Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Football posters

Lewes FC who I saw a couple of times when they were in the Conference, but have since slipped down to the Ryman League have been hitting the news recently for their innovative posters and it got me thinking about a few other things.

The Rooks have captured the headlines and the campaign seems to be working as their attendances have been going up. Not surprisingly really as they seem to have scoured all elements of culture and have had posters that hark back to Roy of the Rovers in the 70's;

had a poster that shows Banksy's gay coppers for the clash with Met Police on Valentine's day (an image that seems to be omnipresent in nearby Brighton;

and played to propaganda images like Che Guevara and Soviet images, including the one below that was used to advertise a match on mother's day.

It has to be said that the posters are great and it's good to see that they have had the desired effect, but I wonder what impact these types of posters can have for other non-league clubs. Many non-league clubs put posters on their websites for local businesses to download and display and it seems like a decent idea. Quite often these posters are fairly poorly designed and use clip art and worse of all comic sans fonts, but Lewes aren't alone. Hebburn of the Northern League also have a go at the weird and wacky with varying degrees of success.

I am wondering if the idea of snazzy posters might catch on elsewhere in non-league football. At a time when clubs grounds tend to be out of the centre of the town and no longer part of the community, in that the towns have many people who have moved to the town rather than being born and bred it might be a good way of raising awareness and capturing new fans. Ely City had a go during the Vase run, but it ultimately failed as most of the games got rearranged. Perhaps people are just not interested, but if you don't know about a local club and aren't that dedicated you won't find out unless it's in your face as it was. That said with the weather as it has been for the last 6 months you also need your social media presence to keep people informed of when games are off. Something that might not always work with traditional fans. I had to tell the bloke who owns the paper shop today the game was off for example, as he wasn't and probably has no interest in being on Twitter. I am only on it for following news like this on local football, but that is a different story.

It's funny how society has changed from print to electronic media and football posters are perhaps a good example of this. When you think of football posters from the Soviet Union, you probably think of the propaganda type of thing like this from the communist era:

However, when I lived in Ukraine in the early noughties the posters were a saviour. The football newspapers seemed to just stick to the dates and times that were decided when the fixtures came out and the websites were not really much help either. However, if on the wall of posters down the road the kick off said 5 PM at Respublikansky, the website said 4 PM at Dynamo and the paper said 6PM at Obolon you could rely on the poster being the correct one. They also made good souvenirs and I've got a few from the now defunct CSKA's UEFA cup in 2001 somewhere (my favourite being from the win against Finnish club Jokerits, who have now given up on football and stick to ice hockey).

Anyway, it's great to see posters making a come back of sorts and lets hope print and electronic communication can work together in creative ways to bring fans into non-league football in the way Lewes have and not just be the images of yesteryear that seem to appear on t-shirts in Sports Direct from time to time and in the ad pages of When Saturday Comes every month.

Enough is enough, really

Tonight Ely were scheduled to play a rescheduled game against Dereham. However, the weather has put pay to that and now the match should go ahead next Tuesday. It's March 19th, what's going on? Matches aren't supposed to be called off at this time of year. Hopefully the weather will improve because there should be 3 games next week at the Unwin with the Robins at home on Tuesday, Good Friday and Easter Monday and hopefully I'll be able to get a cheeky trip in to the Walks for King's Lynn v Mickleover Sports on the Saturday. The weather has really got to change soon, surely?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Leyton Orientear fanzine

After picking up a copy of Heroes and Villans at the last Villa game I was at I promised to keep a look at for fanzines when I went to league grounds and as our bus parked up by the lads selling the Leyton Orientear fanzine on Saturday I decided to get a copy.

Leyton Orientear is one of the country's longest running fanzines having been first published in 1986. Fanzines seem to have a longer running tradition at clubs where fans have a right to be disgruntled and Leyton Orient definitely fit into that category.

In this edition there is an interesting article on Laurie Cunningham, who may have found fame at WBA started his career off at Orient. He was one of the Baggies' players who helped fight against racism in the 1980s and met with an early death in a car crash after moving to Real Madrid.

Apart from that there are a few interesting comments on football and its slippery slide as a whole. There is also an article on the proposed move of West Ham to the Olympic Stadium just down the road from Orient. The media has as a whole portrayed it as Orient being worried about the Hammers being on their doorstep. However, it seems that the board at Leyton Orient really want to also be considered as joint tenants. The fanzine wants them to not surprisingly stay at Brisbane Road. However, it seems apparent that even thought the ground would be too big for them they could probably make a killing on real estate if they did sell the very much modernised, but historical ground. One complaint that I might have is the near obsession in this edition with the JPT defeat at the hands of Southend. I know that it's disappointing to miss out on a Wembley final after losing to a League 2 side, I'm a villa fan after all, but it does seem to take up a lot of pages. That said as Leyton Orient and Southend do share some of the same catchment area it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. As the cover shows the O's also have a habit of blowing it when it comes to getting in the play offs. I just hope that the performance on Saturday cheered them up a bit.

Match Action from Brisbane Road

A few photos from the clash between Leyton Orient and Carlisle United.

The teams get ready for kick off.

An early attack from Leyton Orient.

The early first half attack by Carlisle that saw Orient's Mc.Sweeney head the ball against his own post.

Carlisle goalkeeper Mark Gillespie gets given his marching orders.

Kevin Lisbie steps up to score the penalty.

Photos of Brisbane Road

Photo of the South Stand located in Buckingham Road before Leyton Orient v Carlisle United.

Photo of West Stand located on Oliver Road before the Leyton Orient v Carlisle clash

Photo of the North Stand located on Windsor Road before the match.

Photo of the East stand, Brisbane Road, as we were sitting in here I had to get this photo from elsewhere. I thought that I'd add it as the stand is on the actual road that the ground is named after and is probably the best stand in the ground.

The Orient Express - Leyton Orient 4 Carlisle United 1

On Saturday we went to Brisbane Road, courtesy of Sean's football team to see Leyton Orient take on Carlisle United in League 1. Apart from it being a chance to go to another ground it was a game that had everything with plenty of goals and a sending off.

It's been a testing few weeks for Orient, who missed out on a trip to Wembley after losing to League 2 side Southend in the Southern Area Final of the JPT and some indifferent form has left them looking like outsiders to reach the play offs, although it's so close in League 1, you never know who will make it. However, it really did look like it was going to be Orient's day as they were at Carlisle from the start and early on Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie picked up a yellow card for handling the ball out of the box. It was a bit of a stupid thing to do, but the referee saw sense and only gave him a yellow as it wasn't denying Orient anything. Despite Orient's dominance Carlisle had the first chance of the game, although that was also created by Orient when Leon Mc.Sweeney headed the ball against his own post. Orient finally took the lead on 32 minutes when Dean Cox raced down the wing and provided the perfect cross for Romain Vincelot to head home for the O's. Orient hadn't finished though and Shaun Batt scored a tap in on the stroke of half time to put the home team 2-0 up at the break.

Carlisle looked a bit better after the break, but they were still behind Orient and on 69 minutes they were dealt another blow. Gillespie collided with Charlie MacDonald and was judged to have brought him down. He was sent off and Kevin Lisbie, who is having a bit of an Indian Summer at Brisbane Road stepped up to put the penalty past Adam Collin, who had just come on as the replacement keeper. Orient obviously fancied their chances against Collin as they peppered the goal from every angle. However, it was Carlisle who scored next when a superlative drive from Matty Robson on 78 minutes beat Jamie Jones in the Orient goal to make it 3-1. Orient weren't finished though and Cox, who in my opinion was the man of the match got a deserved goal to make it 4-1.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Club focus - Leyton Orient

On Saturday we are going to Brisbane Road to watch Leyton Orient v Carlisle United in League 1, so now seems like a good time for the first club focus in a long time.

Orient can chase their history back to a couple of cricket clubs who wanted to play football, namely Glynn Cricket Club in 1881, who later became Eagle Cricket Club in 1886. In 1888 the football team changed its name to Orient at the bequest of a player who worked for the Orient Shipping Line. Their first kit recorded kit was red with a white O on it and was also the kit that they wore when they changed their name to Clapton Orient in 1898.

In 1937 the club moved to Leyton. They were financially hit after the war and needed to raise revenues . In 1946 they set up a fighting fund and changed their name to Leyton Orient. Another change was that after years of having predominately red and white shirts they changed their kits to blue and white.

In 1962 Orient reached the top flight for the first and one of the few times in their history and also recorded their record crowd of nearly 35,000 against near neighbours West Ham. In November 1966 the club decided to revert to the name Orient and plumped for wearing an all red kit again. The 60s was a period when clubs often tinkered with names and colours and many commentator thought it was a gimmick not realising that it was actually a return to their roots.

The club continued to lurch from financial crisis to financial crisis and after flirting with the 3rd division they spent 1970-1982 in Division 2. During this period they also reached the FA Cup final in 1978 losing 3-0 to Arsenal.

By 1985 they had slipped down to the fourth division. They escaped the basement in 1989 after beating Scunthorpe to win the play-offs. In 1995 and on the verge of bankruptcy they slipped back into the lowest tier. In 2006 they were promoted back to the third tier (now called League 1) where we will see them competing on Saturday in the kit below.

Toiling to defeat ( Ely 1 Mildenhall 2)

When it gets to the middle of March you might expect a bit of rain and it might be a bit cold, but you don't expect it to be sub zero Antarctic weather. I've been to games in March that have been freezing in Ukraine and Russia, but really I was expecting the weather to be a bit better at this time of the season.

Anyhow, last night Ely took on Mildenhall in a fixture that is traditionally a bank holiday derby, but the fixtures meant a trip from Woodbridge on a Tuesday wouldn't be great for them so the bank holiday Monday fixture was swapped around.

Ely got off to a good enough start and put on most of the pressure in the first half, although Hall were quick on the counter attack and broke through the offside trap on several occasions. The visitors broke dangerously for the first real chance of the game in the 8th minute, but in this instance was caught offside. Ely were also causing problems in the opposite end and a power shot from Nick Impey in the 20th minute was deflected just wide by a Hall defender. Mildenhall also created a great chance to take the lead 4 minutes later when Pacey made a great save from a power shot on the edge of the box. The best move and chance of the opening fell to Ely though when on 39 minutes Impey did well to get the ball in a 50/50 challenge just inside the Mildenhall half. He put the ball on the left wing to Luke Parkinson who then provided a cross for Chris Sterecki who athletically attempted to put the ball in the net, only for it to be saved by Pope in the Mildenhall goal, who was providing a fine last line in defence, as he usually does. Just 3 minutes later Taz Chisonga was provided a great chance to put the Robins ahead, after another great cross from Luke Parkinson, but he somehow managed to steer the ball wide.

The half finished with Hall in the ascendancy and on 33 minutes Pacey was chipped after a clever through ball, but the shot just went wide. Another great through ball on 36 minutes saw Pacey beaten and most of the defence. However, Sam Parkinson managed to get back in time to clear the ball off the line. The teams went in at the break at 0-0, but despite the lack of goals it had been a good open half and a good advertisement for football at this level, which was probably just as well as apart from braving the cold we were missing a Messi master class against Milan on the box to be at the Unwin.

Mildenhall had obviously been scratching their heads on how to beat the Ely offside at the break as they came out and with their first attack took the lead. A great pass through was inch perfect and the centre forward was ready to pounce. Ely on the other hand seemed to think that their best chance was to grab a goal through an aerial attack. Luke Parkinson came close with a header on 51 minutes. A corner on 54 minutes was headed across the goal by Ben Lawrence and Adam Murray headed home for the equaliser. The home team almost took the lead just a couple of minutes later when another header, this time from David Wilson, was cleared off the line. Ely were made to pay though and just before the hour mark a fortunate bounce saw Mildenhall get through and an inch perfect cross from the right wing was again met by the centre forward to sweep home and give Hall the lead.

Ely then decided to throw everything into getting a winner and playing higher up meant that Mildenhall when they did break were offside. However, Sterecki had to clear the ball off the line on 70 minutes and he had the only chance to score at the other end with 10 minutes left. the game fizzled out and the visitors had the win. A draw would probably have been a fair result, but when you are struggling you don't get the breaks.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Robins 1 Walsham 1

Yesterday Ely took on Walsham-le-Willows on a day that almost, but not quite threatened to be Spring like. Ely have been on a bit of a run of late and Walsham at the start of the day were in third and having the kind of season Ely had last time out. It looked like it was going to be a tough game for the Robins and they were pretty much under pressure from the start, Ely had a few chances, but Walsham looked the most dangerous and their impressive striker Ollie Hughes was proving a handful. He came close on 15 minutes, but the visitors finally took the lead on 36 minutes when an attempt at the offside trap by Ely failed miserably.

The second half started with Ely looking like getting back into the game, although they seemed to be lacking imagination up front. Therefore when Adam Murray was fouled in the box on 59 minutes it looked like a penalty might offer them their best chance of drawing level. Chadders stepped up to take the penalty, but it rebounded off the post. Fortunately, he didn't miss his second chance and Ely were on level terms.

Ely were given a numerical advantage on 66 minutes when a Walsham midfielder, who was already on a yellow, claimed to have been brought down by Sam Parkinson, who was a good yard away from him. The referee didn't think twice about pulling out a red card. Ely started to bombard Walsham now, but again seemed to lack the killer punch. Luke Parkinson came close 75, but the game finally ran out a draw.

An interesting enough game with Walsham having the best of the first and Ely the best of the second. A draw was probably a fai enough result.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Most played bands of February 2013


February 2013 by jim_bomb on Grooveshark

1 Сплин – Пил-курил
Last month I was on a bit of a Russian language blitz, so not surprisingly Сплин, my favourite Russian band were the most played. In this song they talk about drinking and smoking, which is also a good antidote to all of the nonsense the government are sponsoring on the tell lately.

2 Ундервуд – Гагарин, я вас любила
A couple of Ukrainian lads making songs that are evocative of the Soviet Union and this one is about Yuri Gagarin and has ice hockey in the video. What more could you want?

3 µ-Ziq – Brace Yourself Jason
A nice bit of techno to break up all the Russian language stuff I had on. This is probably my favourite track from this artist.

4 Мумий Тролль – Дельфины
I've been playing this song a lot over the last few months by this Vladivostok Brit Pop kind of band.

5 Дети Picasso – Иное вещество
Everything that I have read about this Moscow based Armenian band sounds a bit pretentious when it comes to explaining their music, so I'll weigh in with something equally pretentious; think of Portishead performing in a cellar bar in a Victor Pelevin novel. That is what they sound like.

6 Tequilajazzz – Лень
More Russian music from one of the best live bands out before they split in 2010. They also appeared on last month's play list.

7 Superchunk – Seed Toss
If you can remember those 6 weeks or so when grunge was the flavour of the month and can't remember this band then shame on you.

8 808 State – Olympic (Flutey Mix)
A track from early Manc techno pioneers. I seem to remember that this one is when Tony Wilson was pushing for Manchester to have the Olympics. Perhaps not surprisingly that bid went the same way as the Hacienda.

9 Eric's Trip – Behind the Garage
Another grungey type of band, and one closely linked with Superchunk. They were a bit too chilled out to be real grunge though.

10 Sultans Of Ping F.C. – Give Him A Ball (And A Yard Of Grass)
Sultans of Ping FC informed us that Cork City was evil. It isn't and I'm not sure if Nigel Clough was the greatest footballer ever, although this song claims he was.

11 The Telescopes – The Sleepwalk
Song from a miserable bunch of Midlanders who had their day in the 90s. Now do you understand why I can relate to them?

12 Kaiser Chiefs – The Angry Mob
Well, I have to go a bit mainstream from time to time.

13 Ceephax Acid Crew – Sidney's Sizzler
What a low graphic computer game on acid sounds like. Well, it would, wouldn't it?