???????????????????????????????Saturday 20th December 2014 3.00pm
NWCL Division One
Chadderton 2 Litherland REMYCA 2 ht: 1-1 att: 52 Entrance £5, Prog £1.5 Coffee £1

Curley 5, Russel 84p : Blackwell 24p, Webb 71

from Andrew Street

The Saturday before Christmas and a Saturday afternoon became free for me and the opportunity for a short hop. Short for me now is around the 50 mile mark. Chadderton leapt out as the most convenient; at only 42.1 miles it was my second nearest uncharted club (after Graham Street Prims). With the weather of late a bit damp, the fixtures in the northwest were all falling one by one, around lunchtime. Daisy Hill, West Didsbury, Stockport, Winsford, all fell foul of the weather, but luckily for me Chadderton remained on. Continue reading

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AFC Darwen

???????????????????????????????Wednesday 3rd December 2014 7.45 pm
FA Vase Second Round
AFC Darwen 3 Chadderton 5 ht: 3-1 att: 99 Entrance £5 Prog £1

from Anchor Ground (pics here)

Coote 23, Gaul 28, Turner 33 : Whitehead 42, 47, OG 55, Sultan 89,                                                                                                   Murray 90

AFC Darwen (1)A bitterly cold night in early December and a long, perhaps foolish, drive into Lancashire for some FA Vase action. Darwen is way beyond my notional perimeter I set for midweek games, and with extra time being possible, it could’ve been a regrettable decision. Crossing the Thelwall Viaduct, barely half way there, I did wonder at the sanity of it. However, it turned out to be an inspired piece of mentalism, seeing an exceptional match, great ground and a new first for my stats. Continue reading

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Gresford Athletic

Saturday 29th November 1.30pm
Welsh Cup Round Three (last 32) from Clappers Lane
Gresford Athletic 5 St Asaph City 0 ht: 1-0 att: circa 150

Richards 39, 81, 87, Hope (pen) 79, Phealan 90+1

???????????????????????????????It was the third round of the Welsh Cup, when the 12 Premier clubs enter the competition, joining the 20 still remaining. Of those 20, eight were from the Southern second tier, four from the northern second tier. Gresford and FC Nomads of Connah’s Quay were from the third tier Welsh National League, Holywell Town from the third tier Welsh Alliance, Penrhyncoch and Llanrhaedr-ym-Mochnant from third tier Mid Wales League, Undy Athletic from the Southern third tier.

There were just two clubs left below step three. Today’s visitors St Asaph, lying third in the Welsh Alliance division two and amazingly step seven club Tiger Bay who are second in the Cardiff Combination. It’s a bit like a county league team making it to the 1st Round of the FA Cup. This game was massive for the two clubs today, the only fixture guaranteeing at least one club below step two making it to the fourth round. Continue reading

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MMU Cheshire

Monday 27th October 2014 7.30
Staffordshire County Senior League Premier Division from Cumberland Arena, Crewe
MMU Cheshire 1 Audley 1 ht: 1-0 att: 60 hc

Goals: MMU 30, Audley 89

???????????????????????????????Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire, to give them their full name, were promoted last year to the Staffs top flight. The Staffs League handbook claims the team were founded in 1960, which strikes me as odd, since the University was only founded in 1970. The University’s roots go back to the Manchester Mechanics Institute from 1824, so the football team either has some connection here or morphed from some other team…or the handbook is wrong. Continue reading

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West Midlands Regional Premier League Fans’ Guide 2014-15

The West Midlands Regional League is three divisions spanning steps six to eight of non league football, and this season celebrates its 125th birthday, having been formed in 1889 as the Birmingham & District League. This guide concentrates on the Premier division (step six) where Lye Town are the current champions. They now play in the newly formed Midland League, which combined the step five Midland Alliance and the step six Midland Combination. Future winners will also be promoted to the Premier division of the Midland League. Continue reading

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???????????????????????????????Wednesday 22nd October 2014 7.45pm
West Midlands Regional League Premier from Shrewsbury Sports Village
Haughmond 3 Shawbury 6 ht: 1-3 att: c.70

Estimate of minutes: 18, 60, 88: 16, 30, 35, 47, 80 (pen), 90

???????????????????????????????Haughmond FC are new to step 6 of non league, promoted last year from WMRL One to Premier. They have made big strides in recent years, coming up swifly from the Shropshire league. Not having heard of them until this season I didn’t know much about them, except that they played at Shrewsbury Sports Village. Despite the name being suggestive of such, I didn’t realise they played in a caged ground. Such grounds I’d received dire warnings of. Even the most fervid of hoppers has waxed fierce at the idea of watching caged football, in the way a trainspotter might eschew the wiles of a diesel train or like when I says to Withnail in the film Withnail and I (after he starts to drink lighter fluid) – even the wankers on the street don’t drink that. Continue reading

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Loughborough Dynamo

???????????????????????????????Tuesday 7th October 2014
Evostik One South from Nanpantan Sports Ground
Loughborough Dynamo 3 Chasetown 2 ht: 1-1 att: 102

Munn 31, Watson 69, 90 : Haynes 20, Wellecomme 54


Loughborough is a medium sized town in Leicestershire, population c 60,000. It is home to the largest bell foundry, John Taylor bellfounders and appears in the doomsday book. Notable people include Coronation Street’s Roy Cropper (David Neilsen) and high jumper Ben Challenger (who happens to be the son of Showaddywaddy drummer Romeo Challenger – random). The University probably does better with respect to name dropping, being renowned for its sporting credentials – graduates include Seb Coe, Clive Woodward, Paula Radcliffe, Steve Backley and Lawrie Sanchez. Continue reading

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