New to the Mossley squad - Chris Pauley from Chadderton
... no problems with the new work start times - home comfortably in time for get changed/get gear/get sandwich/get pre-match "shandy" etc etc ...
We were all hoping for an improvement on Tuesday night's debacle - there were five changes to the starting line-up, and for 20 minutes this looked to have done the trick - good movement, good passing, comfy at the back ... and then it all went horribly wrong. Once Lairds took the lead, it was back to Tuesday - heads visibly dropped, errors started creeping in, hints of "internal dissension" and ... you can guess the rest - another goal 10 minutes before half-time pretty much nailed it - although Mossley did get one back with about five minutes to go (a touch controversial - offside/onside/active/inactive/flag/whistle/discussion ... goal awarded !), but to be honest it was more than Mossley deserved.
The game was sponsored by the Labour Party and saw a "guest appearance" by local MP Jonathon Reynolds (hope he's got a receipt for the sponsorship dosh - he ! he !) - but I'm afraid it was Mossley who were "labouring" yesterday ... the crowd, although up from Tuesday, was still pretty poor at 131 - and performances like the last couple will do little to improve this (home again on Tuesday night v Prescot Cables).
... as Marcellus said (Hamlet Act 1 Scene 4) "Something is rotten in the State of Mossley" (or words to that effect), and it needs sorting - sharpish - before the season dies on its feet ... .
... Mrs Smiffy now home from her travels (I've just eaten my way through a genuine Melton Mowbray Pork Pie topped with Stilton - I believe the current phraseology is "nom nom" !!) ... however, as she's buggered off out again tonight (!!), I'm looking forward to an hour of Steve Winwood on BBC4 in about 10 minutes !!
Last night's "tellyfooty" was enjoyable if only for some of the player's names. Man City were up against a team containing Netto, Fatty, Todger, Brittas and Bob Dylan (OK the pedants would say Neto, Faty, Toja, Pritas and Bobadilla !!) - they even bought Koke on later (but he didn't get a sniff !)
Other news ... tomorrow sees a new start time at work - problem being it's about one hour later than it has been - which further contracts footy options on Saturdays. Well that's the theory anyway - we'll see how it goes. Some gig tickets bought as well - our love affair with Buxton Opera House continues, and come May 9th we will be taking in Seth Lakeman ... and for those who say "Who ???" here's a Youtube to whet the appetite ..
Let's just hope the requisite *rses have been kicked in the Mossley squad - and something like a team turns up for the Cammell Laird game tomorrow (and hopefully the snapper will turn up on time as well !)
A kick up the backside was what most of 'em needed last night ...
... two hours of my life that I will NEVER get back ...
Can't really add too much to the two words I quoted last night - but I'll try - no real formation (someone mentioned "Tinkerman" ... not far wrong ..); not enough effort (remember Leigh Genesis began the evening BOTTOM of the table); a lot of arguing ON and OFF the pitch (not promising at all); OK a slight improvement in the second half, but ... it was almost like an "end of season" game with nothing to play for - that seemed to be the attitude of the majority of players in white shirts - however I (and some others) believe there IS STILL something to play for. There might have been only 103 there last night (a drop of one (1) from seven days earlier), but the majority must have felt well let down - which bodes ill for attendances at future midweek games when there's "stuff" on the telly/in the pub. Maybe a chance to put things right at home to Cammell Laird on Saturday ?? Like to think so **
Meanwhile a few (yes just a few) pictures from an evening to forget ...
(** This assumes fans are not tempted away by the options of Droylsden v Gainsborough - Bloods can do Stafford Rangers a favour here; or Hyde FC v Vauxhall Motors - Vauxhall can do Stafford Rangers a favour here; or Ashton United v Buxton - sadly neither of these teams can do Stafford Rangers a favour ...) .
Ashton United - HOME to Marine Curzon Ashton - HOME to Harrogate RA Droylsden - HOME to Hinckley United Hyde - HOME to Stalybridge Celtic
...and I'm giving them all a miss !! (OK the Ashton United game IS a League Cup tie, but it's still going to do wonders for attendances).
A particularly heavy (and wet !) workie day today - unusual for a Monday (water bills to nearly every one of my 600+ drops - you just wouldn't realise how many houses appear to have running water these days !!). I get home - to find one for us as well (with a nice "above inflation" increase as well) !! For me - it's Mossley v Leigh Genesis tomorrow (watch it hammer it down and get called off ...). .
Up with the lark at 0530 for a 'bit of work' - slightly damp, still effing cold (those blooming metal letterbox flaps tend to "fuse" to your fingers - and some of 'em are like razor blades when you try to lift 'em up !!), but got progressively better as the morning went on. Home "on time", quick change and headed off to Belper at about 1300 hours, arriving and 1445. Jumped out of the car and headed straight for Christchurch Meadows to take in Belper Town v Rainworth Miners Welfare (apparently it's pronounced "Rennath" !). In short Belper - 2-0 up at half-time should really have been "home and dry". Chance after chance went begging (overcomplication is a good word ...) and yes, you've guessed it, Rainworth came back in the second half to pinch a very undeserved point. My take on the game can be found at
Couldn't stop for too long after the game (more to do on this busy 24 hours !), but it was good to see all the "usual suspects" for a bit of a natter ((and see Tim and Ken parading their "new toys" !)- strangely enough this was my first visit to Belper this season - and it's nearly March !!
So - back to Mother-in-Laws for some tea, another quick change before heading up to snowy Buxton to see John Lees' Barclay James Harvest at the Buxton Opera House (almost two years to the day since we were last there - to see the Peatbog Faeries)
My one and only picture of the night - can't be doing with this photgraphy lark !!
An awesome gig - a true celebration of all things BJH (and as bassist Craig said, "Woolly's fingerprints will be all over tonight's set") - Buxton Opera House is a wonderful place and the sound was so ... "full" (we were up in the circle). Can't furnish you with a full set list (I'd left my anorak in the car !), but there were many old favourites such as "She Said", "Child of the Universe", "Galadriel", "Summer Soldier" and "Medicine Man" (with a gap between them !!), a bit of a new take on "Mockingbird" (Mrs Smiffy well impressed !) and encoring with "After the Day" and "Hymn". A wonderful wonderful night.
Finished about 2230 - and then a tricky drive home (through a pea-souper of a fog as far as Dove Holes before it eased off) to be rewarded with a small can of pop (he he !) on arrival - followed by another very soon afterwards !! A quick wander around the internet - we have a strange problem at home at the moment - the phone is NOT working (reported to BT who confirmed there IS a fault on the line) although there seems to be no problem with t'internet (no doubt some "anorak-wearer" can explain why !) to see that Mossley lost ... and there appears to have been all sorts of trouble at Chorley v Chester (a 3,000+ crowd and many scrotes appearing out of the woodwork - there could be some serious fall-out here ...) - finally went to bed about 20 hours after getting up - so a lie-in until 0830 (yep I call that a lie-in !) was most welcome today. So far - a quick flirt with the photos ... and this. Must pop out sometime for a "Non League Paper" - and I'm on cooking duty later on ... .
... tomorrow ... the beauties of the fixture compilers have thrown up the following:
Ashton United - AWAY at Marine Curzon Ashton - NO GAME Droylsden - AWAY at Redditch United Hyde FC - AWAY at Eastwood Town Mossley - AWAY at Skelmersdale United Stalybridge Celtic - AWAY at Corby Town
... even just "across the border" - Woodley Sports - AWAY at Clitheroe.
Add into this equation - me and Mrs Smiffy are off to Buxton Opera House tomorrow night to see John Lees' Barclay James Harvest - should be a particularly poignant event given the sad death of Woolly Wolstenhome just before Christmas ...
Buxton - AWAY at Kendal Town.
Decision - as soon as I finish work tomorrow, we're going to high-tail it down to Belper (Belper Town - HOME to Rainworth MW) - I get footy (might not get there for 1500hrs but ...) - Mrs Smiffy gets an afternoon with her Mum ! Then it's drive back to Buxton, watch JLBJH and then back to Mossley - all-in-all a pretty long day (and I won't be able to "have a slurp" until we get back home - I'll probably be drinking Vodka and Red Bull without the Vodka - aargh !!).
... after the 3-2 defeat a couple of weeks ago (as in 3-0 in under half-an-hour !) it was sweet revenge for Mossley who rarely looked troubled after the first 20 minutes ... Wakefield seem to have a cracking "dead ball game" with corners coming in under the bar and good movement from free-kicks. However once Mike Oates found space to slot the ball past Jan Zolna there was only going to be one winner on a wet and windy evening up at Seel Park. Two goals from Matty Kay in the second half wrapped it up nicely and helped to keep Mossley in the top half of the table ... pictures from the game at
Work-wise ... the weather IS improving slowly but surely - still a bit chilly "in the shadows", and later on in the afternoon, but gloves and hat are getting removed more often these days !! However I MUST remember to check my bag tomorrow morning before heading off to work - you never know what you might find in there ...
Berlioz relaxing after a hard day doing bugger all ... .
... but a good result for Mossley, winning 3-0 and avenging that defeat at Wakefield a couple of weeks ago. Wins also for Stalybridge Celtic, Belper Town and Stafford Rangers this evening (amongst others !!).
The old and the new @ Morecambe FC - Christie Park and the Globe Arena
... up at daft o'clock to make sure we got up to Lancaster/Morecambe to pick up up the rental "removal van" - to be told "Sorry, the small van isn't back yet - would be OK with a dobbin' great Transit for the same price ?" - why not ?? Then spent the next four/five hours moving stuff from Lancaster to Morecambe (sofas + big ol' TV up six flights of stairs - aargh !). Kept driving past the new Morecambe FC ground as well - looks a lot smarter than the old Christie Park (from the outside anyway !) - such is Football League status I guess ...
Still - son, lady plus two cats now moved in to their "seaview penthouse", van returned unscathed, drove back to Mossley and had take-away for tea at about 2100 hrs. OK day at work today (not too many Valentine's Day cards !!) - a little O/T in a previously "unwalked" area of Oldham (Sholver Estate) - dreamed up tonight's menu whilst out walking (roasted stuffed red peppers). Now relaxing in front of the Non-League Vidiprinter (as at 2115 hrs Curzon Ashton appear to be stuffing Ossett Albion - gone from 4-0 to 5-0 whilst I've been typing - and Hyde FC have pulled back to 3-2 from 3-0 down at Worcester City).
Day off tomorrow - and I'm not working it ! Housesitting for daughter in the morning (awaiting new electricity meter fitting), dentist in the afternoon, and if time sort out mortgage final payment (whoo hoo !!) - and Mossley v Wakefield in the evening - very relaxing ... yes I can have a lie-in till about 0730, unless the bloody cat continues with his regular "6 a.m. whinge & whine".
STS Bonus Pic - Aaron Burns takes on the Mickleover defence
Remember a couple of weeks ago when Mossley gave Wakefield a 3 goal start ? It was Ashton United's turn today (OK it was only 2 goals though) - and despite getting one back just before half-time, and having the lion's share of the possession and the chances in the second 45 minutes, they were unable to pull it back.
Other stuff - Mossley lost 2-0 @ Witton (apparently a deflection and a penalty !), Hyde lost 1-3 at home to Gloucester (doesn't help Stafford Rangers much - despite the Boro winning their bottom of the table clash against Redditch 2-1) - Droylsden won 1-0 - Stalybridge lost 0-1. The Curzon game at Harrogate RA was postponed. Plenty of big numbers in the Evo-Stik League as well:
7 - Romulus (v Spalding) 6 - Sutton Coldfield (v Leek Town); Wakefield (v Prescot Cables) 5 - Chester (v Clitheroe); Skelmersdale (v Ossett)
Who needs the Premier League ?? (although I must admit Mr Rooney's goal today was rather special !). .
... Ashton United v Mickleover Sports - after clocking Eastwood's Lee Stevenson on Tuesday, it's possibly another chance to see a so-called "Belper Reject" in action (assuming Alex Steadman starts for the visitors). Will try and sort stuff out tonight as well, because tomorrow sees me as "Removal Van Man" - off to Lancaster to help boy and lady move house to Morecambe - van suitably rented.
STS "bonus pic" - Jack Rea bursts forward (updated Friday - removed some "noise" !!) ...
Some pictures from Celtic's win last night (nice to see them win a game - my last couple of trips had drawn a blank) - and what pleased most of the Celtic faithful was getting a lead - and keeping it !!
Not one of my best collections (!) - but once again it was bloody cold for the old fingertips (stock excuse but hey ...).
Seems like there was a right kerfuffle at the Leigh Genesis v Mossley game - Leigh now play at Atherton LR and the game was called off at about 1950 hrs (!!!). Apparently one side of the pitch was heavily waterlogged - so the touchline was "brought in" a metre or so - which obviously made the pitch somewhat lopsided - might be good enough for the North West Counties (sorry Vodkat - for the rest of the season anyway !) League ... but not for the Evo-Stik. Both sides (plus ref it seems) were willing to play - but there was an referee's assessor floating around - enough said ...
Tea was nice by the way - home-made carrot and coriander soup ... !!!
Well ... that WAS a wet weekend wasn't it ?? As mentioned, I knew there were a few games called off before leaving Mossley for the journey down to Belper. I'd been hoping to take in Buxton v Ashton United, but when we arrived in Buxton about midday the place place was pretty much under water - the River Wye had flooded its banks by the park near the A6 - and the phone call to Buxton confirmed the worst. Carried on to Belper (A6 partly flooded - in fact it was closed coming back today !!) and started to make further enquiries. A very nice man at Heanor told me "The nets are being put up now, so hopefully ..." - that was enough for me ! Mrs Smiffy and our Michelle went off to see "the panto" (starring Mother-in-Law) - I took the car and travelled the 7 miles over to Heanor.
Into the Social Club - to be greeted by a bunch of Ilkeston Town fans - since Ilson folded, they've been following Heanor Town (it's only a mile or two down the road from Ilkeston) ... and they promised me goals as well. The weather was awful - I was amazed that the game was going ahead - blowing a gale across the pitch and chucking it down as well (glad I had Saturday "off the post" !!). Heanor share with the cricket club, and I found myself on the open side of the pitch with the wind and rain hitting my back big style - OK there was a stand on the other side but that would have meant wind and rain hitting the lens - you have to suffer for your art. The game - excellent considering the conditions - littered with errors naturally, but there were 22 players out there giving it 100%. Heanor missed a penalty just before half-time before Radcliffe took the lead midway through the second half, but the home team came through in the end with a couple of well-taken goals - as far as I remember the scorer of Heanor's first - Nathan Benger - used to be at Matlock Town ... considering the weather the pictures aren't too bad (now I'm home, the gear is gently drying out in preparation for something this coming midweek !!) ...
Quick pint after the game - failed miserably to dry myself out very much ... fortunately there was a Royal Mail mailbag in the boot to put on the car seat !! Back to Belper - a couple of pints in the "Grapes" (owned by Phil Varney - who's standing down as Belper Town Chairman - noticed Nailers secretary Dave Laughlin having a drinkie in there as well - didn't mention Shepshed Dynamo though ...). Home this afternoon ... to this ...
Midweek games - haven't really looked yet ... watch this space ... .
... rain all night ... still raining now (0930 hrs) ... weather forecast shows ... more rain. And being "on the road" so to speak, a bad day to be without internet connection to search for football (currently using a mobile dongle courtesy daughter). Basic plan for today is Buxton v Ashton United - as we're all on our way to the Belper area - typical really - one Saturday off in six and the weather is poo (and the game options don't really "jump out" at me). Other options in the Derbys/Notts area include Heanor Town .. even Mansfield v Alfreton ... but all eyes are really on the weather (and the Evo-Stik website).
Maybe back later ... there used to be an Internet Cafe in Buxton (might still be there) ...
(EDIT @ 1030 - Mossley v Salford City already postponed - waterlogged pitch; games at Colwyn Bay, Halifax and Bamber Bridge also off - surely more to come ...) .
... certainly a game of two excellent attacks ... and two not-so-clever defences !! One of those games often described as "great entertainment for the neutral" ... and a nightmare for the managers ... Mossley took the lead though Kris "Goal Machine" Dennis - but were then caught cold by Witton early in the second half to fall 2-1 behind - before going 3-2 up - before conceding an equaliser with 15 minutes left. It still could have gone either way after that. A fair result in the end.
... first impressions - really sharp ... will never replace the 70-200 ... note to self - will need to re-think game plan when using same (composition etc.) - at least we know what it can and can't do though ...
Busy at work so far this week as well -although looking forward to my Saturday "day off" ... now where to go ?? .
... no news about tonight's Mossley fixture v Witton ... so assuming it's on.
Biting further bullet and just taking new lens up with me tonight (yep the 70-200 is having a night off !!!) - less weight to carry too (I've been doing that all bloody day anyway !).The "assume it's on" theory is dangerous though - last night the Ashton United v Marine League Cup game was called "ON" at 1630 ... and then the match ref called it "OFF" about an hour before kick-off ! Still, it's been a touch warmer all day today, so there shouldn't be any problems ... should there ???????
Now off to make some tea for the masses - camera batteries charging up as we speak ... .