Saturday, 28 May 2016

THE LOSS OF A BADGER...

THE BODGING THREATENED…

Red and green ribbons adorned the neck
Of a hand-puppet,
A badger, The Bodging,
As he beheld the awards
Presented to players
From Coventry United
Perched on a DJ’s electronic deck…

And then he went missing.
No child was responsible,
But I was fortunate to notice
His absence reprehensible…

But, secured and recovered,
I then wondered as I drove home late:
What unpleasant, unnecessary evil
Might have been The Bodging’s fate?

DISAPPOINTED: THE KIDNAPPED BADGER...





COVENTRY UNITED'S PRESENTATION EVENING: A FEW IMAGES & THE LINK TO A FEW VIDEO CLIPS, FEATURING TERRY ANDERSON, GIFT MUSSA & BRIAN 'THE MESSIAH' NDLOVU...

GUESS WHO'S SUPPORTERS' PLAYER OF THE SEASON?

GIFT MUSSA HAS PASSED HIS Y9 SATS...

"FLY ME TO THE MOON..."

"A'RIGHT?"

PLAYERS' PLAYER OF THE SEASON JOSH O'GRADY ADMITS TO BEING A TEAM PLAYER, AS YET ANOTHER CHILD RACES ACROSS THE DANCE FLOOR...

I GUESS THIS WAS MEANT TO BE A TEAM-PHOTO...

GRAHAM WOOD: A HUGE THANK YOU FROM COVENTRY UNITED FC...

BEING SECRETARY @ COVENTRY UNITED FC...
BY GRAHAM WOOD


Secretary for 1sts/Reserves/MJPL/U15s/U16s. 

Have to interface between Leagues/board/FA and coaches.

Signing on players: checking international clearance, bans, bookings, etc. 

Paperwork needs to be filled in properly, being anal when it comes to making sure it is done correctly.

Put players’ details onto League website and the FA website for all teams. 

Get paperwork to the league within 5 days.

Update 'full-time' website with match stats for adult teams.

Match arrangements sorted for both adult teams.

All fines dealt with, ensuring they are paid on time to avoid additional fines for the club.

Affiliation and players’ insurances dealt with each season for all teams.

Attending all League meetings in Birmingham. 

Learn all the time regarding rules and paperwork, for any any fines or point deductions would be the Secretary's fault.

Regular phone calls and emails with the rest of the board, so we are all aware of what's happening and nothing is missed.

Helping to ensure the junior teams achieved Charter status.

Last to leave due to cleaning changing rooms and showers for both teams at home, and our room when playing away. 

(More teams should clean their own changing rooms...)

Kitman: turning kit the right way round, generally dropping it off to the laundrette. However, with lots of midweek games I have to wash them at home.

Getting to home ground before everyone else gets there to open up and put up the kit.

Minibus driver to away matches. 

Meeting officials for both adult teams for pitch inspections and making sure they sign relevant paperwork if the match is called off. 

Pay the officials at home games.


Ball boy…

I guess that's why the man vapes...

Seriously, the above is a job I would never even consider.

GRAHAM WOOD: 
THANK YOU SO MUCH ON BEHALF OF EVERYONE @ COVENTRY UNITED, INCLUDING THE PLAYERS...

Friday, 27 May 2016

AEI RUGBY 1-1 WOODLANDS WMC: HONEST REPORT BY THE MOWDOG...

Woodlands Spoil AEI’s Party, As Folly Lane Take Title

AEI Rugby 1-1 Woodlands WMC
(played at Brown’s Lane, Daventry…)

For the second season running a non-playing team watched a draw between two other teams hand them the Coventry Alliance League title and it was ironic that Folly Lane had been one of the two teams which battled it out in 2014-15 but couldn’t beat Whitnash on the final day, so that, ironically again, AEI won the title… This season of course, Folly Lane failed to beat AEI last week in a very drab clash, meaning that if Rugby won their remaining matches, they would be crowned Champions. They needed one more win, against Woodlands, they started well enough, netted early through Kane Finney but at the start of the second period, Woodlands’ Gavin Harding slipped in an equaliser and his team refused to lie down, retaining parity until the end. Both teams ended the game with ten players, after Lee Vince and Ben Thackeray were dismissed following an unseemly incident and a challenge by Vince on the effective Woodlands goalie Steve Brook. Neither team was able to test the opposing goalkeeper enough however and maybe fatigue had finally affected AEI, for the visitors gave as much as they received in an encounter which was always interesting, often lusty and with the dismissals, also a little feisty. An unpleasant ending to the game, caused by an ‘onlooker’ filming a ‘conversation’ between a substituted Woodlands player and a linesman was very unfortunate and really unnecessary. Spectators finally strolled away from Brown’s Lane, Daventry in some shock, in truth, as if the ending of a looked forward to film at the cinema had disappointed them badly.
THE TOSS...

Rugby threatened early when Halim Halim, in for Gerard McGahey, fed a pass to Jimmy Smith at inside-right but his low shot was saved at the near post by the diving Brook, at the expense of a corner, from which the hosts took that early lead. Skipper Sean Castleton rose beyond the far post to head the ball back into the goalmouth and Finney leapt to head the ball high into the right side of the net, despite the fingers of Brook and the hair of Chris Edwards on the goal-line. 
1-0...

JOY FOR AEI...

...& FINNEY...

Woodlands responded but a kind of over-shoulder effort by Harding was well off target, before their left-back Chris Sockett, who battled manfully all evening against Finney, rapped a low shot off colleague Dave Warner’s heel for home goalie Lubomir Sabol to pick up, then the elusive and often impressive Woodlands forward Tyson Knight raced away on the right but when Warner struck a low shot at goal from his colleague’s pass, Matt Izzard blocked it, conceding a corner, taken by Ben Twigger and caught well under his crossbar by Sabol. Brook found himself running left along his byeline to thwart Vince, who had been booked early for something he said when Finney got himself into some trouble with the rather harassed referee, before Smith wasted a good chance, after being fed by Darren Wood, whereby the striker pulled a disappointing effort well wide of the left upright from 18 yards.
CASTLETON: RESOLUTE IN THE AEI DEFENCE...

When Sockett grabbed Finney around the waist to stop him running, the ball fell to Vince, whose low cross from the right byeline was picked up by Brook but the point here surely was that Sockett needed to be cautioned. The referee failed even to wave a warning finger at the defender. The closest AEI came to a second goal was when they won another corner, this time on their left. Castleton was again the recipient, heading the ball back across goal for Smith to head goalwards but Ato Stephens, guarding a post, appeared to nod the ball into Harding’s eye as he cleared the ball from the goal-line. Knight, causing problems with his running all evening for the hosts, raced away on the right, was challenged by the advanced Sabol, wasn’t awarded a corner, complained and earned a yellow card, before Halim was unable to control a Finney delivery from the right, as Rugby pushed forward again.
VINCE IS CAUTIONED BUT REACTS LIKE THE REF IS GOING TO THROW THE YELLOW CARD AT HIM...

Finney made a positive run but shot into a crowd, although he had support to his right, then right defensive back Mitch Boe swung a boot following a throw-in but his shovelled shot bounced wide of the left post, with Brook untroubled, just prior to the interval, which had arrived with AEI in command of their own destiny. Immediately after the short break however, the guests really spoiled the party by scoring what would prove to be the title-winning goal for Folly Lane, who couldn’t score a goal of their own at the same venue last week. 
AEI AT THE BREAK...

WOODLANDS CHEW THINGS OVER...

A free-kick was awarded to the visitors, wide right, which Edwards delivered low towards the near post, where the ball appeared to strike the heel of Stuart Paget, who was being shadowed by Wood but the ball rolled on for Harding to poke into the net from close range, having reached the ball before Finney. Goal, shock, game very much on…
HARDING IS CONGRATULATED...

...& IT'S PARITY...

A short free-kick by the ever more influential Twigger for Woodlands, set up Sockett for a shot, which brought a right-flank corner and when this was missed by all and sundry, Paget so nearly converted at the far post byeline. Finney threatened briefly for AEI, then Smith, maybe or maybe not offside, won a corner, which Vince curled over the crossbar, before Knight was defended well by Matt Izzard, who once again, alongside Castleton, formed a formidable partnership in the centre of the home defence. A fine run forward by Wood saw Finney have to check back for the eventual pass, which lost momentum for this Rugby attack, then only a fine, stretching interception by one of the excellent central defenders for Woodlands, Thackeray, prevented a right-side centre from reaching the prowling Smith.
STEPHENS: KNUCKLED DOWN IN DEFENCE LATE ON...

AEI attempted to turn up the pressure on the guests and Smith nodded Finney’s cross into the path of Halim but his volley flew well over the target and the forward was quickly replaced by McGahey. Then came the flashpoint. Vince followed in a low push by Wood, a Woodlands defender allowed his calling ‘keeper to rush out and gather but Vince tried to intervene, his legs catching the prone Brook, who flicked out a protective boot. Thackeray however took exception to the ‘challenge’ and his forehead rubbed against Vince’s, which ultimately led to both players being shown red cards. It all seemed over-dramatic, but officials have to make a call, especially when players reacted as they did here.
TROUBLE FLARES...

BOTH THACKERAY &...

...VINCE ARE DISMISSED...

Ollie Chater replaced Wood for the hosts, Sabol took a hike along his left byeline and became entangled with Knight, although he got away with it without losing possession, Brook, whose kicking on the night was superb, especially from dead-balls, caught a well struck Finney volley, before Knight’s left-boot volley flew over the home crossbar. Danny O’Toole replaced Luke Pritchard for Rugby and O’Toole’s left-foot cross led to Brook running from goal and colliding with Finney, who stroked the ball into goal but the referee’s whistle signalled a free-kick to Woodlands instead. AEI missed their best chance soon afterwards, as the tension mounted and Woodlands defended with aplomb. The ball was swung from right to left by Chater, McGahey, totally unmarked, slipped the ball into James Farrow’s path, 12 yards out but his left-footer was too high, bringing gasps from home supporters, players and staff alike.
STEPHENS MOVES AWAY WITH THE BALL...

Twigger, the bit between his teeth, shot at Sabol, Castleton’s glancing header from Farrow’s free-kick was wide of the mark, Adam Mullen replaced Lee Greenway for the visitors and Warner was cautioned for preventing AEI from taking a free-kick. Izzard tumbled in the Woodlands penalty-box, a poor Sabol kick led to a speculative 60 yard shot by Twigger, who pulled the trigger but Sabol caught the ball near his left upright, although the effort would have gone just wide anyway and finally, in a slightly rousing finish, Farrow fell inside the 18 yard box and was subsequently cautioned for diving and attempting to win a penalty.
FARROW, WITH FURROWED BROW, RECEIVES A CAUTION...

Woodlands were so well served by Paget in defence but fair play to wide-man Stephens and also Knight, who tucked in, along with Harding at the end and helped their defence not to be breached. Striker Warner was a nuisance all evening and Twigger rampaged about for the final half-hour, as AEI laboured in attack. Rugby must have been disappointed not to have created quite enough on the evening but once again the performances of the officials had affected a really important match, causing some real animosity on the sidelines. 
WOOD & KNIGHT...

KNIGHT SMILES BUT IZZARD'S POSE SUGGESTS THAT THINGS ARE NOT GOING AEI'S WAY...

LEE VINCE...

TEAMS:

AEI RUGBY:
Lubomir Sabol, Mitch Boe, Darren Wood, Kane Finney, Matt Izzard, Sean Castleton (Capt), James Farren, Luke Pritchard, Lee Vince, Jimmy Smith, Halim Halim.
SUBS:
Gerard McGahey, Ollie Chater, Dan O’Toole.

WOODLANDS WMC:
Steve Brook, Lee Greenway, Chris Sockett, Chris Edwards, David Warner, Stuart Paget (Capt), Ben Thackeray, Ato Stephens, Gavin Harding, Ben Twigger, Tyson Knight.  
SUB:
Adam Mullen.      




Wednesday, 25 May 2016

HAWKES MILL SPORTS 0-3 AEI RUGBY: FULL ACTUAL, FACTUAL REPORT BY THE MOWDOG...

Hawkes Downed By Rugby Resilience

Hawkes Mill Sports 0-3 AEI Rugby

Until wide-man Kane Finney slipped in an opening goal for the title-chasing guests immediately prior to the break, this encounter had been tight, with Sports looking tough opponents, relying on the long throws of mountainous central defender Kyle Walker (is he on loan from Spurs, or what?) and the nuisance of tall, lean strikers Phil Evans and Charlie Jones to cause Rugby’s central defensive partners of skipper Sean Castleton and Matt Izzard a real workout. They survived however and when Jim Smith plundered a second goal at the start of the second period, the result was rarely in doubt. Lively winger Gerard McGahey shoved in a third for AEI and the remaining time saw not a great deal from Hawkes but two Rugby shots struck uprights and home ‘keeper Tommy Hindmarsh saved well from Ollie Chater. Oddly, Hawkes substituted their other long-thrower, Steve Algar, after Walker had hobbled off injured, leaving no recourse to use that awkward tactic. Interestingly, the officials did not award a penalty early on to Hawkes, when Jones fell over Finney’s foot, which might well have changed the course of the game but AEI will point to Hindmarsh’s risky challenge on Smith later in the match too, which also went unpunished. 
CASTLETON & CURETON PREPARE TO TOSS...

So, AEI’s season moves on wearily to Thursday and a home match, albeit at Daventry’s Brown’s Lane, against Woodlands WMC and a victory will seal the league title.
TOMMY DISPLAYS A WICKETKEEPER'S GLOVES & PADS TO MAKE THE POINT THAT THE SOCCER SEASON SHOULD HAVE FINISHED WEEKS AGO...

LUBOMIR DREAMS OF YET ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET...

Izzard was beaten by the surface it seemed early on and Jones slipped a pass to Evans, but he could not test AEI ‘keeper Lubomir Sabol, who, despite the long-throw threats, was rarely troubled throughout the evening. McGahey’s fine footwork led to a bad foul by Walker but the impish winger kept his feet, only to be savaged by a combination of long chuckers, Walker again and Algar. Walker was cautioned, which meant he needed to show some care with future challenges during this important clash. James Farrow’s resulting free-kick from 27 yards dipped just a little late but the schemer was looking creative, partnered by the energetic and combative Luke Pritchard in the Rugby trenches. The hosts bellowed for a penalty when Jones appeared to be tripped by Finney inside the AEI penalty-box but not only did the visitors survive this, they also broke clear at inside-right, although Smith dragged a shot wide, with Lee Vince free on his right. 
KANE FINNEY COMBINES FOOTBALL AND A GAME OF TIG, AS HE ESCAPES AN OPPONENT'S CLUTCHES...

A huge left-side throw by Walker was cleared back to him and he displayed fleet of foot for a huge hulk of a Hawke and drifted outside Farrow, before delivering a fine cross, which edged past the far post. Home goalie Hindmarsh, who I last saw sharing goalkeeping duties with Rich ‘Mozza’ Morris at Coventry United, dived from goal to clutch a low centre by Vince but the stubborn nature of the up-for-it Hawkes led to a run on the right by Evans, although his low delivery flew right across the AEI penalty-box. A long right-side throw by Algar for the hosts was cleared back to him by the Rugby defence and the midfielder smacked a fine volley wide of the left upright from 26 yards. His next shot, also a first-time volley, after a corner by Sean Gaffney had been headed away, rattled into the body of a defender from 25 yards and Sports were asking questions of their high-flying opponents.
SEAN CASTLETON SHOWS THAT HE CAN PLAY THIS GAME IN HIS SLEEP...

Vince could get no power in a shot from inside-right as AEI attempted to rally but suddenly, Finney found himself running on goal at inside-left and his calm finish past Hindmarsh settled the nerves. As the half wore down, a short throw on the right, which fooled Rugby, saw Algar’s cross headed upwards but over the crossbar by Evans and the interval arrived with cooler air, in front of a decent crowd. Edwin Greaves, the new Brinklow manager had parked his car under some trees but after watching his manoeuvres, it’s probably a good thing that he’s not a driving instructor…
0-1 & THE ALL IMPORTANT STRIKE...

KANE: ABLE TO DO IT...

THE 5 MINUTE INTERVAL...

AEI: READY FOR HALF 2...

The second period opened so well for AEI and it was an attacking sortie by left defensive back Darren Wood who instigated the danger. His turn inside and low delivery was sliced horribly into the air and behind him by the beleaguered Walker, everybody watched in fascination as the ball dropped against the face of the crossbar and there was Smith to rattle in a shot from a couple of yards. However, Hindmarsh, like my daughter’s cat Cinders springing onto a conker on the carpet by the back window, sprang to parry the effort superbly, only for Smith to scramble the rebound over the goal-line. Hindmarsh would see that scenario repeat itself soon enough…
0-2 NOW...

SMITH HAS SCORED...

Evans nudged a header over the Rugby crossbar from another long Walker sling, before Algar fed Gaffney on the Hawkes’ left but Evans headed the midfielder’s cross over the target again and was subsequently substituted, with Corey Williams’ bustling style replacing the striker. Battling hard now, Sports managed to feed Luke Malin into the 18 yard box but he tumbled when challenged and the ball rolled well wide of the right upright. Vince then did remarkably well to keep in a long free-kick by Mitch Boe on the right byeline, although the home defence had given up on it, but Smith was unable to get a difficult header from his colleague’s lobbed cross on target. The third goal was again a tragedy for Walker, who was left injured and for Hindmarsh who again made a cat-like leap to save an effort at goal, only for the rebound to be jabbed past him by the attacker.

This time a right-flank throw by Farrow was flicked on by Finney, Smith found himself running at goal but Hindmarsh ran out and spooned the ball forward to avoid a clash with Smith as the ball bounced. Unfortunately for Walker, Finney challenged for the loose ball, which ricocheted to McGahey, 20 yards out and central, leaving the rock Walker lying hurt. McGahey fed the ball to the lurker, Vince, left-side and his fine cross was headed down at point-blank range by the winger, who had moved into the goalmouth but Hindmarsh leapt at McGahey as the header was made and blocked it but again the ball fell to the opponent, who snaffled a goal.
McGAHEY GOES TO THANK VINCE FOR THE ASSIST, WALKER LIES HURT & AEI ARE 0-3 AHEAD...

Walker hobbled off the field to be replaced by Jason Toye, who settled in at left-back, leaving Dan Tierney to move into the centre of defence with some real success. Wood was replaced by Halim Halim for the visitors and he was soon in the action, showing neat feet to cut inside from the right and shoot from 19 yards, an effort which rolled agonisingly against Hindmarsh’s left post, across the 6 yard box and was popped into the net by the hovering McGahey, only for an offside flag to spoil his good cheer. Vince was replaced by Chater, who headed a McGahey cross down into Hindmarsh’s gloves, Algar was taken out for the introduction of Hawke John Kariuki, who didn’t sing at all, meaning no more long throws for the guests to bat away. 
GERARD McGAHEY: LIVELY ON THE FLANK...

A fine pass by Pritchard from deep inside-left to inside-right, freed Chater but the advancing Hindmarsh did well to save the replacement’s shot, before kicking the loose ball against Toye’s legs to concede a corner, which saw Castleton rise and glance a header some yards wide of the far stick. Finally, a passing movement by the hosts brought a shot at goal. Louis Cureton, the home skipper, who never stopped attempting to create something for his team, fed Malin, whose one-two with Jones led to a shooting chance from 19 yards but the effort flew too high. 

It remained only for Boe to venture forward for AEI and slip a one-two pass for Halim to return the ball but Boe’s low shot struck the foot of the left upright, with Hindmarsh slithering on the turf. Smith was then played in at inside-left by the astute pass of McGahey but was nudged over by Hindmarsh, the referee awarded nothing and we saw the hilarious sight of Smith attempting to get up, scrambling on all fours like a gecko on a Dubrovnik rock, unable to win back the ball from Hawkes’ James Bryson and then the solid Rob McGrane. Dan O’Toole replaced the industrious Pritchard for the final moments and Rugby saw them out without further ado.
McGRANE HAS ESCAPED THE GECKO...

A win, that’s all AEI needed and just three more points against Woodlands will bring them the league title but only 48 hours of rest await them. Their central defenders were immense in this game and goalie Sabol would surely agree that he was given great protection by the pair. The pitch seemed quite small to me, which meant that the long throws by Sports could have been lethal but Castleton and Izzard came through unscathed. 

Me? Good to chat to ex-Coventry United midfielder Kiam Galdins, now of Alvis and seriously, I made nothing up, having simply written what I saw, backed up by video footage. Drove back to Solihull for chip-shop fish and chips, a rare treat these days but a 6.30 kick-off and a journey to the Coventry area sure messes up the food intake…

TEAMS:

HAWKES MILL SPORTS:
Tommy Hindmarsh, Rob McGrane, Dan Tierney, James Bryson, Kyle Walker, Louis Cureton (Capt), Steve Algar, Charlie Jones, Phil Evans, Luke Malin, Sean Gaffney.
SUBS:
Corey Williams, Jason Toye, John Kariuki.

AEI RUGBY:
Lubomir Sabol, Mitch Boe, Darren Wood, Kane Finney, Matt Izzard, Sean Castleton (Capt), James Farrow, Luke Pritchard, Jim Smith, Lee Vince, Gerard McGlahey.
SUBS:
Ollie Chater, Halim Halim, Dan O’Toole. 






  

HAWKES MILL SPORTS 0-3 AEI RUGBY: LINK TO 15 VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE MATCH...

THE HAWKES MILL BENCH, UPON WHICH NOBODY SEEMS TO WANT TO SIT...

SPOT THE SMALL HEATH FAN HIDING IN THE DUGOUT...

CLICK THIS MESSAGE TO GO TO THE 15 VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE GAME, INCLUDING THE THREE GOALS...

HAWKES MILL SPORTS 0-3 AEI RUGBY: SOME GENERAL IMAGES...

VIEW FROM MY PARKING SPACE...

NO BALL GAMES? NOT THE BEST OF STARTS... 

THE BODGING FINDS A FLAG PERCH...

THE FACILITIES END...

THE DUGOUTS...

UNUSUAL BUNCH OF CONIFERS...

FACILITIES THROUGH A NET...

YOUNG RABBIT WATCHES...

WE LIKES THESE...

TOUGH TO KEEP THE BEER IN YOUR GLASS WHEN YOU'RE TAKING A LONG THROW...

AEI LOOSEN UP...

HERE COME HAWKES MILL...

TO HELP OUT FOLLY LANE, HAWKES MILL DECIDE ON A SOLID DEFENSIVE FORMATION AGAINST AEI...

YOU CAN'T BEAT A NICE FLAG...

A CHICK APPEARS AS A SUBSTITUTE...

...BUT LAMENTS THE FACT THAT HE'LL NOT REACH THE LONG THROWS OF HAWKES MILL'S KYLE WALKER...

IT'S THE BRINKLOW BOYS...
LOOK AT THE ARMS: WHO'S MR INDIGNANT, WHO'S MR COOL?