Saturday, 3 September 2016

Gresley Pass Deeping Test


Hopperational details
Date & Venue
NON-LEAGUE DAY
Saturday 3 September 2016 at The Haydon Whitham Stadium, Outgang Road
Result
Deeping Rangers 2 Gresley 6
Competition
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round.
Hopping
Ground 594 and I am here randomly because of a computer-simulated spin of an American roulette wheel which gave number 16.  See previous post for fuzzy-but-genuine proof.
Pre-match preparation
This is Step 5 v Step 4.  Deeping’s league form sees them in mid-table in the United Counties Premier Division. In the cup, they won 4-1 away at Ely City then beat Wroxham 2-1 at home.  Wroxham are Step 4 within the Isthmian leagues but have made a terrible start to the season.  Gresley will be a tougher proposition – they are undefeated and just outside early playoff positions in the Northern Premier League Division One South. They entered the cup in the last round and had a comfortable win over Loughborough University.
This match in one sentence
Gresley never looked like losing but Deeping never gave up.
So what?
Gresley are in the proverbial hat for the next round and Deeping concentrate on the (United Counties) league.
The drama unfolds
Gresley started brightly and Deeping never really had a chance to settle.  The opening goal had a slight deflection but it wasn’t a big surprise.  Reece Morris takes the credit for a low shot that tucked just inside the post.  0-1 after 7 mins

The first Deeping chance came midway through the half but Scott Coupland headed straight at the keeper.  Maybe that was the hinge point of the game because Gresley’s Courtney Meade (below) had the freedom of Market Deeping as he headed a second goal almost immediately.  0-2 after 23 mins


Again, Deeping heads stayed up but they were fighting a losing battle and Meade rounded the keeper for a third, his second, on the break.  Deeping held on to half-time with no further damage done.  0-3 after 27 mins and at half-time

Deeping started the second half well but any thoughts of a comeback were snuffed out by Meade’s hat-trick.  He had time to create space for an easy finish to a Gresley break.  The availability of wide man Morris as an outball, Vardy-style, was a feature of the Gresley setup and as time went on he frequently drew two defenders for his forays into the penalty area.  0-4 after 55 mins

The match meandered towards the inevitable result before a late goal flurry kept the crowd interested.  A own goal put Gresley five up.  Then Gresley's Jordan Wakeling earned a yellow card for a tackle deemed dangerous by the referee.  He got the ball but the studs were clearly showing.  David Burton-Jones scored (pic below) from the direct freekick for a consolation goal.  He is one of the candidates for the own goal, by the way.  I’m not sure.

Wakeling then got a second yellow, and thus a red, for handball.  Burton-Jones scored (pic below) from the penalty spot.  2-5 after 88 minutes


Pearson Mwanyongo scored the final goal of the day in stoppage time after a break down the right flank.  Job Done.  Final score 2-6

I heard an unusual referee’s whistle as I was walking towards the exit.  There was some argument going on with Gresley staff and an open bottle-throwing display of frustration from one of them.  I have no idea what it was about.  The ref and the assistants waited a few more moments before leaving the pitch.
Ground Pix




Match Pix
  






Something You Don’t Get in the Premier League
Change from £4 for a hot pasty, soup and Mars Bar.  At current exchange rates this sum would get you part-ownership of a West Ham hot dog.
Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
No clean sheets but a win for Yellow over Green.  Full table again at the end of the month.  Red leads.
What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!


Monday, 29 August 2016

Hillians on the Ascent


Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Monday 29 August 2016 at the Green Elephants Stadium, Leylands Park
Result
Burgess Hill Town 4 Folkestone Invicta 2
Competition
Isthmian Premier League (Step 3)
Hopping
Ground 593 and I am here due to the practicalities of Bank Holiday travel.  The nearest station is Wivensfield, there is no engineering work, no leaves on the line, and day returns are cheap today.  No changes are required because I live near the Bedford-Brighton line.  All of this is better than spending the day crawling around the M25.  It’s my second attempt to visit this ground – the first time was at the end of last season and had to be quickly converted into a trip to Haywards Heath.
Pre-match preparation
15th vs 9th in the early league table, with both teams losing on Saturday and neither being big scorers so far.  Invicta were promoted from Step 4 as divisional champions last seasonThe train travel and the Sussex location also meant the chance to catch up with @CyninSussex and a few local ales.  Cyndee very kindly supplied a replacement Mars Bar after this traumatic vending machine experience at Harpenden Station (yes, I know, I should know better) which left one of the country’s most valuable pieces of confectionery dangling in mid-air.  I had never seen a £1 Mars Bar before and this beats the previous best of 95p at Watford Gap (Northbound).

This match in one sentence
A thoroughly entertaining game with a comedy last-minute own-goal which was the flattering fourth for the home side.
So what?
It’s now 9th and 13th respectively but both teams start their FA Cup trails with home ties in the first qualifying round next week for Non-League Day.
The drama unfolds
Folkestone took the lead with a soft goal from a free-kick at a narrow angle.  It was difficult to see what happened from the other end but the club Twitter suggests that the shot, credited to Ronnie Dolan, crept in at the near post.  0-1 after 9 mins

However, the Hillians struck back almost immediately.  First, Lee Harding hit the bar before a move down the left ended up with a tap-in for Tyrell Richardson-Brown.  1-1 after 12 mins

Richardson-Brown would go on to have two good chances in quick succession and one before the break.  His pace and presence meant that he was a handful for the Folkestone defence who had to be thankful that his chance completion rate was on the low side today.  Both sides had one more good chance before the interval and Burgess Hill would have felt slightly happier.  1-1 at half-time

It took 16 minutes before Burgess Hill took the lead with a curling left-footed direct freekick from Leon Redwood.  2-1 after 61 mins

Redwood's shot is going in, trust me
Folkestone found their equaliser with a slick break.  A powerful run through midfield from Scott Heard played in Ashley Miller down the left and the chance was taken at the far post by Ian Draycott.  2-2 after 75 mins

With nine minutes left, a slick Burgess Hill moved down the left created a shooting chance for substitute Dan Thompson.  His complete mishit was heading well wide but became a pass for Dan Pearse who scored.  3-2 after 81 mins

Burgess Hill deserved the win, and the scoreline was made a little glossier in stoppage time when Invicta’s Nat Blanks flicked the ball back to his keeper, who was caught flat-footed and despite a scrambled effort, could not prevent the own goal.  That was a tad harsh.  Final score 4-2
Ground Pix
This is a neat and tidy ground with a decent clubhouse, more than adequate seating and some excellent screening with mature trees. 






Match Pix
Burgess Hill Town are in green.









Five Years of Modus Hopper Random

It was this corresponding weekend in 2012 that I managed one of my favourite groundhopping feats with a “rhyming triple” of Truly Selsey, Madly Crawley (Down), Deeply Henley made even sweeter by the late enforced change of plan caused by an amendment to Horley’s fixtures!
Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Grey takes the win over the rarely-seen Black but also concedes two.  Black drops one place in the table – this is now up to 90 games.

3pts for a win, 1pt for a draw, -1pt for a goal conceded (GC) and +5pts for a clean sheet (CS).  Colours ranked by Pts per Game (PPG).


P
W
D
L
GC
CS
Pts
PPG
Red
7.0
4.0
0.0
3.0
6.0
3.0
21.0
3.00
Green
45.0
25.0
5.0
15.0
69.0
13.0
76.0
1.69
Maroon
4.0
2.0
1.0
1.0
6.0
1.0
6.0
1.50
Blue
24.1
9.0
5.0
10.1
40.0
8.0
32.0
1.33
Orange
14.5
4.0
3.0
7.5
18.5
4.0
16.5
1.14
Grey
34.5
15.0
7.0
12.5
58.5
8.0
33.5
0.97
Purple
9.0
4.0
2.0
3.0
20.0
2.0
4.0
0.44
Yellow
17.0
4.0
5.0
8.0
31.0
4.0
6.0
0.35
Pink
11.0
2.0
4.0
5.0
25.0
1.0
-10.0
-0.91
Black
4.0
1.0
3.0
0.0
11.0
0.0
-5.0
-1.25
Radioactive Bile
9.0
2.0
0.0
7.0
23.0
0.0
-17.0
-1.89
White
0.9
0.0
0.0
0.9
3.0
0.0
-3.0
-3.33


What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  It is Non-League Day next weekend but I am not yet sure how much freedom I will have to make a long journey.  There are 38 FA Cup ties at unvisited grounds and I hope to make a random selection somehow. If I am constrained to be in Herts then the games at Slough and Sun Sports are quite close, and if I am in the Midlands then there are games at Highgate United or Ashby Ivanhoe.  The decision may well be as late as Friday evening.  Hope all my teacher (and pupil) readers have a successful start to their new terms.