Raising The Standaard

Royal Standaard Wetteren were formed in 1948 as Standaard Molenhoek and as an amateur side originally registered with the KBVB (Katholieke Vlaamsch Sportverbond Oost-Vlaanderen) which was at the time a big rival federation to the Royal Belgian Football Association. In 1951 the club changed its name to Standaard Wetteren and joined the URBSFA (l’Union Royale Belge des Sociétés de Football Association). The newly renamed club were given the matricule number of 5479 and were placed in the third tier provincial league and fair very well during the rest of the decade but without gaining promotion.

In 1963 a local businessman, Marcel De Kerpel, took over the club and made plans for the club to be a regular in the new regionalised third tier rather than be restricted to provincial football. In 1982 the club won the provincial league but were not granted promotion as their Kuipke ground was found to be too small for national standards. De Kerpel vowed to address this immediately and a patch of land was secured at Dasseveld. The president appointed himself chief architect and foreman of the project and in no time at all the club had a smart new home ready for national football. The club finally won the provincial “promotion” league again in 1988/89 and took their place in the third tier, being placed in Group A of the two section Division Three. They remained in the third tier until 2000/01 with their best performance being a fifth place finish in 1997/98. The 1999/2000 season should have been a warning to the club as they just survived relegation in the end of season play-offs but the following season they were not so fortunate finishing rock bottom of the sixteen clubs.

The club rebuilt under a young coach Wim de Corte and in 2002/03 they won the Promotion League and returned to Division 3 Group A. Sadly De Kerpel did not live to see the club’s return to the third tier. The club continue to improve under De Corte and nearly secured promotion in 2005/06 losing a final round game against Racing Waregem. Wetteren persisted and finally achieved promotion to the second tier by winning the championship in 2008/09. De Corte guided the yellow and greens to two mid table finishes before accepting the post of assistant manager at Beerschot. He currently holds a similar post at Pro League Wassland-Beveren.

Under a new coach, Kris Van der Haegen, the club finished bottom of Division Two and were relegated. Worse still befell the club last season when they finished bottom of Division 3 Group A and plummeted back to the fourth tier.

The Marcel De Kerpelstadion, named after their visionary former president, is a fine ground, with a capacity of 6,000 of which 420 people can find a seat. It has ample covered accommodation and it feels like a real privilege to see a game here. Today’s match sees the hosts top of the Promotion League Group A table after seven rounds with visitors, Sporting West Harelbeke, in third place.

The game itself does not live up to its surroundings being a tight contest between two evenly matched sides. The play gets bogged down in midfield and stray passes proliferate. The match looks destined to head to a goalless draw when the hosts piled on the pressure in the closing moments. Finally Harelbeke’s rearguard crumbled and a towering header from substitute Jonas Droessaert stole the victory right at the death.

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Sunday October 12th 2014 – Belgium Promotion League Group A

Standaard Wetteren (0) 1 (Droessaert 90)

Sporting West Harelbeke (0) 0

Attendance: 273 (at the Marcel De Kerpelstadion)

Wetteren:

18. Nathan Baele; 4. Rob Van Der Wilt; 5. Kjeld Fort; 8. Ilias Sbaa; 10. Thibeau De Vos; 12. Stijn Minne (c); 15. Michael Delaruelle; 17. Robbe Van Ruyskesvelde; 20. Kim Van Den Bergh; 23. Kevin Elaut; 77. Zaven Yagan.

Subs: 1. Preben Van Buynder; 9. Jonas Droessaert (for 12, 64 mins); 11. Amrani Nidikumana (for 23, 71 mins); 22. Gillis Pringels (for 10, 76 mins).

Harelbeke:

35. Pieter Merlier; 4. Rob Claeys (c); 6. Jens Noppe; 7. Kerim Vanstechelman; 8. Jenci Dejonghe; 10. Giovanni Delannoy; 15. Johnathan Meerschman; 17. Jeroen Doornaert; 18. Valentin Romont; 20. Niels De Loof; 29. Timothy Van De Wouwer.

Subs: 1. Thierry Coppens; 2. Vinny Mayele Mansengina (for 20, 65 mins); 9. Christophe Pype (for 18, 46 mins); 11. Gianny Vanhaecke (for 7, 83 mins).

Yellow Cards: Delaruelle, Droessaert (Wetteren); Noppe (Harelbeke).

Gallery

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Wett ticket

 

 

 

Titus Luxembourgus

FC Titus Lamadelaine are rapidly rising up the divisions of Luxembourg football having been promoted three times in the last four seasons. The blue and yellows now find themselves in the Promotion D’Honneur which is the second tier of the national system. However, with this rapid elevation has seen problems with their home ground, the Terrain Rue du Vieux Moulin in Lamadelaine, which is in the canton of Esch-sur-Alzette. Drainage problems need repairing and the ground itself is also very small and in order to compete in the second tier the club have arranged a groundshare at near neighbours FC Rodange 91.

The groundshare with second tier FC Rodange 91 has been a great success. The Stade Joseph Philippart has a licensed capacity of 3,400 and is interestingly situated next to the local prison. It boasts a large stand and has small sections of terracing as well. Changing rooms are provided in the adjacent sports hall.

Titus Lamadelaine were formed in 1948 and had early success gaining three successive promotions between 1949/50 and 1951/52. They then spent five seasons in the second tier before a lengthy hiatus in the lower reaches of Luxembourg football. An unexpected run in the Coupe de Luxembourg in 2008/09 was a pre-cursor the clubs recent success. They reached the last sixteen of the cup before losing 3-0 to Avenir Beggen, who were a top flight club at the time.

In season 2010/11 Titus finish second to FC Noertznage HF in the fifth tier Bezirksliga Drëtt Divisioun (Group 2) and moved up to the fourth tier (Zweet Divisioun). Continuing to climb a third place finish meant a play-off for promotion to the third tier. The club placed in the third bottom place of the First Division were Jeunesse Schieren and a tight encounter saw Titus prevail by two goals to one.

The club found itself in the third tier (Éischt Divisioun) for the first time since 1968 and acquitted themselves extremely well finishing in fourth place. Last season they finished runners up on goal difference to Mondercange. With only the champions eligible for automatic promotion from the two third tier divisions Titus had to face Jeunesse Junglinster in a promotion play-off. Titus won 3-1 in a game staged at the Complex Sportif Jean Wirtz in Strassen. To cap a memorable season Titus defeated US Esch 3-2 in the final of the FLF Cup.

The club has started reasonably well in the Promotion D’Honneur, two wins against Sandweiler and Mamer were followed by defeats against Racing Union Lëtzebuerg and then Swift Hesperange. So tonight’s game against a club with a lengthy top flight pedigree, CS Pétange, is vital if the hosts are to move up from their current position of tenth in a division of twelve. It’s a very well contested game and pleasingly high on skill but the sides are very equal in playing strength. The hosts, with a plethora of players of Portuguese extraction, create a number of chances but fail to find the net. The game is settled by a bad goalkeeping error just before halftime. Titus’ Hugo Magalhães rushed out of his area but only cleared the ball to an opponent. An accurate cross came in and, with the keeper stranded, Almir Smigalović had the easiest task to nod into an unprotected net.

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Saturday October 11th 2014 – Luxembourg Promotion D’Honneur

FC Titus Lamadelaine (0) 0

CS Pétange (1) 1 (Smigalović 45)

Attendance: 239 (at Stade Joseph Philippart)

Titus:

Hugo Magalhães ©; 40. Mohamed Jatta; 16. Ismael Danso; 5. Maikel Veloso; 3. Gerard Geisbursch; 18. Jeffry Gomes; 86. Amar Sabandzović; 17. Micael Monteiro de Fonseca; 10. Antonio Marques; 19. Mickael Leoni; 7. Bruno Batista.

Subs: 30. Djalo Bacari (for 10, 67 mins); 43. Daniel Viera; 8. Leonardo Machado (for 40, 60 mins); 12. Kevin Mardiconi; 22. Eliot Gashi (for 86, 64 mins).

Pétange:

Jonathan De Merco; 15. Mathias Dimizas; 18. Wilson Marcelo Martins; 5. Bertrand Ketchanke; 6. Jerome Faber; 25. Steve Oliveira Pereira; 11. Alen Dautbasić; 20. Renato Mota Carvalho; 26. Erdin Skenderović; 13. Almir Smigalović; 8. Naïm Boulahfari ©.

Subs: 12. Raphael Gindt; 14. Ernest Basić; 10. Koceila Ben Chabane (for 25, 76 mins); 9. Fabrice Berretta (for 15, 75 mins); 7. Admir Sabotić (for 11, 74 mins).

Yellow Cards: Jatta, Veloso, Marques, Batista (all Titus); Martins, Dautbasić (Pétange).

Gallery

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Titus ticket

 

 

Trainspotting

As football venues go the Stadion Edelhart De Lille in the Belgian town Maldegem is extraordinary. It’s actually more than extraordinary, it’s unique. There is nothing else like it. The resident club FC Sobemai contest around 30 games a season in a nameless ad-hoc East and West Flanders competition that is strictly amateur and is not even affiliated to the Royal Belgian Football Federation. This is football in its rawest form and affectionately known as ‘caféploeg voetball’. What makes this venue so beguiling, so utterly unique, is that the pitch is surrounded by old trains carriages, engines and other engineering equipment. Metallic rusting giants originally collected by Edelhart De Lille for a proposed theme park that never got off the ground. In 1973 the club’s old pitch at Akkersterrein was no longer available De Lille suggested his train graveyard would make a more than suitable alternative venue.

FC Sobemai were formed in May 1966 and were the works team of a crane building firm called NV Sobemai in Bogaardenstraat. The new club contested their first game against KAJ Oostwinkel and continued playing friendlies against other factory and works teams in the area. In the late 1977 the team played in an organised league for the first time call the Meetjeslands Voetbal League, but soon returned to their preferred ad-hoc style of matches. Despite Edelheart De Lille inventing a highly successful articulated mechanism for lifting weights the firm would eventually go bankrupt but such was his love of football the kindly owner allowed the club to continue on the site indefinitely for a peppercorn rent. Even after De Lille’s death in 2008 the family have no intention for changing the arrangements for the club.

In April 2003 the club suffered a blow when their old wooden canteen and dressing rooms were destroyed in a fire started by a short circuit in an electrical cupboard. Sadly the club also saw all their historic memorabilia lost in the blaze. The club had to play on a local park pitch before returning to their home ground five months later.

The club has overcome many setbacks and have soldiered on in their quirky ad-hoc competition where their rivals include teams like The Beggars, Walrus and Borussia Vake. Today they take on Westeinde and Boogaarde Kermis which translates rather wonderfully as West End and Boogarde Fairground. Sobemai’s amiable Club President and former player Eric Sierens welcomes us to the club and soon all is set for kick off. The game is just thirty minutes each way and the pitch is noticeably narrow. There is no referee and officiating is conducted by a mutually agreed club official. He does an excellent job although with only one offside blown for in the whole game the rule seems to have been sidelined for this game. The standard of the match is surprisingly good and contested in a very good spirit.

At halftime the players of Kermis stay on the sidelines drinking Jupiler beer and smoking while Sobemai return to the changing rooms. Upon their return both sides line up for a joint team photo which seemed to epitomise the friendly nature of the encounter. From the Kermis team it is Gert-Jan Savat that catches the eye with two good finishes early in the second half. For the home side Jordy Decadt looked a useful player and goalkeeper Pascal Pollet pulled off some excellent saves which made Kermis’ injury time goal a shame as it went through the custodian’s legs on a wet pitch. Just prior to the visitor’s third goal their defender Dieter Dabaut managed to put the ball into his own net to momentarily reduce Sobemai’s arrears.

This is a wonderful place, so unconventional and so utterly bizarre, who wouldn’t want to watch a game here?

 

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Sunday October 12th 2014 

FC Sobemai (0) 1 (Dabout og 60)

West Eind & Boogarde Kermis (0) 3 (G-J Savat 39,44, Van Waeyenberghe 60)

Attendance: 42 (at Stadion Edelhart De Lille)

Sobemai:

1. Pascal Pollet; 11. Dries Nieuwlaat; 12. Bjorn Veimeize; 10. Bart Lasoen; 6. Jordy Decadt; 7. Stijn Debbaet; 18. Stefaan Willems (c); 14. Jelle Bozgonjon; 5. Dries De Poprtere; 3. Bjorn Huwel; 9. Simon De Baets.

Subs (rolling): 17. Ivan Gobeyn; 4. Jelle Bosman

Kermis:

1. Thomas Savat; 7. Tom Henneman; 15. Gunther Geimaert; 4. Steven Cauwels; 17. Bjorn Van Waeyenberghe; 11. Gael De Sloovere; 14. Gert-Jan Savat; 16. Stefan Lamate; 9. Yarl Hautekeete; 2. Marten De Jaeger; 6. Thomas Verstringe.

Sub (rolling): 5. Dieter Dabaut

Gallery

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One Step Beyond

FC Hennef 05 were formed in July 2005 when TuRa Hennef and FC Geistingen decided to pool resources and merge into one club. The roots of the merger start in 1916 when Viktoria Geistingen were formed at a meeting in a restaurant called the Gaststätte Waldfrieden. In the neighbouring town of Hennef a football wing of 1895 Hennef Turnverein was established and in 1938 merged with a field sports club called TuRa Hennef. After a brief merger between Hennef and Geistingen as SSV Viktoria Hennef-Geistingen, the clubs re-emerged after World War II continuing as TuRu Hennef.

The 1950’s proved to be a zenith in the achievements of TuRu Hennef rising to the then third tier Mittel Rhein Liga. In 1968 a new club, FC Geistingen were formed, but never reached the levels of their neighbours in Hennef.

The 2005 merger proved mutually beneficial with the club going on to enjoy unprecedented success. In 2011/12 they won the Mittel Rhein Liga and also took the Mittel Rhein Pokal when they defeated FC Erftstadt 3-0 in the final in Bonn. As regional cup winners Hennef entered the DFB Pokal for the first time in their history and were drawn against Bundesliga 2 opponents, the mighty TSV 1860 München. The game was staged at Sportpark Nord in Bonn and the guests unsurprisingly won by six goals to nil.

The club then won the Mittel Rhein Liga in both 2012/13 and 2013/14 for a hat-trick of championships. The club then decided they were on a sound enough financial footing to seek promotion to the fourth tier Regionalliga West.

The club play at the 2,000 capacity Stadion im Sportzentrum Hennef which lies in Fritz-Jacobi-Straße and has seen a considerable sprucing up since their elevation to the fourth tier. €400,000 were spent on a new stand for away supporters and big improvements have also been made to the dressing room facilities. It is now a very smart arena and today welcomes SV Rödinghausen who are themselves finding their feet in the fourth tier following an incredible five straight promotions.

The transition to a higher level has been tough for Hennef and they go into the match rock bottom of the table with only one point to date. This is a game left over from round nine which was a midweek round, Hennef unable to stage evening games due to the lack of floodlights at present. The game is slow paced and very few chances are created, those that came were squandered with alarming profligacy. Unsurprisingly the match finishes goalless so it is nice that the very friendly hosts have finally got the points column of the league table clicking over again. A lovely club with a great spirit but it looks almost certain that Regionalliga may prove one step beyond for them this season.

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Saturday October 11th 2014 – Regionalliga West

FC Hennef 05 (0) 0

SV Rödinghausen (0) 0

Attendance: 418

Hennef:

21. Rene Monjeamb; 2. Lucas Inger; 3. Andy Habl; 6. Kami Niewiadomski (c); 11. Denis Wegner; 12. Rachid Bouallal; 16. Marius Ehrenstein; 17. Nikolas Klosterhalfen; 18. Stefan Ullmann; 19. Christoph Binot; 25. Daniel Jamann.

Subs: 1. Alexander Heil; 4. Marcos Rieck; 7. Dennis Eck (for 12, 77 mins); 10. Florian Schöller (for 17, 46 mins); 13. Tobias Günther; 22. Sebastian Hecht; 23. Andreas Moog.

Rödinghausen:

1. Jan Schönwälder; 2. Andreas Saur; 3. Felix Frank; 5. Ihsan Kalkan; 6. David Müller; 7. Florian David Rüter; 9. Christian Knappmann; 10. Nico Schneck; 21. Sören Siek (c); 24. Lars Schröder; 28. Kai-Bastian Evers.

Subs: 26. Thorben Krol; 4. Nick Grieswelle; 14. Malte Beermann; 17. Aytürk Geçim; 23. Yannik Jaeschke; 27. Lennart Madroch (for 9, 89 mins); 29. Marcel Andrijanić (for 6, 67 mins).

Yellow Cards: Niewiadomski, Binot and Jamann (all Hennef); Andrijanić (Rödinghausen).

Gallery

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Hennef ticket

Spirit of Independence

1.FC Saarbrücken have a truly fascinating history in particular relating to the Second World War and the annexing of Saarland from the rest of Germany. The club were founded on the 18th April 1903 as the football wing of Turnverein 1876 Malstatt. The club splintered away from the parent club in 1907, and rebranded two years later as FV Malstatt-Burbach.

The club played in various Bezirkligas and Kreisligas up until 1935 when the Third Reich reorganised German football into sixteen regionalised Gauligas. The club were initially placed in the Gauliga Südwest and then moved across to the Gauliga Westmark. They won this league in 1940 and 1943 and it was in the latter year they made it to the final of the play-off system but lost 3-0 to Dresdener SC. This effectively meant they were national runners up for the German championship.

As the war intensified the club could only continue fielding a side by temporarily merging with SC Altenkessel. The conclusion of the war saw Saarland, still under French occupancy, annexed from the rest of Germany. The club were allowed to reform, under their present name, and spent three seasons in the Oberliga Südwest-Nord. Under French occupancy there were attempts to get Saarland recognised as an autonomous state and, indeed, Saarland entered the qualification for the 1952 Olympics and the 1954 World Cup as their own entity. 1. FC Saarbrücken were ejected from German football in 1948 and briefly played in a hastily arranged competition called the Ehrenliga but rather than play in what was deemed as a “puppet” league, the club decided to join the French Football League having registered their name as FC Sarrebruck. The club were placed in the second tier and promptly won the championship, six points clear of Girondins de Bordeaux. The French Football Association denied them promotion and the belief was they did not want to risk a Germanic side potentially being crowned French champions. The club left the French league and played friendlies and tournaments for a few season before being readmitted to the German federation in 1952. In February 1951 one of these friendlies saw Saarbrücken take on the mighty Real Madrid who were only a few years away from five straight European Cup wins. The hosts won 4-0 with the Madridstas blaming the cold weather for the humbling defeat. The state of Saarland itself carried on producing its own postage stamps and coinage, the Saar franc, until July 1959 when the “Kleine Wiedervereinignung” (the small reunification) saw the demise of the Saarland Protectorate and full reintegration into West Germany.

The club remained a strong force winning the Oberliga Südwest in 1952 and 1961 before the Bundesliga was formed in 1963. It was something of a surprise however that Saarbrücken were elected to the new competition as other clubs in the area such as Neunkirchen and Wormatia Worms were considered to have better playing history. Since those momentous times the club has been only sporadically successful and in 1995 a financial crisis saw them forcibly relegated to the third tier. For the 2007/08 season the club had sunk to the fourth tier but then enjoyed two straight promotions to take their place in the 3. Liga, a new third tier of the Bundesliga formed that had been formed in 2008. The club remained at this level until last season when a disastrous campaign saw them finish bottom of the table having hired four coaches during the season!

The club has played at the Ludwigsparkstadion since it opened in August 1953, defeating Rot-Weiss Essen 3-1 in the opening game. Apart from some modest renovations in 2000 the huge bowl like stadium has changed little in the intervening years. This fantastic old stadium also plays hosts to the American football team, the Saarland Hurricanes. In March 1954 with the fervour for Saarland’s independence at its peek, the fledgling nation were paired against West Germany for a qualifying match for the 1954 World Cup. Unsurprisingly Saarland lost 3-1 but the Ludwigsparkstadion held 53,000 for that fixture. Its modern day capacity of 35,303 only provides seating for a shade over 8,000 so ample terracing survives although in recent years there have been rumblings of building a new arena style stadium within the bowl itself much in the way the old Zentralstadion was modernised in Leipzig. However any feasible plans have yet to materialise and should be contextualised in that as long ago as 1998 then club president, Reinhard Klimmt, described his own stadium as a “hovel”.

Prior to playing at the Ludwigsparkstadion the club had a somewhat nomadic existence particularly in their formative years. Initially they played on a school field before using grounds called Rotplatz and Am Wallenbaum. These venues were only short term solutions as they were both hemmed in by and subsequently lost to residential housing. In September 1910 they moved to a better facility called the Terrain an der Lebacher Straße. However, after the First World War another move was needed and the Sportplatz Ludwigspark became home until 1953, although many post World War II matches were staged at the Stadion Kieselhumes which is home to Oberliga side, FC Saar 05 Saarbrücken.

This evening’s game saw Saarbrücken take on Kickers Offenbach in a fourth tier match in the Regionalliga Südwest. It is a very evenly matched contest and many chances are squandered. A header from centre back Daniel Döringer gives the hosts the lead which lasts until eight minutes from time. The visitors substitute Steven Von den Burg scored with virtually his first touch. It’s a deserved equaliser and the bosterious pyrotechnic wielding Offenbach fans celebrate a point shared in this great old stadium.

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Friday October 10th 2014 – Regionalliga Südwest

1. FC Saarbrücken (1) 1 (Döringer 13)

FC Kickers Offenbach (0) 1 (Von der Burg 82)

Attendance: 7,011 (at the Ludwigsparkstadion)

Saarbrücken

1. David Hohs; 5. Mounir Chaftar; 6. Daniel Döringer; 9. Matthew Taylor; 14. Jan Fiesser (c); 17. Christian Sauter; 20. Marius Willsch; 22. Aleksandar Pranjes; 24. Alexander Hahn; 43. Sven Sökler; 44. Peter Chrappan.

Subs: 7. Dennis Wegner (for 20, 63 mins); 8. Lukas Kiefer; 10. Patrick Zoundi; 23. Andre Mandt (for 17, 82 mins); 25. Giovanni Runco; 27. Marco Meyerhöfer (for 22, 69 mins); 28. David Salfeld.

Kickers

16. Daniel Endres (c); 4. Klaus Gjasula; 5. Giuliano Modica; 6. Matthias Schwarz; 13. Jan Biggel; 14. Christian Cappek; 15. Alexis Theodosiadis; 20. Martin Röser; 23. Dennis Schulte; 30. Denis Mangafic; 31. Markus Müller.

Subs: 1. Lucas Menz; 8. Maik Vetter; 9. Benjamin Pintol (f0r 6, 75 mins); 11. Fabian Bäcker (for 13, 67 mins); 17. Stefano Maier; 22. Steven Von der Burg (for 20, 80 mins); 32. Jan Hendrik Marx.

Yellow Cards: Chaftar, Fiesser, Sauter (all Saarbrücken), Cappek, Müller (both Kickers).

Gallery

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Saar ticket

 

 

North Berks League Hop 2014

Despite living by the Thames myself it still comes as a pleasant surprise that the inland reaches of this mighty waterway stretch so deeply into middle England. This weekend’s festival of sport is centred in and around the extremely pleasant Oxfordshire market town of Abingdon which sits sleepily on the Thames. Not so much the Thames Footpath this weekend more the Thames Football path if you will.

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Abingdon Town (1) 3 (Barroso 29, Lightfoot 83, Sutton og 90)

Saxton Rovers (0) 0

Attendance: 192 (at Culham Road)

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The Friday night sees a bonus game pitched as a fundraiser for flood stricken Abingdon Town whose Isthmian League heyday now seem another lifetime ago. Culham Road is a ground very much out of keeping with this “village green” league having cover on three sides and really is worthy of a far higher grade of football. Tonight’s game is against very local rivals Saxton Rovers and the game has an edge to it from the start. The hosts take the lead with a scrappy goal from Barroso when Saxton failed to clear their lines and it separated the combatants at the break. The second half was notable for an incident when a visiting official was ordered from the dugout for allegedly abusing the linesman. Saxton didn’t allow the incident to rattle them and were very much in the game until the closing moments. Rob Lightfoot put the game beyond doubt with a swift break away goal finished with no little aplomb. Another late goal came when the unfortunate Sutton in trying to clear a corner only succeeded in slamming the ball into his own keeper’s face and into the net. The own goal gave the final score a slightly lop-sided feel to the overall match. A decent prelude to proceedings though.

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Crowmarsh Gifford (0) 0

Wallingford Town (0) 1 (Searle 54)

Attendance: 215 (at the Crowmarsh Gifford Recreation Ground)

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It’s an early start at this venue sat right next to the river and another most local of local derbies. Wallingford are something of another fallen giant having, in former guises, played in both the Combined Counties and Hellenic Leagues. Hosts Crowmarsh Gifford put on a great effort in hosting the biggest crowd in their short nine year history. Everything runs like clockwork and we witness a very tight game between two very evenly matched sides. A moment of brilliance won the game when the visitor’s Ashley Searle netted the only goal with a magnificent overhead kick.

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Dorchester (3) 3 (J.Nicholls 6, J.Fleet 6, Patterson 11)

Ardington & Lockinge (0) 0

Attendance: 204 (at Drayton Road)

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Another well organised event and it’s the hosts that open this fixture with an incredible burst, including the quite rare event of two goals being scored within the same minute as Josh Nicholls opened the scoring on six minutes and Jamie Fleet scored again almost immediately after the restart. Impressive youngster Cameron Patterson netted a third just five minutes later and the contest was effectively over from that point. The visitors looked more solid in the second half but blotted their copy book when full back Luke Fairclough was red carded for a very high challenge on Jack Rowe.

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Marcham (0) 1 (Armstrong 82)

East Hendred (5) 7 (Moss 18, pen 29, Sutton 27, Hummel 32, Doig 42, A.Wise 56, Hicks 86)

Attendance: 201 (at Anson Field)

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If the was an award for best food of the weekend, then Marcham’s superb chilli con carne would get my vote. Suitably fortified we watch an incredible game on a very undulating pitch at Anson Field. So uneven is the pitch its no surprise the club are looking to relocate to elsewhere in the village. Sadly for the friendly hosts their team put on a horror show in the first half and the jubilant visitors help themselves to five goals in the opening half. Marcham apply themselves a little better in the second half but some profligate finishing from East Hendred prevents what could easily have been a double figure scoreline.

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Benson Lions (0) 1 (Papa 46)

Grove Rangers (0) 1 (Reid 59)

Attendance: 172 (at The Watchfield, Defence Academy Shrivenham)

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Having hosted a great hop match at their own ground last season we knew what to expect from Benson Lions. They did a roaring trade on tasty burritos and beer and a healthy crowd passed the scrutiny of the high security gatehouse to enjoy this rather unusual venue. Floodlit and with a raised grass bank, it’s was a rare chance to see a game on an MOD base. A decent game was played out with Marco Papa opening the scoring for the Lions just after the break, finding the net at a second attempt having squandered the initial opening. The plucky visitors equalised through Marc Reid and a draw in the end was fair result. This game was a most suitable contest for the James Rennie Memorial Trophy, a great supporter of North Berkshire football.

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The Vertigo of Bis

Nyköpings BIS were formed in 1966 when two struggling clubs, Nyköpings SK and Nyköpings AIK pooled their resources. Since then the club have predominantly played in the third and fourth tiers of Swedish football, although the Bissarna enjoyed ten seasons, in two spells, playing in the second tier between 1971 and 1984. They are not related to IFK Nyköping who play at the truly wonderful Folkungavallen (http://wp.me/p2DKc8-8I) across town.

The club are in something of an vertiginous upward trajectory of late as they won Division 2 Södra Svealand in 2012, winning by a ten point margin from runners up Carlsbad United. The club were agonisingly close to making it two successive promotions when they finished a point adrift of the promotion play-off place in Division 1 Norra. The title was won by IK Sirius with the fast rising, predominantly Kurdish, Dalkurd FF taking the play-off spot.

The club play at a modest athletics stadium called the Rosvalla Idrottsplats which opened in 2003. It has one large stand on the east side and grass banking all the way around the remainder of the ground. Despite having a small band of ultras the club is not well supported and the official capacity of 1,000 is rarely tested. The stadium is part of a much larger sports centre which caters for skating, tennis and bowling and also has a multi-purpose hall which holds 5,500 people and currently plays host to Nyköping’s ice hockey team.

Nyköpings BIS are the most southerly club currently completing in the northern section of Division One. They have some hellishly long journeys to the likes of IFK Luleå and FC Umeå in the far north. Even today’s visitors, Skellefteå FF, have a 540 mile journey south to play this fixture. This season has not been so kind to the hosts and after sixteen rounds they lie tenth in the table (of 14 clubs) while the visitors are a place below having an inferior goal difference.

BIS take an early lead when a speculative shot from Gillström clips the inside of the post and finds the net. The killer blow came when the lively Eid scored an excellent second just as the half entered stoppage time. The hosts double the score in the second half and in truth should have had several more. This visiting keeper will have had better days and his side barely mustered a shot on goal during the whole game. Survival for them will be tough in the third tier.

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Sunday August 31st 2014 – Division 1 Norra

Nyköpings BIS 4 (Gillström 6,82, Eid 45, Djoković 61)
Skellefteå FF 0

Attendance: 326 (at Rosvalla)

BIS:

23. Anton Fagerström, 13. Lennart Johansson, 14. Simon Esséus, 3. Per Pettersson, 6. Ishmael Koroma, 25. Adis Djoković, 16. Yousef Yousef, 8. Suad Gruda, 22. Ethan Gage (c), 9. Andreas Gillström, 11. Mahmoud Eid.

Subs: 4. Emil Larnesjö (for 3,74mins), 19. Ludvig Hellman (for 22,71 mins), 20. Alen Ahmetović (for 11,79 mins), 26. Andreas Guillén, 24. Alexander Lind, 1. Pontus Lindh, 7. Sagvan Abdulsakar.

Skellefteå:

1. Frederik Enberg (c), 2. Daniel Söderström, 24. Linus Marklund, 5. Joakim Vikberg, 17. Alexander Brinkmann, 10. Jonas Desai, 7. Krister Andersson, 15. Robin Nilsson, 19. Patrik Broman, 45. Petter Thelin, 25. Chika Francis Ezeh.

Subs: 6. Kevin Forss-Nordlund (for 15,74 mins), 9. Andreas Bergström (for 7,61 mins), 18. Yosif Ayuba (for 10,65 mins), 22. Alexander Sorgić, 31. Johan Sjöberg.

Yellow cards: Gruda (BIS); Marklund, Ezeh, Ayuba, Forss-Nordlund (Skellefteå)

Gallery

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The Rosvalla features a giants’ lost front door key. No reason.

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BIS Prog