Jump to content
Fans Focus - Non League Football


Regular Users
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by agamemnon3

  1. The entrance with the gates in your photograph was on the far side from where I would approach the ground. People regularly refer to 'the iconic gates', but they were only really used by the players, the visiting team, the directors and the match officials. In common with most Middlesbrough supporters I suspect, I have never actually been through those gates. Walking away from the football ground, from the entrance I first used, (photograph 29), at the end of the road there is a small terrace of shops, and among them there used to be a cafe/coffee bar. My parents were getting a divorce, and my father had moved out and was living over on the other side of town, and so on match days I would meet him in the cafe and we would walk to the ground together. Often in the cafe there would be a young boy, clearing tables and such, and just helping out. The cafe was called 'Rea's Ice Cream Parlour', and the young boy clearing tables was Chris Rea.
  2. Some posts above there is reference to a petition to 'Save the National League Clubs with Support Grants'. I'd just like to say that I think the petition is complete and utter nonsense and that I hope that it sinks without trace. Apart from being ill-timed and ill-judged, it is simply factually wrong. The government has not 'changed the terms of its support', and no-one has 'moved the financial goalposts mid-season'. To those who were actually paying attention it was clear from the outset that the initial grant was a one-off payment. Rather, the truth of the situation is revealed in a one-liner in Alison McGovern's letter to Nigel Huddleston -- 'football has been beset by a number of poor governance and financial issues for many years, including prior to the pandemic'. Precisely, or as Winslow Boy succinctly puts it, 'for far too long they have been paying ludicrous wages'. When people with their hands out go on about 'government grants', or 'government money', what do they mean ? Because the fact is, the government doesn't have any money -- all it has is the revenue it can garner in from taxpayers, which is, in essence, everyone on this forum, and everyone like us. So when chancers are demanding 'government money', what they actually want is my money, and your money, and yes, even SavageBee's money -- I know how much he will enjoy me pointing that out. Take Barnet, for instance. I have no axe to grind with Barnet, but they are owned, and, some would say, mismanaged, by the millionaire Tony Kleanthos. So why on earth should my taxes, and your taxes, be given to him to help pay for what is, in effect, his hobby ? It's quite simple --- yes, the situation is easing, but still hundreds of people are dying every day, and thousands more are going to die before we get through this. And so, while we remain in this position, I want my taxes to go to the people who are making our lives bearable -- pharmacists, research scientists, ambulance drivers, hospital orderlies, even dustbinmen if you like -- people who are making a difference. I do not want my taxes doled out to profligate, poorly-run football clubs so that they can continue to pay fifth-rate footballers. So, there it is. Rant over -- and I promise not to mention it again.
  3. In posts above you refer to Avenue Park, (the Hidden Gem), and London Tigers, and say 'they can't play at Spratley's Meadow forever'. I was at Tigers' last game at Northwood, in April 2019, and spoke to some of their officials afterwards. Although a little down in the mouth, as their defeat meant that they'd just finished bottom and therefore been relegated, the general feeling was one of optimism. They were pleased to be leaving Northwood, and were really upbeat about 'going home', and moving into the Spikes Bridge Complex at Southall, where they were expecting to be playing all their games from then on. I note that the Complex is mentioned on the list of 3g pitches you recently posted. They were all quite confident that it was going to happen, so why it didn't, I don't know.
  4. Some fine views of Ayresome Park there, thank you for posting. I assume that most of the photographs are from the final league game, in 1995, against Luton Town. The one that probably means most to me is photograph 29, as that is the entrance I used on my first ever visit, and also the one I walked past almost every day. My last visit was in January 1983 for the third-round FA Cup game against Bishop's Stortford, a game that Stortford were unlucky not to win. A long time ago now. And, because I know that you're just dying to know, no, I've never been to the Riverside. I don't see that it has any relevance to me, or my life, no moreso than perhaps the Etihad, or the King Power Stadium. In another lifetime perhaps...
  5. No, I wasn't there. I lost interest in football for some years and in 2013 only went to a handful of Middlesbrough away games -- Reading, Bournemouth, Watford, QPR, Brighton, Yeovil. My first visit to Chalk Lane was in 2014 for an FA Vase tie against Hoddesdon Town. A lot of familiar faces in the crowd -- some, sadly, no longer with us. Ah well...
  6. Sorry to hear this KB. Hope things are much improved for you now.
  7. No, is the simple answer to your question. In my early years in London I was heavily involved with independent cinemas, and so spent most of my time sitting in the dark watching films, rather than standing in the rain watching football. I didn't get along to Church Road until April 1980, when I watched Hayes win an Isthmian League game against Dulwich Hamlet 2-1. I liked Church Road a lot, and was very sorry to see it disappear. Having said that, I quite liked the original Warren, at Yeading, as well, and was never really sure why the two Clubs wanted to merge in the first place. Was it a genuine 'merger', or was something much murkier going on ? I recall being at Hampton one night, and one of the Club officials there suggesting that 'two or three dubious gentlemen' had made 'a great deal of money' out of the supposed 'merger'. But it was a long time ago, so what do I know ? I still haven't been to the new Hayes & Yeading ground. One for the future perhaps, if indeed, football has a future. Incidentally, I didn't come to London to seek my fortune, but came to visit a friend. I had intended to stay for just a weekend, but somehow never managed to find my way home.
  8. Me too, WB. Take care everyone, and stay safe.
  9. There are suggestions, (albeit rather confused ones), on another forum that Mildenhall Town have withdrawn from the FA Vase.
  10. TA/SB - You're right --- it's not great, but it's better than nothing. Most of the SSML Clubs are in Tier 2, and so for them it may that over the next few weeks, takings are largely going to depend on the weather. On November 4th, the last evening before lockdown, I was at Coggeshall United, of the Eastern Counties League. Their clubhouse was closed, but they were selling drinks at the door, and round the corner they had a hatch selling tea & coffee, bovril, burgers and chips etc. With an attendance of around 100/120, it seemed to work reasonably well, though Club officials were clearly getting a bit edgy at half-time, when a large part of the crowd were gathered around the clubhouse. But then of course, November 4th was quite a mild evening. When the temperature falls, it may well be that many potential customers will decide that two hours plus in the extreme cold without the half-time respite of the clubhouse no longer has the appeal that it once had. I note that the long-range forecasters are suggesting that this is likely to be the coldest winter for some years, which is unfortunate, and definitely not what we needed to hear. Let's hope that they're wrong. At the moment, my plan for December 5th is to be at Hoddesdon Town. If I should freeze to death while I'm there, I'll be sure to let you all know...
  11. A full set of SSML fixtures for December 5th has reappeared on the FA FullTime website. On another forum, however, KB is suggesting that these are dependent on divisional meetings yet to take place, so we are none the wiser.
  12. Thank you WB. Margaret isn't remotely interested in football, and so was amazed to find that so many people would be interested in reading something about Graham. She was also only expecting about thirty at the funeral, rather than the one hundred and twenty who turned up. She's a nice woman, and I'd like to think that it made a difficult day for her just that little bit easier.
  13. You probably didn't notice, but the brief obituary which you purloined from another forum and reproduced in your original post, was written by one agamemnon3. On the other forum's old operating system, it was possible to ascertain how many viewings each individual post had received. At Graham's funeral a few weeks later, therefore, I was able to show Margaret, his widow, that more than nine hundred people had read what I had written about him. She was very touched. A good and decent man, sorely missed.
  14. R -- I believe that both the Essex and the Herts have already announced that they will not be running their County Cup Competitions this season. Any news on the Middlesex Charity Cup yet ? And in answer to your query of June 30th, (which I've just spotted), regarding the 1962 FA Amateur Cup Final Replay at Ayresome Park, it was to do with Middlesbrough's unique position at the time. Prior to Wimbledon joining the Football League in 1977, Middlesbrough were the only FL Club to have won the FA Amateur Cup, which they did in 1895 and 1898, and so big Amateur Cup games involving Northern sides were often held at Ayresome Park in recognition of their unique status. The FA Amateur Cup Finals of 1912 plus replay, 1921, 1922, 1928, 1935, 1954 2nd replay, 1956 replay, and 1962 replay were all held at Middlesbrough, along with numerous Amateur Cup Semifinals. I was at the Crook v Hounslow game in April 1962, and also at the Amateur Cup Semifinal between North Shields and Skelmersdale United in March 1969, the last time such a game was held at Ayresome Park. When I came to London, in 1972, having seen them at Ayresome, Hounslow Town was one of the first non-league Clubs I wanted to visit. A lovely old ground. It certainly seems like a long time ago, a completely different world.
  15. 'A Max Kyte hat-trick that's six goals in five games for him now.' Yes, he's prolific, but hell, he's wasteful. On Saturday he missed at least four that were easier than the three he scored. He also has a 'Hollywood' tendency, often taking the spectacular option, rather than just making sure. I note that Lions' next league game is at St Panteleimon on the thirteenth. I suspect that chances will be scarce that night, and so Kyte & Co will need to take them.
  16. My planned journey into deepest Essex having fallen victim to the heavy rain, it was once again on the train to Elstree & Borehamwood, and then the rather soggy walk to Rowley Lane to see London Lions. The visitors were Stotfold, who on Wednesday had beaten St Panteleimon, so potentially an even contest was on the cards. Not so, as Stotfold were always second best on an eventful afternoon. Lions, easily in command and with most of the play, had already wasted a couple of clear chances when on 29 minutes Stotfold no5 Cawley brought down Lions' Max Kyte from behind, and as last man, received a straight red card. Despite this, somewhat surprisingly, Stotfold hung on until half-time. After the interval it was pretty much as you were, with Stotfold packing their defence, and Lions wasting their chances. On 59 minutes, however, Lions' striker Adam Bolle was through, and couldn't possibly miss. Except that he did, and went down very heavily in the process, and didn't get up again. It was immediately clear that this was serious, and we had a long delay while both Clubs' physios did their best and we all awaited an ambulance. It finally arrived, and Adam was removed from the field, to prolonged applause from spectators, and both sets of players. He was cheerful, and gave everyone a thumbs-up as he was taken away -- a badly broken ankle seemed to be view of those who know about these things. Play resumed, after a delay of 43 minutes, with Lions looking rather subdued, and not really up for it, and so it was no great surprise when ten-man Stotfold took the lead, forward Kim Forsythe bursting through a sloppy defence and hammering home. This finally woke Lions up, and within a minute Max Kyte had equalised, and he then went on to add two more on 82 and 89 to secure the points. Stotfold didn't help really themselves by having a defender sinbinned on 82, thus having to finish the game with only nine men. So, three point for Lions, who are clearly a top-four side, but really must convert more of the chances they are creating, while Stotfold should be fine, certainly a top-half side. Afterwards it was back into Borehamwood, and a look into the enormous Tesco Extra, to see if they had anything interesting in the 'Spirits' section to add to my collection. This huge, hangar-like buiding stands on the site of the old MGM Studios, and it is rather odd, wandering down the 'Dairy Products' aisle in search of some cottage cheese, to imagine the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and co treading the same path. Not that she was after cottage cheese, obviously. In the 'Spirits' aisle I found a bottle of Ardbeg, a 46% 10-year-old Islay Single Malt, on offer at £37, rather than £48, and a bottle of Black Grouse, one of the better blends, and now rebranded as Famous Grouse Smoky Black, on offer at £14, rather than £20, and so I snaffled them up. I feel sure that Elizabeth Taylor would approve. From there I resisted the temptation to dive into the Hart & Spool, as the all-day drinkers were out in force, and were much noisier than usual. So instead, it was back on the train, and indoors by 7.30. 7.30. On a Saturday night. What Elizabeth Taylor would make of that I shudder to think.
  17. G -- two seasons ago, I sponsored a young player at a Step 4 Club. In between my handing over the cheque, and the cheque being cashed, the player had fallen out with his manager and left the Club. So, if you don't mind, and with no disrespect implied, I will wait until I see Bradley in the green again before parting with any money. Tuesday, perhaps. S -- thank you. Freedom is quite a relief, but it does come tinged with a little sadness. I hadn't really intended to resign, but midway through Wednesday's meeting I realised that enough was enough. The Club in question have recently appointed a new Chairman. He is a complete oaf. A noisy, self-important blusterer who shouts and whines and starts insulting people whenever he doesn't get his own way. He has no manners, no self-awareness, and no sense whatsoever of how to conduct himself. This is not to say that he hasn't done some good things at the Club. He has, and takes every available opportunity to ensure that everyone knows about it. Call me a snob, if you wish, but while in my working life I had sometimes to put up with people like this, in retirement I can see no reason why I should have to tolerate them at all. As you say, I will miss the other members of the committee, who are good and decent men, and I regret that. But it's done now, and it's right that I should move on. And, because I know that you're all wondering, (!), tomorrow the plan is to attend an Essex Senior League game between two ex-SSML sides. Although the way the rain is coming down at the moment, I might be lucky to get a game in at all...
  18. G -- whatever your title, you need to speak to Antony and Carlos, because you don't even get a mention in the Irchester programme, despite being in the photograph on the cover. Neutral ? Yes. I suppose I am, now. Up until 9.15pm last night I was a committee member at another Step 5 Club, but today is my first full day of freedom. Where was Bradley Robinson on Tuesday ? I had intended to sponsor him, only to find that he wasn't even there. He was sorely missed. I'll bring my abacus along next week -- you can borrow it to record all the goals going in... R -- no, that isn't me in the photograph, I'm a much more imposing individual (!). I'm on the other side, sitting in the stand, in splendid isolation.
  19. Isn't football wonderful ? After a 6-0 home defeat, the press officer comes on to argue about the attendance. Ok, I didn't count the SSML blazers, or the five-strong Herts Press team, but 60 ? Really ? You must have counted all of the Harpenden subs and all of their hangers-on... Anyway, as I said originally, NO GREAT MATTER... To single out a 46-year-old for the defeat, however, is a cheap shot. Had it not been for McLeish and McCluskey getting their bodies in the way, Harpenden would have scored fifteen. Were you actually watching the game ? I'll see you at Harefield on Tuesday. We can count the crowd together. If we have time, that is, what with all those goals flying in...
  20. Twenty minutes on the bus, and a ten-minute walk, and I'm at Silver Jubilee Park, largely to see how midfielder Sam Ruff is fitting in at Harpenden Town, after spending the last three seasons at Cockfosters. Sam was arguably the most surprising of this summer's departures from Chalk Lane, as he was one of the most popular of players there, and as recently as December had been co-opted on to the Club's management team. I don't know what turned sour for Sam, one of the most likeable of men, but given the number of intrigues that are swirling around Chalk Lane at any given time, almost anything is possible. Anyway, I digress: Sam is fitting in just fine, although perhaps last night may not be the best example of this, as he and his team-mates will not pick up an easier three points all season. The bare facts are that goals for Harpenden came from Harvey Scott on 17 and 34, Nathan McGreevy on 24, and Mulik Rickman on 38, 54 and 80, but in all honesty, there could have been many more. And, it has to be said, Harpenden didn't even play that well -- they were sound at the back, passed the ball around neatly, and were first to every loose ball, which is, in effect, just doing the basics, but that was more than enough for Edgware. I had a brief word with Fergus Moore afterwards, and, in all the time I have known him, I have never seen him so despondent. I would also query (not maliciously) the rather fanciful attendance of 65 as recorded on FullTime -- I could only count thirty-seven. Perhaps they include some free season ticket holders whether they turn up or not ? No great matter. Edgware don't have a game this weekend, but are on duty next Tuesday at Harefield, which is almost certainly likely to be be another difficult evening. Midweeks at SJP are usually followed by calling in to the Moon Under Water, in Colindale, a bar which would normally be open until midnight. This is no longer possible, sadly , and so it was back on the bus and safely indoors by 10.15. Ho-hum...
  21. Yes, you are right of course, Hudson, rather than Hunter -- I'm not sure where I got that from. Perhaps I misheard his dad. Other Bedford goals on 41 and 88 from Tyrelle McLeod-Bentley, on 35 from Michael Pickard, and on 73 from Shaheim Ward.
  22. Prompted, largely, by the previews of the venerable Rhodes, it was on the bus to Summers Lane, the home of Wingate & Finchley FC, to see if their tenants, Enfield Borough, could punch a hole in Bedford FC's successful start to the season. Er.... no, they couldn't. Despite the friendly chap on the gate with the malfunctioning temperature gun assuring me that this was a banker home win, it was never going to happen. A fairly even first thirty minutes was blown apart when well-worked moves saw Bedford score on 35 and 41 to take a 2-0 interval lead. Richard Ennin pulled one back for Enfield on 59, but on 68 we were treated to the highlight of the day when the Bedford keeper, Hunter, took a freekick from well inside his own half which, caught by the wind, went straight through the hands of the home keeper, 1-3. Elliot Harris then scored a fine individual goal to make it 2-3, but Enfield were tiring, and Bedford's lively forwards took advantage and scored again on 73 and 88. The unexpectedly cold afternoon was spent in the fine company of FinchleyFlyer65, from another forum, and I also had a word with a jovial old boy who turned out to be the Bedford keeper's dad. He, quite understandably, was beaming, as he had never seen his boy score before. As Confucius said, If you wait long enough, everything will happen. Enfield will be ok, they're lively, they have pace, and they can score goals, but their defensive fraileties will probably keep them in mid-table. Bedford, on the other hand, may well be looking at their best season for some years. From Summers Lane it was a brief walk to the North Finchley Waitrose, where the stunning Orcadian Single Malt Scapa Glansa was on offer, at £31, rather than £43, and as if that wasn't enough, they were doing Jim Beam 47.5% Single Barrel at £27, rather than £ 37.50. Well, it would have been rude not to really, wouldn't it ? From there, clutching my treasures, it was across the road to the Finchley Tavern for a couple of ice-cold Carlings, and twenty minutes listening to Old Sammy explaining in great detail why none of his horses had won, yet again... Back on the bus, and indoors by 7.45. Bliss...
  23. The last time I was at Rayners Lane, September 2019, at a midweek game, the programmes didn't turn up until ten to ten. Punters at the turnstiles at 7.45 were told 'The chap who does them hasn't delivered them yet'. Yes he had. He had delivered them much earlier and left them in a cupboard in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, he didn't tell anyone, and so it was only after the game that someone opened the cupboard and found them. The delights of Step 6.
  24. Wednesday, September 23rd To Rowley Lane, a brisk twenty-five minute walk from Elstree & Borehamwood station, to see London Lions host Shefford Town & Campton, a team I hadn't seen before. Lions are a strong side, and had a good pre-season, beating the likes of Hadley and Cockfosters, and were judged unlucky to lose their FA Cup tie at Step 5 Walthamstow, having twice taken the lead during the game. STC, on the other hand, began their campaign with a 5-1 defeat at St Panteleimon, and so I was expecting to see a fairly straightforward home win. On this most dismal of evenings, in appalling conditions, I was both surprised and entertained. Rain began falling a few minutes before kick-off, quickly became very heavy, and didn't let-up for over an hour, and yet despite this, I saw some good football from both sides. Both keepers had work to do, and both sides could have scored a couple before Lions captain Landesberg bundled the ball home from a corner after 70 minutes. I thought that this would decide it, but STC came back strongly and were awarded a penalty on 76 minutes, scored by McNamara, and a lively last fifteen minutes passed with both sides having chances to win it. Lions will probably be disappointed at the result, but from this neutral's point of view, Shefford more than deserved a point. Do Lions have enough to challenge St Panteleimon and New Salamis at the top ? Probably not quite, but they aren't far away and are certainly one of the sides to watch, while STC, who probably wouldn't have chosen St P and Lions as their first two fixtures, can be pleased with their performance and should be looking forward to a good season. Despite the rain, and it being unexpectedly cold, I had a fine evening, and still had time for a couple of late stiffeners in the Hart & Spool, in Borehamwood, on the final night of eleven pm closing. Happy days.
  25. Referring to the report above on the London Tigers game, perhaps a little background information for the uninitiated. As reported, it was Tigers' first game of the season, and it was also the new manager's first senior role, having spent the last two seasons as manager of Cockfosters reserves in the Step 7 Herts Senior. Eight of yesterday's squad were playing for him last season, so, given that at the time of closedown in March Cockfosters were in the bottom four of the Herts, taking on a Step 5 side like Chenecks was always going to be difficult. I think it says a lot for the manager that so many young players, largely from areas like Edmonton, Enfield and Tottenham, are willing to join a side based in Southall and playing in Amersham to stay on board with him. And as for the 'profanity laden criticism' mentioned above, well, he used to be a goalkeeper at Welwyn Garden City FC, so perhaps that is where he picked it up...
  • Create New...