It’s all over. In the rain that came down for most of the second half, the players of Ashington celebrate with their travelling fans, having won the play-off match 3-0. They get promoted, while hosts Glossop North End are relegated. Number 12 feels the pain.
In the 1940s The Valley stadium in south-east London could seat 70,000 people and was one of the biggest football grounds in the country. It doesn’t quite have that same scale any more but it’s still a decent football stadium: if you can find the entrance to the away end, anyway. At least the extended trek that was required to gain access allowed the opportunity of this shot, the only point from which the city behind could properly be seen. And the steward, doing his thing.
Considering that the game being watched involved women footballers, this guy might not even have turned up to play: perhaps he just likes wearing the kit. Dialect note: ‘Eyup’ is Yorkshire for ‘hello’ or ‘what’s happening’.
Two football matches for me today and you might as well have one of them, as the views at both were good — more wide-raning at the first of the day (CE L’Hospitalet) but the close-packed urban scene at UE Sant Andreu was still a good-looking one. A packed crowd of 6,000 — excellent numbers for fifth-tier football. It might not be the Camp Nou but you know, I really do prefer this kind of thing.
Made one of my occasional forays into the sports media world. High enough to be obliged to display the corporate sponsorship, although no endorsement of any product is implied…. Emma Hayes is by now surely the longest-serving manager in any of the senior English football leagues (having been in charge of Chelsea in the Women’s Super League since 2012, and won it the last three seasons), but she presided over defeat today, 2-0 to Manchester City. In the press room afterwards: “Q: What went wrong today, Emma?” “A: We lost.” Nailed it.
After an acutely stressful journey home last night I had no desire to get on a train today, so picked up my usual entertainments as close to home as is possible. The Yorkshire Amateur League game on the park got some passing attention from others, but no one stuck around for very long — as you can doubtless tell, it was a damp experience. Even I gave up after an hour or so and went somewhere warmer and drier (namely, the pub).
I’m sure 2023 will involve plenty of football matches, just as its immediate predecessors have. It was in 2017 that I started going to at least one a week, and 2022 saw me attend 77 in total. I don’t put every one on here to avoid (too much) repetition but sometimes they deserve to appear, particularly when the light is good, as it was this afternoon at Eccleshill United, based in Bradford and playing at the 9th level of English football. Cold though, as you can see from the breath of the home player in blue, but it is January. End of my Christmas break — sadly, it’s time to go back to work.
This time of the year the sun is mostly gone by about 3.45pm and in low light — which includes floodlighting — my camera isn’t going to get any sharp action shots, certainly of football but to be honest even people jogging past the lens will be somewhat blurred. But I think I get away with this one – the impression is of action, the blurring does not really matter. The game was at Ilkley Town FC, the blue-and-yellow blurs scored two late goals to triumph over visitors AFC Blackpool 2-1.
While I did get an interesting photo of Clare today it was definitely a posed shot, and I try not to have such pictures on here. Call me a pedant but it’s always been the case (and stated on the About this Blog page) — so let’s stick with it. Instead, another picture from inside a pub, or more precisely, the bar at Brighouse Town FC. We drowned our sorrows in advance, as by half time the team were 4-1 down and it didn’t get any better after that.