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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



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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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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



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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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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:19 pm 
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CD Marino, Estadio Antonio Domínguez, Playa des Americas, Tenerife

A Summer's evening in the Canaries, local heroes CD Marino were hosting their more illustrous neighbours, Tenerife.

There's a little stall outside the ground, there's scarves, shirts, caps, football, nearly everything but a programme.
'Who'd buy a scarf in this weather? we chortle. The temperature was still in the high 70s.

£20 euros for the lads and myself, tickets available from Manuela in the ticket booth, I congratulated myself on acquiring these and showed them to the steward on the main gate. The man was a fiend, devoid of a conscience as he gleefully tore the tickets in half.

I declined a ticket for the 50/50, I was too upset, the lads had also welled up, 'go to the bar Dad' they sniggered.

They're selling 'Super pints', of one of the local brews so I chance it, but realize the pitfalls of such folly, when it arrives in a plastic glass, It was like drinking out of a flexible bucket. Lesson learnt.

Found a place on the terrace in the evening sunshine, sat back and took in the vista, It was a tidy looking Athletics stadium with a crowd of around 400, Tenerife are sporting their Scottish themed kit, lets hope they're not that bad.

There's no programmes but there is a teamsheet, I hurlded the South American style moat around the outside of the ground, ran across the pitch, gave some advice to the Tenerife Keeper, side-stepped two coppers and acosted a startled looking lad who had them clutched in his hands, 'Dos team-sheets, Pour pour voi'. I'm fluent in Spanish.
He looked quizzical. 'Oh You want two of these'.
'Cor blimey Guvnor, course I do, don't you understand the lingo'. Wink



I frantically wave at the lads as I skip back, strange....its almost like they didn't know me.

The game begins at a tempo and one thing became abundantly clear after 10 minutes, Marino aren't very good. They're already 2-0 down.

As the half wore on, an unpleasant pattern was set in motion.
'Grayson, Grayson, come away from those nice people' Grayson's parents were barely audible, to be fair I had gone deaf. Sadly, Grayson wasn't have any of it, to be fair he was probably deaf too, and for the umpteenth time the airhorn went off right in my ear. Grayson, was about 4, an angelic child, I'd wager, in the eyes of his doting parents, innocence etched upon his face, was for all sense and purpose some kind of Lucifer's demonic child.
I go for another Pint to escape The Child from The Omen, this time I get a normal sized one, and engage in conversation with a couple of Blackburn Rovers fans. Half time 4-0 to the visitors. Tenerife make 11 changes at half time.



One of the ball boys can only be described as a bit of a 'baller'. He's showcasing his footy skills in a impromptu display behind the goal whilst we wait for the teams to return. The lads aren't impressed. Dan with a hint of resentment has a dig, 'Yes but can he do keepy-uppies and then land the ball in the nape of his neck, whilst doing one handed press ups on a cold December afternoon at Staveley Miners Welfare'. The image took me back about 4 years, as I recall Dan entertaining a dozen Staveley fans and a Jack Russell and the goalkeeper from Rossington Main…........ He had a point.

I'd like to say, the second half was a jamboree of footballing splendour, but it would be a lie. Occasionally Grayson would go on one, and little Stevie and some of his little companions to our left were performing bottle flips, the most annoying habit ever to besmirch mankind. Its a torturous repetitiveness, if there had been seats he'd be that kid who constantly would be banging it up and down.

It was going to end badly, something had to give, and if Grayson wasn't going to get thrown into the moat then Stevie was going to get short thrift. With 10 minutes to go, the opportunity arose, the bottle landed within 10 feet, and like a gazelle I sprung into action, picked up the offending article and volleyed it over the fence and into the moat. I wasn't popular with Stevie, but everybody else cheered, so it was all good.
There's no more goals, the sun had long gone down, and a ill wind was blowing in from the mountains.
'Its bloody freezing'. I complained.
'You Should have bought a Scarf' quipped Macca.
Kept the fitness up as I Chased Macca in vain down the hill into Playa Las Americas, then a Kebab and Crazy golf at midnight. Could have sworn we could hear an airhorn somewhere in the distance.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:55 pm 
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The Forest Town Arena

AFC Mansfield v Sherwood Colliery

The Wembley Trail kicked off this year, in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Rd,
Chose AFC Mansfield as I could get tickets, to be honest I was on the NCEL website and AFC Mansfield Twitter came up saying they were selling their tickets between 6 and 8 pm Monday night. I needed no invitation.

And so to the following night, an enticing local derby between two local rivals, apparently there had been bad blood for many years after a fight broke out at the local badger baiting society. Arrived at 6:30 which in all honesty was about an hour and a quarter too early, but with inside information of only 50 programmes printed, I wasn’t taking any chances. I was mugged at the turnstiles for my tickets, and they wouldn’t let me have them back, ‘Tha can hav’ one’ said a man whose life journey had been etched on his skin, clearly he had tread a difficult path. I was generally touched by this underwhelming generosity.

Went Mumping all the way into the bar, a large table in the corner, away from everyone was acquired, not one person was wearing a mask. (Apart from our Dan). These covid times are strange indeed.



It was a time for tranquillity, a time to delve into the match day programme. I love the smell of a freshly printed match programme, but this one had the aroma of 40 year old bottle of Brut 33 and sweaty socks, a delicacy no doubt in downtown Mansfield. The game was being billed as a mouth-watering tie as several Sherwood players used to be at AFC Mansfield, or in other-words, you weren’t good enough for us. AFC Mansfield are a step above the visitors. (2 divisions)

The relative peace, lasted all of five minutes, when two blokes asked if anyone was sitting at the other side. Help yourselves lads, but two quickly became five, and one of them sat about a foot away from Macca. I wasn’t impressed and gave him the Mexican death stare, Dan in turn pleaded me not to start with ‘are you a kiddie fiddler tirade’, but my attention had already been diverted to the once deserted bar area.

The man mountain, maintaining law and order on the door, was a man who scared himself every time he looks into a mirror, had adopted a novel policy of policing the attendance, ‘two out…Twelve in’…. social distancing had been resigned to history.



Outside was no better.

The ground has the largest Orangery ever (I've gone all posh) and oozed the charm of a Serbian 4th Division Works Team, the pitch itself was surrounded by some kind of banked Oval track, used for shopping trolley races.

It was competitive and open.

Half time came and went with Sherwood more than holding their own. (1-1), until a defensive blunder let the home side in. AFC Mansfield’s goalkeeper who used to train with our Dan at United’s Academy, punched the night sky and asked about the time. I’m not sure. 10 past nine was the answer he was looking for.

As time dwindled away, the local muggers were assembling in the Alleyway behind us, and as chances came at both ends, the refs notebook filled up, and we played 10 minutes of added time, his watch had clearly ceased working. Something had to give and it did as Sherwood’s centre half was red carded in the dying seconds for attempted murder.

Whilst All 20 outfield players took issue except the dead body laying prone on the pitch we made an co-ordinated dash for freedom, and as we passed the turnstiles at the exit, I grabbed a handful of tickets, yes that’ll teach them.

Back home in 40 minutes.
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foxes1



Joined: 30 Nov 2008
Posts: 1222
Location: Leicester

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 9:04 pm 
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Date – 30/09/21
Venue – Polish Army Stadium
Game – Legia Warsaw v Leicester City

First up a trip to Poland to see our Europa league group game v Legia Warsaw. Despite having to take a Covid test before travelling to Poland and another on arriving back in England, plus 2 passenger locator forms I was one of the 800 Leicester fans to make the trip to Warsaw for the game.
After spending the day looking around Warsaw it was time to go to the game
Despite the 1-0 defeat I enjoyed the visit as a whole, and was really impressed with the atmosphere created by the Legia fans (British fans have a lot to learn)
The only real downside was being kept in the ground after the game for an hour by 50 riot police, supported by a water cannon and an overhead helicopter, then after being allowed out held for another 30 minutes by another police cordon (Only being allowed out after you prioved you had ordered an UBER taxi)
For anyone planning a trip to Warsaw it will be well worth it and is a great city to spend a few days in, a lot better than the next trip I went on.

Date – 09/12/21
Venue – Diego Armando Maradona Stadium
Game – Napoli v Leicester City

So on to the next game another Europa league group game this time in Naples.
Well what can I say about this, anything good, no not really. The game was played most of the time in torrential rain with the occasional crash of thunder / bolt of lightning. Despite hearing things that you take your life in your own hands going there 600 Leicester fans made the journey. Again Covid tests were required even one this time to get back into England.
Get to the port area early we were told for a police escort to the ground, what a joke that was. We boarded buses ready for the escort eventually arriving 5 minutes before kick-off after a 2 ½ hour ride that should have taken 30 minutes at the most, still at least I got to the ground on time some didn’t arrive until 30 minutes into the game.
Onto the game a 3-2 defeat condemned us to the Europa conference league after Legia Warsaw missed a penalty in injury time in the other game in the group v Spartak Moscow, to send us out.

Still at least we are still in Europe, and next up is a trip to Denmark and Randers F C at least I have a ticket with only a small allocation allowed.
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foxes1



Joined: 30 Nov 2008
Posts: 1222
Location: Leicester

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2022 3:20 pm 
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Date – 24/02/22
Venue – Cepheus Park, Randers F C
Game – Randers F C 1 Leicester City 3
Competition – Europa Conference Play-off game 2nd leg.

Early morning start for the trip to Stansted airport for the flight to Billund airport for our Europa conference league tie against Danish side Randers F C based in Jutland, Denmark. Arrived in Aarhus (Our base for a couple of days) the day before the game to sample the Danish hospitality and pay Danish beer prices which actually were not as high as expected, most likely because it was not Copenhagen. After a good nights sleep it was off to the station to catch the train to the small town of Randers (30 minutes from Aarhus). With it being only small it didn’t take long to look around and get some liquid refreshment and food. Boy was it cold here and with a steady fall of snow, it was off to the ground. 600 Leicester fans had manged to get the small amount of tickets available to away fans, but with a capacity of approx. 11000 the game sold out to the locals, mainly because of a certain Kasper Schmeichel who everybody wants to see play. Overall it wasn’t a bad game Randers had most of the chances, but their shooting was in a word abysmal, although we did allow them a consolation goal. It is a small compact ground with executive boxes down one side leading onto the seating area, it is fully covered and supporters can really make some noise with the low roof.
OK back to the station for the 30 minute train ride back to Aarhus and what a difference to be treated with respect by the local police, certainly different to the Italian / Spanish police.


Date – 25/02/22
Venue – Vejle Stadium, Home of Vejle Boldklub
Game – Vejle Boldklubb 3 AGF 2
Competition – Danish Superliga

As we were based in Aarhus we decided to take in a game on the Friday evening, so booked a hotel in Vejle and took the 45 minute train ride to see the local team Vejle Boldklubb play AGF. Arrived at the ground early afternoon to see if tickets were available for the 7pm kick-off and yes they were so got the tickets wandered back into Vejle to take in the sights and get prepared for a freezing night at the football and boy it was ‘Brass Monkey weather’ The stadium holds about 11000 and is set in a forest on the outskirts of Vejle certainly one of the more picturesque ground settings I have been to, although the final walk is up a steep hill. Also at the ground is a small museum dedicated to the club. As for the game itself well it was end to end which was expected as it is classed as a local derby. AGF went 1-0 up, then 1-1, then 1-2 then 2-2 which is how it stayed until half-time, then disaster as half the floodlights went out a ten minute wait and cheers all round as they eventually got them working again. Then 15 minutes from the end the moment 2300 away fans were waiting for the arrival onto the pitch of Jack Wilshere, but it didn’t help their cause because about 10 minutes after coming on with 100 minutes on the clock the home team (Who are stranded at the bottom of the league) finally got the winner which they just about deserved. All in all an entertaining game for the crowd of approx. 8000, including 100 Leicester fans who decided to stay on in Denmark for a few extra days.

Would certainly recommend going to a game in Denmark if you get the chance the people are friendly, expensive to eat / drink out so you need to budget properly.
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sharrowblade
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Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 3527
Location: Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 10:00 pm 
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Kiveton Miners Welfare.

Not to be confused with their more illustrious neighbours Kiveton Park. Central Midlands League.

Great lad on the gate, turned out to be the Chairman, and the groundskeeper, he’d been up since 7am, getting the tractor out of the garage to try to defrost the pitch. Nice badge bought. Clubhouse looked warm and cosy, but was thrown out before I’d even got a drink. Got a San Miguel from the Burger Van, classy…but no food as the compressor ran out of petrol. One solitary stand with seats acquired from Bootham Crescent (York City). Freezing Cold, heated up by slapstick officiating, on a scale that defied belief. Final score 3-1 to the Welfare. No Programme

Stocksbridge Park Steels

Local Derby against the worlds oldest football club. Northern Premier Div 1 East

Barnsley Nige normally has a good selection of programmes and books for sale but they remained in the boot of his car as the canteen manager’s husband had gone down with Covid. Still, advantageous position located in the gallery window of the bar with a Farmers Blonde. Steels totally dominate but only have a slender one goal lead when referee stops game because he’s unable to see either goalposts due to thick fog. I’d long lost that ability.

Game held up for half an hour before ref reluctantly calls game off, just as well as the Sheffield lads had already got changed and were heading down town. Ironically 15 minutes later everything was perfectly clear.

Clay Cross Town

Coal mining town on the outskirts of Chesterfield which has become a bit of a motorcyclist haven in recent times. Central Midlands Premier.

Pre-Ordered 2 programmes via Twitter from the programme editor Nobby, and met him in the club shop. Walls emblazoned with programmes in frames from various games over the years, Nobby’s a top bloke and it was great to see somebody putting the effort in. Various programmes, badges and merchandise for sale. Fantastic Pub (Bateman’s Mill) 100 yards up the road Real Ale good food and a roaring open fire. Well worth a visit at anytime. £3 entry, with no exceptions apart from the dog. Clay Cross triumph 4-0.

Sheffield FC

Within walking distance of Sharrowblade’s residence but not advised as good chance of getting mugged on the way. Northern Premier Div 1 East.

Pre-Match Pint of Jaipur in the Coach & Horses and then watch as both team squander chances in a rather feisty encounter with Pontefract Colleries who by half time have their central midfielder sent off for a leg-breaker which in Ponty is a mild challenge and their manager sent from the dugouts claiming that the ref is cheating and hasn’t got any parents.

The world’s Oldest club currently play on the Worlds Second worst Playing surface, but manage to score a couple of screamers, the first from the halfway line. The win is cemented after half time when the little Ponty right winger does a carbon copy leg breaker which results in another red card. 4-0 to Sheffield.

Derby Singh Brothers

Central Midlands League Cup. On the site of the Old Rolls Royce Leisure Sports Ground in South Derby.

Pre-Match pint in the Norman Arms, frequented by numerous people with bad haircuts, no teeth and tourettes. Absolutely loved it to be honest and there’s a mean game of Dominoe’s going on. Outside Weather Absolutely foul, and with no cover at all, it’s a Sunday League parks Pitch, I don’t even get out of the Reliant, at one point I have no idea of the score because I couldn’t see through the windscreen that was getting absolutely lashed by a storm. Our Dan confirmed it was 3-1 to the home team. No Programme.









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