Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mossley v Clitheroe

Another salutary lesson in playing for the full 90 minutes ... and more. At half-time (0-0) I felt we'd just nick it in the end - five minutes into the second half Mossley found themselves 2-0 down ! Sleeves were then rolled up, and on a heavy heavy pitch (verti-drained this week ? allegedly ...), we got back into the game and pulled it round to 2-2 - with supersub Lee Blackshaw playing an important part (came on at 62 minutes - and our goals came on 65 and 70) ... and just when we were feeling satisfied to have got it back to 2-2 - two late late goals (aparently 90 and 93) gave us a much needed victory. If I was a Clitheroe fan (and as usual there was a good turnout from the "Blue Army") the word "mugged" would come to mind ! A "bumper bundle" of pix at:

Mossley 4 Clitheroe 2

A word about the "meagre crowd" of 126 - as I pointed out yesterday, five of the "Six Tame Sides" were at home - and when that happens it means no neutrals, no fans from elsewhere not wishing to travel ... and a very thin spead across the borough - a quick glance (haven't got my "Non League Paper" yet either) shows Ashton United (136), Curzon Ashton (121) Droylsden (264) and Stalybridge (423) - so really 126 wasn't that bad.

It's awayday time for Mossley now - Bamber Bridge, Wakefield and Radcliffe over the next week and a bit. Won't be at Bamber on Tuesday - now need to get that NLP and map out the week ahead ...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Promotion to the Glossies !

Cheap plug ...

This month's "Non League 24" magazine - page 46 (credited !) and page 86 (not credited !). The Hyde/Ilson pic was not the best - but it was the one they wanted - and I think the Mossley ground pic actually came from the baby compact camera ! All good stuff mind ...

Mossley game against Clitheroe is ON - as is Ashton United v Nantwich Town - no news as yet (1145) vis-a-vis Curzon vs Prescot, Droylsden v Farsley and Stalybridge Celtic v Gainsborough Trinity (Hyde United are away at Vauxhall Motors) - it's not raining though so all should be well (don't take my word for it mind !). Another nuisance when 5 of the "Six Tame Sides" are all at home on the same day - I may have to try designing some "regional add-on" software for these fixture compilers - although with the weather we've had over the last two months we should be grateful for any football anywhere !

Friday, February 26, 2010

More Tinkering with PhotoShop

... and still using Elements 2.0 - I REALLY must get round to loading Elements 6 onto the old laptop (copy kindly given to me by Ken - Belper Town - following his "birthday upgrade" to 8 - Thanks Ken !) Anyway a bit of a tinker with a picture from Tuesday night ... just for fun ...

Might take this one step further and change the player's eyeball to bright red ...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Legal Theft - Concert Ticket "Touts"

... and I'm not talking about the shifty fellas outside the gig here - I'm talking about apparently credible/legal websites offering tickets for gigs ...

Last night whilst at college, I got a text from daughter - "BRMC playing Manchester 20th April" (that's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for those who didn't !) - finally got round to replying tonight - however the gig is a sellout - viz

(click for big as usual)


However - further checking around t'internet revealed this ...

As far as I know, this is NOT the "Corporate Hospitality Package" - just a ticket. I need say no more although words like "theft", "robbery" - even "usury" come to mind. Other words include "GetMeIn" and "Viagogo" ... may I humbly suggest ...

I also noticed "no concessions" for the unemployed ... anywhere ...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

RIP Steve Bostock

I worked (in the "computer sense") with Steve on two occasions - both times at Simon Carves - and he was one of the guys who fell in the first "redundancy cull" early in 2009 - he was always a photographer first (check out his website) but computing "paid the rent" as they say.

Recently remarried (and unable to take his own wedding photos !) he was - like me - in the "out of work" situation - although his photography kept things "ticking over" up to a point. We only "crossed swords" on the pitch once - late last year at the FC United of Manchester vs Stalybridge Celtic FA Cup game - he was "doing" for the Manchester Evening News and I was just "doing" (and his pic of Phil Marsh's goal that made the MEN was tack-sharp - unlike my effort !). I got a lot of hints and tips from Steve which I would like to think has improved my snapping - and for that I am extremely grateful.

Only last week I bumped into Steve in Ikea Ashton of all places - not a lot of time for chat as we were "in the till queues" ... but he looked well. Last night he was covering the Rochdale vs Bradford City game, but left just before the end feeling unwell - he collapsed and died soon afterwards.

Off to college soon - but I have been listening to Rush (on Spotify) for the last hour or so - one of Steve's favourite bands - mentioning bands such as Oasis to Steve was like "red rag to a bull" !!

Rest in Peace Steve - it would be interesting to know what the lighting is like in the afterworld - I'm sure you'll cope very well ... cheers mate, and my deepest commiserations to the family as well.

Ashton United to Appeal

Catching up on news from yesterday evening ... following a board meeting on Monday night, Ashton United have decided to appeal against the ruling in the Marcus Hallows case. Apparently the costs of the appeal will be somewhere in the region of £9,000 ...

Some other costs have been released as well - aparently Marcus Hallows is claiming £32,000 but ... wait for it ... court costs to date are around £90,000 (NINETY THOUSAND POUNDS) - now tell me who the real winners are here .......

If you haven't already - and feel you can - don't forget the petition

Other publicity - some words on the Non-League News 24 website - also letters have been sent to David Heyes (the local Ashton MP) and Gerry Sutcliffe (Sports Minister - who I'm told - via a Chorley contact - had a meeting with a solicitor on this very subject not long ago !) - and there are a few discussion threads doing the rounds on various non-league message boards - this topic is certainly now "out in the open" ...

Oldham Boro v Chadderton - in Pictures

Sorted some views from last night - as usual fighting floodlights and freezing temperatures - just looking at them again makes me feel cold - again !

Oldham Boro 2 Chadderton 2

What next ... plenty to do today before heading for college tonight - back later no doubt ...

Oldham Boro v Chadderton - No Pix Yet !

... I got football eventually !! Another bitterly cold night - with added snow flurries - but the game was on. It was certainly a game of two halves - Oldham just didn't look interested in the first 45, and Chadderton made them pay, racing into a 2-0 lead. The second half was a different story - Oldham got a penalty, made it 2-1 and Chadderton basically fell apart ... the equaliser was certainly the "goal of the game", a left foot effort from well outside the box going right across the Chaddy 'keeper and into the far corner. A bit feisty at times (well it was a local derby !), but at the end of the day a draw was the right result - I've had a first trawl through the pix - and found some half-decent ones (!!) despite weather and my apparent "crisis of confidence" - but they'll have to wait until later today...

Just about thawed out - believe or not my half-time tipple was ... a cuppa tea (well I was driving for a change) - certainly helped me cope with the second half ! Anyway tomorrow already mapped out - photos from earlier tonight, an Ashton United update , seal a window with some silicon stuff - and of course the daily dole avoidance stuff (i.e. "hunt the job") ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Mossley v Curzon Ashton - frozen pitch & terracing;

Stalybridge Celtic v Fleetwood Town - frozen pitch.

What now / Where now ... "unemployment" & "match postponed" - two phrases which blight my life ... sulk ...

Football365 Forum

Can anyone tell me what's happening on ??

I seem to be getting a lot of hits via this forum, so I registered on it last night - today I receive an e-mail containing the magic phrase

"Your account 'mossleysmiffy' was declined by the administrator."

Wonder what I've done to upset them - have e-mailed back - as offered - to find out why - still waiting ...

If anyone can fill me in - mucho gracias !

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ashton United/Danny White Update

... well I was asked to do something !!

Step One of course is to head for Number 10 Downing Street - so an application to set up an e-petition under their auspices was forwarded to same yesterday. However I received the "thumbs down" this morning - apparently the petition was "Outside the remit of the Prime Minister and Government" - so the Government cannot reconsider a verdict from the judiciary - but the judiciary can reconsider - and overturn - a verdict given by a qualified person who was there at the scene of the "incident" (i.e. the referee) !

A lowering of sights was required - so I offer up the following online petition:

Like I have said elsewhere - I personally bear no ill-will at all towards the plaintiff in this case - I just feel that his course of action is WRONG given the potential repercussions to the entire semi-pro game - and unfortunately the "blame/claim" culture and the advent of "no win no fee" probably has a lot to do with his course of action - three years after the incident ? hmmm ...

If nothing else, we should hope this whole sorry state of affairs serves to focus the minds of clubs, players AND league officials AT ALL LEVELS on the areas of insurance/liability/disclaimers - although if we're not careful it could open the floodgates to claim after claim after claim ... this too (like the club/individual bankruptcy scenarios) could also spell doom to the non-league game ...

We can only try ...

Adiv Financial Scam Update

Sent info to Bob - and Bob has "done the business" as in:

All you need to know - and more !

My work here is done !

Sunday, February 21, 2010

FC Halifax Town v Mossley

... we started early - not even knowing if the game was on or not - arriving Halifax before 12 in time to watch "some match" on one of the 275 screens in the "Salvation" - certainly a surprise win for Everton - boded well for a shock later in the afternoon ... which sadly did not arrive.

First half was all Halifax - to be honest it could have been 5-1 at the break - however it seemed that Manager JF's rant at the ref carried over into the dressing room and despite conceding 2 more goals, it was a much improved 45 minutes by Mossley. Pix at

FC Halifax Town 4 Mossley 2

We got a "couple in" at the best pub in town afterwards (3 Pigeons), before the trek home - and it was ! Late Trains, Tight/Missed Connections - unlike the smooth journey out. I left the rest of the crew @ Stalybridge while I carried on into Ashton for a curry - home late, hence all done this morning.

Next stop - back at "Fortress Hurst Cross" on Tuesday for the local derby against Curzon Ashton (no doubt with many Halifax fans willing us on to win !).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

One Down

... the first Unibond casualty today is:

Chasetown v Leek Town

(either bad weather or Chasetown still celebrating their midweek 4-0 away win @ Stafford Rangers in the Staffs Senior Cup - grrr).

Off to Halifax soon - certainly an "In the Lap of the Gods" day out ...

Now Waiting for Football

The young ones all fell asleep on the settee ... slackers !!

Well done to Amy Williams - winning the "tea tray on y'front" event @ Vancouver - now all we need is a frost-free Shay ... and there ARE hopeful noises on the FC Halifax Message Board. Finish beer - then bed !

(Wonder how Marcus Hallows sleeps at night ....)

Waiting for Gold ...

... may as well stay up, watch and wait and shout "Come on Amy !!!"

(and then retire to my boudoir praying for a frost-free morning !)

B*ll*x - just been invaded by adolescents ....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marcus Hallows vs Ashton United/Danny White - Verdict

Be warned - this WILL be a long one - for me anyway ....

At 1700 tonight this appeared on the Ashton United website - via Chairman Dave Aspinall:

Ashton United FC are disappointed that the courts have found against the club and former player Danny White in this distressing case. This verdict opens a potential can of worms for every single football club up and down the land as, based on the precedent set in this case, any incident resulting in an injury may now be subject to a legal challenge, regardless of the lack of any intent.

Speaking as someone deeply committed to the game of football, I fully understanding Marcus Hallows’ wish to seek redress for the unfortunate injury that he suffered in a challenge with Danny White during the game between Altrincham and Ashton United on March 19th 2005, however, Ashton United FC always felt that, as Mr Hallows’ injuries were suffered as the result of an accidental collision between two consenting adults playing a sport with a known degree of risk, no liability was owed by either Danny White or Ashton United for a genuine, if unfortunate, accident.

The club wishes to make no further comment at this stage until it has consulted with its legal advisors about the potential ramifications for both Ashton United and Danny White following this verdict. It is the club's understanding that no appeal may be forthcoming unless there is a dispute over a point of law

OK - some background here - on 19th March 2005 Altrincham entertained Ashton United. During the game Marcus Hallows was badly injured after a tackle by Danny White - he suffered fractures of both tib and fib and had to wait over 30 minutes before an ambulance arrived - on the way to the hospital his heart stopped. Danny White was not booked for the tackle.

A picture of the tackle - I must point out that it was the trailing left leg of Danny White that connected with Hallows' right leg and caused the injuries.

In June 2008 - yes over 3 years after the event - Hallows sued both Danny White and Ashton United for potential loss of earnings based on a semi-pro career until 35 years of age - Hallows was nearly 30 at the time of the incident. Original stories talked of £32,500 - later stories had the figure as high as £100,000 - certainly enough to financially ruin both club and individual - in fact I did touch on the case on this very blog back then . The story made national headlines at the time - one of the many quotes was that Hallows had to "restart his career" by becoming an Elvis Presley impersonator - not really - he was earning money from this act well before the accident (ask Sam Allardyce's wife) - and he has worked with a flooring company/in sales - as a semi-professional he could not have been dependent on his earnings from football.

In December 2009, Expert witnesses were brought into the case - acting for Hallows, Garry Mabbutt (ex-Spurs) said "It was an uncontrolled lunge" - acting for AUFC/Danny White, Jeff Winter (ex-ref) said "This particular challenge is commonplace in football at all levels" - unlike those 'lucky ones' at Premiership level, there was no video evidence - these experts were working off photos such as the one above and verbal statements of people "who were there". Ashton United had argued from the start that the tackle was "not malicious" but a "collision" - and also the fact that neither referee or linesmen took any action at the time.

A couple of points ref insurance - because the game was an away game for Ashton United, their public liability insurance would not cover any claims - as regards individual player insurance, I'm not so sure as obviously there are contract and non-contract players and I would think there are various ways and means - and much of it is up to the individual player rather than their club . A point of information - I as a "snapper" HAVE to personally take out £2 million of public liability insurance in order to take photographs at Conference level - it costs me about £90 a year - and I found this on the web tonight - obviously just an example but ...

Anyway ... the judge has ruled in favour of Hallows - and as Rasper says above this will now create a legal precedent which could theoretically turn football into a completely non-contact sport ... like bloody netball ... and potentially kill the game at our level. I thought long and hard about other such incidents - Eduardo (back playing after 12 months - no action taken against Martin Taylor), Henrik Larsson (back after 8 months out), David Busst (retired - leg healed, but infection and other muscle damage was too much) - obviously at the higher levels, the players ARE looked after and cossetted by their clubs - and are well provided with insurance etc. On the other hand we have Peter Morrison of Scunthorpe who was awarded over £400,000 compensation after a tackle that broke his leg in several places - although you must note that the tackler in this case WAS SENT OFF - unlike Danny White who WAS NOT EVEN BOOKED.

We mustn't forget Danny White and the mental damage this case has caused to HIS career (believe there could be a possible counter-claim option for Ashton United on behalf of Danny) - after leaving Ashton United he moved to Mossley for a while before moving on to Buxton and Retford - he hasn't played for a while ... for obvious reasons - and I'm sure there was plenty of work for an Elvis impersonator over the Christmas period .... And what about the officials who were involved in the game - if their decisions can be overturned by a judge (who may know jack about non-league football and the implications of his decision) on what I consider minimal evidence - there truly is no hope for the game ...

This decision HAS to be overturned .... it really does ...

23FEB10 UPDATE - (in case no-one checks later posts) on-line petition now up HERE


Our Bird Food Burglar

... finally caught young Fitz "in the act" today ... quick dash upstairs, grab camera, open back door, quick snap - and he was away (as usual click for big - but does look better small !) ...

Football tomorrow - there's talk of sub-zero temperatures tonight - and FC Halifax Town have had this problem before with 95% of the pitch being OK but ... in steps a ref to call it off ! We wait we see - although plan is to catch the 1047 train to get there in time to see "something" on the TV (Everton are playing I believe !!), so contingency plans need to be made (as in Garforth and Wakefield are both at home ...)

Fingers crossed though ...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting back to Football ...

OK - enough of "saving the world" for now - although I will continue to monitor the scum that prey on the weak, the gullible and the unemployed - and if anyone else knows anything - feel free to comment !!

Anyway - Thursday - errrm - oh yes ... we bought a new printer the other day. Our previous printer (an HP Craposmart) is now residing in the "Refuse Amenity Site" - it was cheap, and by God it was nasty - gobbled up system resources on the house computers even when not being used - got perpetual "reminders/pop-ups" - and the cartridge prices made you think it was cheaper to bin it - so we did !

Having a Canon DSLR and a Canon Compact Camera, it seemed only right to give a Canon printer a go - so we ended up with a Canon Printer, Copier, Scanner, Teasmade type thing - now I can print out hard-copy CVs !! I also tried out the scanner tonight - our Peter was trawling through some old boxes of piccies (for Facebook purposes) and he found one and chucked it over - so I scanned it in (click for big) ... Wembley ... 1972 ... and yes I'm in there as well !

Might bring back some memories for certain people in the Stafford area !!

Well That Opened a Can of Worms !

... looking at my site statistics, it appears that the fake "Adiv Financial" have done a big spam e-mail send all over the world in the last 36 hours - I got 194 hits yesterday - with many of them coming via a Google search on the "company" - and already 86 today (1300 hrs) - from places as far afield as Greece, Lithuania, Bulgaria - and even Nigeria (that place where all the princes live - the ones who can't get their money out of the country without "your help" !!). As I said last night, Adiv Financial is just one of many honest financial institutions being used/abused by this type of scam - and is just one of many job sites being used/abused ...

Check out these useful links (all clean - don't worry):

... and BE CA

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Job Offer ... I Don't Think So !!

Fifteen days ago we had the "loan sharks";

Ten days ago we had the
"phishing" scams;

Today - a dodgy job offer from one John Allen of AdivFinancial - offering me a job as a "Payment Protection Agent" ...
I give you:

Adiv Financial Pty Ltd,
67 Beard Street, Eltham,
3095, VIC, Australia.

my name is John Allen and I am Adiv Financial hiring manager. We have found and carefully reviewed your CV at TotalJobs and decided to offer this job to you.

Our services
When buying-selling operations via the Internet are concerned, the buyer and the seller don't know each other (they may be placed in different corners of the world) - it is very important both to the buyer and the seller for their deal to be made safe. Payment Protection means receiving money, documents, goods (it might be both the seller's and the buyer's) concerning the transaction to a reliable, experienced, impartial person - our Payment Protection agent. The agent will hold all the documents and money until all the terms of the deal are satisfied and only then release them to the intended receiver.

Why we need Payment Protection agents
Having a Payment Protection agent in every country we can quickly transfer funds inside a country without wasting time on the international bank transfers, and continue our rapid growth rather than overwhelming our own bank account with inbound and outbound transactions leading to severe hold times and possible service interruption. It is time that is of significant importance to our clients.

Career and Benefits
Your main task will be receiving money transactions to any bank account you would like to use for the purposes of this job; and then forwarding these transactions to the next party of the Payment Protection process according to our instructions. You will benefit from the commissions, which are 5-7% of each transaction and depend on the quantity of the completed transactions and the speed of your work. Besides, you will be paid a basic salary of 1500 GBP per month.

For your convenience there will be no paychecks, your commission will remain in your account after every successfully completed transaction. The money transfer fee is not included in your commission, meaning that you will deduct it from the received amount, not from your commission. Also you receive 5-7% of the transaction amount. Normally the amounts that we process vary from 2,000 GBP to 10,000 GBP, but can go higher on special occasions.

Job details
As the financial activity in your area is not too high, a Payment Protection agent will be processing approximately 1-2 transactions per week. Each transaction requires approximately 4-5 hours of the agent work. Our manager always calls the agent beforehand to provide all the instructions. Therefore, with the due time management, the agent is able to combine this job with other activities (e.g. primary job or studies).

If you are ready to proceed, please provide us with your AVAILABLE phone number and our hiring manager (Stephen Holmes) will contact you shortly.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information.

Yours Sincerely,
John Allen,
Adiv Financial.

Hmm - note they got my information via the TotalJobs website (it would be interesting to know what THEY think about all this !) - in short it's a money-laundering scam - the reference to you receiving payments into your bank account and sending it on (e.g. via Western Union) is the well-known scam. Counterfeit/stolem cheques will be paid into your bank account - they appear to clear (the money appears in your account), so you send the money on via WU, then your bank tells you the cheques have been returned unpaid, and debits the money from your account - and that's you out of pocket ...
apparently there's a few like this - all coming out of Australia (well we did send all our crooks out there a while back !!). Once again - AVOID/DELETE - just another racket preying on the unemployed ...

EVENING UPDATE (1900 hrs) - as I said - there's a few like this - other "companies" names include "Romad Financial Services", "Toll Finance Pty", "Landor Financial" and "Adela Finance" - one other interesting point gleaned - some of the company names used ARE LEGAL COMPANIES - however some of the scam e-mails have links to what look like the 'kosher' company web sites - they are actually cleverly built "replicas" of the real thing - yep a little bit of 'identity theft' if you like !!

Mossley v Warrington Town

... and a fine first win for Manager John Flanagan against 7th placed Warrington Town. An excellent all-round team performance - keeping it on the floor on a fairly heavy pitch ... and the obligatory sub-zero temperatures !! Certainly a good warm-up for Saturday's tricky trip to FC Halifax Town.

Some pix at

Mossley 5 Warrington Town 0

... again in the freezing cold, cameraman and camera struggled - need to find some method of keeping shutter finger working properly (keep dipping it in hot Bovril maybe !) - and one battery "just died" on me as the second goal went in - bugger - the perils of the "cheap options" I guess ! Never mind - it's all there somewhere.

Next job - a complete re-vamp of the old CV following yesterday's useful meeting with the expert. Got plenty of tips with an IT slant as well - time to put them into practice ..

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mossley Game is ON !

Mossley fans hear the "glad tidings" ...

Pitch inspection was at 1445 - game called ON

Stalybridge Celtic pitch inspection at 1600

Now off to sign on the "dotted unemployment line" ... really should go for a "concession" tonight - got to be some perks somewhere ...

LATE EDIT (1715) - Back from Dole - Stalybridge game now called ON as well ... and good luck to Belper Town tonight as they visit Conf North Ilkeston Town in a Derbyshire Senior Cup semi-final - a game incidentally where NO programme will be produced - strange or what ?!?

More "anti-football" weather (2) ...

Remember these ??

Yep rain all evening - Droylsden v Glossop NE (Manchester Premier Cup) abandoned after 53 minutes ... and then the snow returned ... although according to 'Captain Birdseye' on the Stalybridge message board - "the snow's wet" ...

Looks like another "watching brief" on tonight's games ... bugger !

Meanwhile - today - an interview with a "consultant" at 1100 (set up via DWP no less !) - sign on at 1545 ... this "new life" goes on - and on - and on - it's not nice ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

More "anti-football" weather...

Rain ... rain ... rain ... rain ... rain ... more rain ... rain ... rain (with added rain) ...

Will this crazy weather ever end ? When will the call for summer football start again ? Will the Mossley game against Warrington be on tomorrow (hint - the Hurst Cross pitch looked a bit heavy on Saturday afternoon) ?

The big game tonight - Curzon Ashton v FC Halifax Town - was called off this afternoon due to a waterlogged pitch ... cue howls of anguish from many - and cries of "fix" by a few (hint - Curzon have a couple of players on "2 match suspensions" - players who might be 'useful' in a top-of-the-table clash ...)

Tomorrow - other than the Mossley game - there IS the Stalybridge Celtic v Farsley Celtic option - but as it is still chucking it down as I type (2110 hrs) EVERYTHING might "go to cock" ... again !

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Watching the Birdie ...

... a quick "football aside" - we've been nice to our feathered friends over this nasty couple of months weather-wise, so why not try to take some pictures ? Well I tried (they keep flying away every time I open the back door !!) ...

Backyard Birds

I think the red one is called a "Robin" ... other than that ...

Back to yesterday's game - I particularly like this picture taken by Ken Fox of Boston United - hope he doesn't mind but I thought it was worth sharing - nice one Ken !

... and that's the "long and the short of it" for now ... next match for me is back at Hurst Cross to see the "Tenants" take on Warrington Town on Tuesday night - although it would be lovely to get time off for good behaviour on Monday night as well (unlikely though !) - a "biggie" at Curzon Ashton who take on FC Halifax Town - whose visitors next Saturday are ... Mossley !

Ashton United v Boston United

A tale of chances taken ... and chances not taken - sub-standards pics (in my mind) at

Ashton United 0 Boston United 2

Having had beer and sulked - now heading for bed and sulk ... grand party mind !

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Oh Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear

Party over - back @ home (2315) ... yes Ashton United lost 2-0 to Boston United - Ashton need a finisher to do something with the chances they create - Bridge lost 3-2 to a late late goal at the NMG - OK Mossley managed a draw at Prescot ...but ...

I've just had a quick "once through" of today's pictures - and they're awful - really awful - 102 pictures, and I'll struggle to get 20 decent ones.

Embarrassing ... off to sulk and drink more beer ...

Off to Hurst Cross ..

... to watch our "Midweek Landlords" take on Boston United - and hope to re-ignite their hopes for higher places in the Unibond Premier. Family party tonight (hence my absence from the Prescot Cables "Booze Train" that left Mossley at 1155 this morning) - and then ...

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Magic of the Mobile ...

How it broke in the land of Smiffy ...

Which means that temp manager Benny Phillips is "on the move" ... as is of course his "Assistant of 18 Days After leaving Mossley" Chris Willcock ... hmmmm ...

Breaking News @ Stalybridge Celtic ...

coming soon ... if my sources are correct ...

Interesting - very interesting ... I'll leave it at that for now ... remember - you heard it first at "STS" !!

(Don't forget to "jam her ivy" !!)

Good News at Mossley AFC

From the Mossley Message Board - posted at daft o'clock this morning !!!

"We are pleased to announce that following all the hard work of the committee and volunteers, we have raised over £4,500.

For this we must give our grateful thanks, to all the residents and supporters in and around Mossley.

The good news today is that we have now confirmed an offer from GT GRAFIX a local business in Dukinfield, to cover the shortfall in the 50% we needed to raise for the new floodlights.

Gary Threlkeld the owner of GT Grafix is a Mossley resident and wants to work with us to ensure the future of the football club.

Following two months without playing at home our financial situation is still difficult.

There are various fund raising events that have been planned through to April and hope that with the continued support of everyone, will enable us to look forward to a strong and successful future for Mossley Football Club.

The Directors & Committee of Mossley Football Club."

... and this just after I'd rustled up a "limited edition" run of fancy "begging postcards" to sell as well !! I give you (lo-res + watermark) ...

Still, we all know that the fund-raising MUST continue - so every little helps ... onward and upwards !

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The General Election "warm up" starts today ....

... with a Conservative Party leaflet flying through the door espousing the virtues of one Mr Rob Adlard. Apparently Mr Adlard "lives in our constituency", and of his four "pledges for a fresh start", three of them involve expenses, and the fourth is a very nebulous point involving "the values of our society, preserving what is great about Britain" and "promoting aspiration for all". One can probably understand the emphasis on expenses as Mr A is apparently a violinist and wouldn't want to be seen "on the fiddle"...

A brief glance through the pamphlet sees education as a big point - "as a professional violinist I had to struggle for years to make up for starting lessons much later in the state sector compared to those who had begun with private tuition" - as the guy is nearly 35 years old I guess "that early struggle" was while the Tories were running the show !

A brief glance at the chap's website shows some other interesting pointers - he first got involved in politics in 1992 assisting his local Conservative candidate against the mighty Mandelson - in Hartlepool - “It made me angry that a privately educated southerner, who was never going to be part of my town, was going to represent the area rather a hardworking local businessman" - it appears Hartlepool's loss is Stalybridge and Hyde's gain.

He moans about Labour cutting the higher education budget by £533 million - and then offers 10,000 extra fully-funded university places and the building of "hundreds of good new schools within the state system" ... to be paid for by ... ?? I assume the creation of thousands of new uni places could be funded by a deal with the moneygrabbing Student Loans Company maybe - love to find out more about the phrase "fully funded". He feels we need to "shift the balance of power in the classroom back to the teacher" (must talk to Mrs Smiffy about that one - i.e. someone down there in the real world !). There's great play in Carol Vorderman helping the Conservatives to analyse the teaching of maths in this country - hardly a new story (it was unveiled over 12 months ago), although I suppose a bit of "glamour" always helps to paper over the cracks ...

Apparently he was involved in the "NO" campaign for a congestion charge in Manchester (obviously what his fellow Tory Boris is doing in Greater London doesn't count for too much in the country's "second city") - I quote "
however under the stewardship of the Conservatives, the Passenger Transport Authority is delivering a transport package for Tameside that will deliver significant improvements without the charge.". Now to the best of my knowledge the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority doesn't exist any more - it's now the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority and it's made up of 33 councillors from the ten local districts - and it's hardly under the stewardship of the Conservatives (my count goes Labour 15, LibDem 10, Conservative 8) - one site says Keith Whitmore (Lab) is the chair and another says Ian McDonald (Con) is the chair ... I'm sure someone will put me right !

Anyway - enough of this for now - don't get me wrong - I'll be looking at everything that comes through the door - and having a go as I see fit - I may have been a staunch socialist - I may well still be a staunch socialist - but I've just not had a staunch socialist party to vote for ... ever (just not enough Tony Benns and Dennis Skinners in this world). However I WILL leave you with a couple of quotes from the Rob Adlard website - remember this is the guy who appears to be putting education at the top of his list (once he's sorted his expenses out) ... I give you:

"People, no matter where they are or what they’re doing, need to feel free to persue their dreams and aspirations. "

"I’m always glad to hear from Stalybridge & Hyde residents. Tell me about a local issue, or join me and get invovled."

(sic) as they say in the literary trade !!

We have lift-off !


First VB.Net lesson last night - already noticed a lot of similarities with the sort of stuff I've done in the past with Microsoft Access and VBA, so hopefully that should "fast-track it" a bit as regards bunging it on the CV with confidence, and going for some of the "junior" .Net vacancies - I even managed to build a basic Web Browser whilst having my lunch today (a little extra-mural project - my workspace now has an icon pointing to "Smiffzilla FlameWolf Version 1.0" !!).

40 hits on the CV in three days - sadly no follow-ups ... yet ... we live in hope - must get that LinkedIn account sorted as well ! Had a natter with a "NextStep" advisor yesterday afternoon at Mossley library - if only to boost my confidence a bit ! Off to the paper shop now to pick up the "Manchester Evening News" - job day today (although the job supplement usually contains at least 3 pages of holiday adverts for some strange reason !). Anyone else notice that Guardian Media Group have flogged off the MEN to the Trinity Mirror Group ? Staff are moving as well (might need to be renamed the "Chadderton Evening News" !).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Woodley Sports v Colwyn Bay

Another outing in sub-zero temperatures for Smiffy - I suffered, the camera (and batteries !) suffered ... and in the end Colwyn Bay suffered a severe blow to their title aspirations. Some less than brilliant pictures at

Woodley Sports 3 Colwyn Bay 0

... a bit like the Bay defence, I seemed to find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, unlike Lancaster City ten days ago, Colwyn Bay did not "roll over and die" and the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. Despite having a lot of the possession Bay failed to get past a resolute Woodley defence - with keeper Matt Towns making his debut - and were caught with three sucker punch goals - two of which came in the last five minutes. With Skelmersdale losing 4-0 at home to Radcliffe as well, the title race has well and truly opened up - and FC Halifax Town appear to be the main beneficiaries after last night - remember, Curzon Ashton still have a five point deduction hanging over them as well (to the best of my knowledge no date has yet been set for the appeal against this deduction).

Add to this a 20 minute delay in my last train home - and I guess I walked into the house about the same time as the Colwyn Bay fans got home ... roll on the spring !

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tonight - it's Woodley Sports ...

... versus Colwyn Bay who are, as they say, "up there" in the Unibond 1 North. Last time I went to Woodley they took on another club who were "up there", namely Lancaster City - and stuffed them 4-1. I'm sure there'll be a few (!) FC Halifax Town fans keeping an eye on this one tonight (well those who haven't gone to Boston United for their League Cup Quarter Final) - and hoping that I turn out yet again to be a "lucky charm" for them - maybe it's the least I can do after we (Mossley) robbed them of two valuable points just seven days ago !!

Words/Pictures ... maybe tonight, maybe early doors tomorrow ...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Worth a Try !

Naturally the job hunt continues in between football, walking and the like ... and it was while eating my mid-morning toast today, after some fruitless searching of various jobsites, that an idea started to formulate in my head - why not post your CV onto the web - obvously taking out some of the more "personal bits" (like addresses of me and my references); who knows what might happen ?

Job done !

So ... if anyone out there in "bloggerland" knows anyone looking for a computer geek - or even something completely different - I'm your man !

There's a link on the blog sidebar (under "Other Good Stuff") - otherwise head straight for (or point them straight at):

CV of Mike Smith

All avenues need to be explored ... and this is certainly a new 21st century-type one !


Sunday, February 07, 2010

"Gone Phishing"


Two dodgy mails in less than one hour this afternoon - one purporting to come from the Colwyn Bay Message Board thus (double-click for big):

and one "offering" me Adobe PDF 2010 - thus (again double click for big):

If you get anything like these - DELETE THEM - I checked them out via the web, and they are "phishing scams" that are apparently doing the rounds.

You have been warned !!

Mossley v Prescot Cables

Now home after a night in Rochdale (!)

Seen the game described as "ugly" - wouldn't go that far, but certainly "not pretty" ! I suppose 1-1 was the right result in the end - fortunate to have two goals in the last ten minutes to liven up some fairly drab fayre - although I do remember Prescot smacking the Mossley crossbar with an "evil dipper". It was nice for the camera to see a bit of sun (although the long dark shadows were a bit of a nuisance when switching from one end to t'other). Pix to be found at

Mossley 1 Prescot Cables 1

Match practice is something that ALL teams are lacking at the moment - I guess a lot were expecting more after the drama of the Halifax game in midweek - I think that definitely took a lot out the the team, hence today. Still, unbeaten in the league on 2010, two games further into the backlog - a shame that Mossley have no midweek fixture this coming week ... next Saturday is the return @ Prescot - unfortunately, I have to miss it as I have a family "do" in the evening - so I'll be "looking local" - midweek options - not really checked yet.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Another Bloody Frost !!

... however (1030) - Mossley v Prescot Cables is ON

(More on/offs will be added as known/as necessary)

1050 - Redditch v Hyde United confirmed ON

1245 - Sun shining - looks like no worries anywhere - a welcome change !

Friday, February 05, 2010

Thoughts for Saturday

... as in what to do ?

Mossley at home to Prescot Cables - their first match @ Seel Park since the 12th December (one that I missed - I haven't seen a "real" home game since 24th November !) ...

Stalybridge Celtic at home to Stafford Rangers (as in "the ole homestead") ...

Ashton United away at my good friends from Ilkeston(OK playing Worksop Town) ...

Much as I would love to head down to Bower Fold to see the Rangers, I do feel duty bound to be at the Mossley game - OK with it being a 1400 kick-off I could feasibly arrive @ Stalybridge not long after half-time (maybe just maybe ?), but this would entail much messing with cars, thus reducing to nil my "bar contribution to the cause" at Seel Park - and the last time I saw the Rangers "up here", Droylsden put seven past them earlier this season !

Mossley it is then ... now back to the job-hunt (this was my mid-morning break - honest !)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Back to School - Match Postponed !

... tonight should have been the start of "Let's get Smiffy's computer skill-set into the 21st Century" viz. Night 1 of the "Learn Yourself VB.Net", so with apple in pocket and folder under arm I ventured forth through the freshly-fallen snow to Tameside College for an 1830 kick-off ... into the classroom to find a few people already bashing away at the keyboard ... strange ...

Lecturer arrived - "Can I have a word ?" - it transpires that - because of the snow a few weeks ago - everything has 'gone back a week', so we were looking at the last week of the previous course !! He did give us some gifts to be going on with however (a couple of books, a copy of Visual Studio and an exercise disk (no not that sort of exercise !!) ...

"Same time next week folks ?" - bloody snow ...

(oh and the FC United v Ashton United game has been called off tonight as well - something to do with the weather - or Bury FC getting "all protective" - take your pick - blame the ref - everyone else does !!).

Mossley v FC Halifax Town

That was some game - we had it all - thrills, spills, controversy - and two late late goals. Halifax started the brighter and took an early lead, but it was soon cancelled out by Chris McDonagh. Mossley took the lead just before half-time when Steve Settle ignored the linesman's offside flag and slotted the ball home. To say the Halifax contingent were "upset" would be an understatement !!

The second half was nearly all Halifax as Mossley tried to hang on to their slender lead, but goals from Dean (another suspicion of offside but hey .. even stevens then !) and a penalty in the 88th minute from Marshall looked to have wrapped it up for Halifax. HOWEVER ... the Shaymen then proceeded to "stand off", and Mossley mounted some late late pressure which paid off when Andy Watson squeezed in a 93rd minute equaliser ... phew !

Some pictures at ...

Mossley 3 FC Halifax Town 3

... for which I apologise - not one of my better sets I'm afraid - but it's all in there somewhere !!

Some other thoughts on last night - again grateful thanks to Ashton United for the loan of the ground (hope you made a few bob over the bar !!) and a good crowd of over 400, but maybe just maybe it could have been higher were it not for a slight "cock-up" on the Halifax website, which called the game as "off" for a while before the error was corrected - reckon some folks may have seen that and just "not bothered". The pitch held up well as the night got colder, but some of the terracing/surrounds were lethal !!

Back home to Seel Park on Saturday against Prescot Cables - and DON'T FORGET THE EARLY KICK-OFF !

Just a tempter from tonight ..

Mossley 3 FC Halifax Town 3 ... and here's the Mossley equaliser in the 90th minute

...the rest to follow tomorrow , already selected but need tweaking a bit (the lights at Ashton are not perfick -it's true - ask Jez !! MORNING EDIT - that sounds really ungrateful and for that I apologise ...) - and yes lazy dolescum that I may be, bedtime is still not a bad idea .. but here's Andy Watson making it 3-3 right at the death (first draft - double-click for big) :

Promise the rest up early doors tomorrow - with some words on a fine game ...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Leeches are out ..

Just got an e-mail from entitled "Get the Cash you need Today" - they must have links with one of the many recruitment agencies that I've signed up with - and it's a link that should be got rid of - sharpish ! Check out these little quotes from said e-mail:

"PaydayUK lend from £80-£750, which could help get you by when you need some extra cash" - oooh yes please !

"With fixed charges of £25 per £100 borrowed, apply now" - can't wait !!

"For example:
Borrow Repay
£100 £125
£200 £250
£300 £375

1737% APR Typical "

Yes ... 1,737% interest !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I rest my case - bloody crooks ...

Monday, February 01, 2010

Tomorrow's Pre-Match Appointment ...

... is here ... Stalybridge "jobcentreplus" (yet to work out the reasoning behind the "plus" - implies there is a lesser "jobcentre" elsewehere ... no capital letters either !!) ... still, got to be done otherwise that magic phrase "withold your benefit" comes into play.

Let's hope the weather is agreeable for football ...