Tag Archives: non-league

Substitution

Saturday 11th November 2017, 4.10pm (day 2,270)

Pickering Town, 11/11/17

Down at the ninth tier of English football, there are many leagues, this particular one the Northern Counties East League which encompasses teams from a slew of small towns across north and east Yorkshire. I have been actively watching football for more than 40 years now (blimey) but since school, not played it competitively, so I can’t quite get into the mindset of those who do, and wonder what it must feel like to put oneself through the physical paces week in week out for the satisfaction of a couple of hundred spectators at places like Pickering Town, which is where we were today (my 10th competition of the season). Visitors Barton Town are the ones making the substitution here, 1o minutes into the second half. The score was 1-1 at the time, but Pickering eventually won the game 2-1. Next weekend… somewhere else for these guys.

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End of the food queue, half time

Saturday 7th October 2017, 4.00pm (day 2,235)

Bamber Bridge, half time, 7/10/17

The tour of English football competitions continues: number 8, the FA Trophy, at Bamber Bridge FC v Brighouse Town FC, Bamber Bridge lying just south of Preston in Lancashire. A grim day of weather, which this picture encapsulates — but, I must also add, an excellent day out, entertaining game of almost wholly non-cynical football, welcoming stadium… a fine cocktail to celebrate Non-League Day and all the roots that keep the sport I love going in this country.  4-2 to Bamber Bridge in the end. Maybe some of these fans got their food before the second half, too.

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Catering facilities, Salford City FC

Saturday 15th July 2017, 1.50pm (day 2,151)

Silcocks cafe, 15/7/17

My 2017-18 football season opened at Salford City FC and a pre-season warm-up game against local rivals FC United of Manchester. The hosts won 2-1. You can read what I thought about the game, and see photographs of the day taken by someone much better at that kind of thing than me, if you purchase the next issue of When Saturday Comes (advt.). Salford City have big plans but their stadium, for all its recent renovations, is still pleasingly non-league in many ways. I like this catering van, its garish and gratuitously sexist decoration, and the worshipful posture of the customer.

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The non-league crowd

Saturday 22nd April 2017, 3.35pm (day 2,067)

King/s Lynn Town, 22/4/17

In my own way I am a collector, mainly of places, and this football season have made more of an effort to get around some of the nooks and crannies of the game around England and (once) Scotland. Today saw a visit to King’s Lynn Town FC of the Evo-Stik Premier League, the seventh tier of English football. The thirteenth game of my season sees its seventh different competition, which is a decent return, though one I can better next year with some effort. The thing worth noticing about English football is just how deep down it goes. 554 people came along today to this game: in almost any other country this level of the game would hardly exist. I like this shot of the home fans behind the goal their team were attacking in the first half — after half-time they go to the other end. The last game of their season ended well for King’s Lynn as they beat Chesham 3-1.

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Old Spotted Dog stadium (Clapton FC)

Saturday 28th January 2017, 3.25pm (day 1,983)

Clapton FC, 28/1/17

With nothing else much to do while Clare was on her course today I took myself on the latest stop on my recent tour of obscure football stadia and took in a game from the Essex Senior League, Clapton v Barking. Clapton are notable for having a big ‘Ultra’ fan group, but they are a club with a history, having been founded in 1878 and still playing at the same ground they always have done, the marvellously named Old Spotted Dog stadium. The result — Clapton (here in red, white and black) 4, Barking 2. Better than my lot managed today anyway.

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