We got football !!
First we lost Colwyn Bay v Droylsden (which would have meant an early train anyway !) - then Bamber Bridge v Curzon Ashton bit the dust ... which left just Stockport Sports v AFC Liverpool (definitely on because of the 3G pitch) - or wait a little longer for the 1100 hrs pitch inspection at Chester - once that game was confirmed ON, it was a matter of a few frantic phone calls - and I was (virtually) sorted ... and many thanks to Brian @ Stalybridge who managed to squeeze me onto the Suppporters' Bus at very very short notice - always a good posh bus (with toilet for us oldies !!) and a good craic.
So - arrived at Chester with camera in bag thinking "ex-League club mentality - might be tricky" - however two more 'phone calls, much mentioning of the "Tameside Reporter" (who ARE printing a lot of my pics in their weekly paper - with credits !!) and much flashing of the "'Six Tame Sides' Business Card" (good ol' Vistaprint !!) ... and I was in !! A great deal of credit must go to the hardy band of volunteers who first cleared the snow off the covers - and then removed the covers, to reveal a playable piece of grass - well done to all concerned - and a crowd of 2095 more than justified all the hard work.
Celtic were fielding a much-weakened side due to injuries and suspensions - and despite creating an early chance when Leon Osborne just flicked the ball past the post, found themselves 3-0 down by half-time. However it would have been much worse had it not been for the heroics of Ashley Woodhouse (replacing the suspended Alex Cairns) in the Celtic goal. He made three or four stunning saves to keep the rampant Cestrians (who included ex-Celt Dave Hankin) at bay.
A re-shuffle at half time gave the Celtic defence a bit more solidity, and it was a much more even 45 minutes than the first. Jack Laird was introduced and within minutes he pulled a goal back for Celtic with a wonderful free-kick. However the home team managed to prevent any sort of revival, and late on scored an excellent fourth goal through Baynes. Some pics from the game at
Chester FC 4 Stalybridge Celtic 1
(and by the way it was bloody cold with thin snow falling for pretty much the whole 90 minutes - shutter finger was really starting to struggle at the end !).
Back to Stalybridge - and a quick pint (only my second of the day !) before home to Coq au Vin (which had been popped in the slo-cooker before leaving the house several hours earlier) and more drinkies !!
Today - I'm not going to bust a gut to pick up the "Non-League Paper" - might be a bit thin !! Mrs Smiffy off to London this afternoon for a few days' training (got to drive her down to Manchester Piccadilly later) - I'll probably write a few "Thank You" cards later - to all "my customers" who gave me Christmas tips - finished the season with nearly £150, 160 ciggies, two bottles of wine, one half-bottle of port and a box of After Eights - not a bad haul at all !! Have already converted some of the money into goodies - I've finally decided to say "Farewell" to the 'Carrier Bag and Elastic Band' - and bought a rather posh camera and lens cover -
(For those interested, check out the website )
... plus the Todd Rundgren/Utopia CDs mentioned a day or so ago - plus book "A Wizard A True Star" by Paul Myers (a book about ... Todd Rundgren !) - and a few picture frames - all I need now is some decent pics to put in 'em !!
Having got away with one "bad weather week" by being on holiday last week - it's looking pretty much the same for this coming week - aargh !! Time to break the full RM Winter Wear Catalogue I feel ...
... and further to the "wild life" pics earlier this week - I found another thieving bugger on the bird table minutes after I'd topped it up this morning - Fitz the squirrel helping himself ...
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