Arcticterntalk.org

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 “walton casuals”

Ryman League Club Advertising Groundsharing . Interesting 


To my knowledge I have never seen a club formally advertise groundsharing. Clearly it must go on at some level of course to alert neighbouring clubs who might clearly need a groundshare. Walton Casuals are an example having no ground of their own currently . But an interesting concept and why not. 

Whyteleafe are a club in the environs of Croydon , sort of, who play in Ryman South and have a decent ground .  This is their advert they put out today. Thoughts? 

http://www.theleafe.co.uk/?content=story&page=6983036786029000011

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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Craig Lewington


The son of Ray Lewington and a midfielder at Molesey FC in Ryman South. A few photos from a recent game versus Whitstable won 2-0 by Molesey FC. When I photograph a game there are always players who stand out, either visually, or by taking a combative role in the game, or sometimes facial expressions. It was not difficult to pick out Craig Lewington as one of those players. Not a natural goalscorer having scored a single goal in 133 games for Molesey.

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Craig Lewington

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Craig Lewington

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Craig Lewington 

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Craig Lewington Training Ground Routine

 

Another respite from The Football League. Molesey 2 Whitstable 0


For anyone not familiar with this non league territory, a Ryman South game between a team on the edge of the play offs and a team bottom of the table. Whitstable sit bottom of the table with 14 points and a negative goal difference of 53 having conceded 89 goals in 33 games of which they have won a mere 4. Maybe the result then was predictable with a 2-0 win for molasses but for large portions of the game the result could have been in favour of Whitstable.

The Whitstable away support was in fact more noisy than the Molesey support most of the games with some curious chants, the most perplexing for me was the chant ” We know who we are”. However it takes a lot of effort not to mention money to come and support your team when they are expected to lose , and lose badly. I have no doubt that the pints of alcohol helped enormously dull the pain of this new loss.

The game though was end to end, and both goals were scored by the strong Stafforde Palmer, the first a powerful header from a corner minutes after half-time and the second a solo run where he kept composure and slotted home nicely. Before this game the player statistics in the programme informed us that in 27 games he had scored 22 goals this season, and in his complete Molesey career 62 goals came from 66 games. At this level impressive. The other player to observe was Craig Lewington the son of Ray Lewington. A tough tackling midfielder previously with Walton Casuals.

Having watched a dire performance from Brentford on the previous evening it was refreshing that in front of a crowd of 63 both teams were able to show 90 minutes of hard work and commitment in blustery conditions. The food is also somewhat better and cheaper than that served at league grounds, and served too with a friendly face. the cost of getting in is only £8 and for me thats too cheap even at this level.

I dont know much of the real history of molesey but the ground looks in need of a makeover and if I understand things is due for some sort of redevelopment, however it is surrounded by new looking houses, some of which overlook the pitch alongside the terracing.

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Should Football Managers Harangue Officials on the pitch? Tommy Williams and Kingstonian


As a football fan I see plenty of occasions each game where the officials get it wrong and sometimes badly so. Having said that players and managers also are culpable of making errors plenty of times in any given game. I do however take a view that officials should be allowed to do their jobs with the expectation that they will not be perfect and certainly should be protected from on-pitch haranguing and demonstrations of anger on the pitch itself. At the recent Met Police v Kingstonian game at half time, immediately before which Met Police had scored direct from a corner, the officials were approached by the Kingstonian manager Tommy Williams clearly angry at some percieved error of judgement, and in a finger waving manner. We all in non-league should have respect for the officials and I personally cannot condone this behaviour. I am sure there are other views out there and it would be interesting to hear them.

Angry Tommy Williams Kingstonian manager confronts the officials at half time. Why is this acceptable?

Angry Tommy Williams Kingstonian manager confronts the officials at half time. Why is this acceptable?

Environmental Enforcement in Wimbledon. What is happening to my world?


Firstly please share this post with friends and colleagues. What I am about to describe is a worrying trend and one that I would not like to see expanding. A kind of “legal ” vigilante going under the euphemism of ” Environmental Enforcement”. OK. Picture the scenario. A short one hour visit to Wimbledon and returning to the train station and about to enter.  What did I visualise?

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I am appalled. There are three I will call them officers with the gentle demeanour of harsh traffic wardens crossed with prison wardens who are ticketing folks under the name of environmental enforcement. Their crimes? Seems throwing cigarette ends anywhere than some specific receptacle. Fixed penalty fines of 75£ or 80£. Those being questioned had a poor grasp of the English language. Apparently this is a criminal offence to throw cigarette ends away like this as one officer explained.
My views on this were heavily influenced by recent reports that police no longer routinely investigate burglaries. And around 10 yards away a homeless man was prostrate and sleeping and would have been a better beneficiary of their wise input and assistance. One might also argue that folks needing help such as this man might be better recipients of environmental protection than inadvertent or even deliberate throwing of cigarette ends on the ground outside a station . Am I right to be angry about this?

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After a little research tonight it seems Merton Council have a zero tolerance to littering, or so they say.  The wording from their website tells us this

Due to the high number of pedestrians visiting the town centre, Wimbledon has the highest rate of cigarette litter in Merton with over 1,500 FPNs being issued since June. As well as taking a zero-tolerance approach to enforcement, the council works to educate residents and visitors to the borough about environmental crime and the likelihood that they will be fined £75 for littering”

http://news.merton.gov.uk/2014/10/24/merton-council-tells-smokers-to-watch-their-butt/

With their website explaining in graphic detail how to pay the £75 fine.

http://www.merton.gov.uk/environment/fixedpenaltynotices.htm

What however is worrying is that there is no right of appeal against a fixed penalty notice. So we all understand the situation that littering is not a good thing and the majority of us would agree that we should do it. However there are limits. And those limits to me are exceeded by seeing in practice that people who were it seems unaware of this draconian zero tolerance to cigarette ends, and we are not talking about littering huge amounts of kebab shop waste or newspapers on the streets, but cigarette ends, are being fined what seems an excessive amount. Furthermore to see a homeless man prostrate, rather curiously by a gritting bin, and these environmental enforcement officers take no action in the 15 minutes that I observed them was to say the least disheartening. That ” society” , well the council , cares more extracting punitive fines than humane care, speaks volumes.

The next aspect that we need to address is the actual environmental enforcement officers. Their attire of a kind of jump suit more often associated with prison, with their waists surrounded by more equipment than many would need to climb Mount Everest or contain a whole ward of rioting patients in Broadmoor, seems excessive to say the least. Together with mounted CCTV on their uniforms. I am sure Neil Armstrong had less equipment when he set foot on the moon with Apollo 11 in july 1969.

Many or even most of these officers it seems are supplied by a company called Kingdom. A press release from March 2014 stated that the council’s own enforcement officers will work alongside the Kingdom enforcement team from the end of April as they go out and about around Merton to make sure the borough is kept litter-free. Kingdom’s team is led by ” experts with an ex-military and police background”. Quite why this is so necessary to deal with ordinary folks who have thrown cigarette ends on the ground is not so clear. They issue these fixed penalty notices to those breaking the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

http://blog.kingdom.co.uk/2014/04/kingdom-part-of-merton-councils-zero.html

Where it however gets more interesting is that Merton Council has come under fire for reducing street cleaning in town centres on Sundays – while spending nearly £130,000 a year on four environment enforcement officers. So photographs published in March 2015 show far worse littering caused by the overflowing of these bins than I certainly visualised on the pavements of Wimbledon. In fact I saw nothing other than the poor homeless man. There is a lot of information provided by the government on how councils can issue FPNs and also how they should use the funds accrued.

http://www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/news/11863279.Merton_Council_cuts_back_Sunday_street_cleaning_to_combat___1_2m_overspend/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fixed-penalty-notices-issuing-and-enforcement-by-councils

The same site above lists the various offences for which FPNs can be given and it is immediately obvious that some of these are serious and should be punished in a punitive manner, however in the context cigarette ends must be at the lower if not lowest end of the spectrum.

graffiti
littering
fly-posting
nuisance parking (people selling or repairing cars on the road)
dog control offences
abandoned vehicles
leafleting without permission on land where leafleting is restricted (‘designated land’)
failing to nominate a key holder or give the council key holder details in an alarm notification area
failing to provide a waste carrier licence (for businesses transporting their own waste)
failing to provide a waste transfer note when moving non-hazardous waste

There is a world of difference between for example “littering” with an abandoned vehicle and a cigarette end. Yet the difference in fine amounts is surprisingly small. £200 for abandoning a car and £75 for abandoning a cigarette end. The money must also be put to specified uses.

Councils must use income from FPNs as set out :

Offence FPN money can be spent on functions relating to:
Litter – Litter, dog control, graffiti and fly-posting
Graffiti – Litter, dog control, graffiti and fly-posting
Dog control -Litter, dog control, graffiti and fly-posting
Fly-posting -Litter, dog control, graffiti and fly-posting
Unauthorised distribution of free printed material on designated land- Litter, dog control, graffiti and fly-posting

So what I am left wondering is what training is given to these officers, what degree of latitude do they have in not administering a FPN, if they have any targets, and of course how much money is raised and exactly to what purpose is it put. There is clear guidance on publishing not only the enforcement strategy but also to how the money will be used. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fixed-penalty-notices-issuing-and-enforcement-by-councils

So in my world there would be some degree of spectrum here on exactly what constitutes a littering offence and throwing a single cigarette end does not equate to toxic pollution of the planet. Maybe also these officers can not only look at the bigger picture, but as today adopt a more humane approach. To have allowed that homeless man to remain on the ground lying prostrate would not be their greatest achievement in their day.  Littering does have context and we need to be careful not to be too literal and punitive. If Merton Council want and feel they should adopt a zero tolerance approach, then this should be reflected in not only this aspect but all aspects of their work. Finally what exactly are they doing with the money, that was not happening before? I have developed a zero tolerance approach to not knowing the answers to these reasonable questions. 

Drowning Practice in New Malden


A few evening photos on a very wet and damp evening. A local road and a rahter spooky alley way walk

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Brentford 0 Hull City 2. Any concerns over losing for Brentford fans?


Brentford came into this game on the back of a four game winning run and faced a physical Hull side with the menacing Steve Bruce prowling on the touchline. The simple reality were that Bees had a few chances in the first 10 minutes of which they should have taken at least one, but then the first half somewhat became an even game. The second half Hull upped the ante and made some decent substitutions and took the game away from Brentford with a combination of good technique and excellent finishing. David button would not reflect upon this game as his best for Brentford and the second Hull goal would usually not have happened with a spilling of the ball to the feel of the hull striker. hull however are an excellent side and move top of the championship after this victory and i would be unsurprised to see them there next May.

There was no shame in losing to the better side. The Brentford perfomance was good and the team are improving game by game. Do we have any concerns? Not really. Maybe the substitutions did not help last night. Taking Toumani off for me is never a good thing for whatever reason. KK runs a lot, has good positional ability but frankly lacks the technique for a good championship player and without being negative I can see him on his way to League 1-2 level in due course. Ryan woods looks younger each game but improves each game with immense workrate. Yennaris has settled, in my view surprisingly, at right back and also improves each game, but maybe still could elevate his general work rate. Some of his central defending was also excellent last night leading me to wonder if he might also be an option there.

Griffin Park under floodlights is something I will miss as there always is a special atmosphere and a midweek crowd on a dull and damp night of 9200 is excellent. Lastly it was good to see Sam Saunders back on the bench. He will play cameo roles one suspects but a good option to have.

Sam Saunders returns

Sam Saunders returns

Jake Bidwell Scratches his head

Jake Bidwell Scratches his head

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

Buzzette Bee

Buzzette Bee

Three Superb Photographs from Sunday. Not taken by me. GCSE Photography after 1 month.


Just to showcase three superb photos of very different topics that were not taken by myself. Enjoy. I wish I had the opportunity to do GCSE photography.

  1. The simplicity of a Kit Kat against the sports pages of The Sunday Times. Red and white.
  2. A cat seemingly wanting to eat an almond croissant.Cumberleylaude, a ‘gourmet cat’ with a love of fine dining, could join stage show CATS after discovery of lost TS Eliot poem. Is this the first audition for the role?
  3. Manic seagulls getting very excited over stale bread. Beautifully captured on a foggy morning.
Kit Kat

Kit Kat

Cumberleylaude, a ‘gourmet cat’ with a love of fine dining, could join stage show after discovery of lost TS Eliot poem.

Cumberleylaude, a 'gourmet cat' with a love of fine dining, could join stage show after discovery of lost TS Eliot poem.

Cumberleylaude, a ‘gourmet cat’ with a love of fine dining, could join stage show after discovery of lost TS Eliot poem.

Claremont birds. Copyright Elena Bushe

Claremont birds. Copyright Elena Bushe

Molesey 1 Didcot Town 0. FA Trophy


A good game of football. A single goal separated the two teams but in relaity it could have been 3-3. The football was good. The cheeseburger was too. Am not sure of the FA rules after a player is sent off but not sure he should be watching from the touchline even if he does take his shirt off! the crowd was 95, so he made it 96.

Having checked the rules. This is what it says  “A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.
Read more at http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/laws/football-11-11/law-12—fouls-and-misconduct.aspx#7B9Jzt2xM5bxoOlT.99

So I guess it depends on the interpretation of what constitutes the vicintiy of play.

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Goal.Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Goal.Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Craig Lewington

Craig Lewington

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

Molesey v Didcot Town FA Trophy

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