Thursday, 21 November 2019

A Tweet For The Weekend

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

A Christmas Cracker In Morecambe

The last Saturday before Christmas has traditionally been a time when attendances have dropped off slightly, supporters perhaps either shopping, recovering from the night before or saving their money for the fixtures to come over the next week or so.

So you do often see clubs reducing admission prices for matches on this day and that is what Morecambe have done for the home game against Newport County on 21st December.

Buy before the day of the match and prices are £5 Adults, £3 Concessions and £1 for 11-18's.

Trying to run a tight ship financially while remaining competitive on the pitch is a daily struggle for many clubs in the lower divisions but Morecambe, like plenty of others, have also had to deal in recent years with owners whose motivations for getting involved in football were ill-judged to put it charitably.

One of the men who worked tirelessly throughout that period to keep things going was manager Jim Bentley and an era ended recently when he opted to move to AFC Fylde of the National League.

The current owners, who look to have steadied things around off the field, have opted for former Plymouth manager Derek Adams to succeed Bentley and turn the departure of the long-serving boss into an opportunity for new ideas and momentum.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Keep An Eye Out For...

Women's Football Weekend which takes place this coming Saturday and Sunday.

Typing the above into Twitter is proving fruitful already in terms of finding matches, not just the headline acts such as Liverpool against Everton at Anfield or Spurs versus Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but games up and down the country at all levels.

For instance, Kent Football United have a local derby against Gillingham Ladies in the Kent Cup on Sunday at 3pm and are offering free entry to all supporters to their ground in Dartford in a bid to beat the club record attendance of 287.

Durham Women FC of the FA Championship are always very proactive in trying to engage and grow their supporter base and are offering half-price admission on Sunday (12pm v London Bees) to anyone with a season ticket, matchday programme or matchday ticket from any North East club.

Also something to keep an eye out for is the upcoming FA Youth Cup third round fixtures which are due to be played by 14th December.

These offer a good opportunity to catch a match at one of the big grounds for just a few pounds.

Premier League teams drawn at home include Sheffield United, Norwich City, Wolves, Tottenham and West Ham although not all clubs will play on their 'home' soil at this stage, Chelsea for instance will take their tie to Aldershot or Kingsmeadow).

Friday, 8 November 2019

The Road To Vienna

Friday saw the draw made for both the quarter and semi-finals of this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League with British interest in the competition represented by Arsenal and Glasgow City.

After looking as though they may get left behind Manchester City and Chelsea at the top level of the game in England, Arsenal’s resurgence under Joe Montemurro continues with a smooth run to the last eight of the Champions League following on from last season’s FA WSL title win.

They will take on Paris St-Germain in the quarters before a potential meeting with holders Lyon.

Glasgow City, who face Wolfsburg, have arguably already exceeded expectations by getting this far and the success story of the perennial Scottish champions shows no sign of falling away despite the financial imbalance that means they regularly lose their top players to England and elsewhere.

Renewed competition on the domestic front may yet come from increased investment in their Women’s teams from the Old Firm clubs, Celtic especially are promising a major upgrade and inflicted a first league defeat since June 2016 on Glasgow City last weekend.

In recent seasons it has been Hibs Ladies who have managed to inflict some blows on Glasgow in cup competitions and they will meet again in the Scottish Women’s Cup Final at Tynecastle on Sunday 24th November at 4.10pm.

Tickets are on sale now, priced at £7 Adults, £3 Concessions and free for Under 12's.

The Champions League final will be staged at the Viola Stadium, home of Austria Vienna, on Sunday 24th May and tickets are already on sale at the very reasonable price of 12/8 Euros for Adults if you fancy a few days in the Austrian capital.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

A Tweet For The Weekend

Sunday, 3 November 2019

FA Cup Showcase For North East Duo

This coming weekend sees the competition reach the First Round stage with League One and Two clubs entering the fray and looking to negotiate their path into the Third Round while a number of Non-League sides will be aiming to cause an upset.

An unusual feature of the draw was that one team received a bye because of the expulsion of Bury from the EFL and, therefore, from the cup as well.

Perhaps the only positive to come out of that situation was that the bye went to the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, Chichester City, and with it the First Round prize money of £36,000, from which they have promised to make a donation to the new Bury FC.

Two clubs with big games this weekend offer hope of a brighter future should the Shakers rise from the ashes.

National League North Darlington head to League Two strugglers Walsall in confident mood thanks to some good recent form and also pleased to see the name of the famous old club back in the spotlight, seven years after having to start again in the ninth tier of English football.

Manager Alun Armstrong told The Non-League Paper: "Although it's a non-pressure game, it's a huge opportunity for the club and ourselves to get Darlington on the map a little bit."

Prices at Walsall for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday have been reduced to £12 for Adults, £6 for Concessions and £15 for a Family ticket.

Meanwhile, having been demoted to the National League North for financial irregularities (and been perilously close to going out of business altogether), there is a positive vibe around Gateshead FC at present with new owners and some good results on the pitch.

An excellent article on These Football Times tells how a supporters group was instrumental in saving the club and there is an added bonus in a high-profile cup tie against League Two Oldham Athletic at the International Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Admission prices have been reduced to £12 Adults, £7 Concessions and £4 for Under 16's with Under 12's free with a paying adult.