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The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “ryman league proces”

Metropolitan Police win with almost the last kick of the game. Met Police 2 Needham Market 1. Ryman Premier


With only 4 games left this season each side had plenty to play for in this game played in bright sunshine at the excellent Imber Court. Met Police have come from being bottom of the division to potentially a place of safety but really needed 3 points, having been on a wretched run. Needham Market sit in the play off positions but with 4 sides on 58 points things were certainly tight. 000087250000872000008730

The game was fairly even in the first half with a number of chances for both sides. Neither keeper though had real saves to make.

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Needham Market score the opening goal

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Charlie Collins penalty for Met Police

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In the second half Needham Market took the lead but a Charlie Collins penalty evebed things up, until injury time when Roman Michael-Percil, who had been causing havoc in the Needham defence for the last 20 minutes scored a superb goal with a shot from inside the box.

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Roman Michael-Percil scores the winning goal

Overall a great game , played at pace with none of the cyniscism seen often in league football. A special mention for the referee Damith Bandara, who was one of the best officials I have seen this season in league and non-league games. What I particularly liked was that he took no nonsense from the players nor the coaching teams, sending one of the Needham coaches off . This is a good referee and I look forward to seeing more of him. 0000872800008687

 

 

The Beauty of Non-league football. A few photographs from a cold January afternoon


Live football is a great game and can be easily distinguished from the reality TV nonsense that so often represents the fare delivered from the Premiership. Skill levels may be greater in the Premiership but nothing beats seeing and smelling the action from close up.  Things that would seem an anathema to stewards in league football happen weekly in the non-league arena. To put it simply, the rules are sensible. Fans can stand and drink beer on the terraces, fans can often bring well behaved dogs on a lead, fans can purchase good quality food at reasonable prices .

This is football played ny normal people and watched by those who genuinely love the game. To anyone with a camera there are many photo opportunities to observe all manner of real life at football.

Although I often go to non-league football games to watch and photograph the actions and the players, there are also some great images to be had from the fans and officials alike. Here are a few shots taken from the Ryman South game 2nd January 2017 Chipstead v Carshalton Athletic.

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Chipstead 3 Carshalton Athletic 1. Photographs from a cold afternoon


A cold afternoon that ended up little over freezing at the end saw an interesting and entertaining game which either side could have won. Carshalton missed a few good chances and also contrived to miss two penalties rather badly. Good value as always for £9.It is always easy being a football critic of course but the difference between the two sides and maybe the chance of Carshalton reaching the play offs, is taking your chances and taking them at the right time. Carshalton played the better football but the scoreline mandates that Chipstead played the more effective football and certainly looked better than a team that was 20 points below Carshalton.

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The Many Faces of Non-League Football As Seen in Ryman South


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Carshalton 3 Farnham Town 0. FA Cup Preliminary Round 2016. Photos of the game.


A reasonably entertaining game but one which the hosts won too easily and the result was never in doubt.

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Carshalton 4 Three Bridges 1 – Absolutely wonderful football game


One normally does not associate Ryman South with wonderful  flowing and skilful football. Those people may be wrong. Essentially to give context this was a middle table game with nothing depending on it between two very different teams. The War Memorial ground is an excellent ground at this level and might easily host Conference South football with a few strategic amendments. The superb 3G pitch looks like a huge success and it was difficult to tell any difference from a grass version.

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War Memorial Ground Carshalton

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Some of the best non league terracing Carshalton

Even in the warm up it was clear to the casual observer, one of the 288 present, that the Carshalton team was young and mostly looked 10 years younger than a slightly gnarled older looking  Three Bridges team.

00002449The styles also were a huge contrast with Carshalton favouring a fluid skilful game playing the ball out of defence and using the wings, whilst Three bridges were more physical, forceful and at times presented Carshalton with some rigorous tackles.

Three Bridges also favoured the opportunity to debate regularly with the referee Chris Felton , whether his decisions were correct and give input as to which Carshalton players should be booked and for what reason.

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The game was played in the first half in bright sunshine and by the second half light rain.

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The crowd of 288 was a very respectable number considering the league positions and the paucity of away following from Three bridges.

The reality was that Carshalton won this game easily 4-1 and in Ricky Korboa had a winger with unreal talent and balance, who scored a goal worthy of goal of the month at any football level.

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Ricky Korboa 

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Ricky Korboa

This current Carshalton team if kept together will be interesting to watch over the next 12 months.

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Tommy Bradford

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Tommy Bradford

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Chipstead 3 Whyteleafe 2 – A Photographic Story


The first game I have seen at Chipstead on a day when little football was played due to Storm Katie. The pitch looked good and the football was end to end in a game that clearly mattered to both teams. A 3-2 victory for Chipstead was just about deserved mostly because Chipstead took their chances and a good goalkeeping display from Alex Kozakis.  Shawn Lyle was impressive for Whyteleafe who maybe might rue some dire finishing in the first half when they maybe should have taken the game. A hail storm gave parts of the game a surreal image and overall Craig Tanner will be pleased with the performance tonight. 00001958

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Shawn Lyle

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Alex Kozakis

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The Sad Demise of Walton and Hersham Football Club


For those unfamiliar with Walton and Hersham football club they are a Ryman South club needing only four promotions to achieve football league status. A simply astounding but mathematically correct statement. For many years they  were my “non league” club and in fact I have been watching them for around 50 years.

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Most people are unfamiliar with their claims to fame of having won the FA Amateur Cup at Wembley in 1973, and perhaps their greatest “achievement ” was getting Wimbledon into the football league many years ago. The Walton manager and most of the decent players simply moved to Wimbledon and it was that team that got promotion to Division 4. The manager was Allen Batsford and the players included Dave Bassett. Since then things have changed substantially for the worse. In fact their last meaningful club honour stated in the programme is Ishmian League Premier Division Runners Up from that same season they won the FA Amateur cup. The last meaningful thing I recall was a 0-0 result against Brian Clough Brighton at their ground Stompond Lane in front of 4000 spectators and a 4-0 victory in the replay at the Goldstone Ground.

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I cannot summarise their subsequent history in a simple article but the club has been in almost constant decline in the 40 years since then to the extent that they need a new ground and there is a debate going on as to whether that should be a rebuilt Stompond Lane or a groundshare with the other Walton club Walton Casuals.

On weekends when I am not watching Brentford I will visit and often photograph at non league matches and I took the opportunity to see Walton and Hersham v Hythe Town on 27th February and came away maybe more demoralised and sad than from a game for many years. The simple facts are that Walton lost the game 1-3 and the reality was it that should have been more like 1-10, that the ground was in a dreadful state of disrepair, that there were no smiling faces and if I was looking for a welcome, then I had come to the wrong ground. The standard of football was frankly of a park standard and a glance at the league table suggests that relegation is a real probability this year . There must also have been a changing of faces at the club with new players coming in ( and in my opinion soon going out) as the tannoy announcer could not pronounce many of the Walton players names. A few players stood out as being less dreadful than others. Alfie May for Hythe looked like he could play football and could play certainly one division higher. Richard Parquette for Walton is still a box finisher and looked in fact the only player capable of scoring for Walton.

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Admission costs £9 which is a reasonable price for Ryman South football, combined with free parking, £2 programme and £3 Burger , gives a total cost of around £15. The lady at the turnstile entrance was friendly enough but there it stopped, there were a small group of maybe 3-4 men giving an impression of guarding the “free” gate nearby glaring at anyone daring to enter. I counted a crowd size during the dismal game of 67 spectators and the stated crowd was just under 100.

The ground potentially is a decent ground, with terracing behind one goal and in the past covered terracing alongside the whole of one side of the pitch. The stand is also of reasonable size but has been allowed to decline to a sad state. A few new red seats have been installed but the majority of seats were covered in bird mess, mud and unspecified debris, and no one in their right mind would have chosen to sit on them. The old terracing stand has been covered up and closed down due to danger with the roof structure, and fences had blown down behind the goal making passage around the ground troublesome.

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The clubhouse was boarded up and inside was more like a damp cupboard than a clubhouse with maybe 3-4 souls drinking beer before the game. In short the ground was unfriendly, as were most souls I came across, even the nice ladies in the burger bar were wishing the end of half time when they could close their van ( nice burger in a toasted bun was the highlight of my afternoon), and the general state of all the standing areas was poor.

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Seats in stand

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Xmas tree growing on the terrace maybe?

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Rear of Condemned Stand

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The only set of toilets outside the clubhouse. Boarded up

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Clubhouse Boarded Up

This is a club and a ground in total demise. Would I return here? Not in the distant future to be sure. The football and welcome at other local clubs, who also have problems, like Molesey FC is far superior.

I don’t know what the future holds for Walton and Hersham but decisions need to be made. Frankly 2 separate grounds for 2 separate teams in one town in Walton does not seem a viable option, when the total of both clubs home support combined is less than 200. But things need to improve or this club will die. The worst memory was of the astonishingly poor standard of football played by Walton and of a comment, serious I think, from a Hythe town player during the warm up ” only 90 minutes to the bar lads….”. Maybe he had not been inside the bar there?

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Non-League Football At Carshalton AFC Restoring Some Sanity After Crazy Week For Brentford


Some weeks in football terms are best forgotten. Simply a bad week in the life of Brentford football club. A free saturday afternoon meant that I could go in search of a non league football game that might restore my sanity and belief in football as a game.

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My first choice for a game is nearly always Carshalton Athletic who play in the Ryman South league and are assembling a young and enthusiastic side who are not paid the kind of excessive wages that some non league sides have resorted to in an attempt to buy success. Their season is a good one so far and they sit on the edges of the play off positions.

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The ground is on the outskirts of Carshalton with a decent amount of parking at the ground. The terracing would grace many lower league grounds and a crowd of 257 gave a decent atmosphere.

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The first thing  one notices is that it is easy to walk around the whole ground so you not trapped in one zone all game. The food is generally better quality than league grounds and generally cheaper. One also has to mention the 3G pitch of which I am a fan and the ability of games to go ahead in often highly inclement weather.

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The football played could be described as robust, a few tackles flying in which on a different day might have led to a few yellow and red cards. But the game and the result mattered to the 22 players out there. The physique and fitness may not be a league standard but these guys ran, well mostly, for 90 minutes.

Local builders did not seem to be doing much building during the game from their high perch behind the goal.

1K4A5586c.JPGAway support at this level is varied but I had an excellent conversation with the seemingly sole South Park fan standing behind the goal.

1K4A5609.JPGPeople come for different reasons and many nowadays bring cameras, including myself, and some excellent photos end up online post match.

1K4A5590.JPGThis football is real, played by amateurs and watched by genuine football fans who in many cases have followed their clubs for years or even decades. Those fans who only watch league football at higher echelons could do worse than spend around 10£ or sometimes less to occasionally watch non league football. It does restore your belief that football is a game, that fans of all teams can stand together and chat, and that the complaints over the referee and officials do not stop at a league level!

As a photographer I also enjoy the ability to bring my camera in and get all kinds of photos from different angles that would never be possible at a league game.

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Met Police 7 Cray Wanderers 1


A rather one-sided Ryman premier game where the home side were 5-0 up at half time and the second half became damage limitation from Cray.

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