Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Quick "Non-Football" Rant ...

...ref Syria ...

Let's pretend we're still a "world power" - and get involved ... having set out the stall to make several thousand servicemen redundant to save money ... yet still put budget together for a weapon of mass destruction (OK Trident) ...

... although we're not 100% sure about the chemicals (but hey was Tony Bliar 100% sure about the "weapons of mass destruction" ??) ...

... anyone mentioned "OIL" yet ... probably not - yeah I know Syria doesn't have a lot ... but it's Middle East and any fall-out concerns the entire area (which is of course full of "OIL") ... but then again Putin has has said "leave it out" ... which is perfect for the west to dive in ...

... and do we support the rebels ??? Unlike do we support the Afghan rebels ... strange innit when we can be so hypocriticial in "which side is right"- because we are who we are ...

Pathetic ... but still nice to see the House of  Commons/ House of Lords a bit full (sad they've had to come back off their holibobs ... but when you're on a few bob a year - it's a small price I guess)...

Small "off top of head" rant over - best get back in't'kitchen --- people are starving in this house ...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mossley v Curzon Ashton

Just for starters ...

... cus I met his Dad in the pub before the game while I was having my "pre-match shandy" - I give you Curzon's hat-trick hero Matty Warburton.

LATER (1) ...  Here's the rest of the pitures from today - 

Mossley 2 Curzon Ashton 3

 MUCH LATER (2) - a few words on the game ... obviously the better team won (no complaints there) - much talk about the third goal for Curzon being offside - can't enter into that (wrong end etc etc) - but my basic thoughts involve the Curzon pressure pushing the Mossley midfield further and further back ... which meant the link to up front was broken - reckon Lewis Nightingale (my "hope for the future") got pulled so far back, his presence was diminished - not saying he didn't give 100% or anything - just that he was not as effective as we've seen previously.  Again though ... at 1-3 down there was no giving up - when it went to 2-3 there was hope ... but unfortunately Curzon are not Ossett Town, and they closed it down. So ... Mossley still looking for their first league win ... but it won't take long ... and an FA Cup game on Saturday should lift spirits ... not forgetting the £1,925 on offer to the winners.

Looking further afield from Monday ... the Droylsden 'improvement' on Saturday came to a shuddering halt with a 4-1 defeat at Ashton United - Stalybridge got a 2-2 draw at home to Bradford PA (as per usual the Celtic internet warriors not impressed !).  Finally Hyde lost 0-1 "on the telly" to Grimsby Town.


A Story Worth Sharing ...

... regarding the Kings Lynn v Stocksbridge Park Steels game on Saturday (courtesy of "Salkster" on the Non League Zone Message Board) ...

"One of the craziest game I have witnessed today at Kings Lynn and probably never will see one like it again. [SPS] 2-0 up and should have been 4-0 up. Looks like chances wasted as Kings Lynn pull it back to 2-2 to set up an end to end final 15 minutes. On 90 minutes Kings Lynn get a penalty and [SPS] keeper sent off. An old gentleman in the crowd has a heart attack and with our keeper being a nurse rushes off to help give him CPR as he's coming off the pitch. The match continues with our striker who had been on the pitch 2 minutes going in net. The penalty goes wide leaving the match at 2-2 in stoppage time. 94th minute Kings Lynn score a 3rd and the team and management celebrate like they have won the league. 96th minute our striker now keeper goes up for a free kick and heads the ball to the back post which gets tapped in to make it 3-3 and the final whistle not long after. Absolutely mental scenes.

On a more important note I hope the fan who collapsed is ok. Full credit to our keeper Ben Scott, who had been getting plenty of stick from opposition fans throughout the match, for going out to help the gentleman. Scenes like these are what makes me proud to first of all know Ben, to support this club and to be in the Non League family. Scenes like that today shows there are more important things than football."
Big up to Ben Scott - wouldn't it be nice if the League Management showed a bit of compassion regarding the red card ??

Looks like a lovely day for football today ... a rare treat for a Bank Holiday afternoon !!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lazy Sunday ...

... once over euphoria (?), we wandered out with friends for a quick circuit of Dove Stone Reservoir - the number of times we've done this walk over the last 30 years ... I don't honestly know but when you've friends (up from Northampton) who've never seen it before it's an gentle stroll to see "stuff" - it's sometimes nice to show off  'what's on your doorstep' if you like.  You'll have to excuse the few pics - like I say we've hundreds of pics of the same old stuff (bit like the canal thingy I did a few weeks back) so it's hard to find something "different"... so here's a "new twist" ...

Monochrome Dove Stone - 25Aug13

Followed this with once round Tesco before heading home and setting up the barbecues - great weather which saw us outdoors from about 1600hrs till ... late (!!).  One thing we have found out - cheap solar powered garden lights are just that ...

(NOTE TO SELF - try not to wake up too early tomorrow - I ain't working !!)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Droylsden v Buxton

... was today's "Game of Choice" ... for a reason which should hopefully be revealed early tomorrow morning.

... and that's ALL I'm saying for now !

SUNDAY ...  pics from the game at

Droylsden 1 Buxton 1

... as in the ones that DIDN'T make it into today's "Non League Paper" !

Yes it was my first ever gig for the hallowed publication. Was asked on Wednesday - said "Yeah" - got all the info on Friday - and spent the evening panicking, learning about aspect ratios in Photoshop and getting my head around the use of XMP files ... and hoping that Saturday would not be too bad work-wise.

After a 0630 start at work, I got to Droylsden in good time lugging two cameras (one with dodgy shutter - REALLY must get it serviced !) and a dodgy laptop (see earlier this week) - name on the "guest list" though, so a tenner saved ! Decided as it was top v bottom to concentrate on the Droylsden goal.  So what happens ?? Yep Droylsden take the lead - bugger !!  Got something on it (as you can see in the paper) thank God.  The Buxton equaliser saw me probably at the wrong focal length unfortunately - to me the pic looks like it could have been taken at any time ... hey ho.  A much improved performance from Droylsden after Tuesday night - Buxton bossed the second half mind but could not find a winner.  Even so Buxton stay top - but Droylsden move off the bottom ... being replaced by ... Stafford Rangers - aargh !!!

Then the real fun began - I'd uploaded a few pics onto the laptop at half-time, but by the time I'd sorted out just one, the teams were back on - yikes.  Deadline was 1800 to transmit at least 10 ... and since Droylsden's relegation there was NO wi-fi at the ground - yikes.  Spent part of the second half faffing with computer and taking pictures until I noticed laptop battery was down to 9% - yikes - turn off quick in case everything gets lost !  At full-time it was a mad dash back home to try and get everything done before the deadline - choose, crop, sharpen, caption and ftp to agency ... and I just about made it.

Then it was off out for a meal with Mrs Smiffy and friends - and a well-earned (?) few beers.  No plans yet for today ... but maybe a slightly less stressful football appointment tomorrow at 1500 - Mossley v Curzon Ashton.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Droylsden v Whitby Town

... I'd have been on earlier tonight - made sure I got home at a sensible time (unlike yesterday !!).  However have just spent over 90 minutes (!) trying to sort laptop out - refused to log in to my profile and gave me a temporary profile instead, which I then had to use to rescue etc etc etc.  Still we're back up and running for now (it IS 6 or 7 years old - maybe more - and running Vista !).

So as per last night - not too much now - Droylsden lost 2-0 (I missed the second goal in order to get bus home to get early train etc etc - see above) ... so it's a question of more tomorrow when I get home from work ... assuming the bloody laptop logs in nicely.  In the meantime - to whet appetites etc - here's a pic of Lee Healy having a crack at goal ...

... definitely "Work in Process" down at Droylsden - but more tomorrow - assuming this aged Dell is still playing ball !!!

WEDNESDAY UPDATE ... pics now up at

Droylsden 0 Whitby Town 2

Now I cook tea ...


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Curzon Ashton v Radcliffe Borough

A useful 3 points for the home side, winning 3-1 - but they made hard work of it against the 10 stout men of  Radcliffe ... more tomorrow ...

TUESDAY UPDATE ... OK three points for Curzon - but the turning point was the sending off of Radcliffe 'keeper Sam Andrew.  Extremely harsh in my view - but you get all this "letter of the law" b*ll*cks (obviously easier to apply - and spell - than "discretion") - so Radcliffe immediately down to 10 men - and they lose a striker as well with Dennis Sherriff having to take on the gloves.  The other point worth making here is ... how does such a decision affect the "advantaged" side (i.e. Curzon) ?? I'll tell you - they got sloppy ... they'd already got away with a couple of defensive errors before the red card - and they nearly had their bums bitten late on when Radcliffe pulled it back to 2-1 with a couple of minutes to go.  A late Mark Bett effort helped to relax - but I'm betting Curzon boss John Flanagan was not best pleased with the full 90 minutes.  Man-of-the-Match has to be Sherriff - played an absolute blinder in the nets for the visitors. Some pictures at

Curzon Ashton 3 Radcliffe Borough 1

(and can't you tell the wife's away ??? Off to watch Droylsden v Whitby Town tonight !!!)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mossley v Kendal Town.

... and so the season begins at Seel Park - a bristling hot day ... shorts and tee-shirts ... and three points to the home team ... WHOA !!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's start again - not hot - windy with hints of wet stuff - shorts stayed at home and the tee-shirt (OK in my case a vintage 1998 Mossley shirt) was covered with a waterproof ... and Kendal won 3-1 ...

Mossley looked good - in fact very good - in the first half and IMHO certainly deserved their 1-0 lead at half-time.  However ... possibly a team talk and some "intravenous mint cake"  made all the difference for the visitors.  This coupled with some sloppy defending right after the off ... and one horrendous cock-up soon after ... and all of a sudden it was 1-2.  Mossley tried hard to get back on terms but to no avail ... and Kendal's third goal at the death was the final icing on the (mint) cake/kick in the teeth (delete as applicable).  Suppose having someone with the pedigree of Jordan Connerton up front doesn't help.

Are we downhearted ?? Naah not really - first game .. up agin a relegated side ... new management ... new this ... new that ...hardly time to decry the entire season (unlike some on the Stalybridge Message Board who have the knives out after only 90 minutes - - OK they lost 0-4 at home to Hednesford Town - but it's hardly an excuse to give up/slag off - is it ???

Anyroad up - some pictures from the Mossley game at 

Mossley 1 Kendal Town 3

... and I've tried out a new "skin" with the pics - think it makes it easier for peeps to find the "slideshow" option if nowt else - I'll await comments (if any !!).  

Elsewhere in "Six Tame Sides World" there were wins for the two Ashtons (United beating Grantham 2-1 at home and Curzon winning 3-1 away at Ramsbottom) United.  Hyde got their first point of the season with a 2-2 home draw against Hereford United ... and on Friday night Droylsden opened the Evo-Stik season with a 3-1 defeat away at Stocksbridge Park Steels)

Next football - probably Curzon Ashton on Monday night.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Football Tonight

Pictures ...


Yes it wasn't Hyde - more tomorrow - I'm knackered ...

WEDNESDAY UPDATE - yeah I didn't go to Hyde (a 94th minute winner for Southport must have been a right bugger mind) - a wet/dry/wet day at work and then I came home to a deserted house ... Mrs Smiffy and small boy had buggered off out on the "geocaching trail" ... we did buy a new GPS when we came back from the Lakes (the old one - and I mean old ... probably 12 years old ?) had finally lost it's waterproofness - that Monday @ Ennerdale Bridge killed it off - and Mrs Smiffy had been thinking about this geocaching stuff - so there we go - new GPS with paperless geocaching options !  So they came home late - so Hyde would have been a struggle ... BUT then I was told "The Tale of the Dentists" - small boy is looking for an NHS option and had rung a dentist in Hyde ... "Yeah no problem - come down and fill in the form".  So he did - and when he got there ... "Oh no we're not taking on NHS at all - bye-bye" - a totally wasted journey, which sort of re-affirmed my absence in the Hyde area on Tuesday night (promise I WILL turn up sometime this season though) !

So ... I'd heard on the grapevine about a "semi-behind closed doors" game up at Mossley (OK more a training session with some opposition - in this case Wythenshawe Amateurs).  So ... why not - so much for "behind closed doors" (maybe more of an "unadvertised" game !).  By the time I got there Mossley were already 2-0 up ... but I'd decided not to bother too much with the action - rather going for a bit of "face painting" if you like - the sort of stock pictures that newspapers like to hoard.  Hence what you see in the album linked above.

So ... onward to Saturday ...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Let Battle Commence !!

OK ... so the North West Counties League began on the 3rd August ... and the Football League and Conference Prem kicked off on the 10th ... but bear with me ...

It's that time of year when you find football blogs coming out of hibernation - so many just seem to "close down" at season end (not mine of course ... I thrill the world with "What I Did On My Holidays", or "Look How Well My Spuds Are Growing"), but then the bloggers start to "rev the engine" during the pre-season friendlies before hitting fourth gear at season start.  

 At my (non-league) level pre-season friendlies can be sooo much fun - "Who the hell is that in the shirt with no number ??" is the most oft-used phrase, followed by "He looks useful" (and then you never see him again due to the club up the road offering a fiver more).  Pre-season friendlies are not just for the players ... the bloggers have to sharpen their "virtual pens", dust off their copies of the "Des Lynam Book of Football Cliches" ... and generally enjoy themselves (often in shorts) in half-decent weather without worrying about cups of hot steaming Bovril to keep out the chill.

So ... and we're talking non-league here of course (I have no truck with that "big stuff" !) - what does the new season hold ?  Teams will win all their friendlies - yet come heavily unstuck when the season starts; and vice versa of course - message boards will be full of great hope ("We've signed some belters !!!") or gloom and doom "Why have all our belters buggered off ?").  We all have to learn the names of our new sponsors (I mean Skrill ?? Isn't that what whales eat ??).  We have to cope with/moan about admission increases (RPI + 1% and all that stuff). Yet ... we can't wait for the season to begin - and then the real action begins - both on the pitch and also in "blog world". 

They say a picture paints a thousand words - in that case I've written millions since August 2006.  I have to admit personally that as the years have gone on the words have decreased and the pictures increased - but that's just me (I’m getting old – after a game I need to relax, drink my Horlicks and be in bed by 9 !).  There are hundreds of blogs out there - and at my "non league" level there are some absolute crackers.  Which naturally brings me on to the Football Blogging Awards.  A great idea which began last year in a fairly low-key way (I put my victory in the "Veteran Blog" section down to just that !!!).  Now we're into the second season - we're talking bigger, we're talking better, and hopefully there will be a lot more involvement at all levels (shame that there's no category for "Best Non-League Football Blog" though - but again ... that's just me !).  With this years awards taking place at the National Football Museum in Manchester, and a major sponsor (The Betting Directory) already on board it can only be onwards and upwards ...

... which all us football fans are fervently hoping for – for our teams - as the season begins ...  BRING IT ON !

(EDITOR'S NOTE ... this was written especially (and on the fly !!!) for the football blogging awards website - having won one last season I thought it good to help to promote this season's awards (OK I was asked !!).  Can't imagine I'll get anywhere near winning this season - but you never know !!)


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mossley vs Chorley

Fresh from walking up and down hills in the Lakes, it was a somewhat shorter walk (but still up a hill !) to Seel Park on Saturday to see Mossley's final pre-season game against Chorley (part of the deal that saw Keil O'Brien move from Mossley to Chorley last season).  A fairly healthy crowd considering it was a friendly and we're in the middle of "holiday season" saw a very good game - if no goals.  Chorley (once again !) are being tipped as possible promotion candidates in the Evo-Stik Prem, and they sent down a very useful team, including the two ex-Lilywhites - O'Brien and Adam "should have been Player of the Year" Mather - as well as some ex-FC United players (Carlos Roca and Jake Cotterell) and a former Doctor Who as well !

Over the 90 minutes, Chorley certainly had the majority of chances - including one that came back off the post - and Mossley were certainly indebted to 'keeper Russ Saunders on more than one occasion for helping to keep a clean sheet.  Still the home team had some good efforts on target - second half sub Dougie Carroll looked very lively indeed.  Pics from the game at

Mossley 0 Chorley 0

Hopefully Manager Peter Band now knows where he's going - and all eyes turn to next Saturday with the opening game against newly-relegated Kendal Town.  Let's see how it goes ...

Football this week ?? Hopefully on Tuesday night I'll be getting over to Hyde FC who take on Southport - no doubt hoping to improve on their opening 0-8 reverse at Forest Green Rovers - ouch !

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Coast to Coast (or part thereof) ...

A week away in the Lake District (mostly) doing a large chunk of Alfred Wainwright's "Coast to Coast Walk".  The fully monty stretches from St Bees on the west coast to Robin Hoods Bay on the east - just under 200 miles.  However, with only having six days to play with we settled on getting across to Shap.

Finished work on Saturday ... and straight on the train heading for St Bees, arriving at about 1845.  Stopped over in Queens Hotel (although we drank in the Oddfellows !), before starting out bright and early on Sunday morning heading for Ennerdale Bridge.  Cut a corner off here - missing out the walk up the coast - thus reducing mileage to just over 10 (!) ... a gentle starter if you like - but a few climbs nonetheless (Dent Hill and Raven Crag).  B&B in Ennerdale - but not before a drink or two at the "Fox and Hounds" and the "Shepherds Arms Hotel" !

It started to rain on Sunday night - and was still hammering it down on Monday morning.  By the time we left the B&B the River Ehen had burst its banks ... so within 100 yards of starting we we wading almost knee-deep down the main street - great start !!  By the time we reached Ennerdale Water the footpath was also a river (!) so we ended up taking a lengthy diversion before getting onto the sanctuary of the forest trail. Then it was up, up up (Loft Beck) before hitting the tops in thick mist (still raining by the way !).  Fortunately we had map/GPS and a fair few cairns to follow.  Then - all of a sudden - the mist cleared (it was like curtains opening !) and we could see exactly where we were - viz bloody high up.  And then it stopped raining - so the descent down into Borrowdale was fairly straightforward.  What with diversions etc we ended up doing about 20 miles instead of 15 ... Stayed at "Royal Oak Hotel" (only keg beer - shame !). 

Tuesday began with a long steep slog up Stonethwaite Beck to Lining Crag and Greenup Edge before taking the low-level route down Easedale Beck into Grasmere (we'd done the Helm Crag option a few years back).  After several hours of solitude it comes as a shock when you hit Grasmere - too many people wandering aimlessly in clean clothes.  Fortunately our overnight stop was the "Travellers Rest" - just out of the village and far from the maddening crowds.  A belting place which comes thoroughly recommended - great room, great beers, great food. "Only" 12 miles this day as well ...

Wednesday - off to Patterdale - against starting with a steep slog uphill to Grisedale Tarn.  We had a choice of three options then - Striding Edge/Helvellyn (done it before); Grisedale Valley (low-level - pff !); or St Sunday Crag. We chose number three, climbing to 2750 feet before a joint-jarring descent down towards Ullswater, Patterdale and the "White Lion Inn" - with the detour up St Sunday Crag we reckoned about 12.5 miles.

Thursday was our last walking day from Patterdale over to Shap - two hefty climbs up Angeltarn and Kidsty Pike, a long haul round the side of Haweswater before saying farewell to the Lake District and finishing with a more gentle trek across fields to Shap - another long one (about 16 miles).  Stayed over at "New Ing Lodge" (more good beer !!) - and slept well !!

Train(s) home on Friday ... and that was (a brief resume of) our holiday !  A few pictures at

St Bees to Shap - 4/10Aug13

(Not many from the wet Monday - camera stayed firmly in bag after taking a few pix of the flood in Ennerdale !)

So ... a Saturday off work - a rare treat that normally involves taking in an away game somewhere with a bit of distance on it.  However Forest Green Rovers v Hyde FC is probably a distance too far (!), so it looks like I'll be just popping up the road to see Mossley v Chorley - hey ho !

Friday, August 09, 2013

Home ...

... yes you've guessed it - we've been away ... doing a chunk of the "Coast to Coast" walk - from St Bees over to Shap (i.e. the Lake District bit of it).

Normality will be resumed in due course ...