GRAYS Athletic play at a very nice stadium. Brand spanking new, great facilities and a football-friendly artificial surface that performs very well. The only problem is, the club is ground-sharing at Aveley, a town of 8,000 people some four miles … Continue reading The trials of a nomadic existence
YOU couldn’t really get two contrasting Wembley days: the FA Cup final, full of rabid supporters, followed by the low-key, low-octane event that is Non-League Finals Day. The latter has more in keeping with cricket or rugby in terms of … Continue reading An altogether civilised experience
IN 1977-78, Stockport County versus Southport could easily have been game number 40 on a Littlewoods Pools coupon – as a Football League Division Four fixture. The 1977-78 season was the last time the two clubs met in the league, for at the end of that campaign, Southport were voted out and replaced by Wigan Athletic. Stockport were relegated in 2011 and suffered a second drop in 2013. Both clubs are now in the National League North. The mere thought of Stockport is a reminder that industrialised football began in the north of England and Scotland and clubs like Stockport, … Continue reading Stockport County: X factor in the FA Trophy
HAVE non-league football fans fallen out of love with knock-out football? Is the cut and thrust of sudden death no longer an attraction? What makes run-of-the-mill league games, a large percentage of which are featureless and, ultimately, of no great … Continue reading Tinker with the Trophy?
I TRAVEL a lot to watch football, on business and just for the hell of it. Mostly, I return home enriched by the experience, but sometimes, I am just thankful to be back. On occasion, football lets you down, but … Continue reading Two sides of the coin
THE FA TROPHY doesn’t have the cachet of the FA Cup, but it still represents a mid-season distraction for non-league clubs at step three and beyond. Biggleswade Town v Hitchin Town also had the added spice of a local derby, so it seemed a reasonably attractive tie for a dull, drizzly afternoon by the A1(M). Hitchin were still basking in the glow of rubbing shoulders with Premier League opposition in the form of Arsenal’s under-21 team, a game that attracted a 1,200 crowd and promises to provide some valuable charity for Bob Wilson’s Willow Foundation. Biggleswade Town, who were trying … Continue reading Trophy bitter at the Carlsberg