Sunday, September 30, 2007

Strange Sunday - in many steps...

Step 1 - Buy laptop - God forgive me, but I went to PC World in Oldham at 1100 this morning and was out and "on the road" to Lancaster by 1130 - well it was a last minute emergency thingy....

Step 2 - Set up PC in Lancaster - turned it one to be greeted with a Windows Vista "Welcome Screen" with the words "Enter Password" - what bloody password ??

Step 3 - Get PC World to sort it. Various phone lines were bloody useless - "we can't get an answer at Oldham" etc etc etc. "You'll probably need to take it back there (!!)"

Step 4 - Discover PC World - in Lancaster - get them on the case - similar answer - "Can't get through to Oldham"...then Darren (bless him) said "Bring it in here - we'll sort it"

Step 5 - They did - so it's "Big Up" to Darren at PC World in Lancaster !! Laptop now up and running in Duncan's "student boudoir"

Step 6 - Drive home - problem - 12 mile tailback on M6 - chose A6 instead to avoid the problems - me and 5,000 others. Took 90 minutes to cover 15 miles !

Step 7 - Arrive home - eat tea (mmm Steak - poor old Peter still on mash type food - today mashed potato, cheese & fish).

Step 8 - Add the forgotten STS "exclusive pic" from yesterday ....Lee Blackshaw takes on Chris Carr..
Step 9 - Beer.... and this ...

Mossley v Newcastle Blue Star

Another win !!! And - more importantly, another win after one of those "bites yer bum" moments...remember Ossett when they took the lead - heads didn't drop, we came back, we won. There was a similar "match defining" moment today when the Newky keeper managed to avoid the red, they got the free kick and went up and bloody equalised. Still no dropping of the heads though - and a result that almost mirrored the Man City v Newcastle United game - apart from the score !!

Tonight / Tomorning - it's twenty to blooming two (ok 0140) and this is the first chance I've had on the pc tonight - and "small boy/invalid/jaw cracker" is still waiting for me to get off - some new online "World of Warcraft" type thing !! Pix will appear fairly soon in the usual bucket i.e.

Gotta drive up to Lancaster later today as well - all the stuff our Duncan forgot - plus an emergency laptop purchase (I'll take it out of his uni money - no probs !!).

Other results from today that I've managed to glean include Stalybridge getting local "bragging rights" after their 1-0 FA Cup win over Hyde United, Belper causing an upset by beating Hucknall again in the FA Cup - and our opponents on Tuesday night - Clitheroe - putting 8 past Spennymoor United - FA Cup again.

Now to do pix .....

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bad Day - NOT at the Office ...

Peter's birthday today - took the day off work as well (we hadn't got round to buying him a present what with this week's "stuff") - plus it was nice to have a lie-in after Quiz Night last night.

Anyway - to cut a long story short - into Ashton, got him a mobile telephonic piece of equipment - managed to get a discount cus I'm on O2 - however the guy took my SIM card out of my (oldish) moby - and it promptly stopped working when it went back in. Bugger.

Went to Asda for shopping - went home - on way home I clouted some guy's (electric) wing mirror in one of those "almost but not quite" moments - totalled his, smashed mine. His Dad owned a garage (!!) so it was all sorted fairly amicably - my wallet said ouch. Bugger.

Got replacement glass for our mirror - wallet said ouch again. Bugger.

Sod it - it's one of those days - bought myself a new mobile phone - cheapest of course but still ... Bugger

This probably puts the "Buy a new lens" day back a while.... Bugger.

Oh and we didn't win the quiz either...


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stalybridge Celtic v Woodley Sports

Well I got to a game in the end -Mrs Smiffy spent the day - and night - at Booth Hall with Peter, so I got the pass-out (too late for a chance of Stocksbridge v Mossley) , arriving just after kick-off.

Pictures will arrive soon at ...

and some words on the game too ...but we've all just got back from the hospital now (1830) with a boy who looks something like a gerbil with extremely large pouches. We have plenty of straws and milk and stuff like that !

2041 - Pix are up and running now....the game - you've got to say that Celtic never really got out of third gear - a comfy 4-1 win in the end - they even throttled back a touch more in the second half !! Two goals from Chris Hall in the first half made it comfy - and one from Roca in the 46th minute (yes me still coming back from Hare & Hounds !!) killed the game off as a contest. Woodley did get a good consolation goal from Nick Robinson, but a late fourth from Burbeary made the score a wee more realistic.

The STS "exclusive - Paul Sykes' effort that was disallowed for "something"...

Monday, September 24, 2007

No Football tomorrow ....

It SHOULD be Stocksbridge v Mossley in Unibond Challenge Cup was probably going to be Stalybridge v Woodley in the Cheshire Senior Cup .....or maybe Droylsden's first league win against Burton Albion....

..but that's all gone out of the window following a phone call this evening on my way home which said "On our way to North Manchester General - Peter's jaw is broken in two places" ........................................ (for more info see earlier thread) - strange that the fractured jaw (x2) was not spotted by Tameside General last Friday Night / Saturday morning .....but we'll hold on that one for now.

An "interesting" evening entailed which saw him ending up at Booth Hall where he'll be having an operation tomorrow afternoon - we got home at about 2330 tonight - I only joined Mrs Smiffy & Peter at North Manc at 1845 - they'd started at Tameside today at 1330 !! Such is the beauty of specialisms, different Health Trusts, left hands/right hands - and general privatisation. Duplicate forms were filled in - to ensure they had the correct Health Trust name at the top - a "maxfax" specialist from North Manchester was doing a surgery at Tameside this afternoon - obviously no-one at Ashton seemed to know (that could have cut out one hospital/health trust/set of duplicate forms !!) At 14 years old he could not stay at North Manchester - he's a "child" - yet he was allowed to sign a consent form...

So - don't expect any reports tomorrow night - apparently he's 3rd in the queue for tomorrow afternoon, which kicks off at 1400 - he may be "moved down" if more urgent stuff comes in. Mrs Smiffy takes day off - think I'll pack in work at lunchtime to make the perilous public transport journey to Booth Hall.

Watch this space if you want .........once again my grateful thanks to the 20 year "big bully boy"...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mossley v Ossett - the Sunday View...

... got back from Lancaster about 1630 - Duncan is finally an undergraduate - and have added a few more pictures to the photobucket account viz.

To the game - beforehand there was talk in the Club about a draw being a good result, But me and Martin Allison's Dad (!!) were more confident than that . I reckoned that the first half was fairly evenly matched - with maybe Ossett just edging it - well they did hit the bar as well - but it remained 0-0 at half-time !!

Oh yes the STS exclusive picture...this week - a juggling Paul Garvey.

We were playing downhill second - further cause for confidence - however it was Ossett who took the lead through Bentley -but only after a quite superb double point-blank save from Ashley Connor - he nearly kept the "third time lucky" effort out as well. This was definitely a turning point. Mossley heads did not drop - "au contraire" as they say in downtown Luzley - within minutes we were level as Paul Quinn slid one in from just about the penalty spot.

With 20 minutes left Gareth Hamlet "got up at the back stick" to make it 2-1, and "close to the death" (phrase used courtesy of our club sponsors !!) Arron Kirk collected, turned, threw one (dummy) before rifling home a third goal - Dad was well chuffed !!

Over the 90 minutes it was a well-deserved win - and it was good to see the attitude after going 1-0 down. Twelve months ago we'd have ended up going 2-0 down and then only start playing with six minutes to go. Yesterday was different - and when the equaliser went in, it was the Ossett heads that seemed to drop. The form table now reads DWW - and there's confidence on the pitch and off the pitch - smiley faces everywhere. Must admit that attendance yesterday (180) was a touch disappointing - it's time for that old adage "Bring a Mate - and Double the Gate"..

Tuesday night sees a relatively short hop to Stocksbridge Park Steels in the League Cup - unfortunately it looks as though I'll be giving this one a miss due to work/time constraints - it looks like blooming Woodley again - away at Stalybridge in the Cheshire Senior Cup ...hope Aaron's found his long trousers by now ......

Mossley V Ossett Albion

OK it's late - but try to remember - there's more to life than football. We've had visitors tonight as we celebrate (?) our middle son going off to University - we have to be in Lancaster in 9 hours time. Having spent a couple of hours last night betwixt 0030 and 0230 in Tameside Hospital A&E attending to our youngest lad who was assaulted by some "big bully boy" in Top Mossley (I would happily put a f*cking bomb under any f*cking fair that visits this town - at least it would prevent all the kids (my own lad included) behaving like total dickheads), I am a touch tired ....!!

But - for starters - here's some pix from Mossley's 3-1 home win today against Ossett Albion. When I return from Lancaster tomorrow afternoon - you may (nay WILL) get some more "product"

Friday, September 21, 2007

22nd September Preview ..... ish .....

Tomorrow sees Mossley @ home to Ossett Albion - a shame really as I can't re-use my joke about that famous beat combo from Manchester called "James" who did that wonderful non-league football anthem which went something like ..."Ossett Town Ossett Town Ossett Town - sit down next to me". Doesn't really work with the word "Albion".

Droylsden have a "biggie" tomorrow with their trip to Altrincham - a good public transport jobbie - and a real basement battle as well.

Curzon Ashton entertain the "Brazilians" (HA !!) from Garforth Town (who incidentally beat Ossett last weekend... hmmm....).

Ashton United are at home to Frickley (who will be parading their new signing Neil Redfearn - which for those "in the know" is an anagram of "reindeer flan").

Stalybridge Celtic are at home to Hinckley United - and true to fixture organising (a 'kin joke !!) you also find that Hyde entertain AFC Telford tomorrow - and seem to have gone well over the top with segregation, temporary gun towers in each corner of the ground, sniffer dogs, chaps with sticks that go "weee wooo" when rubbed up and down your body - I trust the Telford beer crew will either take in the Stalybridge Buffet Bar before heading off to the "Sportsman" in Hyde rather than chancing the "Phoenix Nights" atmosphere that is Hyde's Social Club (although as part of the segregation the away team seem to have free run of the place tomorrow). Yep - anyone would think they were playing FC United of Manchester !!! Oh - Telford fans - be careful at Newton Station - they have gun-toting kiddies there y'know ....and we're talking AK47/Kalashnikov, not spud gun ........

So - of the Six Tame Sides - five are at home week no doubt there'll be no choice for the "non-travellers" I'm sure - I'm not looking at any fixture lists because naturally - "I take each game as it comes ....!"

Just remembered - I don't do previews ....see elsewhere....let's see what the weather brings as well ...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ashton United v Stockport County - Friendly

Aaah - time at last - done the pix first of course...

My little book tells me that Northern Rail once again f**ked up last night - automated systems are a waste of space. I went for the 1857 - when I checked with my mate "Robowoman" @ 1854 - it was on time - two minutes later an express hurtles through Mossley and a re-check with "her" tells me it's now 6 minutes late. Hey ho, the 1919 bus from Stalybridge up to Hurst Cross was ... 2 minutes late, so I did arrive just after KO. How will we EVER sel the concept of public transport to the general public when they can't even get the simple things right - I despair really I do - last night's performances could well lead to someone going out and buying a bloody 4x4 ....

Rant (slightly) over - my aim last night was to try out stuff with the camera using myold lens at 150mm - as I'd seen a recently released 50-150 f2.8 lens from Sigma at an extremely reasonable price and wanted to experiment at that length - within minutes it was "sod that - we'll have to go 70-200 - and pay the extra !!" Lens update here - it ain't gonna happen overnight - still some delicate negotiations to go through - but I guarantee by Christmas the night game pix should improve - if they don't - it's down to me, not the kit !!!

The usual STS "exclusive !"
I'm sure it was a good work out for all concerned - got to be better than just a training session anyway - and I did get a couple of the goals - I think !! In the club afterwards I got collared into taking a pic of some "new signings" as Robin had shot off apparently - no idea who they are, but the pic is now available on the above link. Also in attendance last night was the "cultured left foot" of Radcliffe Borough Manager Kevin Glendon (and the rest of his body of course !) I asked him about the "state of play", given the recent press release by "young Bernard" - he said "We've gotta get on with it" - Kev is not "full-time" up there anymore - I hope it all works out for both Kevin and club - after all his left foot was revered all those years ago when he played for Mossley (and the rest of his body !!).

I'm stopping now - I want to watch the Michael Palin repeat on BBC4 - Mossley v Ossett calls at the weekend - apparently there's football on tonight - can't be anyone interesting or I'd be watching it .......

Woodley - NOT !!!

..bottled out tonight..too much on at work - and the thought that next Tuesday I could end up watching bloody Woodley again (Mossley @ Stocksbridge - should be easy but work being work at the moment - to put it bluntly "fook knows".) and I've seen Woodley too many times already this season !!!!

So tonight = going to the friendly up at Hurst Cross betwixt Ashton United and a Stockport County XI - Hatters won 4-2. Pix will be available at the usual ....

but maybe not tonight .....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Belper Town vs Causeway United (FA Cup)

Just got back to Mossley @ 1630 today, hence lack of any sort of update. Pix will be available - soon - at

soonish - and I rustle up some words to go with them - suffice to say a good weekend all round - Belper progress in the FA Cup and Mossley win at Rossendale.

OK - let's update the weekend....beginning at about 1615 in the "John Millington" in Cheadle Hulme on Friday when we all went out from work on a "bed wetting" celebration - right, it got called that a few times rather than the "wetting the baby's head" celebration that it actually was - pints/other stuff were duly drunk in celebration of the birth of Samuel James Tucker. I left the "young'uns" at about 2145 - the only way to ensure I got the last train (2300) back to Mossley - they all went on to the fleshpots of the Fab Caff in Manchester where reputations were "won and lost" until the early hours.

While that crew were still fast asleep/sobering up/groaning a lot, I was on my way down the A6 with Mrs Smiffy to visit the Mother-in-Laws and (for me) take in the Belper Town v Causeway United FA Cup tie. After arrival/ meets/greets, I trotted off to the George and Dragon (FunFair Brewery "SkyDiver" - £2-60 a pint - it's bloody pricey in the Amber Valley I can tell you) before arrival at ChristChurch Meadow(s). Time for a quick "Pedigree" and chat with Tim (Belper "Snapper") before I got "found out" by a goal within 30 seconds of the kick-off (Danny Toronczack) - me still faffing about with stuff !! Worse was to follow when Ross Hannah made it 2-0 - got the header but also some dozy Causeway number 2 very much in the foreground. A third goal from Anthony Wilson towards the end made it a fairly comfy victory for the Nailers. Realised then that I'd no idea how Mossley had gone on - my phone was in side pocket of the car because some bugger had rung me whilst driving down (and me being the "good guy" had passed said moby to Mrs Smiffy). A few after-match pints with Darlo, thence to Pistol and the Belper "top table", thence to "Riflemans" before returning to George Street - and falling asleep for an hour or two. Woke up in time for the Women's World Cup before giving up again.

Sunday saw a gentle eight-miler around Belper before returning to the Mossley fold late afternoon. By now I'd found out that Mossley had "trounced" Rossendale 2-1. A good weekend all round. By the way - here's a non-football photo from Sunday... eat your heart out Vincent Van Gogh (although I only got one flower - there's more bees !!!)..I give you a "rogue sunflower" at the bottom of George Street in Belper....

Monday's FA draw now sees Belper at home to Conference North's Hucknall Town - a possible scalp there ....Tuesday's night out will see me at Woodley Sports to watch the League Cup game against Curzon Ashton... yep, Woodley - again !!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's Come - It's Come !!

Harrogate - posh end of Yorkshire we're led to believe. My journey began at Cheadle Hulme at 1630 - a "quick change" in't'works bogs and on to Manchester Picc. 1654 to Leeds, and yes - I bottled out at Stalybridge for a couple of decent beers !!!!!! Got back "online" by catching the 1738 to Leeds which enabled me to catch the 1829 from Leeds to Starbeck.... was 10 minutes late .........

Seem to be loads of "suits" on the trains at Leeds - but once we got beyond Headingley and through a very long tunnel it calmed down a bit. Should have arrived at Starbeck at 1908 - nearer 20 past, but with the ground so close to the station - no sweat. A pint of cask John Smiths in the "Sir Henry Peacock" before a wander past the old folks flats, across the field and into the ground in good time.

An interesting ground - I'm being polite here -

Social Club - (I'd walked past 450 yards t'other side of the field)

Toilets - One Portakabin per sex

Floodlights - well check out the pix ....

A little bit of annoyance does creep in - we at Mossley have had our "pop side" stand closed down because it ain't concreted and contains "possible missiles" - I'm afraid Harrogate's ground lags well behind Seel Park if we're going on the safety ticket - fairs fair mind - I did have a chat with "Dave Lumix" in the club at half-time (yes I did leg it across for one) and they are "on the case" - it just seems that the league feel Mossley may "go up" therefore we'll tie them down tight vis-a-vis ground gradings.

Anyway I digress - if you're not aware, one of the new-wave Mossley eco-warrior travellers had a slight mishap at the weekend - alcohol and Spain were involved - I give you - Dydo's fractured foot !!!!!

To football - well, I have to be honest (am I ever thus) - it was 15th (us) v 16th (them) - and it showed. Looking at the positives, we seem to be fairly comfy at the back as regards moving the ball out - some good one-touch stuff/find your man etc. However if we take the A-B-C formula where A=Defence, B=Midfield C=Attack....

A to A - looking comfy
A to B - mostly comfy with the odd few "overshoots"
A to C - that's called "hoof" - we "hoof" too well ...
B to C - if we could just get this right...

And once again we conceded just before half-time (OK was it 35 rather than 43 ??) when a 0-0 half-time would have done wonders. Second half was a lot of huff'n'puff and a lot of "panic at the disco" - sorry panic at the back - but I fervently believe a lot of the panic is purely down to confidence - it's NOT a lack of ability - no way. Anyways, perseverance brings its own reward - however bloody late - and Gareth played the "Get Out of Jail" card to good effect - and that sort of thing will send not only the fans home happy - but the players too (unless Gerry b*ll*cked them of course !!)

I'll stick a piccy link on again for those who don't go too far back..

As you can tell - the night matches are going to be a struggle - as the mighty "Kipax" from Accy Stanley says "If you haven't got an f2.8 lens you might as well forget night-time football photography" - well - hot off the presses - a 4% pay increase arrived today (whoo hooo !!) - and after due discussions with Mrs Smiffy - a new lens might well be in the offing fairly soon (pay rise only part of it of course - this will be birthday, Christmas, 2008 Fathers Day, etc etc up front - an NO REPEAT NO REPEAT NO CIGARETTES !!). The Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS is still a distant dream - but if I can at least get the Sigma equivalent (no image stabilisation though) - it's got to be a step in the right direction....

....unless anyone out there in bloggerland can put me onto a second-hand Canon 70-200 f2.8 without the Image Stabilisation for around £500-550.

OK - enough shop talk - Saturday sees Mossley away at Rossendale United in a re-arranged jobby due to the lack of FA Cup next round stuff. Unfortunately I won't be at Dark Lane as once Woodley "did the business" over us in't'Cup, a trip to Mother-in-Laws was arranged....

Which means I get to watch Belper Town v Causeway United in the FA Cup - and a futile "Photography Death Match" with Tim (aka Belper Town's "Snapper") will entail !!!

The "further bugger" is of course that Rossendale is a wonderful "by public transport" place - Mossley to Man Vic - MetroLink to Bury - East Lancs Preserved Railway to Rawtenstall.......


It's Coming - It's Coming - Mark II

Pix now at

usual night-time probs - which MAY END SOOOOOOOOOON ! Let me sort out "stuff" avec le maison - and the report/"stuff" will follow at "It's Coming - it's coming Mk III" or something like that ...

It's Coming - It's Coming ...

Thursday - 2000 hrs - Let me have tea - then prat with photos (Mrs Smiffy going out - ergo time and stuff !!!) - and I'll "blow the lid" on last night's performance.......

Harrogate RA vs Mossley

Strictly late jobby - you'll see more tomorrow - but for now ..
1-1 if you didn't know ....with the Mossley equaliser coming "rather late" !!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Preparing for Harrogate...

..cus we're not going to sit on our backsides tomorrow watching England and Russia are we ??

Are we ??

Blimey I've outlined the timetable - by rail - on the Mossley messageboard - OK it's tight at the Harrogate end but isn't that part of the fun (actually catching the 2139 back from Starbeck to Leeds will be the interesting one !!) It's Mossley (15th) away at Harrogate (16th) - far more important that some overpriced, overhyped TV thing - and if they were any good they'd (England) be home and dry by now ....

Meanwhile tonight - no football for me (if I'm out spending tomorrow anyway !!) Radcliffe have lost at Bamber Bridge which firmly entrenches them at the bottom - Bridlington also lost keeping them "down there" while Clitheroe's "moneyspinner" against FCUM was beset by floodlight failure (hope they had enough "unique" raffle tickets to give out for free entry to the re-arranged model). Our "bete noire" as in Woodley Sports drew 0-0 at home to our "nearest and not so dearest" as in Curzon Ashton. Ashton United got a good 2-1 away win at Marine, while my "team of choice" for Saturday (yes arranged BEFORE the Rossendale v Mossley re-arrangement) Belper Town appear to have got a good tonking at home by Sheffield FC - and Darlo says "Ouch" ...

Meanwhile for those of you without a colour licence, here's me fiddling around from Saturday's nadir/perigee/call it what you will......

(Note for Aaron @ Woodley - doing it THIS way means that Liam's shirt doesn't look so 'shirt without the ''r" ' - if you know what I mean !!)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Life after Football...

The magic machine tells me over 70 peeps have been on here today - obviously "looking for stuff" as Eddie Izzard would say.

However - after yesterday's "nadir" - well let's hope it was a "nadir", I was off to Rochdale/Whitworth for the "Last Chance of a Barbie before the weather gets sh*te" Barbecue. Stayed over and this morning we dashed back - dropped off large boy before shooting off to do an 18 miler starting at Reddish Vale and doing a circle round to Werneth Low, then Etherow then Chadkirk, Woodbank Hall Park, Vernon Park and back to Reddish.

Home for tea about 1930 - "house tidy", bath and now downloading 231 pictures - then they need looking at, compressing and uploading fans should head for

and walkers - and lovers of the great outdoors - should try

...but "give me just a little more time" - as Chairman of the Board would say - I'm getting there...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Woodley - again !!

This time however it's three points rather than a grand that we're playing for...fingers crossed which would YOU rather have (yeah "both" was my answer as well on Tuesday) - got some interesting "camera rainwear" from fleabay today - it's like a ginormous condom with a drawstring on the end and room (hope) to squeeze both hands in - goes by the name of an "Optech Rainsleeve" - at two for a fiver, it's worth a try - so now I will be carrying my "something for the weekend" around with me at all times - you've got to be careful eh what.

Just got back from a bit of a night out in the big town (that's Manchester not Ashton-under-Lyne) - met Mrs Smiffy and our Duncan after work - starting to stock him up with "university essentials" (he's going to Lancaster you know - that place where we won 2-0 !!!) - then drinkipoos and tapas ("All Bar One") and more drinkipoos ("Mitre Hotel" believe it or not - reckon the barman was well out of it - note use of word "reckon" for legal purposes).

Meanwhile here's a chap who scored on Tuesday for Woodley - one of my better pre-season pix from when Woodley entertained Droylsden - I give you - ex Mossley of course - Mario Sergio Daniel ...
Damn - we've got Aaron's shorts - again - as well - tis getting like "Groundhog Day", or that new Vodafone ad on the telly......

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Didn't watch it but ......


Yes I'm referring to the appearance of Stafford Rangers on the "Carlos Santana Channel" tonight against Halifax - a 2-1 lead which has turned into a 3-2 defeat. I remember watching them on TV - god - 10 years ago on some strange satellite channel - against Yeovil I think - a 0-0 draw was watched by me and me only in a pub in Stalybridge - everyone else was either drinking beer, knitting or watching the paint dry ...

I could go into the full-time/part-time argument - but then I'd start to sound like some kind of "Premiership Pundit" - perish the (highly paid) thought ...

I can go back to FA Cup 2nd Round in 1974 against Halifax Town when Halifax were League and "Boro" were Northern Premier - who remembers the Jimmy Sargeant "screamer" for the 2-1 win ??

I finish as I start...


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Woodley Replay - Updated Wednesday

Best team won - I reckon so tonight ...pix only later - too late for words...
Pix at....

WEDNESDAY UPDATE - Can't add to much to what others have said - the effort IS there - but the basic mistakes are being punished, and this is having a big hit on the "on-field confidence" causing changes back to the "hoof" mentality - and some unnecessary "panic stations" - - plus a concentration thing - we ARE conceding close to half-time/full-time rather a lot - a small confidence-building/relaxation event would cover this ("Rag" on a Friday/Saturday morning to see how the hard-core fans cope with it - see how Topsy concentrates for the "full seven hours" - just a thought Gerry !!!).

I'll be honest - I've not even looked at the attendance last night - I was 5 minutes late, but the atmosphere seemed really "flat" from the start - which I guess again doesn't help the confidence on the pitch - the taxi cab that was the Woodley fan base (no disrespect) made a damn site more noise. Again I think we're back to the "our fans make more noise away from home" syndrome - but hasn't that always been ??

Here's an "STS" exclusive - an early effort from Lee Connor nestling in the arms of Liam Higginbottom - who's that Welsh chappie top right ?!?!?!?!?

Still - 'twas only the FA Cup - we weren't gonna win that one were we ?? Means we now have a free date on 15th September - no doubt a "re-arranged" will kick in - but myself and Mrs Smiffy will be visiting the mother-in-law that weekend - twas pre-arranged (and now just happens to fit in with the Belper Town v Causeway United game in the "only the FA Cup" round that we're not in....had we gone through I'd have been hoping for Hallam, as Sheffield to Derby is easy on the train - although rumour has it, a Hallam game will be played on a Friday night once again due to cricket team priorities (thanx to Aaron for that info - no bloody use to us now though is it - you Woodley fan you !!).

Ho - hum - now looking forward to a repeat on Saturday - this time it's three points rather than £1,000 though. I need an early night as well - three-and-a-half games in four days - and the camera-fiddling that goes with it - is starting to take its toll.

PS Thanks to Dave Bax for the "special" Ashton United progs - they'll be travelling with me on the 15th September !!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ashton United vs Hednesford Town

...OK , twas only 50% but saw a goal ...a last minute decision (going to the game NOT the goal !!) - and a quick "bus check" saw me up at Hurst Cross just after half-time. 1-1 was the score - apparently the "Pitmen" had been the top team of the half despite Ashton having taken the lead. Plus it was a good outing for the photokit to check it had all dried out after Sunday's deluge !! Anyways, after all I'd heard early about the first half - Ashton then proceeded to look so much the better side in the second half - Hednesford had their moments but - it was the team on top who scored the winner.

The pix (God I'm gonna struggle at night games !!!) are at ...

Note my spelling of the South Staffordshire boys - none of the "Hed-nesss-ford" crap in my head - being a Staffordshire chappie.

Plenty of celebs noted at the game - Cyril (everyone knows Cyril !!), Sam & Peggy (ex-Mossley supremos), Chris Wilcock and John Flanagan from Woodley (we'll see them later tonight !!). Plus John Milne is trying to grow a beard - oh no John no John no !!

Enough - twas only "Arthur Game" for me 'the truth' at

Monday, September 03, 2007

I May Rant ....I may be "over 50" but ....

....we've all heard the stories about peeps having to put "warning - may get hot" on coffee cups and similar - just for fun ( cus I Do smile betwixt "grumpy old man moments" !) - try this - on my 350 bus tonight aiming towards Ashton to get some of their game agin Hednesford (I made the second half - more to come later) I clocked this....
Need I say more - this country really is going somewhere.............

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Woodley Sports v Mossley - FA Cup Prelim Round

(@Cheadle Town FC)

2242 - Still fannying with pix - will be at

At least I'm dry - now .....1-1 by the way - not pretty - but then again weather was pretty ugly !! More to come - promise - how the eco-warriors got there - got wet - got home etc etc.

"After 11 o'clock" - here we go ..... We started early on the 1134 from Mossley - it's Sunday y'know (trains are only every 3 days on a Sunday - or something similarly sh*te !!). Must get my brownie points in though - in prep of Mrs Smiffys' return, I was up at Mossley Co-op at just after 1000 to get some stuff for tea. When I left the house (at a jog - at 1128 !!) there were two dishes in the fridge - one containing fish (trout and salmon) and one containing par-boiled veg for roasting) - I'll make someone a lovely wife .... if I remember rightly - when I came out of the Co-op it had started to rain (remember this word - it returns several times..)

Enough indulgence - off the train at Stalybridge - no time for a Buffet bar visitation as the Piccadilly train was only 6 minutes behind. Into Picc and with a 40 minute wait for the Gatley train an adjourniment was made to the "Balcony Bar". Some fun on the 1249 to Gatley - a fare dodger" (only one I hear you say ???). Conductor got his details - I took his picture !!! Should I pass these details onto Northern Rail ??? I buy a £21-80 weekly ticket every week - I am not into train travel to subsidise fare dodgers - his "mate" was even carrying a "Costa Coffee" cup - if that isn't taking the p*ss what is ??? We could see it was raining out of the windows.....

Enough old man rant - from Gatley station it's about a 25 minute walk to Cheadle Town FC - yes the FA won't let any play in their cup who's got a "placcy pitch" - would be intersting if someone like Arsenal "went plastic" - one rule for the rich and one for the poor would be my guess .. it rained all the way to Cheadle Town FC.

It was a quiet ground at 1330 - but the bar was open. I have to be honest though - I think the cigarette ban may well have hit hard at Cheadle Town FC - there is a distinct smell of damp/mustiness in the air I'm afraid - with no fag smoke to mask it (and the slugs must have had a real party last night - happy trails everywhere). The welcome was fine however (keg John Willie Lees for those who want to know). We were all looking forward to the unveiling of the new "away strip" - tangerine and black. Still raining by the way.

To the game - as usually there will be much more eloquent, hirsute (??) witty (?) pithy (???) observations to my own - but we were a shadow of the team that played at Lancaster on Bank Holiday Monday - maybe for many reasons - weather - crap pitch (which had been played on 24 hours earlier - and had not been "attended to" post-Saturday game - naughty) - playing on the Sabbath - weather - price of bacon - weather - I could go on ....still raining y'know ... here's a picture of Aaron's shorts by the way .... notice that it's raining by the way .....can you see the umbrella - ella - ella - ella ... (note for casual viewers - there ARE some much better pix on the photobucket link above - then again - it WAS raining ....)

Anyroad up Woodley took the lead they'd deserved (i.e. they were less poor than us !) just before the half-hour through Robinson. This did seem to wake us up a bit - oh forgot to say - still raining - and we got back on terms at the best possible time - literally seconds before half-time when Rich Conway squeezed one in - I wasn't expecting it - but see - cus Gary got the goal !! That's Gary with the quality weatherproof condom as opposed to my tea towel (we're talking camera protection here before you get carried away - it was raining after all)

Half-time - raining by the way - second half - weather worsened leaving a couple of teams to huff and puff their way to 90 minutes. A fair result I suppose - weather was apalling though (rain y'know). As the full-time whistle went we left sharpish - our train from Gatley was leaving in 30 minutes. We negotiated pools of water everywhere through Cheadle Village (something to do with rain I'm told) before arriving at the station with 5 to spare. On the train I made what has to be considered the "ultimate sacrifice" - my camera-drying towel was offered to the masses - and young Charlotte starts drying her bloody jeans with it !! Once again - time in Mancy Picc - this time to the "Sports Bar" to catch the last 10 minutes of the Vill/Chelsea game - when that Villa second goal went in - I couldn't believe how many Brummies were in that bar, such was the roar - be sensible Smiffy - they're all Reds !!! 1812 was our overture to leave Picc - a quck phone home to say "Put Oven on 6 - give it 5 mins then bung them two dishes in the fridge into said warmed oven") - no time (again !!!) for a snifter at Stalybridge before our carriage to Mossley arrived.

Home greet the "world tourer" - tea was marvellous - all I had to do was steam some broccoli - all the hard work had been done some ten hours earlier..pix to sort - done - and then to this.

Trusting all peeps etc will have dried out before Tuesday's replay......

A very late Drunken Woodley preview

Star Date 0224 (eek !!!) we play at Cheadle Town - not easy for us "eco-warriors" - especially on a Sunday - but the walk from Gatley Station is shorter than from Cheadle Hulme station - so 1134 from Mossley is the train of choice - keep your 4x4 at home - better still set fire to the bloody thing and buy a weekly traincard (£21-80 - works for me - and the odd 20 minute walk is marvellous for one's health)

£1000 is up for grabs as well tomorrow - just think - if Woodley win they'll be paying most of that to Cheadle for ground hire - if we win it's ALL OURS !!!

The Woodley/Mossley link grows ever less - Adam Morning now at Bradford PA - Russ Headley "somewhere" (not Alfreton anyway - too much of "a player" for that league) - Mario is still there but he's not the man he was - cus I've seen him this season - too busy moaning and not playing (saw 'em aginst Droylsden and Hyde pre-season). However they do have Chris Wilcock as Manager - who I thought was treated really really badly when he was at Mossley - the guy ran for miles every game - he may not have scored a lot but his effort created many a Mossley goal- truly a top player.

In the style of our SJNR where you'll find a much more educated / sober "preview" which wasn't done at 3 in the morning before the game ( "I Predict a Riot" - no but really it'll be a good test because the "local rivalry" will certainly kick in - but if we play like we played at Lancaster last Monday - we'll grab that grand !

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Hyde United v Redditch United

For starters.....

(More for the dog owners @ Glossop Beer Fest - bear with me - there's more to come !)

Star Date 2343 - or nearly midnight - pix sorted at above link - now what about today ??? I've got to say from the start that it was a good "full day out" !! Started at 1157 with the train to Stalybridge - a couple of pints of Nottingham Brewery "Extra Pale Ale" before getting to Ashton - quick one in the "Prince of Orange" (needed a pee !!!) before 330 bus to Hyde. Walked over to the "Sportsman" where I met Gav, Pras and a few others (Daleside "DUFF Blonde" was the 'soup de jour').

The game - obviously you'll get a better call on the match at or check out the fan's view at - but I thought Hyde were comfy throughout - sad to say (as a Midlander myself) but Redditch had very little to offer up front, and by the end the wheels had all but fallen off the defence. A very well deserved victoire for "Les Tigres". And here's the STS "exclusive" !!!

One minor point - within two minutes of "whipping out me monopod" I was accosted by a 'yellowjacket' asking whether I had "official permission" to photograph the game. It may well be the case that when you get up to the "dizzy heights" of Blue Square North, permission may be required - I had no probs last season at the Gainsborough game ( although I did only have my baby Fuji. I did find another "snapper" with a DigiSLR ("sans monopod" mind) - no-one had mithered him !! Does a monopod make you a pro or what ?? Anyways I'll be in touch with head honchos at Hyde, Stalybridge and Droylsden to "check stuff out" and assure them that I am in no way attempting to make money/deprive Mr Blue Square etc etc - and try to get any sort of accreditation necessary. You may well note that - unlike some - there is NO copyright-type watermark on any of my pix - I consider them "up for grabs".

Anyway enough of that - a swift walk down to Newton Station to get the 1705 to Glossop - the much-vaunted "Big Day Out" was reduced to Gav, Pras and myself !!!. Off the train - into the "Star" car park - and we were off again...(Parish Brewery "somehing" was my starter). HOWEVER ..on the train in we'd noticed the cricket pitch - so a swift detour to watch the end of the Glossop CC vs Woodbank CC was in order (I've never done cricket before with the camera - now that is different !). Glossop won handsomely by 9 wickets - and then back to the "real" beer - Hornbeam Brewery "Top Hop" was a newbie for me (brewed in Denton apparently). We spotted Neil from Shaws Brewery rolling in a couple of 9's from his little van for tomorrow as well.

Then for me - a 237 bus home - via Royston Vazey - to Stalybridge - damn - a wait for a train - Millstone "Station" before catching the 2141 home - to this - a quick whip through 125 pix (I don't go mad - probably still have a bit a "roll of film" mentality - a mate I know from Rochdale goes wild - 400+ every game - but he's getting paid for the good'uns mind !).

All in all though - a thoroughly belting day out - leaving me only to sort out tomorrow's tea (Mrs Smiffy returns) (slow cooker job therefore !!) early doors before alighting the 1134 train on the "Road to Wembley" - Mossley away at Woodley Sports in the FA Cup Preliminary Round (£1000 up for grabs !) at 1500 hours (being played at Cheadle Town FC due to the FA ban on artificial turf).

Watch this space.....