Sunday, 9 March 2014
FA Cup Sixth Round, Quarter Final
Sheffield United (0) 2
Ryan Flynn 65
John Brayford 67
Charlton Athletic (0) 0
Admission £20, programme £3, Attendance 30,048
Howard, Brayford, Maguire, Collins, Harris, Flynn (McGinn 90), Doyle, Scougall (Porter 86), Coady 7, Murphy, Baxter (Davies 80).
Unused subs - Hill, Miller, Long, Freeman
Hamer, Wilson (Ghoochannejhad 71), Morrison, Wood, Wiggins, Cousins, Poyet (Green 71), Jackson, Harriott, Tudgay, Church (Ajdarevic)
Unused subs - Hughes, Dervite, Thuram-Ulien, Nego.
Do not write about anything while you are still under the influence of alcohol.
Arsenal v Wigan Athletic
Sheffield United v Hull City
Saturday, 8 March 2014
|Over in yonder valley ...|
Owen Street Sports Ground, Coalville (left click to enlarge image)
EvoStik NPL Division 1 South
Coalville Town (2) 4
Callum Woodward 17
Anthony Carney 33
Ben Saunders 79
Glynn Cotton 90+
Loughborough Dynamo (0) 0
Admission £7, programme £2, attendance 216
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Wednesday 5th March 2014International match at Wembley Stadium
England (0) 1
Daniel Sturridge 82
Denmark (0) 0
Admission £various, Programme £6, Attendance 68,573
Left click images to enlarge
Hart, Johnson, Smalling, Cahill, Cole (Shaw HT); Henderson (Oxlade-Chamberlain 77), Gerrard, Sterling (Townsend 86), Rooney (Welbeck 60), Wilshere (Lallana 58); Sturridge (Milner 87)
Schmeichel, Jacobsen (Juelsgard ht), Agger, Kjaer (Bjelland 62), Ankerssen, Larsen (Kusk HT), Sloth (Zimling 62), Kvist, Poulsen (Olsen 81), Krohn-Dehli, Bendtner (Rasmussen 62)
However, my bank manager and I are currently on your trail and when we find where you are hiding, you stand a very good chance of getting a good kicking.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
The Skrill Conference North
Gainsborough Trinity (1) 2
Liam Davis 9
Jonathon Margetts 65
Solihull Moors (2) 3
Junior English 28, 34
Ryan Beswick 89
Admission £11, programme £2.50, attendance 265
Barnes, Roma (capt), Wilde, Young, Howe (Leary 30) , Davis, Russell, Toner, Wootton, Margetts, Winfarah (Burbeary 59)
Unused subs: Williams, Batty, Martin.
Singh, Nottingham, Goush, Denny (Taundry 74), Elvins, Pierpoint, English, Fleet, Bogie (Knights 58), Beswick, Angus
Unused subs - Dean, Acton, Taylor
Details soon - this blog is coming back to life later this week, but not until I've been to Wembley for the England v Denmark game tomorrow night.
Monday, 3 March 2014
Table topping Mansfield Town saw off Football CV Reds this afternoon, at Rainworth Miners Welfare's Kirklington Road ground.
A tight opening 45 minutes was bereft of much goalmouth action, but after the break the young Stags took control of the game and their superior fitness showed.
Details (and Flickr photo album) to follow soon, busy night ahead for yours truly ... your patience is duly noted and much appreciated Mr Webb ;-)
Left click photos for enlarged versions.
Saturday, 1 March 2014
at Hall Corner Park, Glapwell
Glapwell (0) 1
Jack Weaver 54
Harworth Colliery (1) 1
Makenzie Tomlinson 11
Admission £3, programme £1
Left click images to enlarge.
Ryan Hopkins, Ashley Ruse, Josh Marshall, Carl Vickers, Rob Holland, Brad Dowdall, Derrick Miller (Geoff Gouveia), Jack Weaver, Dean Isaacs (Andrei Pykett), Adam Seward (Craig Humphreys), Jordan Jones (C)
Mark Latham, Jordan Hardman, Jonny Bownes, Greg Fox (Chris Leather), Martyn Gee (C), Tom Walker, Gregg Archer, Makenzie Tomlinson, SAm West (Matt Smith), Ross Taylor (Gaz Sides), Tom Pick
But the Colliery failed to add to that total, despite having much the better of the first 45 minutes.
Having only played one game since December 28th, namely a 3-0 defeat at Westella last week, Glapwell looked a bit off the pace in the first half and seemed to be particularly vulnerable down the flanks, but on a very sticky, but perfectly playable pitch, Harworth made hard work of taking advantage of their hosts lack of match practice and fitness, which was completely unfathomable given the non stop running and effort of Tom Pick who is looking sharper than ever since his injury lay off.
Martyn Gee was hacked down just outside the Glapwell area, West and Gregg Archer both shaped up like they were going to take it, but as Ryan Hopkins prepared himself in anticipation of a goal bound strike, Westy, uncharacteristically, thumped the ball straight at the Glapwell defensive wall.
Just before half time, West made a nuisance of himself again and made a timely run into the box that Ross Taylor spotted and picked him out with a great pass, but still the Colliery couldn't find that elusive second goal, as the ball flew narrowly wide of the left hand post.
HT - Glapwell 0 v Harworth 1
The Glapwell management Craig Humphreys and Carl Vickers (who was also playing) kept their team out on the pitch at half time for a pep talk cum bollocking. It did the trick.
The goal lifted Glapwell and as they stepped up a gear, the visitors seemed to be knocked out of their stride and dropped out of the game of the game for a while.
Harworth had Mark Latham to thank for keeping the score level when he made a great point blank save after he was left exposed and stranded in a one on one against Glapwell's captain Jordan Jones, who must've been odds on to score.
Glapwell's confidence had increased since they scored, but although they had the better of the game for a while in the second half, Harworth finished the game stronger.
|Would you kindly let go of our number 11 please Mr Vickers!?|
With Alan Marriott getting on a bit these days, you have to wonder why Mansfield Town released Hopkins, he's far too good to be playing in the Central Midlands League and seems destined for bigger things to me, not that I know anything.
In the dying moments Tom Pick steered a Gaz Sides corner narrowly wide of the left post and Tom Walker's header from another Sides cross was well held by Hopkins.
At the death, Tom Pick's heel was clipped as he homed in on goal, but he opted to stay upright and so the chance go begging.
An off duty referee who was watching the game with us said: "He's too honest your number 11, he should've just hit the deck there" ... you know what to do in future Tom ;-)
|"And you pick on someone your own size, young Mr Taylor!"|
It's always a tight game and hard work whenever Harworth face Glappy, so although I think the away side should've won on the balance of goalscoring opportunities created, it went pretty much as expected, and once again I won the traditional pre match build up banter exchange with Glapwell's Paul Hepworth, by predicting a low scoring draw, while he'd gone for a narrow home win.
One day Paul!
FT - Glapwell 1 v Harworth Colliery 1
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Game postponed on original date of Tuesday 28th January and first rearranged date of Tuesday 11th February, waterlogged x 2
at Field Mill (AKA the One Call Stadium)
Sky Bet League 2/ Division 4
Mansfield Town (0) 1
Sam Clulcas 71
Bury (1) 4
Danny Mayor 25
Daniel Nardiello 56, 64
Jake Carroll 71
Admission £18, Programme £3,
Attendance 2.628 (inc. 220 in away end)
Marriott; Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli (Hutchinson, 81); Westlake, Clements (Cain, 67), Stevenson, Howell, Daniel; Rhead (Palmer, 63), Clucas. Subs: Dyer, Beevers, Meikle, McGuire.
Jensen, McNulty, Jones, Sedgwick, Mayor (Miller, 72), Tutte, Nardiello (Dudley, 90), Platt (Forrester, 68), Carroll, Veseli, Mills. Subs: Charles-Cook, Hinds, Proctor, Burke
A quick look at the Football League table provides one with so many potential permutation and a massive portion of intrigue, it is just about enough to get any hardcore football purist leaking at least a few drops of sex wee, in a frenzied state of giddy abandon.
And, quite frankly, if you don't subscribe to that theory, you must be a some kind of a weirdo.
By my reckoning, any two from the bottom twelve in the League 2 table could be heading to the Conference at the end of the season, it really is that tight ... and both of tonight's teams urgently need points to climb away from that drop zone.
I want to believe that Paul Cox's team have got enough in their tank, to stay clear of the dreaded last two places, however my (fading) hopes are probably borne out of the fact that I really don't want to believe they could be relegated back into the realms of non league football so soon.
The reality of the situation is; if they don't get their act together soon, Paul Cox's Stags are bouncing recklessly on the exit trapdoor to oblivion and lining themselves up for a very painful reality slap.
I'm told that the Stags played better than they have done for a long time on Saturday, which gave me a faint feeling of optimism before the game, but as tonight's shambolic performance unfolded before my disbelieving eyes, and the news that the teams around Mansfield in the table were picking up points elsewhere, the alarm bells became deafening.
As we saw at the climax end of last season, any team that puts a good run of results together can soon leave those around them who have become complacent, stranded and in the mire.
The truth is, regardless of how crap the first season back as a Football League club is for Mansfield Town, I really miss getting to see them more often than I do, glutton for punishment and masochist that I am.
I wasn't merely getting my excuses in early last term, when I said that promotion back to the Football League wasn't necessarily the holy grail it's cracked up to be, just in case the Stags had faltered at the last hurdle and missed out on promotion, but now they are back among 'the 92', I wouldn't dare to speculate on what the consequences might be for the club if they were to lose their league status again.
It's an unthinkable and potentially catastrophic scenario, but one that is not yet beyond the realms of fantasy.
Off the pitch, there is far too much tacky sideshow type stuff going on at the Stags if you ask me and all of that must have a knock on effect on the pitch ... but, you didn't ask, so rather than pontificating over a tsunami sized shit storm of controversy and behind the scenes smoke screens, mirrors, half truths, downright fibs and distractions, I'll merely comment on the football fare that was on offer tonight ... from a Mansfield supporters perspective it was rubbish!
If, however, you were one of the 220 Bury fans sat in the North Stand, it must have been a great night, because the Shakers played well, very well in fact, but for the bulk of the crowd, this was akin to having teeth pulled, it was a real horror show.
From the outset, the battle for the middle of the park, was a bit of an ugly runt, but Paul Cox's side are renowned for bypassing that section of the pitch as often as possible, in an up n' under, basic and fairly crude kind of way (horses for courses rules apply), so that wouldn't usually have influenced very much.
Yet, having got a foothold in midfield, Bury looked impressive last twenty minutes of the first half after Danny Mayor had weaved is way into the left hand side of the Stags penalty area and unleashed a low shot past Alan Marriott, just inside the post, to give the visitors the lead.
Sam Clucas and Anthony Howell were both denied by the Shakers keeper Brian Jensen as the Stags looked to get back into the game, but it was the visitors who came closest to scoring again, just before the break, when Daniel Nardiello's effort from Mayor's right wing cross was tipped over the bar at full stretch by Alan Marriott.
HT - Stags 0 v Shakers 1
Right from the restart, Lee Stevenson had a chance to pull the Stags level, but he blazed the ball over the crossbar.
Shortly afterwards, Chris Clements set piece effort was easily dealt with by Jensen.
The Stags got the rub of the green on 54 minutes when Mayor went to ground under a challenge from Darryl Westlake in the penalty area, but the referee Graham Scott waved away Bury's appeals as Alan Marriott block a shot from Andy Tutte who'd latched onto the loose ball.
Bury didn't need to feel aggrieved for long however and Nardiello had doubled their lead within two minutes.
The ever lively Mayor played the ball into the path of Nardiello who turned the ball into the net via the upright from close range.
"You know Mansfield Town, will never let you down" ... ironic musical interlude:
Stevenson broke forward for the Stags, but Pablo Mills, dispossessed him with a timely interception that reminded me of a dad showing off and tackling his 6 year old son in a back garden kickabout.
And if that wasn't humiliating enough, Bury scored again in the 64th minute, by taking a route one, direct approach ... and embarrassing the Stags defence and goalkeeper in the process.
Nardiello, flicked on Jensen's long punt up the field, to himself, noted that Marriott was off of his line and lobbed the ball into the unguarded net, before a defender had even arrived on the scene.
Nil-three! At home! Against Bury! FFS!
Momentarily, Mansfield were handed a slight (tiny, miniscule even) glimmer of hope, when Jensen took pity on them and very generously made the charitable act of palming Colin Daniel's knock into the six yard box, straight to Sam Clucas, who pulled a goal back.
But while the Stags fans were still on their feet celebrating the start of a highly unlikely comeback, Bury went straight up the other end and scored again.
Craig Jones crossed, Marriott replicated Jensen's palm the ball to an opposition player in the box stunt and Jake Carroll made it 1-4. At home! Against Bury! FFS!!!
Ollie Palmer should have scored a consolation goal for the Stags inside the last couple of minutes, but his effort was well wide of the target, despite him being clean through, with plenty of time to pick his spot.
In stoppage time, Ben Hutchinson hit a 35 yard shot, straight at Brian Jensen, but a second Stags goal would've given the full time score a very flattering look.
Well played Bury, a well deserved win.
FT - Mansfield Town 1 v Bury 4
Monday, 24 February 2014
FA Cup 5th Round
Sheffield Wednesday (0) 1
Leon Best 57
Charlton Athletic (1) 2
Callum Harriott 22
Simon Church 65
Admission £20, Programme £3, Attendance 24,607
Martinez, Palmer, Llera, Loovens, Mattock , Maguire, Gardner (Nuhiu 58), Coke, Maghom (Lavery 58), Best, Afobe (Helan 74).
Unused Subs - Kirkland, Buxton, Onyewu, Hutchinson.
Hamer, Wilson, Morrison, Wood (Dervite 90), Fox, Cousins, Jackson, Poyet, Harriott, Ajdarevic (Hughes 90), Church (Ghoochanneijhad 85).
Unused Subs - Green, Sordell, Thuram-Ulien, Nego.
In the build up to the game, the FA Cup still gave Wednesday a bit of something to possibly keep their season alive (for a short while longer at least), given that the play offs are now beyond their reach.
The Addicks, on the other hand, could probably do without the added inconvenience of the kind of fixtures backlog a cup run would create, given how they've already suffered more than most from postponements this season, due to them having such a problematic pitch at the Valley.
The prize on offer to tonight's victors, was a quarter final tie at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United, which possibly means a whole lot more to Wednesday's supporters than it does Charltons, given the intensity of the rivalry between the two 'Steel City' clubs,
According to the former Wednesday player and cult hero Carlton Palmer, who is now a co-commentator and match summariser on BBC Radio Sheffield, the cup ties against Charlton and the Blades are games that Wednesday should be able to win comfortably. Tonight just goes to show what he knows then ... not that anybody who has the best interests of either Mansfield Town or Stockport County at heart would've needed telling just how horribly wrong Mr Palmer can get things sometimes, given his disastrous managerial reigns at both of those clubs.
Maybe there might actually be some substance after all, behind the Wednesdayites tribute song to their former player: "We've got Carlton Palmer, he smokes marijuana!"
Since this annual event began, tragedy befell the family once more and we now raise a glass, or overpriced plastic bottle of lukewarm fizzy lager (as that was all there was on offer tonight), to the memory of Steve Oxby as well, another dearly loved friend and relative who died far too young.
Two great guys, taken from us far too soon.
Some things are more important than football rivalries and I have no problem whatsoever about visiting Swillsbo ... whoops! I meant Hillsborough, every year, to that end.
But Brian and Big Steve would've understood why, although I was paying my respects to them tonight, I wasn't exactly rooting for their team.
And I'm sure they wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Charlton, for their part, were half decent, though nowhere near wholly decent, while Wednesday were ... hmm, well, not to put too fine a point on it, completely crap for most of the game.
The tactics that the Owls adopted in the first half, were mind boggling and embarrassing in equal measure.
Most teams who play a direct, hoof ball game, at least have a target man or a nippy runner or two in the oppositions half of the pitch when they launch the ball forwards (and skywards) at regular intervals. Wednesday had neither and their hit it and hope style, which they persisted with up until half time, became a cringeworthy spectacle and exercise in conceding possession cheaply, while offering no kind of threat to the visitors whatsoever.
"It was the worst 45 minutes since I took over, I could not believe that was my team. I think it was 27 minutes before we got a cross, 40 minutes before we got a shot and 41 minutes before we got a tackle."
Gray went on to say, "We probably got what we deserved,"
I'd have to disagree with that last comment, because although he summed up the first half perfectly, there is no way that his side only deserved to be one goal down at the break.
When Charlton took the lead through Callum Harriott, after Astrit Ajdarevic's initial shot had deflected right into his path, there was almost an aura of inevitability already emanating from the home support sat around us in the North Stand.
"Well, you can't say it hasn't been coming!", boomed the large gentleman sat directly behind me; who seemingly couldn't even communicate candidly with the woman sat beside him without roaring at the top of his voice, in a manner becoming of an unhinged town crier.
But for once (just the once), he was 100% correct ... and those within earshot fell silent and nodded in agreement. Charlton were seeing plenty of the ball, but they just needed a bit more firepower to turn their possession into goals.
The Addicks fans up in the back of the Leppings Lane End, were having a party as they taunted the home fans with "Is this a library? Is this a library?" and "Can you hear the Wednesday sing?" type songs, which didn't even raise a flicker of response from the Hillsborough faithful.
HT - Owls 0 v Addicks 1
So perhaps the truth of the matter is they just bottled it and arrogantly thought that all they had to do tonight was turn up and a place in the quarter finals was all but guaranteed either way, one thing is for sure, if they had squeaked an unlikely result against Charlton and then played like they did tonight, in the next round at Bramall Lane, their fans would've had to polish their 'Boxing Day Massacre' and 'Wembley 1993' memories one last time before putting them in storage, along with the 24,000 unworn: 'Wednesday at Wembley 2014' t-shirts that have only be made in one size ... massive!
Go on, admit it, my Owls supporting friends, associates and work colleagues, you know that made you chuckle really.
Jeez, I just admitted to being friends with some Sheffield Wednesday supporters, that is my reputation and social standing ruined ... forever.
But joking aside and getting back to my original point ... nine times out of ten, complacent teams have already contributed to their own downfall, before they've even stepped out onto the pitch, especially in cup games.
After a flying start to the second half the Owls drew level on 57 minutes, when Chris Maguire's free-kick into the area was knocked down by Miguel Llera and Leon Best fired home his first goal for the Hillsborough club since his recent arrival, on loan, from Blackburn Rovers.
It wasn't his first goal for the Owls, Best also joined Wednesday on loan from Southampton (twice) in both 2005 & 2006 and he scored once (just the once) during both of those loan spells. You stick with me my faithful reader ... I'll provide you with all of the football quiz questions you could ever need ;-)
In the 65th minute Miquel Llera was penalised for obstructing Simon Church and from Johnnie Jackson's subsequent free-kick, the former Reading forward headed beyond Martinez to put Charlton back in front.
Wednesday thought they had equalised for a second time seven minutes later when Llera's header hit the inside of the post and bounced straight into the arms of Ben Hamer, on (but not completely over) the line.
|OMG! They'll let anybody in here!|
Deep into stoppage-time, Chris Maguire's struck the ball well from the edge of the box and it appeared destined for the top corner, after taking a slight deflection, but Hamer pulled off a fantastic and acrobatic one handed save to tip the ball over.
Hamer might have been fortunate with Llera's header, when the post and (possibly) a lack of goal line camera technology had intervened, but there was no way back for the home side now and the Addicks keeper had effectively just claimed his side a place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
FT - Sheffield Wednesday 1 v Charlton Athletic 2
Walking along Penistone Road after the game, I bumped into a local pub bore, who just also happens to be a Wednesday fan as well: "Came to watch a big team for a change did ya!?" he snarled. "Yeah, massive mate!" I cheerily replied. However, I suspect his irony bypass operation, probably meant that my attempt at humouring him had been rather pointless.
Arsenal v Everton
Hull City v Sunderland
Sheffield United v Charlton Athletic
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic
Ties to be played 8-9 March