Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dispatches ... Channel4

... anyone watch it last night ???   If not there's always 4OD as in

The Mystery of the Missing Mail

Certainly makes Royal Mail look good - but if/when it DOES get privatised ... expect similar ... I'll never buy a Dell computer online again ... or - hopefully Dell make take a long cool look at last night's shambles - and give their delivery contract back to RM/ParcelForce ...

Meanwhile it's 1-1 'twixt Ossett Albion and Cammell Laird ... I attach a copy of a post made on the Mossley Message Board just before I "hit the kitchen" ...

... if Cammell Laird lose tonight ... and on Saturday ...

... if Trafford lose on Saturday ...

... if Ramsbottom lose on Saturday ...

... and we beat Harrogate RA on Saturday ...

We finish third ... and get a home tie in the Play-Off semi-finals ...

So tonight's cry is ...


We can but hope ...

(2105hrs - latest is Ossett Albion 1 Cammell Laird 1)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ashton United v Whitby Town

So - for the second time in two days a team looking comfy concede late on.  Slightly different insofar as Stalybridge were 2-0 with minutes to go - and Ashton were 2-1 up with minutes to go - but why let pedantry get in the way of a snappy opening line !!!

Nice sunny start at Hurst Cross on Saturday - however it was the visitors who took an early lead.  However the lead lasted less than ten minutes when a Matty Burke effort to a deflection on its way past the Whitby 'keeper.  Ashton took the lead on the hour mark when good work from Matty Kosylo left Chris Amadi with the simplest of touches.  That seemed to be enough for the home side ... until two minutes from time when Whitby fashioned an equaliser.  Pictures from the game at

Ashton United 2 Whitby Town 2

Hmm ... pictures ... first effort with the new camera - and true to form it was pretty much "out of the box and into the ground" - probably NOT a good idea in retrospect.  It didn't take me long to realise that the focussing options on the 7d are "a touch different" to those of the old 50D !!!  Hence you'll see from the pics a rather blurry effort for the first goal (second goal - or lack of - was a more normal excuse ... I was in the loo !!!!).  Still - not bad for starters I suppose - and if it DOES come down to play-offs for Mossley, hopefully I'll know what I'm doing by then (supresses hoots of laughter).

Play-offs - Mossley kept their chances of sneaking back into the frame with a very very late winner at Harrogate yesterday.  This coupled with Trafford's 2-1 defeat by Ramsbottom means that now it's definitely perm any 2 from 3.  Mossley and Trafford on 77 points (Trafford with a 14 goal advantage though) and Rammy on 79 (again with a superior goal difference to Mossley).  Final league games next Saturday see Mossley at home to Harrogate, Ramsbottom away at Champions Skelmersdale and Trafford at home to Clitheroe ... Sky TV could not have dreamed up a better "last day" ...

Straight home after footy yesterday - we had visitors - and today went out for an eight-miler around Wye Dale, Millers Dale and Tideswell.  Took new camera - but attached clunky old faithful Tokina 19-35mm lens just for the hell of it - had chance to play around with the focussing a little bit - but it's not football so it's different anyway - just a few pics from today at

Wye Dale Walk - 28Apr13

Large lump of brisket went into the slo-cooker before we left (one of my three winnings from last Sunday's "Meat Draw" at the "Britannia" !!) with some veg and a large slug of red wine - very nice too !! Bath, telly, today's pics - and now this ...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Stalybridge Celtic v Oxford City

... a rare Thursday night football gig ... although thinking it through, it was rather nice of them to do same as I would have been unavailable for any football on Tuesday night (!!).

What a cracking first half it was as well - Stalybridge getting back to the "good old ways" of moving it around on the floor - and being incisive around the box - two good goals - OK the second was a belter that no-one could have expected (my excuse for missing it !) apart from Adam Pepper himself ... but 2-0 up and coasting by half-time.

Unfortunately that WAS the problem ... the second half saw Celtic "coasting" ... IMHO they seemed to treat it as a training session.  BIG mistake.  Taking into account that they (Celtic) had no goalie (outfielder Jordan Barrow donned the gloves etc) they should have been a touch more careful ... at 85 minutes still 2-0 ... at 90+whatever it was 2-2 ... OK it was one of those "mid-table nowt to play for" type games, but it certainly was two points binned in the end - blame substitutions, blame over-confidence, blame ... whatever ... but it was a helluva waste of a good 45 ...  on the positive side, that first half should do a lot to dispel the doubters about Celtic - it's all in there somewhere; they just need to be more consistent.  Anyway some pictures from the game at

Stalybridge Celtic 2 Oxford City 2

New camera DID arrive yesterday (OK I had to go down to the PO to pick it up - even us posties get the "red cards" !!!) - but obviously the battery needed charging so - as yet - not used.  However tonight's jobbie is check out all the new buttons - attach the official "Six Tame Sides" camera strap to it - and take it for a run-out tomorrow (Ashton United v Whitby Town is the game of choice).  Fingers will be truly crossed for Mossley (away at Harrogate RA) - three points is a MUST, whilst praying for a "result" 'twixt Ramsbottom United and Trafford - hard to work out which is best for Mossley ... all on 40 games (i.e. two games left) ... Mossley on 74 points, Rammy on 76 points , Trafford on 77 points ... you work it out.  Plus it would be nice if Cammell Laird "blew up" - they've got the "game in hand" - they're playing lowly Wakefield tomorrow.  New Mills I'd pretty much guarantee have their play-off place safe.  To be honest though, it's perm any 2 from 3 (Mossley, Rammy, Trafford) for the play-off spots.

Talking of Ashton United ... it's a "big up" to Ashton United snapper Jez ... if you get to see a copy of the "Tameside Advertiser" this week, there's a cracking picture on the back page courtesy of Jez ... and for those who can't ... here's a copy of same:

"Game on" tomorrow at Hurst Cross ... in more ways than one !!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The "Anniversary Waltz"

... that was Tuesday ... 29 years me and Mrs Smiffy - a fine effort eh what ???

A "not bad" day @ work ... so when we both got ourselves together we headed out for a "bit of a walk with food at the end" - out of the house, and off up the bridle path towards Greenfield ... and then on to Uppermill ... and then (getting peckish now) further up to Dobcross ending up at "The Swan" - we hadn't booked but they fitted us in ... and a very nice meal was had by both  - Mrs Smiffy on the Stilton & Goats Cheese Pie and meself on one of the specials - Tomato and Beef Bredie (a South African recipe) - excellent beer (me) and wine (mrs) too and very reasonable (hence me linking !!!).

Home - to check them damn results vis-a-vis Mossley's play-off aspirations ... and overall they were NOT good with Cammell Laird, Trafford and New Mills all winning - however Ramsbottom did lose so ......... it's on to Saturday ...

Today ... another "not bad" day ... and as we type the Vegetarian Tea is bubbling away (Mrs S on a late one tonight) ...

Plus ... I've bitten that bloody bullet (things you can do when the wife's working late) - expecting new camera tomorrow !!!!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mossley v Ramsbottom United

... a lovely spring day - sun shining - large crowd (swelled by the "£5 in" offer no doubt) - fourth playing fifth ... all set up for a fascinating 90 minutes ...

Ramsbottom started like a house on fire, and Mossley were soon forced onto the back foot ... the "Golden Goal" came after just 6 minutes when Gaskell unleashed a wonderful curling effort into the top corner.  Ten minutes later it was 2-0 as Gaskell got up first to a corner to hit the target.  Between these two goals, Mossley were denied a blatant penalty when Chris Denham was upended on the edge of the box - and it was time for the self-perceived "Star of the Show" to make his early mark - Denham was booked for "diving" by Referee Haycock ... and then it got worse ...

Mossley had started to play themselves back into the game a bit - the early "Ramsbottom Rush" had calmed down somewhat - as had the Mossley defence.  However ... just before half-time Denham was clattered in the back - and the ref pulled out both yellow and red cards.  In the ensuing melee, I like a few others thought it was the Rambsbottom Number 8 Lee Stopforth who had been given his marching orders - but no ... it was Denham ... an unbelievable decision - you HAD to be there.  So Mossley down 2-0 and down to 10 men - what might have been an interesting second 45 minutes had been completely ruined by some totally inept officiating.

Any hope of a comeback was truly scuppered 10 minutes into the second half when Spencer made it 3-0 to the visitors and soon after it was 4-0.  As if the ref hadn't done enough damage to the game he then produced another red card for Mossley's Sam Madeley - OK retaliation, but the Rammy player wasn't even booked ... Danny Broadbent smacked one against the bar for the home side, but the damage had been well and truly done.

Take nothing away from Ramsbottom - fast, skilful and direct, causing Mossley all sorts of problems all over the pitch ... well-deserved winners in the end.  However the game was ruined as a spectacle by a completely useless referee.  Eleven against eleven at the start of the second half may have given Mossley a chance to pull it back - but no, this clown wanted to be the real centre of attention - and he succeeded admirably.  

Pictures from the game at

Mossley 0 Ramsbottom United 4

The result means that even if Mossley win their remaining two games (Harrogate RA away next week and at home the week after) they are not guaranteed a top 5 finish - they're now dependent on the other teams dropping points.  Fortunately (for Mossley anyway !!!) a number of those other teams (Trafford, New Mills, Ramsbottom and most importantly Cammell Laird) have still to play each other.  On Tuesday for example  Cammell Laird are at home to Champions Skelmersdale United - let's hope Skem don't take their foot off the pedal.  On the same night Rammy and New Mills have tricky away games at Prescot and Radcliffe respectively.  Next Saturday New Mills travel to Clitheroe and Ramsbottom entertain Trafford.  Best not to look much beyond that for now ....

Hope Mr HayCOCK slept well last night ...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cheshire Senior Cup Final - 17Apr13

... as in Chester FC v Stalybridge Celtic played at "that industrial estate in the middle of nowhere" a.k.a. Witton Albion FC.

Following last night's thread - got train to 'Bridge - time for a quick pre-coach shandy in the "White House" (opposite Bus Station - nice'n'easy therefore !) before the fairly swift journey to Wincham Park.  There was no doubt that the Stalybridge faithful were going to be outnumbered - but in all honesty it was a p*ss poor turnout from Celtic - OK the season has not turned out the way people had hoped ... but it WAS a Cup Final for Frith's sake !!

And for those "stayaways" ... you missed a really good performance from the 'underdogs'.  A fairly even first half - albeit played in a howling gale (tell me about it - I' been walking round Saddleworth all morning/early afternoon in similar 20mph winds).  You could say that the turning point was the Chester penalty - some serios communication breakdown in the Celtic defence left Joel Bembo-Leta in the sh*t - foul - penalty - red card - Celtic 1-0 down.

However you would not have believed it was 10 vs 11.  Celtic kept plugging away, and just before the hour Chris Hall got away and fired in an equaliser which sent the few Celtic faithful into raptures ... and silenced the Chester massive.  However  the euphoria was short-lived (2 minutes to be exact !).  Once again the elements contrived to cock things up ... and Chester went 2-1 ahead.  There was still half an hour to go - and you cannot fault Celtic for their endeavour - they gave it their best shot, but unfortunately it was not enough.

We didn't hang around for the presentations etc (reckon the idea was to get the "Celtic Temperance Bus" back home before closing time - it worked !).  A quick couple in the Buffet Bar (Marble Brewery "Pint") before catching the last train back to Mossley - a couple of hours mucking about with photos -

Chester FC 2 Stalybridge Celtic 1 (Cheshire Senior Cup Final)

Maybe could have been better - it HAD been a long day ...and at least the camera is continuing to work !!!

So ... after two games in two days ... a restful evening - but now it's time to cook some tea ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mad Rush ...

... always a busy day on the mail-face (or parcel-face as it's rapidly becoming !!) and today was no exception.  Still ... managed to get home and sort out last night's Mossley 3-0 win ... as in 

Mossley 3 Farsley AFC 0

... and am hopefully suitably prepared for the Cheshire Senior Cup Final tonight (train to Stalybridge leaves in 20 mins !!).

One bonus - camera seems to be "hanging in there" - saw a tip on Google (not the one which says tip a teaspoonful of Isipropyl Alcohol into the battery compartment - to much of a coward for that) ... no it was "run the edge of a business card - OK I used a train ticket - around the gap around the shutter button" - it worked OK last night - I've done the same tonight ... but I've STILL got that wired remote ... just in case ...

Onward to Witton Albion - to see if Stalybridge can upset the mighty Chester FC ... back later ...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Flying Tonight ...

Guess who's just scored a goal ...

Correct !!!!!!  Not the guy on the right

Mossley win ... but so do Cammelll Laird ... more later

The Answer is Blowin' in the Wind ...

... gale force today @ work ... definitely a "keep it on the floor" game tonight !!!

Pictures might be interesting (given the "slight" problem !) ... fingers crossed ...

Now off to cook beef stir-fry for the masses before wandering 'up the road' ...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Short-Term Fix for Camera Shutter Problem ...

... strapping a wired remote (have had one for a while but hardly ever used it) to the camera - uncomfortable maybe - looks stupid maybe ... but cheap !!

We'll see how it goes on Tuesday night ...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ashton United v Stocksbridge Park Steels

... or part thereof !!

From Thursday onwards I've been doing an extra "half walk" - which means money in pocket but much later finish - and despite Saturday being a slighter "lighter day" I knew I wasn't going finish in time for a 1500hrs kick-off (the car was still in Wales as well - avec Mrs Smiffy).

Finally made it up to Hurst Cross in time for the second half - Ashton were 2-1 down (a couple of "gifts" I was reliably informed.  Still making the most of a bad job out came the camera for 45 minutes ... now I can't remember whether or not I've mentioned it over the last few weeks ... but it's been starting to misbehave in the shutter department - the little "half press" focusses OK but then when going for the "full press" it has occasionally NOT been responding.  It has got steadily worse until ... yesterday ... when ... AAARRRGGHHH ... it was almost like using a little compact - by the time I got the damn thing to work the action was long past at times ... plus the home team lost as well ... only a few poor pictorial efforts from the game at

Ashton United 2 Stocksbridge Park Steels 3

So - what to do ???  Any kind of repair jobbie may take a week or three - and it's not exactly the "best time of the season" to be without is it ?  Bullets may once again need to be bitten - and pretty sharpish too as next midweek we have Mossley at home on Tuesday and a Cheshire Senior Cup Final on Wednesday - and then a real "biggie" for Mossley next Saturday (at home to Ramsbottom United who are "up there" chasing the play-offs). Eeek !!

Spent today whizzing up and down the M60/M61/M6 ... a trip up to Lancaster to reunite a cat with its "proper owner" - Rollo is now in Mossley at large boy's place.  Got stuck in a jam on the M61 near Chorley - must have been serious as when we got to "the spot", the air ambulance was parked on the opposite carriageway.  Got there late and despite whizzing home with no delays I also managed to miss the majority of the City/Chelsea Cup semi ... I only hope the chicken (in the oven for tonight's tea) doesn't give us all food poisoning ...

It's been that kind of week-end ...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ashton United v Matlock Town

... and so the "binge football week" continued - despite these silly o'clock starts so far this week I'm still hanging in there (candles, both ends etc comes to mind - but strangely enough us old gits can do it just as well - if not better - than the young 'uns I reckon).

So ... got up to Hurst Cross in fairly good time (i.e. didn't miss a first minute goal - because there wasn't one !) - and then watched what I thought was a fairly even first half between one team apparently "decimated" (viz Ashton) and another team struggling in league and struggling for players (good to meet Rico from Matlock last night - not seen him for a while - probably since the last time Matlock were at Hurst Cross ... and for all those Ashton fans - it would be he that wrote the report !!).

To me ... a pretty even first half - one decent chance each  - Thomas Moore hitting the bar for Ashton from a free-kick and Lavelle White missing an absolute sitter for the visitors (obviously not comfy with his left foot - therefore off balance and off target).  Pressure told in the end - and Ashton started to dominate while Matlock got frustrated and niggly - and grumbly - which didn't help their cause.  Ashton took the lead from what I saw as a "soft" penalty (although those much closer have disagreed - Hawkeye wouldn't have helped either would it ??).  Once in front there was no turning back ... and the second goal (apparently a rarity for Ashton defender Alex Frost !!) put the seal on it.  Pictures from the night at

Ashton United 2 Matlock Town 0

... and that's pretty much it for midweek football for me - two "real" games, plus United/City on Monday - can't complain !!

Work - well in at 0645hrs this morning to find the guy who WAS off sick (if you can call "the snip" sick !) had turned in !! Hey ho - I've booked the overtime anyway (and will be keeping an eye on next week's pay slip to make sure I get it - if you don't get told, you turn up anyway ... and what with the extra half-walk I'd promised to do, it was a long-ish day - but all done now ... and a bit of a lie-in tomorrow !

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Celtic/Guiseley - Later Stuff

... now up and running at

Stalybridge Celtic 1 Guiseley 1

and excellent game last night - just a shame there were only 263 to witness it - Guiseley quickly out of the blocks with a 2nd minute goal ... but after that it would have been difficult to work out which team was challenging for the play-offs and which team were "languishing in the lower reaches".  Had Greg Wilkinson's quickly taken free kick not been chalked off for being ... too quick I suppose ... there would have only been one winner last night.

Another bitterly cold night (hence crowd maybe ??) but a performance to warm the hearts of those who made the effort.

Let's see what Ashton United can do against Matlock Town tonight ... same as last night though ... I'm still on earlies - in fact I'm now on three 10.5 hour days (absences etc), which may play havoc with Saturday's football - we'll see how we do !!

Celtic/Guiseley - Early Stuff

... well it IS late ... and I'm up at 0600hrs tomorrow/today ...

The goal that "wasn't" ... Wilko's quick free-kick 

The goal that was - Mitch Austin's equaliser ...

Promise more tomorrow .. in between sorting out Ashton United v Matlock Town stuff .... bear with me folks ... only so many hours in a day ...

Getting very Evo-Sticky ...

... after Tuesday's games ... I did say a while back it's perm any 4 from 7 ... check out the table after tonight's fixtures - where every bugger won ...

Tight innit ??

And for those looking for Stalybridge Celtic v Guiseley pics ... I'll do me best (it is 0000hrs) - at least "something" tonight - promise !!

Monday, April 08, 2013

And Tonight's BIG Result is ...

...  New Mills 3 Goole AFC 1 ...

which moves New Mills up to 3rd in the league - above Mossley on goal diff (but having played four games less) - bugger !

Other news .. the Doodson Cup Final (Curzon Ashton v North Ferriby United) is to be played at Farsley FC on 23rd April ... a night when there are 14 other Evo-Stik League games being played (plus a Walsall Senior Cup Semi-Final 'twixt Stafford Rangers and Brocton).  I suggest therefore not printing too many programmes ... I'd love to go but ... it is my wedding anniversary so ... maybe not !!!

Oh yes ... there was some football on telly tonight ...  and if I was to be so bold I would show you a message posted earlier on the 'Postman Pat Message Board'  (with certain thingies blanked out of course for your safety - or maybe my anonymity !!!)

On a lighter note - Margaret Thatcher is dead ...

On a heavier note - an  0630 start tomorrow - 3hrs.12 mins prep - 4hrs.48mins hours walk ... plus an extra 2hrs.30 mins hours half walk on top of that (someone's phoned in sick late today so they're panicking to cover)  Look on the bright side ... my tax code means I'll probably get about £3 more this week ... a shame I'm not earning over £150,000 per year, because then my tax would have gone down from 50% to 45% ... still we're all in this together aren't we ??

FOOTNOTE - much as I hate /hated Margaret Thatcher ... at least when she said "I'm going to screw you working class scum over" - she meant it and she did it - always respected her honesty.  Since then we've had liars from all so-called sides of politics - Tony Bliar duped all us Labour supporters in '97 by then re-designing "New Labour" in the style of "Old Tory" ... Clegg duped all the LibDem supporters not that long ago in the same style ... and Cameron tries to be Thatcher but talks the talk and then fails to deliver - (unlike postie me !!!)

Probably a good day to bury bad news ...

8th April 2013 ...

I'm sure you can all work it out ...

Sunday, April 07, 2013

There's More to Life than Football (Attention ALL Picture Editors out there !!)

Old BigHead is back - and  why the hell not ???

Starting to pull together some of my better (IMHO !) pictures together into one easy folder (in between watching AC/DC live at the River Plate Stadium) ... so if you know anyone with a juicy little photographic jobbie out there ... just point them in this direction ...

My "Portfolio"

As I said ... "started to pull together" ... it involves remembering the good stuff - and then finding it !!!  I've a couple of external hard drives full of stuff - not exactly "needle in a haystack" style - but there IS a helluva lot going back over the last three/four years so I'll be adding to it as I find it/remember it... probably continuing over this week as we're back to that old "Mrs Smiffy is away" type thing (e.g. time on my hands in between bingeing out on football !!!).

... if only to prove  ... "There's more to life than just football" - but up to now I've concentrated more on the non-football side of stuff

Please be assured this is not a desperate plea to get out of Royal Mail - cus (unlike some) I AM loving it - but if an opportunity came along ... would YOU turn it down ???

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Mossley v Prescot Cables ...

 A well balanced Kayde Coppin ...

It's been a funny old week - Bank Holiday Monday meant just five days to deliver six days of mail/parcels etc - and by heck you can tell that the weather's been bad/people are on school holiday !! Must spent most of their waking day in front of a computer screen clicking on the "OK Deliver" option ... add to that on Wednesday we had a large "Freeview TV Disruption" mail-out - to every bloomin' house ... it was phrases like "Think of the Overtime" that got me through that day !!  Still we got through the week in the end, finishing at a half-decent time on Saturday as well (despite having no car for a quick return home - not often I end up "on the train" on a Saturday - when it does happen, I'm always a little nervy about finishing and then having to dash for the hourly train to get back for football).

Still it always helps if Mossley are at home (a mere 5 mins walk) - and yesterday was one of those days, with a home game against Prescot Cables.  First half was nothing to write home about to be honest - until right on the stroke of half-time Kayde Coppin found some space to drill home .  Then - in true Mossley/Photographer style (!!!) a second goal not long after the restart (yep you've guessed it - while Smiffy was STILL coming out of the club !!) increased the comfort zone somewhat.  By the time Dave Young's free-kick had made it 3-0, the frustration on the faces of the visitors was plain to see - and it was skipper Liam Hollett who saw first yellow then red within a couple of minutes.  Not a happy bunny when leaving the pitch (kicking out at all and sundry), and apparently behaving like an *rse in the club after the game.  Cables did manage to get a consolation goal, but Lewis Nightingale - back after injury - wrapped it up with a fourth right at the death - his first goal for Mossley as well.  Pictures from the game at ...

Mossley 4 Prescot Cables 1

Quick slurp after the game before home, pictures, and listening to Todd Rundgren CDs -  if you can spare a mere 18 minutes of your life to the legend that is Todd check out this - my all-time fave track - "Singring and the Glass Guitar" ...


 Love it love it love it - takes me back to the "heady days" of Knebworth Festival in 1976 (yes I was there !) - they didn't play this unfortunately but "Seven Rays" was the next best thing !!!   Oh go on then ... another 10 minutes of quality ...

Time to stop being so self-indulgent (!!) - need to think about varnishing some doors - and getting the "Non League Paper" as well.  Hoping to cram a couple of games in this coming midweek, either Hyde v Ebbsfleet or Stalybridge v Guiseley on Tuesday followed by Ashton United v Matlock Town.  Unfortunately haven't found anything for Monday night ... so I might have to suffer the Manchester derby !!!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Stafford Rangers v Ashton United

Not the greatest 90 minutes I've seen this season - but a point's a point  and a clean sheet's a clean sheet I guess (whichever side you're on !).  The few times I manage to get back to Marston Road always upset me in a certain way - ground looking rough (on and off pitch), no atmosphere (loudest noise was the irritating buzzing sound coming out of the loudspeakers !!) and bumping into old (some very old !) friends who tell me "such and such has died" etc etc ... hey ho - at least they had Timmy Taylors Landlord in the club ...

Stafford Rangers 0 Ashton United 0

Looks like Curzon Ashton was the place to go today ... 10-1 winners over Wakefield !!!  Good point for Mossley away at New Mills as well ...  that's Easter done and dusted - back to work in not too many hours ...