Pleasantly Disturbed

Think of a colour
Tell me what you see
That colour’s red
You can take it from me

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GAME OF THE WEEK

Altrincham 3 Halesowen Town 0

The Evo-Stik Premier Division

Attendance: 808

Gate: £10

Programme: Unsure, forgot to get one

Due to an engagement in the evening, off to watch the excellent comedian Paul Chowdry, I had to stay local. A scan of all the nearby fixtures, I thought to myself that I hadn’t been to Moss Lane for a while, just shy of 8 months, and Alty were hitting a bit of form. No-brainer.

On a unseasonally warm afternoon the 245 carried me from Urmston to the centre of Altrincham and a 10 minutes stroll later I was at Moss Lane. I had been here 6 times before and quite incredibly for the run of form they have had in this period, I had yet to see them lose at home.

A ground for the those of us who love the older things in life. Well most of it is. The main side with it’s fairly brand new hall, less new main stand and family/sponsors stand looks fairly ok. Going in an anti-clockwise direction there is an open terrace, followed by my favourite part of the ground. The Popular Side Terrace is covered. A mixture of posts, scaffolding and anything else they could lay their hands on, it is a gem. Love it. The final end has covered standing and the home fans can make a fair noise when they get going from here.

So, on to the first half. Only there is not much to say at all. It was pretty shocking if I am honest. Best forgotten as quickly as is humanly possible.

Right, on to half-time, which although nothing happened was more bearable than the opening 45 minutes.

Whatever was said at half-time, in particular to the home team, worked. Straight from the off there was pace and purpose, this wasn’t the same team I had seen 15 minutes earlier. In less than a minute the Robins were 1-0 up. Neat play on the right, Hancock played in, finished low and hard into the far corner. That is why Alty are flying.

With that, the game sprang into life, the reds were bossing the game, Poole went close before a strange penalty decision. A Yeltz defender was caught ball watching in the area as a forward pinched the ball off his toes and was tripped by another defender, only the ball went out to the wing. The official signalled advantage. Yes, advantage. As the whole ground thought ‘What?’ He realised his error and correctly gave the spot-kick. Johnston tucked it away.

A pattern of play had been established now and continued until the final whistle, Alty controlling the game, creating chances whilst Town were left to breaking away, that said, if it wasn’t for two good stops by Thompson in the home goal they would have rather unfairly been back in the match.

Finally with just under 10 minutes remaining it was 3-0 as Poole finished with ease as Alty toyed with the Yeltz back line. What a difference half-time made.

ADDED ON

I took my pal James to Maine Road on Monday for his first ever visit. It was my 21st. After Road hit the post early on it was Padiham who then took control. Taking the lead just after the quarter of an hour to a goal officially scored by Boyle. Looked like an own goal by the keeper to me.

The teams swapped chances and went close a couple of times before the interval. In the second half the Storks took control, Craig missed a glorious chance with a header before he slotted his sides second. With the visitors in total control the hosts pulled one back with a dozen or so minutes left. A cross from the left was turned into his own goal by Holden,

Step up Hart, picking up a ball around the halfway line, he ran 20 or so yards before chipping the keeper to perfection. Absolute class. Take a bow son. 3-1 game over.

For the second Friday in a row I was starting the weekend the right way. Over to Prestwich with the father-in-law on a windy evening. Both teams went for this one and to be fair I cannot think of a time when I have seen either in anything less than an entertaining match. Chaddy smashed one against the bar early on with the keeper beaten all ends up, Heys were slightly the better side when they took the lead on the half hour through Bruce.

A second followed through White from the penalty spot, a fairly soft award from the officials handing the hosts a 2 goal advantage at the break. Chaddy did have the ball in the net at the end of the half but it was ruled out for offside, coming in a spell where the visitors were on top.

Following the break Heys continued to dominate, Baguley put them 3-0 up on the hour and then Chaddy sprang into life. Son of the England International Scholes thumped a header home 3 minutes later, Iloube added a second for the visitors 5 minutes after that, Chaddy were flying.

For the next 10 minutes it only looked like a matter of time before Chadderton equalised, chances were coming, one had to be taken, surely? No. Heys added a fourth and could breathe again, Bruce claiming his second.

Most of the second half was spent in the company of Alan and Mark Riding, father and son combo from 1874 Northwich, who tried (and failed) to find a successful manager who has played under Fergie. Don’t try, there isn’t one.

GAMES

Mon: Maine Road 1 Padiham 3

Fri: Prestwich Heys 4 Chadderton 2

Sat: Altrincham 3 Halesowen Town 0

FACTS

Games: 427

Goals:  1459

Grounds: 202

Games since a 0-0: 40

Milestone: 750th Home goal – Bruce (Prestwich Heys)

SOUNDTRACK

Life in a Day – Simple Minds

The View from the Afternoon

And you can pour your heart out.
Around three o’ clock

GAME OF THE WEEK

Trafford 0 Prescot Cables 2

The Evo-Stik North

Attendance: 324

Gate: £8

Programme: £2

On a cold evening in February I saw these two teams play at Prescot. Cables ran out 2-0 winners, one of those goals being from the 12 yard spot. Who says lightning does not strike twice.

A short walk from where I live, Shawe View or the First Point Shawe View Stadium to give it its current moniker. On such a beautiful day, it felt like the opening day of the season in shirt sleeves, I was soon inside and making my way round to the far side near the railway.

A picturesque ground with greenery all around, Trafford’s home is always a pleasure to visit, something I have now done 18 times. To the east the end behind the goal has a small covered terrace, opposite is open with grass banking, that features as part of the main stand end too. It is at the main stand side that you find everything you need at the club. Bar, food hut, covered seating, changing rooms, open terracing, grass banking, dugouts, changing rooms, you get the picture, there is even a press box where the PA guy sits. Opposite this, is another covered seating area along with open standing.

Neither team has enjoyed the start to their season, the hosts have yet to win a game, though to be fair, before today the only side to beat them in the league were the high flying South Shields. Cables have had a slightly better time in the league, but had suffered the ignominy of conceding 8 in the cup against a team from a lower division.

I do not think I am being unkind to either side when I say the opening 45 minutes was not a classic. Trafford struggled to get any kind of game going, whilst Cables toiled too despite being slightly the better of the two sides. In fact, when I tell you the best bit was when Cables forwards Dean and Southworth had to swap shirts, I think you get the picture. Not sure why it was spotted after 10 minutes.

The second half was better, though not for the home fans. Prescot took the lead 5 minutes after the break, a delightful through ball by Faux found Southworth (I think!) who was through on goal and he finished with ease past Shenton in the home goal.

One criticism that cannot be levelled at Trafford is lack of commitment, the only problem though is lack of confidence to go with it. Whilst they huffed and puffed to try and get back in the game, the threat was always at the other end. That was until the 55th minute when the hosts won a penalty. For the second home game in a row they did not take the opportunity, up stepped Williams, his effort was brilliantly saved by Burgess.

Cables were in control the game was over, that was until they brought on Owolabi with less than 10 minutes to go. His running caused Trafford problems at the back and with 2 minutes remaining he won a penalty, though he clearly handled in the build-up. Wynne, who had been impressive all afternoon converted, 2-0 was not a scoreline that flattered.

I am not sure what the answer is, but Trafford need something to add that sparkle, at the moment the team seems flat. The players they have are better than this performance and their league position, I am sure they will soon be heading up the league.

ADDED ON

Unlike most people, Bank Holiday Monday was a write-off for me, work beckoned and unfortunately, I could not say no. Unimpressed.

Tuesday, there was only one game locally worthy of a visit, City of Liverpool FC v Charnock Richard, both scoring goals for fun, surely it had to be a feisty one. For an hour it was a cracker. The ‘Purps’ bossed it, led 2-0, missed a penalty as both teams were reduced to 10 men. A quick nod to Charnock’s Schofield who scored a thumping own goal, sorry lad but it was a belter.

The last 30 minutes just drifted away, the only real sour note though were the antics of CoL’s number 9, McDonald. His play acting bordered on farcical at times and was tiring. Daft thing is, he is a bloody good footballer when he isn’t rolling around.

The following night and it was Cheadle Town hosting Prestwich Heys, another feisty one, without all the histrionics of Mr McDonald, Heys deserved winners, leading 3-0 at half-time, they should have been out of sight. Town gave it a go in the second half but it was all a little too late, Heys running out 4-2 winners. A cracker none the less. Second half spent in part in the company of Ian Williams, always a pleasure sir. The final nod goes to the liner of the stand side, loved the first half chatter.

GAMES

Tue: City of Liverpool FC 2 Charnock Richard 0

Wed: Cheadle Town 2 Prestwich Heys 4

Sat: Trafford 0 Prescot Cables 2

FACTS

Games: 411

Goals:  1395

Grounds: 197

Games since a 0-0: 24

SOUNDTRACK

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys