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Posts posted by agamemnon3

  1. Hadley v Broadfields United 7-1

    Following Saturday's miserable effort at distant Fakenham, it was back to the usual routine for Hadley, although in this case BU made it absurdly easy for them with some suicidal defending.  Indeed, to call it 'schoolboy defending' would be disrespectful to schoolboys everywhere.

    Goals on 6, 11, 13 and 20 meant that once again the contest was over well before half-time, with all four goals down to ridiculous defensive errors.  The BU coaching staff were so displeased that they wouldn't allow the team the comforts of the dressing room at the interval, but instead made them all sit down at one of the corner flags and listen to a lecture on their inadequacies.

    This may have had some effect, as BU perked up a little, and pulled a goal back on 48 minutes.  The enthusiasm didn't last however, and further goals for Hadley followed on 54, 66 and 75.  On to round three...

    Broadfields are a decent side, and are capable of much better than this, although, as someone nearby was heard to remark, 'If you don't start bloody playing until you're bloody 4-0 down then it's going to be a bloody long season'.

    And who could possibly argue with that ?


    Regular readers will know that I am not normally one to deal in idle gossip, but this evening I heard something that may be of interest.

    At Silver Jubilee Park, (Hendon U18s 1 Woodford Town U18s 7), I learned that quite recently, following some ill-judged and offensive remarks about his fellow committee members, the esteemed GRS67, formerly of this parish, was informed that he is no longer welcome at Edgware Town FC.  It is believed that he is now gracing Rayners Lane FC with his presence.

    Ah well, life goes on... 

  2. Fakenham Town v Hadley 3-1

    A long trek to North Norfolk, to see a truly awful game, one of the poorest I've seen for some time.  At times it seemed that the only real contest was about who could kick the ball highest into the air.

    The one moment of real quality came in the 14th minute, when FT's Josh Hazell hammered home an unstoppable free-kick from around twenty-two yards, and for that alone, FT deserved to go through.

    The other three goals, Hadley on 5, FT on 9 and 76,were simply the result of rank bad defending.

    Nice to have a trip out of London, but this was a desperately poor advertisement for Step 5 football.

  3. Oxhey Jets v New Salamis 2-4

    I was also at this one, and was surprised at the outcome, as this was a game that Jets could, and should, have won.  They were the better team in the first half, and when they went in 2-1 up at the interval, I fully expected them to go on and win.

    As VB points out above however, the wheels came off, and what disappointed me most was that as soon as the equaliser came, almost the whole of the Jets' side seemed to give up, as if defeat was inevitable.  From then on, clumsy tackles and schoolboy defending handed the game to Salamina.

    Sean Giordmana's father was there, at his first game this season, and just before kick-off he shouted to his son that there was £20 in it for him if he scored a hat-trick.  When Sean scored on 25, and again on 32, I thought that surely the money was his, but even he was afflicted by the collective malaise that overcame the Jets, and in the second half he barely got a touch.

    I also thought that there was some tactical naivety.  I would question the wisdom of always leaving three men up in the centre circle when defending corners.  This may be ok when you're in front and want to keep the opposition guessing, but when you are on the back foot, and being outplayed, and have already conceded from a corner, I would suggest that your defence needs all the help it can get.

    Ah well, a winnable game today against Baldock, surely ?   

    (I was sitting next to the New Salamis committee members, who seem to be an eccentric bunch.  They think that Ardley United play in Watford, and that Leighton Town play in East London...}    

  4. Park View were on their best behaviour for most of the time while in the SSML.  However, prior to that, they had been expelled from the Middlesex League for 'assaults on match officials'.  Which is why they spent three seasons in the Amateur Football Alliance before applying to the SSML. 

  5. Harpenden Town v Hadley  0-3

    A routine win for Hadley in a game that Harpenden appeared to regard as an unnecessary chore, resting five, six or nine first-teamers, depending on who you believe.

    Goals from Jordan Edwards on 11 and 39, and Bradley Marriot on 21 meant that the tie was settled before the interval.

    Man of the match was undoubtedly Harpenden keeper Emmanuel Olajide, as without him Hadley would have scored twelve.

    On to round two, and, ideally, a real contest...

  6. London Colney v Hadley 0-3

    Three buses get me to Cotlandswick, on what is undoubtedly the coldest night of the season so far, to see a fairly routine Hadley victory on a very heavy pitch.  Hadley rested three key players, but still had far too much for a spirited, but limited Colney, and goals from Jordan Edwards on 11, Alfie Bartram on 33, and Luke Jupp on 43 meant that the tie was all but settled before half-time.

    The second half, with Hadley always in control, lacked urgency, and as the temperature dropped, the game simply petered out.

    Probably worth mentioning that Leverstock Green luminaries, Messrs Moore and McGleish, were in attendance.

    The two sides meet again at Cotlandswick on Saturday, in a league fixture.  The score may be different, but I don't think the result will. 

  7. Broadfields United v Hadley 1-2

    An improved performance from Hadley, although they still made hard work of it against an injury-hit Broadfields United.  Hadley started well, adjusting quickly to the 3g surface at Rayners Lane, and really ought to have been three up in the first twenty minutes or so.  They then, however, dozed off at a corner and allowed Broadfields' Callum Rogers a free header on goal which he duly put away.  More Hadley pressure followed, but still 1-0 at the interval, with even the friendly BU officials admitting that Hadley should be 5-1 up.

    More of the same in the second half, and it really began to look as though BU were going to hold on.  However, a speculative cross-cum-shot from Jordan Edwards on 75, and a superb lob from Solomon Ofori on 81, meant that the points were Hadley's.  BU can probably consider themselves unlucky not to hang on to at least a point, but undoubtedly the better side won.

    A much better spirit shown by the Hadley squad as well, even when they were behind for so long -- perhaps they have been reading this forum (!)....

    Let's see if they can take this spirit into the County Cup game at London Colney on Tuesday. 

  8. Hadley v Oxhey Jets 1-2

    Also at this one, and thought that Oxhey more than deserved the win.

    After a fairly even goalless first half, Hadley went in front seconds after the restart with a speculative header which could have gone anywhere but looped over the keeper and into the net.  Oxhey equalised on 63 minutes with a goal directly from a corner kick, which some Hadley players argued had gone through the side netting, but looked fine to me, (and, more importantly, to the referee).  The game was won on 83 minutes with a superb breakaway goal, with Hadley players again complaining that the goal shouldn't stand, due to an alleged foul in the build-up.  The manner of their complaining earned one of them a red card.

    A fine, battling performance from Oxhey, who can be proud of how they have turned things around following their troubles at the start of the season.

    I don't know what is going wrong at Hadley.  Whatever sense of spirit that has made them such a good side to watch over the past few years is sadly lacking, and I can't ever recall them being such a whiny, argumentative bunch as they are right now.  Very disappointing...  


  9. 'the average age of a supporter at this level'...

    At the Step 5 club I was involved with for a few years, all of the committee were in their seventies, and the average age of the sixty to seventy paying supporters would have been around fifty-five.

    Since the return of 'normality', I have been mainly watching Herts County League stuff, with a few Step 5 and Step 6 games thrown in.  At the dozen or so different clubs I have visited this season, I would suggest that at all of them the average paying supporter would be in his late fifties, early sixties.  The single exception would have been a trip to Boreham Wood to see Arsenal U23s, where the crowd, two hundred or so, are mostly under-35s. 

  10. Yes, mostly Herts County League stuff.  Yesterday I saw Belstone beat Hoddesdon Town Reserves 2-1 -- an excellent game, superbly refereed, and played in good spirits throughout.

    I've also been watching quite a lot of Under-18 stuff.  I was unfortunate enough to be at Silver Jubilee Park last Wednesday to see Hendon U18s beat Hammersmith College 36-0.  I know that there are goal-whores out there who love this sort of thing, but for me it was a complete waste of ninety minutes.  Give me a well-fought 0-0 any time.       

  11. This is a strange one Rhodes.  It's clearly the visitors' end, but I don't ever remember sections being boarded off like that.  Why would they do that ?

    Perhaps this is almost the end, when the place is closing anyway.  And look at the visitors -- a feckless bunch, at best... 

    Could this be Luton Town, on the last day, perhaps ? 

    From time's distance, I envy them -- at least they were there...

  12. 'sadly four of those players in the photograph are no longer with us...'

    Well, we have to be realistic Rhodes.  Obviously Willie Maddren and Johnny Vincent died tragically early, but the rest of the guys are all in their mid-to-late seventies now, so we must expect them to be leaving us at some point.  As I have pointed out elsewhere, given his erratic lifestyle, Wille W did remarkably well to make 81.

    Quite a few of the guys in the photograph are active members of the Middlesbrough FC Former Players' Association, run by the 83-year-old Alan Peacock, and, at 69, the relative youngster, Jim Platt.  In normal times, the Association regularly holds dinners and fundraisers in aid of local charities and tries to help out any former MFC players known to have fallen on hard times.  Toward the end of his life, I believe the Association helped to pay for Wille W 's move back to his hometown of Airdrie.      

  13. 'will be confident of qualifying for the Semi Finals...'

    What makes you think this, Rhodes ?  I don't know about Aylesbury, but I have seen all of the other five in this group this season and have no doubt that Dunstable are the poorest of the five.  Biggleswade, Newport Pagnell and Baldock are all comfortably better than Dunstable, and even though Shefford are Step 6, I expect them to be more than a handful for them.  In my humble opinion, Dunstable will do well to finish any higher than fifth, and could easily finish bottom.

    Should there be any further easing of lockdown over the next few weeks, (and as long as the weather holds up), I may well try to get to Dunstable on the 17th, or possibly Newport Pagnell on the 24th.  


  14. Because, as I posted earlier, these projections are more then eighteen months out of date.

    It is also worth bearing in mind that none of these projections has any 'official' backing, or even any acknowledgement --- they are largely 'guesstimates' cobbled together by fans and enthusiasts.  One of the most widely-quoted projections, for example, was put together by an ex-RAF man who is a season-ticket holder at Derby County.  The projection reproduced here by Rhodes is, I believe, the one put together by a supporter of NWCL Club Warrington Town.  He was posting on another forum quite recently and pointing out that this was just an exercise for his own amusement and apologised to anyone who thought that his work had any official support.

    As an aside GRS, any of your committee planning to use public transport for Saturday's game should be aware that Cockfosters station will be closed.  There are no Piccadilly Line trains operating north of Wood Green until Tuesday.    

  15. An alternative plan being proposed at the same time as the 'Combined Counties North/South' option was, according to a respected source, the 'London Orbital' option.

    This would concern the five Step 5 leagues which cover Greater London, currently the SSML, the Essex Senior, the South-East Counties, the Southern Combination, and the Combined Counties.  The plan would then involve taking from each of the five leagues the four Clubs closest to Central London, and creating a new league for the twenty Clubs.  At the time this was mooted, the four SSML Clubs would probably have been Cockfosters, Edgware Town, Hadley and Wembley, and the Essex Senior Clubs would probably have been Clapton, Redbridge, Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets.

    As I remember someone pointing out at the time, a possible downside to this plan would be that on an average Tuesday evening, it would probably take the London Essex Clubs longer to get across to Edgware and Wembley than it would take them to go the other way and get to Southend Manor.

    The late Mike Appleby had some regard for the plan, but felt that it didn't have much chance of getting through.  He once suggested to me that there are elements within the FA who automatically talk down and then vote against anything that could be seen to benefit London, no matter how well thought out the proposal.  Why --- well, who knows ?

    As I said earlier, this was almost two years ago now, so it's anyone's guess as to which particular option is currently the front runner.          

  16. This is probably the pre-season photograph for the 1971/72 season.

    Back row:  Gates, Smith, Moody, Boam, Whigham, Hickton, Maddren, Vincent.  Front row:  McMordie, Stiles, Downing, Mills, Spraggon, Laidlaw.

    Goalkeeper Willie Whigham sadly died, last Thursday, in Scotland, at the age of 81.

    Apart from being probably the best keeper I've ever seen, Willie was a real character.  It was no secret around town that Willie liked a drink, and he was often found in the early hours asleep in a shop doorway or a bus shelter.  No-one phoned the papers, or the television, or took photographs, but instead quietly notified the police, who would come and collect him and drive him home to his digs.

    A throwback to the days when footballers were genuinely loved by the communities in which they did their work.  And Willie certainly was. 

  17. 'Is this it ?'

    Yes it is, Pete, but at the same time, no it isn't.

    There were three Rea's Ice Cream Parlours in Middlesbrough, one out toward the south of the town, where the football ground was, and two in the town centre, and a lot of the posters on that facebook page are getting them mixed up.

    The one where I would see Chris helping out, (because he lived upstairs), was the southern one, referred to by some of the posters as 'Albert Park'.

    The one in the photograph, to the right of the red and white bus, was one of the two town centre ones.

    So, yes and no.

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