Saturday, 24 October 2015

Birds Nests and Baggy Nets at - Bishop's Stortford FC

Saturday October 3rd 2015
Conference South
Bishop's Stortford vs Maidenhead

Stereotypes in football always fascinate me.

For example: If I said "Blatter" to you. You would probably think of Greed, Corruption and an old miserable fat bloke who reminds you a little bit of one of your inlaws...

Also if I said "Liverpool" you would think of scousers who always brag about the champions league, never seem to be walking alone and spending too much time on the History channel...

But what if I said "Millwall" to you. Your mind would probably think of people who want to always seem to want to smash everyone's face in and always seem to be bragging that they don't care that no one likes them.

But the Millwall fans I've met so far have been really friendly! You may or may not remember Steve and his two sons Luke and Teddy who I just happened to stumble across at Corley services on the way to Chester.

They asked me where I was going today and we both replied Bishops Stortford vs Maidenhead, not only that but I also learned that dan was coming along as well.

I've been to Stortford a number of times. The last time I went was an FA Trophy match against Chelmsford last season, in which Stortford went 4-0 up but ended in 4-3, that day I almost the comeback of the century. But narrowly missed out.

Bishops Stortford play in the conference south and have been there for quite a while now, their only recent claim to fame however was getting to the first round of the Fa Cup in 2013 and playing at home to Northampton which was broadcasted live on ITV. I wasn't at that game however I do have the Stortford scarf from that day in my collection since it was on sale last time I went for only £2.

Stortford is a pretty special town to me, most of my friends live/are from here since I attended one of the high schools in the town until recently. It is a really nice and relatively large town, the park has some great memories from previous years and the town features some pretty decent shops and a really nice Weatherspoons.

The only problem is the football ground is no where near the town centre or train station at all. Half and Hour walk up should make you collapse at the turnstiles. Trust me on that!!

I arrived at the ground an hour before kick off and payed £6 to go through the turnstiles in which I immiedietly met up with Dan and gave him a late birthday present, a book about non league called "Love not Money" which I don't read anymore.

Dan went and bought himself a pin badge and programme from the club shop and as we were coming back we spotted a couple Maidenhead fans and a very familiar face indeed.

Braintree's last manager before The Cowley brothers and fa cup winner Alan Devonshire.

We each said our hellos to each other and I got myself a picture. Not only that but a few ex braintree players who followed Devo to Maidenhead including Karl Penty in goal.

After that we both met Steve and his son Teddy in the bar. His other son Luke wasn't with them today, instead he headed to Peterborough away with Millwall.

The four of us headed round behind the goal in which Stortford were going to be shooting in and the game begun.

Fairly Baggy nets from Stortford

If Carlsburg did selfies.... Teddy opening his mouth for some reason, Steve wondering what's going on and Dan on my right smiling for once.
Much was to talk about today including laughing at a Facebook page both Steve and teddy are in called "Non League Bins" where members post bin pictures from different grounds with excellent puns accompanying them.

However the topic which almost started World War three between the three of us was:

"Do you prefer baggy or tight nets"

This lasted the whole of the first half with me and Steve being pro-baggy whilst Dan and Teddy being pro-tight.
Devonshire's Stoke city tactics hadn't changed however, it was still a case of pass to right or left back, then hope for the best by launching the ball down field.

A corner eventually came Maidenheads way and with a great cross in an header came the strikers way and he headed home.

Stortford meanwhile were playing like Arsenal. Doing some great pass and move play but couldn't find there shooting boots apart from one effort which hit the bar.

HT: Bishops Stortford 0-1 Maidenhead

Half time approached and before switching ends I got myself some chips for £2.50 which weren't too bad to be fair.

The ground itself again isn't too special. It has a small main stand just like the one at Bromley another small seating area opposite and two stands behind the two goals which almost mirror each other. Since it's near Stansted airport you see planes constantly come in for land. Another fun fact is that the half way line is the Hertfordshire/Essex border, funny that.

The second half got underway and for some reason a bird of some sort flew over us and went under the roof somewhere to it's birds nest which it for some reason decided to set up there.
The Birds Nest was somewhere up there

Second half started like the first half ended with Stortford playing still like Arsenal but this time not taking hardly any shots whatsoever.

Devo's men capitalised on this and went down the other end and scored an easy one on one chance from the left side and the striker slotted home.

From that nothing really happened in the rest of the match apart from me finishing my chips and Dan and Teddy still trying to say that tight nets are better than baggy.

FT: Bishops Stortford 0-2 Maidenhead

With that we all said our goodbyes and headed home. It had been a really decent day meeting up it's a shame all the goals were down the other end, still at least they were scored in baggy nets!

Maidenhead first and second goals captured by Dan:

Rest of the photos:

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Comeback of the century at - Sawbridgeworth Town FC

Saturday 19th September
Sawbridgeworth Town FC vs Clapton FC
Essex Senior League

With all these Braintree games all coming and going, I've been completely forgetting about Clapton.

Therefore I needed to make a game fairly soon before I forget about them completely.

Decided to make the Sawbridgeworth away game since it's only down the road from me.

It was also good because I was bringing my mate Marley along, a guy who is eagerly interested in the tons and the Clapton Ultras.

Arrived at the ground just before 2, nothing much to do in the ground up until kick off really, also we couldn't be bothered to walk into the town because there's nothing really to do, a few shops and that but nothing too interesting.

The rest of our fans finally arrived dead on kick off and the match begun very lively, we forced a total of 5 corners to begin with, and from that 5th we went 1-0 ahead Mendez Gomez shot went past the far post in the seventh minute.

Sawbo then came back and their player equalised with a shot from outside the area and Sawbridgeworth equalised.

Sawbridgeworth then scored once again in the 41st minute when they scored a spectacular goal from a really narrow angle, and yet goal another 2 minutes later when they shot from 8 yards out

We were pretty mad that we let 3 easy goals in when going into half time.

Marley clearly delighted with the first half performance...

HT: Sawbridgeworth Town 3-1 Clapton

Second half began with Clapton having most of the chances, a few shots that tested the Sawbridgeworth keeper.

In the 77th minute we get a penalty, Warren Metolaz had his shot saved but easily followed in the rebound, couple of our fans stood behind the goal and got it on camera, once again link at the end.

Suddenly we were dreaming of a comeback!! And my god!! It happened!!

In the 81st a lob into the box wasn't cleared properly and Metolaz again capitalised and we went mental!!

That's how it finished

FT Sawbridgeworth 3-3 Clapton.

One of the best matches I've seen in this season so far, a class game with class atmosphere!!

My friend Marley who I took along also loved it and wants to go to more tons games!!

Our second goal: 

Rest of the photos:

Balti Pies at - Cambridge United

Tuesday 1st of September
Cambridge United vs Dagenham and Redbridge
Johnston's Paint Trophy
Attendance: 1680

"Only a pound for under 18s for Cambridge United Tuesday night!! I'm going!!" said Dan via Facebook.

Obviously I couldn't refuse £1 admission for decent football.

The reason why it was extremely cheap was that it was Johnston's Paint Trophy, a great way to do football league grounds if you're not willing to spend too much.

This wasn't a new ground for me, I went to Cambridge twice last season. Hartlepool in the league and Mansfield in the fa cup 2nd round.

The Journey down wasn't anything special. So with the tickets bought and the quality made scarf bought from the club shop, we headed into the ground.

Personally I've never been fond of The U's ground, yes it's fairly old but it's a 50/50 for me. in some parts there needs to be improvement like the main stand with Crammed, uncomfortable seats with no leg room. And good luck trying to find them without realising you're in the wrong block and having to climb over a few things to correct yourself. Not just that but also the away stand. Don't get me wrong it's a decent modern stand with seats which ARE comfortable and have good leg room. But the big Elephant in the room problem, is that it's in another timeline compared to the pitch!! Seriously the only match action you'll really get if you sit there is the players warming up!!

That being said However, in other parts it's fantastic. First off the floodlights. Any football fans who's a sucker for decent floodlights should absolutely appreciate Cambridge United's effort. Old and massive floodlights which are fantastic at illuminating the pitch. And in mixed in with tonight's sunset made it picturesque. The other thing I really like about the ground is the terracing behind the other goal and on the far side opposite the main stand, I've never stood there before but I was hoping to tonight, if I can brag my way into there.

After meeting up with Dan and Maurice who were sitting in the main stand I made my way over to the stewards, I asked nicely if I could go there and to my amazement they said yes. Purely down to the fact it's a JPT game.

I stood right at the back of the stand The view of the action was pretty good, and the terrace itself was fantastic!!

The game itself started off quite sloppy, both teams but Cambridge especially put passes that kept going out of play and missing the players completely, Dagenham on the other had put a few balls through but nothing really happened to start with.

Dagenham and Cambridge did start to get a few shots in but they were comfortably saved by both keepers.

Dagenham go 1 ahead with a fantastic Ashley Chambers first time strike from just outside the box into the top left hand corner. Best goal of the season so far, the view from the terrace made it even sweeter, and to top it off a cheeky backflip to celebrate. Dan managed to even get it on camera link as always at the end.

From then on basically, Cambridge just couldn't be bothered, giving away stupid balls and letting Daggers have all the possession.

This eventually led to Dagenham score their second goal from a very slow and low hit shot from inside the box the shot had an unfortunate deflection which caused it to go the wrong way from where the keeper thought it was going. Therefore it easily went in.

Then I heard a Cambridge fan shout "COME ON U's!! IT'S ONLY FUCKING DAGENHAM!!" I agree to be fair, daggers are a team who are likely to get relegated this season and have shocking away support, only About 30-40 Daggers fans actually made the trip tonight. Even Braintree beat them 2-1 in pre season!!!

HT: Cambridge 0-2 Dagenham and Redbridge

At half time I went to the food stall at Cambridge to get what I can only describe as one of the best pies down south. The Chicken Balti Pie at Cambridge is absolutely awesome.

I Decided to move over and sit with Dan and Maurice for the second half.

Second half started how the first half ended with the daggers dominating balls through on the wing and Cambridge with their sloppy defending.

This lead to a few chances which daggers should have really capitalised on. First a 1 on 1 goal which was slotted calmly by daggers was ruled offside. Then came another 1 on 1 chance but it was poorly hit, which went wide of right post and out for a goal kick.

That's how the game finished. 2-0 to Daggers. Good game overall, still would have liked the U's to get a goal.

Still I guess you can't go wrong for football for a £1 really...

1st Goal:
Second Goal:
Rest of photos: