The festive football period this time.

8 01 2015

Wigan Athletic 1 Rotherham United 2
Football League Championship
20/12/14

A cheap ticket to Manchester, FC United rained off, Wigan at home, DVDs from Fopp, Christmas jumpers and banter on the Piccadilly platform, a free ticket in the away end from a steward.

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Prestatyn Town 1 Bangor City 2
Welsh Premier League
21/12/14

There’s nothing more satisfying than another win for the blues, especially when it comes against a club that revels in using their shoulders to support chips.

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Bala Town A Bangor City A
Welsh Premier League
26/12/15

Abandoned at half time. I refused to travel to Bala as a political protest against the lack of public transport on Boxing Day.

Tranmere Rovers 2 Northampton Town 1
Football League League Two
28/12/14

Two top top lads were at it on Rock Ferry’s platforms;”WE’RE NORTHAMPTON TOWN, WE’LL GO WHERE WE WANT…………………Where’s the ground mate?” The Northampton fans were at it in the ground; “FEEDTHESCOUSERSSIGNONWITHAPENINYOURHAND!!!!!!!!!!!” Thankfully Tranmere won. Tranmere sold me a ticket for next week’s FA Cup match and I unknowingly used it to get in.

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Bangor City 0 Bala Town 3
Welsh Premier League
2/1/15

Bala are ostensibly one of the best teams in the league, I obviously don’t understand football.

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Ashton United 0 FC United 2
Northern Premier League Premier League
3/1/15

It’s lovely to go to a match and do something socially progressive, today I donated a coat to FC United Big Coat Appeal. I’d never seen a mock-Tudor clubhouse until today. What an atmosphere!!! What songs!!! Good goals too.

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Festive Football Fun!!!

9 01 2014
Bangor City 1 Afan Lido 0
Welsh Premier League
21/12/13

I am pleased to announce that I ticked off one of the items on my bucket list today. I can finally say that I have been able to  “Watch a football match in a typhoon” ! Until ten to four this didn’t seem likely as today was just like any other rainy December Saturday, luckily the weather god turned the tap and wind machine on.

Typhoon Terry certainly was a sight to behold; even the people seated fifteen seats in to the stand got wet. I’ve experienced most weather types as fan and player but I’ve never seen rain swirl like that before.

The match was forgettable until the magic moment depicted in this photo. Lido were entitled to feel a little aggrieved as their defensive endeavours probably merited a point.

The late goal may have put a spring in everyone’s step but the standing water on the pitch told us how fortunate Bangor had been. If the Typhoon Terry had started 5 minutes earlier an abandonment would have been likely.

How narrow the threads between triumph and boredom!

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Bangor City 4 Bala Town 2
Welsh Premier League
26/12/13 

Bala are one of those awkward teams like Prestatyn where the matches are annoyingly close without a chance to relax. Today seemed typical after 15 minutes; Bala were 2-0 up mainly because of Bangor’s defensive sloppiness. Minds drifted to May’s play-off capitulation. Before people were able to worry too much Bangor were level, Sion scored the first and Les scored a fantastic equaliser. The useless keeper might have saved Les’ shot if he’d have used his correct hand.

The second half was really comfortable considering it was Bogey Bala. Petrie and Miley scored the goals. It was a good job the second half was so comfortable as Phil told me of rather disconcerting news from the internet. It was rumoured that we’d signed Shaun Tuck. Needless to say it wasn’t a pleasant journey home.

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Stockport County 1 Workington 1
Conference North
28/12/13

 There are several things that can lead someone to doubt their choice of match, quite a few of them happened today.

The self-appointed efficiency of Jobworths.  I saw the eagle-eyed beardy zero in on four teenagers as they ate chips. With all the bearded bravado he could muster he uttered “I saw you stumbling off the coach when it arrived, You can’t come in”. You have an inkling you may not enjoy a match when your first sight of a club official is a steward reading the Riot Act to some teenagers.

None of the teenagers were obviously drunk, none of them were staggering, giggling or missing their mouths with their chips, but Beardy had to make a vulgar display of fluorescent jacketed power. The teenagers may have gone to the trouble of travelling from the environs of the Scottish border to offer Stockport entrance money but what does this matter when a jobsworth has the heady scent of power in his nostrils?

The exorbitant cost – Today I had visited a club in a semi-pro league that sells tickets for £15 – You had to buy tickets – programmes for £3 and matchday meal deals (Pie / Hot Dog / Burger & Bottle of Coke) for £5. I know Stockport have suffered, and continue to suffer from, financial problems but £23 for a normal matchday experience at the 6th level of English football is taking the piss. If Stockport wanted to improve their crowds shouldn’t they be offering a cheaper day out?

The weather – It was cold

The poor standard of football – The football wasn’t much to write home about. (I’m used to this however)

The “Atmosphere” – Some teenagers had a drum and sang about the crap away support.

“Local Characters” – At half time I sat at the end of a row – I need leg room for “Six-a-Side Goalkeepers’ Knee” – in a sea of unoccupied seats.  Just before the second half started a bloke came up to me and said “I’m sorry but that’s my seat…….No Offence but I’ve sat there for 30 years and there are plenty of others.”

The wrong person with a microphone – The hospitality announcer got on my nerves with his less than subtle product placement.

The weather – It was cold.

The exorbitant cost – I paid £15 for the privilege of watching players that are worse than Colwyn Bay’s.

The weather – It was cold.

The exorbitant cost – I paid £15 for the privilege of watching players that are worse than Colwyn Bay’s.

The weather – It was cold.

I’ll probably go again.

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Rhyl 2 Prestatyn Town 1
Welsh Premier League
1/1/14 

Bangor’s return match with Bala suffered the inevitable postponement so I went to Rhyl with Eric. The match may not have been very good but at least there was a satisfying result. Would the relgation of Prestatyn be too much to hope for?

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Bangor City 1 XXX XXX XXXXXX X
Welsh Premier League
4/1/14 

A match happened on this afternoon.





Festive football frolics

1 01 2013
Bangor City 3 Prestatyn Town 3
Welsh Premier League
28/12/12

This match was a hastily rearranged match. If I had my way there would have been another rearrangement. The conditions were so atrocious in the second half –  the combination of wind, rain and cloud made the pitch appear as though it were situated in a wind tunnel – they were was hazardous to our health. I’ll be making an approach to the relevant authorities..

This move has nothing to do with the fact Bangor City contrived to waste a three goal lead. I’m not motivated by sour grapes, I’m not a bitter person. I may think Gibson is a contemptible swine but I’m not bitter. I may detest Dave Hayes, I may not be able to stand Wilson but I can assure you that I’m not bitter. I may not be able to abide the Prestatyn approach but I’m not bitter. I am a bitterness free zone, bitterness doesn’t live here any more baby. I don’t know how else I can say it, I’m not bitter. I’M NOT BITTER, OK! …….Ahem!!!…… For the first 70 odd minutes the match went as we hoped, even with our nemesis Lee Kendall in their goal. In the first half he let in two goals and Bangor exerted a measure of control despite playing in to the wind. Early in the second half Peter Hoy’s knee caused Bangor’s third goal. It was all going to plan. We were 3-0 up!!!

With about 20 minutes left I casually asked Les a question; “If we win how many points ahead of Prestatyn will we be?” Les answered as if I’d tempted spiteful spirits; “Let’s win the game first!!”. I thought I’d qualified the question with the word “if” but never mind. I didn’t care if people thought I was quietly confident, who’d ever heard of a team losing a 3-0 lead?

The insouciance of my question seemed long, long ago when we finally made it to injury time. In fact things began to get a bit jittery just after I asked the question. During the last 20 minutes I tried to remind myself that 2-0 was the most dangerous score in the world not 3-0 (2-0 was big enough to make you relax but small enough to make you worry if the other side scores.) but I still sensed something was going to happen, and so it happened.

When Prestatyn scored what turned out to be their first goal in the 80th minute I knew my emotions couldn’t rest. I tried to reassure myself, “We were still 3-1 up, we were still 3-1 up!!” but Prestatyn’s ex football league players began to find space just when Bangor’s players started to lose confidence, I knew they would make it 3-2 from that particular attack in the last minute. By injury time the jitters had been replaced by inevitability. I knew Prestatyn were going to equalise. They did.

I travelled home in a sense of shock. It turns out that 3-0 and not 2-0 is the most dangerous lead to have.

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Tranmere Rovers 1 Scunthorpe United o
nPower League One
29/12/12

I tried not to think about the events of last night but any effort was futile. It didn’t matter what I did, the 3-0 lead haunted me like  a Jacob Marley door knocker. A voice in my head taunted me; “3-0, 3-0, 3-0!!!”

“3-0, 3-0, 3-0!!!” plagued me when I bought a Justice Collective single, “3-0, 3-0, 3-0!!!” was there when I finished Wiggo’s book, it was there when a misleading poster sent me to the Walker art gallery to view an exhibition that had finished, it was there when I tried to find the right sort of t-shirt in shops of Bold Street, it was there when I bought lunch in Tesco, it was there when I was waited for the train to Birkenhead Central and it was there when I walked to Prenton Park, it was there when I stopped to gaze at an autumnal scene, it was there when I felt a stabbing pain in my ankle, it was there when I waited for a bus to Prenton Park, it was there when the wind whipped through Prenton Park…. Nothing took the edge of last night ‘s memory. The jeering voice was never silenced., thankfully by the second half “3-0, 3-0, 3-0!!!” the voice had developed the mellifluous rhythm of a drunk in a late night train carriage.

Mind you I still had a few moments of clarity. When I saw the scoreboard I realised that Nigel Adkins was a thread that connected Tranmere, Scunthorpe, Bangor City and match of the day. A few minutes later the scoreboard made me think of the three Ms; “Motivation, Motivation, Motivation!!” (The three Ms were made famous by famous Scunny man Alan Latchley).  I was thrilled to see that Max Power was on the pitch. He actually looks like the player with the name you want to touch, but you cannnnnnot touch!

I was thrilled to see Jake Cassidy up front. Of all the players I’ve watched Jake has made the biggest jump. Taking the Welsh Premier League as equivalent of Step 6 in the English system Jake has gone from step 9 (Llandudno Junction in the Welsh Alliance) to step 3 (Tranmere), via step 1/ 2 (Wolves), in 18 months.  He’s also gained international caps in that time. I liked the way I saw Tranmere play constantly positive and cohesive  football for the first time. I liked the way Tranmere won. I liked the fact I left on the final whistle and still made the bus to town.

As I waited for my wife outside Rhyl station  the jeering voice filled my head with it’s lilting refrain…..”3-0, 3-0, 3-0!!!”

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Prestatyn Town 4 Bangor City 1
Welsh Premier League
1/1/13

Things were alright for most the first half;  Bangor were on top and we even went 1-0 up. There were also quite a few disturbing little details mind you; not only did Prestatyn equalise thanks to a mistake they also engineered situations that resulted in bookings for Bangor players but then decency is probably anathema to a team built in the image of a shitbag. And it was bloody cold, and my new coat isn’t as windproof as it looks.  The lilting drunk returned to my head……”3-0, 3-0, 3-0!!!”

Then the second half happened and I’m at a loss to describe what happened. All I know is that Prestatyn scored three goals and Bangor didn’t. Lady luck, that syphilitic harridan, was on Prestatyn’s side, their third goal was created when the ball hit the bar, looped up like a weighted balloon, and landed at the feet of Prestatyn’s Jason Price. The ball could have landed anywhere but it landed at his feet. Let’s just say this wasn’t Bangor’s day and take this bad luck on the chin. A philosophical attitude certainly helped, it even transformed Lee Kendall into a lovable character.

When I think about the last two matches against Prestatyn all I can say is “Football, don’t you just love it!!!!”. Bangor were the better team for 69.4 % of the two matches (roughly 125 out of 180 minutes) yet gained 1 point instead of 4 or 6. Bangor are now a point behind the Seasiders.

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