A little busier this month as I managed to get 8 games in, though I only really ventured out and about once.
That was to North Shields for their FA Vase 5th Round tie with Kent based Phoenix Sports. The hosts won 4-1 in front of 1092 fans in a game that became increasingly bad tempered as it wore on. Sports finishing with 10 men, the lad who saw red was mocked over the PA as he made his way off to the point of him then trying to fight everybody.
Atherton Collieries and Barnton had a Friday night double, Colls winning both games, 2-1 at home in the league and 2-0 away in the divisional league cup. Another Friday night game also involved a team from Atherton, this time LR and again the side from Atherton won, a 1-0 derby win over Daisy Hill on a cold night.
Trafford and Marine met midweek, the visitors winning a cracking game 3-2, Altrincham and Forest Green Rovers shared 4 goals in a decent game memorable for a beauty of a strike from Jon ‘The Beast’ Parkin, moments after I had slated him on twitter.
At the end of the month I saw Curzon Ashton tear Ilkeston apart by a 4-0 scoreline, all the goals coming in the first half and Squires Gate winning at Abbey Hey 2-1
GAME OF THE MONTH: North Shields 4 Phoenix Sports 1
GROUND OF THE MONTH: North Shields
RED CARDS: 5
NEW GROUNDS: North Shields; Altrincham; Barnton
I started the new year off like I finished 2014, with what turned out to be a fairly quiet month, once again just the 6 games.
New Years Day was ‘Derby Day’ over in Tameside and I headed off to Stalybridge Celtic as the welcomed Hyde United, the Tigers fans boycotting the game due to segregation and watching from the hill overlooking Bower Fold. Not sure how long they stayed as their side got thrashed by Celtic, 7-1 the final score. Ouch.
A couple of days later and I was off to north Liverpool, Marine, who played Nantwich Town, in a game that was a little void of entertainment, the Dabbers left Merseyside with all 3 points following a 1-0 victory. After waiting a full week I was on the opposite coast as Bridlington Town drew 1-1 with Staveley Miners Welfare, where after 71 games I saw female official.
It was then a 2 weeks wait due to weather before I headed off east again. Goole this time. Kidsgrove Athletic came, won 3-1 departed back off to Staffordshire with the 3 points on a clear but cold day. It was cold again a couple of days later as Ossett Town came to New Mills, though to be fair, I have been cold at New Mills in April. Town won 2-1.
If that wasn’t enough for the Millers, I was at Lancaster City 5 days later as they lost 4-0. A scoreline which flattered the visitors, City could have had 8 or 9.
GAME OF THE MONTH: Goole 1 Kidsgrove Athletic 3
GROUND OF THE MONTH: Marine
RED CARDS: 1
NEW GROUNDS: Stalybridge Celtic; Marine; Bridlington Town; Goole; Lancaster City
Just six games made up my final month of 2014.
An absolute snorefest at Stockport County as they drew 0-0 with AFC Fylde on a bitter evening, it was awful, luckily better was to follow 4 days later. Much better. Newcastle Benfield travelled down from the North-East for a ‘walkover’ against Chadderton in the 3rd round of the FA Vase. Only they had not accounted for lady luck and determination, the hosts upsetting the odds with a 2-1 win.
It was a full 7 days before I managed to get my next game in, but it was well worth the wait as Smethwick Rangers lost 4-3 at Malvern Town, had 2 players sent off, finished the game with 8 men due to an injury as well as having their manager sent to the stands, what an afternoon.
Again I had to wait a full week, though this one didn’t end in quite as much fun as FC Halifax Town won 2-0 against a relegation bound Nuneaton Town. Following Christmas Day, I managed another 2 games at Northwich Victoria and Silsden as they beat Droylsden and Barnoldswick Town. The hosts winning 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.
GAME OF THE MONTH: Chadderton 2 Newcastle Benfield 1
GROUND OF THE MONTH: Malvern Town
RED CARDS: 3
NEW GROUNDS: Malvern Town; FC Halifax Town; Silsden
What a start November had. Atherton Collieries visited Daisy Hill in the FA Vase and it was another 8 goal thriller. That is about as good as you can say for the hosts. Colls ran out 8-0 winners and missed a penalty. Though they fell at the next hurdle, losing 2-1 at home to Seaham Red Star. Five nights before their defeat in the Vase they beat neighbours LR 4-2 after extra-time in the NWCFL Division One Cup.
Early on in the month Glossop North End went to Maine road and won 3-0 in a fairly even match, in another tight game at the end of the month they lost 1-0 to 1874 Northwich.
A soon to be defunct Stockport Sports lost at home to St Helens Town 2-0 in front of still my lowest ever attendance, just 16 of us there. West Didsbury & Chorlton won 2-1 away at Bootle on a cold and grey afternoon a few days before, on a very cold night, Cheadle Town and Hanley Town played out a 1-1 draw in the aforementioned NWCFL trophy. That included extra-time. Only the bravest were still around for the penalty shoot-out. Hanley Town prevailed.
I went to Crook Town v Penrith, more about that at the end of my year. Total class.
My month finished at Skelmersdale United as they drew 1-1 with Grantham Town.
GAME OF THE MONTH: Crook Town 4 Penrith 4
GROUND OF THE MONTH: Crook Town
RED CARDS: 4
NEW GROUNDS: Stockport Sports; Bootle; Crook Town; 1874 Northwich; Skelmersdale United
I attended 10 games in October, starting with a FA Vase weekend as West Didsbury & Chorlton and St Helens Town dispatched Northern Counties East teams in the Second Qualifying Round. Rossington Main and Nostell Miners Welfare their respective victims.
The following Friday was a big evening in Atherton as Colls took on Daisy Hill, a massive gate of over 600 turned up to witness a fantastic game, both sides attacking from the off, Colls winning 5-3. I headed over to Yorkshire the following day, to the Oldest Football Ground in the World. Hallam play at Sandygate, a venue that has been in use for, well, a very long time. Hallam lost a man to a red card and the game 3-2 to Shirebrook Town.
I met Gary Langley, he of NWCFL and programme fame on my way to Litherland REMYCA for a midweek game against Wigan Robin Park, the match which took place in a downpour finished in a one-sided victory for REMYCA by a 4-0 scoreline.
Another weekend, another trip to Yorkshire, Doncaster this time, as Armthorpe Welfare upset the odds in beating Handsworth Parramore 1-0 on a sunny afternoon. Midweek I stayed as local as it gets, Trafford are the closest team to where I live, Ashton United visited and left with 3 points, scoring the winner in their 2-1 victory late into stoppage time.
I finished the month with a weekend in Wales. Friday night was Bangor City v Connahs Quay Nomads, the visitors winning 2-0 in a tight game. Saturday afternoon was my second visit to Prestatyn Town, where there was another away win, Carmarthen Town leaving with a victory, 3-1 the final score in a bad tempered game, the hosts finishing with 9 men. Sunday and it was back to The Rock, Cefn Druids and Airbus UK Broughton drawing 1-1 in another tight and close match.
GAME OF THE MONTH: Atherton Collieries 5 Daisy Hill 3
GROUND OF THE MONTH: Hallam
RED CARDS: 4
NEW GROUNDS: St Helens Town; Hallam; Litherland REMYCA; Armthorpe Welfare; Bangor City
A quieter month than August started with a Friday evening game as Clitheroe welcomed New Mills and somehow let them leave with a point in a 2-2 draw where they should have claimed all 3 points. The following day I was at Irlam to watch their FA Vase tie with St Helens Town. This was the second time I had seen a game go into extra-time as the visitors claimed the victory by a 2-1 scoreline.
Northwich Victoria thumped Burscough 5-0 a few days later at Flixton in a very one-sided game; I followed this up on the Saturday with an FA Cup tie at Sheffield FC. The worlds oldest club knocking out Shepshed Dynamo in a thrilling game 3-2.
Two days later there was a bit of a row at half-time between the Curzon Ashton groundsman and some Skelmersdale United fans about the use of sprinklers at half-time in certain areas of the pitch. The Nash ran out 2-0 winners so it possibly played some part.
Another Saturday and another cup-tie, this time between Cammell Laird 1907 and Northwich Flixton Villa, Lairds finally making their class tell with a 4-1 win. Another team with numbers at the end of their name, Darlington 1883, rolled into town on the Tuesday. On a very wet evening the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw.
My final match of the season was during an extended weekend away in Scotland, Eyemouth United losing 4-1 at home to top of the table Peebles Rovers, where a run of 10 games without seeing a penalty finally came to an end.
GAME OF THE MONTH: Sheffield FC 3 Shepshed Dynamo 2
GROUND OF THE MONTH: Sheffield FC
RED CARDS: 1
NEW GROUNDS: Clitheroe; Sheffield FC; Curzon Ashton; Cammell Laird 1907; Radcliffe Borough; Eyemouth United
Finally after just shy of 6 weeks off it was footy time again.
A first trip out into the hills of Lancashire and to Bacup & Rossendale Borough, unfortunately they didn’t really turn up, Glossop North End started an incredible season trouncing them 6-0. GNE again a few days later as Maine Road visited them, another victory for the Hillmen, 2-0 this time.
Off on my travels on the following Saturday, I went North to Newton Aycliffe, where West Auckland Town won 4-0 on a sunny afternoon. The weather had changed a bit for a midweek game, Knutsford entertained an Aston Villa kit wearing Linotype Cheadle Heath Nomads, great game as the visitors won 4-3 despite being down to 10 men and 3-2 down late on. The following night I went to Flixton, Northwich Flixton Villa v Cheadle Town, the hosts pulling off a surprising 2-1 win.
FA Cup time next, Glasshoughton Welfare going out after losing 2-1 to Knaresborough Town, later in the month I was in Yorkshire for the next round as the hosts again lost 2-1, Garforth Town at home this time, Harrogate Railway Athletic the victors.
Ashton Athletic scored a late winner to overcome Winsford United 2-1, before I went west over to Wales. Cefn Druids, the oldest club in Wales, home of the Welsh Braga, hosted Aberystwyth Town on the Friday of the bank Holiday Weekend, lost 5-0 in a one-sided game, though it was nothing compared to the following day. Llandudno Junction beat LlanfairPwll 11 (ELEVEN) – 0. A record score that, at the time of writing, has yet to be beaten. Bank Holiday Monday was spent at Salford City as they beat Droylsden
GAME OF THE MONTH: Knutsford 3 Linotype Cheadle Heath Nomads 4
GROUND OF THE MONTH: Bacup & Rossendale Borough
RED CARDS: 4
NEW GROUNDS: Bacup & Rossendale Borough; Newton Aycliffe; Knutsford; Glasshoughton Welfare; Ashton Athletic; Cefn Druids; Llandudno Junction; Salford City; Garforth Town