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Fans Focus - Non League Football


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Everything posted by AnfieldTowner

  1. A recent email from the club confirmed a fixture against Bishop's Stortford away on Tuesday 16th November and I heard this referred to over the tannoy on Saturday. However, our website still shows no fixture that night on the fixtures page so I thought I'd check BSFC's website - that still shows that we're playing them on the 9th, which I know has been replaced by our Middlesex Senior Cup game at home to Bedfont Sports!
  2. Been waiting to see the footage of the phantom goal incident - seems conclusive, we should have been 1-0 down after 6 minutes and who knows what might have happened then! Was very happy with the point at a difficult place to go - in truth, either side could have won the game and it really could have been 5-3 to the home side by half time. Adam Cunnington played up front for the first time this season. Impressed with his performance, a real beast of a centre forward who really will win almost every header. However, we played our usual formation in the first half meaning Mo Faal & Sam Youngs were pushed wide - didn't really work, not a lot of point in Cunnington winning headers if he doesn't have a player near him or, at least, good crosses being provided from the wings. Andy did change things at half time though I found it difficult to see what we were really trying to do for much of the half. Jerry Gyebi was replaced at half time with Josh Urquhart moving to centre back, presumably to save Jerry from a potential red card. He was booked in the first half and the Folkestone no 10, who gave him a torrid time, went down at every opportunity. We did look more solid in the second half but there were fewer chances for both sides. A good point but a lot to work on - Folkestone will rightly feel very hard done by.
  3. I am not as confident as you about this - losing faith in a club that does not want to play football.
  4. I cannot for the life of me understand this decision, nor our club's support for it. Football clubs voting not to play football in the current circumstances is bonkers. Will ruin the Christmas of a lot of people, including our players. Thoroughly depressed about the whole situation, just at a time when it seemed there was some hope. Non league football has become a sad joke and the public won't thank them for it. Another wasted season.
  5. Barnet are also going back to playing in front of fans. Whilst we await confirmation from the league, it seems we're expecting the league to be 'paused' as a tweet today refers to Wednesday's FA Trophy game 'depending on result could be our final game of 2020'. Interesting how Covid differentiates between league and cup games! Another tweet says 'Tier 2 regions do not permit indoor or outdoor bar'. Cheshunt and Hertford Town, both in Tier 2, have confirmed they will be selling alcohol at friendlies tomorrow. Personally, I suspect our reading of the rules is more accurate to the way they're written, but I also suspect they've been badly written and that is not what was intended.
  6. Really disappointed with that decision, just can't see the sense in it at all. If that is the decision that's accepted by the league then I can't see anything other than another wasted void season. We're not going to be going into Tier 1 anytime soon as far as I can see - Tier 2 is as good as we're going to get for many months. Why close down at a time when the rest of the football community is opening up? Charlton had 2,000 fans last night.
  7. Any views on whether our football should re-start again next week? The FA confirmed yesterday that no fans are allowed at our level in Tier 3 areas - so I think that's just Margate & Folkestone in our league? What seems less clear is whether food and drink can be sold in Tier 2 - though it does seem clear that the club bar could only open with table service and if a substantial meal is bought with any alcohol. So, in reality, that probably remains closed I'm guessing. Capacity limit remains at 600 at our level. I believe that the Leagues at Step 3 & 4, including Isthmian Premier, met last night to try to achieve a consensus across the leagues. The trouble is that also includes the Northern Premier League where most clubs are in Tier 3. The clubs at Step 3 & 4 have, I understand, been asked to vote for or against the following:- 'That Steps 3 & 4 continue the current pause in the season with a regular review in the light of changes to the current Tiers and/or Grants becoming available'. Voting for clubs closes at midnight tonight with results due tomorrow - I've no idea how our club will vote. Personally, I hope we can get back to playing again next week, though I wouldn't expect the teams in Tier 3 to play without fans. I hope the Isthmian League decides to go ahead, allowing Margate and Folkestone temporarily to postpone matches. Their Tier 3 restriction could, after all, be potentially less than 2 weeks but we'll have to wait and see.
  8. It's an interesting debate and one we've clearly not managed to solve satisfactorily as a club yet. The one thing that needs to be clearly understood is that there's a difference between a contract and a registration. A contract means obligations for both the club and the player (we have 2 players on contract, I believe?) - how large those obligations are will depend on the monetary value of the contract and how long is left on that contract. I think it has been suggested before that we put more players on smaller value contracts - but then it would be much easier for the contract to be broken on either side, with little monetary recompense. I suspect there may be minimum and living wage considerations here too, though I don't personally know how these apply to non full time employment. Whist a contract may mean the club receives monetary compensation if that contracted player moves to another club, it also means we are stuck with paying the value of that contract if we want a player to move on - remember the highly thought of centre back of a few years ago, who came in as club captain but for one reason or another it didn't work out? If you want them to leave you then either agree amicably between the two parties, pay up the remainder of the contract (can be very costly) or continue paying the player and not playing them (Ozil at Arsenal being a perfect example). A registration means a player can play for us - but any club can make a 7 day approach so it only really gives you 7 days comfort. Dual registrations are allowable which I've always felt is a nonsense but that's not to say I can't see the logic of the decision ETFC took recently. It hasn't worked due to a Welling player catching Covid - but both players will be eligible again before we next play, it could have been that this happened in the last 2 weeks before our next game or they got injured and then neither would even have been eilgible! I've no idea whether either player will come back - though they are both cup tied for us in the FA Trophy as I understand it so that may help. I know there is a deep mistrust of BQ after what happened last time but he was (still is?) good friends with our Chairman so maybe that's where the 'amicable arrangement' comes from. I also don't think we should forget that at least one of those 2 players has shown considerable loyalty to our club over the last few seasons when he could have moved elsewhere. Lovely family too who also contribute a lot to our club. So what's the answer? Who knows? Who'd be a football club chairman? Thankfully we have a good one whose commitment to our club is not in question. Though that doesn't make the decisions any easier!
  9. The FA also said 'We will continue our ongoing dialogue with Government to clarify the details and next steps, and provide further updates in due course'. No clarity yet on whether matches at our level will be allowed in Tier 3 areas - we'll find out on Thursday what tier we'll be in. Evening Standard is currently saying London is likely to be Tier 2, Daily Mail front page says London will be Tier 3. The Welling players will be out of isolation before we're due to restart on the 8th December (Welling's statement on that subject was 20th November) - whether Ryan & Lyle come back is, of course, another matter.
  10. I have had helpful email correspondence today with the club Chairman of Peterborough Sports, Grant Biddle, who advised me to check the Parking Charge now on the ParkingEye website as he believes they should now all have been cancelled. Having keyed in the reference, now shows as 'There is no amount outstanding for this Parking Charge'. I'm told that parking charges have to be issued within 14 days of the 'offence' - this company have been issuing them long after!
  11. If any of our fans have recently received a parking ticket for the game against Peterborough Sports back in September, Peterborough Sports are advising you not to pay it. Apparently there have been over 200 tickets issued, many illegally, and the club have been in dispute with Parking Eye. A tweet from the club 21 hours ago says:- ....it has been agreed that Parking Eye will cancel all tickets since start of season. Don't Pay and wait until I send an official notice to confirm. May be a day or two'.
  12. Josh Davison has joined Woking on loan until January.
  13. Same goal difference as Merstham - who are bottom! 'Its a funny old game, Saint'. Still 2 games to go before we get to Richard's 10 games point.
  14. Not sure what you mean by that comment old towner? The club announced on the website on 12/10/19 that Steve Wales had left and yesterday they announced that Jon Meakes has replaced him. Also, in answer to the earlier comment about bringing Mo Faal back from Bolton, Mo has been injured all season. I believe he has had a fractured foot so wouldn't have helped with our current striking difficulties.
  15. Agree with much of what was said about this one, definitely a match to forget! I was too far away to the initial penalty but it did look soft and the second goal came directly after a certain foul on Josh that wasn't given. At 2-0 down we played our best football of the match until half time but didn't really show up after the break. Could easily have conceded 3 or 4 more in the second half. Looking for better on Saturday against a Kingstonian side that lost their first 2 league games (they play tonight) and, like us, was knocked out of the FA Cup last week. With Shaun injured its essential that we get somebody closer to Billy up front, rather than playing wide - playing up front on his own we know is not his game. Also think its time to give our other new centre back a chance.
  16. This one certainly wasn't a thriller but was a hard fought win sending the Town fans home happy. Great cross from Sam Youngs, who had surprisingly started as a substitute, and Billy Bricknell did what he does best in sticking the ball in the back of the net with a great volley.
  17. 1) Our first team didn't have a game for 2 weeks before this last Saturday due to Covid-19 isolation after a positive test for a player. 2) Gareth Bale was photographed by the national press at the Spurs training ground - in Enfield! 3) Not sure about the circulation levels for the Enfield Independent these days - I live in Enfield and haven't had one delivered for years.
  18. Completely agree with 4wembleyfinals! Whilst I didn't really want to be in Peterborough for an extra half hour on a Tuesday night, going straight to penalties with no extra time didn't feel right. Penalties always feels unfair when you lose - and brilliant when you win! - but it almost made the journey feel worthless last night! That's how disappointed I was - I agree with others that, financially, last night's result was a disaster but, unfortunately, even with best intentions football has a habit of kicking you in the unmentionables! An objective view of last night, 18 hours after the event, is that we came up against a very good side and acquitted ourselves pretty well for the most part, especially when you consider that was our second game in a few days with little training in the previous 2 weeks due to the Covid isolation. I thought we were on top for the first half, definitely off the pace for the majority of the second half (too much giving the ball away in the midfield area) but did well to claw our way back into the game before the dreaded penalties. Only one miss (actually a save) from either team - and that from our regular penalty taker who rarely misses. Typical - but happens to the best of players, Billy! Man of the match for me was the Peterborough Sports No 10. The attendance was given as 235 - seemed like more, with a good attendance from our fans even if some understandably chose to stay at home. Actually I thought Peterborough Sports handled the game well and certainly better than some of us were expecting when we heard they would only take cash. A very friendly and efficient young lady dealt with the NHS Test & Trace details and signage was clear, with one way systems in operation in part. Seemed like a nice club and I wish them well in the next round. Their twitter feed (@PSLFC) has some very nice things to say about our club and our fans including '2 top sides and as good a game as seen for some time. But off the field a class act with travelling supporters a real credit to you with numerous comments from our staff about their friendliness. What Non-League is about'. Another said ' the London side (is) one of the best I have seen at the Bee Arena'. Well done everybody, even if the lottery of penalties went against us.
  19. It was great to be back yesterday, albeit in what felt like slightly surreal circumstances. The club have worked hard to do everything they can possibly do to provide us with football in a safe setting and should be congratulated. Thanks very much to all the volunteers. Yesterday saw a capacity set of 250 and everything went well so I would hope this can be safely increased - several clubs in our league had higher attendances yesterday, some more than twice as much. I'm sure we could do with the income. Most importantly we got the performance we wanted on the pitch too with a great 4-1 win. Scott Thomas was awarded the Man of the Match but there were several really good performances. For me, Shaun Okojie, Sam Youngs, Lyle Della-Verde, Ryan Blackman and Jeremiah Gyebi all excelled.
  20. Obviously hope that the player in question, and everybody else at the club, is ok - but soooo disappointed with the cancellations. Think I'm done with 2020 now!
  21. Thanks OT for pointing this out - was wondering when we'd get confirmation! Would have thought that for Wednesday we just read 'midweek' - but would be nice if the club could confirm that our preferred midweek home date of Tuesday remains unchanged. Interesting that the FA seem to have given a nod to fixture problems with the FA Cup - with some rounds being started in midweek now. However we seem to have gone the other way with FA Trophy games with all matches on Saturday and none of these being free from Isthmian League dates?! Cup runs are going to cause more fixture problems than normal this year but the income they generate is more needed than ever. Whilst I'm excited to get football back I must admit to finding it difficult to get excited about the league season at the moment, with the same teams as last year and no confirmation that the league won't just be scrapped again if we get what seems like an inevitable second wave of the dreaded C-word. That was my biggest problem with the way last season was handled - I guess we just hope for the best. Perhaps the new League sponsors - Kappa? - will generate some excitement.
  22. It was great to be back watching football again over at Aveley yesterday. A 3-1 win (Okojie & 2 trialists), sunshine (though a bit too windy!), familiar faces - whats not to like?! Social distancing was very easy so if anybody has any worries on that front I can reassure you. Grays were taking their responsibilities seriously (tickets booked in advance and details collected for track and trace) and I was very pleased to hear what we as a club have been doing on this front. The documentation posted on the website is a lot more than the tick-box exercise I've seen elsewhere - thank you to all those involved for all the hard work.
  23. Confirmation now from The Isthmian League: https://www.isthmian.co.uk/the-return-of-spectators-63172 However, if you look at the table they've produced, it's not the capacity of the ground that's used but the minimum capacity for the league. For us at Step 3 that's 1,950 so 15% is 300 (presumably they've rounded the figures!). For Grays, at step 4, it's 1,350 so 15% is 200. Grays have tweeted to say they will announce very shortly their plans to allow spectators to watch their home games from this Saturday.
  24. The FA have now released further guidance:- https://www.thefa.com/news/2020/aug/19/updated-guidelines-for-return-of-spectators-190820 Doesn't start until Saturday so no fans for the Hertford Town game on Friday - I guess we'll have to wait to hear from Grays about Saturday. Seems that from 22/8/20 we can play matches with a maximum of 15% of capacity. From 31/8/20 that increases to 30% of capacity provided at least one match has been played at the 15% level.
  25. No, I don't agree, Richard, I think that could see the end of numerous non-league clubs. I never agreed with making last season null and void - I always thought we should just carry on when safe to do so. Who's to say the world will return to normal for August next year - I'm certainly not confident of that and don't think our lives should just be put on hold in the meantime. We have to find a way to live with this - a vaccine may, or may not, come, there's no guarantees of that. Whilst not ideal, with open air stadia and attendances nowhere near capacity, non-league football must be able to find a way for fans at least to be socially distant. It might not be as fun as it was, but it's got to be better than the current situation in my opinion. I'm very much in favour of the social media campaign to #LetFansIn at non-league level. If you agree, sign the petition I found online below:- https://www.change.org/p/the-government-to-see-the-return-of-non-league-football-letfansin
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