|MILTON UNITED BEAT WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK 5-0...|
CLICK THIS MESSAGE TO GO TO 21 VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE GAME, INCLUDING ALL 5 GOALS...
Sunday, 29 November 2015
Wokingham Wilt @ Withering Windy Heights…
Milton United 5-0 Wokingham & Emmbrook
The local farmer has agreed for some of his land to be built upon apparently, hence the clearing of a line of trees behind one goal at Milton’s ‘Heights’ ground, which exacerbated the problems caused by a hefty gale blowing straight down the pitch. Incredibly, lowly W&E had won 5-0 last week but this week, despite a fine rearguard performance during the opening half, against the element of wind, holding out until moments before the break, they then failed miserably to grasp any hold on the game in the second period, although a rain element lashed into the Milton faces to make the task even more difficult for the claret & blues. They responded with four more goals and could have scored more, as W&E toiled with little guile in the tough conditions. The shocked home ‘keeper was rarely brought into action after the interval as merely a couple of decent shots skimmed his crossbar. His colleagues sliced through the W&E defence though, as if the gale had opened seams for them, rather like the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive-line rips seams open for running-backs Jamaal Charles and Charcandrick West. Winger Tom Austin and replacement Daniele Piscopo nabbed braces for United, albeit with the aid of one deflection each and I guess the 5-0 result seemed a little harsh on Wokingham & Emmbrook’s first forty minutes. During that time they had allayed Milton’s often pedestrian offense with stout defending, often from Shaun Wanklyn, whose afternoon lit up when he became involved in a couple of shoving incidents with United’s forwards. Well, it WAS the day that Tyson Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko to win a heavyweight title…
|Milton's Austin sways in the wind...|
Obviously, the hosts enjoyed the territorial advantage before half-time but early throw-ins came to nought and a sliced drive by Taylor Janes drifted well off target, before a Conor Forster cross blew behind the goal-frame. Visiting ‘keeper Kile Lennon did stretch up to catch a rising Forster drive but United’s patience and unhurried attacking led to little pertinent danger on the billowing W&E net. A right-boot delivery from the left by Janes was miscued completely by Wanklyn but Milton’s Harry Dalton’s slide failed to connect with the ball. Dangerously Wanklyn glanced on a Janes free-kick from the right, which then glanced off the head of Will Day for solid home striker Niall Hodgkins to strike but his connection was weak and Lennon gratefully fell upon the loose ball. Dalton was busy and strong throughout the game and he soon reached a decent Janes cross from the left at the near post, only to head the ball downwards and wide from a good position.
|Janes poses for his future waxwork at Madame Tussaud's...|
|Beech turns into the gale...|
As the half wore on, the W&E defence looked competent enough, whereas Milton maybe struck too many too hard passes, which skidded away with the wind and Lennon seemed content enough, until Forster lined up a 25 yard effort, which he was not only forced to dive left for and parry away, but was also called upon to block Hodgkins’ rebound from the right byeline. The ensuing Janes corner dropped onto the top of the W&E net. A strange incident followed almost immediately, for a W&E free-kick was cleared by United for lean, tireless midfielder Josh Beech to latch onto but although he appeared to be fouled in centre-field by Will Day, the referee waved for play to continue and suddenly, the guests looked set to spoil the script. Striker Luke Scope fastened onto Wanklyn’s pass, onside, but with only the advancing goalie Craig Griffiths to beat, he retracted his scope and slipped the ball left to Elliot Rushforth, who had rushed forth in support, only to be ruled offside as he shot past the left upright anyway.
|Forster prepares to shoot...|
|OMG... What a sky...|
In another break, Scope made a run at inside-left for the visitors but there was nobody on hand to convert his low pass across the goalmouth and Milton survived again. Dalton looked dangerous at inside-right for the hosts on one occasion but Lennon dived right to turn away the striker’s low shot and from the ensuing corner, Tom Austin’s delivery was headed way over the goal-frame by home skipper Jon Stott. Midfielder Dan Cox-Rodgers had been the go-to guy in the trenches for Milton and as he influenced the play, it was Forster again who tested Lennon from distance, only for the head-high shot to drop past the right stick. Another Janes shot was off target but his next right-wing corner bounced off the back of W&E defender Dan Carter, who was on far post duty and the resulting melee ended with Wanklyn and Dalton shoving each other as the ball was cleared by the guests. The referee played on and things settled down. Most odd indeed…
|You can't beat a good scuffle...|
Scope again moved well on the left for W&E but his angled effort was stopped by the reactive Griffiths and wouldn’t you just know it, with only moments left in the half, the hosts scored to deflate the guests. It was a patient move by Milton and when the ball finally arrived on the left attacking touchline, Janes’ fine cross was solidly headed downwards to bounce into the left corner of the net by the unchallenged, running Hodgkins.
The sky darkened, I moved to the cover near the lavatories and the rain looked to add another advantage to W&E but in fact it was Milton who looked threatening, with some decent movement by their forward players and after the marauding Beech failed to lift the ball over the advancing ‘keeper, who then dealt with Janes’ near post centre, the hosts increased their lead. Smart play by Hodgkins, who recognised that Dalton was unable to take possession due to being in an offside position, saw the striker battle for the ball on the left side, eventually passing it across the penalty-box to where Austin lurked and he slipped a left-footer past the advancing Lennon and W&E looked winded…
|Austin puts Milton in the driving seat...|
Stott latched onto a 30 yard free-kick but was unable to get his right-footer on target from beyond the left upright, although a left-booter might just have brought more reward, maybe. Superb play on the left by Dalton led to a delivery straight to the again unchallenged Austin whose first touch sent the ball upwards but his half-volley, as it fell, rose sadly too high. Beech also shot too high from the right side of the penalty-box, following good interplay between Dalton and Forster, before more decent stuff from Dalton led to Austin’s shot being deflected to Lennon. The visitors were certainly moving forwards with intent but with little threat, in truth and a Jake Butler drive soared well over the home crossbar, as finally, someone attempted a shot.
Wanklyn’s next pass was chested into Rushforth’s path by a colleague and his 25 yard effort skimmed the crossbar but it was the hosts who found the net again, as they attacked smartly on the left flank and Janes’ centre again found Austin alone some 10 yards out (where was his marker?) and although Luke Giles partially blocked Austin’s shot, the ball bobbed over the luckless Lennon and it was 3-0.
Griffiths sprawled along his byeline beyond his left post, to grab the ball, before Wanklyn was involved in a spat with Hodgkins this time and the W&E defender was replaced soon afterwards, no doubt to grab the best seat at the pub for the Fury fight. He was certainly in the mood… Adam Bruce and Daniele Piscopo appeared for the hosts and Matt Pietrasik was brought on for the tiring guests. Lennon stopped a rising Hodgkins shot, a fine free-kick by W&E’s Jordan Rowland scraped the Milton crossbar, the visitors wasted a corner by delivering it behind the goal-frame and Bruce combined well with Forster, only to shoot straight at Lennon from 18 yards. Austin broke to the right byeline for United but his low pass found no colleagues nearby but when Beech won possession as W&E attacked, he released the speedy Piscopo on the right and his pace was far too much for the labouring visitors and the substitute slotted a calm finish past the outrushing Lennon. 4-0 and W&E heads dropped further…
|Into-the-wind offense by the claret & blues...|
|Piscopo (14): 4-0...|
Piscopo raced clear again, although his final pass towards Austin was errant but the winger soon made amends, for he, like Austin before him, was criminally left unmarked in the penalty-box, Bruce’s pass freed him and although his first shot was blocked by guest substitute Tom McNelly, his angled rebound effort beat Lennon at the near post and flew off Day’s boot on the goal-line to add goal five for the rampant hosts.
|5-0 to Milton...|
|Piscopo has added his second goal...|
It was remarkable how few chances the visitors created after the interval and how many Milton conjured up, proving that stealth against the elements can be deadly. The non-stop Beech, the sitting Cox-Rodgers and the unpredictable Forster were all instrumental in the United victory and Janes’ deliveries were often accurate, despite the gale. Right-back Ben Taylor was a willing support for Austin but Ian Lovegrove made sure that the defence remained solid after the break. Dalton impressed, as did Hodgkins, who had a good second period. For the visitors, ‘keeper Lennon did well enough but the defence, solid in the first period, was too often as leaky as a punctured beer can after the interval. Carter did well in the opening half and Rushforth worked hard, like others on offense but the finishing was simply not evident. Weird though, that when at Bulmershe College, Reading in 1970, I was in digs for a few weeks near Lowther Road, Wokingham, behind the Rifle Volunteer pub, which I believe is where W&E’s true home is… I never knew that.
Fair play to all the combatants though, for the effort used in such awful conditions, was to their credit.
Me? Awful M40 journey through torrential rain to Solihull and then out for a meal with my son and one of my daughters at Cafe Saffron in Knowle… Solihull sewers beware…
It’s what I do…
Craig Griffiths, Ben Taylor, Taylor Janes, Josh Beech, Ian Lovegrove, Jon Stott (Capt), Tom Austin, Dan Cox-Rodgers, Niall Hodgkins, Harry Dalton, Conor Forster.
Adam Bruce, Daniele Piscopo, Seb Dixon, Jonny James.
WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK:
Kile Lennon, Dan Carter, Jordan Rowland, Will Day, Shaun Wanklyn, Luke Giles, Jake Butler, Nick Bateman, Luke Scope, Sam Bateman, Elliot Rushforth.
Tom McNelly, Matt Pietrasik, Dan Bateman, Josh Pearson, Sam Whiting.
|Fallen tree embellishes The Heights...|
|Dr Who's Tardis extension...|
|Dr Who's old Tardis... |
Blown like Dorothy's house in the Wizard of Oz...
|Geometric view of Milton's facilities...|
|Has to be The Old Barn End...|
|Claret & blue dugouts to please Burnley, West Ham & Villa fans...|
|Great colours to infiltrate the greens of the countryside...|
|My second-half shelter...|
|The Bodging appears to have ideas above his station...|
|The two guys, left, appear to be dancing to Madness' 'Baggy Trousers', possibly blaring from the loudspeaker...|
Not true, but wouldn't that have been so cool?
|The malfunctioning apostrophe appears at Milton...|
|Where the ball should not have been in the gale...|
|Now THAT is atmospheric...|
|The wind bulges the net, like mine bulges the Solihull plumbing after a chicken desi from Knowle's Cafe Saffron...|
|Dugouts, or wind-hides...|
|Where I was...|
|Hull v Villa, surely?|
|Message to my son Jamie...|
"At least this claret & blue team won..."
|OK, so 'Baggy Trousers' might have been playing after all...|
Saturday, 28 November 2015
|THE HUMPING & THE MOWDOG MEET STACEY FROM COTSWOLD TRADING...|
|THE HUMPING PREPARES TO FLOB AT A COTSWOLD TRADING COLLEAGUE...|
|THE HUMPING STIFFENS READY TO POUNCE...|
|ADMONISHED BY THE MOWDOG, THE HUMPING TAKES NO NOTICE...|
|...AND GOES FOR THE LADY'S EAR...|
|THE HUMPING APPEARS TO HAVE ENJOYED HIMSELF...|
|A HUG FROM STACEY, DESPITE NEARLY LOSING HER SPECTACLES TO THE SPITTING HUMPING...|
|THE HUMPING WANTS TO VISIT WHATEVER THE WEATHER, NEXT TIME...|
Sunday, 22 November 2015
|JOACHIM GOES FOR A BURTON... (GET IT?)|
|WINDOW ON THE WORLD OF BOWLS...|
CLICK THIS MESSAGE TO GO TO THE 18 VIDEO CLIPS, INCLUDING 5 OF THE 6 GOALS... (SORRY, LOUIS...)
Borrowash Repair Gearbox On Malfunction Day
Holwell Sports 2-4 Borrowash Victoria
I am familiar with Easter Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and now, even Black Friday, for shopping bargains but this was Malfunction Saturday… Not only did Borrowash malfunction during a first-half of territorial advantage but there was also little else from the spluttering Vics. The unfortunate ‘keeper Ash Warner, totally blameless, had also seen two right-footers from home skipper Michael Stevenson, one a penalty, flash inside his right upright. Due to the extreme cold, my dictaphone malfunctioned too, meaning my notes were kept orally by commenting upon a good number of video clips. Unfortunately, my fingers malfunctioned too and I could barely press the ‘Record’ button on several occasions, none more so than when the home defence malfunctioned and conceded a penalty at 2-2. Despite my desperate efforts, my thumb would simply not activate the necessary button and so Louis Menson-Evans’ spot-kick success was not filmed, although I did manage to get a clip of his second goal. Malfunctioning batteries, because of the constant use, meant that the camera only just managed to last the ninety minutes and therefore, interviews with players or manager were not possible. Malfunctioning, slightly arthritic fingers somehow started my car after the game ended and the 63 mile journey home was engaged.
|Birch & Stevenson toss... The officials stand straight for the assessors...|
|Kye warms up to the imagined sounds of K-Ci & Jojo's 'Tell Me It's Real'...|
Getting back to succeed 2-4, from 2-0 behind on a soft surface, which despite the three heavy rollers visible, was causing the ball to roll unevenly as well as slowly, was impressive in awful, chilled conditions at Welby Road. Borrowash gained territorial advantage, held onto that but in truth rarely troubled home goalie Carlton Cropper to, er, come a cropper. Untidy passing, an inability to be incisive and the domination of home defenders Ian Bitmead and Freddie Daws in the air, saw the Borrowash offence malfunction where it really mattered, in and around the 18 yard box. The hosts suckered their guests with two goals on the break but after the interval, Vics’ persistence won out and Holwell simply couldn’t hold on.
|Kye simply has to be in as many photos as possible...|
Looks determined though.
An early acrobatic shot by Menson-Evans flew well wide, Warner picked up a weak shot by Sports’ Matt Lowe and at the opposite end, graft by Ryan Fuller-Nadin led to Cropper losing possession of the ball, only to grab it again before Kye Hall could react. Julian Joachim’s short pass then bounced off Adam Burton’s boot, right into the path of home skipper Stevenson and his instant low drive was hard, low and true, and it cannoned into the net via the left upright, leaving Warner clawing air and grumbling about his team’s malfunctioning defending.
|Stevenson (yellow shirt, armband) has scored...|
A corner by Adam Martin on the Vics’ right led to a Hall fall at the near post, then an immediate right-side throw by Owen Brown, also to the near post, saw Hall fall again. He smiled. Was his leg-balance malfunctioning? The sluggish Borrowash efforts to regain parity were suddenly forgotten though, as Joachim’s long and angled pass towards Tom Harris at inside-right led to a quick one-two by the slight winger and an unwise challenge by Vics’ skipper Scott Birch on Harris, to concede a penalty, which Stevenson drove hard and low into the left corner of the net again, leaving Warner grasping air and grumbling slightly louder this time about his team’s malfunctioning defending.
|Julian Joachim appears to be wearing a malfunctioning fez...|
|Owen Brown miscues the leg and kicks the ball.|
|Adam Burton attempts to remove Joachim's socks...|
|Old nursery rhyme springs to mind...|
All fall down...
|Penalty scored: 2-0 to Holwell...|
Menson-Evans had been given scant protection from a referee who was probably aware that there was a trainee assessor, as well as a veteran assessor watching his performance and the Borrowash forward, along with Kirk Francis were bundled about somewhat by the robust but really effective Holwell defence. Menson-Evans fed the influential Brandon Gwinnutt for a low shot, which was weak, yet Cropper fell early and made a real meal of dealing with the bumpy effort. Joachim cut inside from the left but his 23 yard drive went out for a throw-in on the Vics’ defensive left, before Hall made ground along the left byeline but was blocked off by Cropper at the expense of a corner. Alex Marshall, looking uncomfortable in the first-half, attempted a chip from 24 yards but the ball dropped over the right angle of bar and post, with the yelling of his coaches ringing in his ears, no doubt: “HIT IT…”
Menson-Evans saw a low shot blocked, Fuller-Nadin fed Martin for a shot which caused Cropper no bother, then following some decent Borrowash passing, Gwinnutt’s shot malfunctioned. As the half ended, Marshall also had a shot blocked by the massed Holwell defence but then the rather ineffective Francis took a feed from the right by the industrious, if not very fortunate Hall but dribbled a weak miscued shot to the relieved Cropper from 6 yards out. I had enjoyed a fine commentary on the first period by Warner, who on one occasion yelled to his manager that there was no centre-forward, for the pair of strikers were playing as wingers, at which point the manager yelled to his strikers that they were too far apart and playing like wingers. Random, or what? Surely, with the technology we now possess, like in the NFL, Warner and Mr Hamson could have been rigged up with headsets? Non-malfunctioning ones…
The interval meant 15 minutes of hands in pockets in an attempt to bring life to an old codger’s extremities but when the game restarted, there was more urgency about Borrowash and they soon pulled a goal back, through Hall, whose hair was functioning well. A free-kick on the right from the left boot of Martin was glanced on by Holwell’s Gary Drake (should he have ducked..?) but two colleagues also jumped, leaving Hall unmarked at the left upright, from whence the sun glinted off his gold teeth as his low shot beat the ‘keeper and nudged off a defender’s boot on its way into the net.
|Menson-Evans attacks the byeline...|
|The ref joins in the goalscoring jig... Wonder what the assessor thought?|
|Kye has netted: 2-1 now...|
|Kye reveals that functional hairstyle...|
More skirmishing and losses of possession on the pudding of a surface ended up with a foul on Menson-Evans, right-side, just outside the penalty-box. Lionel Messi would have relished the free-kick opportunity but Martin took it, curling a lovely shot, which dipped splendidly into the far corner of the net to regain parity for his team.
|Adam Martin (centre, foreground) has equalised with a fine free-kick...|
The third goal simply had to come and from a right-side corner by Marshall, whose game had improved considerably since the break, the ball bounced about; Fuller-Nadin and Gwinnutt were involved but as Menson-Evans turned, his legs disappeared under Bitmead’s slide and the official awarded a penalty. Hall took a fall. Again. Cue my frozen thumb’s malfunction as Menson-Evans struck a confident penalty to the goalie’s left, who came a cropper, falling right. Sorry, Louis…
|2-3 now: Menson-Evans has netted a penalty...|
Danny Briscoe replaced Francis but like last week, after going 2-3 ahead, Vics nearly offered Holwell an unlikely equaliser, allowing Stevenson to pass smartly towards the right for Harris, whose angled drive was beaten down, then collected by the cold, stiffening, yet alert Warner. Briscoe turned and drove a shot too high for the guests, Lewis Belgrave and Dave Carr replaced Fuller-Nadin and Martin I believe, whose deliveries had supplied Borrowash’s opening two goals and it was Belgrave who fastened onto a pass by the by now elusive Menson-Evans, but the youngster’s shot from 22 yards flew too high. A Gwinnutt free-kick from deep caused mayhem in the home 6 yard box but Menson-Evans’ scrambled effort rolled wide of the right post, then the visitors made the game safe.
|Menson-Evans: a second-half threat...|
Menson-Evans fastened onto a pass where he likes to, through the middle, like Joachim used to, but although the advancing Cropper stopped the striker’s first shot, Menson-Evans recovered to convert the rebound left-booted, past a retreating defender on the goal-line.
|2-4: Menson-Evans again...|
It remained only for Hall to run neatly at inside-right and shoot at Cropper, for Hall to shove a low centre across goal from the right byeline and cause some chaos and for Belgrave to chase back and harry an opponent,as Holwell attempted to break.
|Above & below: Borrowash end the game on the offensive, but not malfunctioning much...|
The home defence was really good for much of this game but going forward for them was tough, as quite often the midfielders were extra hands to the defensive pump and possession was rendered back to Borrowash. Joachim never stopped running, looked comfortable in possession but never threatened Warner’s goal, although Stevenson’s brace in the opening half were worthy finishes. Brown battled hard for Vics, Adam Burton and Birch did well enough in the defensive zone and with Marshall (built like a natural centre-forward reminding me a little of Fernando Torres in stature) improving and Hall never once baulking at the effort needed, the malfunctioning Vics went up through a couple of gears to snatch victory from the mire of defeat. The manager told me that this game was a potential banana-skin. That’s why I didn’t unzip mine.
The journey back to Solihull was decent, guests came to dinner and the meal functioned rather well…
Carlton Cropper, Gary Drake, Alex Purkis, Mike Hallam, Ian Bitmead, Freddie Daws, Tom Harris, Tom Barnard, Julian Joachim, Michael Stevenson (Capt), Matt Lowe.
Jay McKay, Levi Routen, Sam Daws.
Ash Warner, Owen Brown, Adam Martin, Scott Birch (Capt), Adam Burton, Ryan Fuller-Nadin, Kirk Francis, Brandon Gwinnutt, Louis Menson-Evans, Kye Hall, Alex Marshall.
Lewis Belgrave, Dave Carr, Danny Briscoe.