Month: November 2014

22.11.2014… Southport (h)…

Nuneaton Town 2 Southport 3

JPR James Parnell Stadium… Saturday November 22nd… 3pm

Attendance: 743

Ticket: £14 – Programme: £3

A great game, not such a great result… More words to follow…

nuneaton v southport...

Pre-Match Warm Up…

nuneaton v southport...

Defending a First Half Free Kick…

Nuneaton Town; Wren, Streete (Starosta 86), Dean (RC), Cowan, Franklin, Smith, Armson (Quinn 87), Fowler (YC), Walker, Gash, Sodje (Stankevicius 77)

Not Used; Brown, Charles

Goals; Sodje (38), Smith (49)

Southport; Raya Martin, Connor, McDonald, Foster(YC), Fitzpatrick, Rutherford, Joyce, George,  Austin, Marsden (YC), Brodie (Bakayoko 66)

Not Used; Lloyd-Weston, Kay, Evans, Mitchell

Goals; Marsden (15), Brodie (23), Bakayoko (79)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

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15.11.2014… Chester (a)…

Chester 1 Gateshead 0

Swansway Chester Stadium… Saturday November 15th… 3pm

Attendance: 2,308

Ticket: £18 – Programme: £2.50

Only the second chance I’ve had this season to watch Gateshead; a reasonably short trip to Chester (even if it did require 3 trains). As I’ve mentioned before, I felt like a bit of a gate crasher at Wembley last season, so this was my second repayment for the day out that Newcastle United are unlikely to offer anytime soon…

My first trip to the Swansway Chester Stadium (catchy name), functional would sum it up, albeit without a standing area for away supporters and therefore an £18 admittance charge to the segregated seating area…

chester v gateshead...

Swansway Chester Stadium: Outside…

The match itself was fairly similar to the Kidderminster game, with the exception of the weather, it was rather colder today. Gateshead dominated the first half (a strong penalty appeal turned down in the opening minutes, post hit) but were unable to turn the possession into goals; they still need a goal scorer.

The second half was rather more even, John Rooney giving Chester the lead at the mid-point with a long range effort. A late flurry of Gateshead pressure (crossbar hit, point blank save by Bartlett) failed to deliver an equaliser and Gateshead came away with nothing. To add insult to injury there was still time for James Curtis to get himself sent off in injury time…

Swansway Chester Stadium: Outside...

Swansway Chester Stadium: Inside…

And then things started to go badly wrong…

My phone ran out of charge on the way back to the station (I’m lost without Google Maps), fortunately managed to navigate in the dark without too many mishaps… That was the highlight of my most difficult journey home yet (although in this case sadly unavoidable). The Birmingham train was taken out of service at Shrewsbury, ended  up being diverted back to Crewe, missed a connection due to a late running train to New Street  and ended up on the 22:22 back to Hinckley, home for 23.20….

A long day…

Chester; Worsnop, Heneghan, Brown (YC), Charnock (Kay 93), Roberts, James, Rooney, Mahon, Hobson (Touray 46), O’Keefe, Oates Not Used; Roberts, Menagh, Peers

Goals; Rooney (68)

Gateshead; Bartlett, Ramshaw (Heardman 66), Curtis (RC 90), Clark, Anderton, Oster (Finnigan 71), Baxter, Turnbull, Rodman, Pattison (YC), Wright (Shaw 76)  Not Used;  Jones, Rankine

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

09.11.2014… West Brom (a)…

West Bromwich Albion 0 Newcastle United 2

The Hawthorns… Sunday November 9th… 1.30pm

Attendance: 26,476

Ticket: £15 (Reciprocal Agreement) – Programme: £3

24 hours later and another of Sir Bobby’s old clubs…

Last time I was at the Hawthorns was in 1991, standing behind the same goal that we sat (well stood) behind this afternoon. A 1-1 draw at the back end of the 1990/1991 season in the middle of a run of away games; Don Goodman was on the cover of the programme, West Brom were subsequently relegated. Most abiding memory of the day would have to be push starting the car we’d travelled down in outside the ground post-match, much to the amusement of the home fans….

And back to the present. More train problems, train from Snow Hill decided it wasn’t going to go anywhere so a mad rush for the tram. Seven stops to the Hawthorns on a massively overcrowded tram was the result, further crushing at every stop. As per Spurs, a crazy sprint to the ground followed, into my seat just as the teams were taking to the field. This is getting to become a bit of a habit…

wba v newcastle...

The Hawthorns: Outside…

As usual, no match report. Suffice to say though, a really good performance, two cracking goals and another three points. Colo’s celebration after the second goal was worth the trip alone; anyone who questions his attitude should hang their head, his heart may be in San Lorenzo but he gets us…

Good atmosphere too, noisy home fans to our left, particularly in the first-half, generated more atmosphere than we can manage at St. James’. We made one hell of a racket at times too (not me, I’m too old), but I still get goose bumps when we’re in full effect. Great shows of support for Jonas and Geoff Astle from both sets of fans too, clichéd I know, but like Ipswich yesterday, West Bromwich Albion are a proper football club…

wba v newcastle...

The Hawthorns: Inside…

Post-match; ended up waiting well over an hour for a train back to Birmingham. This was largely thanks to the rather odd crowd control system used by West Midlands police which lead to us appearing to be held back, and then on finally exiting the ground, prevented us from reaching the railway station except via a ridiculously circuitous route through an industrial estate. I can remember what a pain they used to be on the giant terrace behind the goal at a two-sided Molineux back in the day, some things don’t change in 20 years…

So… Just enjoying it while it lasts, a decent month doesn’t make Alan Pardew a good manager and if recent history tells us anything, something very bad is probably just around the corner…

West Bromwich Albion; Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Lescott, Pocognoli (Gamboa 45), Dorrans (Samaras 76 ), Mulumbu (Sessegnon 63), Morrison, Brunt, Anichebe, Berahino Not Used; Baird, Yacob, Myhill, McAuley

Goals; None

Newcastle United; Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini (Williamson 78), Dummett, Haidara, Abeid, Colback, Cabella (Taylor, R. 82), Sissoko, Ameobi (Gouffran 78), Pérez Gutiérrez Not Used; Anita, Cissé, Elliot, Armstrong

Goals; Pérez Gutiérrez (45), Coloccini (62)

As usual, More pictures on flickr…

08.11.2014… Ipswich v Watford…

Ipswich Town 1 Watford 0

Portman Road… Saturday November 8th… 3pm

Attendance: 22,490

Ticket: £31 – Programme: £3

Well it’s not very far from Hinckley to Ipswich but it’s certainly a disjointed train journey; trains may be pretty good North to South but they’re not so good East to West…

Reasonably early start and uneventful, albeit slow, progress; the Waitrose at Peterborough station was very handy, decent lunch at non-station prices, result…

I arrived in Ipswich about an hour before the match and there was an early bonus; I always like it when you can see the ground from the station, five minutes later I was there…

This was my first trip to Ipswich since 1993, our first season in the Premier League.  I’d been a couple of times before that too when we were having one of our regular spells in the old Second Division, I seem to remember Gavin Peacock scoring a cracker in a 3-2 defeat during the season when we nearly ended up in Division Three.

ipswich v watford...

Portman Road: Outside…

Ipswich has always struck me as being a decent football club with decent supporters, similar to Fulham in that respect, the kind of place where Sir Bobby was always likely to thrive. He got them, they got him, Ipswich never let him down in the way that we did…

I’m happy to report that Portman Road is still a great ground, it has a real 70s / 80s feel about it up the flanks with a twist of Premier League expansion behind the goals. History wins out though, I could almost see the blue shirt with white pinstripes, ‘Pioneer’ emblazoned across the chest. Fortunately I couldn’t see Eric Gates, unfortunately an Adidas Tango was nowhere to be seen either…

ipswich v watford...

Portman Road: Inside…

The match; two sides near the top of the league but uneventful really. Watford started reasonably well but Ipswich deserved all three points for their second half performance alone and they got them when Tommy Smith fired home from close range in the 83rd minute …

Nostalgia sated for another week…

Train back involved a change at Ely and a very impressive firework display while I waited for my connection…

A two game weekend; next stop, The Hawthorns tomorrow…

Ipswich Town; Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings, Bru, Tabb, Williams (Bishop 61), Murphy, McGoldrick (YC) (Sammon 94), Hunt  Not Used; Parr, Anderson, Bajner, Ambrose, Crowe

Goals; Smith (83)

Watford; Gomes, Paredes (YC), Ekstrand (YC), Bassong Nguena, Pudil, Munari (YC), Tozser, Andrews (Murray 86), Vydra, Deeney, Forestieri (Ighalo 74) Not Used; McGugan, Doyley, Cathcart, Dyer, Bond

Goals; None

As usual, More pictures on flickr…