Friday, 14 February 2020

International Football in March

Plenty of international matches to take in next month for a tenner or less…
England Under-21’s are in European Championship qualifying action with matches against Andorra at Stoke City on the 26th and Turkey at Burnley's Turf Moor on the 30th.
Tickets for the games are priced at £10 Adults if purchased prior to Sunday 16th February (11.59pm, £15 afterwards). Concession tickets are £5 and Under 16's £1.
Colchester United host England Under-20’s for a friendly with Germany on the 30th which is priced at £5 Adults, £ Concessions.
UEFA Under-19 Elite Round fixtures are taking place in South Wales towards the end of the month with free admission to Wales games against Germany, Serbia and Austria at the Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff and Newport's Rodney Parade.
Wales C (under 23 players from the Cymru Premier) host England C (under 23’s from outside of the Football League) at Caernarfon Town on the 24th in an International Challenge Match.
Tickets are priced at £10 Adults, £5 Seniors and £2 Juniors.
And there are a couple of Under 21 Euro qualifiers on the 27th where ticket details haven’t yet been released but which shouldn’t cost more than a fiver as Wales take on Moldova at the Racecourse in Wrexham and Scotland face Croatia at Tynecastle.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Game Of The Week: Felixstowe & Walton Utd v Canvey Island

'Pay What You Want' admission at the Goldstar Ground this Saturday for an Isthmian League North clash that is crucial for hosts Felixstowe as they currently sit just one place above the bottom of the table.

As with many clubs across the UK the weather this winter has caused plenty of problems for the Seasiders, not just with their playing surface but with the operation of the floodlights at the ground with the building that houses the controls having been damaged by the persistent, heavy rain.

A fundraising page is in operation to try and help with the cost of refurbishing the building and Saturday's match will be followed by a prize draw and auction that will hopefully raise money not just for the floodlights but also the Barts Charity.

Speaking of weather, Poole Town FC have suffered a host of postponements over the past couple of months, the latest being Tuesday evening's game with Salisbury, which have severely impacted on cashflow at the Black Gold Stadium.

Their scheduled home match this Saturday against Truro City will also be 'Pay What You Want' on the turnstiles.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Catch A Match At These Premier League Grounds

Today is probably the wrong day to talk about improving weather but the next few weeks are set to see a number of Premier League 2 (Under 23) matches being played at top-flight grounds now that we are, theoretically at least, over the worst of winter.

There are scheduled matches in February at St James' Park (Newcastle v Sunderland on Friday 14th, Valentines Day although there is never any love lost between these two), Goodison Park (Everton v Derby on Monday 17th), the London Stadium (West Ham v Stoke on the same evening) and the Emirates Stadium (Arsenal v Man City on Friday 28th).

Keep an eye on the official Premier League website for fixtures and the club websites for details of admission and any late changes.

Tickets are already on sale for the West Ham game, priced at £5/£3 for non-members.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Game Of The Week: Durham WFC v Aston Villa Women

The top two teams in the FA Women’s Championship meet at midday on Sunday with five points currently separating Durham from league leaders Villa.

Whatever the outcome of this particular game it has been another season of progress for the Wildcats, who are unusual in the top two tiers of the English game in not having an affiliation to a men’s club but who mounted a promotion challenge last year in addition to pushing Chelsea very close in an FA Cup tie that attracted over 1,600 to New Ferens Park.

If you’re planning a visit then what I like about Durham is that admission prices (£6 Adults, £3 Concessions and £14 for a family of four with no increase on the turnstiles), the cost of food and drink at the ground and all the relevant information about getting to the ground is easy to find on their website.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Can The Old Firm Muscle In On Glasgow's City?

After 2019 saw the national team reach their first ever World Cup Finals, the women's game in Scotland continues to grow, providing welcome increases in participation at all levels.

At the apex of the club game, the Scottish Women's Premier League has expanded its second division to ten teams this year with the introduction of promotion play-offs to both SWPL 1 and 2.

Scottish Women’s Football Executive Officer, Fiona McIntyre, told scotwomensfootball.com that "It's an extremely exciting time for the Scottish game. The changes we’ve made to our senior game are significant and we strongly believe will have a positive impact for all involved. I believe we will see an incredibly competitive and exciting season across both premier leagues."

Glasgow City have dominated the landscape in recent years with 13 consecutive league titles with only Hibernian managing to get in a blow with the occasional cup triumph.

But both Celtic and Rangers have upped their commitment to their women's teams over the winter, the experienced Fran Alonso appointed as Head Coach at Parkhead and the two clubs making a number of potentially significant signings.

Celtic host Glasgow City on the opening weekend of the season (23rd February) and with an extra Champions League spot set to be on offer (Glasgow City take on Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals in March) there is plenty to play for over the course of the campaign.

But the bigger picture will be plenty of affordable football over the next few months (follow ScotWFootball and scotfootfixs on Twitter) and increased opportunities for participation for women and girls all across the country.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Game Of The Week: Wisbech St Mary v Mulbarton Wanderers

Bottom versus top in this Eastern Counties Football League Division One North clash with 47 points separating Wisbech St Mary and Mulbarton Wanderers.

There is, however, more optimism than you might expect at Wisbech where manager Alex Kaufman has brought about an improvement in fortunes since his appointment in October.

"We just have to get as many points on board as we can," he told the Fenland Citizen newspaper after the 2-2 draw with Sheringham.

"With the team we are building it would be sad if we do go down."

Saturday has been designated as ‘Community Day’ and there is free admission for all spectators for the 3pm kick-off.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

January Review

A look back at some of the teams and matches covered in the blog over the past month or so...

Queen's Park offered football for a fiver at Hampden Park on the opening weekend of January and a bigger than average crowd watched the Spiders gain a 2-1 victory against Stenhousemuir.

After the momentous decisions in late 2019 to shed their amateur status and approve the sale of Hampden to the Scottish FA, the new year has seen more changes with new manager Ray McKinnon now able both to put his squad onto professional contracts and move into the transfer market for reinforcements.

The FA Vase tie between Deal Town and Binfield was decided by the thinnest of margins after both the original game and a reply couldn't separate the sides, Deal winning 7-6 on penalties and now making plans for the long trip to Consett AFC in the last sixteen on Saturday 8 February.

It is 20 years since Deal won the competition at Wembley and manager Derek Hares told Kent Online that he is beginning to dream of glory this year. 

It's looking good for The New Saints to retain their Welsh title after they won the battle of the top two against Connah's Quay but The Nomads can lift some silverware this coming weekend when they contest the final of the Nathaniel MG (League) Cup against surprise package STM Sports.

The game takes place at the home of Newtown AFC at 5.15pm on Saturday (tickets priced at £7 Adults, £3 Seniors and Students and £1 for Juniors) with a full preview available at the excellent Y Clwb Pel-Droed website.