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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:21 am 
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Frickley Athletic, The Wezziecana

Friday night and we are in South Elmsall, the The Bigfellas Stadium or as the locals like to call it The Wezziecana, No I don’t know why either. Frickley Athletic v United U23s.

Frickley, it has a reputation for being as friendly as an Al Jolson impersonator at a Klu Klux Klan Rally. Rough?.. The local rottweilers wear Doc martins, coats are shunned in mid winter for string vests and if you’re in the pub asking for a pint you’re a southerner, its drunk by the bucket. Opposition full backs used to call in sick or were washing their hair, rather than face the wrath of the locals housed in the Frank Hill Stand. An impressive structure at the foot of the local pit face. I don’t know what Frank did, to deserve such a monument in his honour but looking at it, he must have been a local murderer or something.



I wander around to behind one of the goals, where I’m the victim of an attempted robbery. Somebody has crept up behind me and has attempted to steal my lager. It’s Matt Duke, late of Bradford City.

It’s a competitive game, as the half wares on, its a little fractious here and there. Frickley want every decision, even when United take the lead, they insist that they should be given the goal.



Many years ago, I watched a tournament here one night. Frickley were a fearsome bunch, the kind of team that had been bred on a diet of raw meat and tripe. They had played 5 games to qualify for the semi-finals. They’d Won 3 games outright, one team had surrendered, and the other team had run off scared. At this point the whole Frickley team had gone for Pie and Pies. They passed me and the old man before the semi, shirts dripping with mushy peas and Henderson’s Relish. The Old man stopped Archie Fitzsimmons, a man mountain of a centre half, a ginger haired maestro, who looked liked he worked out at Burger King ‘Do you think that’s a good idea, young man’ and through bloated cheeks Archie replied ‘Its now’t to do with thee, Mester’.
And off went Archie to join the rest of the Assassins creed. There wasn’t a player weighing in less than 13 stone.

Of course the old man wasn’t mistaken, Frickley bowed out 2-0 in the semi Finals. They couldn’t move. It was a shame because for a Under 9s side they were half decent. Surprised

Remembering it well I swerve the pie and Peas, and settle for a tray of chips. The game’s a good one, end to end, plenty of chances either end and there’s no quarter taken and none given, United run out 3-2 winners. No Programme, but team-sheet provided, and as you enter you get given a match ticket. That’s rather Novel. Good evening had by all.

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Last edited by sharrowblade on Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dorking



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:59 am 
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Love the 'vehicles left at owners risk' bit on the sign!!!!
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foxes1



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:46 pm 
Post subject: Lille
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Quite an early start on a sunny Friday morning to catch the train to St Pancras ready for the Eurostar trip to Lille to watch our pre-season Friendly in northern France. Arrive in Lille at 13.30 not bad, enough time to find our hotel drop the bags off and into the main square for a couple of drinks.
So onto Saturday and match-day although it doesn't kick-off until 18.15 gives enogh time to wander around Lille old town and do a bit of sight-seeing, found the Lille club shop and it was shut.
After a couple of drinks we make our way to the impressive stadium where Lille play on the outskirts of the city and into the ground through about 3 security searches and join the 900 other Leicester fans who had made the journey across the English channel.
So onto the game after letting an early goal in we settled into our rhythm and Kelechi Iehnacho replies with 2 goals to give us a 2-1 win. All in all a good weekend spent in sunny Lille, didn't like being kept in the ground for nearly 20 minutes after the game. Would highly recommend a visit to the city and ground. Only one complaint though on a scorching hot day in Lille why did they keep the roof shut.

No programmes were produced for the game, price of tickets 10 Euros each.


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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:05 pm 
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Whitby Town, The Turnbull Ground

Whitby, a town steeped in seafaring heritage, shipbuilding, Captain Cook and Dracula and big un's. Oh yes, They make them big in these parts. Bloody seagulls, are like terrydactyls.

Arrived 4:30pm, and rather surprisingly decide to ascend the 199 steps to Bram Stoker's inspiration, Whitby Abbey, its a real challenge as there's at least three pubs on the walk up the serpent like cobbled streets.

Its a cool 26 degrees in the sunshine. On entering the churchyard, There's a heady mix of foreign tourists and Hull City fans. There's a sign declaring this area as sacred ground, please show respect. Little Wayne and Kylie were doing just that, jumping up and down on the graves playing hide and seek. Nice. We make the Abbey, its seen better days, to be fair its stood for a few years, buffeted by countless North sea gales, been shelled by the Germans and survived a coach load of Leeds fans.

On the descent, The Duke of York, is honoured with our custom, a beautifully crafted little pub overlooking the harbour. Its not quite the Cote D'Azur but the prices are. Pint of San Miguel, two cokes and a couple bags of crisps leaves nothing out of a tenner. Ouch! Time waits for no man, so we head down to the quayside, to the famous Magpie Chippy, but unfortunately there's a huge queue so I reject that idea. Instead the boys settled for an ice cream, I soon began to wish they hadn't.

'Can I have two 99s please' I asked wistfully
And then it began 'What flavour do you want, haven't you read our board, we're multiple award winners, the best there is, go on read it, read it'
'So its good is it'
Good? Good? my son works for Bill Gates, if its good enough for him he swears by it, buys it by the bucket load, we don't do rubbish, straight from the farm and so it went on. She was aggressive, possessed, and in permanent attack position.
Logic dictated that a wise man would now have walked away, but somewhat perversely I chose to reap the whirlwind.
'So, Bill Gates buys his Ice cream from here'. I asked tentatively
'Yes he's had some, my son works for him, do you think I would have just spent £90,000 on a new machine if it wasn't good, go on read the board'
'I don't want to read it, I just want an ice cream'
It had begun awkardly, but was now spiralling quickly towards a much darker place. None of her words, were registering,
'Is your son, his personal assistant or is he in a call centre in the West Midlands' It seemed a reasonable question.
But by now, she was in hyper-drive, her head was rotating 360 degrees
'Read it, Read it, you don't believe me, are you calling me a liar, are you? £90000 on a new machine, why would I pay that if it wasn't good'.
'But, but, but.... I only wanted a couple of 99s' I'd become paralysed gripped with fear.
We left, with ice cream in hand, 'Well boys is it the best'
'Its alright dad, but its a 99, and off we shuffled to the match with the reassured knowledge that the harrowing experience had been well worth it.

The ground lies to the north of the harbour on top of a cliff and we arrive with a hour to kick off. Its a tranquil setting, a neat little ground, with a good sized main stand, we're here for the Whitby Challenge Cup. Our U23s are taking on their Middlesbrough counterparts
Its a neat little clubhouse, which has already been infiltrated by United's fearsome Carrier Bag Firm. The CBF.



It was clear, that I was suffering a traumatic effect brought on by our ice cream saga as I'm throwing money around the club shop, purchasing 10 programmes for a quid, a Whitby town home shirt for Dan, and a Swansea City scarf for Macca. Oh Lordy.

The pre-match warm up is somewhat marred by one of the United training balls coming to rest in retired merchant seaman's Alf Richardson's back yard. There's two balls wedged behind his shed and Alf confirms this by constantly sticking two fingers up through his back window at anyone attempting to look over his fence.

The game itself is a good un', we're winning 1-0 after 40 minutes, and five minutes later we're losing 3-1.
Its end to end stuff in the second half, and we eventually lose 4-2.



Despite the result, a cracking day out.
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Topbidwinsagain



Joined: 11 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:16 pm 
Post subject: Beyond the 92
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I recall ordering an ice cream on the front at Whitby, it must have been the same person who served me for upon my order the retort was 'do you want 100's and 1000's----NO, I WANT BLOODY ONE!!! I said.


Apologies for the attempted highjack.


But again, absolutely brilliant, I cant wait for the next one!


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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Ghent, the Ghelamco Arena

We were sat in the town's main square, I had no idea what I was drinking but it was good.
Behind us, a mural depicting British and Canadian soldiers adorned the outside of the cafe, the waitress took the order and the old man thanked her 'Gracias'. The boys looked at me, and I shook my head, he's spending far too much time in Spain. Either that or he's been watching the only fools and horses reruns on Dave.

But we weren't in Spain, this was Belguim, and this was Passchendaele.

It had been an surreal day, Plugstreet, Mesen, the Menin Gate at Ypres, Tyne Cot, and now we were having a break from our pilgrimage to the WW1 battlefields of Northern France and Flanders.


It wasn't all fun and games. The Football Statue in Mesen

We left at 5:30 pm, and arrived in Ghent an hour before kick off, the ground is near the motorway and looks impressive on the approach. I'm happy that I've pre-booked the parking. There's me, a clapped out Porsche and 5 thousand bicycles.

Its a short stroll to the ground, its a balmy night, and the air is rich with the scent of horse manure and burgers and 15 million wasps. There's a good atmosphere building, although Dan claims he's getting funny looks due to him deciding to wear club colours, Sheffield United.
'What colours do Ghent play in Dad? asks laddo
'Blue and White son'. says I
Dan instantly becomes a Beveren fan.



The stadium is impressive, its a new build and apparently the first new stadium in Belgium for 40 years. Inside, the concourses are large and spacious, and the bars are easy to access, its all very civilised, they allow you to get a beer and take it to your seat, fancy that eh! But, they don't take cash, you have to buy a swipe card and put credit on it. There's two attractive young ladies dishing these out. Damn, its marketing genius as I wallop a load on and head for the club shop to buy stuff I had no need for.

There's no programmes issued.

We situated near the Beveren supporters, there's around 250 of them and they're making themselves heard, These are the Beveren Ultras, they've come tooled up with microphones. Most of them don't watch the game, I can understand why, because frankly, Beveren are on a par with Crewe Alexandra's U12s.

The eyes are drawn into the middle of their merry troupe, where there's an awesome figure of a woman, with long dark hair and leather gloves, its big Elisa who works as a bricklayer by day, then trawls the dockside bars of Oostende by night, recreating scenes from the great arthouse film, 'The night the Belgium Navy died'. She's giving it large. She certainly has an impressive pair of Bongos, …Behave..... she's the drummer in the band.

Ghent, or as they are known 'The Buffalo's' have numerous chances before they score, but it comes at a price, American Style razzamataz. Three times they call out the Christian name of the scorer, and the home crowd respond with the surname and then comes the deep sound of .'Bufffaaaalllloooo'.

Apparently its tradition, so fair play to them. By the time the 5th goes in we're all joining in. Oh the shame. Finished 5-1.



Great night out with the boys and the old man.
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Benno Spire



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:06 pm 
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Love that photo behind the goal at Whitby as it reminds me of me and my brother stood there in that exact spot to watch Chesterfield in an FA cup tie at Whitby in 1984 in which Chesterfield won 3-1 after being 1-0 down
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Cleethorpes Town The Linden Homes Club Stadium

Not the first time, we've visited South Humberside's Inter Milan but the first time we've caught them at their new ground.

Frickley were in town which meant only one thing, two otherwise normally unintelligable set of supporters could now converse quite happily with each other.

We're surprised at the number of Cars parked across the outdoor junior pitches. It hadn't been this busy since Police were called in to investigate an episode of 'Bargain Hunt' that was once filmed here, where two families from East Marsh were in posession of three items each without spending any of their £300 budget.

The Bar, has everything you want, sky sports, little souvenir corner, a neat canteen, San Miguel, and the obligatory non league player, hobbling around on crutches. There's no teamsheets knocking about so I peel the one off the door, I did ask honest and went and sat in the large beer garden. Dan's threatening to go on the bouncy castle but declines,
What's up, too old nowadays? I enquire.
'Nah, that kid over there, he's threatened me' he retorts
'Threatened you!!!!, …..he's seven'
'I know, but he's got a Grimsby shirt on'.
He had a point. Keep yer head down son, no eye contact.



The pitch surface is good, surrounded by a wooden fence, and three subbuteo stands one of which is home to the fearsome Clee Ultras. In all honesty there's only four of them, and one of them is an 80 year old, grandad of twenty four, who lightens up in the afternoon with such timeless classics as 'I'll sing on my own, and the Refs going home in a f****** ambulance.'

We're five minutes in and the Electronic scoreboard takes a turn for the worse. The timer is stuck on five minutes, and as it happened about 5 minutes before it started again. When the ref blows for half time it says 40 minutes, which starts a debate amongst the locals that the ref's got it wrong, and no explanation was going to suffice with them.

Its feisty I suggest a wager with my innocent off spring.
£1 that somebody gets sent off. 'Easy money dad, Easy money'

Five minutes after the interval the Clee Ultras are sent into a rabid frenzy when Cleethorpes score, they're positively frothing from the mouth, of course it is plausible that they did actually have rabies to begin with, as it would be difficult to tell.

Halfway through the half, I cash in as Cleethorpes are reduced down to 10.

With minutes to go there's an equaliser, but the scoreboard has malfunctioned again and refuses to acknowledge that Frickley had equalised. The dulcid tones of the home crowd are now in full swing 'We love you Scoreboard we do, we love you scoreboard we do'. It doesn't last, as a few minutes later it awards the away team a goal, cue wholesale booing from the Ultras.

As the clock hit 90, the full back acknowleges he'll never be a centre forward when he shins a simple clearance behind. Its messy and uneccessary.
Dan lays his cards down, 'double or quits Dad, they will score from this'.
It was brash, it was insanity, it was devil may care,' but I admired his optimism.
'I think you may be right.... a fiver says Gavin Allott will score it'.

We shook hands. The die was cast, and seconds later the ball hit the back of the Frickley net'. Dan was beside himself, he punched the air, 'I called it, I called it'. 'How do you like them apples Dad'.

'I like them a lot son, remember fate can be a cruel croupier in life, that was Big Gav who scored, now pay up'.

Price to get in £9. Programme £2. The look on his face priceless.
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:51 am 
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BISHOP AUCKLAND, Heritage Park

FA YOUTH CUP 3rd Rd, Middlesbrough v United

Departed 1:30. Arrived 3:30 without incident. The lads were at school so I gave some of the fearsome CBF (Carrier Bag firm) a lift. Mr T and Stevie Wonder.

The ground is quite easy to find. From the A1M just follow the signs, its almost the first thing you come to. Parked next door in the March Hare car Park. Had to, what with 3 ½ hrs to kick off. Stevie's got everything planned to military like precision, at one point the OS map was threatening to make an appearance. A pint in there, then headed into Town because Mr T was not a great fan of Pedigree. Bloody real ale drinkers, no pleasing them. Put them in a pub with one old bloke and a Jack russell in the corner, give them in a dark ale with a name nobody's heard of and life's tickety boo.

In the Market square, there's a Nettospoons, the Stanley Jefferson, Mr T has got a pint of Peaky Blinder so he's sorted. I'm a bit of a phillistine when it comes to these things (lager), so I plump for some Hophouse 13, which I confess I have a liking for. Stevie's gone for Fosters so we pretend he's not with us. Conversation over our meal turn to who was Stanley Jefferson. Summat do with that bloke with the wonky eye from Laurel and Hardy, suggests Mr T, we' scoff at this but were none the wiser, So I googled it, Stan Laurel apparently, grew up in the town, learn something every day. Stevie's now in his element recalling days of Invitations to Laurel and Hardy Clubs, where apparently they sit around in rooms watching....err Laurel and Hardy Films.

Leave Nettospoons at 6:15, its five minutes back to the ground. There's no trouble parking but the freezing gale that hit is in the face on stepping out suggests its going to be baltic.
I mention this to the steward in receptions, 'Howay man, its tropical, yer not from round ere are yer' . I nodded 'Nah, we're southerners'. The ground is relatively new, and is built on land known locally as the 'Pit Heaps'. Great name.

We rondevouz with the other members of the CBF, men whose mission in life is to find every scrap of paper associated with the game. Arguably Mr T, is the worst culprit for this, I feared for the poster which was locked in a display advertising board in front of the ground, It would need a good screwdriver to take the nails out of that I said mockingly. 'Mr T looked indignant, 'I've got one in the van'. They always come tooled up. (lol).
I'm issued with a small cloakroom ticket, its purple, his is pink, he wants mine, unbelievable.

We camp in the main stand behind the dug outs, its a really neat main stand with a nice looking bar overlooking the pitch. There's a Supermarket behind the back of the ground, and it looks as if Sainsbury's are building another structure behind one of the goals. Pitch looked in good condition.
I speak to our centre-halfs dad, who I know and he gives me his official match ticket.
Mr T is not impressed, especially when he finds out all the rest of the CBF appear to have one, he spends the next 15 minutes fretting, blood pressure rising, coronary embelisim imminent, 'What do I do, where can I get one'. Fate intervened, the Scout from Derby County had arrived, two shiny tickets in hand, poor lad didn't know what hit him, he'd been mugged before he had chance to sit down.

So all was at peace, everyone was happy and it got better as we scored shortly before half time with a goal that had more ricochets than a Lee Harvey Oswald bullet. This came as a major surprise as the general concensus was that this would be a very short adventure in the Youth Cup, but we were all going to make a day out of it. Only Fletch had any faith, its blind faith usually but you couldnt knock his enthusiasm.



Into the second half, and all feeling in my feet had gone, in fairness I hadn't moved. I couldn't. Time ebbed away slowly. United rode their luck with a combination of good goalkeeping and wasteful finishing. Our youth coach, Derek Geary is yelling instructions in his unmistakable Irish tongue, Pottsy our left winger on the far side, nods his head and gives a thumbs up. Clearly he has no idea what Del Boy is telling him. We didn't know and we were five yards behind him.

As the game meanders towards full time, there's guilty thoughts of an early finish, but then the ref intervenes and awards a penalty in the dying seconds. There's dismay in the ranks. 'I can't take another 30 minutes', I feel like a german in Stalingrad.

Its strange that in the FA Youth Cup, they insist on extra time and yet when it comes to competitions like the EFL they go straight to penalties.
Still, it needn't have been a worry, from the resulting penalty, Boro hit the bar and that was that.

Kidnapped another member of the CBF for the trip home, expecting sparkling conversation and absorbic wit, but all was quiet, as they were all asleep before Darlington.
Mr T did wake up shortly before we turned off the M1,
'I must have nodded off for five minutes'. A startling revelation even by his standards.
'Where are we'.
I gave it my best Christopher Lee impersonation ' Welcome to Hell'.
'Oh right....we're at Barnsley then'.

Good day out, do it all again in the next round at Pride Park.
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foxes1



Joined: 30 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:13 pm 
Post subject: Lisbon trip
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New ground coming up in a few weeks but which one. We are spending a long weekend in Lisbon out on a Thursday back on the Tuesday. With a couple of matches to choose from it will be either Sporting Lisbon or Belenenses it will most likely be the latter as tickest are easy to come by on the day.
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mark01



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:19 pm 
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Don't forget the 'Pastry Shop'

regards, Mark
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foxes1



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:56 pm 
Post subject: Estadio Jose Alvalade
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So with a short break planned in Lisbon decided to take in a game at the Estadio Jose Alvalade and went to see Sporting Lisbon v Santa Clara in the Portuguese Primeira Lge thinking that Portuguese football would be pretty good looking at some of the success Portugal have in the last few years at international level, how wrong can you be. Having paid 33 Euros for some decent seats I sat down and saw what could be described as a poor game between 2 average teams. A crowd of 28129 turned up including a small following of approx. 100 from Santa Clara (Which I suppose wasn't bad considering they had to travel a distance of just over 1000 miles one way from their base in the Azores).
Final score was 1-0 to Sporting which kept them in the top 4 of the league, scored in the 54th minute by Raphina with an assist by Bruno Fernandez after a mistake by the Santa Clara defence.

No programme was issued.
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