Tuesday, 6 September 2022

SPIRALS DOWNARDS AND UPWARDS

3rd September 2022 - Knutsford FC 0 v 3 Denton Town - I was bordering on the domesticated today and was dragged shopping with the good lady.  I don't think the invite will be repeated anytime soon as I wandered around the supermarket not knowing where anything was and throwing in the odd unnecessary item at the merest whim.  Returning home I reviewed a few tracks off an outstanding CD and then we both got ready and headed out.  We had time to kill, a call in at a Garden Centre saw the missus get some new clothes and then we had a walk on Knutsford Heath and recorded a few species.  There was an absence of fungi, Common Earthballs were the best we could summon although Dripping Man Balls came a close second due to the somewhat clammy weather.  We left the car where it was and arrived at the ground 30 mins before kick-off and were greeted by a lovely amiable gent on the gate (these pleasant greetings and friendly ways go a long way with us, we must make more of an effort to support Knutsford this year).  Brews were soon had and in the executive viewing area we went, with the rears parked on a bench, then on a high chair before eventually opting for the cushioned buttock supports that pleased the posteriors no end.  In fact the last time my arse was so pleasured was when a Jackie Pallo look-a-like paid me a visit and put me in a full rectal-nelson - ooh heck.

So, in position and joined by a young man I have known since he was 6 (19 years ago), we watched the game unfold whilst I scribbled some spidery notes.  

Denton were at it fast, a gratis-hoofing came, the result was a punt straight at the mitter.  A same bonus boot came the other way, it was walloped straight out of play.  From this underwhelming commencement that left the nipples of excitement rather flaccid rather than turgid wine corks the visiting pack swept forth with liquid ease.  The ball went one way and then the other, a cross ensued with No 9 (Jordan McCann) on it but denied by the whistle signalling an offside decision.

After this initial scare Knutsford held onto possession for several minutes until a careless pass saw the Towns No 8 (Caleb Affleck) profit and pass.  The recipient of the globe was No 2 () who blazed the wing like an arsonist under a death threat.  The man marking the fiery darter was left behind, the ball was played into the box and the header was buried by No 10 (Josh Rushby) from all of 2 feet - what a fine goal this was.

From here the leading squad came again, Rushby was in possession, a shot was on but a pass was made to McCann but the pace of the ball was too rich and the latter player could only find the side netting (much to his annoyance). Knutsford bounced back with a corner that was well struck and duly met the cranium of No 14 (Graeme Brotherton) who put the ball just off target - it was a definite chance to get back into this one, a chance that may be strongly rued.

Despite the goal, there was little in this as a contest but Denton were working better off the ball and giving hint at why their season has been so successful so far.  A bit of pointless tetchiness came and went before Denton started to up the ante. Balls came into the Knutsford box, most were dealt with except one that saw a ball over the top find McCann's chest.  The globe was controlled, the keeper rounded, the bag bulged - sometimes this footballing lark can be made to look as easy as 1, 2, 3.

From here to the break Knutsford were very much on the back foot with numerous surges just about dealt with and the chance of a breakaway goal not even looking likely.  In fact the Knutsford pack did well to summon one late surge that was finalised with a toe-poke by No 9 (Connor Burgess) with the guest keeper doing enough to put the attacker off and duly miss his attempt on goal.  The referee called time to the half, Denton were continuing their goal roll, Knutsford were facing a spiral to oblivion, the prongs up front needed sharpening and urgency off the ball needed turning up to situation 'red light'.

We had another drink for the break, caught up with a few faces and settled our rears in the awaiting chairs.  It were a grand day out lad and we are happy to be idle.

Half two began with Knutsford out sharpish, No 10 (Tom Bowey) found space and cracked forth a well placed shot that the No 1 (Gift Efosa Eichie) followed all the way and stopped with an outstretched hand from nestling in the top corner - it was a wonderful save.  A corner followed, Denton stayed safe but the home pack kept on pressing and now actually looked like a team capable of scoring.  The new arrival, No 17 (Aaron Burgess), for the hosts looked a threat and got tumbled a couple of times with the resultant free-kicks disappointingly producing nowt,  After Brotherton had a tame header go wide, The Town broke. No 11 (Elvis Omorogbe Ojo) posted a good ball into the box that No 9 McCann touched forth with the keepers hand just doing enough to deny the third goal. Soon after McCann had a volley over and then the Knutty Boys won a free-kick that 18 (Max Kennedy) delivered.  Bodies fell, shouts rent the air, the referee ignored all and made sure the game kept flowing.

The next goal nearly came for Knutsford when a neatly struck free-boot found Brotherton at the back stick who nutted into the danger area with Bowey arriving to half the deficit.  Alas the shot went over the bar, it looked as though that was a crucial miss and banished all hopes of a comeback.  From a further cost-free kick for the hosts Denton broke. McCann provided for Rushby who took one look and buried - it was the ultimate slap in the mush for the resident ranks (ouch).

The closing stages saw Knutsford dig deep but waste chances and Denton see things out without too much fuss.  The game ended and I was left to ponder Man of the Match and due to a relentless work rate and for being a pain in the opposing forces proverbials the choice goes to Denton Town's No11 (Elvis Omorogbe Ojo) - what a knackering stint - no wonder he limped off with cramp.

We said farewells to many folk and drove home quite fagged out.  Another busy day was planned for the morrow, we do like to crack on.

FINAL THOUGHTS - As ever, a visit to watch Knutsford FC turned out to be a pleasure, it was a shame the day was so unenjoyable for the host team.  There is a work in progress here but by heck, to achieve anything, the players need to stick together, work their knackers off and make sure, when going forth, they do so with pace and with a unity.  Today they had about as much chomp up front as a toothless Hilda Baker and the overall team cohesion was lacking, especially when the team wasn't in possession. We will return later this year and, maybe catch the team away, we expect a better do all round, if not, the team could be spiralling down the all consuming shit basin of misery - it ain't a nice way to go.  Denton Town now have 7 wins out of 7, the league I feel is there for the taking, all the team need do is keep working like whizzed up wankers off the ball and make sure when they shoot they shoot with impregnating accuracy and leave the opposition tubbed up with many cross-eyed sprogs of disappointment.  So far the Town are having things go their way, harder tests will come and I will hopefully be there to witness many of them as well as a long and successful season.

NB - this is my 394th match report - I shall hand-pick 6 more then have a break - quality over quantity will be the approach, with of course a little digressive deviancy of orthodox decency.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

NO FUNGI BUT GOALS APLENTY

29th August 2022 - Euxton Villa 2 v 4 Chadderton FC - There ain't no rain and ye olde Fungalised git is getting frustrated.  I have walks to lead and everywhere I go the shrooms are not showing themselves.  A morn spent at Ainsdale Sands Lake produced no mycological magic so we (myself, missus and some friends) sought other things and were blessed with a Sand Lizard, some good galls, a few orthopterans and some blooms we don't see every week of the year.  I tried to fill up on liquids and piss here and there in the hope of encouraging spore-laden eruptions, I think I ended up polluting the local area instead (bastard). After a brew and chits and chats we headed to today's ground with myself, as per, crummy and unkempt after scrambling around here and there.  Upon arrival STP Stu was in situ (he's more reliable than the fungi) and after saying 'howdo', purchasing a brew and a pie we took up our positions and watched the game unfold.  This was a new ground for all three of us, it is good to have a change and hopefully spread the word of another Non-League outfit - it is just a small way of trying to put back.

The game began under cloudy skies and finished with a breeze blowing, alas no rain fell (aagghhh).  The first half opened with Chadderton pressing and Euxton providing a quick counterpunch.  No 9 (Matthew Davies) darted away and put in a fiery low cross that sizzled the daisies but was dealt with by an outstretched defensive shank.  The guest team though were unmoved and applied a goodly amount of pressure in a quite hectic start to the game.  A free-kick was eventually earned from the persistent mither, the result was something best described as 'utterly wank'.  The Chad Lads came once more, the ball went outward with No 11 (Cory Knight) making a nice touch and having a punt at the angle that was deflected behind.  The resultant corner had too much 'oomph' and left all awaiting assassins scratching their bonces in frustration.

The away team kept on forcing the issue, they were akin to a constipated cow trying to produce the reeking goods in order to please the dung collecting farmer known as Crapper O' Toole.  Another angled hoof was dealt with, a couple of crosses were followed by a bout of head tennis and then a free-kick came that No 5 (Malachi Clarke) connected with, but the header was off target.  

From the one-way traffic The Euxton crew went against the grain with the eager Davies chasing a lost cause and creating a kerfuffle. The ball rolled loose and No 2 (Kieran Mawdesley) had a pop that ended with the ball flying disappointingly over the bar.  At the other end two more kicks came from the corner with the first totally shite, the second better and dealt with. An immediate re-cross came, Clarke flicked the ball goalward with the host No 1 (Joshua Brooks) saving well.

The Villans pounced next, Davies worked hard, put the ball to the other side of the pitch and found No 11 (Joshua Briggs) who struck with sanguinity.  The ball left the boot from distance and was soon bulging the upper corner of the onion bag - 1 - 0 - what a glorious strike to witness.

From here Chadderton dug deep and strove to get back to parity but just fell shy at the last. Euxton indulged in a smooth passing sequence with the apical component of Briggs putting in a good strike that the keeper did well to push behind. From the following corner, No 4 (Jordan Schofield) could only nut over, it was a decent chance.  The hosts had their peckers up, Chaddy's No 3 (Joseph Richards) was dispossessed with No 7 (Dan Singleton) getting away and shooting wide.  The rebound from this latest scare saw the guest ranks create minor mayhem with several threaded balls that went this way and that before Knight dealt with matters and buried the equaliser.

The break was now beckoning, balance had been restored and things looked to be fairly settled for the interval.  Suddenly Chadderton pressed and earned themselves a corner.  The ball was whipped in, No 9 (Adam Dale) made contact with his ever available noggin - 1 - 2 it was and a fine turn around was complete.  The break came soon after, both teams deserved a rest methinks.

We stayed put and nattered whilst a breeze was welcome.  This had been a good game so far and the second half far from easy to predict.  All 3 pre-match predictions were still in with a chance, come full time though, would anyone lay claim to being a footballing prophet?

The second period began with Chaddy showing urgency and creating much mither for the hosts.  A cross-ball came and found the mercurial No 7 (Mauro Mendes) who dinked and wriggled, cut in and fired a shot that was just off target. The mounting trouble grew for the home team, a response was had with a good lather made and a corner won.  The ball was delivered long. No 4 (Ethan Darr) was waiting at the back stick and 2 - 2 it was.

Chadderton refused to take this insulting penetration lying down (unlike Joan Collins and similar stars with spring-loaded legs).  The team responded by building up a good lather with Mendes bursting into the box and getting up-ended.  Penalty was the decision, Schofield strode up and coolly got his team back in front.

The game now became a busy and bustling affair with the leading pack looking to cement matters and the trailers keen to claw their way back into things.  Euxton tried to force the issue, Davies had a shot cleared off the line, corners and free-kicks came but Chadderton stood firm,  An angled kick against the flow came, Euxton were found wanting and after a defensive mix-up No 8 (James Purfield) slammed home on the turn and gained his side an all important cushion.  It was nearly 2 - 5 after a defender/keeper mix up and then Euxton came on with the closest attempt via Darr who trembled the upright (phwoar).

The closing stages saw another last ditch clearance by the guests, Euxton's impressive Davies chip the keeper and hit the framework and a few half chances come either way and disappear into the overall animation.  The game ended with the points taken back down Oldham way and Euxton rueing missed chances and licking their wounds.  Man of the Match goes to Chaddertons No 4 (Jordan Schofield) a stalwart at the back, confident and tidy and having the gift of a goal on an all-round productive day - not bad at all.

FINAL THOUGHTS - I thought that the whole Euxton Villa set up was a grand do today and the atmosphere of the place and the general surroundings are all persuasive to us visiting again. The team have several good players, one or two with notable experience and an attitude to crack on that is highly commendable.  Today they were slightly careless in conceding 4 goals and really should have had a draw out of this game.  The final thrustings displayed a desire that, if used earlier, could have altered the end result - maybe next time.  Chadderton now stand at position 2 in the First Division North.  Success has been a long time coming but this could be their year.  They are a well organised team with options aplenty but as per, to keep the points coming they will have to stay highly disciplined and keep their heads held high when on the back foot.  Today they showed a good resilience and may just be one of the teams to be reckoned with as the season progresses - a trip back to The Falcon Fire Stadium is long overdue.  If I hear there be fungi growing on the pitch I shall be there as quick as a flash - Stinkhorns and Soccer - what a combo.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

PH VALUE - NEUTRAL

6th August 2022 - Prestwich Heys 1 v 1 Litherland Remyca - The fungal precipice is being walked upon, I am set for a busy season leading walks and striving to inform people about the value of fungi and if they don't get due protection the whole environmental machine will grind to a halt. The morn was spent at Denton Town, we are striving to help nature, I was disappointed to see weed-killer had been used in certain areas, I have requested this be stopped so we can keep things natural, healthy and safe for all - I am willing to tidy up manually, I am not an idle arse.  After a good potter with the missus we darted home, stuffed lunch and dashed to the Mother-In-Laws - we dropped off her shopping, bought her a cake and picked up a few plant pots that will help the Denton project.  From here we drove to today's chosen ground, paid our dues and settled in the sun to watch some FA Cup action.  The beams were bonny indeed and I do need to invest in a hat to cover my glabrous pate. I want a Sombrero, I may go for a Stetson or indeed an Imperial Japanese Army Hat - watch this space, a twat in a hat will manifest itself very soon.

So with belfries blessed by solar goodness we watched the first period unfold.  An early chance fell to the home 'erberts with No 9 (Connor Morris) breaking the offside trap and squeezing a pass to No 11 (Dylan Fitzgerald) who tried to beat the keeper with an impish chip.  The ball rose and fell, alas behind the bar.  The Hey Mob breezed forth once more soon after. Fitzgerald produced a delectable touch that was touched on with No 4 (Kai Haigh) chasing down and only denied by a keeper who was off his line in double quick time.

A corner for Heys came next, the keeper fisted well, in fact the last time I saw a fisting like this was whilst the Prince of Wales was in a compromising position with a homo-erotic Bill Oddie look-a-like - by heck that was a strange night.  The Remyca eventually settled, won a corner but were witness to a commanding defensive header by the home No 5 (Rudy Misambo) - a man with an aerial dominance that was consistent all afternoon.

Litherland Remyca now began to give a good account of themselves with much hustling and a few balls into the box of peril. Prestwich had the next real chance though with Morris and Fitzgerald linking up and the latter disappointingly firing over.  Fitzgerald soon came again with a strong, imposing run.  A ball was knocked crossfield to No 7 (Connor Berry) who took one touch, cut in and walloped.  The ball, once more was overloaded with elevation, it was a definite chance missed.

Litherland returned the goal scares with a long free-kick from No 2 (Luke Denson) that needed tipping over by the home mitter.  The corner came and skinned many heads without any serious contact made - the first goal was due it seemed and looked to be getting more important by the second. Another shot came at the host No 1 (Russel Saunders), but this time the globe was deflected wide.  An angled hoof followed, the gloved one palmed down but only to No 11 (Jamie McDonald) who fired home and gave his most sincere thanks for the gift.  Now, the onus was on the hosts to up the ante.

The home town lads produced a long ball next, Morris was the apical component and sent in a low shot that the keeper gathered with relative ease.  Prior to the break the trailing team could only summon one corner that was trashed due to a pointless infringement and as the referee blew for the break, Litherland Remyca were looking quite comfortable indeed.

We stayed put for the break, nattered and absorbed the sun whilst nibbling a bit of chocolate.  We were looking forward to a day out tomorrow, wandering amid the greenery, noting all the wild miracles and soaking up a few rays.  Bring it on.

Back to the game and half two went something like this.  A give and take start was eventually put to one side when the resident Berry picked up the ball just inside the opposing half and duly negotiated a crowd of bods before poking forth a shot that squeezed into the bottom corner of the shallot sack.  It was an eye-watering moment for the guests, they looked to be in charge of matters and now were dragged back to all square.  

Some thermality and ill temper now crept into the game with Heys starting to make the most effective plays.  Despite Fitzgerald having a wild and reckless dig very little further threat came.  For all the home team's animation and general liveliness they were creating little and this game looked to be heading for a sure-fire replay. Eventually more positivity and attention to the away goalmouth came with a shot blazed forth and the keeper forced to produced a fine save and then, the same No 1 (Ryan Jones) was made to leave his line to quell the threat by an incoming attacker.  A corner followed these minor scares, the nut of Berry was found at the rear stick but the the cranial contact made sent the ball straight at the keeper.

The Remyca were now under the cosh and in danger of getting it rammed up their arse for that matter.  Heys came on with intent.  McDonald for the visitors had a chance to ease the pressure and gain a shock lead goal but his header from the corner just shied away from the strike zone.  No 19 (Kaiden Barlow) for Heys had a shot on the turn that was deflected wide and soon after No 16 (Tyler James) produced a top notch strike that the mittman did well to palm behind.  The corner came, a nut towards goal needed clearing off the line with No 10 (Callum Nicholas) having the next dig that was wonderfully saved and then 14 (Ashley Cata) having a pop that wouldn't stay on target.

The PH pack pushed with ardour, some in-box head tennis was finalised by James who couldn't find the net.  The finish became scrappy and saw Litherland hang on and gain that replay at their gaff - Prestwich Heys could be rueing the fact that they didn't snatch this one when they had the chance - we shall see.  man of the Match goes to the PH No 5 (Rudy Misambo) - a player who had authority, a controlled temperament and who really looks set to go up to the next level.  No fuss. no griping, just eye on the ball and dealt with - a cracking performance.

FINAL THOUGHTS - So a replay is the end result of a well-balanced game that was just shaded on points by the hosts.  The next game will be equally tough with Litherland looking a hard nut to crack especially as their defence looks well organised and not likely to leak many goals.  Their No 5 (Steven Hoy) was particularly impressive and was a chief player in his side's hard-fought draw. I will keep an eye of the Remycas goal leakage over the coming weeks, I expect it be mightily low.  Prestwich Heys did well to claw their way back into this and have all the makings of a team destined to have a good season.  In all areas they look equipped but for many years now I have thought the same thing and they always seem to come up just short.  There are several key players they need to keep hold of and make sure they start each and every game with great impetus.  The early season is the time to set out ones stall and make sure an impression is made - a good cup run can only help build the impetus and maintain a stronghold on the squads belief and unity - I shall be back down this ground real soon to see how things are going.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS (BAH)

2nd August 2022 - Cheadle Heath Nomads 1 v 1 Ashville FC - A visit to my local club and the only game I have pencilled in this opening month.  Father Time has dictated the terms, the calendar is full with a diverse mix that will see me pinging hither and tither and getting my gonads in knots.  I am a great believer in pissing on the static and not going through the expected motions, I am also a great believer in putting something back, hence these scribblings. I shall pick and choose reports this season again though and not overdose anyone on the same team assessments - one has to keep things as fresh as a babbies talcum powered chuff.

So, after a day that saw me get an absolute drenching on the way to work (it were ruddy lovely), a cycle home, quick tea and change, I arrived at the ground to catch up with a few familiar faces and take up the usual position with my good mate STP Stu.  The air was as damp as a vicar's brow during a Miss Topless Teacake Competition and the feeling of further precipitation was never far away. Talk was of music, the worldly mess and forthcoming matches that we may attend or miss due to being busy bastards.  Eventually we had only one game on our minds as the two teams for tonight's contest strode out onto the pitch.  Predictions were made - Stu was already 1-0 up on me this season and so I was looking to level matters with an educated, deeply thought out forecast - how matters transpired will be revealed come the end of this report. John D, Gareth and Sandra put in their predictions too, oh what fools we are!

The globe began to roll and the first battalion to raise a thrill were the hosts after No 7 (Daniel Byrnes) was unceremoniously tumbled.  The free-kick was shite and the fortuitous corner equally poor.  No 11 (Isidro Cata) was a bright spark during the drab opening throes and went on a strong run with a cross delivered that just lacked the sheen of accuracy.  Ashville were not at the races at all, they were playing a long ball over the top style that was becoming increasingly obvious to the resident rear ranks.  The guests eventually won a corner that was delivered with good pace but the home defence survived and the scoresheet remained as bare as the bonce of Telly Savalas.

The game continued, it was an affair as dull as the memoirs of Clement Freud (well, except for that chapter where he had a tumble with his much abused Bassett Hound - ooh the grubby bastard). The Nomads did raise the levels of excitement with a penalty shout but the referee was having none of it and all peckers and nipples of hope soon became flaccid again.

The Nomads were the busier side and looked to open the scoring account but with a bilge free-kick by their No 10 (Ryan Shenton) and a wild shot closer to the local chip shop than the goal by Cata, it looked a darn near certainty that the onion bag would remain unmolested.  Prior to the break a shot on goal did come.  No 3 (Kieran Alley) for the hosts had a chance to bulge meshing but his weak side foot shot went straight at the keeper who easily gathered.  This shot on goal though was too much for some.  A guy near me needed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after the thrill overworked his ticker and an elderly bloke needed to be led away and have his sporting erection drained due to this zenith of footballing action. Two corners followed, fuck all was the result, it seemed as though that attempt on goal was indeed the pinnacle of a truly bilge first 45.

For the break several folk tried to form a suicide pact so as to avoid watching the second half.  Local prosthetic limb retailer John D actually plucked one of his eyes out and Space Cake enthusiast Sean EB decided to watch the following period through one eye so as to half the pain.

The teams came back out (boo, hiss), half two began (pass me the Mogadon) and this is what transpired.

A quick start was had, Nomads looked frisky (the half time sex talk by Chairman Gloria Gibbons had done the trick - 'play or be penetrated lads, you know the script').  After much hustle a sweet ball was played to Shenton who found space at the angle, picked his spot and sent the ball home with consummate ease - it was a well taken goal and just what the game needed.  Ashville were now the Zombies of Reaction, they came on, a sizzling cross was just dealt with before No 14 (Liam Davies) went on a fantastic run only to be bungled over on the edge of the box.  No 8 (Joshua Maldon) took the free-kick, the outcome was a mere few millimetres off target.

The Nomads were soon racing forth again, a low ball in was poked away, No 8 (Jordan Milne) arrived and sent forth an arse-wrecking howitzer, thankfully all rear ends stayed clear of the shot which was just deflected wide of the upright. The corner that came was another poor delivery, work it seems, is needed on these angled hoofings.

Ashville hustled, a cross saw No 2 (Craig Coates) for the hosts chest behind with the corner, once again, producing bugger all. The game had a slight trip back to the doldrums, little in the way of tit-tingling action arose as we entered the final 15 minutes.  The guests eventually began to work up a serious lather.  No 10 (Ben Greenop) had a punt deflected wide.  The ensuing angled kick saw the Cheadle chaps hang on by the skin of the scrotum before another foray forth saw the hosting defence not pay full attention to the globe, with Ashville's Greenop allowed to pop up and bury the equaliser. 

The closing stages were now hectic but no team could grab the bull by the balls and squeeze out any seeds of success.  A few wayward shots came but the full time whistle was blown and 1-1 seemed a fair result.  As for Man of the Match, I would opt for The No 3 (Kieran Alley) of Cheadle Heath Nomads who put in a fair stint, held his position well and in truth, should have bagged a goal.  

I pootled off homeward after the game, unimpressed by the night's events, I wasn't alone but thought John D's ravings about executing the entire Nomad's Board a trifle harsh.  Hey ho, the slump in sales of plastic legs is enough to make anyone feel tetchy.

FINAL THOUGHTS - For me, what we saw tonight were two teams not fully functioning, snuffing each other out and in a league of unpredictability and inconsistency.  Ashville FC seemed off the pace at first, not set up for a glut of goals and just too reliant on a breakaway goal.  Towards the latter stages, when their backs were against the wall, they were far more effective and bagged a strike, I can't help thinking if the same style would have been used for the full 90 minutes the 3 point prize would have been theirs.  Cheadle Heath Nomads began the season with high hopes and already, with 2 matches played, 4 points have been dropped at home.  I didn't attend the first game but reports were far from glowing, tonight I was left very much deflated.  I am sure things will come good but a few more early upsets and the season could be over before it gets started.  I am not due to be back at this ground until September, by then who knows what will be the state of play with these teams, the answers are blowin' in the wind, so sayeth Frederick Flatulence and the Rectal Rasping Crew.

NB - no one predicted tonight's score, in fact come the end no one gave a toss, it was that kind of night.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

BAPTISM OF FIRE

30th July 2022 - Lymm Rovers FC 0 v 8 Hartford FC - The summer break is over, and what a break it has been.  The earth temperatures are rising, the masses are as cracked as ever, Boris Johnson has been exposed as a bumbling buffoon (by heck as if we didn't know) and the world is still dictated by the phone - remember folks, if you don't take a picture your existence is not justified (fuckin' hell hey).  The worst part of the break for me was when news arrived of my father's admittance to being a Jewish homosexual - I mean he is 75 years old, has produced 4 kids and has never shown any inkling to be circumcised or indeed invest in gold.  It just goes to show that life is a farce and we must do, expect nowt and piss off out of it at the end, grinning and bewildered.

So, to the first game day of the year and after a lazy morn responding to my dads invite to the latest Yom Kippur Festival and updating my website with CD reviews, Horror Film reviews and some nature notes (many flavours to one fruitcake tha' knows) I got sorted, had dinner with the good lady before we both set out to watch some Cheshire League action.  It was a clammy day with the skies occasionally leaking, I had a gig to attend after this, I was hoping to not get too sweaty.

The ballpoint began to roll at 2pm prompt with the initial action coming via a Hartford long ball that saw No 16 (Mike Whitehead) gallop like a man with an arse full of hot chips.  A cross ensued, last ditch defending prevented a goal and from the corner No 10 (Josh Torlop) finalised matters with a shot over the horizontal.  An immediate free-kick came at the other end after No 7 (Rory Ridley-Thomas) had been upended in vulgar fashion.  No 8 (Scott McNeill) took command of the ball and let fly a punt at goal, alas the ball had too much uplift, a bit like those Playtex bras they sold in the 70's - quite horrible tit-slings they were.

Hartford started to shade the opening throes with the referee a trifle whistle happy and thwarting many penetrations.  A gratis boot for Lymm came and was neatly delivered with No 4 (Chris Brownlow) flying in and just failing to get his toe on the propelled sack of air.  The guests responded with a eye-snagging run via No 7 (Josh Pacitto) who negotiated several players, delivered a cross that No 9 (Sam Dickenson) knocked just shy of the vertical. Torlop had a shot seconds later, the outcome was the same but it seemed as though the first goal was on the cards.

The game settled, a parity was had with only half chances had.  Suddenly the visiting tribe came on, a long ball brought hollers of 'off-side', Dickenson was left to escape but Brownlow put in a solid tackle.  The ball drifted out wide, Dickenson recovered and somehow squeezed a shot home from the tightest of angles - 0-1 it was and it had been coming.

Hartford now advanced in perpetual waves.  A threaded ball saw Dickenson denied again and soon after the same player put belfry on ball and missed the chance to double his side's, and his own personal, tally. Lymm Rovers were under the cosh and playing a dangerous offside game.  Hartford moved forth once more with purpose.  Whitehead was found in acres of space out wide, No 12 (Luis Joyner) received and clattered the post with the rebounded globe falling to Dickenson who sweetly volleyed home.

Lymm looked to be reeling and within the twitch of a nerved up rodent's ringpiece Whitehead was in and seen to be laying the ball off for Dickenson to knock home and gain his hat-trick.  The hosts tried to cultivate some excitement with Ridley-Thomas going on a solid waltzing run that ended with a shot over and duly followed by a Hartford break that was completed by Dickenson via a ridden tackle and the ball slotted home into the far corner - 0-4 - this was now getting silly.

With half time looming Lymm produced nothing of note only a quite dire free-kick with Hartford reacting via Whitehead again who duly darted forth and burst a bollock in the process.  A cross was supplied, Dickenson (who else) was on it and the first period ended 0-5 to the travellers - now who would have predicted that?  

I had a short wander for the break whilst my good lady had a quick read.  2 Large White Butterflies and a Holly Blue were seen during the first half, the interval saw no further sightings but the fungus Coprinellus micaceus was erupting from some buried wood.  I heard a few Grasshoppers calling and was going to investigate further but the teams were seen to be keen and eager so a quick return skip to the touchline was had.

Half two began and Lymm lost immediate possession. Hot shot Dickenson was denied by the mittman and then a couple of minutes later the same gloved up geezer was lucky to survive a quite careless fumbling.  Dickenson was soon in again after the host's gave up ownership of the ball once more.  The marksman was only denied by the keepers outstretched pins.

Lymm strove, sweated and strained. the disappointing  outcome was a ball to Ridley-Thomas who did well to maintain balance but could only pop the ball over the bar.  From here No 3 (Danny Adjekum) for Hartford was allowed acres of space at the back and took full advantage of it by knocking a sumptuous ball to Whitehead who took one touch and prodded home to bring up the half dozen.  Still Lymm fought to get a strike of their own with a fair ball played forth that saw No 10 (Elliott Watkins) battle well and eventually release a shot.  The ball looked on target from were we were stood, alas it wasn't.

Into the mush of the second half we went with Hartford having a few more cracks at the onion bag but failing to bring tears to the keepers eyes.  A lengthy pass eventually came, a Lymm defender decided to nut backward with the keeper not reading the situation.  From the confusion in popped the guest No 11 (Ramone Williams) and walloped home from inches out - Christmas had come early for the scorer, he won't have an easier chance all season.

The latter stages came, Watkins and Ridley-Thomas for Lymm were denied goals before a through ball for Hartford saw the keeper fumble and give away a corner.  The ball was posted, a handball shout came and was ignored before Torlop was on it and hammered home for the eighth.  No 8 (Jamie Pasquill) and Williams linked up well next for the guests with the apical shot way too high. The scrappy final stages produced little more of note and then we were done.

I didn't expect such a whooping for the new boys to the league although I did fancy an away win.  Man of the Match must go to the 5 goal grabber, namely Hartford's No 9 (Sam Dickenson).  In fact he should have had 7 but hey, for the first day of the season, who's complaining.

FINAL THOUGHTS - We buggered off home after the game and I went to a gig and partook of Sherry and Red Stripe. I eventually pondered the game and reckon Lymm Rovers have a lot of work to do both defensively and in attack.  Communication needs to be continuous, running off the ball and finding space of optimum priority and just working on the sharpness and battling for every ball is essential.  I think this early wake up call could be a blessing in disguise and put them in good stead for the coming weeks.  There will be some tough games to come, the only way to react is to bounce back with positivity.  Hartford FC have had a dream start here and battled well all day and perhaps displayed why they will be in the mix come season end.  It is hard to judge a team on one performance though, but they look stable, have options and have a few players who are happy to run their guts out.  Hopefully I can catch up with them soon and see a home performance.  I wouldn't say no to 8 more goals but then again, 9 would be better - I best get my calendar sorted.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

END OF SEASON ROUND UP

 2021/2022 SEASON ROUND UP

Matches attended

89

Goals witnessed

373

Average goals per game

4.19

Highest scoring game

Denton Town Res 5 v 5 Middlewich Town Res

Ten most seen teams

Cheadle Heath Nomads 19

Denton Town 13

Cheadle Town 8

AFC Liverpool 6

Maine Road FC 6

Wythenshawe Amateurs 6

Maine Road Res 5

New Mills 4

Avro FC 4

Cheadle Heath Nomads Res 4

Raffles won

Fuck all (again).

Match Reports Done - 26

End of season round-up

At the end of another solid season time to reflect is upon us and I must say, it has been another pleasure.  The new approach of doing fewer reports has allowed me to pick and choose my scribbling moments and switch off and enjoy when the mood takes me - this has been a good move.  Over the campaign I have tried to spread my support and will hopefully do so to a greater extent next season although one or two local clubs will get more than their fair share of my time. In the midst of matters work has continued on the Nature Projects at Cheadle Heath Nomads and Denton Town with slow headway made - in a world on the cusp, every little helps.

Highlights of the year are too numerous to mention but Denton Town have provided many moments of capricious unpredictability and footballing excitement to keep my nerves well and truly jangled and their welcoming and friendly group of folk running the club (well attempting to anyway) have been exemplary.  Of course Cheadle Heath Nomads have been a club that have been also acceptant of this Fungal git and his humble support and nature loving ways - it is sincerely appreciated.

The folk I meet on my roamings are valued, be they players, staff or punters - it all adds to the rich tapestry of this Non-league world and gives it tangible, vibrant colour and a true feeling of being as one. Here's to many more wags of the jaw and good friends made.

I have visited some fine grounds, with trips to Gorleston FC, Cockermouth FC, Stafford Town, Hindsford AFC, Blacon Youth a few of the new ones and Maine Road, Wythenshawe Amateurs and AFC Liverpool a few of the long standing favourites.  Congleton FC still serve the best chips in the NWCL although the crinkled gems served up at Burscough are a close second.  Parklands FC are winners of the chip award in the Cheshire League, although Denton's Minced Beef and Onion Pies are ruddy superb.

I have witnessed 5 penalty shoot-outs during the season, many last minute winners, some teams fly high and some having a rough old time of it but sticking to their guns.  St Martins are a pure example of 'never say die' spirit and for me, sum up many great aspects of this hoofing world.  Turning out, getting whipped, dusting down and doing the same again has some charm and I hope, for their dedication and commitment, they get due reward in the near future.

I sign off here thanking all for sharing time, having a natter and providing good company.  STP Stu is my fine mate and always solid company on the touchline and no doubt he is looking forward to more brews, choccy bars and more banter next season - bring it on.  Finally my good lady must always gets extra hugs and kisses for her support, driving me here and there and being a good mate who joins me at the odd match - I am sure she is considering getting a Denton Town tattoo - ooh heck.

Anyway big thanks to all who have provided a much needed distraction from the idiocy of the world in general, those who have played things fair and enjoyed being involved - keep it going you buggers and remember - fuck the cash cows, fuck the corporate business bollocks and fuck those neglectful of something rather special - Up the Non-League Doofers forever.

Friday, 6 May 2022

FREE RANGE FOOTY

3rd May 2022 - Whalley Range 4 v 0 Wythenshawe Amateur Reserves - The final throes of the latest campaign are upon us with only a couple of viewing chances left before a full on immersion is taken into noise and nature. It has been an entertaining season and the two teams on show tonight had been viewed a couple of times each during the lengthy campaign.  Upon arrival I had a good chat with a few faces, acquired a brew and then found a quiet spot at the opposite side of the ground with STP Stu.  Good jaw wagging, decent weather and a great way to spend a midweek evening. It looked as though Whalley Range would romp away with this one, come the end of matters it seemed this was just the case. 

A settled start was soon upset with a marauding run forth by the home team's No 8 (Cedric Obama) who was unceremoniously tumbled for his troubles.  The free-kick was like a fruit-machine in Niggardly Norman's Golden Mile Arcade and produced sour bugger all - ooh me cherries.  A new surge soon followed, No 11 (Emmanuel Amole) hugged the wing, put in a low cross that brought about a neat dummy and a shot by No 10 (Tim Kinsella) that was all too tame.  Within seconds Obama was arse over tit once more and a free-kick was awarded.  No 4 (Jack Timmons) chose to have a pop with the bonus ball, but the shot was wide of the mark. This was looking like a long night ahead for the young Wythy lads.

The Whalley waves kept on crashing on the shores of a windswept Wythy Bank with the next dash and splash coming via a corner that was nutted back allowing No 6 (Jacob Wood) to head on target close in.  Like a rubber man on a jumping bean diet the keeper leapt, made a choice tip over and kept the onion bag from further molestation.  The corner that followed was... ahem... crap.

The pressure rose on the Wythy goal, No 9 (Daniel Heffernan) had a shot well saved and Wood put another header over the bar.  The one way traffic was temporarily halted by a rare advance for the guests with No 2 (Stelio Da Skida) battling like a bulldog with an annoying nob wasp niggling the old oriental eye.  Alas the bonus boot was hit straight at the keeper which led to a breakaway for the hosts.  The move was swift and cutting, Obama was the final component but after a comfortable chest down could only recklessly twat the ball and fracture the murky Heavens.

More shots came the same way with no success until another rapier move saw the ball go out wide and get instantly delivered with pace and accuracy.  Obama was in the right place at the right time and scored with what looked like his knee. A punt with the patella, the goal had been coming.

The unstoppable Rangers came forth over and over again, the nearest they came to doubling their lead was when Kinsella darted, fed Heffernan who shot on goal close in but was denied success by a top class save. Kinsella had his own pop on target next but the keeper was in the way once more.  Wythenshawe had their own attempt on goal that was closer to the local mosque rather than the onion bag and then Kinsella and Amole linked up at the other end with the latter only denied by a very alert stickman.

Another goal for the hosts looked very much on the cards and when No 7 (Walter Chiororo) let fly many onlookers thought the lead had been doubled only to see the ball hit the underside of the bar.  The ball was gathered outside the box by a determined No 5 (Dylan Smith) who stampeded through a mush of bodies and was unlucky to just run out of space.  

Wythenshawe looked destined to go into the interval only 1 goal to the bad but the Range's Amole had other ideas and pilfered the ball in midfield, played a gorgeous pass over the top that Kinsella pounced on and duly sent into the meshing.  It was a body blow for the mauled and mangled guests but they managed to keep the scoreline as it was (due to a few more saves and some poor finishing) and went into the interval with their manager still showering his squad with admirable positivity.

We had a brew at the break and I partook of some chips.  The serving hatch was billowing mists like an overcrowded opium den and when I looked inside I expected to see a couple of prostrate Chinese blokes away with the mystical fairies - by heck what an environment. Despite the cooking situation the chips and tea went down like ambrosia and nectar - the food of the Gods.

Back in position for period two and the Whalley Range machine rolled on.  Chiororo came close with a run and rattle but only the inside of the post was left trembling instead of the keeper's nervous system.  Wythenshawe continued to work away and to give credit where credit is due, I must say they did well to snaffle a short period of possession.  The ownership of the ball was all to no avail though as Chiororo came on again, had one look and fired home to bring the shutters down on the final result.  A chance to add a fourth came seconds later but the mittman, yet again, did the business on a night when he deserved much better than a 3 goal deficit.

Obama and Amole coupled up next (sexy buggers) with the latter player shooting (cripes) and the gloved one keeping his own area unpenetrated (ooh the promiscuity of some of these players).  The Range looked to add further offspring to their family of goals with Chiororo and Kinsella pairing up and being denied the birth of another net-bulging babby by the stubbornly reliable human contraceptive.  

Another block by the travelling No 1 (Sam Goodwin), a penalty shout at the other end (that looked a good call) and No 6 (Daniel Ahens) for The Ammies with an effort that was close enough to tingle the todger of hope made sure this game was non-stop action down to the wire. A few offside decisions scuppered any further invasions of the netting until a Whalley Range dash was halted by a crude tackle in the box and a penalty was given that was firmly fired home by Heffernan.  4 - 0 and after a few more attempts at goal, the referee saved the pummelled opposition from a further mauling on the ropes and called time on a good night's work for the home squad.  Despite a good team performance for Whalley Range the Man of the Match choice goes to Wythenshawe Amateurs' No 1 (Sam Goodwin) who really caught the eye with a string of magical saves, a good awareness under pressure and an obvious talent to take things to the next level - here's hoping and good on ya fella.

I was home for 9pm after the game, tucked up for 9.15pm with my good lady and reading a couple of footy magazines I picked up called 'Where's The Bar' - all good stuff.

FINAL THOUGHT - This was the 87th game of the season that I had viewed tonight and I am looking forward to a break. The match was thoroughly enjoyed though and after a few weeks away from the touchline I am sure I will be foaming to get back in the mix.  Wythenshawe Amateurs Reserves are laden with good prospects and have a solid foundation from which the first team can prosper.  Tonight they showed discipline and a sound temperament whilst coming up against many more experienced players and a team well drilled and looking to move on. Whalley Range will be moving up a level next season and a new challenge awaits.  On recent evidence they look set to make a few waves and really put in a good fight although they need to be more clinical in front of goal and not waste as many chances.  I hope to be back here on several occasions and may scribble another report - one has gotta keep doofing.