Hyde and Speak

The last few weeks have seen an upturn in the Daggers fortunes, with eight points garnered from the last four league games. Although it hasn’t propelled us as far up the table as we would probably have liked, it has at least given us a bit of breathing room above the teams that are still hovering around at the bottom.

Following on from last weeks nerve destroying win over Bradford, things took arguably a backwards step during the week, thanks to a 2-0 defeat at Southend in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Having missed the game, the text updates from Dagenham Dan were brief although his considered opinion was that I hadn’t missed much. So that was alright then.

To be honest, the JPT is the most likely route that we would have had of getting to Wembley, although given the calibre of teams in the southern half of the competition it would have taken a phenomenal run to get to within sight of the arch this year.  That still wouldn’t stop me using bet365 football betting though to put a couple of quid on just that event.

Still, that avenue is closed off for another year, and so all we have to look forward to now is the FA Cup, the Essex Senior Cup (which is a big trophy literally) and several months of league games. Still, it could be a whole lot worse.

Having decided (possibly against better judgement) to go to the England game last night, it is with a sense of relief that we might actually witness a proper game tonight, instead of a one way traffic kind of encounter. Today we make our first ever visit to the Proact Stadium, the just over two year old home of Chesterfield. Continue reading

On the twelth day of Christmas….BLOODY FOOTBALL!

You choose a team. You choose a place to sit . You choose your new family. Choose a fucking big television to watch games played in 3-D slo-motion High Definition megatron action. Choose gnomes painted in club colours, nodding dogs, and electrical tin can openers. Choose a club branded pie and mineral water, bottled by hand in Iraq and club sponsored dental insurance. Choose your season ticket which now costs more than a two week holiday in Marbella. Choose your personalised over-priced home shirt that will be changed in a year’s time. Choose club-branded leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece club branded sofa on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics with a huge club crest embossed on the cushions. Choose Soccer AM and wondering who the fuck you are and what you are doing with your life on a Saturday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing bottom of the table Premier League fodder, trying to pretend they are worthy of a place on the gravy train, yet actually all they are concerned with is getting one more point than three other teams just so they can repeat the whole lot again the following season. Choose rotting away at the end of a Saturday night watching the Football League show for the 20 seconds of highlights of teams you don’t care about nor actually have any idea where they actually play, watching Premier League has been’s and want to be’s who will be nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up fans we all are, idolising them for 30 seconds before they follow the money to somewhere else, claiming “they’ve always been a big XYV FC fan” whilst not knowing anything about the history of the club. . . . But why would you want to do a thing like that? We don’t get to choose not to choose that: We are the chosen generation. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got football…Bloody football.

Possibly the best match report ever written

Northern Steve loves a game or two whenever I go up to visit him in the lowlands of Lincolnshire , but with no one to lead him astray the rest of the time he rarely gets to go to football.  My sister-in-law, SOCMF (Sister of Current Mrs Fuller), isn’t a “football lass”.  In fact the contempt she flicked at me when I got excited last year about a trip to Lincoln Moorlands Railways FC in the FA Cup just a few hundred yards away from her own front door was enough to have me hiding in the proverbial dug out for good.

But last week she surprised us all.  She willingly went to a football match. And just to show that she really does have a normal bone in her body, she actually quite liked it.  Well, that is what she told me.

“As me and (Northern) Steve haven’t been out for a few months I could hardly turn down a “date” with my husband.  The date turned out to be Lincoln Moorlands Railways versus Lincoln City in something called a “pre-season friendly”.  It was sold to me as a chance to catch up with some of our friends we hadn’t seen for a while.  Little did I realise that our friends were actually in opposition on the touchline (One of whom was Grant Brown who we interviewed here).

Steve knows how to treat a girl on a night out and he wasn’t shy about it, buy me a tea all to myself and a hotdog when we got to the ground, although I repaid him by spilling my onions all over his shoes.  True love never dies.

I haven’t got a clue who any of the players were because they didn’t have one of those big screen things we see on the TV.  They didn’t even have one of those magazine things, although that’s what Steve told me and he may have just have been too tight to buy one.

So you want a report?  Well here it is.  Moorlands were in yellow tops with blue shorts and Lincoln City were red and white striped tops and black shorts!! I always assumed they were called the Limps, but apparently it is the Imps which makes a bit more sense now. Two men took off their shirts and the Moorlands captain, number 9, was quite fit!! I think one team scored three goals and the other one scored one, but as they swapped sides at the break thing I have no idea what the final score was.”

So thanks for that SOCMF..I am sure we will all wait with baited breath for your next trip to football.

How was it for you? Part 6 – Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Nicola Hudson brings us the rollercoaster ride that has been Southport FC’s season back in the Blue Square Bet Premier.  And who is to say the ride has come to a complete stop just yet…

2010/2011 has been a high octane season full of emotion at both extremes of the spectrum for the players, management and fans of Southport FC.

With the campaign now over, Southport find themselves sitting fourth from bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier league, occupying the last relegation place, and the sense of disappointment throughout both the club and the town is overwhelming.

After becoming champions of the Blue Square Bet Conference North last season, the part-time Sandgrounders were always going to find this season in the Conference National challenging considering the calibre of the professional teams that they would have to compete against, but the nature of the defeat, with safety looking possible with ten minutes of the final match remaining, has left a bitter taste.

Southport manager Liam Watson entered the 2010 campaign with a squad largely unchanged from the one that had secured their promotion at Eastwood Town the previous season. Only a handful of players departed, the most notable being striker Ciaran Kilheeney who, after two successful seasons at Port, signed for Conference North side Droylsden to be replaced by Matty McNeil of League Two Stockport County. Continue reading

Prayers are answered if you ask nicely..

Nigel Henderson recants the moment that AFC Wimbledon completed their remarkable rise up the non league ladder.

On Saturday evening, about 20 minutes before the world was due to end according to a well-publicised American preacher, I lifted my eyes up to the greying sky above the City of Manchester Stadium and asked the Man Upstairs for one last favour.

As Danny Kedwell, the AFC Wimbledon captain, lined up the final of his team’s five penalties – one that would, should he score, clinch a “return” to the Football League for a club at least moulded in the Dons’ image, I realised that I wanted this more than anything. More than world peace, more than a successful and contented professional life, more even than dinner with Jennifer Aniston and whatever might follow over coffee at her Hollywood mansion – and even if it did mean eternal damnation.

Coming to a League Two ground near you soon

Kedwell did the job – as you knew the 25-goal striker just might – smashing the ball to the right of Mark Tyler, the Luton goalkeeper – and set off on a sprint of delight in front of the seating where the bulk of his team’s fans were massed. If the promised Rapture was not about to arrive for the world’s faithful, it had certainly arrived for the Wimbledon one.

It was a pinch-yourself moment. I turned to my friend Kev, and we hugged in disbelieving joy. Kev is a Derby County fan but had been at my side at Wembley in 1988 when the “original” Wimbledon had beaten extraordinary odds and a Double-chasing Liverpool team to add an FA Cup victory to their meteoric rise from non-League in 1977 to the top flight. He had also been present at Bottom Meadow, when AFC Wimbledon had played their first competitive game against Sandhurst Town in the lowest league of senior football. Continue reading