Monday, November 30, 2009


Sunday – with Mrs Smiffy still away (think about it - why else would I have been wide awake very late on Saturday night sorting out pictures (after a Chinese Takeaway for tea) AND listening to “Relayer” by Yes AND drinking ‘dirty beer’), I also managed a trip out to pub early Sunday afternoon to watch Kettering Town beat Leeds United (well almost) - and I won some Spare Rib Chops in the “Brit Meat Draw” as well ! – but this trip was ONLY after doing some resealing around the upstairs bath (top tip – sod the lolly sticks idea, squeeze out the silicone stuff – then a dab or three of washing up liquid on the finger and run that along the joint – it tidies up the bead of silicone beautifully !!). Oops football - I reckon keeper Lee Harper should have got MOM – two tremendous saves – and he’s copped for the Manager job since Mark Cooper went to Peterborough - the tempter of a trip to Old Trafford must loom large when they get to the replay.... which leads beautifully on to ..

.. Monday – and today a job interview (ironically for work with the Department of Work and Pensions – they’re taking on staff because … you can work out the rest !) - OK first things first – some lit/num tests to pass – which weeded out 50% of our batch/tranche – before my first job interview since May 1985 – which took place in a private box overlooking the pitch …….. at Old Trafford – I kid you not ! Interview took the best part of 40 minutes – and when I realise I left our house at 0955 – and left Old Trafford at about 1530 (with no food – and without setting foot in the Megastore !) – it was a long day, and I was a complete nervous wreck when I came out !!! The question has been asked by several peeps, viz “How did it go ??”. Well I refer my right honourable reader to the earlier line regarding first interview for nearly 25 years - - - - I’ve absolutely no idea !!!! I gave what I thought was my “best shot” – pass or fail, I’ve been promised feedback from the interview – but having got to that stage … and passing the tests … and getting the interview … it’s a move in the right direction I guess, and any feedback (positive or negative) WILL give me some clues regarding interview performance/technique in the 21st century.

Anyway a couple of shandies helped to relax – and now we prepare for yet another day in the hunt for work – I’m certainly putting together a few “thoughts” regarding the whole “agency/register CV/we feed you job options” – but I’ll leave ‘those thoughts’ for a while .. early days yet. And after the hunt for work – we have football – away at Woodley Sports, so theoretically it could rain/snow/anything – the game should still be on thanks to “3G Fieldturf technology” – although that’s what we all thought last season when we “jollied” up to Durham City – see.

So much for all-weather pitches !!

Fingers crossed all should be fine tomorrow …

Oh yeah – and I’m 53 years young as well ….. and I wonder if it's Woodley Rod's birthday as well - need to check this as I may need to take cake/candles to Lambeth Grove tomorrow.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

And the answer ...

... to the "Brother Rabbit" conundrum posed yesterday is of course "The Commitments" - Jimmy Rabbit and Joey "The Lips" Fagan (who called him "Brother Rabbit") are the two pix adjacent to the pumpclip.

But you all knew that anyway didn't you ............... didn't you ??

Ashton United v North Ferriby United

... well after all the "early morning kerfuffle" I had the choice of two (OK Chorley v Curzon was a third - and I had offers of lifts too - thanks Joe - seven goals - bugger !!!) - I decided to eschew Droylsden in the end (save my "voucher" for the real Stalybridge re-arranged match I guess) as Ashton United is just that touch easier transport-wise - and I get a beer or two at Stalybridge Buffet Bar at both ends of a 408 bus !).

The cold weather certainly kicked in today - maybe something to do with the hair cut as well ! The pitch looked not unlike Mossley on a Tuesday night i.e. playable but "good to soft". Ashton went into the game on the back of a poor run, and I'm afraid it showed at times - confidence is certainly lacking a bit, and after NFU took the lead - yes Gary Bradshaw - it seemed to drop another notch. Here's the pix from today:

Ashton United 0 NorthFerriby United 1

It might have been a heavy pitch - but the Robins seemed (to me) to be playing the game far too long - at times it was "hoofball" as Darlo at Belper would say. I look back (wistfully) to 1970 - to the Great Harwood v Stafford Rangers game - on a mud heap down the slope - 6-1 to Rangers at half-time using "hoofball" tactics - finished up 7-5 as Great Harwood employed similar tactics in the second half. But I digress ... there's always room to play it short, play it through the midfield, and in my humble opinion that's where it went wrong today. This, combined with some "eccentric" refereeing at times (OK inconsistent/poor) led to the eventual result.

They shouldn't worry though - there's some good players up at Hurst Cross - they just seem to be lacking in confidence - just not wanting to take that little bit of extra time on the ball. Had that free kick gone in just after they went one down ... it might just have been the catalyst - but that's football godammit !! I know both fans and officials have great faith in Danny Johnson (Ashton Boss) - he'll turn it round I'm sure. To put it into pictures (OK one) ...

Another real disappointment was the crowd - with only Droylsden as an option in the vicinity, 136 was poor - especially when I saw FC United fans, Kendal fans and even a Witton Albion scarfed fan in the bar - I've no idea what the crowd was at the Butchers Arms but is it any wonder that teams struggle financially ?? I used to blame Sky - but that's only midweek - these days it's those damned Albanian/Italian satellite cards that are doing the damage - but then again with pubs closing at a rate of 25 per week, they've got an fair excuse as well - just narks me that when a club's game is called "off", many of their fans don't think to go to another game "just up the road" - it works both ways you know ...

0830 - The Hard Work Begins ...

... armed with a copy of the inside back page of last week's "Non League Paper", battle plans are now being drawn up -

- Part 1 (viz local) was documented yesterday (Mossley, Ashton U, Droylsden, Oldham, Chadderton)

- Part 2 (a bit further) looks like Chorley v Curzon or Buxton v Stalybridge Celtic (only a friendly however so could disappear very early !).

No Part 3 as yet ... although time and public transport play a big part here as well - eek !

Looking for those magical words ... "Game On" ... poss updates later ... also any updates from out there in "web land" would be gratefully received as well !

1030 - New Mills v Maine Road - OFF
1050 - Droylsden v Hyde United - ON !
1100 - Chapel (en-le-Frith) Town v Prestwich Heys - OFF
1115 - Mossley v Ossett Albion - OFF (bugger)
1120 - Ashton United v North Ferriby United - ON !
1145 - Chadderton v Rochdale Town - OFF
1145 - FC United v Kendal Town - OFF
1145 - Radcliffe B v Garforth Town - OFF
1145 - Buxton v Stalybridge Celtic - ON !
1200 - Chorley v Curzon Ashton - ON !

Decisions now in for all "Six Tame Sides" - therefore closing this one off for the day ... hope it's helped some ...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Something to think about ....

A story from the blog from March 2008:

The Murder of Sophie Lancaster

A video to watch which was premiered yesterday in Manchester:

The Murder of Sophie Lancaster

As it says at the end - please pass this link to as many people as you can ... thank you ...

Is it just my Anorak or ....

... sneaked a beer in early evening tonight at the Brit in Mossley - they had this one on (p.s. I didn't drink it - I had the Hopback "Summer Lightning") but then ... I saw this pumpclip and "thought out aloud " of other things - and no bugger else clicked !!!! Therefore I offer up three pix (of which I only took one - naturally) - hopefully someone out there in web land will see the connection ... I offer pumpclip, Robert Arkins and Johnny Murphy ...

Football tomorrow - well since Tuesday the weather has remained "poo" - after the exertions that night, the chances of Mossley v Ossett have to be 50/50 - other local options are Ashton United v North Ferriby United or Droylsden v Hyde United .. possibly another local derby that the weather might bugger up !! A poss train day out = Chorley v Curzon Ashton - but I think we need to wait-a-while tomorrow morning before decisions are made - no car (not that I'd use it anyway !!) - and there are "desperate options" available in the Vodkat League at Oldham and Chadderton.

It's just "that time of year" when it becomes a pain in the butt ... we'll find something - I only hope it's not a dodgy pub Albanian Channel showing the City game !!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just For Fun ....

... or "s'amuser" or something like that (now there's a clue) ... it's nothing viral or spammy or owt like that ...

Help Thierry score ... off for a hair cut - job interview type thing on Monday !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mossley v Ilkeston Town (FAT Replay)

... despite sterling efforts all round, we didn't make it. Ilkeston obviously took a good look at our performance on Saturday, made the necessary "tweaks", and basically gave us pretty much nowt all night. Pictures are finally available (too much time on my blistered hands ? Not really - 'twas yet another night of drying stuff off !) at

Mossley 0 Ilkeston Town 2

It's been a good FA Trophy run though - makes a welcome change to have had a decent cup run in something other than the Manky Prem (still got the League Cup this season as well, although away @ Lancaster City won't be easy). I reckon it's time to kick-start the league form - beginning on Saturday with a home game against Ossett Albion.

(I wouldn't have been able to make the Blyth game on the 12th December anyway !)


*rse !

We got what we deserved !

Pictures tomorrow/later today ...

*rse !

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Four Kers ...

... or four forkers if you like ... we turned up at 1500 - and we forked - and we forked - and we forked until we could fork no more (it was getting dark !). Some pix of t'other three forkers @ work ! I put the going down as "good to soft" ....!!

And this is what happens when a "normal" desk-based geezer gives his best ... yes my lilywhite hand with bonus blister !!

Let's hope it makes a difference - in 90 minutes time when they kick-off - and in 195 minutes time with a trip to Blyth suitably booked - my maths assume no e/t and pens !

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Celebration of Water ....

... I give you some soggy pitches of the past ... in alphabetical order no less !!!

... starting with Abingdon Town ...

... then ... Belper Town ...

... next ... Carlisle United ...

... now ... Gloucester City ...

... and finally ... Sheffield Wednesday ...

... oh all right (but still in alpha-order !) ... Worcester Cricket Ground ...

Chances of football at Mossley tomorrow - I reckon slim - although I WILL be up there at 1500 hrs with my big boots and garden fork ... you never know (does this make me "unavailable for work" ?!?).

Winners get the "dream draw" of Blyth Spartans away on 12th December - almost but not quite the "graveyard weekend" for football crowds ...


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ilkeston Town v Mossley (FAT)

2010 hrs - some pictures to start with ...

Ilkeston Town 1 Mossley 1

More later - not been back that long ...

2145 - Truly another "grand day out" - some excellent beer and company in the "Spanish Bar" in Ilkeston (Springhead "Ginger Pig" and a wheat beer whose name and brewery escape me) - another game of "football in the wet" - and another 'late show' from Steve Moore - a thoroughly deserved draw in the end. Must admit I thought we'd had it at half-time - plenty of chances but nowt to show for it. Still the draw was the right result in the end and I guess Kevin Wilson (Ilson Manager) is checking with Jon Brady (Brackley Town similar) on what to do - or what NOT to do on Tuesday night when I'm sure it'll be "more of the same" weather-wise !

Quick plug for our SJNR - cus he's got a video for you all to see !!!

Moving Pictures - First Cut !

After the game - a couple more 'shandies' (OK Castle Rock Harvest Ale) in the DewDrop Inn (next to the railway line - amazing that Ilson used to have two stations - and now ... nothing !!) and then back to the Spanish Bar before zg-zagging back to Derby thence Belper. An extremely wet walk this morning/lunchtime/early afternoon (camera never left bag so you don't have to suffer ...) before returning to Mossley, sorting pix out- eating left-over pastitsio from a "we had visitors on Friday night" night (home-made by moi - one of my "signature dishes" - honest !) - now this ...

And I've not said anything about the "Smiffy JobHunt" situation of last week - things ARE finally starting to happen ... some good, some not so good, but ... movement at last ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thirty Minutes Late !

Bugger - got the call from Mrs Smiffy - "Bridge Flooded - worth a picture" - not by the time I got there - the drains had been unblocked (curse these efficient Council workers !) and the water was down to a sensible height ! Still I headed for the mighty River Tame and faffed about with slow exposures and high f-numbers - a few pix for your etc etc ...

It finally stoppped raining about 1500 - now off to cook tea ...

FC Halifax v Mossley - Part Two

What began as an "Ossett Afternoon" - "Sunrise" in the Britannia, Mossley, "Elizabeth Rose" in the Head of Steam, Huddersfield and "Pale Gold" and "Silver King" in the Three Pigeons, Halifax ... turned into an "Oh Sh*t" evening weather-wise - and then James Dean scored a very, very, very, very late winner (a Brackley "bites y'bum" moment - what goes around comes around I guess !). Still thought we were much the better footballing side for the majority of the game - got to watch those long deep crosses though ...

Pictures at

FC Halifax Town 2 Mossley 1

A good work out though - roll on Saturday and the FA Trophy against Ilkeston Town.

... and it's still raining now !

FC Halifax v Mossley - Part One

You're not expecting owt at this time of night (0121) - surely !!

Suffice to say we missed our chances to win ... and got done in about the 101st minute according to my watch (10 to 10 when he blew for time !!) - pix halfway there ... but I'm going to bed - and yes it was another wet night ... early tomorrow - promise !!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FC Halifax Tonight ...

... for the Presidents Cup 2nd Round game - maybe seen by some as a "Tasse de la Souris Michel" - but hey - a good "warm up" for the big one at Ilkeston on Saturday. Whilst getting kit together I noticed some piccies left on the card from Sunday's walk around the Brushes Valley - so - you cop for four (muahahahahaha !) ... "click for bigger" as they say ...

More later ... if I get home at a reasonable hour (!!) - once again weather forecast is not to hot - at least there's plenty of "covered options" at the Shay - for the fans anyway !!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Alice in Chains - Manchester Academy

.. good gig indeed ! Pix from baby-cam - which can only do so much (or should that be so little !! )


Off for a walk now ...

Droylsden v Stalybridge Celtic ...

.. chosen to enable swift return home before going out in the evening ... picked a wrong 'un ! Highlights (?) at

Droylsden P StalybridgeCeltic P

More to come ...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weather Looks Good for Football Tomorrow ...

... not ... could end up anywhere (as long as I'm back for Alice in Chains tomorrow night !) - we shall see ...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quick Post 2 - The Damage that Non-League Football can Cause ..

... following their defeat by Bath City in't'FA Cup last weekend ... an open letter to the team from a "slightly miffed" Grimsby Town fan ...

If easily offended - please stay away !!

Ouch !

Quick Post 1 - Train Rant

...on the way to Stalybridge last night ... went for the 1755 from Mossley - the nice new screens showed "Expected 1805" - then the nice new screens showed "Expected 1809" ...

... then a bloody express flew through the station - and the nice new screens immediately updated to "Expected 1820" ...

Yep you can have all the technology you like - doesn't mean that it's useful mind ...

Stalybridge Celtic v Chester City ...

... in the Cheshire Senior Cup. Pix at

Stalybridge Celtic 1 Chester City 2

... felt that some Celtic "minds" were more interested in the Droylsden game this coming Saturday rather than getting stuck in this evening - at times it did look like a training session for both sides ... some lovely one touch stuff going absolutely nowhere !! With Chester having a league match last night one assumes this was pretty much a second string tonight - they looked a useful side mind.

One point that has been raised elsewhere is the "full price" option tonight, which I know for a fact has kept a few away. Looking around, I note that a good many clubs do actually drop their prices for County Cup games (latest example I've spotted is Ilkeston, knocking it down to £3 for their Derbyshire Senior Cup game against Pinxton next midweek). One area to look at for the future - might have helped to create a better atmosphere as well .

Now have a quandary for Saturday as in "where to go" - needs thought - but not now ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recycling Revisited ...

... a quick follow-up to last Thursday's tale of Tameside Council's "Two Fingers to Recycling" in Mossley. I was walking up to the Co-op yesterday (it's what unemployed people do y'know !) and took this picture for posterity ...

Surely it should say at the bottom "Lots of Love, Your Caring, Sharing Faux-Socialist Council" rather than "Leave a Fag End here and Tough-Talking Tameside will Tw*t You" ... I guess the next step is fortnightly refuse collections - ho ho ! Even this week our Monday collection ... finally happened on Tuesday - ha !

Enough of this frivolity - I now have to write 300+ words on why I want a job with the GMC (that's Medical not Manchester !!). I also have to revise my Alice in Chains in prep for the Academy on Saturday night. Only then am I allowed out to the football at Bower Fold tonight !

Sunday, November 08, 2009

SmiffyPix in "Non-League Paper" !!!

... no credit though, that's the bugger !

Yep, on page 7 of today's NLP, there's an article by Woodley Sports Chairman Tony Whiteside regarding the swine flu outbreak at the club and on measures taken and measures needed, should this re-occur. The article is beautifully complemented (!!) by one of my pix taken at the Stockport Senior Cup Final twixt Woodley Sports Ressies and Cheadle Heath Nomads way back in May 2007 (picture features a heavily bandaged Sam Walker - now with Mossley of course !)

Every little helps though !

Football next week is somewhat limited - unavailable - I think - on Monday night - so Curzon Ashton v Prescot Cables is a non-starter. Its not in the NLP but the only other real option is Stalybridge Celtic v Chester City on Wednesday night (Cheshire Senior Cup)... that will do nicely I guess ...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Mossley v Wakefield

Another p*ssy wet rainy day in Mossley - thank heavens that the Canon EOS 20D appears to be "indestructable" - still needs drying out mind as does lenses, filters, hoods and all the kerfuffle - all drying out as we speak - still you don't care about all this - you want product ... so ... here's product ...

Mossley 1 Wakefield 1

This "giving the other team a start and coming back" is starting to get a bit "samey" - but the beauty is that it's great to see a team playing for the full 90 - in years gone by we've watched Mossley go 3 down, give up or just maybe get one in the last ten ... we've now got a team (plus substitutions) that give us the full 90 + time added on, and for the fans it's a refreshing change - because we the fans are giving it for the full 90 - so it's great to see that attitude on the pitch as well. OK this game should have been wrapped up in the first half - but I'm tempted to give the "B of the D" following the efforts over 120 minutes on a wet Tuesday night against a team from a division above. Let's not forget that Wakefield were (and still are) above us in the table as well ...

Now we (Mossley) have a midweek off - but my search for football begins tomorrow with a trip to Rajas for a "Non League Paper".

Game On !

Mossley v Wakefield that is ... after some seriously wet weather most of the week - and the game on Tuesday night - it looks as though the groundsman has waved his magic wand (oo-err !), and the pitch got the OK at 1030 this morning ... and now the sun is out !

Looking at the Unibond site, nowt has been postponed as yet (1200), but as Confucius always said before heading off to see his hometown team (Qufu Ramblers FC - remember their keeper Rick Shaw ?) - "Ring First !"

First Round of the FA Cup as well today - best wishes of course to all the non-league sides - starting of course with Paulton v Norwich in about 30 minutes - and Bromley v Colchester in 45 minutes !

Christmas is full of Blunder ..

... Thursday it was Tameside Council - today it's Oldham Council who "get one in the neck" !!

When the free paper arrives - it arrives laden with flyers (because that is how the delivery person gets paid) - amongst the pile this week was a jolly flyer from Oldham viz ...

.. detailing all the events twixt now and Crimbo ... the back page contained some useful website links and information about travelling to Oldham ... some of you "locals" may well have guessed what comes next ...

For those "not in the know" ... the Oldham Loop railway line closed down at the beginning of October as part of the expansion work to the Manchester Metrolink Tram System. It will be closed until at least 2011 ..... (tumbleweed moment) .....

Do you get the feeling that Oldham Council "recycled" last year's brochure design and changed a few bits 'inside' - whilst failing to change a few bits 'outside' ??


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tameside Council give up on Recycling ??

... recycling ... we do our best at Smiffy Towers - our kitchen contains three "big buggers" entitled "Plastic", "Glass" and "Cans" ... upstairs is the "paper" bag. Over the last few months we've noticed a big big change both in Mossley and at the "big place" in Stalybridge - in Mossley the "recycling centre" up in the Market Place has slowly shrunk and shrunk and shrunk - so much has disappeared and people have ended up just "dumping" bags of stuff as there's been no information as to what to do. I'm now told there is a sign saying something like "No recycling here - anything dumped here = flytipping" - so it now appears the end of recycling has arrived in Mossley. Moving to Stalybridge - to the "main" recycling centre in Tamesides ... our trusty three "separated" boxes now end up in ONE BLOODY CONTAINER - yes - plastic, glass and cans all go into one box.

I reckon Tameside have either
a) given up on the important areas of recycling;
b) found a way of "keeping up their recycling quotas" whilst doing less work locally;
c)just don't give a toss about Mossley.

Whilst on the recycling rant ... I could give Amber Valley Council a "good slapping" as well - the nearest refuse tip to Belper is at Loscoe .. about 7 miles away !!! OK there are basic recycling facilities in Belper for your plastic,glass, cans and paper ... but 7 miles ???? Here in Mossley the "big tip" is only 3 miles away at 'Bridge .... but it looks like we've lost our "basic" options/stuff in town.

Shame on you Tameside ... no communication received to tell us what is going on - no reduction in poll tax if money is being saved ... would love to know what's going on ......

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mossley v Brackley - the Pix

... are now up in the usual place (not sure what happened with them pix last night - all seem to have been chopped in half for some reason - tweaked it now though !) - anyway enjoy the full set in glorious "wet-o-vision" - it was a grim night indeed, weather-wise !

Mossley 3 Brackley Town 1

Take nowt away from Brackley - although it was a deserved win for Mossley, they didn't stop trying to play football, even when down to 10 men - you can see why they're doing so well in the Zammo Prem. However - to coin another cliche "That's the beauty of Cup football" - the cliche that eventually replaced the "They may well regret that penalty miss" ...

Onward to Ilkeston Town in the next round ... it gets no easier ... but look out Nosmo, Sean, Mi Owd, "Citizen Smith" (Robert Lindsay) and the rest of the crew - we're on a roll at the moment !!

Mossley 3 Brackley Town 1

Too late for too much .. some "rough and ready" pix of the goals ... (UPDATED Wednesday a.m. to allow viewing of the whole bloody picture !!!)






Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Some Pre-Match Cliches ...

... at ten to six ...

"Greasy surface tonight";
"The pitch will be a great leveller";
"The winners will be those that want it most";
"It's all to play for tonight";
"A bitterly cold night but the atmosphere will be red hot";
"Fortress Seel Park";
"At the end of the day it'll be eleven against eleven out there";
"It's our year this year"

...... and finally the ultimate cliche, direct from today's BBC Website ..

"Clichy out for several weeks"

Tonight's winners will be away to Ilkeston Town in the next round ... until later then ... I have my big (but not "rugged") coat, gloves (with the ends chopped off) , hat ("sans bobble") etc etc ... aargh ...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Home ....

... with "stuff" to do - and a replay to get ready for on Tuesday - at 1900 (Greek time) yesterday evening all hope was lost until the magical text (x 2 - ta to Stuart and Jools) ....

"98th Minute Equaliser !"

A small corner of Kefalonia erupted ... and later down at the bar I was able to relay said score to the couple from "just outside Banbury" - who said "How on earth .... etc" - the power of the phone ...

So - back to "stuff" for now ... normality to be restored ... soonest !

Oh yes - my official "You're Finished" letter arrived from the "Tower of Doom" while I was away as well ......