Monday, November 30, 2009

A purple patch

Well, Ely City have had a few good results of late. I missed a couple of games, when I went to Cambridge United v Kettering and then the weekend after when I was in Poznan, but the Robins carried on with their good form on Saturday.

Things got off to a flyer against Norwich United when Chadwick fired the ball home from inside a crowded box to put the Robins 1-0 up on 7 minutes. Ely could have and should have extended this lead with Grant Robbins and Chadders again coming close in the 10 minutes that followed. The Ely forwards looked a bit makeshift with Grant Robbins and Scott Fielding stepping in for a suspended Robbie Mason ( no surprises there we have a sweepstake on how many cards he will pick up this season) and an awol and not sorely missed Nick Impey, but after 40 minutes they realistically have had 4 goals. For once the midfield looked solid and with Big Ben Lawrence making his come back Ely looked a bit more solid in defence.

However, as often happens Ely decided to implode. On 42 minutes the Planters planted a goal in Ely's net and then on the stroke of half time Ely were penalised for sloppy back pass that for some reason Lee Pacey in the Ely goal decided to catch. Norwich didn't score directly from it, but made the most of the ensuing mele in the penalty area to go 2-1 up.

The second half was all Ely though and on 60 minutes Grant Robbins equalised from the spot. He then gave Ely the lead and Dennis Lightening something to think about with another goal on 79 minutes. To round things off Ben Lawrence scored a 4th for Ely on his return to the Unwin (well for the first team) on 88 minutes.

Next up is St.Ives in the vase, although I will be at Villa for the Hull game and then the curious replayed league game against Newmarket a week on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Factory Record's playlist

Here’s a playlist of artists who appeared on the Factory record label. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any Stockholm Monsters’ stuff or anything by Crispy Ambulance, but there are still a few decent tunes here:

Joy Division - Digital
The Durutti Column - The Fields of Athenry
Cabaret Voltaire - Baader Meinhof
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Talking Loud And Clear
New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
Happy Mondays - W.F.L.
A Certain Ratio - The Big E
Section 25 - Inspiration
E.S.G. - Bam Bam Jam
The Wake - Carbrain
Quando Quango - Love Tempo - Remix
James - Hymn From A Village
Anna Domino - Land of My Dreams
The Railway Children - Something So Good
Electronic - Idiot Country
The Other Two - Superhighways

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Club focus -- Kettering Town

Yesterday we went to see Kettering Town play Cambridge United, so I thought it might be good to look at a club who have hit the headlines on several occassions over the last few years.

Poppies chairman Imraan Ladak must be saddened to see that Mark Cooper will be moving to replace Darren Ferguson in his role of manager at Peterborough. Especially as Cooper got Kettering promoted from the Conference North and has now fired them to the higher echelons of the Conference National. This was after a couple of ill fated managers who seemed like pblicity stunts filling the role at Rockingham Park with both ex player Ron Atkinson and Paul Gascoigne failing to ignite anything on the field. In fact the 39 days that Gazza was in charge at Kettering were perhaps some of the most bizarre and he was finall made to quit after one bottle of booze too many.

A little known fact is that Kettering are one of the oldest clubs in the World being formed in 1872. They climbed through 12 divisions to reach the Alliance Premier ( now the Conference) in 1979 and they remained there until 2001 finishing runners up in 1981, 1989, 1994 and 1998. They came close to getting a place in the league in 1974 when they weren't elected by coming up 5 votes short, although they will perhaps go one better and gain promotion this season. They look good for a play off place at least, although Oxford are going to take some toppling for the automatic place.

In a couple of weeks Kettering will take on Leeds United at home in the 2nd round of the FA Cup in a game that is going to be shown live. The first time they were shown on live was in the FA Cup ain 1994-5 when Sky broadcasted their game against Plymouth Argyle. Last year they reached the 4th round by beating Lincoln City, Notts County and Eastwood Town. They finally lost to Fulham in the 4th round in the first time a match between premier league and non league opposition has not been shown live on TV (well, obviously since they started showing FA Cup games live in TV). This started all sorts of conspiracy theories about anti muslim sentiments with both Ladak of Kettering being a Moslem and Al Fayed at Fulham, perhaps there was something in it. I on the other hand think that ITV after having to show games with non league games in the early rounds and having to big up the magic of the cup probably thought this was one of the few opportunities a network channel would have to put on the big 4 teams.

Kettering are also known for trying to give up their sponsorship to charity, but they didn't have as much luck in attracting charities as Aston Villa, Barcelona and Brondby have had, and gave up before advertising briefly a Palestinian charity.

Anyway, it would seem that bigger and better things could be around the corner for the Poppies

Poppied off

Yesterday me and Sean finally got to what many others wouldn't term as proper football, but when you have suffered so many games at the Unwin, it's definitely what we would term proper football. The game was Cambridge United v Kettering and it was an entertaining game even if the result and the weather conditions weren't exactly ideal.

Just before the game started I saw a few bos with Sky cameras and someone who looked like Barry the barstad Fry stood out side the place for the suits. Now Barry Fry is not the most popular person at Cambridge United, so I took no notice and thought that I had been mistaken. However, it turns out that it was the last game in charge of Kettering for manager Mark Cooper, who will be joining Barry and the boys at the not very posh Peterborough club as of today.

Anyway, his team gave him a fairly decent send off and went 1-0 up on 90 seconds with an own goal bouncing over the unfortunate Danny Potter's head. Cambridge tried to hit back at Kettering and came close with the usually clinical Chris Holdroyd spurrning a chance at the other end.

This was more or less how the half progressed with both Cambridge and Kettering being hampered by the windy and stormy conditions. Cambridge kept Kettering pinned in their own half for most of the half, but never really looked like scoring, whereas Kettering looked quite dangerous on the break.

The second half was more of the same with a few moments of handbags in between the football. Me and Sean moved around the stand a bit, but it didn't seem to bring any luck to the Us. Cambridge dominated for long periods and Holdroyd, Saah and Hatswell all came close to equalising. When the referee announced that there would be 5 extra minutes to play we lived in hope that Cambridge could finally make one of the chances count. It wasn't to be though as in the 93rd minute Elding ran up the other end for the visitors and made it a decisive 2-0.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fun at the Unwin

A few days ago I said that I was longing for some proper football and I did toy with the idea of going to Cambridge V Kidderminster, but I wouldn't have had time to get back for the bonfire night display, so I decided to go even further down the pyramid and visit Ely Reserves against Lakenheath in the Cambridgeshire league.

The crowd was pretty low as you would expect, but the standard was not much different to the Ridgeons League and Steve Bell and Tom Beech, who are perhaps more associated with the first team were having a run out for the reserves. Lakenheath also brought a few fans who seemed most intent on barracking the poor lad who was running the line than watching the game.

Things started off badly for the second string Robins when Lakenheath scored on 4 minutes. However 3 minutes later Dean Missen was clean through ang got brought down in the box. The defender was rightly given his marching orders, although the Lakenheath fans were busy moaning that he was offside and therefore the first offence should have been taken into account. However, as the linesman didn't give the offside, correctly in my opinion he had to go and up stepped Tom Beech to knock the penalty into the back of the net.

Now Ely had a one man advantage and the Lakenheath fans were claiming that every foray into their half was offside. Ely didn't take long to make their advantage count with Dean Missen extending the lead on 14 minutes. Ely didn't have it all their own way though and a lovely goal by Lakenheath on 41 minutes meant that the sides went in at the break on level terms despite Ely having an extra man for most of the first half.

In the second half Ely capitalised on their extra man advantage and Lakenheath didn't really get into the Robin's half. Bell looked particularly impressive on the left wing and you have to wonder why Dennis doesn't make him a permanent fixture in the first team. On 60 minutes Ely finally took advantage as Adam Salmons slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Despite Ely's dominance though it really didn't feel like the game was over, or maybe that's because I'm more used to the first team throwing away wins! However on 81 minutes it really did look like it was game over when another foul in the box. Paul Skinner converted the penalty this time as Tom Beech had limped off a couple of minutes earlier when he had been brought down just outside the box. He actually seemed a bit pissed off about the penalty as he was standing just behind me when the decision was given. I can only think because he wished that he had been on the pitch to convert it himself.

At 4-2 it looked like Ely had sealed victory, or did it? On 88 minutes with Ely having lost their shape after using up all of their subs Lakenheath made it 4-3 and set up a tense finish.

In extra time the unthinkable happened and Lakenheath found the back of the net with what would have been the last kick of the game. However, the linesman who had had to put up with the Heath fans appealing for offside all through out the first half had given an offside this time and the match finished 4-3. What goes around, comes around.

So although I'd been hankering for some higher level football this was a game that I thoroughly enjoyed and was glad that I went to.

Shoegazing in Cambridgeshire

Here's my second playlist on Spotify that I put together yesterday:
Slowdive – Alison
Chapterhouse – Mesmerise
My Bloody Valentine – Soon
Ride – Vapour Trail
Drop Nineteens – Winona
Moose – Play God
Curve – Coming Up Roses
Catherine Wheel – Eat My Dust You Insensitive F***
Amusement Parks On Fire – You Made Me Realise
Amusement Parks On Fire – Blackout
Flying Saucer Attack – In The Light Of Time
The Airfields – The Long Way Home
Lush – Ladykillers
Pale Saints – Throwing Back The Apple
Stereolab – Ping Pong - 2006 Remastered LP Version
Spiritualized – Soul On Fire
The Telescopes – High On Fire
Cocteau Twins – Iceblink Luck
Asobi Seksu – It's Too Late
Deerhunter – Rainwater Cassette Exchange
The Boo Radleys – Barney (...And Me)
Kitchens Of Distinction – Drive That Fast
M83 – Violet Tree
Sigur Ros – Gong
Architecture In Helsinki – Tiny Paintings
Cranes – Sleepwalking