What About Me

But it’s alright you know
I really don’t mind that you know

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GAME OF THE WEEK

Wembley 3 Broadfields United 0

The Buildbase FA Vase 1st Round Proper

Attendance: 44

Gate: £5

Programme: £2

Thanks to another Virgin Trains Sale I was off to London.

After a quick look at the fixtures I picked a game, contacted the club concerned and never received the courtesy of a reply. So on Thursday I decided to change my mind, struggling to find a league match that grabbed me I remembered it was FA Vase weekend. Off to the site of the racists who run our game I scanned through the fixtures and one name jumped out straight away. Wembley. Sorted.

Excellent journey down to London (first class, got to love these sales) and Underground across to Sudbury Town, Vale Farm is a 10 minutes stroll away. When you turn off the road and down a driveway you are met by the clubhouse, with the turnstiles suddenly appearing on your left. In the cubicle was sat a wonderful gent who I had a nice chat with. My ignorance got the better of me and I didn’t get his name. Apologies sir and thank you for your time.

I love older grounds. Prefer any ground that is made up of different parts than something fresh with the flat pack stands. Wembley FCs home is a prime example of the latter, especially on the clubhouse side. Three sides of the ground have cover, the sides with seats, one end, to the north, is open standing, at which is the food bar where you can get a pretty decent burger and chips. In the distance you can see the arch of Wembley Stadium. Home to the bunch of buffoons who do their best to ruin our game.

Storm Brian blew threw North London throughout the game and made conditions hard to play in and on a number of occasions the wind took the ball away from its intended target. A pretty even first half saw Wembley cope better with the conditions and this showed in the number and quality of chances they created compared to United. Tyrer the right full-back/wing back/winger stood out as did Sabti who added a touch of class to proceedings. It was Sabti that gave his team the lead after 25 minutes when good play on the left led to the ball being cut back from the byeline, Sabti ome from 15 yards, 1-0 to the Lions.

The visitors nickname is the ‘Fighting Cocks’ and they certainly came out and gave it a fight in the second half. They controlled the game in terms of possession and territory but again struggled to create clear cut chances. Wembley looked dangerous on the break, when the forwards stayed onside they looked like adding to their single goal. Their second came on the break as Osborne pounced on a loose ball and slotted into an empty goal, it was harsh on United but class was showing.

Broadfields continued to push forward and as the game moved almost permanently into the Wembley half they gave it a bloody good go. A point blank save from Spinks by the hosts keeper Zulmatashvilli stopped United from having a chance of a comeback before with 10 minutes remaining Sabti finished off a move at the far post giving Faley in goal no chance.

In added on time a poor challenge from Edwards led to mass handbags, saw the referee try to break the world whistling record and ultimately after a thousand blasts on said whistle a red card for the blues number 5.

Back onto the tube to Euston, first class seats on Virgin Trains with the Macclesfield Town team. I arrived home after thoroughly enjoying a day out at Wembley in the FA Vase.

ADDED ON

A planned trip to Sandbach United was cancelled last minute due to traffic, off to Brookburn Road for my twelfth visit, and ultimately seventh defeat out of that 12, a kind of statistic that will get me barred. I was in the company of Mr Wilks, slowly introducing him to the grounds of the non league world, and in the presence of Mr I Breeze-Block, though he was hob-nobbing it with non league royalty.

Weird game really. West had most of the ball but Barlick looked the more dangerous side, an early header from Cavanagh gave the visitors the lead and whilst West had chances to pull level they were foiled either by their own quality or the defending of their opponents. The game was settled late on by Hill. His free-kick curled round a crumbling wall giving Ashley no chance in goal.

A deserved win for Barlick.

GAMES

Wed: West Didsbury & Chorlton 0 Barnoldswick Town 2

Sat: Wembley 3 Broadfields United 0

FACTS

Games: 429

Goals:  1464

Grounds: 203

Games since a 0-0: 42

Milestone: None

Random Fact: The Wembley match was my lowest attendance of the season.

SOUNDTRACK

The Cribs – The Cribs

Still Feeling Blue

I hope you’re out and happy now
Doing up the town ’cause you know how

GAME OF THE WEEK

Irlam 2 Parkgate 1

The Buildbase FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round

Attendance: 68

Gate: £5

Programme: £2

If it had not been for work I would not have been at this game, I would have been over the hills in Parkgate country. But I wasn’t, I was here.

It was only once I made the 5 miles journey home did I fully realise just how long it had been since my last visit to Silver Street, four weeks shy of a year or exactly 100 games. Far too long. Will not be this long again Irlam, I promise.

This ground is my ‘5 minutes journey’. Five minutes to Urmston Station, five minutes on the train, five minutes on the bus and five minutes walk up Silver Street. Easy peasy.

Clubhouse visited, Ian Williams met, hot pot bought, out to the ground to await the 2 teams. This was my 9th visit to Irlam’s home, a 50% win record for the Salford blues in my previous 8 games. My Parkgate record was just the one game, part of the Easter groundhop in 2015, a 2-1 home defeat.

Kicking off on this overcast afternoon, the hosts attacking the ’62’ end started the brighter and looked the more likely to score from the off, the reds from Rotherham just lacking that spark in the final third, the game started to get a bit niggly, something that would increase as the afternoon wore on, the referee failed to act on any of it and therefore made things worse later on.

However, halfway through the half we saw a touch of class as a move down the hosts right wing finished with Mooney coming in off the wing and firing low into the net, 1-0 Irlam. Aside from a Parkgate free-kick, which whizzed past the post the rest of the half did not leave much to remember from an entertainment point of view.

We did though see a red card and Irlam were lucky not to be reduced to 9. Following a set piece and ensuing scramble the referee blew as a visiting player was down with a head injury, with the ball still bouncing around the inevitable melee and handbags ensued. When all had been pulled apart, the blues skipper Mills had received his marching orders. Minutes later the whistle blew for half-time and Morrison’s screaming at the referee could easily have seen him see red too.

It was surely going to be a long second 45 minutes for Irlam, though to be fair they coped very well, and the big wait was for both sides out a good couple of minutes before the officials finally appeared. Give credit where it is due, you could not tell that Irlam were a man down for the rest of the game. Boland and substitute Illidge caused problems, Ledson and emergency defender Holt, looking fairly solid. Dhesi trying his best to drive the visitors forward.

With 10 minutes left the visitors grabbed an equaliser, the ball bouncing around the area, Alali rising above White and nodding in. Was I going to get an extra 30 minutes for the second time in a week? No. With five minutes to go, Irlam were awarded a penalty. No arguments, nailed on. Up step Boland, no nerves shown as he gave Ledger no chance. Game won.

So it was time to head home, courtesy of Ian Williams, First Buses, Northern Rail and my old legs.

ADDED ON

Well what do I know, as I walked along Brantingham Road I thought to myself that I should have given this game a miss. So glad I did not take my own advice. What a cracker. First half bossed by the hosts, should have gone in with a far bigger lead than the 2-1 scoreline, missing 2 great chances, 1 in particular. Totally bossed it.

After the break so did the visitors, who also could probably have finished with more goals than they did. Cracker of a game, one of those that you brag about being at, thanks to both teams.

In Glasgow with work the following day, the only option available to me was Partick Thistle v Glasgow Rangers in the BetFred Quarter-Final. Another end to end game, the 0-0 scoreline at half-time was down to poor finishing and great goalkeeping. After the break the Gers missed a glorious chance before Pena, the guy with the Jake the Snake haircut flicked the ball in with his head, or his ponytails. An equaliser in the 90th minute took us into extra-time.

There was only one team in it from this point and the Blues took a deserved place in the semi-finals.

GAMES

Mon: Maine Road 2 Runcorn Town 5

Tues: Partick Thistle 1 Glasgow Rangers 3 aet

FACTS

Games: 418

Goals:  1425

Grounds: 199

Games since a 0-0: 31

Milestone: N/A

SOUNDTRACK

GP – Gram Parsons