous match when they played Newark. Lee Bowler tricked me though, with his newly shorn head!!!

I want to comment on how both Kev and myself are so impressed with the continued friendly reception we are still getting -- not only from clubs, but also from other fans -- and trust me, all comments made about the blog, whether good or bad, are most welcome - at least it makes me aware that the blog is read.. plus it's nice to get our photos in the odd programme -- thanks Sutton!!

We stood behind the top goal (on the right as you enter the ground) - guess where all three goals were scored? Yep.... bottom goal! Kirkby Town Fred came and had a chat, as did Pete Craggs from Forest Town.

I didn't take my camera - it's only a cheap Fuji and I have no idea if it's any good under floodlights or not. So to all those kind people who politely asked where it my camera was, and who came up with quips like "not banned here as well, are you?" -- the answer is no - I had just left it at home!!

The local derby game between Forest Town and Clipstone next Tuesday may be a good test for the little Fuji. The new lights at Forest Town are, we have been reliably informed, up to Conference Premier standard, so if FT allow, I will use this game as a try out.......

We were also asked about the enigma that is Carl Haslam. Carl usually plays on the left wing, but is a very prolific goal-scorer, netting 31 times last season, or so I was informed. The 26 year-old is a fast as you like, but gets a little carried away and often forgets to take the ball with him...indeed it was this short-coming that lead to his team going a goal down five minutes before the break. Haslam raced down the left-wing before cutting into the box and getting his feet in a tangle. With his team mates all in attack mode, the ball was hoofed down the pitch and crossed into the box where WILL TOMLINSON was waiting to side-foot home to give the home team the lead. H-T 1-0

When Kirkby came out early for the second period, thoughts were that they had had a "hair-dryer", and their early play seemed to lend creedence to this. However, when we asked Kirkby keeper Paul Stanhope, he said that the half-time team talk was just a quiet chat.....must have been a good chat because with 7 minutes of the restart the away team were on level terms.

This time a power run down the left by Haslam that paid off handsomely - he shrugged off the efforts of Peel before firing a low drive across the goal. With Sutton failing to clear, the ball was knocked back in from the right and DAVE BRAMWELL met it with a looping header that went over Frost who had no chance of saving.

Young John Upton played for Kirkby v Newark on Saturday, and he was always out wide, getting chalk on his boots. He was unlucky not to have started this game, but when did enter the fray, it was his terrific, strong run down the left and cross into the box that lead to the winning goal for the visitors - the cross giving LEE WILSON a simple tap-in on 65, with the home defence static and looking like they had never played together before.

We headed towards the exit with a few minutes to go, and grabbed a chat with old Rainworth MW friends, Rudy Funk, Billy Millar and Brian Preece.

Final whistle - we were first out of the ground, first out of the street and home by just after 10...good night out and thoroughly deserved win for Kirkby. Sutton boss Mark Shaw will have to work hard to get his new bunch of players gelling together - but he knows the non-league scene well and will no doubt do what is necessary to get Sutton on track for promotion.

Decent crowd - approx 100 to our reckoning, but you never can tell.

Admission £3

Saturday -- Mansfield Town v Ebbsfleet

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Mansfield Town 4-1 Barrow FC

Tuesday 18th August 2009 -- Blue Square Premier

The Stags had 'em dancing in the aisles again -- four more goals, three more points and a very good performance.

No pictures though....

Arrived at Field Mill in plenty of time --which turned out to be a good thing because we had to queue a while to get through the turnstiles...well over 3000 in attendance again. We stood at the front of the South Stand for a while and, like many others, were peppered with stray footballs that were supposed to be fired at Stags' no. 2 keeper!!! Thoughts of "how wide do you want the goal" entered my head, but at least when the game kicked off the players knew how wide the goal is...

Barrow were a strong physical side, and ended up with 7 yellows and one red card - but to be fair, a lot of the "hard" challenges were brought on by lack of skill - Stags players time and again caught after they had played the ball. They were just too quick for the opposition at times.

ROB DUFFY put the home team in front on 27. A Ryan Williams run down the left wing caused all sorts of panic, and when he Kev shouted "hard and low" he did just that - driving the the ball hard and low to the front post where Duffy was waiting to tap in from just a couple of yards out. H-T 1-0

Noticed several cameras being used during the game and at half-time - the "no cameras in the ground " seemingly to apply to yours truly only.....never mind eh..

Barrow looked dangerous as the Stags sat back at the beginning of the second period, and after 62 minutes, the Stags' seemingly negative tactic was punished big time. Matt Somner decided that giving the ball back to keeper Alan Marriott was the best option he had - but his pass was poor leaving Marriott no option but to race out of his box to try and clear the danger - but even though he blocked one attempt, the ball was fed to JASAON WALKER who lifted it into an empty net.

Cue JAKE SPEIGHT!! He came on soon after the visitors had levelled - and with his first kick had put the Stags back in front.

After having to go back to the dugout area to remove his cycling shorts, the striker raced back onto the pitch, received the ball and hammered it past Tomlinson from just inside the area.

On 77, it was 3-1. DARYL CLARE hammering the ball to Tomlinsons right from the spot after Kyle Perry was fouled. When Ryan Williams was upended in the box on 87, DARYL CLARE stepped up again, this time firing the ball to Tomlinson's left. Job done. F-T 4-1

A bit of a wait to get out of the Odeon car park -- seems everyone is parking there now the spaces at FM are so limited. Never mind - another 4 goals at home. Eight in two games with just the one conceded... roll on Ebbsfleet on Saturday!!

Wed -- Sutton Town AFC v Kirkby Town.....

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Kirkby Town 1-1 Newark Town

Saturday 15th August 2009 -- Central Midlands League Supreme Division

Kirkby's debut in the CMLS after gaining promotion last season - and they were up against a Newark team that finished last season in 5th place.

Went to the Summit Centre pre-season when over 300 were present for a match v Mansfield Town Youth. For this game there were maybe 40 in attendance.

Paid my £3.00 and immediately Fredkirkbytown asked me if I was "Billy No-mates" again!! Unfortunately Kev was busy wrestling with the waterpump on his daughters car, so yes, I was on my own again..... and he was still banging away at the water pump when I got home!!

Met up with "Wanderer" Richard - he is now assistant to the Press Officer at Newark, but as the Press Officer is his 16 year-old son, this means he is also the Press Officer taxi driver, so his hopping days will be somewhat curtailed this season -- Richard was kind enough to let me have details of the team line-ups. I think that is the first time I have ever seen a CML official team sheet.

Kirkby had new boys Kye Pilmore and Lee Bowler in their eleven, with another new signing Lee Wilson on the bench. Newark faces that I recognised from my time with Eastwood Town were brothers Mark and Simon Ellison.

Nice enough afternoon, though a bit windy at times -- hang on to your hat weather - but when the sun came out it was really very hot - and the place looked a picture!

This was a fairly even contest that never seemed to take off as I thought it might -- "new boys wanting to show the old boys they are not there to be rolled over" type of thing, but there were some decent passages of play during the first half, and both teams did create several chances.

Kirkby's best chance of the first period fell to Carl Haslam on 26. A bad mistake in defence let Haslam in one-on-one with Newark keeper Riley - but to the strikers dismay, even though his lofted shot beat the keeper, it crashed off the bar and out for a goal-kick.

Mark Ellison set up brother Simon on 42, but Stanhope rushed out to block and the chance was wasted. Haslam dribbled his way into the Newark box just before the break, but his cross/shot flew across the goal with no-one on hand to add the finishing touch. H-T 0-0

It should have been 1-0 to Kirkby in the 55th minute - a lapse of concentration in the Newark back line saw them put under pressure by Haslam. When Newark defender Gareth Dobb dithered in his area, Haslam picked his pocket and fired at goal. We all knew that you would put your house on the striker netting from 10 yards out with just the keeper to beat - but he somehow managed to send the ball wide of Riley's desparing dive, but also wide of the post!

This seemed to take a bit of wind out of Kirkby's sails, and Newark began to pile on the pressure.

Stand in Newark left back Sam Wilford had looked a bit out of place since he replaced Steve Carty at the break. He had struggled to cope with Kirkby winger John Upton, but it was his superb ball to Louis Cree on 82 that lead to the first goal of the game - Cree latching onto the ball before running to the goal-line and crossing to an unmarked SIMON ELLISON who tapped home from close range.

The lead lasted barely a minute though - a long ball over the Newark defence catching everyone out. When DAVE BRAMWELL controlled the ball and ran into the box, it seemed he had too much to do, but he just drilled the ball hard and low at Riley who couldn't do enough to keep the ball out.

Referee D. Tracey had been having an ok game, nothing brilliant - but he blotted his copybook in the 85th minute by cautioning Newark's Mark Ellison and Kirkby's Tom Williams after they had squared up to each other....a bit of "handbags", but with 5 to go on the first day of the season surely a word from Mr. Tracey would have been sufficient? F-T 1-1

Decent enough game, and it will be interesting to see how Kirkby perform at Manager-less Sutton on Wednesday....

Next game for us -- FIELD MILL -- MTFC v Barrow

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Kimberley Town 0-5 Sheffield FC Reserves

Wednesday 12th August 2009 - pre-season friendly.

Our final pre-season game saw us make the short trip to the Stag Ground to see CML Supreme Division outfit Kimberley Town take on Sheffield FC's reserve team.

This was the 14th game in a marathon pre-season programme, and was by a long way the worst of the lot. This was awful - and even though it was 5-0 to Sheffield, neither team looked as though they could string two passes together and on this showing Kimberley will struggle again this season.

Could have stayed in and watched England, but we don't like to pass up the chance to watch a live game. Standing in grass with gnat's biting the crap out of you and only 20 odd bothering to turn out .... we did question our sanity.

Sheffield went ahead on 5, a nifty bit of footwork and curling shot from no. 11 Galloway. It was 0-2 in the 12th minute, the 17 jacket "Keith" heading home at the near post from a cross by no.6.

I'd just commented to Kev and Brian Dennett that the Sheffield no. 10 wasn't much cop and he rifled a 30 yarder past the Kimberley keeper! So with 38 minutes gone, three goals and no football played. Just before the break, the visitors went further ahead - a ricochet off the Kimberley no. 3 ending up in his own net. H-T 0-4

The first half was pants, but the second half just dived into previously unknown depths of mediocrity.
The only thing worth a mention was a free-kick from the tiny Sheffield no.5 that crept in on 79. It was then just a case of waiting for the final whistle before exiting hurriedly from the ground.

No charge to get in thank the Lord
Another thing -- we were going to watch Pinxston v Parkhouse, but I changed this at the 11th hour....score at Pinxton ???? Pinxton 7-5 Parkhouse ......b***ocks!!!!!!!

Attendance 22 head count ....

F-T 0-5

Saturday - Kirkby Town v Newark Town -- CML Supreme Division finally kicks off.....

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Pics from Stags v Crawley...

Click on image to view full size...

Sutton Town AFC 0-1 Blaby & Whetstone

Sunday 9th August 2009 -- pre-season friendly

Sunday football? A long time since my last Sunday game - my lad used to play in the Notts Sunday League - at least this game had a noon kick off not the usual Sunday League 10:30am.

Arrived at the ground 10 minutes before the kick off, and was pleasantly surprised to see there was no cricket being played on the pitch adjacent Fieldings - leaving plenty of room in the car park. Plenty of room in the car park also means there are not going to be many people in attendance, and as the teams took to the field it seemed there were more players than spectators!

Mind you, the ones who couldn't be bothered missed nothing - this was a bit of a dull game. Blaby defended with eight or nine players for the whole of the first half. This left plenty of room in the middle of the park for Sutton, and although they had the room to create loads of chances, they failed to convert any of them. James Senior came closest, hammering the ball off the foot of the post from a tight angle. H-T 0-0

Blaby looked a bit livelier as the second period got under way, and they breached the Snipes defence on more than one occasion. On 55, the Blaby no.12 shirt latched onto a through ball that somehow evaded all the Sutton defenders, and rolled it past keeper Mark Frost to score the only goal of the game.

Brett Peel went close with a header as the game entered it's death throws, but even with Ben Greenhalgh, Richard Groves and James Needham up top, the Blaby keeper only had a couple of worrying moments in the second half. F-T 0-1

Sutton boss Danny Bryant can take one big positive from the game though - the performance of 17 year-old left-back Sam Britton. I know Mr. Bryant will not want too much of a spotlight on this youngster, but this lad reads the game well, has pace to spare and can pass accurately out of defence to boot. Certainly one to watch in the future.

Bit of a facebook reunion for me -- Danny Staley, Brian Dennett, Mark Frost, Kev Rowles, Vijay Selvam were all at the Fieldings - all friends of mine on facebook!!! So, I can say to any doubters .....I do have some friends!!!!!!!

Wednesday -- Kimberley Town v Sheffield FC

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Mansfield Town 4-0 Crawley Town

Saturday 8th August 2009 -- Blue Square Premier

Can I be childish for a second please? Wooooooo hoooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! Yesssssssss!!!!!!!!!! Get in !!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK... now I've got that out of my system I can maybe write a bit about the actual match.

Well, not much for me to tell that other sites won't make better job of. Crawley were very good - a little bit on the physical side at times, but they really tested the Stags defence all through the game.

Stags went ahead on 15, when a shot from the left from KYLE PERRY deflected off Giles before looping over Rayner in the Crawley net.

The Stags were put under intense pressure at times, with the Crawley no. 8, Charles Ademeno looking particularly dangerous.

The home team went further ahead in the 40th minute. A superb, pinpoint pass from the experienced Craig Armstrong -- " he's picked him" shouted yours truly - and boy, had he picked him! The him in question being ROB DUFFY. The striker ran on and despite having two efforts blocked, persevered and netted at the third time of asking.

Mansfield scored again on 43. This time KYLE PERRY running on and slotting past Rayner with most people (including the Referee) expecting a flag... Referee Mr. Curry looked particularly stunned but Perry played on and stroked the ball past Rayner to make it 3-0 at the break.

Images from the 1st half -- click here

The second half started off a bit scrappily, with the Stags seemingly content to soak up a bit of pressure......Marriott was having a great game though as was the centre-half pairing of Luke Jones and Scott Garner.

JAKE SPEIGHT came on in the 65th minute, and will I'm sure, soon be a crowd favourite ... he is certainly one of mine! He netted the Stags fourth goal after 82 minutes had been played. Speight took a defender away from Perry, leaving the big man clear to knock the ball back into his path - a bit of nifty footwork from the young striker and a cleverly placed shot made it 4-0.

Attendance 3264 - with 59 from Crawley

Stags MOM - Kyle Perry was the sponsors MOM, but my choice would have been between keeper Alan Marriott and Kyle Nix, who had a great game in midfield...

Sunday --- Sutton Tn AFC v Blaby and Whetstone 12 noon

To take pics, or not to take pics?

Saturday 8th August 2009 .. venue Field Mill, home of the mighty Stags...

All was going great up to half time -- Stags 3-0 up (all at the other end of the ground, of course) and I was looking forward to getting a few more pictures as the Stags attacked the end where we were sitting.... but no!

I was asked, very politely to put away my camera because they aren't allowed in the ground. I did as requested and this will be reflected in the images I will post on here later ... all of them are from the 1st half!

Please note : I was searched before going into the ground, and told the steward I had a camera in my coat pocket - I was using the thing for 45 minutes before anyone mentioned they weren't allowed. But on exiting the ground I took the snap below..........was I in the wrong? You decide.

As I have said, the Crowd Safety officer, a Gent I have seen around Field Mill for many, many years was very polite, and I readily complied with his request not to use the camera. I'm going to have to take it a bit further though this space....

Friday, 7 August 2009

Linby CW 2-2 Ollerton Town ..amendment

In my haste to write the blog entry for the Linby v Ollerton game, I put the goals out of sync and have since amended the entry. Linby went ahead and were 2-1 up at half-time!

I have also been given the names of the Linby goalscorers, and they are also included -- thanks, Matt.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Linby CW 2-2 Ollerton Town .................

.......otherwise known as "The Battle Of Church Lane" !!!

Thursday 6th August -- pre-season fixture.

NSL v CMLS - we thought this would be interesting, but although some football was played at Church Lane, it was the crunching tackles, one-one-one altercations and awful crass, foul language that stick in the memory.

Yes it finished 2-2 (keeping our average goal/game over the 3.5 mark), but the score hardly seemed to matter as the teams seemed to want to outdo each other in a "who can produce the worst foul" contest. No contest as it happens - Linby's no.4 with a tackle that had the Ollerton Manager flying off the bench producing a stream of verbal abuse that was aimed not only at the players but at the young Referee as well .. out of order, well out of order.

Ollerton were kept waiting in the rain as the home team finished their pre-match warm-up - lovely summer weather again - actually had my new umbrella out ( thanks Mrs. Kev). Although I'm not a fan of the brolly, there is very little cover at Linby so I swallowed my pride and joined Kev under the "gamp"!

One person without a brolly was good friend Rob Waite. He is the author/editor of the excellent the66pow blog......a great read by a genuinely nice and very, very funny man.........(flattery over, time to write a little about the game!).....

Ollerton scored within 90 seconds of the start, someone finishing well at the far stick, after a static home defence failed to clear a free-kick from the left.

The teams were level on 29 when a great ball down the line found the Linby no. 9, Ju Wright, who lifted the ball delightfully over Simon Haynes in the Ollerton net. Four minutes before the break, the home team took the lead - Wright springing the off-side trap before laying the ball out to Tom Campbell in the the 7 shirt, who had a simple tap in from close range. H-T 2-1

Now came the changes, now came the battle, now came the soldiers!!!!!! Both teams made several changes to their starting elevens, and the subs were certainly prepared to get stuck in. Late tackles by the dozen, players squaring up to each other, f-words, b-words, lots of other abuse and not a lot of respect shown to a young step 7 Referee who is just learning his job. These were grown men acting like thugs and bully boys. The most abused word of the evening was "friendly"...

This is from Wikipedia "Friendly means showing
kindness to someone, as a friend would behave. Thus friendly implies a mode of friendship as distinct from amiable or genial. The opposite is unfriendly or even hostile" So maybe, on reflection this should have been billed as a pre-season unfriendly....

Still, it made a dull game more interesting, and the Referee had no choice in the end but to book a couple of players from both teams. Ollerton drew level in the 70th minute - the Linby stopper unlucky to have the ball beat him at his near post after he had made two super blocks.

No idea who was who really, but this was one of those games that had you wishing / pleading for the final whistle to blow. Finished 2-2 on goals, and I think it was 2-2 on bookings as well - if I am wrong, no doubt Mr. Waite will put me right!!

Saturday - Stags v Crawley

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Carlton Town FC 3-1 Gedling Miners Welfare FC

Tuesday 4th August 2009 -- pre-season friendly.

This was the final pre-season game for Gedling MW who begin a second campaign in the East Midlands Counties League on Saturday at home to Holbrook MW. Carlton's UniBond Divison One South season commences a week later on the 15th August.

We paid our fiver to get in and noticed that although the car park was well populated, there weren't many people about.

Met up with Carlton's press officer Mr. Brian Dennett and Gedling's photographer/programme editor Mr. Tony Hay. It's always great to have a bit of banter and when Brian is involved, believe me, there is plenty! Apparently the Evening Post didn't want a report from Brian, but had asked Tony to snap a couple of action shots of Warren "Wiz" Hatfield ...... Gedling 1-0 up before the kick off!!!!

A spicy encounter followed on the pitch , with both sets of players happy to kick lumps out of each other -- in a good natured way of course!

I knew most of the players, but some were a mystery to me - one of them, the no. 10, had Carlton's first real chance on 12, capitalising on some poor defending and forcing a great save out of Lance Walker in the Welfare goal. Aiden Brady headed over in the 18th minute for Carlton with Walker well beaten.

Former Eastwood winger Tristam Whitman was running the show for the home team and at times the visitors' defence had no answer. Carlton went ahead on 23 after a Daniel Fletcher corner was headed powerfully home by DANNY MOORE.

Welfare didn't let this bother them too much, always a good sign. Hatfield went close a couple of minutes after the goal, and on 37 he latched onto a free-kick and hammered the ball off the foot of the post with Carlton keeper Ali Barcherini well beaten.

Gedling drew level in the 43rd minute and whatever you hear or read, the goal was NOT scored by Cragi Boulton! It was his wayward ball forward that was headed past Barcherini by defender DANIEL FLETCHER from 25 yards. That has to be one of the best own goals I have ever seen.... marvelous! H-T 1-1

As with most pre-season games the on pitch personel changed dramatically at half-time - and two of the Carlton replacement players, Paul Mitchell and Danny Blair, were responsible for restoring the home teams lead just 2 minutes into the 2nd half. Mitchell played a superb ball through a static Welfare defence finding BLAIR who controlled well before slotting past Walker.

Gedling changed almost all their outfield players and as the game drew to a close, striker Damien Powell should have made it 2 each, but headed hopelessly wide from just a couple of yards out.

Should have been 2-2 but it was Carlton who put the game to bed on 88 when DANNY MOORE hit a fierce drive through a crowd of players and the ball deflected past Walker to make it 3-1.

Decent game played in a very competitive manor - a good test for both teams as the new season looms even nearer.

Straight out at the final whistle and with Kev at the wheel we back home safely before 10 - although a numpty lady driver in a Range Rover did almost wipe us out on Moorbridge roundabout.... why do some people not understand how roundabouts work? This lady didn't know, and Kev thought it highly amusing that I would have been a nice soft cushion to protect him should the Range Rover have actually made contact with us.....who needs enemies with friends like that eh??

Thursday - Linby CW v Ollerton Town

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Mansfield Town 1-2 Hartlepool United

Saturday 1st August 2009 - pre-season friendly.

1st August and it was wazzing it down .......when will the weather realise it's supposed to be summer in these Great British Isles?

You can understand why Mansfield have called off their remaining PSF against Ilkeston .. another game on the sodden pitch may have well caused a lot of damage, and we need the pitch to be in good nick for the first "proper" game in the BSP against Crawley next Saturday.

Parked up near Il Rosso, but that is going to have to stop ... I have to tell you, I was really struggling with the walk back to the car -- so were going to have to find somewhere a bit nearer the ground. Kev, bless him, tries to walk slowly, but he's a bit younger than me and a long walk is nothing to him !!!!!

As we were walking back to the car I tried, in between gasping large lungfulls of air, to have a bit of a conversation - the topic "what will David Holdsworth have learned from the game" was a short conversation, thankfully!!

The Stags starting eleven was missing several key players, and included youth team player Jon Ventrella at left-back. Saw Jon play at Sutton on Thursday and he did ok.

Starting eleven : Marriott, Gardner, Jones, Graham, Ventrella, Nix, Somner, Istead, Williams, Bradley, Clare.

Before kick off there was a very well observed minutes silence in memory of Sir Bobby Robson.

Hartlepool looked well organised and sprayed the ball about well - they always seemed to have an "out" ball and threatened on several occasions - but it was the Stags who took the lead on 23. A corner by Williams from the left was met by the head of Luke Graham. His effort was blocked at the post, but when the keeper and full-back made a mess of clearing the ball, super sniffer DARYL CLARE was on hand to prod home.

Soon after, former Stags favourite Colin Larkin, under pressure from his own player, headed over from six yards when it looked as though he must score.

The visitors were level on 38 though - Marriott missed a cross and when it dropped to Leon McSweeney he had the simple task of sidefooting home from close range. Marriott's error, but their was no cover - young Versacella was caught out of position, leaving McSweeney unmarked.
H-T 1-1

Hartlepool has a bit of a scare in the 54th minute when their keeper was forced to tip a ferocious Daryl Clare free-kick onto the bar and out for a corner.

Marriott was replaced by Tim Sandercome. Youth team players Ben Turner and Tom Naylor were also given a run out by Holsdworth. Both Turner and Naylor were also in the youth team that played against Sutton on Thursday.

On 69, the visitors broke out of defence, and when the ball was played to James Brown on the right wing, for some reason Sandercombe thought it would be a good idea to go and take him on. As it happened it was a very poor decision. Brown easily rounded the young keeper and fired the ball into the box. Despite a desperate effort by a Stags defender to clear the ball, COLIN LARKIN was on hand to hammer the ball into the roof of the net.

Stags continued to make changes to their line-up, and looked dangerous on several occasions when Gary Silk made progress down the right and whipped in a few crosses. Jake Spieght proved himself a real nuisance to the visitors' defenders, but the Division One outfit managed to hold out until the final whistle to inflict a rare home defeat on the Stags. F-T 1-2

As I said earlier, we were not too sure what David Holdswoth can take from this match, apart from the fact that Marriott is the no.1 and the left-back position is a problem.....hopefully Paul Heckinbottom will be fit for the Crawley game.

Tuesday -- Carlton Tn v Gedling MW