Waterloo GSOB v Lower Breck

1.30pm  20 May 2017

Liverpool County Premier League, Premier Division
Waterloo Grammar School Old Boys 2 Lower Breck 11 (att 10)

Another goal glut, making it two in a row, and 29 goals, since Tuesday evening's nil nil draw at County Hall in Leicester.

This game had an end-of-season feel about it, although it was nowhere near the farcical second half I watched in the Wakefield League on Wednesday. Lower Breck, runners up in the league, were in command from the off, scoring twice in the first two minutes.

It took a little longer for the third goal to come, but by half time they had a 5-1 advantage. More goals followed in the second half, and the visitors even had the luxury of missing a late penalty.

They did score an earlier spot kick, and too much complaining about the decision earned a Waterloo player a sending off. A crazy way to pick up a red card, and most likely a fine, as his side were already well beaten by that stage, and in any case had nothing to play for.

Waterloo Grammar School Old Boys play on an enclosed 3G pitch at a school, not the one they take their name from but Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College, in Long Lane in the Walton area of Liverpool.








Fox and Hounds (Batley) v West End Terriers

6.30pm  17 May 2017

Wakefield and District League, Division Two
Fox and Hounds (Batley) 6 West End Terriers 10 (att 8)

I guess it's fitting that I should get a rugby league scoreline when watching football in the league heartland of Dewsbury.

It wasn't my first choice game, that was a premier division fixture in the same league, but when I discovered champions Real Moor weren't using their usual home pitch I turned my attention to a game in the league's third tier.

To be fair I had been warned it might not be the usual type of game, even for this level. When I spoke to Fox and Hounds to check the game I was told they were surprised at the scheduling, as many of their players had only returned from a teammate's stag weekend in the early hours of the morning.

They'd already earned promotion, and so would be treating the game as something of a lighthearted celebration of the season.

I was tempted not to bother, but it's difficult to shake off the appeal of an evening standing in a rain watching a meaningless football match, and so I headed into West Yorkshire and to the Bywell Playing Fields.

The first half was okay, even though Fox and Hounds weren't so much playing in first gear as in neutral. They twice came from behind to be level at 2-2 by the break.

West End Terriers, in mid table with equally little to play for, began the second half as if determined to ensure victory, and soon pulled clear of their hosts. Both sides' lack of defending, coupled with some tidy finishing, ensured a final score that I've never seen before, and probably never will again.

Despite seemingly named after a pub in Batley, Fox and Hounds play in Dewsbury. Bywell Playing Fields, off Leeds Road, is a sports field next to a school. There's a rugby pitch (rugby league, presumably) that's railed on both sides, and two open football pitches.










County Hall v Hathern

6.30pm  16 May 2017

Leicestershire Senior League, Championship Division
County Hall 0 Hathern 0 (att 80)

After the weekend's Coventry Alliance title decider I headed back to the East Midlands, this time to see two Leicestershire Senior League teams complete their seasons in a game that was vital to both.

The resulting goalless draw gave Hathern the point they needed to overtake FC Khalsa and win the title on goal difference, and dashed County Hall's hopes of finishing in promotion position, which would have required them to win by two goals.

Despite the lack of goals - my first nil nil draw of the season - it was a good game to watch. Hathern were positive in the first half and had the better of the chances to break the deadlock. But as the match went on, and with a point enough for them, they defended more and had to withstand pressure from the hosts.

County Hall's efforts to get in front became increasingly frantic as the second half wore on, and several times they were vulnerable on the break. Neither team could score though, and so it was Hathern who were celebrating at the final whistle.

Given their name, it's not surprising that County Hall FC play on a sports field next to County Hall in Glenfield, Leicester.

There's just enough room to accommodate football, with a pitch roped off along the near side, and cricket, with the square behind the goal. I heard a rumour that County Hall might be on the move for next season, but whether that was dependent on winning promotion I don't know. The ground is certainly adequate for the level they're at.









AEI Rugby v Christ the King

2.15pm  13 May 2017

Coventry Alliance, Premier Division
AEI Rugby 1 Christ the King 1 (att 285)

I don't know if it's down to luck, or the skill of the Coventry Alliance fixtures secretary, but this was the second time in three seasons that I've been able to enjoy a winner-takes-all title decider in the final game of the season.

Last time a draw between Folly Lane and Whitnash meant neither won the league, and the title went instead to AEI Rugby. This time, once again, a draw was enough for AEI, who kicked off with a one point advantage over Christ the King.

With so much at stake, and a large crowd gathered to watch, it was a slightly disappointing game. AEI had the better of a goalless first half, but Christ the King began the second period in a more determined mood.

They couldn't create a clear chance though, and when the home side scored a well-worked goal with around 20 minutes remaining it seemed they'd done enough. The visitors hit back within a couple of minutes to keep things interesting, but they couldn't find a winner and title went to AEI Rugby.

They play a new-looking and very impressive facility that is home to Rugby Town Junior, predominantly a youth team outfit.

There's an enclosed all-weather pitch that will apparently be home to a newly-formed Rugby Borough FC next season, in the Midland League, but AEI play on an adjacent grass pitch that is enclosed by a sturdy plastic post and rail fence and has a pair of dugouts.

An enjoyable afternoon, and I await the next Coventry Alliance title decider with anticipation.









Selly Oak Methodist v Corinthians SK

10.30am  13 May 2017

West Midlands Christian League, Division Two
Selly Oak Methodist 5 Corinthians SK 0 (att 10)

Not much to play for here, although had Selly Oak won by 33 goals they'd have climbed from sixth to fifth in the 12 team division. The bit of their pre-match team talk that I overheard focused on the more realistic aim of a two goal win to end the season with a positive goal difference.

They managed that target with ease, although it took until the second half before the deadlock was broken. Selly Oak had looked the more determined of two even sides, but once they got in front it was easy for the home team.

Having enjoyed a couple of matches involving top division clubs, this was my first experience of the second division. The standard of football wasn't great, but it was entertaining and I was again impressed that the league organises three officials for games.

Selly Oak Methodist play at Rowheath Pavilion in the Bournville area of Birmingham. It's a large and very pleasant park, and one I might return to as there's two football pitches and three Christian League teams who play here.









Partington Rovers v Sale Amateurs

6.15pm  10 May 2017

Altrincham and District League
Partington Rovers 6 Sale Amateurs 1 (att 30)

Sale Amateurs needed to win this to keep alive their slim hopes of pipping Club AZ to the league title, but put in a performance that left me puzzled how they could be so high up the table.

True, late season midweek fixtures often see key players missing and may not give accurate reflection on a side, but they were thrashed by mid table Partington who had little to play for.

The home side were dominant from the first whistle, and scored three in each half to rout Sale Amateurs and extinguish their title hopes. The visitors' goal was in the second half, but the game was well beyond them by the time they scored.

Partington Rovers are based at Moss View Road, an intriguing venue as it features a old-looking rail around the pitch, suggesting it has some history as a football ground.

Partington only entered adult football, as far as I'm aware, for the first time this season, so someone else must have played here previously, but I've no idea who or when.









Addingham v Thirsk Falcons

7pm  9 May 2017

Harrogate and District League, Division One
Addingham 0 Thirsk Falcons 9 (att 17)

Thirsk completed their league programme by notching up their 19th win in 20 fixtures, against an Addingham side with little to play for other than the chance to climb a couple of league places.

Although the outcome was one-sided, and would have been more so had the home keeper not made some good saves, it wasn't until the second half that Addingham crumbled and Thirsk scored almost at will.

The visitors scored their first after just seven minutes, but they didn't double their lead until early in the second half, at which point Addingham's resistance fell away.

Addingham is a pleasant village not far from Ilkley. The football club is based in Stockinger Lane, and it's not a bad ground for the second tier of the Harrogate League. The narrow pitch is tightly hemmed in and has a grass bank along the road side.

There's a modern pavilion behind the goal, incorporating changing rooms and with some cover thanks to an overhanging roof at the front, although the view of the action from there would depend on the number and size of cars using the small car parking area between building and pitch.









Leith Athletic v Tynecastle at Civil Service Strollers FC

3pm  7 May 2017

East of Scotland League Cup Final at Civil Service Strollers FC
Leith Athletic 2 Tynecastle 1 (att 200)

The sun shone on Leith as they got the better of city rivals Tynecastle to lift the East of Scotland League Cup, after an entertaining final at Civil Service Strollers' Edinburgh home.

Leith are in a two-way tussle for the league title, and gave themselves the chance of a league and cup double after they overturned a 1-0 half time deficit. Tynecastle, third in the table, were the dominant side in the opening half, and thoroughly deserved the excellent goal which put them ahead.

Leith's equaliser was against the run of play, but once they were level the game swung in their favour. It was no surprise when Leith scored again, from a penalty, and it turned out to be the winner.

I last visited Civil Service Strollers for a Scottish FA Cup tie against Berwick Rangers in 2009. Back then it was just a roped off pitch, but the sports ground now belongs to Edinburgh College, and soon-to-be-opened indoor football facilities cover the site of the pitch used that day.

Strollers have developed their own ground in a enclosed corner of the sports field. It's a nice venue, with a pair of seated stands on one side, and a step up from what was here before.