Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just Another Manic Monday ....

....totally pants from start to finish !

In the words of any great blues guitarist ... "Woke up this morning ..." - working on the official duty sheet recieved on Saturday, I headed for Uppermill for a 0700 start - to find that it was all wrong ! "Come to Oldham" was the phone reply (luckily grabbed a lift off a van) to find myself with basically sod all to do. They found me a walk to prepare (1hr 15mins O/T) but after that .... "can you tidy up the DO ?" whihch involved putting perstops (plastic boxes which contain up to 250 letters) onto trolleys (they call them "Yorks") and then tidying up the outside - trolleys everywhere - bring 'em in and put them in the right place ... Come midday - some real posting work arrived(bits and bats - with a bit of walking in between !). Finished that - went home - started to prep tea (a proper roast beef dinner) to get it ready for 1815 hrs ... because I had a train to catch (1855) to get down to Ashton for the Curzon v Bamber Bridge game.

Meal - successful ... Train catch - successful. I'd checked on't'web that game was on - I'd checked on't'phone that game was on. Train - no probs and so started walking down towards the Tameside Stadium ... and when I got to within 500 yards of said ground - those flooodlights I had been faithfully following (it almost sounds religious !) went off ! Worked out immediately that the game was OFF - but carried on walking.

Had a miserable pint in the Curzon bar (with a few similarly miserable fans) before heading home - stopped off at Stalybridge Buffet Bar - tis quiz night on Mondays, and spent an hour helping out the "Bar Flies" before getting the next one back home - and now here - OK I had a couple in the "Brit" - and saw the comedy Oldham (or should I say Chesterfield) goal - it's football, if only for a few minutes ....

Going back to the work problem - it now probably works out that they don't know what to do with me this week (some call it a staffing "glitch" ... others have far for interesting words/phrases for the same - involving quotes involving phrase like "p*ss up"/"brewery"/"run a bath/one man bus"). Anyroad up I was told to take my "day off" tomorrow (Tues) ... as obviously due to the major staffing problem (!!) ... there's nowt for me to do tomorrow ...

.... and there's no more bloody football in the vicinity all week ... not well chuffed about today from start to finish ....
.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chorley v Stafford Rangers ...



Stafford's "Man in the News" - Chris Morris aka "Dad" !

... a good day out - eventually ! Didn't make the 1055 due to the pitch inspection being at 1100. This was followed by a nervy 35 minutes flicking from message board to message board before the word "ON" appeared - so made the 1155. Managed a pint in Bolton ("Hobgoblin" in "The York" next to the station - saw Liverpool's opener as well), before the next train to Chorley and the "Railway" in behind the station (Ringwood "Boondongler" was the soup de jour !). Ten minute stroll down to Victory Park to see dozen of Blackburn Rovers fans ! They appear to like neither Manager nor Owners - but it bumped up the Chorley crowd to a very healthy 1000+. A good turn-out from the Stafford fans as well !


Well impressed by the Stafford performance against one of the top teams - in fact reading between the lines, it seems that Stafford are "on a roll" and heading upwards (for a change !!) - certainly had a few chances in the second half to take all three points (denied by the Chorley keeper and the woodwork a few times though). Still a very good afternoon out ... some pictures at

Chorley 2 Stafford Rangers 2

Visitors in the evening - so unfortunately no time to linger after the game - a fine meal of venison (!) and a bit of a natter (still eating at 2200 hrs). Sunday morning ... brings this.

Might wander out for a bit of a stroll later on before (aargh !) getting sorted for a return to work tomorrow - all good things etc etc etc.
.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Football - early Postponments ...

... Droylsden v Blyth Spartans and Burscough v Whitby Town off so far (called early due to long distance travelling no doubt).

Me ... off to the Chorley Nissan Victory Park Stadium to see Stafford Rangers - train at 1055 hrs, so should (!) know state of play by then. Only seen Stafford once this season, a 5-1 away win at Ashton United - would be nice to see something similar today !
.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Aargh !!!

View from front window at 1655hrs today (with bonus small cat in foreground !)

video

One Saturday off for ages - God knows what it's going to do with tomorrow's football options - "bugger" is another option instead of "aargh" I guess ...

Spent a fruitless hour or so clambering over wrecked motors this morning - getting dirty AND wet - looking for the car part - have since rung the Vauxhall dealership in Oldham - they have one, and I'll pick it up tomorrow morning (no doubt paying some ludicrous price + VAT as well - but hey ho ... needs must). (EDIT 0940 Saturday morning - OK I lied ... 98p +VAT ... can live with that !!!)

Tonight's meal = Chinese - home-made of course !
.

Exclusive Photo ...

... from last night's AA Meeting in Mossley ...



Strictly tongue-in-cheek you understand ...

Time to get Friday on the move - although I've already "done the doctors" (and got a free flu jab into the bargain !). A trip to a car scrapper is on the cards - looking for an elusive "bolt" for the car's rear light housing - after that ...
.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Done the Ironing ...

... got loads of clean pressed shirts for work next week !

Previously - more shopping, more cooking (tonight = haddock mornay - sorry but I DO love cooking !!) - and yes the camera went out to play for a bit this afternoon ... and here's a bit of fun. We've got several of those picture postcard-type pictures of "bygone Mossley" at home ... so a bit of scanning and a bit of "tweaking" and you get ... "Mossley - Now and Then" ...
(worth a double-click !!) ...



An idea which could be worked on ... maybe ...
.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Not a Lot ...



Token pic from today - Greenfield Station ...

... was the answer to the question at the end of the previous thread. Once the footy pics were sorted ... I went shopping ! Made a couple of portions of carrot and coriander soup for the freezer (using up a load of left-over coriander) before cooking tea (braised steak with chips).

Boring boring boring ... need something with more "ooomph" tomorrow ... maybe some ironing ...
.

Droylsden v Eastwood Town



Gorillas in the Mist ?? No - it's Droylsden keeper Paul Phillips !!

Well I made it (even had time for a 'small shandy' in the Kings Head !) ... 'twas a misty moisty evening at the Butchers Arms and Droylsden started the better, going in at half-time one goal to the good through a Dale Johnson header. This was doubled just after the hour - Johnson again - before an unlikely turn-around saw 2-0 become 2-3 in less than 15 minutes ! Last Saturday saw Droylsden turn a 3-0 advantage into a 3-4 defeat at Guiseley so it was looking a little like deja vu for the Bloods. However a late late equaliser from Dan Gardener - squeezing it in at the near post - restored parity and removed embarrassment (well a little of it anyway !). In fact it almost became 4-3 to the home side right at the death but this time Eastwood keeper Deakin DID cover his near post ... some pictures from the evening at

Droylsden 3 Eastwood Town 3


(that mist played havoc with my settings !!)

Now - what will Day Three bring ??
.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day Two ...



Grim today - view from our street - there's a big hill behind that there mist - honest !!!


... cr*p weather - lazy day (didn't make docs !) - anyway tea "on the go" - and football is ON tonight - onward to the Butchers (Arms that is !). Maybe later (because I don't have to get up early on the morrow ...).

Although I might "just" be strapped for getting there on time - what with cooking for the masses (gammon looking good at the mo - had to use apricot jam instead of marmalade but hey ...) and public transport - having checked the TfGM website ... I'll be there or thereabouts mind !
.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Holiday - Day One

... had a nice lie-in (until 0710 hrs - yes I call that a lie-in !) - managed a late cancellation at the dentist - for 1030 hrs - and the crap bus timings meant a 2 mile walk to get there (!) - got the "all clear" for the next six months mind (must be something in these electrified toothbrushes apart from electricity ...). Into Ashton for haircut (my snipper - Guiseppe - knows the Mum and Dad of Simone Perrota aka one-third of the statue outside the Curzon Ashton ground). So ... that was two-thirds of the "boring jobs" for the week sorted - just a trip to the doctors left (prob do that tomorrow morning). A bit of shopping in Ashton (as in three items from Poundland ... cost ... £3 ... you guessed). In fact one of the items was some seed potatoes (Pentland Javelin for you afficianados), so the next step is to Google "chit potatoes", and we're on the move spud-wise ...

Back to Mossley - small shandy in the "Brit" - and a photo from compact camera !! This is Mossley Town Hall - now a private dwelling but there are rooms used for Parish Council meetings and other such worthy stuff I believe.



Yes ... Photoshop strikes again !!

Home to cook Cottage Pie - and now this ...

Football tomorrow (after cooking a gammon joint and other stuff) is going to be Droylsden v Eastwood Town.
.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wild and Windy - Part Two

Followed a bloody cold afternoon at the football in Ashton on Saturday (standing still !) with a bloody cold morning/afternoon in and around Denshaw (at least walking though !) ... must be mad ...

A few pix ...



It's that "washed out" time of year (even with a bit of Photoshop "saturation" !) ...



Token "fungi picture" ...



Token "tree picture" - would have been better with a f1.8 lens (blur background tree etc etc.) ...




Lunch break next to Ogden Reservoir ...

There now follows ... a week's holiday - latest plans include doctors/dentist/haircut - and maybe some football !
.

Curzon Ashton v Garforth Town



It DID get better for Chris McDonagh !!!


... you've probably noticed that I've been a "touch lax" during this last seven days - no "proper" midweek football does make a difference to one's state of "bloggermind" (together with a bad attack of "idleitis" I guess !). Anyway - promise to do better this week (I'll have more time too - because I've got a week's holiday - already checking out possibilities of a long distance trip/full footy day out for next Saturday !).

Meanwhile some pictures from a perishingly cold and windy Tameside Stadium today ...

Curzon Ashton 3 Garforth Town 1

Tomorrow - OK later today - a bit of a walk ... but now - a bit of a sleep !
.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Note to Self ...

Must get round to updating blog before the weekend ... will probably involve thoughts on "moral capitalism" (truly a Tory Oxymoron !), work (at the moment still starting "early doors" on virtually full-time duties - making the most of the money as it won't last !! Oh and the driving assessment went OK on Monday ...) the weather (blowing cold and "not so cold"), lack of 'real' football this mid-week (apart from a brief foray into 'unreal' TV Premiershipland - Man City v Wigan on Monday night ...) and other such tat ...
.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Take Two - Seel Park Panorama ...

So - upload pic to Photobucket and then link back - success (p.s. needs a double-click to see the full 360) !

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Sunday Pic ...



Seems happy with this little pic - can't handle the big ones though !


... just for fun (and you'll have to excuse the weather !) - plus I had a few "size" problems in Photoshop - so it's probably not as good as it should be ... maybe I ought to learn how to use the damn software ! Anyway - I present a 360 degrees of Seel Park ... well actually I don't because Blogger can't handle the size either !!!

Try this JAlbum instead !


Not the best results but - you get the idea ... back to the drawing board I feel !!!
.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Non-Football Saturday Night

... OK so I caught a "touch" of Man United v Bolton on "Channel Dodgy" in a local hostelry (might be a total non-league fan but was glad to see Welbeck score - he's in my Fantasy Football League team - yes I've got one ... and (after today's results) they're lying in 594,114th place out of 2,696,039 - not that bad for a non-league afficianado !

Football - like what I didn't get today - Tameside's interest in the FA Trophy has disappeared with both Droylsden (at Kiddermister Harriers) and Stalybridge Celtic (at Guiseley) losing. Hyde (surprisingly ?) only managed a 2-2 draw at home to Corby Town in the Conf North. As mentioned earlier, both Ashton's were "off" ... and Mossley have lost 2-1 away at Witton Albion (a 90th minute winner apparently - aargh !).

And yes - I DID take the camera out late on today (maybe too late ?) ... a couple of pix ...



From "high up" - that's Manchester - with Beetham Tower in't'middle ...



... and local landmark Hartshead Pike in the gloom ...

Might wander out tomorrow with the camera (supposed to be crisp and bright according to the weather forecast) - Mrs Smiffy has gone down to Belper today (their match was postponedas well !) to see her Mum - but it will be certainly followed by a quiet (i.e. non-beer) Sunday night - because at 0600hrs on Monday morning (yes there ARE two six o'clocks in one day !!), I've got what's called a "Changeover Assessment" - it's a Royal Mail 'driving test' which will allow me to drive vans and stuff - which is very handy to have ...
.

Jack Frost 1 SmiffyFootball 0

... hey ho - got the call around 1130 (thanks Andy !) letting me know that both Ashton United and Curzon Ashton's games were off due to froz pitches. Got home well after 1430hrs to find that the Mossley Ressies game had also been called off - so even a second half 'up the road' was out of the question. Grrr ... As it stands (nearly half-time time !) Stalybridge are 1-0 down at Guiseley - and I'm going out quite soon for a couple of "small sherries" - and hopefully to get some interesting sunset pictures from up Top Mossley (looking down onto Manchester) - there's been a few on't'internet from yesterday (I think - maybe Thursday) of some nice orange glows - we'll see later.

Meanwhile - a picture of my lunch (via phone cam so not brill) - the "Britannia Inn" (Mossley) version of the "Manchester Egg" - a pickled egg inside a black pudding and sausage meat mix with a minimal breadcrumb crust.




Very nice indeed - although (personal view this) I don't feel the egg needs to be pickle; hard boiled would suffice - and I would maybe have put a little bit (not too much) of mustard powder (or some wholegrains) into the black pud/soss meat mix for a little extra "bite". That's MasterChef over for today !! Fingers crossed for a decent sunset - and a win for Mossley @ Witton (that game WAS called on) ...
.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Little Night Music for a Wednesday ...

... after a relaxing day off - enjoy ...

Mossley v Abbey Hey - Pictures

... well I said it all last night - certainly a good start for the new Mossley Managerial Duo of Steve Halford and Peter Band though ... pix at

Mossley 4 Abbey Hey 1 (Manchester Prem Cup)


Now - what to do on my day off (apart from using one of my Crimbo presents tonight - making a paella in the new paellera !!). Weather not brill so a camera trip out is "unlikely" ...
.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Off to a Flyer ...

.... the new Mossley that is - a 4-1 victory over Abbey Hey tonight in the Manky Cup quarter-final. Not without a scare mind (going 1-0 down in the first 15 minutes !). Not offering too much now - I've got a "day off" tomorrow - and I'm taking it (watch my phone ring at about 0645hrs tomorrow morning with the "can you ..." plea - maybe I'll turn my phone off before I hit the sack ...). But here's a pic of Mossley's equalizer - Nathan Taylor "opening his account" for the Lilywhites ...



... that's Mossley into the semi-finals anyway - together with Droylsden (2-0 victors over Curzon Ashton on Monday night), Salford City (beat Ashton United 1-0 tonight) and Irlam Town (who beat New Mills - Derbyshire ?!?!? - 2-1 tonight). The semi-final draw ? No idea ...

More tomorrow - promise !
.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Monday Night ...

... I know Curzon are playing Droylsden tonight in the Manky Cup - but I'm not there ... saving my "night out" for the Mossley v Abbey Hey (again Manky Cup) tomorrow. Arsenal v Leeds ?? No ESPN in Chez Smiffy. However I AM getting regular updates from my good frien Nosmo - at the moment (2015 hrs) it's Ilkeston FC 2 Sheffield FC 1.



Last pic of Tissy - about 20 minutes before ...


Anyway - yesterday - death of cat ... I'll be honest I've never wanted animals in our house - from day one back in 198something. But ... it happens - stray cat turns up - kids (very young at the time) play and offer scraps ... and it's only a matter of time before the bugger moves in. Probably a couple of years old at the time - it happens. Went out for a bit of "retail therapy" yesterday afternoon (weather too poo for walkies) - in true varied style Mrs Smiffy got "Jane Eyre" and "Cranford" (DVDs) - I got "Best of Seasick Steve" (CD) - it helps ... now we're down to one - the young upstart called Berlioz (remember "Aristocats" ?)



"Newer Kid on the Block" - enjoying the bones from yesterday's roast shoulder of lamb ...


Enough of this for now ... football in just under 24 hours - praying for sensible weather (and ... at this moment in time I also have a "day off" on Wednesday - and no-one wants me to work it !!).
.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Stalybridge Celtic v Droylsden

... another 3-1 home defeat for the Celts in a local derby - however it might have been so different if Phil Marsh had converted a very early penalty - or if Droylsden keeper Paul Phillips had been sent off for the second (converted) penalty. But "if" is such a big word (!) ... suffice to say it was (like the Hyde game 8 days ago) another deserved win for the away team against a Stalybridge side that are starting to struggle up front (goals drying up) and at the back (players missing and a few others being "found out" at times). Just have to see what happens now - an urgent injection of confidence if nowt else is probably a start ... some pictures at

Stalybridge Celtic 1 Droylsden 3

Meanwhile ...

... it's farewell to Gareth McClelland at Mossley, who resigned after yesterday's 2-1 home defeat by Farsley AFC - apparently left to join AFC Halifax Town - role as yet unconfirmed ...

... and another farewell I missed a day or so ago was the death of Bob "Blockbuster" Holness (aged 83 believe it or not !) ...




Tissy "in his youth" (!) - pic from nearly 5 years ago ...

... and finally - at about 1055hrs this morning (between front door and car on his way up to the vets) - our old cat "Tissy" finally met his maker after a short (couple of hours) of pain. Turned up on our doorstep about 16 years ago, and has been part of the family ever since - sad to see the old fella go - but at least it was quick and he died "at home" - now buried at the bottom of the garden ...

Onward - ever onward ...
.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Farewell Connor ....



Older readers may remember the "original" !!

I reproduce the original statement issued late yesterday from Stalybridge supremo Rob Gorski - says it all really ...

It is with a mixture of great pride and sadness that I inform you that Connor Jennings has passed a medical and is now a Scunthorpe United player.

Connor started his career with Celtic as a promising young 16 year old with a bit of "bite" in his game. Since then, he's developed enormously, gone on to score goals, made umpteen assists, always given 100% and has become a fans' favourite.

Without going into all the details, I can also confirm that we had a firm bid (very similar package) from a Championship side too, however Connor has chosen Scunthorpe and he obviously goes with our most sincere best wishes for the future.

The details of the transfer will, as always, remain private, but Connor has clearly been sold for a club record fee and of course there is a sell on clause and so fans will have a second reason to follow his development with particular interest. For all of Connor's undoubted talents, I feel that I must also point out the magnificent job Jim has done in nurturing and developing Connor from a raw boy into a wonderful player.

For the record (thanks Trudge!), Connor made 123 appearances for us (89 of those were starts) and scored 51 goals, 44 of those in the league. Connor made his debut on March 3rd 2009, scoring in a 7-1 win over Hinckley, and his Celtic career ended with him scoring with his very last last touch as a Celtic player - very fitting. He is no longer eligible for England's C team so will have the record of one cap and one goal for England too.

We would have much preferred to have had Connor back on loan until the end of the season, but Scunthorpe United were keen to bring him in immediately and although we will all miss Connor, we must remember that we are far from a one man team. Connor was not even our leading goalscorer! We will continue our strategy of nurturing and developing our raw talent and I know that we have a team that is still more than capable of achieving great success.

As Scunthorpe don't have a game this weekend, you will all be able to say goodbye to the "boy wonder" on Saturday as he will be there for the Droylsden game. He absolutely goes with our thanks for his great service and our very best wishes for what ought to be a very exciting and successful career ahead.

... and just for the hell of it - I offer up a small (rushed together !!!) pictorial tribute to Connor - and purely by luck I was able to include his debut (and goal) and his final Celtic game (and goal) ...

Connor Jennings - Stalybridge Celtic - 2009-2012


All the very best to Connor - your first task is to keep Scunny in League One !
.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Curzon Ashton v Mossley



Mossley football - it's a "lurrvve thing" (Kayde Coppin has just made it 1-1 !)

... an excellent local derby - and slightly more evenly-balanced than yesterday's game at Bower Fold ! Plenty of thrills and spills - best part of 10 (ten) minutes added time due to injury - and two late goals in that time as well completing a pulsating 3-3 draw. Guess Mossley will be the happier team - especially following the 0-0 Boxing Day "Drabathon" against Cammell Laird. Can't stop too long tonight (work in a few hours !) - but a few piccies available at

Curzon Ashton 3 Mossley 3

(Better weather made for better pix - imho - as well today !)

Now then ... where to go on Saturday ...
.

Monday, January 02, 2012

My New Year Message to David Cameron ...

... consists of two words - the second being "off" ...

(and the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh words are "... and take Clegg with you" ...)

Oh yes - football ... on the case !
.

Start the New Year ... at the Wrong End ...



Scott Spencer celebrates in front of the Hyde faithful after making it 2-0


... or Stalybridge Celtic 1 Hyde FC 3 !!

A well deserved win for the away team - keep playing like that and I can't see how they will NOT go up !

Another damp and dismal day for footballers, fans and photographers alike - my humble apologies to the Hyde fans for not giving each side 45 minutes of my time (although with my luck I'd have still been at the wrong end !) - I did expect more in the way of pro - and amateur - snappers to be there so ... I went the way of the home team - mistake in retrospect. A fairly even first half - but then Hyde simply ran away with it in the second 45 - seemed like they had 12/13 men on the pitch at times. OK you could argue one goal (cracker from Spencer) and two deflections against one (highly dubious) penalty, but you can take nothing away from that second half performance at all.

The (wrong end) pictures are now up at

Stalybridge Celtic 1 Hyde FC 3

Right - now time to get ready for another local derby - as in Curzon Ashton v Mossley - at least the weather has improved a bit !
.