Tag Archives: non-league

Half-time break

Tuesday 7th August 2018, 7.50pm (day 2,539)

Half-time, Haslingden, 7/8/18

More football, OK, perhaps I am overdoing it. But today’s shot can also get in for its picturesque qualities. Half-time in the West Lancashire League at Haslingden St. Mary’s FC, although the players in yellow are the visitors, Fulwood: 2-0 up at this point, they go on to win 4-0, while the rest of us get distracted by the sun setting over the hills.

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The winning goal

Saturday 4th August 2018, 3.35pm (day 2,536)

Nelson goal, 4/8/18

Saturday afternoon, 3pm, there are football matches going on all round this country, and the chances are at the moment I will be present at one or other of them. But I don’t always get lucky and capture the winning, and only, goal scored on the day. The blue-clad number 4, Brett Doogan (and there’s a name of the sort only possessed by non-league defensive midfielders) gets the header in for Nelson FC in their match at Chadderton.

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My season’s programmes

Sunday 10th June 2018, 11.15am (day 2,481)

2017-18 programmes, 10/6/18

Today was even more uneventful than yesterday, but I have been doing stuff, starting by sorting out all my season’s football programmes. There are some games missing here, either because there was no programme available or I lost or didn’t buy one, but the 31 in view here give a nice cultural cross-section of my movements over the last 11 months despite the lack of any real photographic quality. Although it will always bug me that I got the Leeds and Hassocks ones the wrong way round.

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End of the season

Saturday 19th May 2018, 4.45pm (day 2,459)

Poulton FC celebrations, 19/5/18

37 competitions into my football season and this was the penultimate one today, Division 1 the West Lancashire League, where I saw champions Poulton FC lift the trophy. The post-match — and post-season — celebrations are about to start here. It’s been a fun way to spend a season but it’s getting tiring and I’m a little glad we’re moving into summer: but by late June I’ll probably be missing it.

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Champagne celebration

Saturday 28th April 2018, 4.25pm (day 2,438)

Appleby celebration, 28/4/18

The football season is nearly over. Competitions are being resolved, trophies awarded. I forewent the possible pleasures of a hike today to go and see someone actually win something, in this case the Westmorland Senior Cup (competition 34 of my season), and congratulations to Appleby for taking the trophy with a 3-1 win over Kendal County. Their three dozen rather drunk but enjoyably boisterous travelling fans enjoyed the win just as much as the players did. At this level of football almost every game is a local rivalry: one reason why they’re worth supporting.

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The man in the middle

Saturday 14th April 2018, 2.30pm (day 2,424)

The referee, 14/4/18

Hate ’em or hate ’em, the game couldn’t run without them, at any level — particularly way down in the football capillaries, which is where I was today (West Riding County Amateur League, competition 30 of the season)…

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World’s Oldest Football Club

Saturday 7th April 2018, 3.40pm (day 2,417)

Sheffield FC, 7/4/18

More football, I’ve been packing in the games while being off work. Sheffield FC reign indisputably as the world’s oldest association football club, being founded in October 1857 which, to put it in perspective, was three and a half years before the American Civil War broke out. They have been going steadily along for the last 160 years without ever having made much of an impact in sporting terms, thanks largely to their having steadfastly refused to embrace professionalism back in the 1880s. But they’re still around, a mecca for football tourists the world over (like me let’s face it) if the graffiti in the toilets is anything to go by, and they still have their little community of fans, like this guy, who may well have been in this spot for many decades. Metaphorically at least. Not a great day on the pitch though — they lost 4-0 to Leek Town. Don’t worry — only a month now until the end of the season.

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The next generation

Wednesday 4th April 2018, 8.25pm (day 2,414)

Dulwich fans, 4/4/18

Yeah, I know, more football, but I am spreading the love for another few weeks yet. And teams like London’s Dulwich Hamlet, exiled from their own ground thanks to asset-stripping owners seeking to crush them (and thus playing tonight in Carshalton in Surrey), need our support, and the support of the next generation of fans too. In this regard they are doing well enough, it seems. But those who think community assets like sports clubs should be protected from these kinds of depredations could check out the Save Dulwich Hamlet web site.

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End of the match

Saturday 31st March 2018, 4.50pm (day 2,410)

End of match, 31/3/18

More non-league football in the village of Emley, whose football team in 1998 demonstrated the equalising power of the FA Cup by playing West Ham, 8th in the league at the time, and only losing 2-1. Ten per cent of the whole village turned out for today’s game, which (fortunately for my quest) managed to survive the wet weather: a higher proportion of the population than a lot of much bigger places manage (like Leeds, say), and for tenth tier football. I have enjoyed my tour of these localities this season, I was vaguely aware of the strength of these roots beforehand but days like today prove it. All seem happy here, and so they should as Emley won a tight game 1-0.

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Scene from the Campaign for Real Football

Saturday 17th March 2018, 2.05pm (day 2,396)

Real football, 17/3/18

There’s been a lot of football on here lately, I know that. There’s also been a lot of snow. I tried to avoid them both becoming themes again today, but…. not easy. Remarkably, thanks to there being a 3G artificial pitch beneath the snow, this game was played… perhaps appropriately, it was the team in white who ran out the winners (4-1). Traditionalists will admire the fact that today even saw the use of an orange ball (just visible here being carried out by the black-clad officials). But I am doubtless not the only one who is now fed up with winter 2018 and its sheer persistence.

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