TABLE GOES HERE
Wednesday 9th April – QPR retain 5-a-side title!
|Leeds Utd. (Al) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) 1|
QPR have retained the Riff Raff 5-a-side Cup. Rob’s side won the final against Al’s Leeds with an early goal, hit from somewhere around the centre spot. ‘Parksie’ was man-of-the match, making a string of great saves, as Leeds tried to find the equaliser. Rangers held on to win the competition for the second year running.
The tournament was pretty close fought, with loads of shots and almost as many great saves. John’s early strike for West Ham, against Joel’s Newcastlle, was one of the goals of the tournament. Stuart was pipped with a last kick of the game against Alan’s Chelsea. An adventurous strike off the boards paid off, as Chelsea snatched three points in their group B game. A tight Group A, with an absent Brentford, saw two 0-0 draws.
In the ‘plate’ competition, Joel’s Newcastle won the league while Kev’s Spurs won the penalty shoot-out, to round off a season of fantastic flicking !
Wednesday 26th March
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.10 : 31′||No.10 : 17′|
After extra time:
|Leeds Utd. (Al) 2||Chelsea (Alan) 2|
|No.10 : 32′||No.10 : 37′|
Chelsea won 15 – 14 on penalties
Match Report – Chelsea Win the Cup!
Chelsea have won the Riff Raff Knockout Cup. Alan Arnold lifted the trophy after a lengthy, but none-the-less dramatic penalty shoot out. Having reached the final two years running, Chelsea looked to lay the ghosts of last year’s final against QPR, firmly to rest, as they took on Al’s Leeds Utd side, fresh from their league title win and now chasing the ‘double’.
In attendance were Everton’s Stuart Surridge and Newcastle’s Joel Ogden with his camera -Yes folks, there’s video footage and photos to be unleashed in the fullness of time ! The Queen and Prince Philip were also there, as last year, to preside over the presentation of the cup … OK, so it’s only a cardboard cut-out of the royals. It’s not easy to get royalty round for these games y’know ! !
Proceedings got underway with some musical entertainment from … ‘Guess’. ( Lets hear it for them, but don’t clap too much !! )
After all the formalities, which included a quick blast of the National Anthem ( from Queen ), the game kicked off, with both sides in their traditional colours. Chelsea’s No.8 and No.4 were soon on the end of warnings from the referee in the early stages, both for bad challenges. Manager, Alan Arnold voiced his concerns on the matter and also muted complaints about the ‘Wemerbley’ pitch. Spelthorne groundsman, Andy Lee, had been rumoured to have been doing some work on it. However the official version given was that ‘Wemerbley’ had recently hosted the prestigious Subbuteo Horse Of The Year Show.
The first half progressed with both sides having spells of pressure, creating chances to go in front. However, the score remained 0-0 at the interval. Chelsea though, came out in the second half and made an immediate impact, as their No.10 produced a great finish from 20 yards on 17 minutes, just after the re-start. The game continued in competitive mode throughout, with Chelsea looking the stronger side overall, until the last few minutes of the game. It was then that Leeds started to apply mounting pressure on the Chelsea defence, conjuring a last gasp, game changing shot, to produce a dramatic equaliser, deep into injury time. Incredibly, Leeds No.10 equalised with the very last kick of the game – just 2 seconds were left on the clock !
Extra time began – 5 minutes each way ! This time it was Leeds who came out on the front foot and snatched a crucial goal immediately after the re-start. Once again it was No.10 who did the damage, finishing emphatically on 32 minutes. Having escaped in the dying seconds of normal time, Leeds were suddenly 2-1 up, with one hand on the cup. This was a crushing blow for Chelsea after all the hard work they had put in, and it proved too much to take for Chelsea manager Alan Arnold, throwing the ball down the pitch in frustration. Cries of “Are you Ian in disguise” rang out from the crowd … or it might have just been the ref ! Alan was visibly shocked and stunned as Leeds now looked like they were in the mood to wrap things up fairly promptly. But Alan and his Chelsea players showed true grit and character to stay in the game. Half way through the second period of extra time Chelsea were rewarded for their resilience when they made it 2-2 on 37 minutes as No.10 found the net.
And so it was, that for the second year running, Chelsea were faced with a penalty shoot out. Chelsea went first and scored. Leeds scored their first penalty too, but their No.7 fell off the table in the process, sustaining a bad injury that will have Al breaking out the superglue ! Chelsea’s second penalty saw the Leeds keeper make a crucial save but it was all level again as Leeds 4th penalty failed to find the net. The tension mounted as spot-kick after spot-kick was successfully converted. Then, well into ‘sudden death’, No.8 stepped up to take Leeds’ 16th penalty. The shot was hit high but too close to the keeper who parried the ball to the half way line. Alan’s celebrations began.
The cup was presented to Alan from Rob, last year’s winner. Congratulations to Alan and his Chelsea team ! Commiserations to Al, presented with the runners-up medal, and his Leeds team who have been formidable opponents in both league and cup this season. The general standard of play this year has certainly gone up a gear from last season so lick your lips 2015/16. In the meantime, there’s still the matter of the 5-a-side tournament which is due to be played on Wednesday 8th April.
Monday 9th March
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 3|
|(Yellow=No.7 : 7′)||No.7 : 17′
No.9 : 25′
No.10 : 27′
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 1|
|—||No.4 : 9′|
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 1||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 1|
|No.8 : 14′||No.2 (OG) : 4′|
Match Reports – Leeds are Champions !
Leeds clinched the league title with a draw against rivals QPR, in the final game of the season. The evening started with a mid-table encounter, which was effectively, little more than a friendly, as the outcome would have no affect on the final placings neither Newcastle nor Chelsea.
Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3 : This was a close game initially, with the scores level at half time. Just after the break, Chelsea’s No.7 scored a 17th minute opener to break the deadlock. Newcastle pushed forward in an attempt to get back on level terms but Chelsea took advantage of the extra space in Newcastle’s rearguard. They added a second goal on 25 minutes through No.9. Two minutes later No.10 wrapped things up with Chelsea’s third goal on 27 minutes to end the season with a win. For Newcastle, this was a disappointing end to what has generally been an improved season.
Chelsea 0 QPR 1 : Chelsea had already secured third spot in the league but this was another must win game for QPR who still had a chance of retaining the league title. As anticipated it was a close encounter, with Rangers creating more of the chances. No.4 netted after 9 minutes and this proved enough to secure three crucial points. However, it was not without its moments of anxiety especially when Chelsea hit the post in the dying moments. This was from a spell of pressure following a corner and, had it gone in, would have handed Leeds the title there and then, denying the chance of some last match drama.
Leeds 1 QPR 1 : With Leeds just one point ahead, QPR knew only a win would do, going into this, the final game of the season. From the kick off, Rangers No.7 stormed down the right to produce the first shot of the game, narrowly missing the target, with just seconds gone. QPR had slightly the better of the opening encounters, in a game which produced near misses, good saves, free kicks, corner kicks, at both ends. After a spell of pressure from a corner, Rangers looked to have got one hand on the league title trophy, scoring an all-important goal on 4 minutes, to take the lead. No. 4 found space just right of centre, and thundered in a 20 yard shot which deflected in off the defender on the far post. Leeds stormed back, forcing a series of corners in a sustained spell of pressure, which Rangers somehow managed to survive.
But they couldn’t quite hold out to half time. Leeds No.8 forced in the equaliser from 25 yards with a great looping shot on 14 minutes. Rangers hit back with the last kick of the first half, producing a shot from the left, but couldn’t hit the target from a narrow angle.
Throughout the game, Rangers had their chances to snatch the silverware with ‘Stan’ in particular, hitting four shots which the keeper saved or which finished just wide. Leeds also had their share of near misses and forced a couple of good saves out of ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal.
QPR were still searching for the crucial match winning goal when Leeds broke away in the dying minutes. A fierce shot was powered towards the far corner of the QPR net. This time, ‘Parksie’ was beaten all-ends-up, but a Rangers defender was behind him and somehow cleared off the line for a corner. In the end, Rangers ran out of time to conjure the goal that would have seen them retain the the title. The final whistle signalled the end of the game, the end of the season and the end of Rob’s Rangers’ rein as Champions.
On any other day, this would have been a great result for Rangers, halting Leeds run of ten wins from their previous ten matches. Al’s Leeds United, in their first season, are the new Champions and worthy winners of the league title. The trophy was presented and the on-pitch celebrations began. Leeds clinched top-spot by just one point and only two goals separated the sides, should things have come down to goal difference. In the words of one commentator, “So tight ! I can’t believe how tight they are !” ( A little joke from me and Al’s ‘Guess’ heyday there ! )
Both teams have gone the whole league season undefeated ‘away’ this season. Indeed, QPR have not been beaten in an ‘away’ league match in the three years that the league has been running.Leeds are still very much on course for the ‘double’, as the cup final against Alan’s Chelsea, last year’s finalists, looms large on the horizon. The two Als go head to head on Wednesday 25th March, 8pm kickoff.
Top scorers … Leeds : No.8 : 11 lg + 0 cup (to date) / No.10 : 9 lg + 1 cup (to date) QPR : No. 9 (Sir Les) : 8 lg + 2 cup / No.10 (Stan) :10 lg + 1 cup Chelsea : No.10 : 9 lg + 1 cup (to date)
Wednesday 4th March
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 2||Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1|
|No.10 : 20′
No.7 : 23′
|No.6 : 8′|
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 2||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
No.10 : 31′
|Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 5|
|No.10 : 7′||No.6 : 2′ 10′
No.8 : 16′ 27′ (Pen)
No.7 : 21′
Match Reports – Leeds march on as Rangers stutter!
QPR 2 Brentford 1 : Rangers nearly scored with a couple of early attempts but were denied by great saves. However, this was not the beginning of a QPR dominated first half. Instead, it was a below-par performance, with Brentford looking the more tidy team, although neither side created very much. That was until Brentford took the lead on 8 minutes, with their first real chance. No.6 opened the scoring and they nearly made it two soon after but the shot went just wide. Rangers went in at the break, trailing 0-1 in this must-win game. They were slow out of the blocks after the interval, but started to assume control as the half progressed. Then, in the 20th minute, it was ‘Stan’ to the rescue, finishing decisively after a neat move. Three minutes later, Rangers completed the turn-around. No.7 burst through the middle to tuck an accurate 20 yard shot into the corner of the net to go 2-1 up. Despite late Brentford pressure, QPR held on, breathing a sigh of relief at the final whistle.
Leeds 2 West Ham 0 : West Ham put up a good fight in the face of one-way-traffic and constant pressure from table-topping Leeds. There were some good passing moves from West Ham throughout the game, but once again, they couldn’t quite produce the all-important chances in the final third. Leeds dominated, with shots coming in thick and fast. The West Ham defence stayed firm, riding their luck, amidst near misses-a-plenty. There were great saves from the keeper, last-ditch blocks by defenders and shots against the post. A shot even hit one post before rolling along the line and hitting the other !
Somehow, Hammers got to half time still at level on 0-0. Eventually, Leeds got their reward as No.2 broke the deadlock with a goal on 23 minutes. The points were sealed as No.10 added a second in injury time. This was a commendable effort from West Ham in their last match of the season, but Leeds march on.
Brentford 1 Leeds 5 : This was probably a little more even than the scores might suggest, but Leeds are on great form and there was only one place the points were going. It took just 2 minutes for Leeds No.6 to put them in front. However, Brentford managed a 7th minute equaliser from No.10, after a disputed hand ball claim earlier in the move. This galvanised Leeds into action, and three minutes later No.6 scored again. Leeds led 2-1 at half time, but added a third, a minute after the re-start, from their No.8. No.7 made it 4-1 on 21 minutes. Brentford needlessly conceded a penalty on 27 minutes and the Leeds No.8 stepped up to tuck away the spot-kick, neatly into the keepers left hand corner. This wasn’t the way Brentford would have wanted to end their season, but for Leeds – they stay top and on course for the league title.
Wednesday 25th February
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 6|
|—||No.8 : 5′
No.9 : 16′ 33′
No.3 : 20′
No.10 : 22′
No.7 : 26′
|Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 3||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.6 : 22′
No.5 : 25′
No.8 : 30′
|No.6 : 21′|
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 2 ) 4|
|—||No.7 : 2′
No.6 : 11′
No.6 (OG) : 29′
No.11 : 31′
Match Reports – Goals and saves-a-plenty at Yiewsley !
West Ham 0 QPR 6 : Rangers nearly scored after just 20 seconds but were denied by a great save. This somewhat set the scene for the game as a whole, as QPR created many chances, forcing the keeper into some great saves. The keeper couldn’t stop the onslaught indefinitely, and West Ham trailed 0-2 at half time, with goals from ‘Gerry’ and ‘Sir Les’. There were further great saves from Hammers keeper in the second half and goals from No.3, ‘Stan’, No.7 and another from ‘Sir Les’. Stan’s 22nd minute strike was probably the pick of the goals, turning on a sixpence to finish just inside the post, from 8 yards.
Brentford 3 Newcastle 1 : Newcastle forced the Brentford keeper into save after save, in a game where the visitors could have established a firm lead. Thanks to their keeper, Brentford reached half time grateful for the 0-0 scoreline. The second half continued in much the same vane with Newcastle again being denied by the keeper. That changed after 21 minutes when No.6 gave Newcastle a well deserved lead. However, this only seemed to wake up Brentford. They came storming back and equalised just a minute later with their first shot of the game. Then, No.5 got through on 25 minutes to give Brentford the lead with only their second shot of the match. With Newcastle now chasing the game, Brentford took advantage and wrapped up the points on 30 minutes as No.8 struck.
West Ham 0 Newcastle 4 : West Ham started on the front foot, pushing forward and going on the attack. They nearly had their reward, hitting a great 20 yard shot into the corner of the net. But, it was disallowed for a foul ! It would have been a welcome equaliser for West Ham, as Newcastle were a goal up at this stage, having opened the scoring after 2 minutes, from No.7. No.6 netted on 11 minutes to make it 2-0 at half time. In the second half, West Ham’s change of tactics became evident, going into damage limitation mode, with all their players back in their own half. A wicked deflection off West Ham’s No.6, 12 yards out, gave Newcastle a 3-0 lead on 29 minutes. With the game in injury time, No.11 scored Newcastle’s fourth goal on 31 minutes.
With only six league matches to go, the final places in the table are now decided, except of course, 1st and 2nd. Al’s Leeds and Rob’s QPR are still in contention for this season’s league title.
Monday 23rd February
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0|
|Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1|
|(Yellow=No.7 : 10′)||No.10 : 21′|
Match Reports – Leeds hold firm to extend their lead
Newcastle 0 Everton 0 : A very tight game with not too many chances. Newcastle made most of the running and looked to have recaptured their improved form, following disappointment against QPR in their last outing. However, neither side could conjure the decisive moment and the game ended goalless.
Stuart’s report : The battle between these two mid-table teams produced a rather uneventful first half in which neither side produced a clear-cut opportunity. Everton keeper Tim Howard was brought back into the side, after being infamously substituted last week, and was delighted to keep a clean sheet. The tempo was raised in the second half, with both sides showing more adventure. Everton probably had the better chances, but woeful finishing, again let them down. The match petered out to a draw, Everton’s eighth in 15 matches. The result did neither team much good, as both were seeking a win to improve their chances of finishing higher in the table.
Everton 0 Leeds 1 : Leeds snatched three points with a professional away performance. That said, they were made to work for the win, with Everton looking the more dangerous and creating most of the scoring chances. Timmy Tourettes was back in the Everton goal but it was the Leeds keeper who kept busy, forced into some crucial saves. A shot also hit the inside of his post. Everton’s No.7 saw yellow after 10 minutes, but Leeds struck on 21 minutes when No.10 tucked a tidy shot into the corner of the net. Timmy had no chance and Leeds ran off with the points.
Stuart’s report : Everton finished their league campaign with a disappointing home defeat to high-flying, table-topping, cup finalists, Leeds Utd. The home side probably just edged the first half, in a very close contest. More chances came to both sides in the second half. A mixture of good saves from both keepers and poor finishing from the Everton front men, kept the game goal-less until the 21st minute. Ironically, it was poor defending from the usually very efficient Everton defence that allowed Leeds’ No. 10 in to rifle in a shot past the stranded Howard. Everton pressed in the final minutes, but the Leeds Utd defence dealt comfortably with everything thrown at them. The result means Everton have now concluded their league campaign, finishing in 4th place. For Leeds, the win means they now have a 4 point gap over 2nd placed QPR as we approach the last couple of weeks of the league season.
Wednesday 18th February
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 2||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.8 : 7′
No.10 : 22′
Match Reports – QPR stay in touch with Leeds
QPR 2 Newcastle 0 : QPR remained tightly on the leaders heels with this comfortable win over Newcastle, a much improved side this season. It was pretty much ‘one-way-traffic’ as Rangers got onto the front foot early on. With 7 minutes gone, they scored from a spell of pressure after a corner. Rangers mercurial No.10, ‘Stan’, received the ball just outside the Newcastle area and delivered a perfect angled ball to the far post for his captain, No.8 ‘Gerry’, to finish from 4 yards out.
Rangers led 1-0 nil at the break and if anything, looked even more dangerous in the second half. It was one of those games where ‘Stan’ seemed to be orchestrating Rangers every attack, carving out good chances for himself and his team mates. The Newcastle goalkeeper was forced into making several important saves, keeping the visitors in the game. The pick of these came after ‘Stan’ dribbled past 3 defenders outside the Newcastle box and hit a low, firmly struck shot, just inside the post. Somehow, the keeper kept the ball out with a fantastic fingertip save.
Rangers got their second goal on 22 minutes, again from a corner kick. The ball came over for ‘Stan’ to finish with an unstoppable header into the far corner of the net. The goalkeeper could only stand and watch as, this time, he was given no chance. Newcastle for their part, tried to catch QPR on the counter-attack but couldn’t quite carve anything out in the final third of the pitch. This 2-0 win sees QPR stay second, closely behind Leeds, but they still have some tough games to come.
Monday 16th February
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 2 ) 4||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.9 : 11′ 12′
No.5 (OG) : 18′
(Yellow=No.7 : 27′)
No.10 : 28′
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 1||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.9 : 16′||(Yellow=No.7 : 7′)
(Yellow=No.2 : 30′)
|Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 2|
|No.8 : 6′
(Red=No.4 : 27′)
|No.7 : 26′
No.8 : 29′
Match Reports – Chelsea, on song, make West Ham jump through hoops
Chelsea 4 West Ham 0 : West Ham took to the field in their new classic away kit – the all sky blue strip with two claret hoops across the chest. Lovely paintwork, with nice clear numbers and those two nice, neat claret hoops ! Chelsea arrived fresh from a day at ‘Shabby Road Studios’ where they recorded their cup final song. What on earth it’s called and how it goes can be the product of your own imaginations. Suffice it to say, what you’re currently reading is far lower on the ‘drivel’ richter scale than Chelsea’s awful crooning ! Anyway, back to the action on the pitch. West Ham seemed fairly comfortable early on, but two goals in the space of a minute mid-way through the first half, saw Chelsea assume control of the game. No.9’s two strikes, after 11 and 12 minutes, saw Chelsea lead 2-0 at half time. Three minutes into the second half West Ham’s No.5 found the back of his own net with a back pass, going in just inside the post from 30 yards out. As if this wasn’t bizarre enough, the Chelsea forward who got a touch on the ball as the defender played the ball back, tried to claim the goal for himself – Laughable ! After a bad challenge on 27 minutes, the Chelsea No.7 saw yellow. A minute later, it was No.10 who saw the back of the Hammers’ net, and found it with a 28th minute strike, to see Chelsea run out 4-0 winners. So, still work to do for West Ham, but they can look forward to playing in their new home strip at Yiewsley Stadium next week when they take on QPR. For Chelsea -Well, the less said about their football songs, the better !
Chelsea 1 Brentford 0 : Brentford proved to be stubborn opponents, with a dogged display which earned two yellow cards for over-enthusiastic challenges. No.7 went into the book after 7 minutes and No.8 followed on 30 minutes. In the first half, Brentford dominated the possession and created some chances but couldn’t make their advantage count. It was Chelsea who scored with their first real chance of the game against the run of play, in injury time at the end of the half. No.9 burst through to score his 9th goal of the season, to go top of the goal-scorers in league and cup. It was a fine finish from 20 yards, wide on the left, on 16 minutes. Chelsea had more of the game in the second half but couldn’t add to their score. Nevertheless, they’re still in with a chance of the league title, albeit only mathematically.
Brentford 1 Everton 2 : Brentford followed on from their previous game with another solid performance but this time they took a 6th minute lead into the interval. No.8 scored with a tidy finish, passed accurately into the corner of the net. However, it was Everton keeper, Timmy Tourettes, who was again the centre of attention when manager Stuart Surridge substituted him at half time. A little harsh, perhaps !
In the second half, Everton pressure caused some problems for the Brentford defence as a defender hit his own post with a back pass. Then came the turn-around as Everton staged a late show to take all three points in dramatic fashion. No.7 equalised on 26 minutes and three minutes later, No.8 snatched the points with a winner on 29 minutes.
After the evening’s games, the ground staff were soon on the pitch to do important maintenance. With 51 league matches played to date, and the season nearing its end, the pitch has been getting extra expert attention from Andy Lee Ground Services. As the man himself would probably say, “It beats forking cricket squares”.
Wednesday 11th February – Cup & League Fixtures
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 2||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.7 : 9′
No.10 : 11′
|No.9 : 17′|
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 1||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.11 : 30′||—|
|Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0|
|—||(Yellow=No.4 : 18′)|
Match Reports – Holders QPR bow out of the Cup
Leeds Utd 2 QPR 1 : QPR crashed out of the Cup as Leeds stay on course for a League and Cup double. Two goals, during an early spell of Leeds pressure, saw No.7 open the scoring after 9 minutes and No.10 adding a second on 11 minutes. This was after an earlier chance had hit the post ; the ball running along the line and ‘Parksie’ clearing the danger. However, it was Parksie’s uncharacteristic error, parrying a shot which then spun off behind him into the net which, contributed to the first goal. The second goal gave the QPR keeper no chance as Leeds assumed control of the tie.
The holders had a couple of chances but found the Leeds keeper in good form. Leeds ended the half with a well deserved two goal advantage. Rs came out in the second half and quickly pulled the score back to 2-1. No.9, ’Sir Les’, hit an accurate 25 yard shot into the corner of the net on 17 minutes. Rangers pulled a good save out of the keeper and had spells of pressure but couldn’t get the all-important goal to take the game to extra time.
As the “sacked in morning” chants rang out, last year’s double winners bowed out of the competition as Leeds booked their place at ‘Wemerbley’ in their first season. But who would they play ? …
Chelsea 1 Everton 0 : These two closely matched sides met to see who would take on Leeds in the final. Everton’s team news prior to kick-off, was that Goalkeeper Timmy Tourettes, now fit after his recent injury, was not selected. But his stand-in played well, pulling off several quality saves throughout the game. At the other end, Everton looked threatening, keeping the Chelsea defence on their toes. The game looked to be heading towards extra time when Chelsea struck ; the tie just going into time added on. No.11 got the crucial goal on 30 minutes to book Chelsea’s second consecutive ‘Wemerbley’ final. Chelsea manager, Alan Arnold said afterwards, “We’ll be spending a day at ‘Shabby Road Studios’ to record our new cup final song”… ( Oh No ! )
Chelsea 0 Everton 0 : It was back to Premier League action as these two teams faced each other once again. It was a tight game with neither side rarely looking like winning it. The teams did indeed end up with a point-a-piece. Chelsea’s No.4 picked up a yellow card on 18 minutes for a poor challenge and it could have turned out even worse, as the dissent and remarks to the referee continued.
The current top scorers in League and Cup (all with 8 goals each) are : QPR No. 9 (Sir Les) / QPR No.10 (Stan) / Chelsea No. 10 / Leeds No. 8 / Leeds No. 10.
Wednesday 4th February – Virus wipes out this week’s league programme
Another batch of matches bit the dust this week, as Ebola or something or other, wreaked havoc. This follows last week’s postponements, leaving disruption and fixture congestion in the Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League. The latest postponed matches will be re-scheduled soon whenever the ‘powers that be’ ( such as Graham ‘Game for a laugh’ Kelly and the one and only Sep Back-Hander, can be bothered !
The only Subbuteo played in the last couple of weeks was the 5-a-side variety. QPR went on a mid-season tour of Solihull ten days ago, taking on Solihull Moors in a 3 match 5-a-side. In the first game, it was Solihull Moors who took the lead with great first half finish, only to be pegged back by a late equaliser to earn QPR a 1-1 draw. In the second game, the home side couldn’t contain ‘Stan’ as he scored two goals, one either side of half-time. QPR won 2-0. Game three saw a late winner for QPR, running out 1-0 winners.
Transfer deadline day saw some late activity from West Ham who signed two whole squads-worth of players, just in time to beat the transfer deadline ! Chairman and Manager, Rock star, guitarist and song-writer, Johnny UnKempt, signed 26 players, in an attempt to improve on this season’s disappointing run of results. Following the acquisition of the new players, confidence was running high. As the news broke of the postponements, John said,“ I was all keyed up!”
… Breaking News … Harry Hill has been taken on, with immediate effect, as part of the coaching staff at West Ham, alongside Johnny UnKempt. In an interview just after his appointment, he said, “Can this new squad get West Ham off the bottom of the league ? Well, I like the ones in claret shirts, and I like the ones in light blue shirts. But which are better ? There’s only one way to find out … F – I – G – H – T ! ! Oh dear – it doesn’t bode well, does it ! ?
Monday 19th January
|Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 4|
|—||No.6 (OG) : 10′
No.8 : 15′
No.6 : 20′
No.10 : 22′
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 3||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 2|
|No.8 : 9′
No.10 : 13′
No.11 : 21′
(Red=No.8 : 24′)
|No.11 : 20′
No.8 : 26′
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 4||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.11 : 1′
No.9 : 8′
No.8 : 17′
No.4 : 21′
|No.7 : 27′|
Match Reports – Leeds gather momentum in their title bid !
Brentford 0 Leeds Utd 4 : Leeds continued their impressive run, brushing aside the challenge of a struggling Brentford side. Leeds edged in front with a ten minute own goal, deflected in off the Brentford No.6. On the stroke of half time, Leeds No. 8 scored to make it 2-0. The momentum continued to gather pace as the Leeds No.6 netted on 20 minutes. Two minutes later, the fourth goal hit the back of the net, courtesy of the Leeds No.10. It could have been even worse for Brentford, especially as Leeds also missed a penalty; the kick hitting the foot of the post.
QPR 3 Everton 2 : ( by Stuart Surridge, Evening Standoff )
With QPR four points behind league leaders Leeds Utd going into this game, it was a must win match for Rob Kemmenoe’s all-conquering side.
Everton started well enough, producing some good chances, but as seen so often throughout the season, lacked clinical finishing in front of goal. The errors of their ways were hammered home after 9 minutes when QPR’s No. 8, drilled home a 25 yard effort past the hapless Everton stand-in keeper, playing in place of the injured Timmy Tourettes. Four minutes later, the advantage was doubled when ‘Stan’, QPR’s mercurial No. 10, slotted an inch perfect shot into the far corner from an acute angle, following a free kick. The 2-0 deficit was reduced on 20 minutes, when Everton’s No.11 managed to create a space in the QPR defence to bang home a good left foot shot. This only seemed to fire up the QPR side, who hit back immediately when their own No. 11 got on the scoresheet to regain a two goal advantage over their visitors. QPR looked threatening and rampant at this stage. But an awful, over-the-top challenge from ‘Gerry’, their No. 8 and captain, on an Everton defender in the 24th minute, saw the referee immediately brandish the red card. This seemed to inspire the Everton team who drove forward in search of a much-needed goal against their 10-man opponents. It took just 2 minutes to capitalise on the advantage when Everton’s No. 8 produced a scorching drive from 30 yards into the top left hand corner of the Rangers net. It was not enough, however, as QPR kept their cool in the final minutes, to secure their second win over Everton this season, and keep the pressure on Leeds Utd.
All about the number eight… ( by Alan Cutler, The Settee Times )
30 minutes of thoroughly entertaining fayre was served up by these two teams in a game that had pretty much everything. QPR got on the front foot straight away with a couple of early chances as they looked to get amongst the Everton defence. The early Rangers attacking was rewarded in the 9th minute with a good finish from No 8 Gerry Francis. Four minutes later the lead was doubled as Everton conceded a free kick in a dangerous position. With a well executed move straight from the training ground Stan chipped the ball over the Everton keeper and into the net.
The teams changed ends with QPR two goals to the good but Everton halved the deficit in the 20th when No11 hit a rising shot into the Rangers net. Any thoughts of an Everton comeback were dispelled when Rangers struck again within a minute of the restart when No11 scored with a superb cross shot. The action didn’t finish there as Rangers No8 ‘Gerry’ saw red as he attempted a shot from distance but instead took out an Everton defender in a scene reminiscent of Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. Everton now with the numerical advantage pushed forward and within two minutes their No8 flashed the ball high into the Rangers net from wide on the right. Watching Chelsea Manager Alan Arnold chirped “that’s what you can do with a No8 on the pitch.” Confusion reigned following the goal as Rangers Manager Rob Kemmenoe claimed “man down” as the teams lined up for the restart, the crowd were quick to offer a reminder that Gerry was in the stands (on the mantelpiece). His fate now lies with the Riff Raff disciplinary committee as to his availability for the forthcoming Cup semi final.
Leeds Utd 4 Chelsea 1 : Leeds scored one of the quickest goals of the season as No.11 scored with an angled shot into the far corner, in the first minute of the game. This set Leeds on their way to another emphatic win. No.9 made it 2-0 after 8 minutes. Early in the second half, No.8 added a third on 17 minutes with No.4 scoring a fourth after 21 minutes. At this point, Chelsea probably sensed that there was no way back for them so embarked on a spell of keep-ball. After a Barcelona-esque spell of tippy-tappy football, Chelsea’s No.7 found himself in a prime goal-scoring position 25 yards out. His shot powered into the back of the net for the consolation goal of the season. Chelsea manager, Alan Arnold, said afterwards, “4 lucky Leeds Goals to one total football goal of Chelsea” The question is, where did the points end up ?
Tuesday 13th January
|Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0||Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 3|
|(Yellow=No.9 : 26′)||No.9 : 10′ 26′
No.8 : 14′
|Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 2||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.2 : 6′
No.9 : 23′
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 5||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.10 : 13′ 23′ 26′ 28′
No.8 : 22′
|No.7 : 18′|
Match Reports – Leeds blast their way to the top
Leeds blast their way to the top of the table with a win over Brentford while Everton continue their current run of good form.
Brentford 0 Everton 3 : Everton continued with their good form, with this comfortable win over Brentford. The Everton players even had time to hang around on the side netting on two occasions, following near misses. Ten minutes in, Everton went in front with a goal from No.9. Then, just before half time, it was 2-0, with a goal from No.8, scoring with an exquisite chip over the keeper from close range. The game was wrapped up on 26 minutes after Brentford had conceded a free kick with a foul. The offence earned the No.9 a yellow card. A good move from the resulting free kick saw No.9 hit his second, and Everton’s third, to secure another three points.
Everton 2 West Ham 0 : This game may be remembered for all the wrong reasons with home fans trashing the fence surround. The matter was reported immediately to His Worship, Sep Back-Hander, Dictator-In-Chief of FIFA. He responded, shrieking “Eeenglish Peeegs !” A few bars of ‘Deliverance’ wafted over the proceedings in response to this outburst, as West Ham’s rock star owner and manager, Johnny UnKempt, picked up a nearby guitar ( plenty of ‘em lying around at Rob’s ! ) and played the music from a famous scene from the film ! That’s the rumour anyway ! But, there was some good flicking going on too ! So, after a couple of minutes to sort out the fencing again, it was back to the flicking action… The opening goal came after 6 minutes as No.2 stole in to score with an emphatic finish. No.9 sealed the points, netting on 23 minutes. West Ham played their part in this game, fresh from last week’s opening of their Yiewsley Stadium, in which they quickly looked at home and should see them start to improve their results. However, Everton had a bit too much in their locker, but they now await Sep-Back Hander’s judgement on how much Stuart owes him in fines. ( A request for Bank details will follow soon, no doubt !! ).
Leeds Utd 5 Brentford 1 : Leeds stormed to the top of the table with a second half demolition of Brentford, who had shown some promise with a sterling first half performance. It was Leeds No.10 who did the damage though, smashing in four goals, with some clinical finishing. The first came after 13 minutes with half time on the horizon. Three minutes into the second half, Brentford got some reward, for what had been a good performance up until then. Their goal, from No.7 on 18 minutes, only served to stir their opponents into opening the floodgates as Leeds took control. They proceeded to blast in four goals in a six minute spell ! No.8 made it 2-1 on 22 minutes with No.10 hitting three more on 23, 26 and 28 minutes to emphatically claim their place at the top of the table.
On a sad note, a match ball was lost last night and, without resorting to major demolition work to find it, would seem to be lost for ever. The ball has been a good servant to the league over the past three seasons and for many years before that. It will be sadly missed but will always be with us in spirit … and in the bottom of the bookcase !
Wednesday 7 January – Cup & League Fixtures at Yiewsley Stadium
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 3|
|( Yellow=No.5 : 4′ )||No.9 : 10′
No.10 : 13′
No.3 (OG) : 24′
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 2||Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 3|
|No.10 : 25′
No.4 : 30′
|( Yellow=No.6 : 3′ )
( Yellow=No.2 : 18′ )
No.11 : 11′
No.6 : 28′
No.3 : 29′
Match Reports – West Ham kick-off at Yiewsley
Two matches were played at The Yiewsley Stadium last night, the first to take place at the new venue, owned by Riff Raff rock star, Johnny UnKempt. The first game was in the Cup and the second was a league game, although you might have thought it was the other way round, as it was the league game which turned out to have the most drama !
West Ham 0 QPR 3 ( Cup ) : QPR eased into the semi-finals of the cup with a comfortable win over West Ham, who were making their debut at their new ground. It was pretty much one way traffic from the visitors though. West Ham’s No.5 saw yellow for a poor challenge after 4 minutes before QPR’s opening goal. It came on 10 minutes with No.9, ‘Sir Les’, breaking the deadlock. Three minutes later, No.10, ‘Stan’, found the back of the net to see QPR 2-0 up at half-time. QPR made a substitution at the interval, bringing on No.12 in place of No.4 in midfield. Rangers continued to control the game and sealed the tie with a goal on 24 minutes. The unlucky West Ham No.3 was debited with an own goal, having deflected a 20 yard shot into the corner of the net which the keeper may have saved, but for the deflection. West Ham finally threatened QPR in the dying seconds of the game. They created three chances in a last minute scramble in the QPR area but couldn’t find a way past ‘Parksie’. QPR will play Leeds in the semi-final.
West Ham 2 Brentford 3 ( League ) : This game ‘exploded’ in the last few minutes. However, the early exchanges were fairly evenly contested with both sides playing well and creating chances here and there. Brentford had two players booked early on. No.6 saw yellow after 3 minutes followed by No.2 on 8 minutes, both for bad fouls. With 11 minutes gone, No.11 gave Brentford the lead which they held at the interval. In the second half, West Ham seemed to go up a gear as Brentford looked to be creaking under the pressure. They had several chances before No.10 hit the equaliser on 25 minutes, sparking a dramatic finale. Three minutes later, Brentford broke away to regain the lead from No.6 on 28 minutes. This became 3-1 a minute later as No.3 netted on 29 minutes which looked to have clinched the game. West Ham had other ideas as they went straight back up the other end to make the score 3-2 on 30 minutes. Deep into injury time, West Ham launched one last attack, hitting the foot of the post, only for the Brentford defence to inexplicably handle, and thereby concede a penalty in the dying seconds. This was West Ham’s chance to snatch a precious point. All time had elapsed as the penalty taker stepped up and, also inexplicably, scuffed his kick so badly, the ball didn’t even reach the 6 yard line. This capped a truly bizarre finish to a game which West Ham, on the balance of play and chances created, should really have won. Absolutely unbelievable stuff ! !
Monday 5th January – Cup Matches – Round 1 (Quarter Finals)
|Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 4||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.3 : 11′
No.9 : 14′
No.4 : 25′
No.8 : 30′
|No.7 : 22′|
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 1||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 2|
|No.9 : 30′||No.9 : 21′
No.11 : 29′
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 2||Tottenham (Kev) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.10 : 19′
No.11 : 31′
This season’s cup got underway without any shocks. None of the ties went to extra time.
Everton 4 Brentford 1 : Everton eased past a new look Brentford team with this 4-1 win. Brentford manager, Paul Cornford had earlier wielded the axe, sacking his old team and replacing them with a new look squad. Unfortunately, on this showing at least, the results appear to be pretty much the same. That said, they did have some good moments. However, Everton lead 2-0 at half time with goals from No.3 and No.9 on 11 and 14 minutes respectively. Brentford pulled a goal back on 22 minutes with a goal from No.7 but Everton restored their two goal advantage on 25 minutes when No.5 struck. The tie was wrapped up in time added on, with a goal from No.8.
Newcastle 1 Leeds Utd 2 : Newcastle started well and had a good first half, dominating much of the play and creating the ‘lions share’ of the chances and could have been in the lead by half time. After the break, Leeds got more into the game and took the lead after 21 minutes from No9. No.11 made it 2-0 to clinch the tie after 29 minutes. Newcastle pulled a goal back in injury time, with a good finish from their No.9 ’Shearer’, but Leeds held on to go through.
Chelsea 2 Spurs 0 : This tie saw the welcome return to flicking action, of Kev Tuck and his Spurs side. Kev looked like he’s been keeping his squad fit though. Spurs produced a good overall performance with some good touches and, on the whole, they defended well too. But they could probably have done with a little more creativity up front, especially after Chelsea’s No.9 snatched the lead after 19 minutes. With the game in added on time Chelsea’s No.11 made it 2-0, to cap a ‘very professional’ performance and see Chelsea through to the next round.
All eyes will now be on Wednesday night’s tie at The Yiewsley Stadium, as Johnny UnKempt’s West Ham take on Rob Kemmenoe’s QPR, in the remaining first round tie.
At the end of the evening, the draw was made for the next round… The Semi Finals :
Leeds Utd v West Ham or QPR / Everton v Chelsea – Date(s) TBA.
Tuesday 30th December
|Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 1||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 2|
|No.9 : 25′||No.11 : 26′
No.5 : 28′
|Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0|
|—||( Yellow=No.8 : 8′ )|
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1|
|—||No.10 : 21′|
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 3|
|—||No.8 : 4′ 18′ 30′|
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1|
|—||No.9 : 22′|
Match Reports – Leeds win puts QPR under pressure
Everton 1 QPR 2 : This was a close encounter which really burst into life in the last five minutes. Everton took the lead on 25 minutes from a corner. A millimetre perfect kick presented a great scoring opportunity and the No.9 made sure with a rising shot from 15 yards. Rangers hit back with an equaliser a minute later from No.11 and No.5 snatched a dramatic winner on 28 minutes.
Everton 0 Newcastle 0 : Another close game with a limited number of goal attempts. There were a couple of saves from Everton keeper, Timmy Tourettes, despite carrying an injury ! Newcastle’s No.8 saw yellow after 8 minutes but the score sheet stayed blank !
Newcastle 0 QPR 1 : Newcastle had their moments in this game with some tidy passing and good defending. QPR had the better scoring chances, most of them falling to ‘Stan’. Uncharacteristically, he kept missing the target, until the 21st minute. He finally found the net, with an accurate shot into the far corner, from the edge of the area, to claim the points.
QPR 0 Leeds Utd 3 : A bit of a shock result, this one ! Leeds took all three points with a hat-trick from their No.8. The first goal came after 4 minutes. ‘Parksie’ cleared up-field, from just outside the QPR box, conceding possession on the half-way line. The Leeds midfield and attack still had some work to do before finishing into an empty net. Rangers had their chances after that with a flurry which saw a shot flash across the goal and go just wide. This was followed by a looping shot which scraped the inside of the post as the keeper stopped the ball spinning in. But Leeds took advantage in the 2nd half, as QPR chased the game, with goals on 18 and 30 minutes, to chalk up an emphatic win. Leeds stay on QPRs heels at the top of the table.
Newcastle 0 Leeds 1 : A close game in which Newcastle displayed their continued improvement while Leeds looked to close the gap at the top of the table. Newcastle hit the inside of the foot of the post but the keeper stopped the ball crossing the line. Leeds eventually snatched the all-important points when No.9 hit a 20 yard shot on 22 minutes.
Monday 22nd December
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0|
|Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 0|
|( Yellow=No.2 : 9′ )||—|
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 1 ) 1||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.9 : 3′||—|
Match Reports – Scrooge 1 Santa 0
It may have been the season of goodwill, but there was little generosity shown from the defences in these three matches. Scrooge definitely triumphed over any Santa-esque spirit of Christmas, with only one goal scored all night ! This was in stark contrast to the previous five games which produced a total of 20 goals.
Chelsea 0 Everton 0 : Everton returned to action after their injury crisis to take on a Chelsea side with one eye on top spot. One point would be enough to send them to the top-of-the-table and they got it with this rather disappointing 0-0 draw. There were few chances as both defences came out on top with their scrooge-like approach. One or two questionable challenges raised the level of the crowd’s excitement but only one card was shown. Everton’s No.2 saw yellow after 9 minutes with a high challenge which could have earned red. Shortly afterwards, the Everton No.3 escaped a card with a similar challenge.
Everton 0 Leeds Utd 0 : Another disappointing encounter as the toffees adopted a ‘Bah Humbug’ approach against an attacking Leeds side. Scrooge came out on top with little to get excited about, except perhaps, for a couple of regulation saves from Everton keeper, Timmy Tourettes !
Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 : This game had its moments despite periods where both sides seemed to cancel each other out. Newcastle got the early goal. With three minutes on the clock, ’Shearer’, Newcastle’s No.9, burst through to hammer a shot into the corner of the net. Chelsea hit back, producing five frenzied goal attempts, following a corner. Somehow, Newcastle survived the onslaught. Newcastle had the chance to go two-up with a second half penalty, courtesy of a ‘Chopper’ hand-ball in the area. The kick was hit straight down the middle but the Chelsea keeper saved with his feet. Chelsea produced a great chance to level the score late on, with a direct free kick which crashed against the bar. Newcastle took all three points to improve their position, but Chelsea will be disappointed with this dent in their-top-of-the-league challenge.
Monday 15th December
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 1 ) 2|
|—||No.4 (OG) : 8′
No.11 : 30′
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 4||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.9 : 4′
No.7 : 11′
No.10 : 25′
No.11 : 28′
|( Yellow=No.8 : 28′ )|
Match Reports – Leeds eye top spot, Newcastle maintain mid-table, West Ham look to the cup!
Johnny UnKempt and his West Ham team faced a tough evening. Despite having their trademark moments of neat passing, Hammers were once again unable to get on the score sheet or add any much needed points.
West Ham 0 Newcastle 2 : It was Newcastle who took the lead. A ball crossed into the penalty area was deflected in by the West Ham No.4, for an eighth minute own goal.
Newcastle wrapped up a comfortable win as the game headed into added-on time. They made it 2-0 as No.11 netted with 30 minutes on the clock, chalking up three useful points.
Leeds Utd 4 West Ham 0 : Leeds went in front with a goal from No.9 after 4 minutes and made it 2-0 when No.7 netted on 11 minutes. Two second half goals made the final score 4-0, with goals from No.10 and No.11, after 25 minutes and 28 minutes respectively.
Leeds created other chances as they applied pressure on the Hammers defence. The ball ended up in in ‘Row Z’ on a few occasions as the ball flicked off defenders making some desperate, but effective, last-ditch tackles.
A second-half incident had Everton manager Stuart Surridge, watching from the stand ( settee ), baying for the red card, as a West Ham defender snuffed out a Leeds attack with a blatant hand-ball as the Leeds forward seemed to be clear through on goal. The offence was still forty yards from goal which was the only thing that saved the West ham player from seeing red.
However, No.8 was eventually shown a yellow card in the 26th minute for a combination of a bad challenge and bending the ref’s ear once too often. The ‘sacked in the morning chants’ rang out, not from the Leeds contingent, but from the ref getting his own back !
So Johnny UnKempt can look forward to the cup in the new year, and the prospect of causing a potential giant-killing at his Yiewsley Stadium. Meanwhile, Leeds are in touching distance of top spot, three points behind leaders QPR, with a game in hand.
Tuesday 9th December
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 3 ) 4||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.10 : 1′ (Pen)
No.7 : 11′ 16′
No.9 : 17′
|Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 2||Chelsea (Alan) ( 3 ) 5|
|No.9 : 4′ 25′||No.9 : 9′
No.10 : 11′ 15′ 17′ 28′
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 3 ) 3||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.17 : 6′
No.10 : 11′
No.9 : 13
Match Reports – Goals galore in a pre-Christmas Goalfest !
There were goals-a-plenty in these three games. Sadly for Brentford, it was they who found themselves on the end of most of them. Brentford probably performed better than their scores would suggest, but they came up against two on-form teams, with Chelsea in particular, firing on all cylinders!
QPR 4 Brentford 0 : Brentford were always going to find it tough against the reigning champions, so conceding a penalty less than a minute into the game, was far from an ideal start. ‘Stan’ put the ball to the keeper’s right, giving him little chance. No.7 added another after 11 minutes and the same player gave QPR a comfortable 3-0 lead, with a goal in added-on time, at the end of the half. QPR manager, Rob Kemmenoe had decided to select ’Greenie’ to play in goal in this game, giving his beloved ‘Parksie’ a well earned rest, not that he would have been over-worked ! The QPR keeper was only called upon to make one save, guiding a near post shot out for a corner. QPR added a fourth goal with an accurate finish by their No.9, ‘Sir Les’!
Brentford 2 Chelsea 5 : These two teams served up a seven goal thriller in the highest scoring game since the league began. The Chelsea No.10 was unstoppable, hitting four goals to help his side to a storming 5-2 win. It was Brentford though, who went in front after 4 minutes, as their No.9 scored with a good finish. Chelsea equalised with 9 minutes gone with a goal from their No.9. Two minutes later, Chelsea had turned the game around with the first of No.10’s four goals. He scored two more, either side of half-time, to see Chelsea take a 4-1 lead. Brentford weren’t prepared to give up, and continued to have their moments in this match. They gave themselves a chance of getting back into the game, hitting a second goal with 25 minutes gone. But Chelsea’s No.10 had the final say, scoring his fourth goal of the game and Chelsea’s fifth on 28 minutes. So, this rip-roaring game sees Chelsea take three valuable points with this highly entertaining 5-2 win.
After the game, the Chelsea Manager, Alan Arnold, asked Brentford boss, Paul Cornford,
“Would you rather lose a game 5-2 or 3-0 ?” In the end, there proved to be no choice, as this 5-2 defeat was followed up in the next game, with a 3-0 defeat!!
Chelsea 3 Brentford 0 : Chelsea’s No.17 ( damn squad numbers ! ) opened the scoring after 6 minutes, followed by an 11th minute goal by No.10, the leagues top scorer. Chelsea lead 3-0 at half time with No.9 netting after 13 minutes. There was no further score in the second half. For Chelsea, this win keeps them well in the pack at the top of the table. With their No.10 striker, hitting great form ( he’s now the league’s top scorer with 7 goals ), Chelsea are still well in the running. As for Brentford, their run of bad results continues, despite having some good periods in these games ; enough to give them hope of results improving in coming matches.
Wednesday 3rd December – Friendly
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 3 ) 4||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 1|
An in season friendly tonight ended with West Ham trouncing Brentford 4-1. The Hammers took an early lead and went on to push 2 more past the keeper before the end of the first half. Brentford came out fighting in the second half pulling one goal back before West Ham nailed a 4th to secure the win. The Brentford manager complained bitterly about the state of the pitch “like playing on the Somme after heavy shelling”. It definitely seemed to favour the West Ham players but fair play their finishing was first class with one goal being lifted over the Brentford goalie on the line.
Johnny UnKempt, West Ham’s victorious manager, said afterwards,
“Put it down to a very fast playing surface and the Vimy Ridge in the middle of it, which made passing an unpredictable feat for both sides. I think I got the luck!”
And on the possibility of staging home games soon, he added, “We can certainly have some games at the Yiewsley stadium once the heating’s fixed.” He’s got under-soil heating too ? ?
Quite remarkable !
Monday 1st December
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 1||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.11 : 10′||—|
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 1 ) 1|
|No.10 : 28′||No.6 : 15′|
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1|
|—||No.6 : 25′|
Match Reports – Three tough games keep up the pressure at the top !
Three fairly close encounters were played out amidst a minor crowd disturbance, brief floodlight failure and an unorthodox penalty. The referee also had words a few times throughout the evening, following a number of robust challenges, but no cards were shown.
Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0 : The game started with both sides on the attack, end to end, with each creating scoring opportunities – both sides hit the post in the opening four minutes. After these early exchanges, the game levelled out into a much closer, tighter encounter. It was Chelsea who took the lead after 10 minutes with No.11 applying the all-important finish. Newcastle couldn’t find an equaliser despite some promising play so it was Chelsea who snatched the three points to keep up the pressure at the top of the table.
Leeds 1 Newcastle 1 : Leeds should really have wrapped things up in the first half, having created a number of good chances, all of which finished wide of the target. Having weathered the storm, Newcastle, as in the previous game, settled into the match to put together a 2nd half performance which made for a close half, with not much between the two teams. It was Newcastle who snatched the lead on the stroke of half time with a goal tucked away by No.6. It was a neat shot, passed into the corner of the net from 20 yards. With time beginning to run out at the end of the game, Leeds eventually mustered an equaliser with a break through the middle and a great strike by No. 10, hit high into the net from outside the box. Newcastle just had to hold on, for the two minutes plus added on time which remained. Leeds looked menacing in this period but Newcastle managed to keep the Leeds attack at arms length for a share of the spoils.
Chelsea 0 Leeds 1 : Sep Back-Hander is once again trying to make himself a few quid in fines, following the fence surround being partially trashed during this game. The finger is being pointed at Leeds fans for this incident while Chelsea are to be fined for the floodlight failure at this, their home game. Chelsea manager, Alan Arnold, is in turn, putting the blame firmly at the door of Newcastle manager, Joel Ogden, who leant against the light switch during the game. However, the game itself hinged on a 25th minute goal from the Leeds No.6, to edge his side in front. This turned out to be the winning goal but the result could have been different. Just after the Leeds goal, Chelsea were awarded a penalty after the ball deflected off the keeper and onto the ‘kickie’ keeper. The two keepers made contact with the ball in the same move…Penalty! (That’s what it says in the rules – Honest !!) The kick was aimed to the keepers left, but the ball hit the foot of the post and spun out for a goal kick. Leeds held on to claim 3 points, which means things are still very close at the top of the table.
Wednesday 25th November
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 1||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 4|
|No.3 : 9′||( Yellow=No.10 : 10′ )
No.10 : 17′
No.2 : 19′
( Yellow=No.9 : 20′)
No.9 : 23′ 27′
Match Report – QPR come from behind to end Leeds’ unbeaten run
Leeds Utd 1 QPR 4 : It had been raining nearly all day leading up to this game and indeed, it was still raining at kick off. But no one could dampen the mood in this mouthwatering meeting of these two sides, both currently going well in this season’s Riff Raff Premier League.
It was QPR who got straight onto the front foot, forcing an immediate corner from which Leeds broke down the other end to force a corner of their own. Back came Rangers to force another corner … and so it seemed to go on. It was real end to end stuff and no mistake ! Rangers nearly scored, resulting from one such corner, with a scramble in a crowded penalty area, as a series of point blank shots were blocked by players and keeper alike.
Rangers, in particular, left themselves open to the counterattack but got away with it, as a shot flashed against the post and QPR keeper ‘Parksie’ scrambled the rebound round the post for yet another corner. Rangers came close, bringing a smart save out of the Leeds keeper, down to his right, to keep the ball out of the bottom corner of the net.
Eventually, it was Leeds who made the breakthrough. A slip by the QPR No.3, presumably due to the slippy, wet surface ( indoors, in the front room ?? ), let in the Leeds No.3 who had pushed forward into the right side of the Leeds attack. He rounded the QPR defender to bury a 25 yard shot into the far corner of the net giving ‘Parksie’ no chance. Leeds, having got0 this 9th minute lead, should have gone further ahead just minutes later. This time it was the QPR No.5 who made an almost identical error in exactly the same place ( not the wet pitch again ?? ). This time though, Rangers narrowly escaped going two down as the ball missed the far post by a whisker. With QPR a goal down at half time, and lucky not to be two down, due to their moments of poor defending, manager Rob Kemmenoe read the riot act to his players. ( Please note, the subject of riots in a Leeds Utd report is purely coincidental ! ).
So, with their ears still ringing, QPR came out for the second half to set about turning the game around, having had the hairdryer treatment during the interval. They started in the same vane as the first half, on the front foot, and as so often in the past, it was ‘Stan’, Rangers mercurial No.10 who inspired his side, despite having been booked after 10 minutes for a late challenge. Two minutes into the half, ‘Stan’ equalised with an emphatic finish. Two minutes later, it was the QPR right back who dramatically put Rangers in front, bursting through to finish with a goal after 19 minutes. Rangers had quickly turned the game on its head and were now in the ascendancy, causing problems for the Leeds defence. ‘Stan’ was the main threat at this stage. His free kick hit the bar and came out. Two minutes later, his shot from the right hit the post. Rangers’ No.9, ‘Sir Les’ was booked after 20 minutes but that seemed to be the spur for a 23rd minute goal to give QPR a two goal cushion. Leeds were still in the game though. An error by ‘Parksie’ presented a chance for Leeds. The keeper’s clearance hit a defender and bounced straight to a Leeds forward but he was unable to find the angle. His shot, from the edge of the box, missed the open goal as the ball rolled just wide of the post. However, QPR secured the points with a fourth goal as ‘Sir Les’ hit his second goal of the game after 27 minutes.
With about a third of the season played, the league title is still up for grabs and Leeds, QPR, Chelsea and Everton are all still very much in the mix.
Wednesday 17th November
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 2 ) 2||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.17 : 6′
No.9 : 13′
|( Yellow=No.7 : 28′ )|
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 3|
|—||No.10 : 6′ 24′
No.11 : 18′
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 1|
|No.11 : 17′||No.11 : 21′|
Match Reports – Chelsea hold QPR to keep up the pressure at the top !
Chelsea 2 West Ham 0 : Alan’s Chelsea went into this game having previously only played three games so far, lagging behind a little with their fixtures. So a ‘double-header’ against Johnny UnKempt’s improving West Ham was an opportunity to get firmly back into the title chase. A sixth minute goal by No.17 put Chelsea into the lead. No. 9 added a second after 13 minutes to see Chelsea 2-0 up at half time. West Ham consolidated in the second half, passing neatly in midfield and creating one or two good chances. There was no further score and Chelsea claimed three points. Both teams were about to meet in the next match…
West Ham 0 Chelsea 3 : The second match of this ‘double-header’ was pretty much as expected, with West Ham again showing some neat moves. However, Chelsea comfortably took all three points once again. No.10 put Chelsea one-up at half time with a goal after 6 minutes. No.11 added to the score after 18 minutes with No.10 hitting his second and Chelsea’s third after 24 minutes. This result put Chelsea just three points behind leaders QPR, with the bonus of a game in hand.
QPR 1 Chelsea 1 : This was a close game with chances being created at both ends. Chelsea started on the front foot as they threatened with early chances. Rangers also hit back with some shots but neither side could make the breakthrough in the first half. Chelsea threatened with a number of corners and forced a couple of crucial saves out of ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal. The deadlock was broken after 17 minutes as the QPR No.11 burst into the penalty area. His fierce rising shot from the corner of the six yard box surprised everyone as the ball hit the roof of the net. Chelsea levelled after 21 minutes with a 20 yard shot into the corner of the net which ‘Parksie’ couldn’t stop. Despite near misses at either end, there was no further score as both sides ended with a share of the spoils. Chelsea manager, Alan Arnold, said afterwards, “I would have taken a point before the kick-off !” But he could easily have come away with all three points with a little luck.
The two sides have now drawn all of their last 4 games, including last season’s cup final.
Wednesday 12th November
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0||Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1|
|—||No.7 : 4′ (Pen)|
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 1||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.5 : 27′||—|
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 3||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.9 : 6′
No.11 : 21′
No.10 : 29′
Match Reports – West Ham get their first win !
Newcastle 0 Brentford 1 : This game was decided on a 4th minute penalty, conceded near the dead ball line, 10 yards from goal. It was little more than an ankle tap, but the Brentford player went down. Newcastle manager, Joel Ogden, claimed the player had dived but Brentford boss, Paul Cornford, said afterwards, “It was definitely a foul but I pushed my player over anyway, just to make sure”. The incident came from a loose ball which, arguably, the keeper should have dealt with and cleared. Nevertheless, No.7 stepped up to convert the penalty to the keeper’s right, giving him no chance. The game was end to end throughout but both sides created just half chances here and there. With no further score, it was Brentford who took all three points from this entertaining encounter.
West Ham 1 Brentford 0 : Johnny UnKempt’s West Ham took on Paul’s Brentford in dire need of points. Both sides played some great football throughout the whole game with some good moves and good passing. It was West Ham who looked the more confident as the game progressed. They came close to opening the scoring with a second half shot saved by the Brentford keeper, and followed up with further attempts as the keeper blocked close range rebounds. Then, with 27 minutes gone, they got the goal they deserved. The No.5 cut in from the right and ‘passed’ a precise ‘left foot’ shot from the edge of the area, into the far corner of the net. The crowd went wild … West Ham’s first goal of the season … and it was a real cracker ! ! Brentford pushed forward for the remaining minutes and it looked like the Hammers defence might crack in time added on. But, they held firm to cling on to the three valuable points, sending the Hammers fans home with memories of that marvellous goal.
QPR 3 West Ham 0 : With their new found confidence, following the win and much improved performance in their previous match, West Ham had every reason for optimism going into this game against QPR. And it was West Ham who made the early running, breaking through the middle of the QPR defence to force ‘Parksie’ into an early save, low down to his right, to push the ball away. But this optimism was short-lived, as Rangers quickly took control of the game and Hammers were scarcely able to mount another attack, amidst Rangers’ ‘one way traffic’. QPR created numerous chances in the first half, and really should have hit the target more often although the keeper made some fine saves and one or two shots came off the post too. QPR led at 1-0 half time with a goal from No.9 after 6 minutes. It was a similar story in the second half as QPR threatened, forcing a number of corners. From one of them, a 25 yard shot hammered back into a crowded area, looked destined for the corner of the net, but the ball hit a QPR team mate and went wide. The inevitable second goal came after 21 minutes as No. 11, set up by ‘Stan’, broke through to chip an unstoppable 20 yard shot into the top corner. Rangers’ mercurial No.10, ‘Stan’, was involved in most of QPR’s attacking play. His 20 yard shot, arrowing into the top corner of the net, just under the bar, found the Hammers’ keeper in inspired form, tipping the ball over the bar for the save of the season. ‘Stan’ said afterwards, “I would have bet on that one going in !” QPR manager, Rob Kemmenoe reacted, “He’d have lost his bet, wouldn’t he ? ! … So nothing new there !” However, ‘Stan’ got the goal he deserved after 29 minutes, hitting a low shot, placed neatly inside the post, from the edge of the box to make it three-nil and three points.
Tuesday 4th November
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 4 ) 4|
|—||No.6 : 6′
No.3 : 8′
No.7 : 11′
No.5 : 13′
|Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 1||West Ham Utd (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.4 : 5′
( Yellow=No.2 : 15′ )
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 2||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.9 : 18′
No.3 : 26′
Match Reports – Everton go top as menacing Leeds gather pace
West Ham 0 Leeds Utd 4 : Johnny UnKempt’s West Ham took on Little Al’s mighty Leeds in a game which saw a one-sided first half, leaving Hammers out of the contest by half-time. The first goal came after 6 minutes as the Leeds No.6 found the corner of the net. Leeds continued to press with the Hammers’ keeper in inspired form until his mistake after 8 minutes, fumbling No.3’s angled shot just over the line, inside the near post. No.7 added a third after 11 minutes and another good finish by No. 5 after 13 minutes sent Leeds in at half-time with an emphatic 4-0 lead. West Ham played some neat football in the second half, mostly in midfield areas, creating some half chances. Leeds were unable to add to their first half tally ; the final score, 4-0. Johnny UnKempt’s West Ham woes continue, but Little Al’s Leeds seem to be gathering momentum.
Everton 1 West Ham 0 : The Everton No.10 was seriously injured just 2 minutes into this game. An early chance on the right saw the Everton striker completely miss the ball, fly over the fence surround and land under the settee. He remained there for the remainder of the game although his base was recovered immediately. The No.12 came on to replace him but Everton seemed to miss their striker as they squandered chance after chance. The one goal that decided the game was well finished though, with No.4 netting after 5 minutes : a goal which sends Everton to the top of the table. No.10 is already back in training again thanks to the miracle of modern surgical techniques … Superglue !
Leeds Utd 2 Chelsea 0 : This was far from being the over-physical encounter that some had predicted. Indeed, it was Chelsea manager Alan Arnold’s initial “Dirty Leeds” reaction to Leeds entry into the League which fuelled the speculation in the first place. Coincidentally, during a completely unrelated conversation on ‘TalkSport’ on the morning of the game, one commentator did in fact refer to the “Dirty Leeds” of old. However, this game turned out to be very entertaining with good passing stuff played by both sides. There were few stoppages, least of all for anything untoward. With no score at half-time, there was still all to play for in the second half and it was Leeds who broke the deadlock after 18 minutes with No.9 finding the net. No.3 sealed the win for Leeds after 26 minutes to remain well placed for a title challenge, although on this performance, Chelsea aren’t out of the reckoning either.
Wednesday 29th October
|Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 1||Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.8 : 8′||—|
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0|
|—||( Yellow=No.9 : 27′ )|
|Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 2|
|—||No.7 : 4′
No.2 (OG) : 21′
Match Reports – West Ham no longer ‘Pointless’ as QPR stay top
Everton 1 Brentford 0 : The Everton No.8 struck after 8 minutes to nick the points in this tight game. Both sides had chances throughout but Everton keep up the pressure at the top of the table.
West Ham 0 Everton 0 : Johnny UnKempt’s West Ham snatched an important draw to leave them, no longer ‘Pointless’. The point doesn’t take them off the bottom of the table but they’re still only 2 points behind Brentford. Everton had the better of the chances, which were few, in this closely fought game. West Ham seemed to grow in confidence the longer the game went on, although they got a bit jittery as Everton pressurised in the last few minutes. But West Ham stood firm in the end to take their first point of the season.
Brentford 0 QPR 2 : QPR scored a goal in each half, notching up a comfortable win against Brentford, to keep ahead of the chasing pack. A cross from the right, flashed into the box after 4 minutes, and was finished off by No.7 from 8 yards. Rangers brought saves out of the Brentford keeper during the game and from one of the resulting corner kicks, they scored a second goal to seal the points. The corner was whipped into the edge of the 6 yard box where 3 QPR players were waiting, but the Brentford No.2 got there first, unwittingly steering the ball into his own net. ‘Parksie’, in the QPR goal, was forced into his only save of the match late on, keeping another clean sheet, with Rangers taking all three points.
Wednesday 22nd October
|Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 1 ) 3|
|( Yellow=No.7 : 23′ )||No.11 : 10′
No.8 : 24′
No.9 : 30′
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 2||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.8 : 20′
No.11 : 28′
( Yellow=No.5 : 30′ )
|Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 2||West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0|
|( Yellow=No.4 : 10′ )
No.10 : 14′
No.2 : 18′
( Red=No.4 : 22′ )
|( Yellow=No.3 : 23′ )|
Match Reports – Cards-a-plenty as Newcastle move up to second place
Brentford 0 Newcastle 3 : Newcastle notched up a comfortable away win against Brentford and were a goal up at half time, with a goal from No.11 after 10 minutes. The Brentford No.7 was yellow carded after 23 minutes, and from the resulting free-kick, Newcastle’s No.8 doubled their lead. With the game heading into added on time at the end of the game, Newcastle wrapped up the three points with a goal from their No.9 on 30 minutes.
Newcastle 2 West Ham 0 : Newcastle moved into second place with a win against West Ham, whose goalkeeper was back on form, making some great saves throughout the game. Johnny UnKempt’s side looked like they might nick a point at half time, going in at 0-0, but Newcastle hit two goals in the second half. One was presented by the otherwise reliable West Ham keeper, leaving an open goal, which was gratefully accepted. No.8 scored on 20 minutes and No.11 added a second on 28 minutes. There was even time for a yellow card as Newcastle’s No.5 went into the book for a bad foul on 30 minutes. Newcastle go up to second place with two wins on the spin, both with clean sheets.
Some good news for West Ham and manager, Johnny UnKempt … Having seen the bottom of the table, the BBC’s Richard Osman is showing an interest – He thinks they might be good on ‘Pointless’ !
Brentford 2 West Ham 0 : A fairly close game all told, but probably remembered more for the cards flashing about than anything else. The Brentford No.4 was the first in the book, earning a yellow card for a bad challenge after 10 mins. With half time on the horizon, Brentford nudged their way in front with a goal from No.10 after 14 minutes. In the second half, No.2 ran onto a ball on the right to make it 2-0 on 18 minutes, beating the usually reliable keeper at the near post from 20 yards. Then, after 22 minutes, the Brentford No.4 added to his earlier yellow card with a straight red, with a dangerous paint-chipping challenge in the West Ham penalty area. Brentford were now down to ten men, but West Ham looked like they were trying to even up the numbers, as their No.3 was yellow carded for a somewhat naughty 23rd minute challenge. The ten men though, held on to take the three points.So, a night of great goals, fantastic saves, red and yellow cards and another crowd disturbance. This time it was Brentford fans trashing the fence surround. Never mind the EU demanding £1.8 billion from Britain, Sep Back-Hander’s got his ‘fines’ sheet and calculator out as we speak !
Wednesday 15th October
|West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 3 ) 6|
|—||No.10 : 6′
No.9 : 10′
No.7 : 11′ 20′
No.5 : 26′
No.8 : 29′
Match Reports – QPR hit West Ham for six
West Ham 0 QPR 6 : West Ham manager Johnny UnKempt expected a tough game in this, their opening match of the season and this was indeed, a one-sided encounter. West Ham were under pressure from the first whistle with Rangers producing a couple of good chances before ‘Stan’, QPR’s mercurial No.10, opened the scoring after 6 minutes. This opened the floodgates with No.9 scoring on 10 minutes and No.7 a minute later. West Ham couldn’t contain Rangers, going in at the interval three goals down. The onslaught continued as Rangers added three more after the break. No.7 scored his second of the game after 20 minutes with No.5, 26 minutes and No. 8 (Gerry), 29 minutes adding to Johnny UnKempt’s misery ! West Ham almost managed a consolation goal after a good move through the middle but the 25 yard shot was saved by ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal. The final whistle confirmed West Ham’s crushing six-nil defeat. Johnny UnKempt is spending some time recording a new Riff Raff CD. He’ll be hoping for bumper sales and royalties to fund some new signings for his shell-shocked West Ham side.
Monday 13th October
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 1 ) 2||Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 2|
|No.8 : 15′
No.7 : 25′
|No.2 : 12′
No.11 : 22′
|Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0||Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1|
|—||No.6 : 25′|
|Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 2||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 2|
|No.8 : 21′ 22′||No.6 (OG) : 26′
No. 6 : 30′
Match Reports – It’s tight at the top as Leeds start with a win.
Newcastle 2 Everton 2 : This was a close encounter which produced four goals and a share of the spoils for both teams. Both sides controlled periods of the game but it was Everton who took the lead after 12 minutes with a goal from their No.2. Three minutes later No.8 equalised for Newcastle, right on the stroke of half time. In the second half, Everton regained the lead after 22 minutes with a fine shot by No.11. The shot was struck emphatically from 20 yards, past the keeper’s right and found the corner of the net making it 2-1. But still Newcastle weren’t finished and came back again to equalise for the second time in the match. The goal on 25 minutes, was well finished by their No.7. It finished all-square with a two-all draw and a point-a-piece.
Newcastle 0 Leeds 1 : This was a game which saw Al making his Subbuteo comeback after a brief 37 year absence. A lot has changed in the game over those years, but as Rodney Marsh always says, “Football will always be football !” And, I suppose, you can probably say the same thing about Subbuteo too. Anyway, here was Al making his debut in the prestigious Riff Raff Premier League, probably not really knowing what to expect, as his Leeds side took to the field for this difficult away match against Joel’s Newcastle. Al soon dispelled the ‘Dirty’ Leeds tag, showing some nice flicks and touches, shaking off the years of ‘rust’ with some neat passing. Newcastle too had good periods of the game, themselves displaying some good passing moves and were unlucky not to get on the score sheet. Their best chance came with a ‘passed’ shot from the edge of the box. The ball looked like it must surely be going into the far corner of the net, but was thwarted by the keeper just in the nick of time, with a finger-tip save round the foot of the post. In the end, it was Leeds’ No.8 who snatched the points with a well taken goal after 25 minutes to get the league newcomers off to a winning start.
Leeds 2 Everton 2 : After a goal-less first half, the game sprang into life after the interval. Leeds had dominated the first period with Al demonstrating some deft flicks and touches. The early minutes of the second half continued in a similar vein, until the Leeds possession was eventually converted into goals. Mid-way through the second half they surged into the lead with two goals in the space of a minute. It was their No.8 who opened the scoring after 21 minutes and then produced an unstoppable strike a minute later, smashing a 20 yard shot into the top corner of the net ; the ball taking a slight deflection off the defender. Leeds now seemed to be well in control but, as they did last week against QPR, Everton came storming back. They pulled a goal back after 26 minutes with the help of a deflection off the Leeds No.6. and they continued to press in the latter stages of the game. With the game about to go into added-on time, it was the Everton No. 6 who snatched a dramatic equaliser on 30 minutes. A cross-shot came in from the by-line but the Leeds keeper could only bundle the ball in at the near post … Gary Sprake at his infamous best ? ! The only real concern for Leeds on the night, was a crowd disturbance which saw their fans vandalise the fence surround. The Riff Raff league hierarchy may be referring the matter to Greggie Dyke or Sep Back-Hander ! In the end, a share of the points has set up some early season congestion at the top of the table !
Wednesday 8th October
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 2||Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0|
|No.8 : 3′
No.10 : 25′
Match Report – The Stan and Gerry show lifts Rangers
QPR 2 Newcastle 0 : This was a game where Rangers had to grind out a result rather than play their preferred attacking football, although both goals were created after moments of inspired flair. The goals came from Stan and Gerry, two of their more flamboyant players, to see QPR notch up their first win of the season. The first goal came just 3 minutes in. The Rangers No.8 created space on the right and found the far corner of the net with an emphatic finish. The points were secured by the hooped No.10 weaving past two defenders and hitting a shot over the keeper from 20 yards out. Newcastle had much of the possession throughout the game and created a series of chances in the second half but were unable to test ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal. This was not a classic QPR performance, squandering possession far too often. But they proved they can win ‘ugly’ when required, lifting them to the top of the table, having played a game more than second placed Chelsea.
Monday 6th October
|Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 2||Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 3|
|No.9 : 3′
No.2 : 7′
|No.8 : 17′
No.9 : 18′ 22′
|Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0||Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0|
|( Yellow=No.9 : 9′ )||—|
|Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0||Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 1|
|—||No.8 : 26′|
Match Reports – QPR lose ! The season gets underway with a shock defeat for the Champions.
QPR 2 Everton 3 : The big kick off saw QPR take on Everton with the Champions quickest out of the blocks. There was no hint of what was to come as Rangers swept aside their opponents in a dominant first half display. A well placed finish from 12 yards by the No.9, passed into the net just inside the far post, saw QPR one-up after just 3 minutes. Five minutes later, Rangers right back added a second as Everton seemed unable to cope with the constant Rangers pressure. Chelsea manager Alan Arnold, watching from the stand commented, “The league’s going to be all over by the end of the evening.” However, the game turned in the second half from a mis-placed QPR throw letting in the Everton No.8. An unstoppable shot pulled the score back to 2-1 and was followed up by an equaliser a minute later from No. 9. It was the same player who snatched all three points with another great strike after 22 minutes. As the winner hit the back of the QPR net, chants of “Can we play you every week ?” rang out, followed by “You’re getting sacked in the morning” aimed at QPR manager, Rob Kemmenoe. He said afterward, “Well Brian, I thought we looked really good in the first half, but it all went a bit pear shaped later on.” He added, “We’re all shocked and stunned”. Having gone the whole of last season without defeat, all three Everton strikes gave ‘Parksie’ no chance to snatch all three points in a dramatic first match of the new season. Rob concluded, “I suppose we’ll just have to take it on the chin, dust ourselves down and go again, eh Brian ?!
Chelsea 0 QPR 0 : This was a tight game, but Rangers had the better chances, bringing saves out of the Chelsea keeper. However, it was a mistake by the Chelsea No.1, fluffing his lines with a second half clearance, which presented the best chance of the game. The chance fell to Stan, normally clinical in such situations, but he hit the post from 18 yards with an open goal gaping right in front of him. QPR manager, Rob Kemmenoe reflected, “Well Brian, I’m shocked and stunned again. Stan usually puts them away but this time it just wasn’t to be, was it Brian ?!”
Everton 0 Chelsea 1 : This was another close encounter, with Chelsea snatching the points from a second half corner, chipped into the box towards the near post. The keeper got there first but could only parry the ball out to the corner of the six yard box where the Chelsea No.8 was running in to squeeze in the rebound between the keeper and the inside of the near post. So Chelsea emerge as the early pace-setters, but Everton have shown themselves to be formidable opponents and who would write off QPR this early in the season ? It’s still all to play for ! In the words of David Coleman, “Quite remarkable !”