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The Machine Will Inevitably Crush Your Wembley Dream - Matchgoing 17-23rd March

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    Originally posted by Kevin S View Post

    We'll be at Portman Road as well, PT, in the south stand block adjacent to the Shrews. Don't walk on the roof of the lower Cobbold (there's often one idiot but I'm sure it won't be you :-) )
    Walk over and say Hi. Just shout "Patrick!!" repeatedly. There's only 300 Shrews fans coming.


      Tecos 2-0 Cobras (att: 400)

      Cobras are from Tepic, which is about a 3 hour drive from Guadalajara. I'm familiar with it because we take the motorway to Tepic when drive for breaks in Puerto Vallarta. Despite the relative short distance to travel, Tepic brought precisely zero away supporters, the first team to do this in the Clausura.

      I was in 2 minds about going to the game, Tecos have already qualified for the play-offs and were just playing for pride. But, I was also eager to have 100% attendance over the course of the clausura, which I'm quite proud of.

      It was a terrible game with 2 great goals. Tecos tried to play a back 3 in the first 15 minutes to give them more attacking options. Since the season ending injury to their normal starting striker, goals have been hard to find. However, Cobras battered the back 3 and a back 4 was soon reinstated. This made everything far more secure at the back, but the game was another dull midfield battle. Once again, Tecos keeper Juan Pablo Mercado was outstanding. I discovered that he joined the club because he was offered a full scholarship to do his PhD at the university, which gives some insight as to why he seems 1 or 2 levels better than everyone else.

      Tecos also gave a rare start to Emmanuel Hernandez as a holding midfielder. He was quite possibly the most technically gifted player I've seen at this level for any team. Not a single pass misplaced, most of them forward passes and he was able to drop a player in a tight situation with beautiful technique to create huge amounts of space. I look forward to watching him play again.

      There was a goal in each half. The first came just before half-time, a beautifully hit free-kick that sailed over the wall and into the the top corner. The keeper did well to get a hand to it.

      The second goal came after about 80 minutes, A big substitute who I'd never seen before called Rivero López Alejandro got everyone excited when he came on because he was big, and you don't get many big players in Mexico. But he was also slow, and had a first touch to make you run away and hide in fear. Within 2 minutes he'd lost his nerve as the Cobras defence realised he was easy pickings and robbed the ball off him every time he received it. But a counter attack saw him receive the ball on the edge of the area with just the keeper to beat. It was a very tight angle, but he stroked the ball perfectly on the half volley past the keeper. For some reason that cultural understanding forbids me to understand, everyone started calling him "papi" once the goal had been scored, which was quite funny.

      So, play-offs start next week and end at the end of April. This coincides with a visit from my mum and Easter holidays, but I hope to attend the games.

      Final thing to share, my mid-game snack, which was cheese puffs covered in chili sauce, lime and salt:


        Sofa (h) for me.

        No games in the EOFL that interested me and with it raining for most of the week, standing in a field really didn’t appeal in the slightest so it’s a day at home, which is quite nice actually.


          I'm at Vale Farm for the team in the title's home game with one of the Chalfonts that isn't rhyming slang...


            The visitors had a pre-match huddle ending a shout of Chalfont!


              Lovely taken goal gives Wembley the lead.


                Cracking save from the CSP keeper keeps it 1-0.


                  1-0 to Wembley at half-time.


                    An excellently taken goal doubles Wembley's lead.


                      An very good mazy run by a Chalfont player results in an easy tap in to make it 2-1.


                        By the way, I'm sitting in glorious sunshine...


                          Finishes 2-1 to Wembley. Official crowd of Brimful Of Asha...


                            TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-1 Hertha BSC
                            1. Bundesliga

                            Neither of these clubs seemed to be included in the ‘most despised’ list when I last looked which I’m slightly surprised about. Anyway, this was a relegation clash and looked like it early on with neither side seeming capable of creating anything. But the deadlock was broken after 24 minutes when Hoffenheim were awarded a penalty for handball which Hertha hotly disputed. Andrej Kramarić stepped up to score with confidence. Then Hoffenheim were awarded another penalty, this time for a foul and Kramarić scored his second. The game was effectively settled in the 52nd minute when Ihlas Bebbou stepped up to push the ball past the ‘keeper for the third. Hoffenheim went looking for more but were hindered slightly when one of their players was sent off for a foul. Hertha pulled one back near the end but it was undeserved. They were dreadful this afternoon. Att: 25027


                              AFC Wakefield 2-5 Beverley Town

                              A deserved upset win for the visitors played on a quagmire.

                              I don't really want to do it but I'm considering doing all the grounds in the NCEFL. I've done a grand total of ten with only thirty left to do. I'd appreciate someone talking me out of it.


                                Charnock Richard 2-1 Barnoldswick Town (NW Counties Prem)
                                Attendance 151 + 1 dog

                                A new ground tick (and a badge on the app for 225 grounds), Mossie Park is unremarkable but welcoming. A lovely steak pie and pepper for my Bovril put me in a good mood, and the match did nothing to spoil that.

                                Barlick are 4th bottom whilst Charnock are mid table, but this was a fairly even game between teams who played different styles of football. The visitors were strong at set pieces and over the course of the 90 minutes they hit the bar, post and had two efforts cleared off the line as well as forcing the home keeper to make a number of good saves. Charnock were happier to pass the ball along the ground but did resort to some high crosses towards the formidable figure of Carl Grimshaw.

                                Grimshaw put Charnock in front right on half time when he ran onto a through ball from deep and finished past the onrushing keeper. If the programme is up to date then this would be his 512th goal from 517 appearances, a quite astonishing record.

                                After the break, Barlick got the equaliser they deserved when Jack Foster turned sharply and shot past the home keeper. It felt like they could go on and win it but with 10 to go a ball was crossed into the box to Grimshaw who fell backwards as he felt the defenders hands on him. The defender was sent off despite complaining bitterly that Grimshaw was offside and had fallen rather than being pulled. The ref wasn't budging and Nathan Nickeas fired home the penalty.

                                There was still time for Charnock to hit the post before the final whistle and a heavy shower of rain that saw the spectators scurrying for their cars.


                                  Originally posted by Billy Casper View Post

                                  I don't really want to do it but I'm considering doing all the grounds in the NCEFL. I've done a grand total of ten with only thirty left to do. I'd appreciate someone talking me out of it.
                                  You wasted your time today then, because they're moving to Wakefield's rugby ground next season. Will that do?


                                    Originally posted by Third rate Leszno View Post
                                    Charnock Richard 2-1 Barnoldswick Town (NW Counties Prem)
                                    Attendance 151 + 1 dog

                                    A new ground tick (and a badge on the app for 225 grounds), Mossie Park is unremarkable but welcoming. A lovely steak pie and pepper for my Bovril put me in a good mood, and the match did nothing to spoil that.

                                    What's their name?


                                      Originally posted by Sporting View Post

                                      What's their name?
                                      Barnoldswick is the town, but the locals pronounce it Barlick.


                                        Shorten rather than pronounce… Not lived there for nigh on forty years and still call it that out of habit.


                                          Lincoln City 0 - 3 Peterborough United

                                          It was shit.


                                            Ipswich Town 2-0 Shrewsbury Town
                                            EFL League One

                                            No complaints really from an away fan's perspective. Ipswich are probably the best League One side I've seen this season.

                                            Shrewsbury had a couple of chances and hit the post late on. Ipswich also hit a post. So it was honours even on the woodwork. Saw a yellow card given for diving which was amusing. Otherwise not much to write home about.

                                            Here is Bluey the Horse after he borrowed a drink from a fan


                                              Tynecastle vs Sauchie

                                              There's nothing better in life than moving to a place you love, which is why I've just moved to Edinburgh for the fourth time. You can't have too much of a good thing. Scotland is so perpetually riven by disagreements over independence, you can't step down Princes Street without being harassed by a pollster asking you about your nationality. A few years ago it struck me that if asked to define myself by place, I'd ignore the Scottish or British options and stick with saying I'm from Edinburgh. I recognise I'm lucky. Had fate worked out a different way, I could have been born in a neglected inner city, a rural backwater, or Glasgow.

                                              Tynecastle vs Sauchie gave me the chance to swallow dive into the deep-running waters of Scottish football, via the globally esteemed East of Scotland League Premier Division. The programme proudly announced that "both teams are renowned for their good football", and it didn't take long to be reminded that we define good football differently in Scotland. The game was destined to finish goalless until Sauchie scored after 23 seconds. Then, the scorer was then sent off, a Tynecastle player was red-carded, the home side hit the woodwork, and another horrendous challenge received only a yellow card. That was only the opening fifteen minutes.

                                              The game ended 3-2, with both teams down to ten men. No-one seemed to know what the Sauchie player was sent off for, most thinking it was for foul and abusive language. Being sent off for foul language takes effort, given that the standard Scottish nonleague language is formed from 179 synonyms for "fuckin' shite, ref!", broken up only by the occasional preposition. The Tynecastle players red was for a challenge that could be described as scything only if there is a new form of scythe that has multiple blades, is wrapped in barbed wire, and electrified.

                                              I was torn by the result. I wanted Tynecastle to lose because of their links with Hearts, and their horrendous shirt (a badly tie-dyed Jambo top). I wanted Tynecastle to win because their shop sold Tynecastle clothes brushes, and their club history starts with the formation in 1928 of the Tynecastle High School Meccano club. Tynie's formation is the Scottish equivalent of Plymouth Argyle being formed by a 1962 bird watching group, and Chelsea's heritage stretching back to a small offshoot of Oswald Moseley's British Union of Fascists.

                                              This was the first game of the Scottish groundhop, resulting in 450 fans rolling around Meggetland talking loudly about their latest Wetherspoons tick. The cynical view is that groundhops are to sport what all-you-can-eat buffets are to gastronomy. Kick quality to the curb, and gorge yourself stupid. That is wrong. Tynecastle and Sauchie served up a filling starter, an entertaining game with little skill, but lots of passion, dedication, and action. Sometimes the East of Scotland Premier League is more nutritious than the English Premier League. It's great to be back in the nation's capital.


                                                Wimbledon 0 Crawley Town 1
                                                Division Four
                                                Plough Lane

                                                Pitiful. Pathetic. Appalling. Embarrassing.

                                                A new low in what is fast becoming an incredibly disappointing season. Failing to even record a shot on target and presenting the first away win of the campaign to a team in the bottom two and on a run almost as bad as The Dons' ten games without a win.

                                                There's a significant injury list but most of the players who were out there and the coaching team should be ashamed of the inept, half-hearted, directionless timid display that was rightly met with a cacophony of booing at the end of both halves.

                                                I'm missing the next two home matches due to clashes and frankly it's a bit of a relief.


                                                  Brentford 1 Leicester City 1
                                                  Premier League
                                                  Att: 17,006

                                                  Not a great deal to say about this one. After a bright start, Brentford faded and allowed Leicester back into the game. A draw was a fair result.

                                                  After three games this week, the international break is welcome before we embark on a very difficult run-in starting with Brighton, Man United and Newcastle.


                                                    Leyton Orient 2 Colchester 2

                                                    We could easily fuck this up you know. Earlier in the season our game-management and general reliability was masterful. Now, for the third game in a row, we've squandered a half-time lead, this latest one the most demoralising and alarming with Colchester scoring twice in the closing minutes. It was a dismal game anyway - the worst of the season at Brisbane Road - but we'd somehow got ourselves 2-0 up, only for Richie Wellens to make a slew of uncharacteristically baffling, formation-disrupting and negative substitutions and we got what we deserved. Colchester's fans, some of whom had been charmingly goading us with songs about Justin Edinburgh's death, celebrated like they'd won the league. And winning the league is something I'd back Carlisle, Stevenage or Northampton to do now, rather than us. That gap is being eaten away.