Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Altrincham v Stafford Rangers - "The Pix !!"

Welcome to the wonderful world of "SmiffyDSLR" .... a true "learning curve" - with no Photoshop....yet !!!

Dark - but t'other end of pitch - and focus pretty much 100% !!

Rose sees Red for Alty !

Neil Grayson - still doing it - at his age !!

Another nasty Altrincham challenge - Guy Madjo not happy !

Altrincham keeper Stuart Coburn.
Stafford players thank the travelling support (which I guess included ME !!)

Altrincham v Stafford Rangers

A trip into the "Land of Smiffy Past" last night - and a rare trip into the Conference National - only a tenner mind in the segregated "Away Fans" end - and met two guys I was at school with 30+ years ago - Hi to Andy and Phil !!

Last night was also a baptism of fire for the new camera - yes Mossley might be close to relegation, but Smiffy has had a severe promotion in the photgraphic league - all I've gotta do now is learn to use it - and a night match was probably not the best start !! Over 150 pictures taken - I should probably "bin" about 140 of them, keeping the three best, three "middlest" and three worst (together with copious notes on focal length, aperture, speed, ISO distance of subject from camera etc etc etc).

Will look to upload some pix tonight - it's certainly a whole new world looking through the viewfinder - just got to attempt to transfer "what I see" onto the memory card !!

Oh and the game - Stafford won 1-0 which does wonders for their "staying up" aspirations, and puts a severe dent in Altrincham's - despite the Robins having won their last 5 games. A Guy Madjo goal just before half-time was enough to separate the sides. There was plenty of effort from Altrincham before and after the goal - but I don't recall any clear-cut chances falling their way. Any way back for them was severely hampered by the sending-off of Rose for a very ugly tackle indeed after about 65 minutes. There were a couple of similarly bad challenges later on as Altrincham got more and more frustrated with their inability to create. Right at the death Madjo was stretchered off as he went for an impossible ball, completely lost his balance (no fouls here !) and clattered head-first into Coburn the Alty 'keeper. I'm guessing neck injury - although he was moving whilst on the floor. Hopefully it wasn't too serious.

Next stop for the camera is Belper v Rossendale United on Saturday - when it can say "Hi !!" to its previous owner (aka "Snapper" the Belper Town Photographer). Hopefully the sun will be shining !

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Guiseley v Mossley

One crazy day - one crazy result. One minute we're coasting, we're looking good - then it was absolute mayhem. In fact I still don't quite know what to say... I might get me head round it as the week goes on though.
Sting and Will Smith on the same pitch !!

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Shameless Advert ...for a Taxi Firm ...

You may have read stuff this week - missing camera etc....

Just to say Ashton Radio Cabs have been "great" - missing camera was found in cab - was handed into office - my Wednesday "morning off" (i.e. MOT @ doctors) was followed by trip to cabco - picked up camera, no questions asked - me eternally grateful.

So - Ashton Radio Cabs - 0161-330-2090 - my chap was call sign "Don" (he might only work during the day though) - but they now come as recommended taxi firm in Smiffy household.

Thanks to you guys/gals - just think - your phone number is now all over the world !!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mossley Win - and "Tinariwen"

...almost as corny as that one a couple of weeks ago, viz. " 'Winn' for Stalybridge and a Win for Mossley" - blimey the tabloids cry out for cr*p like this.

Anyroad up - no gig photos tonight - because camera is nestling safely in the safe at Ashton Radio Cars HQ - and it's all thanks to Northern Rail (which if you didn't know is an anagram for "Total Incompetence" - actually the best one is "Northern Liar" - too easy though - how about "Ninth Oral Err" ??)

Suffice to say they totally f*cked up this morning - the 0724 train left Mossley TWO MINUTES EARLY - leaving me and Wayne (Vigin Train Driver) stranded - hence taxi to Stalybridge - pay fare - camera falls out of pocket - train to Manchester - realise camera missing - realise less than 50p credit on phone - top-up in Manc and "yes it's been found in taxi" - phew !! Pick up later today - morning off work (MOT at quacks).

Just re-read - God it's boring - Mossley have won 2-0 to keep hopes of miracle escape alive - therefore roll on Saturday @ Guiseley. Tinariwen were excellent - should have finished at 2220 - we left at 2300 (they were still rolling !) to dash to Oxford Road to grab train to Stalybridge, having missed the last chance Victoria to Mossley. And they call Manchester a "24 hour city" - what crap.

Talking of cr*p - I'll stop now before you all start slitting wrists and stuff...I feel naked sometimes without camera to hide literary inadequacies - guess my problem being I just "go for it" - no first draft,second draft etc (and NO Photoshop on pix either !). By the way there could be interesting news on the camera front in the next seven days or this space....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sneak Some In !! Curzon Ashton v Flixton

OK - needs must - and after bringing "boy" back from ju-jitsu, I thought hey - it's 2045 - why not hightail it down to Curzon ?? I rang - game on - and Curzon are 1-0 down at half-time. Throw boy out (in the nicest possible way - you get these child cruelty namby pamby liberals on yojur back otherwise !) and down to the Tameside Stadium. Park car (found space easily !!) - "inforfree" as they say - to find that within a matter of 4 miles, a 0-1 deficit has been turned around into a 2-1 lead !

Kidsgrove (last Tuesday) - three flags two fans - Curzon - just the flag ...


Might be a touch busier on Saturday !!

So I only got to see the last half hour - but Curzon are fast, direct, they know where the options are, they've quality up front and from what little I saw of the Flixton attack - they're certainly comfy at the back -remember - I've seen them score seven this season at home - saw 'em beat Glossop away (trickier that one though) - to me they have to be close to the "Six Tame Sides Team of the Season" - but we'll wait till "end of..." before that accolade is properly conferred !!

This is Curzon's third goal - that's Mike Blurry Norton to the right !!

United/Chelsea I guess - Truro have the Abramovic figure who's chucking money at 'em - according to Sunday's NLP he used to live near the old Wembley Stadium - so why he no throw money at Wembley FC ?? Hey ho Curzon won 3-1 - a useful training sesh for Saturday..

My best wishes are with Curzon on Saturday - on another day I'd be trying to make that terrace look full, me and many others from Mossley, Stalybridge, Hyde, Droylsden and Ashton United I'm sure. Curzon WILL get a cracking crowd on Saturday - including some "semi-floaters" and some from the above teams. You never know - they could end the day two up - I could win the lottery - and then charter a plane "down there" for the second leg.. but I reckon Curzon's odds are a lot shorter than my lottery odds.

Word from Mossley is the cr*p weather Sunday/Monday has caused little or no problems for tonight's game against Radcliffe. I cross my fingers - in between clicking them to the beat of Tinariwen (see below)..

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Little Bit of Everything Today .....

I guess it started last night with dinner out in Longsight, beer and a "stop over". Home for ten this morning, big fry-up see picture for amazing stuff - tell me the odds on that happening !!

Two eggs - two double-yolkers - how about that then ??

Then off to Liverpool for the second weekend running - this time the correct weekend mind - for boy's ju-jitsu exam (Junior Shodan Kobudo Gold Tab 2 for those who want to know). Sneaked a quick pic in for the site (after a trip round the Fazakerley "Somerfield" to buy the cheese !), before repairing to the pub and nursing a couple of real bitter shandies whilst watching Man United rip Bolton apart in the first 24 minutes and then doing naff all for the rest of the game.

Cheese on Tour - with a little bit of "wristy" thrown in ....

Game over, exam over, presentations over - left Faz at precisely 1526 - maniac (yet safe) driving got me home to drop off boy and then straight down to Stalybridge for about 1630, arriving just in time to hear a roar from the crowd. Slipped in to find Bridge had just gone two down ("a present from Syko" I was told) - caught up with some of the guys who told me how woeful it had been, and stood through the last 25 minutes - with most of the action at the other end.

Wrong end again ...

A late Harrogate free-kick

Ellington waits - it didn't come ....!!

My watch said 1655 at the end - and that was with only 3 minutes added on apparently. A quick drive down to the Buffet Bar for a real beer at last, before dropping the car off at home and going down to the "Brit" to watch Wales stuff England - strange being the only Welsh fan in the village, but I was brought up by my Dad watching Welsh Rugby Union - i.e. when they were good ! It was 15-0 to the Welsh when I arrived - just in time to see the England fight-back. Still the right team won in the end - discuss !!!

So - an early finish to the blog this weekend - next week - hmmm - Mossley at home on Tuesday in a real "relegation, six-pointer, life and death" type game against Radcliffe Borough. SJNR and his crew apparently went to see them today in their 0-2 home defeat by Ossett Town - his words on the Mossley message Board were "if we lose to them we might as well pack up for the season" - which says it all I guess.

I won't be there - yes the boycott remains - but I've a prior engagement/better offer anyway - me and Mrs Smiffy are off to the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester - to see the mighty Tuareg "desert rockers" from Mali - Tinariwen..
Ibrahim and the rest of the Tinariwen crew....'ve heard of "rock and roll" - well they play "roll and roll" (quote shamelessly stolen from Andy Kershaw on last Sunday's "Desert Island Discs" !) - recommended listening is "Aman Iman (Water is Life)" - a bit of rock, a lot of roll, a bit of blues - all mixed in with West African/Tuareg beats and rhythms.
Best have my mobile on silent/vibrate mode - just in case there is good news from Seel Park.

I don't believe there's anything local, next midweek, that I'll make it to watch - next Saturday of course is the big one in our area - the 1st Leg of the FA Vase semi-final twixt Curzon Ashton and Truro City - so where will I be - on a train to Guiseley to watch Mossley perform miracles can take the man out of Mossley, but you can't take the Mossley out of the man - I promise I'll be at the FA Vase Final probably with several thousand other Tameside "hangers-on".
Best catch up on the rest of the scores now

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Woodley Sports v Kidsgrove Athletic

Well it's nearly Ramsbottom v Curzon - but not quite ! You know what it's like - work, trains, family, shopping, cooking, etc etc - the list goes on. So it was for the 1857 train to Ashton - which arrived 8 minutes late thus cocking up my 1915 bus connection to Woodley - got the next one but didn't get to Woodley until about 15 mnutes in.. Didn't have to wait too long for a goal mind - a fairly "Route 1" clearance fell to Douglas-Pringle who casually chipped the Kidsgrove keeper to put the home side one up. I firmly believe the only reason this player has not "moved up" is due the the "names on shirts problem" he would cause !

"Three Flags Two Fans" - honest, there were more !!

Ten minutes later Kidsgrove had the ball in the net - but the goal was chalked off for some reason - no offside flag, can only assume pushing. However three minutes later, some great work from Lennon on the right side of the box saw him square the ball for Byron Moore to have the simplest of tap-ins to level the scores. Lennon nearly did the same again a few minutes later, this time on the right, but the final ball let him down this time..

Some first half action - one of my few "in focus" - well almost !

Keeping an eye on the "Mossley old boy" - Adam Morning produced one moment of class when he received a short ball from a corner - he controlled, swivelled - but the shot went just over. As many were preparing for their half-time break (beer, bovril, bladder - you choose !), Gavin Salmon picked the ball up out on the right and then ran, virtually unchallenged, into the box to drill a shot past the Kidsgrove 'keeper (no name sorry - he's on loan from Port Vale though !) t give Woodley a 2-1 half-time lead. (I'd been checking names with the Kidsgrove fans, and one said "We're doing all right - but the defence is letting us down" - literally seconds before this goal !).

I had a half-time beer - and found myself chatting with another Mossley "old boy" i.e. Kevin O'Connell, who was with Mossley for a couple of spells in the early and late 1990's. His words as we left the club were "There'll be a few more goals yet" - prophetic !!

Kevin O'Connell - then and now (he refused to take hat off for picture - wonder why !)

Now I've had a quick peep at the Unibond site - and I've double-checked my notes - I reckon I've got the goalscorers in the right order and right names - but you never know ! After 65 minutes a corner from the right was headed in by Lennon (or was it Jones ?) to make it 2-2, and after this the confidence just seemed to evaporate from the Woodley players. Ten minutes later Byron Moore (on loan from Crewe apparently) scored with almost a carbon copy of the Salmon goal in the first half (although he finished with his left foot !) and a couple of minutes later another Moore/Lennon combination ended with Lennon chipping the Woodley keeper to make it 4-2 to the visitors - and there was no way back from that.

When you wish you had a good camera - look at his face - PANIC !!!

Man of the Match was undoubtely Michael Lennon - a quality performance full of hard work, hard running and a lot of skill - he's (allegedly) on £400 per week - but with performances like that, he's well worth it - he's scored over 40 goals this season already.

Managed a lift back into Ashton from Barry ("Ashton United cum local groundhopper") - thanks mate - and then found a bus to Stalybridge where I had a little time to discuss the Cricket World Cup - the Buffet Bar has a "Private League" in the Sky Sports Fantasy League Competition - look out for the "Bernard Chutney All Stars" - my squad !! Home to Mossley - a bit of "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (God that bloke must have been on serious drugs !) - and then - to this ....

Monday, March 12, 2007

Burton Albion v Forest Green Rovers

Come on - of course I didn't go - although it's probably one of the few good things that have come out of the multi-national monolith that is Sky TV (i.e. when they're desperate - bung a non-league game on). Tonight I managed the second half - and as I walked into the "Railway" at Greenfield I was just in time for Danny Holmes' goal. I noticed one of the advertising hoardings around the ground ("Roger Bullivant") and remarked that there were a couple of vans parked outside the pub with that very same name - to find that there were three guys from Burton in the pub (they're "doing a job" in Greenfield). Not only that, one of them went to school with Steve Burr (now Manager at Northwich Vics - but I remember him leading the line at Stafford Rangers back in the early 1980s). There wasn't that much difference between the two teams tonight, although the "Brewers" looked that touch more comfy at the back - FGR did miss an absolute sitter in the second half mind - but to counter that, Burton did hit the bar from a quick free-kick (think the keeper got a touch) !

Short and sweet tonight - tomorrow looks like Rammy v the Nash - or in real language Ramsbottom United v Curzon Ashton - because, having thought about going to see Curzon v Truro in the FA Vase semi on 24th, I've been coerced to escort the "Mossley faithful" on a boozy train trip to Guiseley on that day - God I'm a softie at heart - but these guys would never make it there - let alone back - without some assistance (they''re all bloody car users - what d'you expect !).

So tomorrow should be a good chance to see the only team in Tameside who are really "on a roll" (sorry Droylsden - you ARE a close second though !) - this does assume that Mrs Smiffy gets back from the gym )yes that one next to Stalybridge Celtic;s ground) before 1900 - because Rammy is an easy drive up the M60 - ask Topsy (Mossley fan) how long it took to drive back from there in our North West Counties days - and that in his crappy old Rover (with a wet back seat !) - he reckoned about 17 minutes - I reckoned that was only to Ashton - although we certainly got back in plenty of time for drinkies in Mossley - I will attempt same tomorrow.

P.S we didn't make the walk on Sunday - the traffic in Matlock was crazy on the way down to Belper - and we had to nip to Derby to see daughter as well - hey ho maybe next Sunday - it is Mothers Day - and Mrs Smiffy has already said "big walk no cooking".

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday - Total cock up - Part 2 - words

Well what a crappy day was 10th March 2007. It began so well, with a cracking breakfast of bacon, eggs, mushrooms and fried bread – truly a “brown sauce ” event. With small boy having ju-jitsu exam in Liverpool at 1300, I took Mrs Smiffy down to Chorlton Street Bus Station in Manchester to catch the 1100 “TransPeak” down to Belper to see Mum etc – and a evening family nosh at the “Elaichi” Restaurant in Belper (been there – done it – cracking Bangladeshi nosh as well)

Back to Mossley – pick up small boy – and off to Fazakerley for ju-jitsu stuff. We arrived with 30 minutes to spare – the place was unnaturally quiet. At 1255 we asked – we found out that we were actually 7 DAYS and 30 minutes early. Cue “D’oh” in the dojo….it was a solemn drive back home (apart from the Marilyn Manson CD) – and then I get txt from Nosmo (Ilkeston Town) – see pic – I could have been there ….

Back in Mossley at about 1405 – knowing full well that five of the “Six Tame Sides” were playing away – leaving only Mossley at home…..hmmm…wait – Squires Gate were playing their home game against FC United at Curzon Ashton’s ground – there’s still time to make it….NO - my views on the FC United phenomenon are fairly well documented – we’re back to principles once again - although I could have helped out Squires Gate I guess.

A walk down the road – and into the “Britannia” for a beer or three – and a watch of the Scotland/Ireland game. By about 1600 the twitches were well and truly twitching – this can’t go on – so I walked up the hill and into Mossley Park – somewhere where you can watch a Mossley game “over the wall” - (see pix in "Part 1"). I got there about 1620 – just in time for a goal – first shot was saved but Moffat put away the rebound – at that moment I had no idea what the score was – five minutes later Gateshead scored another when Southern walked it round the keeper after the defence went AWOL.

Game over – I nipped into the “Rag” where I knew the “troops” were going to watch the Middlesborough/United game- only to find a good number of them had beat me there. By implication this meant they didn’t bother to go in the Social Club after the game. You can read so much into this can you not ?? Found out that it had finished 4-0 to Gateshead. Bugger.

So United got a draw – but during my time at the “Rag” I got some serious sh*t from some of the Mossley fans – basically saying “Get back you dozy …..” (insert word to suit). They’re right of course – I’ve been comfy over the last seven days reading stuff like this on blog/message board/e-mails – but when a true Mossley fan comes up to you in person and says the same to your face – it means so much more – OK the “two supporters” are now back in the fold through various ways and means – but my particular “spat” remains outstanding – and there is NO WAY I will ever come to terms with what was said to me by the Mossley Vice-Chairman – to me he xxxxxxxxxxx (deleted Sunday a.m.- just in case ....) who happens to have well-off parents – maybe brutal, but that’s it – he’s the one to apologise not I – because I believe I’ve done a damn sight more for that football club without the aid of parental cash than he will EVER do – because it doesn’t always boil down to money – a point that has been totally missed… Incidentally Martin, my missing £7 was more than made up for by the two Hyde United guys who couldn’t make it to Worcester and so went to the Mossley game and appeared in the “Rag” afterwards – bet you guys won’t be back – and I do mean that in the nicest possible way !!

After the United game I meandered home – and I slipped into the Mossley Social Club in full knowledge that all things football/officialdom would have long gone home – had a couple of beers – and got the same “Get back you dozy ….” from a few of the remainders from the game three hours earlier.

What do I do – I go on here praying that Mossley will stay up – praying that Mossley will win – yet the club Vice-Chairman believes my support/cash is unnecessary – and here I am on a blog “bulling up” Mossley Football Club – a blog that has been viewed by best part of 8,000 peeps since last August. There’s always away game I suppose – but the next away game is at Guiseley on 24th which clashes with the Curzon Ashton v Truro City FA Vase Semi First Leg – and I’ve already done Guiseley in the abortive (i.e. we lost) FA Cup game earlier in the season (see blog entry a lot .

What do I do - .I see Leek Town got a point today – for Mossley at the moment there’s no bloody point at all .. when you’ve been watching them as long as I have (albeit only 23 years in case some of the “old boys” chip in !), we’ve been here before (relegation I mean) – although the whole atmosphere was so much better then – we had a crap team and management who gave 100% - and we had the same loyal “band of brothers” watching same – and the whole atmosphere was so much more relaxed and comfortable – chats with players/management were so much easier – WE ALL KNEW WE WERE GIVING OUR ALL. Something that the “Class of 2007” maybe should take note of ..

This whole thing is messing my life up something rotten (something that rich people obviously don’t worry about) – and here I am listening to Muse singing “Invincible” – obviously with Mrs Smiffy being away I can drink more beer – but I’m expected in Belper fairly early tomorrow morning – so we can “do” Froggatt Edge in the afternoon – and a good bloody walk can take your mind off so many things.

What do I do - apart from looking for somewhere to go on Tuesday night ?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday - Total Cock-up - Part 1 - pix

What a silly day - I offer these pix to start with - and some deep words will appear later - for those who can handle this sort of sh*t, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (oh shut up Smith !) - a sh*tty day all round...

Yes it's Mossley behind barbed wire..

What is THAT behind top goal ??

A late Joe Shaw free kick comes to nowt ....

The final humiliation - if it's on Sky it must be true ...and Leek get a bloody point ..

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Oldham Chronicle ....

...more one-sided than Mossley on a bad day. For those of you outside the "Six Tame Sides" circulation, I offer this link:

which is the "official" view on Saturday afternoon's events - and if you enjoy a good fiction novel - go for it. On my way home from work on Tuesday I got one phone call from a fellow Mossley fan (i.e one of the "two supporters") letting me know about this article - I then get a txt from one of our "southern based" fans who's seen it reproduced on the Mossleywb site. I got back to Mossley - picked up a "Chron" from Rajas (local convenience store) - and on my way to Stalybridge last night phoned up the Chron lambasting Mr Bugby - who's been covering Mossley for the best part of 20 years and leaving my phone number for him to get back to me.

Unfortunately work then intervened - as I got to work this morning at 0815 I was dragged into a meeting with auditors (who - after accountants - must be the most pointless human beings on this planet) and at 1245 I return to my desk to find "1 missed call" on my phone - yes it was the Chron - all I could do was to e-mail my take on Saturday evening (knowing it was far too late to publish) - but hey - they know. I'm also aware of another Mossley fan who has sent similar feelings to same paper.

And then we get tonight's paper...

...yet another well-spun story from the higher echelons of the Mossley Management - and if Melford Knight thinks that scoring a winner "throws all criticism back in everyone's faces" - then what the hell has he been doing for the previous five months (i.e. since last home win) ? Swallows and summers come to mind ....

It's good to get a win because it DOES take everyone's mind of events of a few days ago - however it does not make everything in the garden rosy - the underlying problems remain (dammit we went up as Champs last season - the same feelings were there even then - it's not new).

Please God let Mossley win on Saturday against Gateshead - another home game - another chance to move closer to that "fifth from bottom placing". My Saturday will be spent in Fazakerley - as young boy has another Ju-Jitsu examination (another £47 spent tonight - ouch) - which won't see me and him getting back home much before 1615.

Fingers crossed...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Winn" for Stalybridge - and a win for Mossley

Should be more to come later - let me eat my tea - at least you know that the "Six Points" prediction/prayer from 22 hours ago has come true !!

There were actually about five Leigh fans behind this big flag !
Ellington lines up his penalty equaliser
Honest - this is Winn's late late late late winner !!!!!
Tameside in bloom - daffs & speedcam on Mottram Road !!
Stalybridge were quickly out of the blocks with Hume hooking the ball over the bar after only 8 minutes. A couple of minutes later a corner was again met by Hume only for his effort to be cleared off the line – and then the final part of the Hume trilogy saw his shot hit the post ! It was all Celtic early on, with the Leigh defence looking remarkably shaky. An exquisite flicked header from Brodie brought an excellent save from the Leigh ‘keeper, and it was a good 25 minutes before RMI had their first real sniff on goal. A shot from Winn flew wide as did an Ellington header following a free-kick – surely it was only a matter of time before Stalybridge scored. Another header went just wide following a long throw, and it was amazing that the first half ended 0-0 – Celtic could have been home and dry – or at least vigorously towelling themselves down.

You know what’s coming next – early Leigh pressure in the second half – and for Hume in the first half substitute Rapley in the second – yes that Kevin Rapley the ex-Droylsden chappie. After watching one snap shot go narrowly wide, a free-kick took a wicked deflection giving Bishop no chance - 1-0 and totally against the run of play.

Not to worry though – it was Hume to the rescue ten minutes later when he was clattered to the ground by the Leigh ‘keeper – the red card was inevitable – and was Ellington’s despatch of the resultant penalty. With a stand-in keeper, I’d have expected a little more pressure on him – despite Celtic’s complete superiority at this stage they couldn’t find a way past him – and there were a few nervy breakaways at the other end too.

Leigh did seem happy to run the clock down however – which was their undoing. There were four minutes of added time - after about 3 minutes 54 seconds of this time Ashley Winn picked up the ball (well he didn’t actually pick it up – that would have been a foul !) and stabbed it home through a crowded penalty box for a dramatic winner. Just time for Leigh to kick off before the ref blew for time.

Tuesday Night Beckons ..... does the ubiquitous football trip.

There has been a bit of "fall out" after the shenanigans at Mossley on Saturday evening - and I have to pass on thanks for the many messages of support I have received via blog, message board, verbal and phone txt. No doubt the "faithful" will turn up for the vital game against Leek Town - the latest in a long series of "must win" games - and that's great. Mossley are a club that has been through thick and thin over the last 20 odd years, but the support has always been loyal and totally unswerving (I remember during one relegation year,the crowds actually went up !) - and I know it will remain so.

I hope Mossley win - I dearly do - for so long this season (especially since Christmas) I've tried to keep a positive spin on things, feeling that, despite the very close proximity of the relegation "trapdoor", the Lilywhites will somehow manage to avoid it. My overall view remains the same - there's plenty of points there to be won to ensure that the usual "42 or somewhere around there" points target is met .. as well as Leek game, Grantham (bottom and all but doomed) still have to appear at Seel Park - so there's six points straight off.

However principles are principles, and I'll not be attending. The complete and utter "descent into total anarchy" that followed Saturday's game against Marine has left me extremely depressed - regardless of football loyalties, it's often nice to feel wanted, to feel appreciated for the time, effort and money that you put into a club, be it just turning up to a home game, travelling to away games, or just attending a quiz night (you don't see Mrs Smiffy at the football club very often - and handing back the prize money too !!) - or going that step further by raising money through walks, buying raffle/golden goal tickets strange pools coupons (!) or jumping in to be an emergency programme editor (Sheffield last season during John's holiday). Don't get me wrong - I - and many others - do not expect a verbal "pat on the back" week in week out - we just do it because we do. But when you're turning up - and getting that uneasy feeling 'from above' that "You should be grateful that WE'RE here" - it does tend to stick in the craw.

A football club IS IT'S FANS - always has been, always will be - it's a fact that many supporters get a raw deal in the higher echelons of football in this country - that's why so many like-minded people as myself go for the non-league game - where words such as "family"and "community" are espoused. Unfortunately at Mossley the term "family" at Mossley has been replaced by the word "dynasty" (see Unibond press release - - and my dictionary defines that word as "powerful rulers" - read into that what you will..... I'd be tempted to replace it with the word "dysentry" - because to me it's all turned to s**t...

While Mossley have that important "six-pointer", tomorrow night - another one of the "Six Tame Sides" have a similar game i.e. Stalybridge Celtic v Leigh RMI - three points for Celtic should take a lot of pressure off them in the lower reaches of the Conference North.

So I'll be giving them a helping hand at 1945 later today - and hopefully, by the "magic of mobiles", keeping up-to-date with events 3 miles down the road at Seel Park.

Let's hope for six points in the "Six Tame Sides" region at 2130 tonight..

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Eagles of Death Metal

Another excellent (sell-out) gig at the Academy last night - the sound was a little below par - but hey - they rocked !! For those of you old enough (!!) they do a wonderful version of "Stuck in the Middle" (the old Stealers Wheel Song) - I kid you not....and some pics as well...

The mighty Jesse Hughes....

...and the "bald" Dave Catching ...with "Flying V"

Football First - it's "Bye Bye Mossley"

Can't be *rsed to say much about today at Seel Park - it's fairly well documented on the Mossley Message Board..

and I'm sure there's more to come - when people wake up and have a think - which is what I should do really - there were some angry fans there today - and the reaction from Players, Management and "upstairs" was nothing short of disgraceful - I can only speak for myself at this present time, but a 23 year relationship with a football club went out of the window at about 1815 on Saturday 3rd March 2007- when the Vice-Chirman of the club basically says "Good Riddance" - that'll do for me - there are after all "Six Tame Sides" - and they all use the same currency - just deduct one from Mossley.

To facts - Mossley lost 3-1 and after t'other scores today, they find themselves in even deeper do-dos (cut the cr*p - they're going down) - and here are some of the highlights (?) - in pictures rather than words ...

The "Marine Faithful" - who got the ball ???

Liner's view of Marine corner - at least he's up with play ..

Aerial Ballet 1

Aerial Ballet 2 - note soft Scouser with vest on !!!

Where's Roly Howard ???? The Marine Bench

Clive - you're on your own be back to Rochdale...

"Saving Banks" - Marine keeper Andy Banks keeps it out...

Did it cross the line ? Who gives a toss - I don't.

I'll be doing the stuff from the "Eagles of Death Metal" gig sometime later today - if the weather holds (not promising) we're out for a walk somewhere - plus I'm on the "honey and cider glazed lamb" for tea - and probably giving daughter a lift into Manc to get back to Derby - have I time for football ? I always find time !! Onwards to Tuesday - and Stalybridge v Leigh RMI - oh Mossley (5 minutes walk from house) are at home too - Bower Fold it is then ......

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Gonna be a busy day .....

Cripes, it's nearly three o'clock on Saturday morning - and I've finally found the pc ! Left work at 5 - meet daughter in Manchester at 5-20 - arrive at "La Tasca" at 5-30 - wife arrives 5-45 (we are all coming from different directions e.g. Cheadle Hulme, Derby and Mossley !). Platefuls of tapas and then home to Mossley - and into the "Britannia" for several bers/wines - home - watched a pirate of "Borat" (v. funny !) and then played with Music Channels on Sky before trying out this "1000 toons" DVD what I have purloined - all golden oldies - some crackers on there...
Tomorrow - err today - usual housey stuff in the morning - sober up, wash, clean, shop. Then - at 1500 hours - can Mossley make another attempt at the "Great Escape" (without the aid of a motor bike) and take three points off Marine ?? Who knows - I was tempted to go and watch Curzon Ashton v Leamington in the Quarter Finals of the FA Vase - apparently Leamington are bringing 600 fans up - Curzon's average gate is 150 - so who's at home?? In the Manc Evening News today the Curzon Manager Gary Lowe is pleading for local (i.e. Tameside fans) to come and support them tomorrow - so how do the fixtures go ??? Droylsden - at home; Hyde - at home; Mossley - at home; Ashton United - at home...what a facer...I'm sure if I apologise for my non-attendance, I'm not the only one.
Looking to try a new money-making scam for Mossley as well later today - I know a lot of other clubs do a similar thing, so I've gone for a "Lucky 7" pools-type thing - choose home,away,draw - tie-break on total goals scored - and win 50% of the takings - rest to Supporters Club - we'll see how it goes...

And after the footy - no time to blog up early cus it's off to the Academy in Manchester with daughter to see the "Eagles of Death Metal"...

Well that's some of them anyway (including Josh Homme from QOTSA) ...dirty bar room blues and rock (and some of the lyrics are very very dirty !).

So it could be a double helping of football and music on Sunday - which timing-wise of course will depend on:- length of walk - where we walk - and what time daughter requires lift to Manchester to get bus back to Derby
In the meantime, here's a couple from last week's walk in Wharfedale - first the mighty Strid ....

And next a pic of Mrs Smiffy about to go and meet the Wharfedale Branch of the DragonForce Fan Club - almost, but not quite the "Valley of the Damned"....
"We'll have no Inhuman Rampage here !!!" - well she is a teacher ...