In a land of grey and pink

FROM the stand at Aveley FC, the landscape you see is somewhat bleak. As the dusk settles in, you look across the marshy terrain to see industrial Thurrock in all its glory. The mass of lights put you in mind of Marrakech’s jamaa el fna, that inferno of lamps, lights and late-night shopping (!). With Lakeside close to Aveley, there’s a certain similarity, albeit on a less exotic scale – no performing snakes in West Thurrock. Aveley, once referred to as “village” by local residents, is the temporary home of Grays Athletic, who despite a decline in fortunes and loss … Continue reading In a land of grey and pink

Taking the contrarian view – the cult clubs that defy the odds

There are successful clubs, monied clubs, ambitious clubs and those that are always down on their luck. But there are also clubs that have some cachet because of their name. Some are, relatively speaking, well supported considering their status. And there’s those that have enjoyed better days, moments when they have been in the sun, won trophies and been at the top of the game. In non-league football, there’s been a lot of teams that have fallen [dramatically] from grace, but often this has inspired great loyalty among their fans. It’s not exclusive to non-league football. Cult clubs in the … Continue reading Taking the contrarian view – the cult clubs that defy the odds

If the question is 3G or not 3G…the answer is yes

Those who consider 3G pitches unacceptable at the highest level should have been at the Gallagher Stadium, the home of Maidstone United, for the top-of-the-table clash against Dulwich Hamlet. What a game! Seven goals, a big crowd, plenty of excitement. And not once did anyone comment that the pitch had made much difference. There’s no shortage of luddites in the football world, but 3G is definitely the way ahead. Admittedly, these were two teams at the top of the Isthmian League table, but the quality was far higher than anything I have seen in non-league circles this season. Maidstone United … Continue reading If the question is 3G or not 3G…the answer is yes