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The Crowing Cockerel

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Everything posted by The Crowing Cockerel

  1. Just when I thought we'd seen the back of you, AW - here you are again arguing about .... errrr..... parking spaces!?
  2. Oh ye of little faith! Any minute now, Andy, we'll discover that Lovely Stuff is in fact Joe Thwaite - winner of the £184m Euromillions jackpot - who has decided to provide Andy with a £10m 'war chest' this summer!
  3. Interesting to note that Bishops Stortford have already signed-up most of their squad from last season, Lewes have secured the services of their front 3 once again (including the prolific Joe Taylor), and Hornchurch's Tom Wraight has committed for next season. We, meanwhile, will no doubt have to wait until the last of the friendlies to see who has signed-on for next term. Fingers crossed that Andy, Mario etc have been able to identify some fresh exciting talent for next season...?
  4. Just watched TheColdend's highlights of the SpartanSMFL Gladwish Cup final between Stotfold and Hadley FC. I was reminded of our FA Cup meeting with Hadley. I was very impressed with Solomon Ofori - he looked a constant threat with serious pace. Despite the fact he's the exact opposite of a 6'6" target man, perhaps someone our management might want to consider for next season?
  5. Agreed, LS. It seems as if we're heading in the right direction - getting a crowd of 2,000 into the ground shows that. Plus there definitely seems to have been a growth in sponsorship. If we can find a way of growing crowds to 'Dulwich levels' (- and I don't see why we can't in the long term), then surely we can be competitive at NLS level? Its hard to be patient as a football fan, but I guess we're in it for the long haul. I think we'd all rather that than going through a repeat of the demise of Enfield FC. You never know, perhaps a fan might win the Euromillions this week and decide to chuck a couple of million our way?
  6. AW, my friend, my concern was more for ETFC rather than Cheshunt. As you know, we don't have the money-man who could bankroll any extra expenditure. I think Cheshunt will survive in NLS, but having been the 5th best side in the ILP, I don't expect you to pull up any trees next season. It will clearly take some effort and expenditure - you can see that from the exploits of both Chelmsford and Billericay this season - with both struggling in a very tough league. I hope Craig can work some more of his magic and that we meet again in a year or two.
  7. In the Final? Well, the goal-line clearance on 87mins, or the disallowed Hornchurch goal in the 90th minute with the ref blowing for a foul by virtue of the Cheshunt player flinging himself into the air rather theatrically. I would put both of those incidents down to luck rather than skill.
  8. It was interesting listening to Andy's post play-off interview. Whilst I have criticised him in the past, I actually agreed with what he had to say. Like it or not, it seems there is a way to maximise your chances of promotion from this league and that is to play direct football taking into account the condition of the pitches towards the end of the season. He comfortably got us into the play-offs and from there it was a lottery - with a very direct Cheshunt team having that bit of luck. Worthing were able to play a passing game at home on their 3G, but had to change things when playing away. Unfortunately I think we're in for more of the same next season. Getting the ball down and trying to pass it around didn't work for very good footballing sides like Lewes and Folkestone. Its going to be very tough to get into the play-offs again next season, and expectations are now understandably high. It will be interesting to see who we retain and who we are able to recruit.
  9. Congrats to Cheshunt. Will be very interesting to see how they get on in the National League South. I'm sure our Chairman and Manager have some kind of idea about this, but I did start to wonder a few weeks back what the financial implications are of promotion to the National League. Promotion from the Championship to the Premier League is worth in excess of £100m, yet you don't even accrue any more prize money for winning League 2 and securing promotion from that division. So presumably the only increases in revenue with promotion from the Isthmian League to the National League South would be later entry into the cup competitions (so a better chance of more prize money), slightly more in the way of sponsorship opportunities and the odd increased crowd (e.g. Dulwich)? You'd have to weigh that up against the need to increase the playing budget for 'National League Players' and increased travel costs for trips to the likes of Chippenham, Bath, Dover(?) and Kings Lynn(?). Are crowds likely to dwindle after the initial promotion euphoria if you're looking at lower-mid-table mediocrity? I hope its possible to succeed in the National League without the need for a Money Man and hopefully Town can find out eventually.
  10. Local derby against Leamington! ? Whatever happens tomorrow - and wherever the two teams end up playing next season - there's no beating the drama, excitement and crowds in the play-offs. Non-league football really is in rude health and long may it continue. Good luck to both sides! Prediction: Hornchurch 2 - 1 Cheshunt (AET)
  11. Surely they wouldn't put either team in the National League North?? That'd mean trips to Chester, Darlington, Southport, Gloucester, Blyth... I know there was some talk on the Stortford forum about that, but I can't see it happening - particularly with the likes of Chelmsford, Hemel and Oxford City in the National South.
  12. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but Andy has a reputation for failing to make timely tactical changes. Why, oh why, didn't he make changes at 2-1 up with 15 minutes to go? Surely that would've been the time to go like for like and shore up the midfield with some fresh legs. The 3 up top hasn't really worked when we've tried it this season, and given the space in the centre of the park (Hornchurch 2nd goal) and down our right (3rd goal), in the end it didn't work again this time. Is this hoof-ball a means to an end and the only chance we have of getting promoted from this league in the future? Or do we need a complete change - and dare I say it: a management change?
  13. Bitterly disappointed as luck dictates that these opportunities only come round every few years. That being said, whilst Town could've snatched it, the team with the better players won. I would venture to say that Hornchurch's budget is significantly larger than Town's, and it shows when you can bring on the likes of Sam Higgins - and don't seem to miss the incredibly unfortunate loss of Tom Wraight. Hornchurch's 2nd and 3rd goals were really very good. I fancy that both Hornchurch and Cheshunt have enough in the way of finances (at present) to be mid-table National League South sides - Hornchurch's squad is certainly good enough on paper already. At this point in time I would worry about Town struggling on the pitch in Step 2. With attendances up this year and 2,000 people attending the Play-off Semi, things do seem to be on the up for Town. Some consolidation, astute signings and a Cup Run to swell the coffers, and we might just be ready for the National League. As I said at the beginning, there was a large slice of luck which saw us through to the play-offs, and it will be no mean feat to get there again next season. I fancy the likes of Bishops Stortford, Lewes, Folkestone, Horsham, Kingstonian, Cheshunt/Hornchurch will be very strong once again. Plus there will - and need to - be changes made to the Town squad. Will Mo stay? If not, where are his 30-40 goals coming from? Can we hold on to Jake Cass? Can we find a decent couple of centre-halves? (Gyebi and Bray worked hard, but the latter was at fault for the Hornchurch opener, and there were some dicey moments which demonstrated why we've conceded so many this season). Now we have a chance to reset, I would much rather Town didn't continue with the hoof-ball tactics next season (except when absolutely necessary). Time for a breather before we go again!!! Up the Town!
  14. Over 1,000 tickets sold already. The place is going to be bouncing!!
  15. THIS kind of occasion is precisely the reason we formed ETFC in June 2001. Our little club has come a long way since that dusty, roped-off pitch in Brimsdown. The thought of a play-off semi-final for a spot in The National League taking place IN ENFIELD with around 2,000 fans in attendance was completely and utterly beyond my wildest dreams 21 years ago, and yet here we are. Very proud of the people who had the courage and passion to put this club together. Delighted for the players and management who have had an incredible season - the best in the history of the club. No reason we can't go all the way! Come on Town!!!
  16. Afraid its rock hard and bobbly. There's no real way of getting enough water on it, I'm afraid. Both teams can play attractive football, but I've already resigned myself to an evening of hoof-ball.
  17. Now now, Albs, stop playing hard to get! The amount of time you spent flirting on our page. We know you love us really!
  18. Glad to hear you're rooting for us in the Semi! Interesting to read Stortford fans blaming today's loss on the pitch, Cheshunt's 'industrial' style of play and their missing players. Surely you've got to have the psychological edge now though?
  19. There's something to be said for having a tough run in getting into the play-offs. While Cheshunt have a very tough assignment against Bishops Stortford on Monday, Folkestone have Margate which is by no means a gimme. I can see a couple of score draws on Monday which might just open the door again for Lewes.
  20. Having watched the highlights of the Hornchurch V Brightlingsea game the Urchins pitch actually looks better than ours. So, by the time we reveal that we can actually defend after all - and deliver a brand of passing football which we've not displayed since October, the Urchins won't know what's hit 'em!
  21. From the Lewes Forum: "Anyone doubtful about the drama, the joy and the misery of football only had to watch the seven added minutes of this up-and-down match. The report in my head as the 90 minutes came up told the story of missed chances by the Rooks, of twice being pegged back by a workmanlike performance from the visitors, of our play-off chances evaporating as wins by Cheshunt and Folkestone sent us down to seventh with two games remaining. And then a miracle seemed to have happened. We were pressing strongly, with substitute Ollie Tanner heavily involved. He pulled off a magical piece of trickery in the box, only to see his shot come back into play off the inside of the post. But no matter: seconds later Deshane Dalling (who had scored the first goal and made the second with a great cross for Joe Taylor to head home) jinked into the box and was brought down for a penalty. Joe, as ever, rammed it home. Where was all the added time coming from? Deshane lashed in a shot which would have finished things off but was blocked on the line; we played keep-ball by the corner flag for a time; and Kingstonian at last cleared their lines. And then it happened: Michael Klaas jumped for a hopeful lofted cross into the box, couldn't get under it, and the ball skidded off his head past Lewis Carey's despairing dive. Football, eh? It had been a terrific match watched by more than a thousand in the spring sunshine, but for the Rooks April had turned out to be the cruellest month. Let's wait for Monday's results before we write our chances off completely, but whatever happens let's give this exciting team a rousing end of season farewell next Saturday. They've given us some great moments - and it may well be that the best is yet to come."
  22. Stortford are an absolute machine! Justice would tell you that they should be going up with Worthing. But play-offs are funny old things - I still say a little prayer for The Great Walid Matata every night before bed! If we could defend then we might've even secured automatic promotion. Whatever happens during the season finale we need to recruit a couple of defenders and try to get Jake Cass on board again next season - particularly if Mo is heading off.
  23. Don't think goal difference is going to determine anything. The spectre of Cheshunt going up via the play-offs is now looming large!
  24. Town didn't begin to string any passes together until Cray were 3-2 up and dropped off desperately trying to cling onto the 3 points. Up until that point the pitch had been a true leveller - bobbly, dry, dusty, hard. Not conducive to knocking the ball about or dribbling. The pitch really isn't doing us any favours. Not least because it doesn't suit Mo's game. He likes to pick the ball up, run at players, beat them with a bit of skill. But with the ball bobbling around he's giving it away more often than not. With Mo proving ineffective, Town can and do struggle. Throw in a Cray team battling for survival with a 17yo keeper playing a blinder on his debut and you have all the ingredients for a tricky day at the office. Defensively, Town have the worst 'goals against' record in the Top 5. The goals we conceded yesterday were poor. Whilst it makes for exciting games, I'd much rather be heading into the play-offs with a stingy defensive unit. Does MacDonald ever come and collect crosses/corners?? Jake Cass was awesome. Chased every lost cause, won most of his headers and thoroughly deserved his hat-trick. So what we need now is some luck - and quite a bit of it - if we're going to make it through the play-offs.
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