Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hill Walking is dangerous for your health !

Reason for the slight delay today - whilst walking up above Dove Stones Reservoir, we have a slight altercation with a slippery rock, closely followed by a sharp rock.

An early Hallowe'n offering !

Had to walk down from the top of Indians Head and cadge a lift off daughter's boyfriend (aren't mobile phones wonderful !). Fortunately finger not broken - but bloody painful. Three hours in A&E at Tameside Hospital, clean all the muck out (with Nitrus Oxide to help !!), stitches in a rather nasty looking gash and a bottle of anti-biotics (which have to be paid for as well !!) - and home.

A great end to a "great" weekend. Football's a bit thin on the ground this week - might have to do Woodley Sports v Stocksbridge Park Steels on Tuesday - at least I can drive there - because I can't blooming well drink for a while !

Ossett Town v Mossley - The Words and the Pictures

Apologies for the delay - the following post will make it all clear however (and is not for the faint-hearted !!).

The trip to Ossett began in the "Commercial" around 1130 - now only keg available, so I took advantage of my new-found love for Guinness !! A train to Huddersfield, a train to Dewsbury, and into the "West Riding Refreshment Rooms" where Anglo-Dutch Best Bitter was the order of the day. Met the York Branch, now fourteen of us, so we commandeered three taxis for the short hop to Ossett.

All thoughts of a third consecutive win went out of the window very early on as Mossley were put under a lot of pressure - some good work by 'keeper Trueman and some abysmal finishing from the Ossett front-line kept the score at 0-0 for all of 23 minutes when (same old story) an attack down the Ossett right saw the ball put across for Fothergill to make it 1-0. More sitters were missed, before Ryan made it 2-0 just before half-time. And that was Mossley playing downhill, with the wind !

Atmosphere in club at half-time - grim.

Not much different in the second half until - a lifeline - Ossett's Kirk Wheeler was sent off. Mossley finally found that missing gear, and it was attack, attack, attack.

Some "synchronised crawling" in the Ossett penalty box.

On 72 minutes a cross from Lee Shillito was met by James Turley to make it 2-1 and soon afterwards Craig Furnival got up in the box to volley home an undeserved equaliser.

Turley makes it 2-1.

Furnival makes it 2-2 and Topsy "goes wild" (far right)

"Can I take this throw ?" says Pilks - "Niet" says the ref...

That'll do we thought - snatch something from nothing. But then with just a few minutes remaining, left-back Rob Edwards went "walkabout" in the centre circle - Chris Ward covering back put in a well-timed tackle - the Roger Dilkes "lookalike" referee gave a penalty - which Fothergill converted to make it 3-2. The players and fans were not best pleased.....and at full-time all hell was let loose with the Mossley players surrounding referee Wilson - and not to enquire about his cat ! In the ensuing melee, with whistle blazing, he brandished two more red cards for Melford Knight and Chris Ward - Ok it was the one red card used twice, but the damage had already been done. Osset should have been out of sight by half-time anyway.

Atmosphere in club at full-time - unprintable.

Hey bloody ho - back to Dewsbury for a snifter, train to Huddersfield, just under an hour in the "Head of Steam" before returning to Mossley and more beer in the "Britannia" - then home to sulk and sleep.

"Win or lose...." Mossley take over the bar at the "Head of Steam" on Huddersfield station !

Friday, October 27, 2006

Just for Fun - some Irish Moments..

Bits and bats - with absolutely no football connections - enjoy !!

For the train spotter - a Dublin tram - far nicer than the Manchester MetroLink ...

For the photographer - the Round Tower at Glendalough - with birdie accroutrements ...

For the drinker - the "holy water" at the Guinness Brewery ...

For the music lover - a street sign just off Temple Bar ...

Remember - it's not just football ....until Ossett tomorrow

Theme of the Week

We're back from Dublin. One picture tells most of the story...

You get the idea - Connolly Street Station Bar, Dublin

We did some (long) walking as well however (Glendalough, Glenmalur, Vale of Clara), but it always came back to the "black stuff" in the evening - hardest part was not being able to have drink and ciggy at the same time - shape of things to come in England next year I guess.

Still back on-line - with a trip to Ossett on Saturday with Mossley - back to English beer (although I did sneak a pint of Millstone "Atumn Leaves" in at Stalybridge tonight on the way back from Manchester Airport !) Normality resumes in 6 hours - yes back to work !

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mossley v Lincoln United - the Pix & the Words

Aah, the sniff of a Trophy - and at this stage the sniff of £1,350 - certainly not to be sniffed at. Got to the ground at 1415 - i.e. late cus I should have been there at 1400 prompt for the dreaded "photocall" with my sponsored player Steve Burke. Never mind the pic was took (hope my delay didn't lead to him being left on the bench !).

The game - Mossley were looking for revenge for a 1-2 home league defeat by the same team in early September ("The Siege of Mario Ziccardi's Elbow" as it was called). The first twenty minutes or so were a touch drab to say the least. However on 29 minutes David Eyres picked up the ball on the left and with Welly shouting "HIT IT !", he sold an outrageous dummy to two defenders (and and at least 30 fans) before cutting inside and delivering a sublime chip over Ziccardi's flailing hand.

1-0 - Flail Mario Flail !!

Now the freaky thing here was my Golden Goal ticket was EXACTLY the same number as the week before (i.e. 28) - what are the odds on that ? (I reckon Emma's got a job-lot of number 28s in a vain attempt to avoid payout !) Ten minutes later Chris Ward ran on the a ball through the middle - keeper came - and another chip made it 2-0 - and all I got was the empty net !

2-0 (honest - he chipped it into this very empty net !)

It was 2-0 at half-time and Mossley looked to be in total control - and for once the air of pessimism was strangely absent during the half-time tipple.

Ten minutes into the second half it was "game over" as an unmarked Chris Ward received a low ball from the Mossley right to turn it in for his second and Mossley's third.


Mossley were now rampant and giving their fans some flawless stuff to enjoy. New signing Adie Orr then entered the fray and made an immediate impact, outstripping the Lincoln defence and smacking the ball against the post. The rebound came out and between them, keeper Ziccardi and defender Hawley managed to divert the ball back in to the empty net !

4-0 (oops !)

Chris Ward then managed to miss a golden opportunity for his hat-trick, putting the ball wide with the goal looking very inviting.. feel free to "guess the words" behind the covered up face !

Then with five minutes to go we saw another edition of the "David Eyres Masterclass" when Mossley got a free-kick just outside the "D". He lined it up, picked his spot, and put it there - only one word for it - "bloomin' brilliant" !

5-0 (nearly - the ball is leaving David Eyre's "golden boot" for the net !).

There was still time for Lincoln to snatch a consolation goal through Cann (don't know about you but I always reckon 5-1 sounds more of a trouncing than 5-0 - discuss !) but today was Mossley's day - the £1,350 was dutifully trousered - roll on Monday for the draw for the next round.

In a vain attempt to find something to moan about in the club afterwards - one person said "I'd rather have the three points", another moaned "There's nothing to moan about !". The future's definitely looking brighter though at Seel Park. Tuesday sees a Manchester Premier Cup game at home to Salford City (to date the only team to have beaten the "mighty" FC United of Manchester) - so that's one to watch - except me who will be drinking Guinness in a bar somewhere in County Wicklow !

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stalybridge v Nuneaton - Best of the Pix !

And if this is the best I can hear you saying "What were the worst" - don't go there - I've seen them - and people wonder why I say "3 bananas" in inappropriate places ....anyway here goes.

"Claim Culture" is alive and kicking at Bower Fold !!

Early free kick for Nuneaton.

Trust me - this is Hume's header for the 2-2 equaliser !

"Johnny Reed's Barmy Army" !

One day - that digital SLR will be mine - all mine !

Stalybridge Celtic vs Nuneaton Borough

Sometimes it’s handy when other people help you to make your mind up for you. True to form some shambolic teamwork from Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine Express on Tuesday morning, culminating in a rather late arrival at work, made it certain that I was not going to Prescot v Mossley in the evening. Coming home was little better – you get those sort of days on the railways – all too bloody often unfortunately.

Not to worry – the “fall-back game” fell into place and when I arrived at Bower Fold a few minutes late (it’s a long walk from the Buffet Bar !) it was still 0-0. The first half was pretty much end-to-end – lots of hard work with little in the way of clear-cut chances at either end.

That was until the Celtic defence starting thinking about their half-time cuppa just a little too early and strikes from McPhee and Darby gave Nuneaton a richly undeserved 2-0 lead. Conceding one just before half-time is a real pain – conceding two ….ouch ….

The good news was that the half-time cuppa they’d been dreaming of obviously contained banned substances as Celtic came out for the second half looking like they meant business - they’d also brought Paul Sykes on for Maxfield – coincidence ?? I don’t think so…

Within 10 minutes of the restart, a corner on the Stalybridge left was finished off by Paul Sykes who bundled it just over the line – it was a case of “all eyes right” to the linesman who confirmed it had crossed the line (NOTE I’ve since been advised that the goal was credited to Keeling). Five minutes later saw the “goal of the game” – for me anyway. It was one of those diagonal crosses (from Smith) that have “HEAD ME” written all over them – Mark Hume did – a cracking header – and the comeback was complete at 2-2.

“Oh no it wasn’t” cried the audience (well some of them), as two minutes later a Nuneaton free-kick ended up bobbling around in the Celtic box, hitting the bar before Darby said “enough of this fannying around” and smacked it in. 3-2 to Nuneaton. However Celtic just “wouldn’t let it lie” and a similar goalmouth scramble effort at the other end saw Sykes apply the finishing touch to once again level the scores.

It was great entertainment for the rather sparse (308) crowd (the two Managers must have been having nightmares about some of the defensive “frailties” at both ends though !), and the Celtic Male Voice Choir erupted with a prolonged bout of “Johnny Reed’s Barmy Army” – didn’t get the stopwatch out but it was a good 3-4 minutes !!!

With a little over 10 minutes to go another cross from Smith arrived in the Nuneaton box, and in the ensuing melee, Nuneaton’s Brown, under pressure from Hume and Sykes, managed to put the ball into his own net. There was still time for Nuneaton to press for an equaliser – and they certainly pressed ! One effort just over the bar, some smart work by Pettinger in the Celtic goal were just two of several efforts. However (or should that be “somehow” considering what had gone on earlier !) Celtic held out to take a valuable three points.

It was certainly a “tale of two defences” – and not very good ones at that ! You have to credit Celtic for coming back into the game after the ‘double whammy’ just before half-time however. The arrival of Sykes certainly made a big difference, and the quality of some of Smith’s crosses was well evident. The crowd was disappointingly low – but I guess that when you’re going through a bad spell, and there is the “lure” (??) of Manchester United on terrestrial telly – it’s going to happen – plus I firmly believe that “a tenner” puts off a good many neutrals/floaters.

Home to discover that Mossley had drawn 2-2 at Prescot after conceding a late late equaliser – bugger !

I’ll have a look at the pictures tonight – and see if we can find something that’s not too blurry !

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ashton United v North Ferriby United

They made their own way to the Apollo - so I had a more leisurely approach to a match than usual - although with having to drive down to Manchester at 2230 it meant that the football/acohol ratio was strangely subdued !!

The game began badly for Ashton when "that bugger that scores against everyone" - yes Gary Bradshaw - put North Ferriby in front after only 6 minutes - he then went and got a second after 20 minutes. Ashton came back strongly and had a blatant penalty turned down, by a one-eyed ref and a liner who who looked like he was chatting to the warming-up subs, when Garry Kharas was hauled back in the box - a very poor decision indeed. Ashton continued to create more, and were hogging the possession, but could just not find that finishing touch.

Another chance slips wide in the first half.

Towards the end of the half the NFU goalie Pecora wandered beyond his penalty area and lost it - however Kharas could not apply the finishing touch.

A roar went up at half-time - in my mind anyway - as the half-time draw number was announced - yes it was me (last time I came I was only 10 out on the 50/50 !). I dashed to claim my prize - to find the office deserted - never mind - later will do.

Twas another bad start to a half as on 50 minutes there was an almighty scramble in the Ashton box, culminating in the "bandana-ed" Leon Wainman poking the ball home to make it 3-0 to the visitors. However the NFU keeper, keen to atone for his first half "walkabout", went and did it again !! This time the chance went just over the bar. I'd have loved to have seen the "Optima Statistics" for possession - it must have been about 70/30 to Ashton ! Phil Cooney, who started the second half quietly, finally got into gear and was doing the business out on the right - crosses, cut-backs, the works - but no-one could finish all the good approach work (Tom Baker was also prominent with some surging runs through the middle/right side).

Another "almost but not quite" - Kharas, "The Ball", Post and Pecora.

In the end it was just one of those nights - compounded by a rather harsh sending-off of Ashton's Danny Forde near the end. North Ferriby are an interesting side - excellent front line, very fast, very direct and in Gary Bradshaw a potential match-winner every time. At the back however - very shaky indeed - and if the ref had given that penalty way back in the 25th minute I could have forseen a very different outcome - that would have boosted Ashton's confidence 100%, and they could well have scored with every chance they had after that!

Anyhow it finished 3-0 and anyone who sees that score (and wasn't there) might imagine a sound beating for the home side. It certainly wasn't.

I claimed my prize after the game - a bottle of finest Spanish Whisky (to be laid down until Christmas !), and grabbed a pint of lemonade shandy in the club after the game, together with grabbing a brief natter with Paul Challinor and Ashton "big cheese (acting)" John Milne. The Man of the Match awards went to Phil Cooney (Ashton - deserved) and Anthoni Pecora (NFU keeper - uh ??).

Then it was hey-ho down to the Apollo to fight my way through masses of Goths to pick up two of my kids - plus one of their mates who wanted a lift to Chadderton. Home for a well-earned beer, scratch through the photos (still haven't got the hang of night matches, but I'm sure it'll come !!) and - this. Tomorrow (today) I would like it to be Prescot Cables v Mossley (I'm guaranteed a lift home if I go straight from work), but with the "state of play" at work (one on holiday, one on a training course - out of a department of 5) I'm gonna struggle. Watch this space - the "fall back" option is Stalybridge Celtic v Nuneaton Borough

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mossley vs Hednesford - The Long-Winded Bit !

After a hard mornings shop in the flesh-pots of Ashton, and an abortive attempt to "tweak" the shower (reckon thermostats packed up !), it was "onwards and upwards" (well it is about a 1 in 3 from our house) to Seel Park.

A much-changed Mossley side got off to the worst possible start when after 4 minutes Chris Cooke got dragged over to the left of Mossley's defence to cover a "walkabout" by SAS (yes it's that side again) and the ball was clipped across to Dyer (i.e. the player that Cookey should have been marking had he ..etc.etc.) who had plenty of time to pick his spot. Cue screwing up of "Golden Goal" ticket (28 by the way).

However, Mossley settled well after this setback and took the game to the joint-leaders of the division. New boy Lee Shillito was putting his long legs to good use down the right and whipping in some useful crosses - similarly David Eyres (God I remember him plying for Rhyl back in the late 80s !!) was doing the same on the left. Completing the new trio up-front was James Turley who was linking well with Peter Wright (whilst managing to look like a "slimline" Jordan Goodeve !!). It was Turley who picked the ball up on the left, cut inside and smacked an excellent shot past Hednesford 'keeper Ryan Young and off the underside of the bar for a well-deserved equaliser..

Preparing for Christmas panto - "It's behind you Ryan - in the net !" - Turley's equaliser.

The second half saw Mossley make a mockery of league positions. Hednesford were clearly rattled, leading some "ruff tuff stuff" at times - Peter Wright in particular coming in for some of the hard knocks.

Peter Wright "holds hands" with his Hednesford "shadow", (the 'less than admirable' Jellicoe !!)

It was no surprise in the end when he was bundled over to give Mossley a lifeline penalty in the closing minutes. Unfortunately Wrighty's weak kick was easily saved by Young (see previous post for the pic), and the last few minutes were a little scary in the Mossley defence.

However a draw was an excellent result against one of the top teams - a result I'd have been happy with at 1455 but ended up being a touch disappointed with at 1650. As SJNR has said - let's hope that this is not another "false dawn" and that Mossley can continue this form to the Tuesday night game at Prescot Cables.

Mossley vs Hednesford Town - Quick Taster

...of what might have been. Drew 1-1 but if this had gone in ... Peter Wright's missed pen at 1-1 in about the 87th minute

More tomorrow (i.e. later today) - a 10 miler round Hathersage, Ladybower etc has to be done first - so I'd better get some kip (he says at 0140 !!)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Spreading Wings - a bit !

We have some "good news" vis-a-vis last night's quandary - "small" boy is not doing ju-jitsu on Monday - he's taking his big clumpy boots (and probably some eye liner and much black clothing !) out to watch AFI at Manchester Apollo with big sister who's coming back from Derby Uni for the occasion - which means freedom of a sort for me on Monday - which probably means Ashton United vs North Ferriby - but I'll still have to pick them up afterwards .

So yes it'll be Mossley vs Hednesford Town tomorrow. When I was at Primary Skool in Stafford all those years ago (mid-60s !!), there was a girl called Denise Rowley who had just moved to Stafford - from Hednesford - and she was a "Pitmen" fan who used to go back and watch them with her Dad. I posted a message on the Hednesford board at the beginning of this season in a "Where Are They Now" sort of thing - but to no avail. Another "flimsy" excuse to go to Seel Park tomorrow. It'll be a tricky one too against 3rd in the table - but we've new signings this week - so who knows ?

Question - Is this turning into a Mossley Blog ?

Something that does worry me - one problem being that on Mondays and Wednesdays I'm on "ju-jitsu taxi service" for small boy - Hyde, Droylsden, Ashton United and Curzon Ashton play Mondays - which only leaves Mossley and Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesdays.

Which leaves Saturdays - this weekend we have Mossley v "Ensfud", Curzon v St Helens or Droylsden v Skem in the "home games" option.

What should I do - if I miss the Mossley game, it's tantamount to treachery.....or at the very least a severe "black-balling" - but the very fact that I'm thinking like this implies a total "dispiritedness" with the way that Mossley are playing (read the Witton report) - but it's only a five minute walk to the ground !

What I really need is some juicy "awaydays" with someone else - when Mossley have some less juicy "awaydays" themselves.

Trust me - I'm working on it ....and's only October..and's not just football ...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mossley v Witton Albion - Sorry I'm Late !!

Tuesday seems so long ago - to some. You've heard the tales of camera and Argos (again "big up" to Argos @ Stockport) - it certainly enabled to get to the game on time as well !

The real reason for the delay - he's always on the damn computer - Peter that is !!

Anyroad up - the game - once more into the Unibond Premier breech (breach - no that's the bloomin defence !?!) we went against a team who were quicker, faster and more direct. Witton scored a cracking free kick after 20 minutes (Ok the decision was dodgy but hey, what a good free kick - his "Peers" would have been proud of it - that's a joke believe it or not...check out the name of the goalscorer).

A Witton corner in the first half - and Mossley livewire Joe Shaw continues to refuse to keep still for the cheap - if new - camera - unlike ball boy Jaya !

We've seen it all before - opposition on the up - Mossley reduced to desperate defending - Witton hit post - Witton put ball in net - flagged offside - phew..half-time - ONLY 1-0.

Second half - another Witton goal disallowed - phew squared - and then - from somewhere a hopeful ball saw Steve Burke chasing a lost cause (usally Joe Shaw's perogative but hey - I've put my name down to sponsor Burkey for the season - so I expect my moneysworth !!) - so keeper clears - not - Burkey picks up the ball and crosses for Melford Knight to equalise. 1-1 with 15 to go - I'd have been happy with that - undeserved maybe but hey - it's the luck that we needed.

Trust me - this is Melford scoring the equaliser.

But it was not to be - it was "switch-off" time at the back again - and within 5 minutes Sean Whalley picked up the ball on the Witton right (i.e. the Mossley left of defence - read back a few reports - you'll see a constant here !!) and swept in a cross/shot/lob from well outside the box for what can only be described as a well deserved winner.

Mossley weren't finished yet - having managed to win the league "Fair Play Award" for August and September, they were making absolutely sure that it wasn't going to be three in a row. Rob Edwards went for "retribution" on Sean Whalley - he got there as fast as he could - and was rewarded with the inevitable red card.

Another home defeat then - and there wasn't much to say on the plus side after the game either - simple really - Mossley are just not good enough in this league at the moment. Yes there are bright spots - but unfortunately a lot of the bright spots have left the club (discuss this with the Manager) - once again Joe Shaw worked his little socks off - and Burkey is doing his damndest up front with little or no service/support.

Post mortem in the club after the game.

Saturday brings third-placed Hednesford Town to Mossley (am I'm still having to tell the fans that it's pronounced "Ensfud" and not "Hed-nes-ford"). Who knows - Mossley may have released another 15 players - and brought in 3 replacements before then. We shall see....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Big Up to Argos @ Stockport !

OK Mossley lost 2-1 - but can't be bothered with that at the moment.

Tonight is "big up" to Argos - I ended up in the Stockport store after someone said to me "They'll exchange anywhere" - and true enough they did - quick check to all was there , tippy tappy on the computer and hey presto - a replacement camera.

Thank you Argos.

Monday, October 09, 2006

No Football - and Another Camera Crisis !

Another day of cocked up trains - leaving work it was 15 late - plus "knock on" (i.e. miss two connections) - and only just got home in time for "ju-jitsu taxi service" so was in no state to do further rushing around to catch a bit of Curzon.

And then - to make matters worse - I plug new camera into computer to get more of Saturday/Sunday pix - and nothing - the mini-usb connection appears to be f*cked after just one connection last night !!

I said something about bad luck coming in threes on Friday night - well here we are - this now entails a trip - somehow - down to Argos (not the Ashton Town centre one, the one out on the "out of town" Snipe Retail Park - useless without car as wife is using till late tomorrow (i.e. won't be home till after footy starts).


Watch this space ....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ilkeston v Mossley / England v Macedonia / other stuff

As predicted, Saturday was an early start - got door handle, got camera, fixed door handle. Traffic was pants between Stalybridge and Glossop - who'd live in Glossop - they queue to get in, they queue to get out...

Arrived in Belper at 1300 - i.e. a good 60 minutes behind schedule. Fortunately daughter was still in Derby (touting for a lift to Belper), so I got to drive straight to Derby before abandoning car and wife at the roadside and dashing for the "Ilkeston Flyer", arriving in the "Observatory" just before 1400 to be greeted by Ian (Nosmo), Sean and Chris (Mi Owd). Got to the bar and sampled Titanic "Lifeboat" and Salopian "Hop Twister" (which was very good) before a taxi was ordered for 1450. It arrived at 1504 (!) and by the time we got to the ground I'd missed the best part of the "Mossley day" (i.e. Peter Wright's 5th minute goal and Mossley battering the Ilkeston defence). Never mind, the worst was yet to come - Mossley allowing Ilkeston to take over the midfield, and inevitably everything going pear-shaped down the left side of the Mossley defence. A cross from the Ilkeston right fell invitingly for Chris Adam (mainly because no white shirt seemed to want to take responsibility !) 1-1. After about 30 minutes another cross from the Ilkeston right fell invitingly for new boy (?) Paul Robinson who cocked up his goal-bound header big style - never mind plenty of time for another go - yep 2-1...

Mossley's "ace snapper" SJNR prepares for the Peter Wright free-kick - see the results on

My version of same free-kick.

Give Mossley their dues - they did get back into the game with chances for Wright and Cooke but it remained 2-1 at half-time. However something must have been slipped into the Mossley tea (temazepan ?) and once again "hoof ball" reared its ugly head. Ok we had a few chances - but nothing clear-cut at all. In short it was a fairly depressing 45 minutes, made all the worse by stories of Anthony Bingham (transferred) and Terry Bowker (released) that were now circulating around the Mossley faithful.

Ilkeston's "Man of the Match" McSweeney spots a pool of his own blood behind the goal - and smiles at it ??

There was however still time for Ilkeston to miss a penalty as well, before the ultimate substitution was made - take off a striker and bring on a left-back ! The taxi back into town was booked for 1650 - the game was still playing - and naturally the taxi turned up on time. Back in the "Observatory" for the England game - fortunately the beer was good, because there was pretty much bugger-all worth talking about on the fancy plasma screens that are now the norm in Wetherspoons pubs (for those old enough to remember - I went in my first Wetherspoons pub (JJMoons) very close to Wembley Stadium just before the 1992 FA Trophy Final between Witton Albion and Colchester United - in those days it was no juke box, no TV, no fruit machines - that's how they sold themselves - amazing what the "quest for money" can do to a person's philosophy - yes that's you Tim Martin - anti-Euro yet happy to accept them in your London pubs !)

Sean's latest "head design" - for an earlier version go back to August in this very blog for the day Ilkeston came to Mossley !

Enough politics - I was fortunate enough to miss the end of the England game as the 1845 "Flyer" to derby was calling. I then had a problem - where do you catch the bus to Belper ? The Bus Station has been demolished - and it was dark. A couple of phone calls to a local inhabitant (yes "daughter to the rescue") helped me find bus stop, time of next bus and also a pub to use while waiting (a pint of Timmy Taylors "Landlord" in the "Blue Dog").

By the time I arrived in Belper I realised that the "alcohol effect" was kicking in, so the trip to the "George" was kicked into touch and a return to mother-in-laws was the safest option (they have solid food there...) A good night's sleep was then followed by a good brisk walk in the Monsal Head area (as in Monsal Dale, Millers Dale, Tideswell Dale, Litton Dale, Cressbrook Dale and back to Monsal Head). Back to Mossley, cook a chicken (+ quorn for "veggie boy") and then on to check out the messages of "gloom and doom" on the Mossley Message Board (actually a lot more restrained than I expected, given the events of Saturday afternoon).

Where do we go from here ? Might attempt last half-hour of Curzon v Poulton Vics tomorrow night (FA Vase replay) after ju-jitsu taxi service and then another trip on the roller-coaster that is Mossley on Tuesday night (at home to Witton Albion).

Busy week at work too - several important meetings, a demo of my new super-duper database to some management dudes - and more importantly my "grievance meeting" with the head of HR and the Director of Finance (see Sep 06 blog entry for background !) - it's not just football ....

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ilkeston in 13 Hours ...but first ......

Out straight from work tonight - met wife and Peter in Manchester (buying boy's birthday present - have you seen these "New Rock" boots that the 'goths' wear ? Well that's what he got !) - bought truckloads of theatre tickets as well and then went for tapas in "La Tasca" on Deansgate (remember.. it's not just football...) - and San Miguel is not all bad !! Quick pint of Sam Smiths in "Sinclairs" before train back to Mossley.

Home to find front door handle has "died" - first the camera, now the door handle - supposed to come in threes isn't it ?

So - first thing tomorrow (today ?) - down to B & Q for replacement door handle - over the road to Argos for replacement camera (gonna have to be another Fuji - trapped with xD cards !!) - fix door - drive to Belper - bus to Derby - bus to Ilson (thank heavens for the £4 "zigzag" ticket !) - meet the Ilson mob in the "Observatory" for some real stuff (all bus journeys giving me time to learn the "new" camera) - and then on to the game.

I've predicted 2-2 on the Ilson forum - that'll do for me. Hoping to grab a quickie pintie in Belper on my return ("George" to pick up my prize as offered by Darlo from Belper Town to his quiz question earlier this week !!) and then back to mother-in-laws.

Sunday = walk somewhere in Derbyshire before the return to Mossley - to tell you all about the game and (hopefully) show off the new camera !

I gues we'll have to do some washing as well ....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Last Night's Pix - plus "Death of a Camera"

Now home - so here's last night's evidence - plus the camera has expired ! The "uppy downy" button on the back has "gone" - so we're stuck on "Night" setting - this requires an emergency camera purchase before the Ilkeston trip on Saturday. Here's the "swansong" then .....

Stafford on the telly !

The blur is Steve Burke - the goalie is on the floor - the ball is far left - it's 1-0 !!

Peter Wright is 4th from the left - the blur is a Whitby defender - the ball is "off picture" to the left - because he curled it in that way - 2-0 !!

We'll have to see what Morgan Computers on Piccadilly Approach has to offer ref new camera - cus it's the only place I'll be able to get to between now and Saturday morning. D'you reckon I could claim an Arts Council grant to cover the cost ??!!??

Mossley v Whitby / Stafford Rangers vs Dagenham and Redbridge

Tuesday is my normal cooking day – but I arrived home to find only ‘small boy’ in. When he found out I’d brought no fish home (he’s recently become a “vegequarian”), he took up the offer of food elsewhere ! Hey ho, it meant meat for the rest when they arrived.

Off up to Mossley in good time – took some of our recycling pile with me (it’s all beer cans and 2 litre PET bottles in our house). I knew also that Sky Sports were showing Stafford Rangers vs Dagenham and Redbridge – as a born and bred Staffordian, a conflict of interests could have occurred. I went for the best of both worlds in the first half, as Mossley were kicking “the wrong way” – this means stand in Social Club and “give it some neck” between TV and window.

OFF-PITCH - On 20 minutes Dag & Red got what I called a “dubious penalty” to take the lead.

ON-PITCH- Mossley were carrying on where they’d left from from Saturday – moving the ball around swiftly – and well. On the half-hour “Bingo” tried a cheeky lob that just failed to come off, and a minute later a first time shot from Peter Wright went close.

OFF-PITCH - On 31 minutes a challenge on Robin Gibson should have resulted in a penalty for Stafford – it was a very similar challenge to the one that got the Dag & Red pen. Not to worry though because in time added on Neil Grayson took advantage of a hopeful lob and some poor defending to grab the equaliser for Stafford.

Half-Time – everyone’s OFF PITCH ! In the club there were some stories going round. I’d had a text from Nosmo telling me that Ilkeston were 3-0 up at Grantham. Then we noticed the Ilkeston “spy” in the Ilkeston coat (dead give-away !), who told us that the Grantham goalie had walked out of the club minutes before the start of the game. Word was also afoot that Mossley had put 7 days in for another Ashton United player…we’ll see…(mentioning no names, but the anagram is “ye lion chop”).

The second half saw me outside – sorry Stafford, but I did leave the town in 1975 !! Mossley were really giving Whitby a footballing lesson and it was only a matter of time – 61 minutes in fact - when a crisp through ball to Steve Burke (looked a shade offside to some – but not to me !) saw him finish well to give Mossley a deserved lead. The “footballing lesson” was causing considerable frustration in the Whitby ranks, culminating in a rash “last man challenge” by Farthing,leading to the inevitable red card. Three minutes from time a similar challenge by Wilkinson led only to a yellow card. However Peter Wright curled the resulting free kick past the despairing ‘keeper to give the scoreline a more realistic look. Final score 2-0 to Mossley.

Quickly back into the club to see that Stafford had lost at home again (the Sky headline was “Benson edges it for Dagenham & Redbridge” !!). It was good to see Sky get something wrong though – the old “ticker tape” showed “Mossley 0 Whitby 2” (an error that found its way into today’s “Grauniad” as well !!) although they did manage to correct it by about 2235 – Bob the Mossley secretary reckoned it was down to a phone call from him – such power in one man !!

It was a very upbeat atmosphere in the club after the game – many thought it the best performance of the season by Mossley – those who’d gone to Whitby said it was “more of the same” only this time with the luck going our way. It was however a thoroughly deserved win and gives the Mossley faithful heart for the tricky trip to Ilkeston on Saturday – a mini-bus is being arranged, although I’m going down under my own steam - a weekend at the mother-in-laws in Belper is part of the deal, probably mixed with a few drinks in Derby with the Ilson “train boys” before a “zigzag” to Ilkeston (and probably more beers in the “Observatory”).

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Liverpool, Stalybrige, Manchester - with a hint of Football

The day began with a trip to downtown Fazakerley, home of the World Ju-Jitsu Federation believe it or not - for the ju-jitsu grading....

Now believe it !

These gradings are a real pain for the "proud parents" - you can't watch, and this part of Fazakerley has little to offer. I did some shopping at the local Somerfield and then slipped inside the pub where I nursed one pint of bitter shandy through the first 65 minutes of Bolton v Liverpool on the old "Al Jazeera Channel". That was an experience - in a Liverpool pub, full of Liverpool fans watching their team lose.

Young Peter (well 14 on Thursday night !) dutifully got the first Gold Tab to add to his Junior Black belt and the awards ceremony went on until 3pm. A speedy (!) return to Mossley got us back for about 3-50pm and I blagged a lift up to Stalybridge off the wife, managing to get there for about 4-20pm (she went shopping with daughter !) - £0 in and no programmes to be seen. I found out they were winning 1-0 thanks to an early "Duke" Ellington goal However Pell scored an absolute screamer for Frickley with about 15 minutes to go. However Bridge came back and scored what looked like the winner - until it was ruled out for what can only be described as "something" !

GOAL !!!! "Oh not it isn't", said the "Man in Black"..... WHY ?

So it's a replay for Celtic in sunny South Elmshall on Tuesday night - me I think will go for the easy option i.e. Mossley v Whitby - I got a text on the drive back from Liverpool saying Mossley 2-1 up (thanks Topsy !) - I found out later they'd lost 3-2 to a 92nd minute winner (and missed a penalty to boot !). I went for the dreaded "Rail Replacement Bus" back to Mossley, having nursed a pint of Millstone "True Grit" for the best part of 45 minutes in the Buffet Bar whilst waiting for it. Home, quick tea and then off to Manchester - Platt Fields to be exact - to see the "Installation de Feu" - fire sculptures put together by the French arts group Carabosse - and very good they were too.

Here's just one of them. Remember - it's not just football ....