Bees buzzing at The Hive

Saturday 31st August 2013
Barnet 3 Hyde 2
Skrill Premier
At: The Hive, Camrose Avenue, Edgware
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £23 (seat in West Stand); Programme: £3 (70 pages)
Weather: warm and sunny

I felt a sense of excitement walking up Turner Road from Queensbury tube station towards The Hive, the recently-opened new stadium of Barnet FC. At the same time, a sense of trepidation also filled my mind as well because the lack of cashpoint machine amongst the parade of shops near the station had left me perilously short of cash for the full set of seat in the stand, programme and badge. Why did I potentially ruin my trip to The Hive? Of course I wished I’d buzzed towards a bank as well as, or instead off, sampling Sharp’s Doom Bar and Lancaster’s Ginger Snap in two previously unvisited Cask Marque pubs around Warren Street.

Again whilst walking, I thought about Barnet FC and the fact that it was over 41 years since I saw them lose to Stafford Rangers in 1972 FA Trophy Final, my match number two. I’ve got fond memories of Underhill, the stadium with the famous sloping pitch and assortment of stands which Barnet FC called home for 106 years until the summer move across North London to the Borough of Harrow.

Perhaps, the highlight of my seven visits to the old ground came in April 1986 when Bob Mountain scored a spectacular volley which clinched an aggregate victory for Stafford in a two-legged Bob Lord Trophy Final.

My nerves increased somewhat on arrival until a ‘BFC Helper’ pointed me in the direction of the ticket office at the south end and settled down when the chap behind the ticket office window told me that debit cards [and I guess credit cards as well] were accepted. The West Stand appealed especially with the position of the sun and for £23 I got a really good view of the action from Row E Seat 82, almost bang on the halfway line.

Now, suddenly with more than enough cash, a visit to one of the programme sellers returned to the agenda and I even could chance my luck with a 50/50 draw ticket as well. Badges could wait until after the game.

Originally the complex was part-developed as a new home for Wealdstone FC on what was the Prince Edward Playing Fields. Work stopped in 2004 and Barnet secured a lease two years later for their training ground and centre of excellence. The Hive stadium has what I would call a classic layout for a lower-league football – seats down both touchlines and covered terrace behind both goals. The West Stand with a capacity of 2684 seats is the dominant feature with the Jubilee Line running behind. Opposite the smaller East Stand is the ‘main stand’ even with a quarter of the capacity of the big stand. A big difference between Underhill and Hive is that the new pitch is as flat as a pancake with not a slope in sight, and a beautiful manicured playing surface as well.

Relegated from League Two at the end of last season, Barnet (1st with 11 points from 5 games) have started their first season back in the ‘Conference’ – now known as the Skrill Premier – in spectacular fashion. Fans could chant ‘We are top of the league’ following Monday’s 3-0 win at Braintree Town. In contrast, today’s visitors Hyde (21st with 2 points from 5 games) arrived at The Hive in the relegation zone having lost 8-0 at Forest Green on the opening day and subsequently drew 2-2 at Wrexham. Former Stafford Rangers striker David McNiven had the number 19 but hadn’t featured in any of Hyde’s games this season.

Attacking towards their own fans in the South End, Barnet got the game underway and didn’t take long to take the lead in the 5th minute. Curtis Weston fed Keanu Marsh-Brown on the right who raced into the area and steered a low shot wide of the diving David Carnell into the far bottom left corner of the Hyde net.

Barnet undoubtedly dominated most of the first half, the only surprise being it took them until the 40th minute to double their lead. Carnell blocked Jake Hyde’s initial shot and Mark Byrne fired home the rebound.

My bad luck and near misses with raffles and 50/50 draws are well documented. As the winning ticket number of today’s draw was announced, a sense of ‘it could be me’ grew as first “4”, then “3” then “1”, then “5” only to have a decent cash prize snatched for me with the revealing of the final digit “9” rather than a “5”. Damn – four numbers tickets after mine. At least it wasn’t the second ticket the seller tried to tempt me to buy.

Perhaps as an indicator of what was to come, one supporter sat behind me commented during the first half: “Hyde playing a little better now they’ve settled down”.

By my watch it took Hyde just 50 seconds to reduce the deficit at the start of the second half. Liam Tomsett, from fully 35 yards out, thumped a long range shot past Graham Stack.

The visitors were very much back in contention and another long range shot from Tomsett in the 78th minute got them back on level terms.

“They’ve had two very lucky long range shots,” said someone nearby in the stand. I thought they were better than that, once they’d settled down.

Barnet made a double change in a bid to score the winner and it turned out to be an inspired substitution. Harry Crawford had been on the field barely two minutes when the sent a low right-foot shot from the edge of the area into the bottom left corner of the net.

The drama wasn’t over as Louis Almond’s right-wing cross picked out unmarked Scott Spencer who ballooned his shot over the bar.

Relief for Barnet at full-time with a 3-2 win from a game they should have had sewn up long before Tomsett’s second-half double.

Walking away from the ground, I overheard that Cambridge United had won 3-0 to regain the lead, dropping the Bees to second on goal difference.

Reading Wikipedia, Barnet first team’s stay at The Hive could be a short one if ambitions to return the team to their home borough come to fruition. Their 10-year lease to play league football runs until the end of the 2022/2023 season.

Barnet (amber/black/black): 29. Graham Stack, 2. Andy Yiadom, 30. David Stephens, 5. Anthony Acheampong, 23. Jordan Brown, 17. Roberto Garcia Casabella, 8. Mark Byrne, 4. Curtis Weston, 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 11. Luke Gambin, 9. Jake Hyde. Subs: 20. Mauro Vilhete (for Villa, 82), 19. Luisma Villa (for Gambin, 28), 10. Harry Crawford (for Marsh-Brown, 82), 6. Jack Saville (not used), 13gk. Nick Jupp (not used). Head Coach: Edgar Davids.

Hyde (blue/blue/blue):1. David Carnell, 2. Josh Brizell, 22. Ben Dennis, 5. Luke Ashworth, 3. Adam Griffin, 6. Liam Tomsett, 16. Matty Mainwairing, 8. Alex Brown, 9. Scott Spencer, 10. Tom Collins, 15. Danny Carlton. Subs: 4. Will Haining (for Davies, 54), 11. Connor Hughes (for Mainwairing, 85), 7. David Poole (not used), 18. Louis Almond (for Collins, 71), 21. Adam Blakeman (not used). Manager: Scott McNiven.

Referee: Declan Ford
Assistants: Neil West and Rob Smith
Fourth Official: Jason Richardson

Attendance: 1669 (including 31 away fans)
Duration: first-half: 46:00; second-half: 49:40

1-0 Keanu Marsh-Brown (5)
2-0 Mark Byrne (40)
2-1 Liam Tomsett (46)
2-2 Liam Tomsett (78)
3-2 Harry Crawford (84)

Barnet: Andy Yiadom (YC, 67), Curtis Weston (YC, 76)
Hyde: Liam Tomsett (YC, 74)

Meliden 2 St Asaph 0

Monday 26th August 2013
For many, this was game 11 out of 11 on the 2013 Welsh Groundhop; for me simply the second leg of a Bank Holiday ‘double’. Like Llandyrnog, I was also impressed with the welcome at Meiden, a village a few miles inland from Prestatyn, and the ground certainly was buzzing with a mix of locals and hoppers. With numerous minds perhaps starting to focus on the journey home, a feisty local derby with a past history fitted the bill perfectly to retain attention and it was Meliden who came out on top with an unanswered goal in each half. On a pleasant sunny evening, the visitors created and failed to convert a host of chances before being punished just after the half-hour mark. Dean Moss got free of his marker to head home a left-wing cross. After a ‘lively’ barbecue briefly threatened to cause headlines off the field, Meliden clinched the local bragging rights with a victory-clinching second goal late on. What a super strike it was, a looping 30-yard shot which flew past the helpless Luke Jones.

Meliden 2 St Asaph 0
Lock Stock Welsh Alliance Division Two
At: The Mine, Ffordd Pennant
Kick-off: 6-00 pm
Admission: £3; Programme: £1 (16 pages)
Weather: sunny

Meliden (orange/black/black): 1. Stephen Robinson, 2. Andy Jones, 3. Ryan Hassett, 4. Lewis Maroney, 5. Jamie Duffy, 6. Jamie Hobson, 7. Ashley New, 8. Jack McDougall, 9. Darren Cassidy (capt), 10. Dean Moss, 11. Alec Williams. Subs: 12. Kris Owen (for Moss, 62), 13. Woz Adam (for McDougall, 73), 14. Matty Mullholland (not used), 15. Matty Harrison (not used), 16. Adie Hoyle (for Duffy, 18). Manager: Paul Maroney.

St Asaph (white/blue/blue): 1. Luke Jones, 2. Johnny Taylor, 3. Jordan Owen, 4. Sam Benbow, 5. David Evans (capt), 6. Shane Thomas, 7. Steve Williams, 8. Paul Fleming, 9. Duncan Midgley, 10. Adam Cassidy, 11. Jason Foulkes. Subs: 12. Neil Cross (for Foulkes, 78), 14. Kris Fearnley (for Thomas, 67), 15. Matthew Quinn (not used), 16. Aiden Bell (not used). Manager: Graham Hunter.

Referee: Nathan Jones (Denbigh)
Assistants: Caerwyn Lloyd-Davies (Rhuddlan) and Nathan Wheatley (Denbigh)

Attendance: 323
Duration: first-half: 46:14; second-half: 49:00

1-0 Dean Moss (34)
2-0 Darren Cassidy (84)

Cards: none

Llandyrnog United 1 Pwllheli 1

Monday 26th August 2013
For many years, I steered clear of all but the odd groundhop game. Mostly it was due to my commitment of ‘having’ to watch every Stafford Rangers game as a member of the press, particularly during the Phil Robinson era, and partly due to having a preference of visiting grounds on a ‘normal’ matchday. That all changed in 2010 when the annual August Welsh groundhop commenced a three-year stint in the Mid Wales League, a competition a grew to enjoy during the 1990s, particularly Sunday afternoon fixtures when the students of Aberystwyth University were the opposition. Hops weren’t just about watching three or four games a day, I again quickly realised the value of them as a social gathering – a congregation assembling from near, far and wide with a common love of the beautiful game. This game didn’t disappoint either with Josh Davies’ early goal for Llandyrnog cancelled out shortly before half-time by Pwllheli’s Meical Williams.

Llandyrnog United 1 Pwllheli 1
Lock Stock Welsh Alliance Division One
At: Cae Nant
Kick-off: 2-30 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (20 pages)

Llandyrnog United (sky blue / navy blue / navy blue): 1. Gaz Pope, 2. Rob Render, 3. Iwan Davies, 4. Dan Porter, 5. Adam Lloyd, 6. Aled Roberts (capt), 7. Danny Roberts, 8. Sion Davies, 9. Josh Davies, 10. Tom Matischok, 11. Danny Jones. Subs: 12. Simon Brown (for Danny Jones, 80), 14. Liam Jones (for Render, 90+2), 15. Chris House (for Iwan Davies, 87), 16. Russ Moorcroft (not used). Managers: Russ Pierce and Neil Jones.

Pwllheli (white/black/black): 1. Kevin Davies, 2. Gareth Mellor, 3. Cedri Lloyd, 4. John Jones (capt), 5. Rhodri Scott, 6. Meical Williams, 7. Kyle Goodfellow, 8. Jamie Banks, 9. Dan Rylance, 10. Mark Bridge, 11. Dewi Jones. Subs: 12. Daffyd Jones (not used), 13. Lee Fletcher (not used). Managers: Steven Smith and Gareth Piercy.

Referee: Phil Hughes

Attendance: 232
Duration: first-half: 45:30; second-half: 50:53

1-0 Josh Davies (4)
1-1 Meical Williams (40)

Cards: none

Paget Rangers 2 Perrywood 3

Saturday 24th August 2013
Plenty of boxes ticked on this short trip to north Birmingham – first visit since the 1980s to much-changed and renamed Trevor Brown Memorial Ground, a first look at the reformed Paget Rangers and a chance to catch up with Worcester-based visitors Perrywood. The contest lived up to its ‘big game’ billing on Twitter as Perrywood twice came from behind to equalise before scoring the winner. They then survived an onslaught of pressure during the closing stages from 10-man Paget. Worthy of a mention are the tea bar ladies who made one vegetarian (i.e. me!) extremely happy with a double Linda McCartney sausage hot dog topped with fried onions. It was good to be back at Church Road!

Paget Rangers 2 Perrywood 3
St Mary’s Hospice Midland Combination Division Two
At: Trevor Brown Memorial Ground, Church Road, Great Barr
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £2; Programme: £1 (16 pages)

Weather: sunny spells

Paget Rangers (amber/black/black): 1. Paul Smith, 2. Michael Edmead, 3. Jeremie Lacaze, 4. Graham Bond, 5. Thomas O’Callaghan, 6. David Franklin, 7. Ashley Churchill, 8. Daniel Zouch (capt), 9. Mark Bennett, 10. Nathan Joshi, 11. Luke Bradley. Subs: 12. Michael Harrigan (for Lacaze, 60), 14. Kurt White (for Edmead, 74), 15. Richard Gayle (not used), 16. Matthew Coates (not used).

Perrywood (blue and white halves / blue / blue): 1. Carl Preece, 2. Logan Stoddart, 3. Chris Moore, 4. Jack Godwin, 5. Jordan Stoddart, 6. Carl Smith (capt), 7. Samuel Smith, 8. Luke Whittington, 9. Simon Mills, 10. Lee Seldon, 11. Jack Marsh. Subs: 12. Lewis Butterworth (for Mills, 26), 14. Ashley Banner (not used), 15. George Martin (for Seldon, 58), 16. Connor Poole (not used), 17. Nick Pearce (not used).

Referee: Alan Walker
Assistants: Christopher Morby and Colin Hewitt

Attendance: 41
Duration: first-half: 48:18; second-half: 50:15

1-0 Carl Smith (6 og)
1-1 Simon Mills (18)
2-1 Daniel Zouch (21 pen)
2-2 Jordan Stoddart (56)
2-3 Luke Whittington (59)

Paget: David Franklin (RC, 84)
Perrywood: none

Llantwit Major 3 Penrhiwfer 1

Saturday 17th August 2013
The opportunity to meet 2013 Apprentice star Alex Mills [the one with the distinctive eyebrows] at Costa in Cowbridge took us to South Wales for the day. Once we’d had our coffee and cake, chatted to Alex and taken photos, as well as given our donation to the Costa Foundation, I made the short journey towards the coast to Llantwit Major’s Windmill Lane ground. Pleasantly surprised to bump into two familiar faces from my part of the world, we saw a feisty Welsh Cup tie in which Llantwit Major of Welsh League Division Three defeated Penrhiwfer 3-1 with Stewart Lindsay scoring twice. Inevitably in a contest littered with bookings, someone was going to see ‘red’ and it was the visitors from the South Wales Senior League who finished with ten men.

Llantwit Major 3 Penrhiwfer 1
Welsh Cup First Qualifying Round
At: Windmill Lane, Llantwit Major
Kick-off: 2-30 pm
Admission: £3 including 40 page programme
Weather: showers sometimes heavy

Llantwit Major (blue/blue/blue): 1. Jack Lansdown, 2. Wayne Faux, 3. Andy Shaw, 4. Lee Jones, 5. Rhys Gould, 6. Nicky Cox, 7. Christopher Rees, 8. Max Morgan, 10/9. David Hartley-Smith, 9/10. Stewart Lindsay, 11. Jordan Phillips. Subs: 12. Barry Whitlam (not used), 14. David Bevan (for Phillips, 74), 15. Jack Grahame (for Rees, 86). Manager: Barry Whitlam.

Penrhiwfer (red/black/red): 1. Michael Davies, 2. Jeffrey Glenn Price (capt), 3. Kyle Honeyfield, 4. Lee Michael, 5. Rhys Hughes, 6. Cefyn Harris, 7. Gareth Moyle, 8. Jordan Wilcox, 9. Stephen Bassett, 10. Craig Lee Jones, 11. James Trembath. Subs: 12. David Baker (for Harris, 52), 14. Steele Wathan (not used), 15. Ben Morrisey (not used), 16. Paul Gregory (not used), 17. Nigel Jones (for Jones, ht).

Referee: Steven Bayliss.
Club linesmen.

Attendance: 20 (headcount)
Duration: first-half: 47:10; second-half: 48:58

1-0 Jordan Phillips (18)
1-1 James Trembath (23)
2-1 Stewart Lindsay (32)
3-1 Stewart Lindsay (83)

Llantwit Major: Wayne Faux (YC, 76)
Penrhiwfer: Rhys Hughes (YC, 9), Gareth Moyle (YC, 43), Stephen Bassett (YC, ht), Nigel Jones (YC, 53), Jeffrey Glenn Price (RC, 76), Michael Davies (YC, 84)

Doncaster Rovers 2 Blackburn Rovers 0

Friday 16th August 2013
I was delighted when Aussie groundhopper Mark Taylor suggested meeting up this weekend during his extensive tour of England and several European countries plus Dubai on the way out and Thailand on the way home. He was planning a Yorkshire ‘double’ tomorrow at Leeds United and York City to follow tonight’s game at Doncaster Rovers. As I’d not visited the Keepmoat Stadium, I bought two tickets online for collection and met up with Mark in the centre of Doncaster for some ale [Acorn Forester for me] at the Old Angel before making our way to the ground. Watching from the West Stand, we saw Doncaster record their first league victory of the season with a goal in each half from new signing Theo Robinson and James Husband.

Doncaster Rovers 2 Blackburn Rovers 0
Skybet Championship
At: Keepmoat Stadium
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £23 (seat); Programme: £3 (84 pages)
Weather: sunny spells

Doncaster Rovers (red and white hoops / black / black): 1. Ross Turnbull, 32. Reece Wabara, 14. Bongani Khumalo, 5. Rob Jones (capt), 3. James Husband, 26. James Coppinger, 19. Richard Wellens, 18. Paul Keegan, 11. David Cotterill (Syers 90), 22. Theo Robinson (Duffy 76), 9. Chris Brown. Subs: 13.gk Jon Maxted (not used), 2. Paul Quinn (not used), 6. David Syers (for Cotterill, 90+3), 7. Mark Duffy (for Robinson, 76), 8. Billy Paynter (not used), 12. Luke McCullough (not used), 23. Kyle Bennett (not used). Manager: Paul Dickov.

Blackburn Rovers (blue and white halves / white / white): 34. Jacob Kean, 2. Todd Kane, 5. Grant Hanley, 16. Scott Dann (capt), 3. Tommy Spurr, 25. Alan Judge, 8. David Dunn, 19. Chris Taylor, 6. Jason Lowe, 11. Jordan Rhodes, 45. Tom Cairney. Subs: 13gk. Simon Eastwood (not used), 7. Joshua King (for Dunn, 66), 9. Leon Best (for Taylor, 66), 21. Alex Marrow (not used), 24. Josh Morris (not used), 29. Corry Evans (for Cairney, 60), 31. Gaël Givet-Viaros (not used). Manager: Gary Bowyer.

Referee: Geoff Eltrigham
Assistants: Joe Hull and Ross Joyce
Fourth Official: Declan Ford

Attendance: 8707
Duration: first-half: 46:16; second-half: 49:26

1-0 Theo Robinson (37)
2-0 James Husband (58)

Doncaster: Chris Brown (YC, 32)
Blackburn: Tommy Spurr (YC, 11), Grant Hanley (YC, 61), Chris Taylor (YC, 64)

Ratinger Spvg Germania 3 VfL Rhede 0

Sunday 11th August 2013
The delightful town of Ratingen, a few miles north-east of Düsseldorf, provided the setting for the third and final football leg of my German break. ‘Delightful’ because of the pleasant Marktplatz area I spent time in before heading back to Cologne and ‘delightful’ because of a warm friendly club who ticked all the boxes [apart from one]. Oberliga Niederrhein sits at the fifth tier of German football and today a hat-trick from summer signing Chamdin Said gave homesters (also known as Ratingen 04/19) a comfortable 3-0 victory over struggling VfL Rhede. At half-time, the tea bar provided a real treat of mandarin gateaux complete with cake fork and the only box not ticked during the whole day was most of the ground out of bounds to spectators apart from the large main stand.

Ratinger Spvg Germania 3 VfL Rhede 0
Oberliga Niederrhein
At: Stadion Ratingen, Am Stadion, Ratingen
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: 8 euro; Programme: free (4 pages)
Weather: sunny spells

Ratinger Spvg Germania (yellow/yellow/yellow): 1. Marcel Grote, 6. Patrick Fiedorra (capt), 7. Sascha Meier, 8. Yannic Melis, 9. Pier Schulz, 10. Daniel Rehag, 11. Chamdin Said, 12. Stefan Prengel, 13. Dennis Ter Haar, 14. Lukas Fedler, 17, Ali Can Ilbay. Subs: 25gk Alexander Pleß (not used), 2. Christoph Hub (not used), 3. Stefan Rott (for Ilbay, 78), 4. Björn Rohpeter (for Fiedorra, 82) 15. José Cervino Panero (not used), 20. Yusuf Keser (for Meier 78), 21. Kris Leipzig (not used). Coach: Alfonso del Cueto.

VfL Rhede (black/black/black): 23. Marc Tebroke, 3. Benedikt Spieker (capt), 6. Christopher Wilting, 8. Bodo Seeger, 10. Martin Schüring, 11. Simon Lechtenberg, 15. Raphael Bauer, 18. Frederik Arnold-Hallbauer, 20. Christopher Refke, 24. Florian Girnth. Subs: 1gk. Marvin Radüchel (not used), 2. Tobias Keil (not used), 13. Nico Frömmgen (for Refke, 61), 17. Felix Amler (for Girnth, 81), 19. Florian Hahm (for Schüring, ht). Coach: Javier Garcia Dinis.

Referee: Alexander Schuh.
Assistants: René Donné and Axel Böhme.

Attendance: 300
Duration: first-half: 45:06; second-half: 45:00

1-0 Chamdin Said (23)
2-0 Chamdin Said (57)
3-0 Chamdin Said (68)

Ratinger Spvg Germania: none
VfL Rhede: Simon Lechtenberg (YC, 66)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3 SC Freiburg 1

Saturday 10th August 2013
Once I’d established a few days ago that tickets were available for this top-flight game, there was really no need to look elsewhere for a Saturday afternoon fixture. It was certainly worth the effort to once again sample the unique atmosphere of a top-flight Bundesliga game inside a modern stadium with what I consider a rather impressive roof. My ticket in block F4, booked online with print@home, put me among a group of predominantly Freiburg fans who ultimately went home despondent after their side lost 3-1 to an impressive Leverkusen side. Managed by ex-Liverpool defender Sami Hyypiä, the home side took the lead through a looping Stefan Kießling header but Mike Hanke levelled for Freiburg shortly before the interval. By the time the second half was nine minutes old, Leverkusen had scored twice through Korean Heung-Min Son and Sidney Sam. The visitors had a penalty saved and this ended their hopes of salvaging a point.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3 SC Freiburg 1
1. Bundesliga
At: Bay Arena
Kick-off: 3-30 pm
Admission: 23 euro seat; Programme: free (84 A4 pages)
Weather: warm and sunny

Bayer 04 Leverkusen (red/red/red): 1. Bernd Leno, 21. Ömer Toprak, 5. Emir Spahić, 26. Giulio Donati, 17. Sebastian Boenisch, 18. Sidney Sam, 8. Lars Bender (capt), 3. Stefan Reinartz, 27. Gonzalo Castro, 11. Stefan Kießling, 7. Heung-Min Son. Subs: 25gk. Palop (not used), 4. Phillip Wollscheid (not used), 6. Simon Rolfes (for Son, 70), 13. Jens Hegeler (for Sam, 80), 14. Roberto Hilbert (not used), 15. Levin Öztunali (for Castro, 87), 23. Robbie Kruse (not used). Coach: Sami Hyypiä.

SC Freiburg (white/white/white): 1. Oliver Baumann, 3. Fallou Diagne, 25. Oliver Sorg, 28. Matthias Ginter, 17. Jonathan Schmid, 23. Julian Schuster (capt), 4. Gelson Fernandes, 11. Hendrick Zuck, 20. Francis Coquelin, 14. Admir Mehmedi, 9. Mike Hanke. Subs: 21gk. Alexander Schwolow (not used), 27. Nicolas Höfler (not used), 30. Christian Günter (for Zuck, 68), 31. K. Guédé (not used), 35. Sebastian Freis (for Mehmedi, 76), 37. Sebastian Kerk (for Coquelin, ht), 41. Immanuel Höhn (not used).

Referee: Gunter Perl.
Assistants: Georg Schalk and Michael Emmer.
Fourth Official: Bibiana Steinhaus.

Attendance: 27136
Duration: first half: 47:00; second-half: 47:58

1-0 Stefan Kießling (21)
1-1 Mike Hanke (40)
2-1 Heung-Min Son (47)
3-1 Sidney Sam (52)

Leverkusen: Stefan Reinartz (YC, 83), Emir Spahić (YC, 88)
Freiburg: Fallou Diagne (YC, 35), Mike Hanke (YC, 55)

1FC Köln U21 1 Fortuna Düsseldorf U23 4

Friday 9th August 2013
Back in Cologne for the first time since 2011 and, after finally conquering my nemesis the Cologne Dom tower, tonight my shortlist of games consisted of either Fortuna Düsseldorf v TSV 1860 München in 2. Bundesliga or this game just seven stops from my hotel on line 18. Choosing the easy option, the Franz Kremer Stadion is located in the middle of a large wood and includes a stand down one touchline and open terracing around the other three sides. Early table toppers Köln went into this game with a 100% record of two wins but proved no match for a skilful and hungry Düsseldorf side who put the outcome beyond doubt with four unanswered first-half goals. Tuğrul Erat and Tom Golley both scored twice with Köln’s second-half consolation coming from Jannis Nikolaou.

1FC Köln U21 1 Fortuna Düsseldorf U23 4
Regionalliga West
At: Franz Kremer Stadion
Kick-off: 7-30 pm
Admission: 10 euro (seat) or 5 euro (standing); Programme: free (4 pages)
Weather: sunny spells and showers

1FC Köln U21 (white/white/white): 1. Marcel Schuhen, 2. Koray Kacinoglu, 4. Jannik Müller, 5. Stefan Schwellenbach (capt), 6. Danilo Wiebe, 8. Mario Engles, 9. Marco Ban, 11. Marius Laux, 18. Vojno Jesic, 21. Fabian Schnellhardt, 23. Jannis Nikolaou. Subs: 20gk. Sven Bacher (not used), 7. Fabio La Monica (for Jesic, 80), 10. Robin Hömig (not used), 15. Sven Engelke (for Müller, ht), 16. Lukas Scepanik (not used), 17. Fabian Poß (not used), 19. Steffen Schäfer (for Schwellenbach, 42). Coach: Stephan Engels.

Fortuna Düsseldorf U23 (red/red/red): 22. Robin Heller, 6. Jens Langeneke, 7. Tuğrul Erat, 8. Christian Weber (capt), 17. Eren Taskin, 18. Marcel Hofrath, 19. Tim Golley, 26. Muhammet Karpuz, 28. Christian Gartner, 29. Ben Halloran, 30. Juanan. Subs: 1gk. Tim Boss (not used), 5. Robin Urban (not used), 13. Samuel Piette, (for Weber, 66) 14. Kaan Akca (for Golley, 80), 16. Aliosman Aydin (not used), 20. Megim Fejzullahu (for Taskin, 63), 23. Bastian Müller (not used). Coach: Taskin Aksoy.

Referee: Dominik Jolk
Assistants: Benjamin Bläser and Waldemar Ebel

Attendance: 750
Duration: first-half: 45:02; second-half: 45:07

0-1 Tuğrul Erat (18)
0-2 Tim Golley (24)
0-3 Tuğrul Erat (34)
0-4 Tim Golley (38)
1-4 Jannis Nikolaou (85)

Köln: none
Düsseldorf: Eren Taskin (YC, 35)

Hanley Town 2 Chadderton 2

Saturday 3rd August 2013
Following something of a pattern from the past few seasons, I opted to watch a newly-promoted side play their first game at a higher level and so this afternoon made a first visit to Abbey Lane in over 20 years. Hanley Town, Staffordshire County Senior League champions, hosted Chadderton for their first-ever North-West Counties League game and began life at step six with a 2-2 draw. Following a goalless first half in front of a decent gathering of locals and groundhoppers, Hanley twice took the lead through Joel Stair and Danny Tainton. Twice, however, they were pegged back by equalising goals from Chadderton’s Matthew Russell and Naill Sultan. The only disappointment on an excellent afternoon being the programme sell out long before I arrived 80 minutes before kick-off.

Hanley Town 2 Chadderton 2
North-West Counties League Division One
At: Abbey Lane
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: sold out
Weather: warm and sunny

Hanley Town (blue/blue/blue): 1. Dave Jackson, 2. Josh Goodall, 3. Tom Hall, 4. Josh Thorpe, 5. Joel Stair, 6. Michael Machin, 7. Philip Parkes (capt), 8. Ben Blowers, 9. Danny Tainton, 10. Theo Stair, 11. Sean Mallin. Subs: 12. Neil Edwards (not used), 14. Nathan Grice (for Hall, 90+3), 15. Philip Ben Sambrook (not used), 16. Phillip Mannion (for Mallin, 76), 17. Thomas Cawley (not used).

Chadderton (red/black/black): 1. Nathan Beckett, 2. Benjamin Fletcher, 3. Christopher Pauley (capt), 4. Benjamin Greenidge, 5. Keith Melvin, 6. Michael Cheetham, 7. Sean Sherwood, 8. Macauley Harewood, 9. Niall Sultan, 10. Matthew Russell, 11. Joseph Jacombs. Subs: 12. Clive Best (for Jacombs, 67), 14. Sean Nolan (not used), 15. James Fawcett (for Harewood, 76), 16. Matthew O'Keefe (not used).

Referee: D. Critchlow.
Assistants: G. Wild and S. Winley.

Attendance: 203
Duration: first-half: 45:28; second-half: 50:15

1-0 Joel Stair (49)
1-1 Matthew Russell (54)
2-1 Danny Tainton (74)
2-2 Niall Sultan (84)

Hanley: Josh Thorpe (YC, 68)
Chadderton: Michael Cheetham (YC, 30)