Tuesday, 6 December 2016

FREE FOOTBALL THIS WEDNESDAY AT DONKEY LANE


The all Division Two Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Trophy Third Round between Enfield Borough and United MK takes place this Wednesday evening at The Queen Elizabeth II Stadium and it's free entry for all. Both sides went through the last round by beating Premier Division sides on penalty kicks - Enfield Borough won at Cockfosters with Unite MK beating Welwyn Garden City at home. Many local games were postponed last mid-week due to freezing temperatures causing pitches to be frozen but luckily the weather is set to improve over the next few days with 10-11 degrees forecast at on Wednesday evening. 

A crowd of twenty-five people saw The Panther's 3-4 home defeat to Aston Clinton in the Division Two Cup on Saturday which was the first time they have lost in seventeen games - that defeat ironically came at home in the league to Unite MK on Saturday 27th August. Borough had "lost" against Kensington Dragons in the Middlesex FA Premier Cup in November but that game was replayed due to a referee error of playing extra-time when it should of gone down to kicks from the penalty mark after 90 minutes. 

Why not pop down to Donkey Lane and see some free football if you are local to North London. 






Monday, 5 December 2016

A MEMORABLE VASE VICTORY FOR THE ROBINS AT WELWYN GARDEN CITY


BEFORE KICK OFF BOTH SETS OF PLAYERS, FANS AND MANAGEMENT OBSERVED A MINUTE'S SILENCE IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE PLANE CRASH IN COLUMBIA - FORZA CHAPECOENSE!
Ely City went into Saturday's Buildbase FA Vase Third Round game against Welwyn Garden City as clear underdogs - The Robins are currently in nineteenth place of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division with The Citizens starting the day in third place of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division. In league form Ely had won just four of their seventeen games played compared to WGC's ten in seventeen. In the build up to the game Ely's manager Brady Stone had said he had no intention to "park the bus" and that he wanted his player's to go out and enjoy the game and how they did that in a highly entertaining ninety minutes of cup football. The result looks even better for The Robins as they had five players missing from their squad and had Dean Grogan starting in goal who is actually a centre-back/defender and usually turns out for their reserve side. 

The away side put in a tremendously hard working team performance especially at the back where so many blocks and tackles going in over the course of the game. The difference between the two teams was Ely City winger Kelvin Enaro who switched from left to right numerous times and showed some brilliant control and pace taking people on with the Welwyn player's struggling to deal with his skill and trickery - I think one of their back four shouting 'Go on Kelv....show us some more magic' when he had the ball at his feet in the second half summed up how good he was yesterday. Kelvin has played for Newmarket Town, Cottenham United and Mildenhall Town and on this showing Ely have a very good player on their books.     

Welwyn had showed some good play up front but didn't work Grogan as much as they would of liked in the first half. Ely took the lead on forty minutes when Enaro dribbled the ball in from the left hand side and squared the ball across the edge of the box for George Darling to confidently hit the back of the net. It was 1-1 by half time when Welwyn were given a penalty - Grogan had made an excellent save from a close range shot only for the ball to land at the feet of Josh Bronti who was tackled from behind right in front goal. Bronti dusted himself down and scored from the spot to make things all square. 

On 52 minutes Ely made it 1-2 when Craig Neal scored a great goal from the edge of the box which the on-looking ex England goalkeeper David James described as 'bent in like Beckham'. It got better for Ely just three minutes later when after a Citizen's corner they broke down field and after an interchange of passes that man Enaro was able to score a third from close range. 

Welwyn really put the pressure on Ely from then on and scored a second when defender John McGrandles headed home a free kick into the box on 58 minutes. Shortly after they had a header rattle the top of the crossbar but it was a highly committed performance from then on especially at the back by Stone's side who saw out a famous win for their club to the absolute delight of their travelling fans. A special mention goes out to the fans of Welwyn Garden City who, despite a disappointing result and their road to Wembley ending, stayed and clapped the away team off the field wishing them all the best which was fantastic to see and demonstrates what a great football club they are. 



SOUTHALL ARE THE COLD END'S LOCAL TEAM OF THE WEEK 

The win for Ely City very nearly crowned them The Cold End's local team of the week (it was a very close call!) but I have to give it to Spartan South Midlands League Division One side Southall where they are currently in ninth place in their league table. They went to Knaphill who are in fifth place of the Combined Counties League Premier Division and thanks to goals from Jack Bennett and Wayne Harvey they recorded a memorable 1-2 victory at a team who plays one step higher in the pyramid for them. The last time Southall got to the Fourth Round stage was back in 1985/86 when they famously got right the way to the final losing to Halesowen Town at Wembley. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS 
look out for Ely City's number 7 Kelvin Enaro who put in a man-of-the-match performance




BUILDBASE FA VASE THIRD ROUND RESULTS 

SATURDAY 
North Shields 1-2 Shildon 
Newton Aycliffe 2-3 Morpeth Town 
Cleethorpes Town 2-1 Bootle 
South Shields 3-0 Staveley MW 
Penrith 0-3 Atherton Colleries 
Dunston UTS 1-3 Sunderland RCA 
Bottesford Town 1-2 Billingham Town 
Hucknall Town 1-2 AFC Mansfield 
Nuneaton Griff 0-2 Bromsgrove Sporting 
Sporting Khalsa 5-5 Sleaford Town 
Coleshill Town 4-1 Westfields 
Hinckley AFC 2-1 Quorn AET 
Long Eaton United 2-4 Shepshed Dynamo AET 
Wembley 0-4 Peterborough Sports
FC Romania 1-1 Tring Athletic 
Newport Pagnell Town FC 3-1 London Colney 
Gorleston A - A Basildon United 
* tie abandoned after 89 mins due to serious incident - new date TBC
St Margaretsbury 1-3 Berkhamsted 
Sun Sports 3-1 Hoddesdon Town 
Welwyn Garden City 2-3 Ely City 
Abbey Rangers FC 1-2 Eastbourne Town 
Crowborough Athletic 2-2 Bedfont Sports 
Croydon 3-2 Glebe 
Knaphill 1-2 Southall 
Newhaven 1-3 Chichester City 
Horsham YMCA 0-3 Buckland Athletic 
Bemerton Heath Harlequins 2-3 Melksham Town 
Team Solent 1-0 Bodmin Town 
Bradford Town 2-0 Torpoint Athletic
Bristol Manor Farm 4-1 Thatcham Town 
Exmouth Town 5-0 Blackfield & Langley 
SUNDAY 
Sutton Common Rovers 1 Corinthian 4 

The draw for the Fourth Round of the competition takes place tomorrow. 


IT WAS A PARTY ATMOSPHERE ON THE BUS BACK HOME TO ELY ON SATURDAY - courtesy of @ElyCityFC

Friday, 2 December 2016

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE WEEKEND FIXTURES


Barking still hold a commanding lead at the top of the Essex Senior League with up to six games in hand over every other team in the top six. They welcome Wadham Lodge to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday who are under the management of James Falasie and Kevin Lucas following Neil Day's departure from the Walthamstow based club. Third placed Southend Manor, have shown some great form under manager Stuart Marshall, make the trip to bottom side Sporting Bengal United. 

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE 
Barking v Wadham Lodge 
Burnham Ramblers v Barkingside 
Hullbridge Sports v Tower Hamlets 
Ilford v Enfield 1893 
London Bari v Redbridge 
Sporting Bengal United v Southend Manor 
Stansted v Eton Manor 
Waltham Forest v Clapton 

FC Romania and Basildon United represent the league in the Buidlbase FA Vase Third Round Proper. FCR entertain Spartan South Midland League Premier Division side Tring Athletic with The Bees making the trip to Norfolk to play Thurlow Nunn Premier side Gorleston. Romania's game takes place at AFC Hornchurch's ground and not Theobalds Lane. 

FA VASE THIRD ROUND PROPER 
FC Romania v Tring Athletic  
Gorleston v Basildon United

RYMAN PREMIER WEEKEND PREVIEW


AFC Sudbury (15th) v Harlow Town (11th) 
Last season's Division One (North) champions play the Division One (North) play-off winners. AFC Sudbury have lost four of their last six league games but recorded a very good 2-3 away victory at Billericay Town on Tuesday evening and also a 3-1 victory at Kings Langley in the FA Trophy last weekend. The Hawks are also in good form winning 1-3 at Havant in the Trophy and 2-0 at home to Harrow Borough in midweek - they have won four of their last six league games. 
FACT - Home win? The Hawks are very strong at home in the league with seven wins out of nine but on their travels they have only one win in ten games. 

Burgess Hill Town (21st) v Grays Athletic (24th)
Bottom of the table Grays Athletic who put in a good performance in narrowly losing to play-off contender's Needham Market on Wednesday visit Burgess Hill Town who are also in the relegation zone but with only fifteen games played could push up the table with a few victories. I would say this is a huge game for the away side as a defeat would put them either nine or possibly ten points from safety depending on Canvey Island's result. What better way will there be for Grays Athletic to celebrate today's announcement the club is now officially a supporter's owned and run community football club than with a victory at Burgess Hill Town?  You can get odds of just over 3/1 with some bookmakers for The Blues to get a win. 
FACT - This is The Hillians first home league game since Tuesday 25th October. 

Folkestone Invicta (7th) v Dulwich Hamlet (5th) 
One of the games of the day. The Hamlet shipped three goals at home to an improving Metropolitan Police side on Tuesday evening in a 3-3 draw with the away side scoring a 90th minute penalty to take an all important point back to Imber Court - Gavin Rose's side had been 3-1 up after 61 minutes so to not win the game will have been frustrating. The home side are second in the form table based on the last six games played having won their last four league games in a row. 
FACT - Fortress Fullicks Stadium? Invicta have seven wins in eleven home games so far with only Needham Market picking up all three points. 

Harrow Borough (23rd) v Merstham (18th) 
Both teams reached the Emirates FA Cup First Round this season but will be disappointed at their league positions at present. Merstham recorded a brilliant 4-1 win over Needham Market in their last game with Harrow Borough losing their last three games against Harlow Town, Kingstonian and Dulwich Hamlet. A difficult game to predict - Harrow need to start picking up points sooner rather than later. 
FACT - Merstham are still without a win in their eight away league games played so far.

Hendon (17th) v Enfield Town (6th) 
Back on Saturday 24th September The Towners thrashed Hendon 6-0 at Donkey Lane with Gary McCann's side struggling towards the bottom of the table. Some new signings have been brought in for the home side which has resulted in a real turn in form with two excellent results away from home at title chasing Havant & Waterlooville and Leiston before slipping to a 2-0 defeat at Harlow Town on Tuesday evening. Just five players started the game at Harlow who started the game at Enfield back in September. Bradley Quinton's side are the form side in the division winning five and drawing one of their last six games. Town's win percentage over their first thirteen games was just 23.08% which has been upped to 83.33% over their last six games - There is no doubt Hendon will want to reduce that on Saturday in this North London local derby. 
FACT - Hendon have lost only two of their seven home league games but they haven't won one yet. 

Kingstonian (13th) v Canvey Island (20th) 
Only Grays Athletic have lost more times than Kingstonian who have lost ten of their twenty games played. Worthing and Metropolitan Police have also lost ten games. The Islanders have an awful defensive record - only bottom side Grays Athletic have let in more goals and have a worse goal difference. Their goals conceded per game over the season has been 2.27 and over the their last six games is 2.67 - their clean sheet last weekend would of been very welcome. Another difficult game to predict.    
FACT - Goals guaranteed? The K's defence have leaked 30 goals with Canvey Island letting in 41.

Lowestoft Town (12th) v Wingate & Finchley (14th)  
A long journey for Wingate who have won four of their last six games. The Trawlerboys have lost three of their last six games and are having a real up and down season where they will be probably happy to finish in mid-table following their relegation from the Vanarama North Division last campaign. Wingate, with some games in hand over other sides, can move up towards the play-off zone with a nice run of wins. 
FACT - Decent at home - Only Canvey Island have picked up a win in Lowestoft's last six home league games. 

Metropolitan Police (22nd) v Leiston (4th)  
On paper and for those not in the know this match looks like an easy one of the title chasing team from Suffolk. With the Met's improved from of late (three wins, two draws and just one defeat in six league games) it'll be a really interesting game and Leiston's Manager Glenn Driver will know it's going to be far from easy. The Met have won eleven points from the last eighteen on offer compared to the visitor's eight which include two defeats to Folkestone Invicta and Hendon. A potential upset on the cards possibly? You can back the Met to win at 5/2 with the bookies.  
FACT - Leiston have lost just two of their seventeen league games which have come in their last three games played. 

Needham Market (3rd) v Leatherhead (19th) 
Similar to the above game in that it looks like people not in the know would instantly mark this down as a home win based on the two side's league positions. Leatherhead, under manager Jimmy Bullard who has made a number of changes to The Tanner's squad, have shown some improved form of late especially in their last game which was a decent 2-5 win at Staines Town. Needham Market have only won two of the last six games. Goalkeeper Louis Wells, a real fan's favourite, has recently returned to Fetcham Grove after being released by Hayes and Yeading United with former Spur's and Brighton & HA youngster Daniel Akindayini (a centre forward) impressing after joining from Vanarama South side Margate. He scored two in the game versus Staines Town - former Dulwich Hamlet winger Kadell Daniel also scored two. Rohan Ricketts, now 33 years of age, has also been playing for Leatherhead after last playing in the Bangladesh Premier League for "Abahani Limited Dhaka" - the experience the former Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, QPR and Barnsley (amongst others) brings to The Tanner's is proving invaluable. Leatherhead could well win this one.  
FACT - Leatherhead have scored at least one goal in their last eight league and cup games. 

Staines Town (8th) v Havant & Waterlooville (2nd)  
The Swans showed what a good attacking side they can be in their first half performance against Enfield Town in midweek where arguably they could of been more than one goal up. At the back they have conceded 34 goals (1.62 per game) which is jointly (Dulwich Hamlet have the same) the most in the current top twelve of the division so the statistics say Havant, who have only failed to score in two of the their eighteen games played so far (versus Leiston and Enfield Town), should hit the back of the net in this match. The Hawks, 9/4 title favourites, have only won two of their last six league games and were beaten by Harlow Town in the FA Trophy last weekend where the Essex side's goalkeeper David Hughes making a number of excellent saves during the game.  
FACT - Staines Town have achieved four clean sheets in their league games played so far.   

Tonbridge Angels (9th) v Bognor Regis Town (1st) 
The Ryman Premier game of the day as the table topping Rocks travel to Kent to play Tonbridge Angels. If Steve McKimm's side win the three games in hand they have over Bognor they will be right up at the top of the table. Angels are a very strong side and are difficult to beat especially at home with The Rocks surprising many to be top of the table at this stage after they lost a few key players from their squad over the summer. Tonbridge have been 2-0 and 1-0 in their last two league games but have only taken two points with two draws in those games so they will want to win this one. If Bognor return to Nyewood Lane with a point I think they'd be happy - they would be over the moon with three points! 
FACT - Only Kingstonian have left Longmeadow with all three points in the six league games played.

Worthing (16th) v Billericay Town (10th)

The team everyone will want to beat after they have made a number of impressive signings over the last few weeks visit the Sussex seaside. Worthing had a good start to their season with 1.31 points per game average over the first thirteen games which has reduced to 1 ppg over their last six games. Craig Edward's new look side drew 1-1 with the Met Police at the weekend before losing 2-3 at home to AFC Sudbury - both teams have not won in five league games. 
FACT - Billericay Town only have two wins in their eight games on their travels. 

There is no goal scorer really setting the league alight as yet with Matthew Blake and Ryan Moss leading the way on eleven goals closely followed by Jason Prior on ten goals. 

TOP GOAL-SCORERS
Matthew Blake (Leiston) - 11
Ryan Moss (Kingstonian) - 11
Jason Prior (Havant & Waterlooville) - 10
Jake Reed (Lowestoft Town) - 9
James Fraser (Bognor Regis Town) - 9 
Daniel Bennett (Merstham) - 9 

Dulwich Hamlet have the honour of having the highest crowd of the season so far when 2,217 saw their game at Champion Hill versus Bognor Regis Town on Saturday 8th October. The lowest attendance came when just 98 people saw Met Police play Grays Athletic at Imber Court on Saturday 19th November. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

FA SUNDAY CUP THIRD ROUND FIXTURES

The FA Sunday Cup is down to the third round stage with games due to be played on Sunday 11th December. There are a number of games of local interest. Club Lewsey play Omonia at Berkhamsted, St Josephs (Luton) face Barnes Albion at Arlesey Town, Falcons play FC Bengals at Newmarket Town, Chessington United play Lebeqs Tavern at Leatherhead and 2016 winners New Salamis host St Josephs (South Oxhey) at Haringey Borough. 

FA SUNDAY CUP THIRD ROUND 
scheduled to be played on Sunday 11th December 
Wallsend New Rising Sun v Home & Bargain 
Lobster v Custys at Burscough 
Witton Park Rose & Crown v Burradon & New Fordley at Tow Law Town 
Neston Nomads v Black Bull AFC 
Dengo United v Oyster Martyrs at St John Bosco College 
Ferrybridge Progressive v Pineapple_ at Pontefract Collieries 
Wolverhampton Casuals (Sunday) v Gym United at Wolverhampton Casuals 
RHP Sports & Social v Weddington Thistle at Newark Flowserve  
Austin Ex Apprentices v Birstall Stamford at Pilkington XXX
OJM v Attenborough Cavaliers 
Club Lewsey v Omonia at Berkhamsted 
St Josephs (Luton) v Barnes Albion at Arlesey Town 
Newton Aycliffe Locomotion v Hardwick Social at Shildon  
Falcons v FC Bengals at Newmarket Town
Chessington United v Lebeqs Tavern Courage at Leatherhead
New Salamis v St Josephs (South Oxhey) at Haringey Borough 

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUTH - UPDATE


VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUTH 
CURRENT TABLE - TOP SEVEN ONLY 
TEAM P GD PTS FORM
MAIDENHEAD UNITED  19 +28 46 WWDDWW
ST ALBANS CITY  18 +23 37 WWWWWD
HAMPTON & RICHMOND 20 +15 37 LWLDWD
EBBSFLEET UNITED 19 +20 36 DWWWLD
DARTFORD 18 +13 35 WWWLWW
POOLE TOWN  19 +15 35 LWDWLW
CHELMSFORD CITY 19 +16 34 WDDLDD


Maidenhead United, managed by Alan Devonshire, currently lead the way in the Vanarama National League South division. With just one defeat in their nineteen league games played they are nine points ahead both St Albans City (2nd) and Hampton and Richmond Borough (3rd). 

Ebbsfleet United, who were pre-season favourites for the title, are in fourth place with ten points between them and Maidenhead United. 

The bookmakers make Maidenhead 4/9 odds on for the title with Ebbsfleet United at 8/1 and others teams are even higher odds. 

Further down the division Whitehawk (15th position) have parted company with their second manager of the season this week. Richard Hill has left The Enclosed Ground after accepting a position as a member of the backroom staff at Championship side Aston Villa. Hill had only joined the club in September after Pablo Asensio had left the club. 

The table topper's will be very strong favourites for their scheduled home game this Saturday against Margate (19th). The Gate have announced former Ebbsfleet United boss Steve Brown as new Assistant Manager to Nikki Bull. The Kent club have recently lost the services of Luke Moore, Danny Fitzsimmons, Matthw Johnson, Manny Parry and Alex Osborn due to a cut in their wage-budget with Bull fielding a young side in the recent FA Trophy games with East Thurrock United. The Gate are on losing run of five games in the league and it will be a real turn around in the form book if they get anything from the game - but you just never know in football do you?

Margate are just above the dotted-line of the relegation zone which is currently occupied by Weston-Super-Mare, Welling United and Bishop's Stortford. 

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUTH 
CURRENT TABLE - BOTTOM SEVEN ONLY 
TEAMPGDPTSFORM
OXFORD CITY19-821WDLWWW
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD19-1320DWLLLL
CONCORD RANGERS19-817WLDDWW
MARGATE18-2016WLLLLL
WESTON-SUPER-MARE18-1615LDLLDW
WELLING UNITED19-812LWDLLL
BISHOP'S STORTFORD19-2911LLLWLL

The Wings were one of the pre-season favourites for the title having been relegated from the Vanarama National League last season - With just three wins from their nineteen games played they are in danger of two relegations in as many seasons. Mark Goldberg had been owner and manager during the first few months of the season but ex boss Jamie Day has recently returned to the dug-out with another ex Welling manager in Ady Pennock returning as a consultant. 

The Seagulls have also replaced their manager this season after Head Coach Ryan Northmore left in September - Scott Barlett joined in early October and will also continue as Head of Youth at Vanarama National side Forest Green Rovers. 

Bishop's Stortford make up the the trio of teams in the drop zone and they have also had a change in management when Gordon Boateng (who was only appointed in the summer) left the club in early October to be replaced by joint managers Steve Smith and Mark Hawkes who have also recently brought in highly experienced non-league player Cliff Akurang as Head Coach who also spent some time as Manager at Heybridge Swifts in 2014. 

Being bottom of the league they'll still be some really loyal Bishop's Stortford supporters who make the long trip to Truro City on Saturday. It's over a 600 mile round trip with a journey time (without traffic) of over 5 hours. 

Both Concord Rangers and Oxford City made awful starts to their seasons recording one win in thirteen and two wins in thirteen games but thankfully for their fans they have then got three wins in six and four wins in six to pull themselves away (only just!) from the drop zone. With The Beachboys improved form Hampton and Richmond's unbeaten away record will be really well tested on Saturday - The Beavers are the only side left without a defeat on their travels. 

There have been some criticism from a few Wealdstone fans after they have lost four of their last six league games - The Stones got a decent FA Trophy replay win on Tuesday evening over Maidenhead United and entertain East Thurrock United at the weekend. They entertain Ryman Premier side Wingate and Finchley in the next round of the Trophy. The Middlesex side are in a comfortable twelfth place at step two of the non-league pyramid - I think there are many teams who like to be in their position!   

Saturday 3rd December Fixtures 
Chelmsford City v Hungerford Town 
Concord Rangers v Hampton & Richmond Borough 
Dartford v Poole Town 
Maidenhead United v Margate 
Oxford City v Ebbsfleet United 
St Albans City v Eastbourne Borough 
Truro City v Bishop's Stortford 
Wealdstone v East Thurrock United 
Welling United v Bath City 
Weston-super-Mare v Hemel Hempstead Town 
Whitehawk v Gosport Borough


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN YEARS OF FOOTBALL AT THE ROYAL OAK

The Cold End wrote about Harwich and Parkeston back in 2014 and how the historic club, who have played the beautiful game at The Royal Oak since 1898, took voluntary relegation into Division One of the Essex & Suffolk Border League. 

This season The Shrimpers, who left the Eastern Counties League in 2009/10 and were members of the Isthmian League from 1973 to 1983, are currently in ninth position of the Andreas Carter Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division. 

On Saturday they lost 1-3 at home to Alresford Colne Rangers. Their next home game comes on Saturday 17th December against Barnston who are currently bottom of the Premier Division table. This coming Saturday they visit Weeley Athletic before playing Alresford again (this time away from home) in the League Knock-Out Cup. 

As you can see from these wonderful pictures Andy Nunn (aka Andy The Photographer) The Royal Oak is still well worth a visit.

Please follow Andy on the above link on flickr or on twitter @andythephoto - His photographs are amazing.