Saturday, 18 April 2015

Promotion Ambition Still Blossoming at Evesham


Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 18 April at the Jubilee Stadium
Result
Evesham United 2 Tiverton Town 1
Competition
Southern League Division One South & West (Step 4)
Hopping
Ground 563.  Here because of proximity to the West Midlands where I was paying a flying visit to the ancestral home.
Pre-match preparation
Tiverton have mid-table safety in the bag.  In the Evesham bag is a home tie in the divisional playoff semifinal.  Results from this week and next week will decide who finishes 2nd & 3rd from Evesham and Stratford Town, and therefore who would have home advantage in a subsequent playoff final.  Tiverton are one of only a few teams to have taken the points off Evesham this season.
This match in one sentence
Evesham trailed at half-time but did just enough to win a forgettable game.
So what?
Stratford Town were winning 6-2 at the same time but they go to divisional champions Merthyr Town next week.  Evesham and Stratford will line up against Taunton and Larkhall in some combination in the playoff semi-finals.  Evesham’s game is away at mid-table Bridgwater. 
The drama unfolds
It was a sunny but breezy day and both teams played safe when faced with a bouncy ball on a dry and dusty pitch.  Aerial passes were dropped into channels and the centre-backs of both sides were busy but mostly effective.  Most of the chances came from set pieces but plenty of those were wasted too.  There was very little shade and it is too early in the season for my balding pate to take on a full dose of ultraviolet so I sat in the main stand and finally got around to taking one of the most tedious clips of the season after 20 minutes or so.  I wouldn’t bother watching this unless you are an obsessive completer-finisher, or all your paint is dry, or you are having trouble sleeping.  It does, however, show the lovely open and rural aspects of Evesham’s relatively new home.  The home side are in the red-and-white stripes.


Tiverton took the lead shortly afterwards with a route one goal from Tony Lee and to be fair probably just about deserved it.  0-1 after 25 mins

Evesham were very unlucky after 32 minutes when a well-executed shot-on-the-turn from Carl Brown came back off the woodwork, but that was about it.  0-1 at half-time

Evesham started the second half on the front foot and it was not too long before the equalising goal was hooked in by Matt Sysum.  1-1 after 53 mins

The game then settled into a long period of stalemate – maybe with Evesham showing a little more attacking intent and Tivvy happy enough to wait for the break – until the ball fell nicely in front of goal for Lance Smith.  He buried the chance to give Evesham the win.  2-1 after 82 mins and at full-time

The news of Stratford’s win came through immediately meaning that the players will probably have to do the same again next week, and hope Stratford stumble, to keep open the hope of a home playoff final.
Ground Pix






Match Pix






Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Last week, Cambridge United (green) and Accrington Stanley (purple) played out an unblogged 2-2 draw.  Today, green has beaten blue.  The net result is that green goes to the top of the table.  Full table to follow at the end of the month.
What Next?
Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  A lot depends on how I am feeling at the end of the first week of a new school term!



Friday, 10 April 2015

No, I Won't Remember Raynes Park

PROGRAMME SOLD OUT SO A TURNSTILE ENTRANCE PIC INSTEAD:



Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Wednesday 9 April 2015 at Prince Georges Fields, Grand Drive
Result
Raynes Park Vale 0 Guildford City 1
Competition
Combined Counties League Premier Division (Step 5)
Hopping
Ground 562, chosen for geographical and logistic reasons, which brings me up to seven from seven days in this run!
Pre-match preparation
Guildford City are in greater need of the points.
This match in one sentence
Guildford grabbed a goal and managed to defend it.
So what?
Guildford remain 20th of 21 but have two games in hand on Knaphill, 2pts above.  Raynes Park Vale are 17th but also have games in hand on those around them and should be safe whatever happens.
The drama unfolds
The potholes on the approach road to the ground are a danger to shipping, never mind cars and it was impossible not to “ground” the Yappmobile on the way in and out.  I’d waited patiently in the car park for the turnstile to open, which it did just after 7.15pm, and was disappointed as third man in that the programmes had already sold out in the clubhouse, which had no obvious entry or welcome sign.  Together with the grim exterior of this venue, all this conspired to make me very grumpy and uninterested as the match kicked off – late.

I took a scene-setter clip after about 15 minutes.  The home side are in blue.


Just after this, Guildford forced a series of corners, leading to a jolly song from the jolly visitors, along the lines of, “Oh when the beans, come out the tin (repeat), then put some bread in the toaster, Oh when the beans come out the tin.”  I have no idea why, but I hope it catches on.

It was 0-0 at half-time and I had noted nothing else of interest at that point.

The second half followed a similar pattern, and I watched from the old wooden stand.  There was no lack of effort, and the fitness levels of the players allowed both sides to play at a high tempo.  However, the final ball lacked penetration or quality and there were few really clear opportunities.  The first one after the interval fell to Guildford but Anthony Baker’s first-touch was just too heavy.  Then there was a dipping shot for RPV which is at the end of the next clip.


The winning goal came after perseverance in the box by Dan Stewart, who turned and squirmed and managed to tuck a low left-foot shot into the corner.  0-1 after 67 mins

Guildford managed to defend that lead for the rest of the game.  Either side might have scored during the closing phase, but Guildford’s travelling support were very happy with this away win, which helps greatly in the relegation battle, even though there was much talk in the main stand of reprieves to come this season anyway.  Time will tell.  Final score 0-1

PS I hope someone will pick up the obscure musical reference in the blogpost title!
Ground Pix







Match Pix

Nothing to offer tonight!

Something You Don’t Get in the Premier League
A choice of seating or standing:


Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Red loses to Green, and that’s another Clean Green Sheet.

The story so far:
3pts for a win, 1pt for a draw, -1pt for a goal conceded and +5pts for a clean sheet.  GC=goals conceded  CS=clean sheet  PPG=pts per game


P
W
D
L
GC
CS
Pts
PPG
Purple
5.0
3.0
1.0
1.0
9.0
2.0
11.0
2.20
Green
28.0
14.0
2.0
12.0
37.0
10.0
57.0
2.04
Grey
25.5
11.0
7.0
7.5
34.5
7.0
40.5
1.59
Maroon
4.0
2.0
1.0
1.0
6.0
1.0
6.0
1.50
Red
5.0
2.0
0.0
3.0
6.0
1.0
5.0
1.00
Blue
11.0
4.0
3.0
4.0
17.0
3.0
13.0
1.18
Orange
7.5
2.0
2.0
3.5
10.5
2.0
7.5
1.00
Yellow
12.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
21.0
3.0
7.0
0.58
Radioactive Bile
6.0
2.0
0.0
4.0
12.0
0.0
-6.0
-1.00
Pink
7.0
1.0
3.0
3.0
16.0
0.0
-10.0
-1.43
Black
1.0
0.0
1.0
0.0
3.0
0.0
-2.0
-2.00
What Next?
Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  Heading to Cambridge this weekend.



Thursday, 9 April 2015

Show of Substance from The Moles


The programme is recycled from 28 February when the original fixture was postponed.  Intriguingly, there are two "blacked-out" sections where manual changes have been made to something that must have been considered in hindsight to be unwise, offensive or libellous.

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Wednesday 8 April 2015 at 412 Walton Road
Result
Molesey 5 Epsom & Ewell 0
Competition
Combined Counties Premier (Step 5)
Hopping
Ground 561, chosen for geographical reasons.
Pre-match preparation
Molesey are second in the league but have games in hand over leaders Camberley Town, so technically they have the title in their own hands despit having lost the last two league games.  Epsom & Ewell have top-half-of-the-table respectability.
This match in one sentence
A dominant performance from the title-chasing home side.
So what?
The gap to Camberley is five points but two matches in hand, and the leaders come here to Moseley on Saturday 18 April.  That could well turn out to be a title decider.
The drama unfolds
Molesey’s intentions were clear from the start.  After only two minutes, Joe Pratley-Jones sent a great ball into the channel for Matt Baxter whose shot was only just wide.  My first clip to set the scene is after ten minutes and contains a fair bit of defending by the visitors!  Molesey are in white and black.


Epsom & Ewell weathered the early storm and might even have taken the lead after unselfish play from Kyle Hough (or Ryll Hughes as he appeared on the teamsheet!) set up a shooting chance, scuffed by Matt Farrell.  It took a penalty to break the deadlock.  Reis Stanislaus is a big lad but someone pushed him over and Baxter scored from the spot.  1-0 after 21 mins

Baxter is about to open the scoring
Molesey were well on top now and there were several instances of brave goalkeeping by Michael Eacott.  They had clearly been working on corner-kick routines too.  The second goal duly came along.  James McShane broke free and rounded the keeper before being tripped.  The referee had the presence of mind to wave play on as Stanislaus arrived at speed to bury the shot.  At least the keeper got to stay on the pitch that way!  2-0 after 36 mins

McShane got on the scoresheet himself just before the interval.  3-0 after 44 mins and at HT.

Any thoughts that the home side might take a breather were banished soon after the restart and Baxter lofted the ball over the keeper for a neat goal.  4-0 after 48 mins

I made my second clip coincide with the passage overhead of the International Space Station.  It’s the white dot visible after 20 seconds, though my camera pan makes it look faster than it really appears.  Maybe you had to be there.


Molesey soon had their fifth goal, Dre Grobler finishing well in a one-on-one.  5-0 after 59 mins

Molesey hit the post after an unintentional flick by Tom Windsor, and they did try for number six.  Their attacking unit played well and linked effectively, with McShane prominent.  Epsom & Ewell for their part kept their heads up but they could not even get a consolation goal.  Final score 5-0
Ground Pix







More balcony space than at Orient!
Match Pix


Something You Don’t Get in the Premier League


I can't take the credit for the term "Scooby Tree" but this one has eyes.  With a bit of editing, below, this one would scare off any camper van full of stereotypes and their dog(s).


Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
This was green against green (albeit differing shades) so nothing much to report.  Will update the table later in the month.
What Next?
Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  Probably next up Cambridge United v Accrington Stanley on Saturday.