A reasonably entertaining game but one which the hosts won too easily and the result was never in doubt.
Sometimes when you photograph a game you get lucky. The game is exciting, or there are spectacular goals. Sometimes though you just get a series of quite unintentional photos. Here are a few photos from a Preliminary Round game in the FA Cup 2016 Carshalton Athletic v Farnham Town.
In a month when the cost of football has been high on the agenda of fans with Liverpool fans voting to walk out of a game in protest against a potential £77 ticket cost for next season, and some championship clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday charging away fans £36, it is good to see a non league initiative to pay what you want. Building a fan base takes time but one has to start somewhere and Didcot Town are starting this saturday.
Football is an exciting sport generally and live matches bear no comparison with sanitised TV games. Many fans would consider going to games weekly but there is little incentive or collaboration between teams to make this happen. A few non league teams in recent years have given discounted entry to season ticket holders of league clubs, Hampton and Richmond are one example.
Looking at some of the crowds in the lower echelons of the Ryman league for example. On March 8th at a midweek game Haringey Borough attracted a crowd of 22 which was lower than their crowd of 35 last saturday, and last saturday in Ryman North 6 of the 8 games with reported crowds had under 100 spectators. In Ryman South a few crowds were also fairly dire with Chipstead attracting 48 spectators and a similar number at Molesey.
There is clearly room to increase the fan base at many of these clubs. Didcot v Bashley deserves a decent crowd.
A decent enough game with Carshalton unfortunate to lose this game with an own goal followed by a poor piece of goalkeeping. They then created enough chances to have at least drawn the game but luck was not on their side. Leighton looked the more physical experienced side and maybe that was what Carshalton lacked. They also had a scary goalkeeper , Sam Mazurek and a physical centre forward, Alex Woodbine. There already is an excellent match report from Chris Blanchard which can be accessed here, so enough about the game.
Going to football games is not a cheap hobby. Let me give you an example. A ticket for an away Brentford fan at Peterborough on New Years day costs £25 if bought in advance and £28 on the day. This is for a standard league 1 game. It is good to see a few initiatives from football clubs to overcome this and potentially help themselves too. Lets not forget that ticket revenue is only one source of income, sales of items from club shops, burgers and programmes also contribute. At a recent home game Brentford in league 1 took around £11,500 in catering income alone, and let me tell you their catering is no Fat Duck. Lets examine a few of the good guys: