Game 76 – Solihull Moors 0 Torquay United 1 28/3/2017

I have followed Torquay for about 15 years now, but this was only the 3rd time I have seem them. My good friend Leighavfc told me this would be a cracker so I forced myself out. There was a queue to get in and I missed the opening 4 minutes but I missed nothing. The first half was extremely forgettable, Solihull putting a free kick wide and Torquay having little desire to go forward.

The second half was mildly better, Torquay looking more threatening with a couple of daisy cutters before as the game looked to be a bore draw, the ball bounced up for a half hearted header by Dan Sparkes that somehow found it’s way in. Sorry for poor photos.

Admission -£14 Attendance – 854

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Game 75 – Blyth Spartans 2 Rushall Olympic 1 25/3/2017

A very long day starting with boarding the Rushall team coach at 7.45am, saw me taking on the mammoth trip to Croft Park. I decided to do this as it is really a ground I would never really do off my own back due to the distance. 

We finally arrived at 1.30, and I was greeted by the safety officer who asked me about my journey and what Rushall’s ground is like as well as regaling me with the tale of the day he had 4 teeth banged out by a drunk Workington fan.

I was joined at this game by a driver who visits my work who actually visits my workplace so kudos for turning up son , I appreciate it.I thought Croft park was a decent set up in truth , boasting a large seated stand , and covered standing on the other 3 sides.

In truth, table toppers Blyth should have murdered their 12th placed opponents but found Rushall stalwarts Jose Veiga and Henry Eze in fine form. Veiga was forced into a full stretch save before Rushall hooked a ball off the line.
Eze, who I have previously seen at Chasetown got his head on a good few ball but none were so important than his last ditch header off the line. The second half wasn’t as good as the first in my opinion football wise  but it did contain the goal’s.  The closest Rushall came was Gurjit Singh’ glaring miss putting the ball wide when it was so easy to score.

In the 72nd minute, Blyth sub McTiernan nodded the ball into a empty net after the ball had hung up nicely in the air.. Rushall looked to have snatched a last minute goal on 90 minutes  when Stan Mugisha cut in from the right to hit a low angled strike into the far corner. Sadly it was not to be as Blyth charged down the end and the ball fell to Jarrett Rivers who stuck the ball to the left of goal from 8 yards.

Admission – £10  Attendance – 796

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Game 74 – Springvale Steelers Academy 6  Shere Punjab Jacks 6 19/3/2017

What a game, and one I probably won’t see the like of again for a good while to come. This cup game in the Sunday Beacon League was played at Springvale Sports and Social in Bilston . A very 1930’s looking building that looked shut but round the back houses a big field at the back  with bowling and cricket facilities. There is a very old ramsackle shelter stand on a hill behind the goal . I seemed to be treated with a lot of suspicion by the home bench as I took a picture of it.

Both sides are in the lower reaches of the Beacon League but this was something called the Clinton cup. The away side were as you would expect an all Asian side that playes in orange. The pitch was quite frankly poor, it was horrendously bumpy and lead to a goal. Punjab took the lead on 18 minutes smashing the ball into the far top corner. A comical equaliser came as Punjabs keeper went to pick up a ball, bounced off a divet straight to Springvale who tapped home.

The second half was great with ten goals, that started with a tap in after Punjabs keeper failed to hold the ball. Punjab made it 2-2 from a shot into the bottom corner.  A through ball was finished beyond the keeper to make it 3 2 to Punjab. The game looked beyond doubt when the ball cannoned off a Springvale defender for a own goal but then the Steelers shot into the bottom corner. It was 4 4 when the Steelers headed home. 

An amazing fightback by the Steelers lead to a fifth, who rolled the ball under the keeper. Punjab got their fifth with a low shot that zipped off the turf. Punjab looked to of snatched it when they squeezed a shot home but literally with the last move of the game , after the ball pinged around the box , the ball was squeezed into the bottom corner. What a game.

Attendance – around 10

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Game 73 – Birmingham City 0 Newcastle United 0 18/3/2017

My first 0 0 since November came at St Andrews yesterday in this fairly dull clash. I was given the tickets by a workmate so thanks to Ginge for asking me and I sat in the old stand lower. On entry to the ground, I was gutted to find my seat encrusted with a tonne of bird poo, so I quickly changed to another seat.

 Well the game itself wasn’t great but Birmingham will be most happy. Since Zola has taken over, Blues have slid from 7th to 17th and remain 5 points above the drop zone of the Championship.

Newcastle were the better attacking side as you would expect but found Tomasz Kuschak in fine form as he made 3 fine saves including snatching one of Dwight Gayle’s head. Ritchie did bundle the ball into the net but it was ruledout he showed his professionalism by telling the crowd to **** off. 

Admission – Borrowed ticket  Attendance – unknown at moment

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Game 72 – St Andrews Netherton 3 Amblecote Nomads 2 18/3/2017

Basement side Nomads produced a fine display to frustrate table toppers Netherton. This game in the West Midlands Christian League one took place at the Hadley Stadium. On paper this should have been a walk over but the Nomads played well. Nomads in the yellow took the lead on 20 minuyes,  cutting in from the left and shooting low. It took 19 minutes to equalize but a strike from outside the box levelled it before the break. Nomads keeper played a blinder with some fine save’s. 

Netherton took the lead in the second half, tapping in a ball from the right . Nomads refused to lie down,  they were awared a free kick on the wing, it was played into the box and a outstretched leg diverted the ball into the net. Sadly, the inevitable winner did come late on,similar to Nomads first but with more ferocity,  cut in from the left and fired home.

Admission – Free   Attendance – 6

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Game 71 – Lozells Strikers 2  Saltley Stallions 8 12/3/2017

I’ll be quick writing this as it’s late and I have to be up at 4am for work so today after work I attended this game in the Birmingham Shapla League . All Shapla games are held at Moor Lane in Witton . The last time I was here it was all badly organised with games kickin off well after the advertised 2pm start.

It eventually kicked off at 2.17pm with second placed Stallions taking on 7th Lozells in the red strip. To be honest, Lozells were robbed early on, a stinging drive bounced down off the bar and over the line but the goal was not given. 

Stallions took the lead on 9 minutes, a deep ball into the box was finished by the unmarked man.the same msn scuffed in a second before they went 3-0 up on 40 minutes with a low shot across the keeper. 

After half time, they were 4 0 up from a backward header. After inteoduci g a triple substitution things went bad for Saltley for a while as they concede by laying the ball off for a unmarked player to make it 4 1. It was 4 2 moments later shooting into the far corner .

It was business as usual afree that as Lozells crumbled . It was 5 2 from a tap in , before a crushing sixth was added when the keeper failed to catch the ball. 

It was 7 2 , when they cut in from the left before firing in a powerful shot . The final goal came near the end when a cross cone shot came through the crowded box, a player stuck out his leg to ping the ball into the roof of the net.

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Game 70 – Stafford Town 4 Lichfield City 1 11/3/2017

Lowly Stafford easily saw off a poor Lichfield side this afternoon. This was my 164th ground , Evans Park. I missed the ground as it is quite poorly signposted and a distance off the road but eventually found it and ended up missing the first couple of minutes. This game is the Midland League Division One saw strugglers Stafford against play off chasers Lichfield. 

Evans Park is a very good facility by the River in Stafford. Opened in 2012, it has a 3g pitch aswell as a quality seated stand. It has a tea hatch and a small no frills room with a tv , cans of beer are available for £2.

Stafford went ahead in the opening five minutes from a Lichfield own goal by Jordan Hunt  . My associate Pasty Sam on a rare trip up from Worcester was mesmerised by the Performance of Lichfield’s number 4 who seemed poor , it was he who gave the second away , in a defensive blunder that allowed Mtumbi to slot home

In the second half , it was business as usual as Ryan Pace made it 3-0 from the spot, down the middle. Stafford’s best goal came after Machingauta ran out of defence up the field to create a chance , the ball was played Back in for Jeremy Redler to half volley home. A well beaten Lichfield composed one moment of quality when Dan Thurstance cracked home a 20 yard strike.

Admission- £4  Attendance – 60

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