... well by the time I finished work it could only be one of the two Ashton's (sorry HydeSteve - but I WILL get down on Easter Monday !). Chose Ashton United as I realised I'd not "done them" since before Christmas (a bit like Hyde really !!), but didn't even have time for a pre-match snifter in the Ashton Social Club (gasp !). Ashton certainly started the better, belying the difference 'twixt "down there" and "up near play-offs" and took a deserved lead - whether it was a cross or not, the wind certainly played a part I feel !! However an injury to new signing Warren Beattie (no not the ...) seem to play an integral part in the eventual result. Marine finally started to get their act together, getting a goal early on in the second half followed by a winner with ten minutes left. Some pix at
HOWEVER - once again we the speccies had to suffer the trials and tribulations of a bunch of moaning scousers. I'm sure it's not just me (and before anyone says owt ... I'm NOT a Manc - I come from the leafy suburbs (!) of Staffordshire). But go back through this blog and it crops up again ... and again ... and again. I reckon the FA have got two choices - a) kick the whole "Respect" thing into touch cus it's just a waste of time; b) tell the refs to grow a pair and be more bloody brutal, and get the red cards out - I mean a guy moans like hell - he gets a yellow - he CONTINUES to moan - where's the bloody red ? Marine had even brought their token "shouty fan" whose vocabulary for the entire 90 minutes consisted of two words ("A !" and "Referee !" - actually I lie; he did had a three minute repetition of "elbow" - which certainly incensed one home fan - the one with the wee white dog !). I don't know what it is - but it gets wearisome at times. Not arguing with the result - the team with the chances took the chances - but why not stick to bloody football - because that's what we're all here for ... rant over.
Now had I finished earlier - or not even been working today - I could possibly have seen 5 goals @ Ewen Fields - hey ho ... .
The Manchester FA Premier Cup has been awarded to Mossley by default at a meeting of the County FA Committee this evening (Wednesday). The trophy will be presented at the next home game against Skelmersdale United on Easter Saturday.
... well - looking at the form guides - and the table positions - this was going to be a tough one for the home side - but Celtic certainly threw the form book out of the window last night. They piled on the pressure from the start (despite kicking "uphill" !) - but it took nearly half-an-hour ... and a touch of genius ... before they took the lead through a Greg Wilkinson screamer (I caught his effort against Winsford a couple of weeks ago - but not last night though !). However - Nuneaton aren't third in the table for nothing and fashioned an equaliser about 10 minutes later. So ... 1-1 - the pessimists may well have been ... err pessimistic at this juncture, but just before half-time Stephen Brogan curled in a superb second goal - and then the second half was pretty much one-way traffic. Nunny did lose a player (red card-wise) but by then Celtic were 3-1 up and looking for more. An emphatic 4-1 victory for the home side - unfortunately they remain just out side the play-off zone due to other results on Tuesday evening ... but if that kind of form can be kept up until the end of the season .... ??
Unfortunately some of the "goal pix" are not that hot - but sometimes you just can't legislate for 'genius'. In fact talking to some guy at half-time about this, he said "That's why they have 40 photographers at Old Trafford" - probably one for each player, one on Fergie, and a few floaters ... well it made me feel better ! .
... it's down the Fold instead tonight to watch Stalybridge Celtic (6th) play Nuneaton Town (3rd) ... should be interesting ...
Calmed down a bit (just a bit) after yesterday's fiasco/rant etc etc ... in fact got a "Thank You" from one of my customers as well today. I'd got the "txt of doom" about the game (thanks Andy !) about lunchtime yesterday, and while delivering in the leafier heights of Uppermill, I scribbled a quick note on the back of an envelope (!) addressed to someone who I know comes down to Seel Park warning/advising of the cancellation - seems I DID do him a favour, saving a wasted journey (and of course valuable petrol given the probable panic buying that is going on as we speak !!). Notice plenty of chat about yesterday's events on the many message boards - I'm just awaiting an entry on eBay selling off large amounts of pies - no doubt Hyde DID buy in stuff for the evening - and now they're lumbered with it - just hope that any bills for out-of-pocket expenses down turn up down Mossley way.
Whilst wandering today in the glorious sunshine (yeah - it's called "work" !) I had a quick "extrapolation moment" ... imagine ... FA Cup Final day ... everything prepared, prawn sandwiches made, football specials (coach/train) all booked up, people travelling from all over the country - nay world - for this prestigious event ... and then one of the team's Managers phone up the FA on Saturday morning ... "We can't raise a team - can we cancel for a week or two ???" ... and Mr FA says "Yes OK No Problem".
Obviously a touch "over the top", but Hyde WILL have bought in for the night - people may well have been travelling from much further afield than Uppermill (!!) (I know someone who was thinking/trying to get the day off for a trip up from Aylesbury), having booked days off - coaches may well have been booked (OK well the 'mythical' Mossley coach - had there been more than 7 (seven) "expressions of interest" - oh dear !!). It may well be a competition held in contempt by many (or at least looked upon as a 'necessary evil') - but it's a Cup Final for Frith's sake - let's have some bloody respect for that. However the many tales/actions/events over the last few years have not only devalued the competition - it's turned Manchester County FA into a laughing stock for many many clubs and people ... just been on their website and can I find anything - can I hell !
Still - all over for now - awaiting a revised date (probably 30th April - ha ha !). .
Yes, it's 2042hrs on Monday night - and I (together with many others) are NOT at Ewen Fields to see the Manchester Premier Cup Final between Droylsden and Mossley ... read the following statements (via www.droylsdenfc.com) ...
Statement from Dave Pace
( re M/cr Premier Cup )
It is an unfortunate situation which could not be avoided on
my part, I had an obligation to strengthen our position in
the league and did so by making a number of recent
signings, three wins out of three in the league justifies this
but sadly M/cr Premier cup rules state that a player who is named in the final
must have been involved in a previous round and in that respect we
fall short of eligible players, we would not devalue the competition
by turning out with eight or nine players and so informed
the M/cr FA of the situation, we need some guidance from them, we are
waiting on that at the moment, it is an unusual if not unique situation
that we find ourselves in. It is in the hands of the M/cr FA who i am
sure will be able work something out.
Due to injuries and the recent changes in our
playing staff, the rules specific to the M/cr Premier Cup are such
that Droylsden FC are unable to name a full complement
of players who are currently eligible to start in tonights
cup final. This was brought to the attention of the
Manchester FA and we are awaiting a decision on what will happen.
The Manchester FA has so far decided to postpone tonights
final and will advise us as and when any further decisions
To many people the Manchester Premier Cup is regarded as a "Mickey Mouse Cup" especially when you lose (see here for example !). However I'd reckon if you get to the Final, you might be taking the whole thing a little more seriously. As I mentioned yesterday (I think) the Manchester FA do have some rather strange/stupid rules regarding the eligibility of players for this competition - as Mossley have found to their cost in the past ... I recall one season when they were ringing round former players and asking them to turn out for the night (with their new club's permission of course) in order to satisfy eligibility rules - and raise a team.
Obviously this sort of effort is too much for a high level semi-pro club like Droylsden. Aaah Droylsden - this is the club where Manager/Chairman/"El Supremo" Dave Pace felt it beneath his dignity one season, so - following a bit of a spat with Manchester FA - put tea lady Stella in charge of all Manchester Premier Cup games ... the same club who had "quiet words" with the Manchester FA last season to allow three "allegedly ineligible" players to turn out in the Final against Ashton United. Yes this is a club that takes this competition seriously ... I find it astonishing that Mr Pace can quote such b*ll*x as "It is in the hands of the M/cr FA" ... and "...unique situation we find ourselves in ..." - complete cr*p ... and it would be interesting to know exactly WHENit "...was brought to the attention of the Manchester FA ..."
Many folks (and clubs) have had problems with this competition - there have been numerous other "happenings" that have made it appear farcical at times (yes they've even included non-Manchester FA teams - ha !). However the antics of Droylsden FC over the last few years have made the competition even more farcical. - taking this a stage further, a quote elsewhere this evening (via High Peak Radio - not confirmed by myself so read into it what you will ...):
"Was listening to High Peak radio on the way home from work, Pace was on and he said he had no interest in this cup, didn't want to have anything to do with it".
Don't know about everyone else - but I tweaked my work today around this game - we've got three days to deliver the Council Tax letters so I decided to take fewer today to finish earlier to get home to prep for the game (and journey to same). Then I get a text just before midday informing me of the cancellation. Now I find myself with more to do tomorrow and Wednesday ...
It's not just the work aggro - I feel the competition - already teetering on the farcical following events from previous years - has become even further devalued thanks to the antics/whims of certain people - and unfortunately, over the last few years ... it's been the same person/same team.My suggestion is that they do the rest of Manchester FA a favour and not bother entering next season - in fact if there is a "cop out fee" for not entering (certainly used to be in the past) - I'm perfectly willing to accept donations from all right-minded member clubs of the Manchester FA (and fans of same) and will personally present the money to Mr Pace - we could make a night of it (someone else will have to take the photos though) !!
... been a touch quiet on here for a few days - work's been rather busy (although Friday/Saturday weather made it a bit more bearable !!). Finished in decent time on Saturday (not decent enough time to get over to Hyde though - sorry Steve !!!) and walked up't'hill to see Mossley take on second-placed AFC Fylde (they're still Kirkham & Wesham to me though - sorry), with the chance to do Curzon Ashton a bit of a favour at the top of the table.
Sadly it was not to be (although I know of at least ONE Mossley fan (no names - but nice number plate !!) who probably had some sympathy with the Fylde team yesterday). It was a gutsy performance by the home team, who'd rested a couple of players for tomorrow's Manky Premier Cup Final against Droylsden (1945hrs @ Ewen Fields, Hyde). Some sterling defending and a excellent performance by 'keeper Martin Pearson (my personal MOM). Unfortunately, it all boiled down to a "Smash and Grab" winner by Fleetwood Town loanee Richie Allen - and despite some heroic efforts by "supersub" Steve Halford, the equaliser was just not forthcoming. Pics at Mossley 0 AFC Fylde 1
Reckon that peformance does bode well for the "big one" tomorrow night though - although Droylsden have just hit a good bit of league form (saw their win on Tuesday night - and yesterday they got a 2-1 win over Boston United) ... still, it's a Cup Final and anything can happen ...
Went over to Rochdale after the game (hence delayed pics) - confit of duck no less !! A brisk (camera-free !) walk this morning through Healey Dell, once round Tesco's, an hours "R&R" on the patio this afternoon - and now this. Tomorrow sees me back out in the "countries" work-wise (the Greenfield/Uppermill "split walk") - weather looks promising again too - before tootling off to Hyde to see "The Big Match" ... .
Tuesday - not too bad at work (paid for it today mind !!) - so the afternoon was fairly well sorted - and so a hop on the bus to Ashton, time for a "quickie" in the "Prince of Orange" (and a listen to their early evening karaoke - an experience I'd recommend to anyone) - number 7 bus to Droylsden (and a "quickie" in the "Kings Head") before heading for the Butchers Arms (ground not pub - the pub disappeared a while back).
'Twas certainly a game of two halves - and what must have been an inspired half-time talk/rant. Droylsden were truly woeful in the first half - in fact probably lucky to only be going in 0-1 down. It was a different story after the break though - more direct, more purposeful, it might have been a different team ! Sure enough the goals came to turn it around, and in the end the margin of victory could have been much more. Pix from last night at
It's been mentioned on message boards galore - but an attendance of just over 170 is just not good - no way can you sustain a Conf North team on numbers like that ! Still the win moves Droylsden up to 11th in the league (just 9 points behind Stalybridge Celtic to be exact). .
That's "me" on the left ... ish ... (actually I had a jacket like that back in the late 70s/early 80s !!)
... as noted yesterday morning - loads to do for a Sunday (or day off if you like) - so it was off to the tip for recycling (just got no idea where these beer cans and wine bottles come from), quick whizz round the supermarket to buy Sunday tea and then home to drop stuff off. We were then heading down to Stafford to see my Mum and Dad (Mothers Day plus Wedding Anniversary the day before) - and we thought we'd get a brief walk in beforehand. Butties were made and camera was chucked into rucksack as well (having first checked there was enough battery power in it - an important check but ...). Down the M6 ... and I said to Mrs Smiffy "Have you ever seen Stafford Castle ?" Next stop - Stafford Castle. Now when I was a lad, it was a crumbling ruin - these days ... it's still a ruin, but they've tidied it all up, put a walking trail around it with big info boards and stuff. Out came the camera - turned it on - battery OK - went to take first pic and spotted "ERR" ... you can guess the rest ...
Battery good - Memory Card not good (i.e. non-existent !)
... after a few choice words, the camera was quickly hidden back in rucksack (before somebody saw it !!). Fortunately, Mrs Smiffy had her compact in her bag (didn't have mine for obvious reasons) ... so instead of offering library pix here's one courtesy of Mrs S and her cute purple Fuji Finepix Z30 ...
... somewhere between info boards 6 and 10 ...
Walk over - a couple of hours round at my parents before returning backup the M6 to cook tea - and then to find water dripping through the ceiling - not much but ... aargh ! Checked it out today - nothing, but I'll be running the bath later on just to see if any more comes through. To add insult to our present "water problems", the broken down washing machine needs replacing (Mrs S on't'web as we speak - I will join in later) - so unfortunately that knocks tonight's "game of choice" on the head (was to be Curzon Ashton v Woodley Sports) - hey ho ... looks like I'll be off to the Butchers Arms tomorrow night to see Droylsden take on Corby Town instead.
Another quickie, harking back to Saturday's game at Mossley - and the newly formed "Mossley Ultras" - it seems the idea was being mulled over about 4 years ago - see this from the AFC Telford message board ...
These things obviously take time to plan !! Work ? The Council Tax bills have finally started to arrive - one full tray today (approx 150); guessing another couple to come over the next two days - so no too painful in the end then ... will try to clear all my door-to-doors (i.e. junk) tomorrow before the weekend's "Internet Shopping Packet Mayhem" kicks in !! .
Tom Denton has made it 2-0 - however some over-exuberant celebrations lead to ... whoops ...!!
... as predicted, a "late day at the (Delivery) Office", with me turning up at the game 20 minutes late. Fortunately (for me) it was still 0-0 ("we've hit the bar" was the quote from AJ on the turnstile !). 1-0 at half-time (another one of Joe Heap's sublime free kicks !) - on came the Juniors - and down came the rain/hail etc - hopefully none of the small ones drowned (I was drowning in my first pint of the day in the club !). The downpour made the pitch VERY heavy - at one stage one of the linesman "had a word" with the ref (I was expecting a "Call for Forking" !!), but Mossley continued to play well - a towering header from Tom Denton made it 2-0 (although his celebrations led to an early bath - injury not red card though !) - and a late chance for Danny Hudson would have been the icing on a comfortable cake - however it went just the wrong side of the post. Pictures at
An important three points for the home side giving much needed breathing space at the lower end of the Evo-Stik North table - and a very good turn-out on the terraces as well (214 - biggest home crowd since September last year !) - and the newly formed "Mossley Ultras" (!) in their second appearance have certainly injected a bit of atmosphere at Seel Park - a touch "un-PC" at times - but all the usual chants are there !
Out for a bit of a wander in the evening - home sleep wake up now this. Lots to do today - so I'd better get on with it ... .
... has been a right bugger this week, not finishing much before 1600 (with an 0700 start) everyday - I'm a touch nervous about what finish time I'll get away with tomorrow as well (at least the football is only 5 mins up the road - Mossley v Radcliffe Borough). Crazy to think though - this week will see a "normal" 24 hour week ... plus over 30 hours overtime !!! Hopefully not too many Mothers Day cards tomorrow (just in case you've all forgotten out there - too late to post 'em now - tee hee !) Other news - got my first "dog bite" this week - although to be honest it was more of a "nip" - broke the surface but leg has not yet fallen off. A National Inquiry is in the throes of being set up by Royal Mail under former High Court Judge Sir Gordon Langley - over 4,000 posties are attacked by dogs every year (please note you dog owners) - and some of the stories I've heard are truly horrific - maybe I've been lucky up to now - but a slight scrape over the ankle is hardly worth reporting in my view (despite many people already telling me to put a report in) - treat every case on its merits I feel - plus making a mental note for next time !!
... and the washing machine is broken - now that's what I call a crisis ! Fingers crossed the parts etc should turn up tomorrow ... otherwise it's more deodorant we need ... and in the words of Sting "Don't Stand So Close To Me" !!
So - a quiet night in (someone else is cooking - hurrah !) -early start tomorrow and fingers crossed for an arrival at Seel Park as near to 1500hrs as I can make ... .
... which means Celtic will be playing Nantwich Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup Final (they beat Macc Town 3-0 on Tuesday night). Losing it me - it's been a bit of a grueller already this week - today (Wednesday was VERY heavy - not all the Council Tax bills as predicted ... just everything else - watch the buggers turn up on Saturday !) .
Put two football programmes on EBay last week - both went today ... one (prog from 1962) for £2-07 and one (prog from 1976) for ... wait for it ... £31-08 !!! Might have to delve a little further into the suitcase and big plastic box - there might be more little gems floating around ...
Tonight - it's cup fever down @ Bower Fold - Stalybridge Celtic v Winsford United in the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final - winners to play either Macclesfield Town or Nantwich Town (that game also tonight).
Tomorrow - rumour is the Council Tax bills are arriving in our mail bags - as in every bloomin' house - aargh ! .
... still got up early on Saturday morning mind !! Have to be honest though - one reason was to head up to Top Mossley and do some "panic buying" - more like "thrifty buying" really, because on Friday I'd spotted - and bought - some rather cheap beef mince for the Greek-themed nosh (Bifteki with feta cheese to be exact). Stuff seemed OK so I promptly went and bought all four packs that were on the shelf !!
Job done - pack bags etc and then it was off to Belper. arrived in good time, and I managed a couple of pints of "Shottle Gold" in the "George & Dragon" before heading towards ChristChurch Meadows for the footy. I did see Belper up at Curzon earlier in the season (here), but this was a first for the season down in Derbyshire. Despite almost constant Belper pressure in the first half it was Kidsgrove (with a couple of Stafford Rangers rejects on show !) who took the lead on the stroke of half-time. One pint of Pedigree (out of the jug !) later it was out to see the Nailers take total control - once the equaliser went in there was only ever going to be one winner - and the three points have put Belper tantalisingly close to the play-off zone. Pics from the game at
Two pints of Pedigree later - and a couple more in the "Riflemans" - and it was back to Mother-in-Laws for a sleepy evening in front of the box.
Sunday - bright and chirpy - and after a few odd jobs etc we headed towards Baslow to do a seven miler round Birchen Edge, Baslow Edge and through Chatsworth Estate. More pics at BaslowChatsworthWalk 11Mar12
Back home for a meal of "clear the fridge and veg rack" stew before faffing with pictures until it was rather late (!!!) - especially with me getting up a touch early this morning (as in 0600hrs). I'm on a rather "hefty week" at work this week (should work out at approx 54 hours !) - so I might try a slightly earlier "turn in time" tonight !!! .
Following tonight's exotic food offering to the masses (Basque-style fish stew - God they've been spoilt rotten this week !), I took the camera (with big dobber lens on !) out in the back yard for a couple of minutes - just for fun ... first pic ... not bad - second one ... reckon the idea was right but failed on focussing ... might give it another go another night ...
... followed by DVD - managed to get the final Harry Potter offering for just £8 in Ashton HMV yesterday (still £16 in Tesco !)
The week's holiday is drawing to a close - a few more bits'n'bobs to sort out tomorrow before a work-free Saturday - huzzah !! .
You'll obviously notice that the numbers are heavily skewed towards "Where's the quickest/closest place to get to ?" - which is always going to be the major factor when working 99% of all Saturdays - and often not finishing/getting home after work until 1400 hrs (the trips to Chorley and Histon were - naturally - on my 'Saturdays off'). Another point worthy of comment is that the two teams at the top of the list DO NOT have a regular photographer - whereas the other "Four Tame Sides" do - and snapping is part of the game for me anyway. Other restrictions include the "only one midweek match allowed" rule (well most of the time !), my insistence on the use of public transport (yes I do like the odd shandy pre- and post-match !) and the large drop in finances caused by the enforced change of employment ... so that does tend to explain why some clubs in the outer reaches of Tameside don't really get the attention they fully deserve - sorry folks, but that's the way it goes ...
So ... being on holiday this week means a Saturday off work - and I DO like to make the most of these rare occasions - so Belper Town v Kidsgrove Athletic is the game of choice - I get to "open my account" at Belper for the season, Mrs Smiffy gets to see her Mum, we get a possible Peak District walk in on the Sunday ... and Belper get a FOURTH bloomin' photographer on the Saturday !! .
"Can I be in your gang ?" asks Ossett's Niall O'Brien ...
3-2 - a bit too close for comfort, but three welcome points.
As for pictures ............ don't know why but they're all bloody awful tonight - it's 'wait until later' time to see if I can salvage 'something' - a really depressing night behind the lens .... WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE ... here's the pictures from last night - as predicted - not brilliant - but ... you get the picture ... Mossley 3 Ossett Town 2
Surrounded - Celtic's Phil Marsh looking for space ...
A bit of a "faffy" morning at work (stuff here stuff there - and a 10 minute wait for a bag drop !) - but miraculously I made it home in time to change, grab bag and still catch the 1355 train down to Stalybridge - a leisurely pre-match pint of Millstone "Tiger Rut" in the "Fleece" (apologies to the Buffet Bar, but the 'Rail Ale Trail' and all the flotsam it attracts - and the use of plastic glasses on a Saturday - make it rather less than appealing these days ... shame but, that's the price of "success" I suppose).
Gentle walk up the Mottram Road arriving just in time to see the Social Club bar close (!), plumb in the camera and out to see if Celtic could finally break their 2012 duck - it took a while, but they got there in the end. Always in control, but at 1-0 up and the opposition down to 10 men "pessimissm mode" clicks in both on and off the pitch. Celtic did have one perfectly good goal chalked off for offside (certainly looks that way on my pix), but a late second goal by Brogan calmed everyone down and sealed the three points for the home side - a result that also sees them return into the play-off places in the Blue Square North. Game pictures at
Gentle walk down the Mottram Road - a leisurely post-match pint of Millstone "Tiger Rut" in the "Fleece" (see above !!) before home, sort pix and open the big box that had arrived in the morning. Following a e-junk-mail, I was tempted to part with £9.69 (including delivery !!) on a tripod. Obviously not expecting miracles at that price (although the spec said maximum weight 4kgs), but I've NEVER had a tripod before for the DSLR. Hopefully - I might even take it out for a play this coming week (together with a remote control cable I've barely used), because .... I'M ON HOLIDAY !!
... and would you believe ... whilst looking for the above image on Google - OK I DO own the single but couldn't be bothered to take photo, download and then upload - I managed to "come across" (!!!) a bootleg album of the man himself live in Canterbury in 1979 - I would have seen him on the same tour in Sheffield - so (having downloaded same) I'm now feeling even better !!!!!
Happy to see that Ashton United "did the business" last night in my absence - a 4-0 win over Chasetown sends them up to the giddy heights of 8th place in the Evo-Stik Prem - not sure whether Ashton snapper was there - but video available at
In fact Ashton Manager Danny Johnson has been named Evo-Stik Prem Manager of the Month for February - 5 straight wins (including 1 against Stafford Rangers - grrr !) - well deserved !!
As the title says - improvement in the health front - have had official confirmation of "week off" next week - and already have a few plans for the week - that include a certain amount of relaxing, a certain amount of computing, a certain amount of walking/football/photography ... and also to try and organise a week's holiday in June (walking holiday natch !!) - but ... before then - a couple of days more work and some footy on Saturday.