Game 41 – Macclesfield Town 0 Oxford United 0 2/12/2016

Well, we have now entered  December and the 2nd round of the FA Cup so myself and Leighavfc trundled up the M6 for this televised game between Natonal league Macclesfield and League One Oxford. The journey there was ok and pretty trouble free so we arrived an hour early and had a drink in a time warp pub called the Railway View, that you can imagine the whole place looked the same 150 years ago.

The ground The Moss Rose , itself is quite good in truth, we opted for a cheaper terrace ticket so couldn’t get a great picture of the stand on.our side but there is cover on 3 sides of the ground with Oxford’s fans housed on a open terrace behind the top goal. The first half wasn’t great but Macclesfield were always on top with some fine moves. Oxford’s Chey Dunkley made a crucial interception to stop a goal early on. Jack Mackreth fired over the bar also for Macclesfield.

The second half was slot more open with both sides trying .Oxford were very unlucky striking the bar and the post .Fitzpatrick fired in a cross and Eastwood in the Oxford goal had to turn the ball ove the bar. The best action came as Danny Rowe raced down the wing and crossed for Lewis to bring a fine reaction save out of Eastwood.  Rowe also fizzed a volley off the post late on so it goes to a replay . This result means my 51 games without a 0-0 comes to a end sadly. 
Admission- £12  Attendance – 2566

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Game 40 – AJ Photography 0 Peter Withe XI 7 27/11/2016

After a football free Saturday, I headed to Boldmere after work for this low key charity game. It was not what I was expecting as despite it being advertised as £4 in , there was nobody on the gate but a bucket collection was going round.  I had seen a poster but feel it had not been advertised well as there was around 60-80 in attendance . 

Villa brought a mix of old Villa youth and West Brom players , but they had 79 year old Bobby Thomson out who started his career back in 1953!! He lasted a mere 12 minutes , but that was 10 minutes longer than AJ’s keeper who hobbled off after doing nothing at all. 

Bobby Thomson’s replacement Darren Byfield opened the scoring after 18 minutes, prodding the ball home from a high ball. He made it 2-0 in 21 minutes ,  cutting in from the left and firing in the far corner. Ross Cropley tapped home Byfield assist in 28 minutes for 3-0. 
The goal of the game came from Ryan Amoo , Byfield again pumping the ball into the box and a  unstoppable volley left Amoo boot for a find goal . It was 5-0, when Peter Withe’s son Steven got the slightest touch from a pass at goal. Ex West Bromwich Albion Midfielder Richard Sneekes scored the sixth with a fizzing strike from 25 yards. The final goal came from Ross Cropley again with a fine long range screamer. Apologies for poor pictured,  light was poor.

Admission – Free Attendance – 80ish

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Game 39 – Aston Villa U23 1  Norwich City U21 2 21/11/2016

Last  night,  I visited Villa Park on what was a very wet and miserable night in Birmingham. The attendance for the game was harmed with about 120 turning up. Bottom side Norwich were far better and  started the game well taking the lead on 13 minutes ,  Glenn Middleton cutting in from the left and scoring after Villas keeper got a hand to it. Just before half time Villa were level after a first effort was saved Rushian Hepburn-Murphy swept in the loose ball. Norwich won the game though a Carlton Morris effort on 51 minutes, slotting in a cross from the left. Apart from that a dull as dishwater clash on a very wet night.

Admission – £3

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Game 38 – Clarendon 3 Chawn Hill Church 1 19/11/2016

Clarendon stretched their runaway lead further despite being very wasteful at King Edwards this morning. Today has not turned out how I hoped, with a Gloucestershire double of what would have been Forest Greens defeat and the Shortwood game but the girlfriend decided to give me a lecture on how the money would be better spent on Christmas presents do I couldn’t really justify spending a combined 50 quid with match tickets and petrol.

Instead I decided to just do the one game despite a very nice offer from Silhill fc to view their clash with Paget I decided to stay in the warm . So this game in the West Midland Christian League Division One saw top of the table Clarendon take on 8th placed Chawn Hill. The game took place at King Edward IV school in Handsworth Birmingham .  It was a nice pitch actually and in good nick.

Clarendon in the yellow, were quick out of the blocks firing a shit wide after 30 seconds and followed that up with a drive that Chawn’s keeper turned over the bar. Clarendon were very wasteful though trying to walk the ball in but to no avail .They had a big help though after a Chawn Hill defender was shown a red card  for bad language. On the stroke of half time, Clarendon took the lead do from a poor free kick that bounced off the wall, and they sent a  bobbly shot into the far corner . 
After half time, Hill crumbled conceding from a one on one after being played through sent a low shot beyond the keeper. It was then 3-0, running in to the box, laying the ball off across the 6 yard box for a shot from barely 3 yards. Chawn Hills keeper made more great saves to keep them in it. Chawn Hill got a goal after playin on while a Clarendon player went down after the ball bounced up off his face , firing a shot in off the post .

Admission – Free  Attendance – 12 h/c

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Game 37 – Paget Rangers 1 Hinckley 4 13/11/2016

After work on a Sunday afternoon, I decided to meet up with Leighavfc and take in the vase game between Midland Division two Paget Rangers and Division One side Hinckley down at Boldmere St Michaels . I took my nearly 4 year old daughter with me for her first ‘big’ game and she enjoyed it although after getting to about 80 minutes she was quite fed up. Church Rd has undergone a major redevelopment ,  with a 3g pitch , training pitch and even the stand has had a overhaul.

Both of these sides are phoenix sides resurrected out of the Ashes of their  name sakes that are now defunct. This was Paget record attendance at 311 with a large following from Hinckley. The visitors in the red took the lead  on 11 minutes, Williams cross from the right was headed in by Ryan Seal. They went further ahead after a Paget defender made a terrible hash of controlling the ball , ended up falling over and Seal lobbed the keeper.Just before half time , Sullivan made it 3-0 , cracking a shot off the post, that then crossed the line.

Paget pulled one back through defender Darren Michael who had a hopeful punt at goal, his low drive beat the keeper. The fightback was not to be,  Seal completed his hat trick, rounding the keeper and tapping in.

Admission – £5  Attendance – 311 Raffle – £1

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Game 36 – St Thomas Aldridge 2 Saint Michael 4 12/11/16

St Thomas Aldridge almost pulled off a shock win but crumbled late on. This was just the one game on Saturday as I wasn’t very well the day before , so visited this Christian League game st thr Streetly Community Centre . 

The weather was very dank and drizzly . The Polish visitors have been in fine form. This season sitting second in the league. The Polish side took the lead on 22 minutes, glancing a header home from a corner .  The home side equalized on 36 minutes from the penalty spot , putting the ball into the top right corner . 
Just after the restart, St Thomas took the lead, the ball played through for the striker to slip beyond the keeper. It was all downhill after that for the home side as Saint Michael equalized slotting from.18 yards into the bottom corner. Saint Michael took the lead after a defensive blunder , was taken advantage of and a poor shot bobbled in . They saved their best until last , shooting from the half way, the ball was tupped onto the bar,  but the loose ball was swept in.

Admission – Free  Attendance -6 

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Game 35 – West Bromwich Albion 0  Gillingham 2 8/11/2016

My first visit to the Hawthorns in nearly a decade, well March 2008 to be precise when they narrowly beat Colchester 4-3 and not a lot has changed . Tonight, I saw this game in the tin pot,much critizized EFL Trophy. Albion had lost all their group games so far .

Their visitors tonight were League One Gillingham in the red strip. The weather was cold and wet,drizzling for the entire 90 minutes . What struck me was how low the attendance was, I would guess probably 200. Only the east stand was open for this game and there were many empty seats. 

Gillingham always seemed the stronger side , pulling a couple of shots wide before bringing a decent save out of Palmer. Gillingham took the lead on the stroke of half time , Darren Oldaker opening his body up to curl a 25 yard effort into  the top corner. There wasn’t much to speak of after that , apart from a lazy taken penalty taken by Jay Emanual-Thomas who walked up to the ball and hit the ball past a static Alex Palmer who didn’t move.  It all just felt like a training game really ,  we will have to see if the EFL cup returns.

Admission – £5  

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