Monday, April 27, 2009

Burton Albion in the league

Well one of my new local clubs finally made it into the league at the expense of one of my new clubs. The Brewers who were running away with the Conference a few weeks ago finally had to rely on Cambridge drawing 0-0 with Altrincham. Perhaps it was just desserts for the 4-3 victory Cambridge had over Albion in the play off semi finals last year with a couple of dodgy decisions.

Burton Albion were formed in 1950 and started out life in the Birmingham and District League before bouncing around the Northern Premier League and Southern League depending on what was going on with other clubs being elected to relegated from the perspective leagues.

Their most famous game of recent years, up until they got promotion yesterday, was when they took Manchester United to a replay in the FA Cup third round in 2005-06. However, I saw them for the first time in a Northern Premier game at Buxton when Neil Warnock was their manager and I can also remember another FA Cup third round game where they were beaten by Leicester at the Baseball Ground, but the game had to be replayed at Coventry behind closed doors after a missile hit the goalkeeper.

I really started following the Brewers when they were topping the Southern League, not as a glory hunter, but because it was the local team. In 2000 and again in 2001 they ended up runners up to Weymouth and Margate before moving to the Northern Premier League in 2001 -2 and winning the title. At this time they were playing at the Eton Road ground, but in 2005 they moved across the road to the purpose built Pireeli Stadium. Great as the new stadium is it was still sad to lose the Football Tavern.

Next season will be the first time that Burton has had a team in the league since 1907 when Burton United left the league.

Burton Swifts who joined the Football Combination in 1890, joined the Football Alliance in 1891. The Alliance became the 2nd division of the league in 1892 and despite playing well at the start they had to apply for re-election in 1897, as did another Burton club, Burton Wanderers. The Swifts lived to fight another day, but the Wanderers were demoted from the league. The Swifts again had to apply for re-election in 1901 and in order to save their league status they decided to merge with Burton Wanderers to form Burton United. It wasn't a successful marriage though as Burton United came last in 1905,6 and 7. In 1907 the powers that be finally lost their patience and United ended up in the Birmingham and District League. Burton was therefor without a team in the league and has been since, but this is all going to change next season.

Notes on the pictures:
Top: The Burton Albion badge
Second: An advertisement for a league game between Burton Wanderers and Newcastle United.
Third : Burton United's original colours, as we can see although Burton Albion are famous for their black and amber kits (which have got more and more yellow over the years) most of the Burton clubs wore blue, however none of these teams had a real set colour and changed their colours on regular occassions.
Fourth: Burton Wanderers' original colours
Bottom: Burton Swifts' first shirts

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Last at the Unwin

Not the last game ever, thankfully, but yesterday was Ely's last home game of the season and judging by the rumours and recent performances it probably was the last game ever for quite a few members of the current squad.

Not surprisingly yesterday's game against Stanway was marked by poor officiating and poor defending on Ely's part.

For most of the match the Robins and the Rovers seemed equally matched, but it was Stanway who went ahead when Sam Newson scored for the visitors with a speculative shock that nobody defended against. Just before half time Ely were awarded a penalty for a foul that wasn't a foul and occured about 5 yards outside the area anyway. Robbie Mason stepped up, but his rather weak penalty was easily saved. However, Brady Stone managed to head in for the equaliser from the resulting corner. Not surprisingly the Stanway players and fans were a little miffed.

The Stanway fans had also realised that one of the linesmen was completly incapable of making a decision on his own and in the second half they shouted instructions for what he should do and for the most part he duly followed their guide. It looked like Ely would hang on though, but with a couple of minutes left Sam Newson popped up and was ruled on side to get all of the points for Stanway. I shouted at the aforementioned linesman to put his flag up, but he was still listening to the Stanway fans. However I did experiment with their theory that he would do whatever anyone told him to by shouting that a ball that was clearly in was out, he duly gave Ely a throw in for that.

Anyway apart from the odd car boot sale and the beer festival that's the last time I'll be down the Unwin until next season.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Football in the twighlight zone

The result of Ely's game against Mildenhall yesterday was the same result as the reserves on Saturday a 4-2 defeat. If the manner of it wasn't that unusual, some dreadful defending and petulance on the part of the players, the rest of the game was a bit strange. Not least of all in that there was a fairly big crowd and Sean actually behaved himself

Simon Charlton, the new Mildenhall manager must have wondered what he had got himself into when Richard Chadwick headed Ely ahead on 8 minutes, but Ely couldn't keep their lead and a couple of minutes later a fantastic free kick from Gareth Simpson found it's way into the top left corner. On 25 minutes Ely's misery was compounded when Simpson put the visitors ahead. Ely continued to fight but couldn't pull a goal back and went in at the break 2-1 down.

Trevor Munns obviously told Ely to put up a fight in the second half, but perhaps they shouldn't have taken his advice so literally.

Ely certainly came out fighting in the second half in every sense of the word, but things were to get weird, very weird. Mildenhall were first given the chance to extend their lead when they were awarded a penalty for a hand ball in the area by Brady Stone. Brady was given his marching orders for it and although the Cambrige News suggested it was for the handball saving a certain goal for Mildenhall I don't think it was because of that, but because of the amount of back chat he gave the ref. Anyway without their captain and with a penalty that would have put them 3-1 down things were looking bleak for Ely. That was until the penalty taker stepped up and took what was one of the worst penalties I have ever seen. If you enlarge the photo at the top you will just about to be able to see the ball flying over the fence into the field full of rabbits.

Ely were further buoyed a couple of minutes later when David Cooper was sent off for Mildenhall for lashing out on the sideline at an Ely player in front of all the Ely fans who were baying for the referee to even the numbers out. He duly obliged and it was 10 a side.

Ely then on 60 minutes evened the scores up when Andy Petit scored. For a few minutes it looked like Ely would be the team that would go onto win the game and Mildenhall even started time wasting with half an hour to go. However, Ely couldn't hold onto the lead again and John Sands nodded home for the visitors.

If going down again wasn't bad enough things were just about to get even worse for Ely in a minute of weirdness/ madness after Mildenhall took the lead. Dave Smith was sent off for the Robins for hitting a Mildenhall player and he was quickly followed by Tony Brown who argued the referee's decision.

So for the last 25 minutes it was 10 v 8 and it looked very strange out there with so few players on the pitch. To be fair to Ely they continued to battle and Munns made some decent substitutions that could have paid dividends. However the chances of Ely getting an equaliser were slim given the circumstances and if they had it would have made the match even stranger. Instead however with just a couple of minutes left Tom Young was able to beat the Ely defence (defender) and make the score 4-2 to Mildenhall.

An entertaining but weird derby day was had by all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How low can you go?

sorry for what is a rather short match report to what was a new experience for me, but also an entertaining match yesterday. Ely City Reserves took on the old nemesis from the Cambridgeshire FA County League, Great Shelford. The first team might have finally taken care of them in the cup, but the reserves never looked like putting them to the sword despite taking an early lead.

The winds of change are definitely blowing through Ely though with Dennis Lightning being present at the reserves and 3 of the regulars from the first team Dixon, Lawrence and Bell also appearing for the reserves.

Ely took the lead early on through a penalty for a foul in the box, but by half time they were 3-1 down and minus a man after a defensive error from Lawrence, a penalty that saw the defender sent off and a goal that a better keeper would have had trouble handling.

Ely started off the second half more brightly and got back in the game with another penalty. However, they were left short at the back and Shelford scored another goal and despite some good substitutions by Ely it was difficult for them to get back in it with 10 men for two-thirds of the game. Final score Ely City Reserves 2 Great Shelford 4.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Electro Easter -- Off topic

Here's the third and final installment of the Easter mix tapes. You can get it at:
The image is from a Kahni Collective cover, where you can download a lot of decent tracks for free. Two of their artists are covered here with tracks from Moroza Knozova and Younnat. the picture is from a Moroza Knozova cover.

Here's the track list:
1. Clorofila Azul -- I am a cloud in the open sky
2. Shaduz -- Fucking Mondays
3. Supermayer -- the Art of Letting Go
4. Wacker & Zittrich -- Poetry Slam
5. Deadbeat - Xberg Ghosts
6. AFX -- Analogue Bubblebath 5a4
7. Mass Prod -- a Night for You
8. Luke Vibert -- I Love Acid
9. Alexsi Perala -- Lagrange Points
10. Ceephax -- Northern Spirit
11. Claude Von Stroke -- Who's Afraid of Detroit?
12. Younnat -- Old Movies Not Terrible
13. Moroza Knozova -- Zvuki
14. Moscow Youth Cult -- Sandpits

The badge of Berwick Rangers

Like TNS who we looked at previously Berwick Rangers are a border club. The border in this case being the Scottish and English one.

Their original badge was just the bear and elm tree, which features on the local council's coat of arms, although the bear on that emblem appears tethered, but in the club's badge looks realtively free. Some people have suggested that the bear comes from the name of the town Berwick, however Ber probably comes from the old Norse word for Barley (baer) or headland (bar) with Wick meaning vik (bay) or wik (settlement).

In the 1990s the club added the Scottish rampant lion and the English lion. Berwick are the only Scottish team to play in England a fact that doesn't always make them popular with visitig supporters, although when I visited there they were one of the friendliest clubs out.

Berwick has always had a confused history over its nationality having changed hands between Scotland and Enlgand 13 times, and once Queen Victoria named it as a separate entity as she didn't know if it was English or Scottish. Berwick is now part of England, although it has never formerly been annexed from Scotland. Another historial anomally is that it is stii officially at war with Russia... So bring it on Putin!

Mildenhall Town club focus

On Monday Ely will take on Mildenhall Town who ome from just over the border in Suffolk. At the time of writing they are 5 points above Ely, but have had a terrible run of late, but ould be buoyed by new manager Simon Charlton.

The town of Mildenhall is perhaps more famous for its speedway team the Fen Tigers, who take their name from the mythial beast that roams the Fens occassionally killing sheep and who comes in handy on slow news days when local journalist can interview someone who swears they have seen the beast after 12 pints of Speckled Hen.

Anyway, Mildenhall also wear yellow and black, but go under the nickname 'the hall'. They were formed in 1898 and had quite an undistinguished existence in first the Bury and District League and then the Cambridgeshire League, which they joined in 1969 and reached the Premier of in 1975.

In 1988 they joined the newly formed Eastern Counties League and had to upgrade their ground, which they had done by the start of the 1994-5 season. Their highest placing has been second to Lowestoft in 2006-7 and their biggest trophy has been the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup, which they won in 1996.

The winds of change

Dennis Lightning has stepped down early as the boss of Ely City, although he was going to at the end of the season. However, his move upstairs was expediated by the new regieme bringing in 3 new players without telling him. This idea seemed to have bak fired on Saturday when Ely lost 2-1. However Trevor Munns was the talk of the town after the Robins beat high flying Leiston on Tuesday night (even though that town seems to be Newmarket as only the Newmarket journal covered the match, neither of the Ely papers seemed to have bothered with it).

Munns who used to be the boss of local rivals Mildenhall seemed to have changed the culture of the club over night and there were no long throws, pointless off side trap or hoofing it up the field, much to Ben Lawrence's dad's chagrin, as this meant his son was dropped and that he probably won't be getting back in the team. Funnily enough he seemed resigned to the fact (his dad) as when he wasn't slagging off Munns to us he was chatting up the Littleport manager.

Anyway Robbie Mason was back and it was his goal on 11 minutes that separated the 2 sides, although the Robins could have had more and Brady Stone was on good form.

Next up for Ely is Mildenhall on Bank Holiday Monday. Mildenhall have lost 7 on the bounce, but they too have just recruited a new manager. The new boss being ex Birmingham and Bolton defender Simn Charlton. It should be a good game if we can get the car boot sale out of the ground, although I might be tempted to get some 'new' furniture before kick off.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The beer to end all beers

If you like a good pint with a bit of edge, check these bad boys out:

Another holiday mixtape -- off topic

Well here's another mixtape I've put together this time with a newer collection of stuff that's often described Indie. The picture is the logo of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and has nothing to do with the band from the Philippines known as Moscow Olympics, who are featured here.

1. Air France -- Maundy Thursday
2. The Dilettantes -- Subterranean bizarre
3. Throw Me The Statue -- Lolita
4. Hello saferide -- Lund
5. Moscow Olympics -- Oceansign
6. Cruyff In The Bedroom -- Twinkle, twinkle
7. Wavves -- Surf goth
8. Half Man Half Biscuit -- National Shite Day
9. Coltrane Motion -- The end of every movie
10. Men Without Pants -- My Balloon


The New Saints

TNS were formed from a merger between Welsh club Llansatffraid and Oswestry Town in 2003, both clubs have separate teams operating independently at much lower levels than the Welsh Premier League that TNS is frequently near or at the top of.

TNS originally stood for Total Network Solutions, but when they were taken over in 2006 by British Telecom the sponsorship came to an end. They finally settled on the name of The New Saints, as it allowed them to keep their initials, but also as Llansatffraid's nickname was the Saints and St.Oswald has strong roots with Oswestry: or at least they say, it seems that Llansatffraid have always had the upper hand in this relationship. It should also be noted that the club wear the green and white of Llansatffraid, although they play across the border in Oswestry. This is not surprising though, as it was the chance of European football that the original Llansatffraid offered that led to the sponsorship deal, and Oswestry, an English club in the Welsh League had always had a somewhat chequered history and were on the verge of financial ruin when the sponsorship deal went through.

The old TNS badge pictured is the exact same as the Llansatffraid badge with the green cross symbolising the Saints, as in the nickname and the red dragon of Wales.

If we look at the Oswestry badge it appears to be a rather aggressive English lion looking at a very small Welsh dragon from the East, but maybe I'm reading too much into it. It is interesting to notice though that the badge has nothing in common with the coat of arms of St.Oswald or Oswestry itself.

The TNS name, as in Total Network solutions first appeared in 199 when Llansatffraid reached the European Cup Winners Cup first round where they went out to Polish opposition. They were the first British team to be named after their sponsors, although the trend has tended to burgeon in the welsh league especially. Two of their biggest European games have been against Manchester City in 2003 and Liverpool in 2006.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Leiston FC

On Tuesday night Ely take on the ambitious Leiston FC, who are arguably enjoying their most successful season since they were founded in 1880.

Leiston were promoted to the Eastern Counties League in 2001 and reached the Premier League in 2004. This season they have been chasing promotion and at the time of writing are in third place behind Lowestoft and CRC, although they are 16 points behind Lowestoft.

This season saw them have their best run in the FA Cup when they reached the first round proper and were the lowest ranked club to do so. They got their after beating Conference club Lewes in a replay away, 3-1. A win that added to their opponents financial troubles. In the first round they played Conference North team Fleetwood Town in front of a record home crowd of 1250. Unfortunately, it was not to be their day and if they had overcome Fleetwood and beaten Chesterfield in the second round they would have set up a mouth watering derby against Ipswich Town. However, it was not to be.

It was also a great year for them in the FA Vase where they also got further than they had before, going down away to another Step 5 club, Hungerford Town of the Hellenic League in the 4th round.

One thing is for certain the next few years are probably not going to be as quiet for them as the first 119!

oldies mix tape -- off topic

No games this week, due to extra work and a lack of cash. So here's a mix tape of some golden oldie tunes, I've put together. Ely v Leiston on Tuesday night.
The track list is:
1. The Frank and Walters -- Afterall
2. The Family Cat -- Remember what it is that you love
3. Power of Dreams -- slowdown
4. Kingmaker -- When Lucy's down
5. Carter USM -- This is how it feels
6. Thousand Yard Stare -- Buttermouth
7. New FADs -- Fishes eyes
8. Teenage Fanclub -- I don't care
9. The Charlatans -- Polar bear
10. Ride -- I don't know where it comes from
11. The Pale Fountains -- Bicycle thieves

the link is: