Sunday, September 29, 2013

Busy Weekend ...

... starting at 0530hrs Saturday morning - work - then into the car to drive down to Trafford FC to "do" their game against Altrincham for the "Non League Paper" - it had to be the day that Man United were at home on a Saturday at 1500hrs (surely a one-off !) which meant the M60 was a touch busy (!).  Still, made it just in time - however had to go through the next 120 minutes without either beer (driving) or tobacco (no time to stop to buy any !).  Did the game, followed by the "mad hour" afterwards - sorting pictures, captioning and sending them off by FTP.  Fortunately Trafford DID have a wi-fi connection that agreed with my laptop in their tiny tiny "office". 

The one bright spot for Alty - James Walshaw makes it 1-1 from the spot

Slowly getting the hang of this "workflow" thing, but am feeling a bit more confident about taking more pictures - just need to be up the right end ... did you expect Trafford to win ? Me neither !!  Still - managed to get a couple in the paper ... still not as comfy as when I do the unpaid stuff, and have all night to sort/tweak and upload rather than a frantic 60 minutes ... I'm getting there - slowly (still need a new laptop tho').

"I DON'T BELIEVE IT !" - Alty Manager Lee Sinnott

Drove home from Trafford (all the cars seemed to have black armbands on - dunno why) - and then it was off to a 21st birthday bash in Stalybridge Labour Club - my little boy and one of his mates were born on the same day in the same ward at Tameside Hospital ("celestial twins" ?) - good do - good food - and some Phoenix "White Monk" on handpump as well !!

Today - up early to get "Non League Paper" and admire handiwork - trip to tip - and then take small boy (nursing the king of all hangovers !) back to college in Nantwich.  Late Sunday lunch in the "Crown Hotel" in Nantwich (Roast Beef jobbie washed down with a pint of Gloucester Brewery "Priory Pale") - drive home and later tonight it's off to the "Britannia" in Mossley for Quiz Night - difference here is that I'm the "Guest Quizmaster", so in amongst all that kerfuffle mentioned above, I've been compiling a quiz as well - we'll see how that goes.

... and then it's Monday ...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mossley v Droylsden ...

... in the Manchester Premier Cup last night ...

Droylsden are struggling this season ... but they took the lead early doors ... so what do the Mossley fans think ?? "Here we go again ..." comes to mind !!  However it soon became obvious that this lead was NOT going to last ... and it didn't ... and despite a 3-1 lead becoming 3-2, there was no way that Mossley were not going to lose this game ...  Not unlike Saturday's game against Rammy, Mossley managed (mis-managed) to miss a plethora of chances ... once the team get that "killer instinct" some team is going to really suffer.  Pictures from last can be found at

Mossley 4 Droylsden 2 

Having seen Droylsden twice this season before last night ... I thought their performance against Buxton was a step in the right direction - although since that game they've struggled big time (i.e. they're even below Stafford Rangers in the league ... !!).  Some nice touches up front by the Bloods last night - but they do seem to have problems at the back - although 'keeper Ashley Hall did his best to keep them in the game (certainly my MOM for the visitors last night).

It's still only September ... and (like many will say) 'twas only the Manchester Premier Cup ... but Mossley are the holders.  Droylsden need to go away and get their act together big style ... obviously the money is tight down there - and attendances at the Butchers Arms are dwindling by the minute - then again any midweek game is gonna suffer due to that bloody TV - it's not just Droylsden it's ALL the clubs around here ... and we know that money through the gate is never enough to keep a non-league team going.  Unlike many around here I've no great dislike for Droylsden as a club (although it's owner/chairman/manager/general mogul does little to make himself popular) - but it's sad to see, and I hope it DOES improve (as long as they still remain below Stafford Rangers of course !!) ...

Anyway ... onwards and upwards for Mossley - it's time to turn these cup wins into league wins and begin moving up that table - Harrogate on Saturday would be a start !! Me ?? Off to Trafford v Altrincham (yep - another "paid jobbie" for the "Non League Paper" - and that's going to be tricky on all fronts viz finishing work in time, getting there - and then hoping there's some wi-fi somewhere to send pics off - but that's my problem I guess ...).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

As Predicted ... A Bit of a Walk ...

... but first it was "sort out the tea" ... bung a shoulder of lamb (which had been marinading overnight in a subtle blend of Mediterranean herbs and spices - OK I chucked some stuff at it !) into the slo-cooker with some veg - drive down Derbyshire way - pick up Mrs S and then grab a bit of a walk down the Manifold Valley near Hartington on the way home ...

Always a sucker for a "dead tree" me ...

Old train tunnel - now a road/footpath !

Water and trees ....

Thor's Cave

... now to finish off the food - smells OK (that's a start !!)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mossley v Ramsbottom United

Phew ... a league win at last !

But first lets go back a while - a thoroughly grotty week weather-wise/work-wise (recession ?? what recession ?? people keep buying stuff - and usually stuff in rather large parcels ... and they're never in to pick 'em up !!)  

Hey ho - that's life at the pre-privatised mail-face ... finished work on Friday afternoon and then home to take Mrs Smiffy down to Stalybridge Station ... not for a beer mind, but to catch a train to Derby.  Now listen up - a single from Stalybridge to Derby costs ... £37.  Yes £37.   HOWEVER, being a bit of a geek, I thought "RIP OFF" (there's privatisation for you !). So ... if you buy a single from Stalybridge to Stockport - £3-20 ... and a single from Stockport to Derby - £19-40.  Grand total ... £22-60 - a saving of £14-40.  All you peeps out there - always look at ticket splitting ... it can save you loads !!

So - a quiet night in last night for me - watched "Still Crazy" DVD (AGAIN !) followed by "AC/DC Live at River Plate" (AGAIN !) before retiring, knowing I was up at 0600hrs this morning to do early morning overtime ...  followed by my own walk ... followed by half of another walk (doing a favour for mate whose kids were bridesmaid and page boy at a relatives wedding) ... think of the money !!!

Naturally arrived at football late (but not TOO late ... 'twas still 0-0) - and promptly watched Rammy take a one goal lead.  Fortunately it seems that the half-time team talk/shout/bawl had the required effect, as Mossley raced into a 3-1 lead and were coasting.  Chances for more goals came - but chances were missed/wasted ... and then all of a sudden it was 3-3 as Rammy equalised  in the 89th minute !!  Five minutes added time was announced ... and Mossley finally got their first league win of the season with a late late Andy Keogh goal.

Nice to have a chat with Tony Cunningham after the game - now involved at Ramsbottom United on the "scribbler" side of things (in fact it'll be his story in the "Non League Paper" tomorrow) - way way back in the mists of time Tony was heavily involved at Mossley - and it was me who took over the job of Programme Editor from him in 1986.  We're all getting old aren't we ???

Enough reminiscing ... you want to see some pictures maybe ??? Well they're here  ...

Mossley 4 Ramsbottom United 3

(Yeah ... not so good on the goals to be honest - but the celebrations are nice eh what ?!?)

So - another quiet night in before heading off down to Belper (who beat Chasetown 1-0 today) early doors to return wife to Mossley - maybe getting a walk in on the way back.  Next week it's early doors (0645hrs) starts all week due to staff shortages/holidays etc etc - and maybe some football as well.

(And can I add a quick "WELL DONE" to Stafford Rangers who similarly sneaked a late late 2-1 win over FC United of Manchester today ?  I write this stuff - so yes I can !) .

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Comeback Kings ...

... last night ... Stalybridge Celtic (0-2 down ... win 3-2) and Mossley (0-2 and 1-3 down ... win 4-3) ...

I chose the former game last night - and at 1950hrs was starting to wonder if I'd picked a wrong 'un - One quarter of the floodlights were in total darkness (the same old dodgy pylon at Bower Fold where there has been previous probs).  Eventually it flickered on and the game got underway rather late !!  Within 10 minutes there were people looking to sabotage said pylon as Celtic found themselves 0-2 down to a fast and incisive Harrogate Town.  However ... one could say the game turned on the award of a penalty to the home side with the added red card for the 'keeper.  This gave Celtic the requisite "kick up the *rse" - and they even contrived to miss another penalty before eventually getting the winner with 10 minutes to go.  Pictures from the (rather damp) game at

Stalybridge Celtic 3 Harrogate Town 2

Throughout the game I was getting text updates from the Mossley game (thanks Graham !) - sounds like a similar good 'un with Mossley nicking a winner in the 89th minute.  Other results from last night saw Hyde lose 0-2 at home to Woking, and Ashton United going down 1-2 at Blyth Spartans.

Once again - throughout Non-League World - bloody TV put the mockers on attendances last night (Mossley crowd given as 47 on the Evo-Stik website !!) ... although I'm sure one can also blame the incessant rain ... reckon it's getting towards time to dust off the bobble hats and rugged overcoats ...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Memories ... Memories ...

Check this story out ...

The Joy of Letraset

I say memories because ... you are now reading "Six Tame Sides" on the internet ... but when "Six Tame Sides" first began - it was a fanzine back in the early 1990s, when fanzines were all the rage.  

In glorious monochrome as well !!!

I used to use Letraset now and again for page and article titles, type the article up (OK on a computer) using "Wordcraft" (occasionally throwing in the odd graphic from the "Freelance" graphics collection) - and then it was a case of printing it off, cutting the articles out (yes scissors !!!) and then it was "Tippex Time", arranging stuff on an A5 page and using a felt tip pen to underline/make borders etc - this was the original 'cut and paste' !!'.  Then it was photocopy (double-sided making sure you got the right pages in the right order) and sit at home collating and stapling - before going round the grounds selling the end product ...

You've never had it so good ...

(And now ... sort out tea ... and check out the FA Cup draw - no doubt back later) ...

Football Blogging Awards 2013

... are back for another year - bigger and better (due to be held at the National Football Museum in Manchester as well) ... which probably means last years "surprise victory" is unlikely to be repeated !! Hey ho - my 15 minutes of fame was a bit of a hoot - and you never know ??  More info here:

Football Blogging Awards 2013

All donations (vote-wise) gratefully received !!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ashton United v Witton Albion ...

... in the FA Cup ...

A pretty tight game to be honest ... but Ashton certainly had more of the chances (certainly missed a few !!) - at least until the final nerve-wracking 15 minutes or so when Witton threw everything bar the kitchen sink at the Ashton defence - which held out well - with keeper Paul Phillips making the save of the game from a cracking free kick in about the 93rd minute.  A few pictures from the game at

Ashton United 2 Witton Albion 1 (FA Cup)

So Ashton United's unbeaten start to the season continues - as does their neighbours across town - with Curzon Ashton beating their higher-level opponents (Marine) away from home.  In the same competition, Droylsden suffered a rather embarassing 1-5 home reverse to Trafford  - with Shelton Payne scoring all five for the visitors.  League action saw defeats for the other three Tame Sides - Hyde (1-2 at Kidderminster), Stalybridge (0-3 at Brackley) and Mossley (0-4 at Darlington 1883).

Unfortunately the FA Cup has scuppered my match of choice this coming midweek - Droylsden should have been entertaining Stafford Rangers on Tuesday night but the Boro's 0-0 draw at Chasetown means replay ... I'll probably eschew Mossley v Padiham in the Doodson Cup in favour of Stalybridge Celtic v Harrogate Town - because Stalybridge are the only one of the six not yet seen.

Straight after the Ashton game it was off to friends in Rochdale for food and a natter - and as we knew today was not going to be perfect walking weather (!!!) we spent a few interesting hours at Helmshore Textile Museum  before heading home, knowing large boy was cooking tonight's tea !  A few pics of machinery taken today courtesy of babycam with failing batteries ...

Not long for food - and hopefully tomorrow's weather won't be as grim as today ... but I've a sneaking feeling it WILL be just as bad - eek !

Thursday, September 12, 2013

£2,000 in Shares ?

NO Chance ... 

Yes a quick yap about the Royal Mail "proposed flotation" ... naturally you the general public are seeing/reading what the Management/Government want you to hear ...

£2,000 of shares ... is for the full-time staff - and due to the fact that a large majority of posties are actually part-time ... the part-time staff get "pro-rata" of this £2,000 ... so in my case it's actually £1,230 ... plus we cannot sell the shares for three years once received ... they're basically a bribe for the workers - together with a promised lump sum (once again "pro-rata") come Christmas

8.6% pay rise .. yes, over the next three years - but we've had nowt for 18 months ...

And one of the biggest strings attached is dependent on "no strike" ...

I could go on ... but I can't be bothered ... the whole thing stinks - feel free to vent your spleen at Mr Vince Cable (yes one of those Liberal Democrats who threw all their ideals out of the window for the chance of a Government post) ...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mossley v Clitheroe - Take 1

Pics (minus captions) now up at

Mossley 1 Clitheroe 1

A good game for the elite 84 speccies who turned up ... and if you think 84 is a poor attendance there were SEVEN other Evo-Stik games last night with smaller crowds ... bottoming out at Wakefield where 48 hardy souls turned up.

So much for the England or REAL Football argument ... sad innit ?

More later .. the lure of Royal Mail/earning money is calling ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

England ... or REAL Football ??

Well ... it's a no-brainer for me anyway !!!  

Always the case when the non-league teams note that their fixtures coincide with an Ingerrlund game ... must admit it DOES cause grief regarding attendances - but why ???  Do we care how the national team does ?? Yes it's those same players earning obscene amounts of money that - thanks to Sky TV and their cronies - is slowly but surely attempting to kill the game at grass roots level.   Kettering Town FC were 'wound up' recently with debts of £58,000 ... yes £58,000 ... I believe Gareth Bale earns that much IN ONE DAY.

I know the FA and all them suits wobble on about grass roots football - but they're merely paying lip service to the lower levels while trousering the money from Mr Murdoch - and dare I say it BBC/ITV as well - and making sure that most of it stays at the top level.

Makes me sick ...

Hey ho - tonight I'll be up at Seel Park watching Mossley attempt to get their first bloody win of the season against Clitheroe (who are just one place - 17th -above the Lilywhites).  I trust there will be a good number of people out there giving two fingers to the national team in favour of their local clubs ...  round here we have Droylsden at home to Blyth tonight (big up to any Blyth fan who makes the long trek), and Hyde FC v Radcliffe Boro in the Manky Cup.

... and as an afterthought I'll be looking out for the result from Marston Road tonight - new man in charge (OK temp) at Stafford Rangers following their "Played 7 Lost 7" start to the season - good luck to Andy Mutch, and lets hope the team put on a show and give Marine a good stuffing !

Saturday, September 07, 2013

All Plumbed Out ... Hyde FC v Cambridge United

Alex Brown (Hyde) and Ryan Donaldson (Cambridge)

..... aaaargh !!!  

Did all the fiddling and faffing with pix after game (Hyde FC 0 Cambridge United 1) and once ready to send ... I tried to get re-connected - and it refused ... aaaargh !!!  So - not unlike Droylsden the other week - it was a mad dash home where thankfully the laptop DID connect to the home router - pics duly sent - we'll see if anything turns up tomorrow morning.  A touch disappointed with the game - there just didn't seem to be anything going on that was worth snapping - so it was a bit of a push to find a dozen half-decent pics to send.


Matty Mainwaring (Hyde) and Liam Hughes (Cambridge)

One conclusion from today though; time to kick the old - and I mean OLD - laptop into touch I think ...

All Plumbed In ...

... to the Hyde FC tellyweb - easy part done - now off to take some snaps ... wish me luck ...

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Ashton United v Matlock Town

 So THIS is why Labour are losing £1.1m from a certain Union !!

Finished 0-0 - Ashton United finished with 10 men ... but STILL looked the more likely to win ... pics at

Ashton United 0 Matlock Town 0

(A touch "noisy" in photography parlance - but thought it best to get them up instead of fannying around with noise reduction etc etc).

Some poor reffing tonight I thought (well there WAS an assessor in the crowd) - which ultimately led to the red for Ben Richardson - innocuous first yellow but no arguments with the second - and so it/he goes.  Didn't stop the home team from giving it their all to win though - and the early disallowed goal (marginal from where I was) could have set the tone for the night.  Hey ho ...

I used to think Kayde Coppin was fast when he was at Mossley - but Martin Pilkington is electric !! Incidentally I look at the team sheet from tonight - and Ashton United had 6 players who were at Mossley last season (plus a manager on the bench).  If only ... Can certainly recommend a visit to Hurst Cross this season - there's the makings of a very good team.

Saturday sees me off to Ewen Fields to see Hyde FC take on league leaders Cambridge United in the Skrill Premier - look out for pics in the "Non League Paper" on Sunday (yep I've got another 'commission' !!).  Promise to do my best !!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Two Grand down the Swanny ...

... from Saturday's words about the Mossley/Worksop Parramore game ...

"... but a chance missed today I feel  ..."

Sadly prophetic ...

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Mossley v Worksop Parramore ...

The "Road to Wembley" began at Seel Park today ... unfortunately there's now a diversion to Sandy Lane, Worksop on Tuesday night ... pics from the game at

Mossley 1 Worksop Parramore 1

... more tomorrow - but a chance missed today I feel ...

LATER ... Aren't match reports wonderful ??  I'll let you decide who wrote what !

"... Mossley looked the more likely winners in the late stages with Parramore forced to defend deeper and deeper as the half wore on but the Worksop side held on ... "

"... As the game went on, the chances dried up in an already tight game for both sides but Parramore had the better chances..."

 In my unbiased opinion (?!?)  Mossley had more chances to kill the game off - especially in the first 45 minutes ... but in the second half they were indebted to Russ Saunders who tipped a point blank header over the bar.  Early injuries and substitutions certainly upset both sides - with Mossley losing the height of Kevin McGrath on the half-hour, which arguably led to the Parramore equaliser.  However it's a replay to see who will entertain Cammell Laird at home on the 14th September ... and to see who will trouser the £1,925 for winning this tie.  Also the fixture pile-up begins (!!!!) with the Doodson Cup game against Padiham moving back a couple of weeks.

In the other "local" FA Cup tie this weekend, Curzon Ashton ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over Ashton Athletic (with that man Matty Warburton on the scoresheet again).  Elsewhere Hyde went down 3-2 at Barnet - after pulling back a 0-2 deficit they went down to a late winner.  Stalybridge Celtic made the long trip up to Workington but returned pointless after a narrow 1-0 defeat.  Droylsden lost 3-0 at home to newly-promoted Skelmersdale United ... and Ashton United went visiting "Ashton United Old Boys" a.k.a. Nantwich Town but could only manage a 2-2 draw despite playing against 10 men for 77 minutes.

Can't imagine I'll be able to make the Worksop replay on Tuesday ... so it's probably Ashton United v Matlock Town on Wednesday night.