Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tonight's Gig ...

...has to be up at Stalybridge Celtic's ground where the new Manager is to be unveiled by new Chairman Rob Gorski. There's been plenty of names bandied about, although the post was allegedly filled last midweek (so that should discount ex-Northwich boss Steve Burr - shouldn't it - eh - eh ??). All will be revealed later on - I hope to bring exclusive pix too !! (For what it's worth my educated guess has been Peter Davenport - but hey - what do I know about football ??)

Monday, May 28, 2007

One for the Forgers.....

They arrived on Saturday whilst I was away walking up Dent way ....

Please note that this site does not condone any forging/scamming by idle/unemployed/students/chavs in any way or form. I've gone to work - I've paid my taxes - I've earned my gig - all ticket forgers should either be summarily shot or kept in a small cell in preparation for the next war now that Donald Pleasance is sadly no more. By all means practice on gig tickets - but your time will come when the POWs need an "ausweis" or a European Health Insurance Card.
Football - yes I watched the game today - right result (in this "50% Derby" household anyway) - but the better team lost - didn't they ??

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Close Season

S'pose the thing to say here is - don't expect too much during the close season - I could write a blurb about the Morecambe v Exeter game (it's rare I can sit at home and watch football on a Sky channel - I refuse to pay daft money, and it was a welcome surprise to find the Conference play-off on the Sky Sports News Channel !!) - but I won't - suffice to say I'm dead chuffed for Morecambe.

Loads to think about over the next few months - Mossley - still no Manager; Stalybridge - still no Manager; Hyde - grumbling about admission rices hitting the magical £10; Droylsden - eagerly awaiting the Conference National; Curzon - promoted (including a local derby against Mossley); Ashton United - beating the drop and getting ready for action with new Manager Danny Johnson (and a fourth turnstile !!!!). At least Woodley appear to have a new Manager !

Summer also means time off football and time with family - trips arranged include Dowload Festival at Donnington with the two eldest kids, a long weekend in the Yorkshire Dales and a week climbing mountains in Ireland (OK Carrantoohil). Also arranged however is a three-day trip to Holland with Belper Town FC in early August. The big "Mossley handover" happens on 30th June - the day after is the annual Mossley sponsored walk around the grounds of Tameside - six grounds, several pubs !!

Watch this space - but the updates may not be as regular - you have been warned !!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cup Final Day ....

So Chelsea won with a goal - with an only goal in the 116th minute. Bet that was painful to watch - especially if you'd paid daft money for the privilege. Still it probably wasn't much better in the pubs'n'clubs of Greater Manchester - and beyond.

Still I managed an 11 mile walk - a pint of Moorhouses "Blonde Witch" - got soaked up to my knees - and have also done some serious damage to my left hand - it's still swelling up several hours after the "incident" - have had to remove wedding ring due to a large amount of swelling on that finger - and the bruising's looking cute as well.

For my view on the Cup Final afternoon see...

Beats watching that overpaid, overhyped stuff....I think...several beers are not acting as pain-killers though !!!

Bad luck Oldham as well ...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Looking back on the week ...the end is nigh...

Following last Saturday's game at Dukinfield Town, I think it was pretty well certain that football as we know it is coming to a close this season. A tricky one - think tomorrow - think FA Cup Final - I can't remember the last time I watched one - and with it being an all-London affair (ha ha) .....

This week I've seen a couple of "first halves" in the play-off stakes - Monday's 45 mins betwixt Shrewsbury and MK Dons (?) was awful - a sad/sodden end to Gay Meadow really. I caught most of the first 45 of Derby v Southampton - although arriving at the pub after 9 mins I missed both opening goals - and then had to return home before the real action started (although I was in full txt contact with Darlo who was there at Pride Park - fingernails ?? !!!). Final twixt Derby and West Brom...

That's probably the only game left where I have any interest - because I know Dave Bax from Ashton is a "Baggie" and was there for the second leg against the Wolves (a team - where if I really went back in my life - I wanted to win).. sod it - here we go ..when I was a lad, no when I was a baby in pushchair - my Grandad Sid - who worked at St Georges (the mental hospital as it was in those days) in Stafford - used to take me to Marston Road to watch the Rangers - gave my Mum and Dad a break time went on - and I grew biggerer - we'd do Stafford one weekend and Wolves the next - because they used to take a coachload from the hospital down to Molineux (putting it in the nicest possible way, it was a coachload of the "safer" patients) - we'd all go in the disabled enclosure (just adjacent to the old North Bank) - and I'd "tag along"....saw some good stuff back in the mid/late 60's....oh shut up Michael ...

Thursday saw me up at Hurst Cross for the Ashton United Quiz Night - a well-attended effort despite Mossley having a quiz night on the same night, and Curzon Ashton holding their Presentation Evening and Droylsden .....(fill in excuse - not heard one yet). The quiz was won by the Dukinfield Town team who belied their relegation position in the Manchester League to come out with an amazing 91 out of 100. The Mossley team (i.e. me !) managed an almost respectable 57 out of 100 - and DID NOT finish bottom (OK we/I were/was still in the relegation postions but ...) - a good night was had by all and over £100 was raised for the local Willow Wood Hospice - for more info (and pictures) try..

So who's gonna win tomorrow - s'pose I should err towards the mighty Reds - but I reckon the biggest winners will be the beer sellers, the hot dog sellers and so forth - I'm looking forward to a three-dayer in Holland in August with Belper Town - I bet in total that 72 hour bash will cost me a lot less than most people will spend tomorrow in less than 15 hours.

Long live Non-League.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Dukinfield Town v Rochdale SH - Update

The weather was not too promising as I left Mossley on the 1257 train to Ashton – a valid attempt was made in Ashton to buy a cover for the monopod – failed, so sulked ove a quick pint of Phoenix “West Coast IPA” in the “Station” pub before catching a bus in the general direction of Dukinfield Town FC. My choice of bus (i.e. wrong) left me with a brisk 15 minute walk to Woodhams Park. On one of the adjacent pitches I clocked the (very) end of the first half of a game between Stalybridge Celtic Supporters and a team of Liverpool fans, before stepping “through the wall”.

I then met Jason, the Duki Town secretary – who I haven’t seen for the best part of 20 years ago !! He was then called “Oscar” and was Mossley secretary Brian Cowburn’s “right-hand man/oppo”- now he finds himself as a Club Secretary – and running the 3rd team as well ! It was a “must win” game today – and hoping that Breightmet failed to beat Royton Town.

Onto the game, and I noticed a couple of familiar faces from the Cup-winning Woodley Sports team of a couple of weeks ago, Rob Parsonage (today wearing 5) and Sam Walker (today wearing no bloodied bandage !). Also spotted were Mark Phillips (ex-Mossley – top defender) and Councillor Brian Wild, supporting his local team. Duki started the more positive team – however after about 10 minutes Rochdale got a free-kick just outside the box which pinged against the bar. This had the desired effect – straight down the other end, one-on-one with the keeper…..missed ! However it was Dukinfield who raced into a 3-0 in a heavily-extended first-half – due to a clash of Duki keeper’s head and Rochdale forward’s teeth/mouth – not pretty – and there is no photographic evidence of this one ! Hope he's OK.

On Jason’s advice I popped into the Duki Town clubhouse (which I never knew existed !) for a half-time pint. Noted they were also doing pie & peas (may have been the norm – may have been due to the Stalybridge/Liverpool supporters game mentioned earlier).

When I came out, Duki were just kicking-off…start of second half – no….3-1…no…it was bloomin’ 3-2. All the hard work of the first 45 (OK 59) minutes almost chucked in the first five minutes of the second d half !! However the return of the strange man with a camera on a big stick seemed to settle them down a bit (well you never know !!) – and I wandered round the other side of the pitch to listen to an amusing spat between linesman and several of the left-sided Rochdale team vis-à-vis the offside rule – and the lack of flagging. When the opposite linesman popped his flag into the air one player turned to “my” linesman and said “Look – he knows how to do it !!” – made me laugh anyway. Naturally the next goal – the Duki Town 4th - was tinged with a bit of offside – although in fairness I was fairly well-positioned to judge - and I’d go with the liner’s decision. 4-2 – safe ?? Not a bit of it – still time for Rochdale to grab a third and tighten a few sphincters - but 4-3 was how it finished up.

A quick pint in the club before shooting off (Manchester with Mrs Smiffy in the evening). Just time to check the score of the other game with Jason – not good news unfortunately – Breighmet had won – so Duki’s position in the Premier Division of the Manchester League in severe danger – we’ll see what the summer (and the AGMs/ground grading committee’s etc) brings …

Incidentally how many football grounds do you know, where the adjacent pub has a Sea Harrier Jump Jet in the back garden ?? It was going to be a blooming Vulcan at one stage !! I give you "The Snipe" in Dukinfield...

Dukinfield Town v Rochdale SH

Yes it's late - as usual (been in Manchester for a meal - and NOT to see Meat Loaf - I beat that particular rush back in 1977 - thanks to BBC Radio Bristol - but that's another story !)

Some pix from today for starters...

Words to follow...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Football for Saturday

Right - all sorted for Saturday - it's a Manchester League relegation battle betwixt Dukinfield Town and Rochdale SH (that's Sacred Heart for the "dunnos"). A relegation battle only for Duki Town by the way - it's perm one from three between Dukinfield Town, Breightmet and Monton Amateurs to join AVRO for the drop - so only a win is good enough for Duki - the match will be followed by a barbie (indoors or outdoors, weather permitting), for me and Mrs Smiffy and friends - strangely enough in Rochdale - well Whitworth - near enough ..

Now here comes the kick in the teeth - yesterday I promised myself - and someone else - I'd be there for the Duki Town match - in fact I've even given it a plug on all the local message boards. What happens tonight ? A mate from outside the local area rings up with that immortal line "Fancy a freebie to the FA Trophy Final at 'New Wembley' on Saturday ?? if you can get to mine, transport will be sorted ??"

Ouch... what would you me stupid - most folks do - but I had to turn down the Trophy offer - admittedly with mucho regreto. being honest, if Curzon Ashton had planted 6 past Truro City, me and half of Tameside would have been at "New Wembley" on the Sunday for the FA Vase Final - but they didn't so we won't.

And I won't be there Saturday either ..... "come on Duki !!"

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Oxford United v Exeter City

It's football Jim - but not as I know it - home, then out on the 1946 train to Greenfield - cus I had this uncanny feeling that the "Railway" would have the game on - in fact when I got there the TV was off - it took a small ask off Richie - then within minutes (OK 2) twas on ....

The game - I spent much of it talking to Carl - the "pro-snapper" of the Saddleworth area (got some tips for big camera too !). In 1972 I went to the FA Trophy semi-final between Yeovil Town and Stafford Rangers - played at the old Oxford ground - got a thumping from a Yeovil fan as well - strangely enough this put me on the side of Exeter tonight - and they got there eventually - took some bloody work though - and I'm talking "before the pens".

Anyway - Morecambe and Exeter in the final - my thoughts are of course "get a non-league" team in there

Pictures - why ?? (But I've (sadly) got some though !!)

Oh go on then - happy Grecians and one seriously hacked-off Oxford fan...been there done it - think 119th minute - 1976 - Wembley - FA Trophy Final - now THAT'S seriously been there done it felt it.....

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Holbrook MW v Radcliffe Olympic

Yes yes, I promise to do some words - but in the meantime here's 9,000 words - ha ha !

Left Mossley about midday - mistake - everyone seemed to be on the roads in Tameside; probably something to do with getting all the jobs done before "couch potatoing" the Manchester derby at 1245. Once we were away from Glossop and heading for Chapel-en-le-Frith, it was plain sailing. Drove straight to Holbrook, leapt out, allowing Mrs Smiffy the final couple of miles back to Belper. It was about 1350 - and they'd run out of programmes - rumour was that only about 10 were printed - and 8 of them were in the dressing rooms !! Took a "wrong turning" in the car park, walking past a quaint little hut (pictured) before ending up on the bowling green (well the surround !).

Retraced steps and found "ticket hut". It was £2-50 - I proffered a tenner and was asked if I had the right change - I had about £2-14 - this was greeted with "That'll do !". We sorted it out in the end - and yes I paid full whack !

Met Andy, his cousin and his lad - and not long after the start Tim (aka "Snapper" from Belper Town) turned up as well. I don't think the five of us actually doubled the gate - but we certainly gave it a mighty percentage increase !

To the game - I reckon 30p a goal is a pretty good return for your money. The home team (in blue) bossed the first half - playing uphill no less - and were good value for a 3-0 lead. Expecting some more in the second half I remained at the same end. OK so I nipped into the bar for a fine pint of Fullers "London Pride" on the pump - with a sparkler on (a touch rare in these parts I feel) during the break..

The expected avalanche failed to materialise - at my end anyway - instead I watched FIVE goals go in at the other ("wrong" ?) end - with each goal you could see the confidence draining out of Holbrook and surging into Radcliffe - by the end, I'm afraid Radcliffe were walking the ball in past a devastated defence and a much-bemused Danny Tollerfield (played a few for Belper Town this season) - apart from the penalty which was blasted in.

Into the club after the game to watch the Sky videprinter - with it being a 1400 kick off we got to watch most of the second half - the howls of anguish came from me when Bristol Rovers went in front at Hartlepool on 86 minutes were from me - having been at Edgeley Park only three days earlier - and having a Stockport County fan in the office. The anguish had already gone from my fellow drinkers (Derby fans y'see) 7 days or so earlier....never mind they've beaten Leeds today (12 minutes of stoppage time - in the first half ???).

Back into Belper - and into the "George" to meet Pistol and Davro who were watching the Villa v Sheff United game - Dad with Villa shirt on - non-Dad with Sheffield United shirt on. Oh dear...oh dear - so it's all down to the wire for the Blades next weekend.

Back to mother-in-laws - sat dutifully through "Grease is the Word" and "Any Old Crap will Do" whilst mother-in-law, sister-in-law and wife talked through them both (!). Sleep - home today - and this - tonight - a 40th birthday bash in Top Mossley - Happy Birthday Lynn !

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Game on Saturday...

If you look – you will find !! Down in Belper this weekend so it was a case of checking out the Central Midlands League Supreme Division for possibilities.

BINGO !! Less than three miles from Belper (i.e. a brisk walk) we find Holbrook Miners Welfare are at home to Radcliffe Olympic (need to check kick-off time though – believe it’s 1400).

Game on ..

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Woodley/Nomads - more pictures

Pardon the delay - I've been out to vote - and me and Mrs Smiffy always follow a vote with a bit of a walk taking in a few Mossley pubs and tonight it's been :

Church - Thwaites "Lancaster Bomber"
Rising Sun - "Black Sheep Bitter" and Millstone "Three Shires"

Anyroad up - look here.....if you see nothing it's because you've been too quick (set link up first - pictures to follow !!)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tonight's Big Game

Yes, I am talking about the Stockport Senior Cup Final between Woodley Sports Reserves (Woodley for the rest of the post) and Cheadle Heath Nomads (Linotype), (CHN for the rest of the post) which took place at Edgeley Park tonight.

My clock says 2355 - I need to be up at 0630 - this may be short !!

Suffice to say Woodley won 2-1 in a less than gripping game (sorry guys !). Nomads employed a ruthless offside trap for well over 90 minutes - unfortunately offside traps do not win games. At half-time (0-0) there was a mention of "pub team" directed at CHN - which turned out to be rather unfair as they took the lead when a free kick was met with a cracking header by (....sorry...). This did serve as a wake up call for Woodley who then proceeded to score two in five minutes !

Towards the end there was a little inexperience in "running the clock down" - and credir to CHN they really put the pressure on towards the end, which was unnerving the Woodley fans/officials that I was adjacent to !

End of the day - the best team won - I've always had a great deal of respect for Woodley Sports the Unibond 1 team - these guys tonight must (should) be training with the first team (I may be wrong !!) -well done to Neil Rourke (Manager) and his squad tonight.

First time I've been at Edgeley Park since 1973 (?) - when they drew with Stafford Rangers in the FA Cup 1st Round - (old age kicking in) I missed the replay at Stafford as we had a school play rehearsal that night - someone may remember the play - it could have been "Maria Marten and the Murder in the Red Barn" (I was a copper in that - Pharos Lee) - or it might have been the Joan of Arc one ("The Lark") where I played Beauchamp Earl of Warwick. Oh yes - Stafford won 1-0 - and then embarked on their best ever FA Cup run,losing to Peterborough in front of 21,000+ at Stoke's old ground - don't talk to me about Rotherham away !!!
Enough of this reminisk - remiscic - rmeniisck - looking back - here's one pic for starters (there's 158 of the b*st*rds - and that's with me "editing" on the trains home (all 3 of em)'s got "b*ll*x to United/Milan" written all over it - in blood as well...

trust me there's more to come.- and I will put that CD together with all the ones that pass muster for me..
The cup winners (I'm sure I could have blagged my way a touch closer - but rumour is you need a "Nikon" camera strap to do all the blagging in the sports photo area/arenas !!)
..hope mum/dad don't mind - any probs let me know ... twas the ball size vs head size that made me click !!
Yeah yeah - I'll sort the action pix as well - will tomorrow (Thursday) night do ???