Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League

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Monday 4th April – 5-a-side Tournament

Match Reports – Everton win the Riff Raff 5-a-side Tournament

Stuart’s Everton beat Al’s Leeds 3-1 on penalties in the final of the Riff Raff Subbuteo ‘Football Express’ 5-a-side Tournament. The sides were inseperable on 1-1 after normal time and 2-2 at the end of extra-time. At the end of the penalty shoot-out, it was Stuart who lifted the 5-a-side trophy.

Rob presents Stuart with the 5-a-side cup

Rob presents Stuart with the 5-a-side cup

The format of the 2016 tournament, sponsored by the Daily Evening Star Mirror Guardian, underwent a re-vamp in the days leading up to the kick-off. This was due to the earlier withdrawal of Brentford and Newcastle from the competition. The top team of each group automatically went into the semi final draw, while the remaining four teams took part in a play-off arrangement to determine the other two semi-finalists.

The contest began with two groups of three … Group A : QPR, Spurs, Everton. Group B : Chelsea, West Ham, Leeds. QPR, winners of the tournament for the last two years, finished bottom of group A, as Spurs headed the group to book their place in the semis. Leeds blasted fifteen goals without reply to top the other group in emphatic style.

Stuart celebrates with the 5-a-side cup

Stuart celebrates with the 5-a-side cup

In the play-offs, QPR edged out Chelsea 3-2 after extra-time and Everton put out West Ham 1-0. If these games were close, the semis were closer still, as Everton put out QPR 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra-time. The extra-time theme continued as Leeds edged out Spurs 2-1.

In the final, Everton played out a 1-1 draw, with a 2-2 scoreline after extra time. Then came the dramatic penalty shoot-out in which they snatched the glory from favourites Leeds. But, make no mistake, Everton are worthy 5-a-side Champions !

Well, that wind’s up an interesting season of flicking !

See you in October for the start of the 2016/17 season.

Wednesday 30th March – Cup Final

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0
No.11 : 23′ (Yellow = No.8 : 21′)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 18.16.58Match Reports – Leeds lift the cup

Leeds Utd 1 QPR 0

The 2016 Riff Raff Subbuteo Knockout Cup Final took place at ‘Wemerbley’ Stadium with all the usual traditional protocols being observed. The two teams lined up outside the tunnel as The Queen and Prince Philip took their seats to the dulcet tones of ‘God Save The Queen’ played of course, by Queen ! With all the formalities completed, it was now down to the serious business of who could get their hands on the prestigious cup.

Rob presents Al with the cup

Rob presents Al with the cup

Leeds took to the field in their traditional all-white strip while QPR were in their Feyenoord-esque away kit of red and white halves, black shorts and black socks. This was a closely contested game with neither side creating all that many chances over the thirty minutes of play. Territorially though, the game belonged to Leeds, who had their opponents pinned back in their own half for most of the game. Rangers, for their part, gave little away at the back, managing to keep the Leeds attack at arms length.

Al celebrates with the cup

Al celebrates with the cup

Inevitably, there were times when Leeds breached their opponent’s defence to threaten the QPR goal, with ‘Parksie’ being forced into some fine saves. Rangers did have one or two half-chances themselves, on the break, but couldn’t capitalise.

In a game with few fouls, QPR’s captain and No.8 ‘Gerry’ was harshly yellow carded on 21 minutes, for an innocuous hand-ball over on the far touchline.

Leeds celebrate their cup win with The Queen

Leeds celebrate their cup win with The Queen

Then, two minutes later, on 23 minutes, Leeds got the all-important goal their pressure deserved. No.11 got through the Rangers’ back line, left of centre, to fire in an unstoppable 25 yard strike, to break the deadlock. Rangers were unable to muster an equaliser in the time remaining which would have taken the game to extra-time. What turned out to be the only goal of the game, was enough to secure the cup for Al and his Leeds team for the first time, as last year’s finalists became this year’s cup winners.

Monday 21st March

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 3 ) 4 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0
No.6 : 5′
No.8 : 14′
No.9 : 15′ 27′
Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 2 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0
No.9 : 2′
No.4 : 27′

Match Reports – Leeds pip Chelsea for second spot

Leeds Utd 4 Chelsea 0

With Chelsea occupying second place, Leeds went into this game seeking the win which would pip their opponents on goal difference – not an easy task, given last week’s 4-1 result in Chelsea’s favour.

Leeds created early chances and snatched the lead after 5 minutes with a goal from No.6. Then, with half-time approaching, Leeds took control of the game with two goals in the space of a minute. No.8 scored his 7th goal of the season, quickly followed with a 15th minute strike from No.9. Leeds went in at half-time with an emphatic 3-0 lead.

Chelsea’s hopes of a second place finish had now all but evaporated. Even though they had the league’s top scorer in their side, Chelsea were unable to get back into the game. Their No.7 finished up with 13 league and cup goals for the season, which included three hat-tricks. The Chelsea No.9 had added a further 11 goals with two hat-tricks this season, but it was not their day. Leeds No.9 swept in a fourth goal on 27 minutes to wrap things up at 4-0. This was his second goal of the game and 5th of the season. No.10 is currently Leeds’ top scorer with 9 goals and the cup final is still to come !

Everton 2 QPR 0

Rangers went into this game having secured the league title. Everton though, were keen to improve their points tally. This they did with a solid performance which gave them a deserved 2-0 win. Everton were in front after 2 minutes, following a free kick for a hand-ball offence as QPR attempted to clear their lines. No.9 popped up to score his 4th goal of the season, giving ‘Parksie’ little chance. If Everton got a stroke of luck with the hand-ball, it was probably the long-awaited slice of luck which has been eluding them for much of the season. And there was nothing lucky about their overall display, defending resolutely throughout, to restrict the QPR attack, and creating some useful opportunities at the other end of the pitch. A well deserved second goal hit the net on 27 minutes with No.4 getting on the score-sheet for the first time this season. This wrapped up the win, securing three points which takes Everton’s final tally to 20 points.

For Rangers, ’Stan’ was unable to add to his 12 goals to inspire a QPR revival.

( It should have been more than 12 but the hat-trick against Brentford was wiped out ‘cos Paul pulled out of the league … Oooh the injustice of it all ! ! ! )

So, Everton found their true form at the end of the season, with four consecutive wins – by far their best run of the campaign. It gives a more respectable look to their final position but moreover creates much optimism for next season.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 18.16.58Cup Final

The 2016 Riff Raff Subbuteo Knockout Cup Final takes place next week on Wednesday 30th March at ‘Wemerbley’ Stadium. Leeds, finalists last season, booked their place with a 4-2 semi-final win against Everton. Cup holders Chelsea went down 0-1 against QPR in their semi-final. This will be the first time that Chelsea haven’t appeared in the final. Having lost to QPR on penalties in 2014, Chelsea went on to lift the trophy last year. QPR return to take on Leeds in this season’s mouthwatering final tie which it is hoped will attract a full house !

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA5-a-side Tournament

The 2016 Riff Raff Subbuteo ‘Football Express’ 5-a-side tournament, rumoured to be sponsored by some newspaper or other, is coming up soon, to be played on Monday 4th April. The two groups have been drawn as follows … Group A : QPR, Spurs, Everton and Newcastle. Group B : Chelsea, West Ham and Leeds. QPR have won the tournament for the last two years. They will face stiff competition from all the other teams as they try to prize the trophy out of the hands of the current holders. It’s not certain if there will be any television coverage of this event, especially as ‘Sportsnight With Coleman’ is no longer part of the BBC scheduling … Err, quite remarkable !

Monday 14th March

Chelsea (Alan) ( 3 ) 4 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1
No.9 : 8′ 11′ 12′
No.10 : 20′
No.4 : 18′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 2 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 2
No.11 : 28′
No.10 : 30′
No.11 : 18
No.10 : 11′

Match Reports – QPR Champions

Chelsea 4 Leeds Utd 1

Leeds went into this game knowing that only maximum points from all of their three remaining games would do. Even then, it would need QPR to falter in their final game against Everton next week, for Leeds to retain the league title.

Al presents Rob with the League Trophy

Al presents Rob with the League Trophy

Leeds started very much on top, creating a number of early chances which either went just wide or were saved by the keeper. Against the run of play, Chelsea snatched the lead after 8 minutes with a goal from No.9. The goal was a turning point as Chelsea started to take control. The same player put Chelsea 2-0 up on 11 minutes with a shot which seemed to squeeze in off the keeper and the near post. No.9 hit the net again just a minute later to complete his second hat-trick of the season as Chelsea went in at half-time with an unexpected 3-0 lead. Leeds, now facing an uphill struggle to get back in this crucial game, were given hope with a goal on 18 minutes from No.4. Any renewed optimism proved to be short-lived as Chelsea scored again two minutes later. No.10 sealed the points for Chelsea on 20 minutes to end Leeds’ title hopes and confirm QPR as champions.

QPR 2 Leeds Utd 2

Rangers went into this game having been crowned the new champions. Former champions Leeds were no doubt intent on spoiling Rangers’ party and went in front on 9 minutes when No.11 scored with a shot from outside the box. It was no more than they deserved, as they had already come close, forcing ‘Parksie’ into action.

QPR celebrate on the pitch

QPR celebrate on the pitch

At times, Rangers looked shaky at the back and Leeds went 2-0 up on 11 minutes after an under-hit back-pass forced ‘Parksie’ to clear the danger from outside his penalty area. The Leeds midfield intercepted the ball in the centre circle, breaking away with interest as Leeds’ No.11 tapped the ball into an empty net with QPR defenders left floundering. The game continued with Leeds looking fairly comfortable until late in the game. With just two minutes left, Rangers pulled a goal back. No.11 hammered the ball home from 20 yards. Then, incredibly, Rangers equalised two minutes later just as the game had gone into injury time. ‘Stan’ got through on the left on 30 minutes and hit a shot high into the net to start the QPR celebrations.

5-a-side Tournament

The 2016 Riff Raff Subbuteo ‘Football Express’ 5-a-side tournament, sponsored by The London Evin Stannit ( apologies to Morecambe and Wise ) will be played on Monday 4th April. Group A : QPR, Spurs, Everton and Newcastle. Group B : Chelsea, West Ham and Leeds.

Tuesday 8th March

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 6
No.11 : 6′
No.5 : 11′
No.8 : 18′
No.6 : 22′
No.10 : 24′ 28′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 4 ) 4 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 1
No.7 : 2′ 9′ 14′
No.8 : 13′
No.8 : 18′
Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 4 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 1
No.10 : 20′
No.9 : 22′
No.8 : 26′
No.11 : 28′
No.7 : 7′

Match Reports – Everton run amok as Leeds stutter !

Who needs ‘Timmy’ ? No keeper required as Everton run riot with ten goals in two games ! Chelsea stay on course for a Champions League spot. West Ham win the ‘Pointless’ League. Leeds suffer a shock defeat – What odds, Keene & Bourneo ?

West Ham 0 Everton 6

West Ham suffered misfortune even before their team had taken to the pitch. The evening began with an injury to one of their players as he was leaving the team coach – ie. being taken out of his green cardboard box ! No, you’re not reading last week’s report – this is the ‘Groundhog Day’ version ! The same player sustained a recurrence of the same injury. Following last week’s glue surgery, he arrived for the game but was unable to leave the team coach…He was stuck to the inside of the box ! Manager, Johnny UnKempt tried desperately to prize the player out of the box and into action ! But, to no avail – not in one piece, anyway.

With No.12 once again in the starting line-up, the game got underway. After a spell of early Everton pressure, Hammers found themselves chasing the game after six minutes. A move, left of centre, saw No.11 hit a 25 yard shot into the top corner of the net. 1-0 to Everton ! No.5 made it 2-0 on 11 minutes with a strike from an identical position. This time the keeper was beaten with a low shot, just inside post. The half ended with the West Ham keeper making a string of good saves, to restrict Everton to a 2-0 half-time lead. The second half began with more Everton pressure. No.8 added to the score on 18 minutes, with a shot from the edge of the area, beating the keeper just inside the near post. No.6 made it 4-0 from 20 yards on 22 minutes, with a chipped shot into the top corner of the net. No.10 scored on 24 minutes after a missed tackle let in the Everton striker. He made no mistake with a low shot from 20 yards. The same player scored Everton’s sixth goal on 28 minutes. A 25 yard shot thundered into the top of the net, rounding off an emphatic win.

The second half was marred when the dug out area was trashed. Leeds fans were initially blamed but it could have been the ref … same difference really !

Chelsea 4 West Ham 1

This was West Ham’s last chance to break their duck and notch up a point or three. But the form book was not to be turned upside down against a strong Chelsea side. No.7 did the damage with a first-half hat-trick. It took just two minutes to score his first goal with a direct free kick from 20 yards out, which the West Ham wall and keeper couldn’t stop. The Chelsea striker scored his second goal of the game on 9 minutes to make it 2-0. Chelsea were three up on 13 minutes when No. 8 hit a superb rising shot into the top corner, from a sharp angle, just inside the 18 yard line. A minute later, No.7 completed his hat-trick, tucking away his low shot, on 14 minutes.

Hammers had their moments, none more so than on 18 minutes, as No.8 broke through the middle to hit a consolation goal ; a neatly taken 20 yard shot, low into the corner. The crowd went wild !

Johnny UnKempt collected the ‘Pointless’ trophy after the game, presented by Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong. “You haven’t managed to win the league, but you do go away with the ‘Pointless’ trophy” said Xander. “That’s all I really wanted” answered John ! Richard gave him some advice for better results next season …“Try swatting up on films and US Presidents !”

Everton 4 Leeds Utd 1

Who saw this one coming?

Who saw this one coming?

This turned out to be the shock of the season, as Everton beat Leeds against any odds that Keene & Bourneo could have dreamt up. Leeds looked fairly comfortable at half-time, having gone in front with a good finish from No.7 on 7 minutes. The second half saw an Everton turnaround, taking control of the game with two goals in two minutes. No.10 hit the net on 20 minutes followed by a strike from No.9 on 22 minutes to make the score 2-1. The momentum was now with Everton and with 26 minutes gone, No.8 made it 3-1, with a 25 yard strike from a free kick. The ball seemed to spin and swerve, deceiving the Leeds keeper. This was followed two minutes later with a fourth goal from No.11. All present were shocked and stunned, as the final whistle called time on the game.

This shock result gives Everton a more respectable points tally and goal difference, if not a move up the table. Everton are on the kind of run they’ve been threatening all season. It couldn’t come at a better time as they take on QPR, another title chaser, in their next game. On this evidence Everton could again turn out to be party-poopers. There could yet be a further twist in the tail in the remaining games ! Stay tuned flicking fans !!

Tuesday 1st March

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 1 Chelsea (Alan) ( 4 ) 4
No.6 : 19′ No.7 : 5′
No.9 : 9′ 11′ 12
Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 2 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 21′
No.11 : 27′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 4 ) 4 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0
No.11 : 2′
No.9 : 7′ 8′
No.12 : 9′

Match Reports – Mixed fortunes for Chelsea as QPR stay on course

West Ham 1 Chelsea 4

West Ham suffered misfortune even before their team had taken to the pitch. The evening began with an injury to one of their players as he was leaving the team coach – ie. being taken out of his green cardboard box ! With their No.12 in the starting line-up, the game got underway ; the first to be played under the new lighting system.

Hammers fell behind after 5 minutes as Chelsea edged in front with a shot from their No.7. Four minutes later, No.9 got the first of his three goals, to sink a spirited West Ham. The Chelsea centre forward scored again on 11 and 12 minutes to make it 4-0 at half-time. West Ham’s endeavour continued in the second half, mixed with one or two challenges which prompted a few words from the referee. Hammers scored a well taken consolation goal on 19 minutes, when No.6 produced a fine finish into the corner of the net, from 25 yards. That brought the biggest cheer of the season !

West Ham still haven’t recorded a win in this campaign. They have now scored just three times with No.6 their top scorer with two goals. The injured Hammers player is hoped to be fit for next Tuesday’s encounter when West Ham take on Everton, followed closely with another game against Chelsea.

Everton 2 West Ham 0

Two second half goals separated these two teams as Everton took all three points. No.10 opened the scoring on 21 minutes and No.11 clinched the points on 27 minutes. It was an entertaining game with both teams passing well and threatening throughout the game. It was Everton’s forward play that came out on top as West Ham’s defence creaked once more.

Keene & Bourneo bookmakers are rumoured to be offering generous odds on Johnny UnKempt’s Hammers chalking up a win in one of their two remaining games !

QPR 4 Chelsea 0

QPR started the game going straight into the attack, only for tragedy to strike in the first minute. ‘Stan’, attempting an early effort on the Chelsea goal, disappeared over the edge of the table and suffered a recurrence of his recent injury. The game continued with Rangers down to ten men. The loss of their mercurial striker seemed to galvanise the rest of the team, as they moved up another gear. Seconds later, their No.11 scored with a 20 yard shot, to put QPR 1-0 into the lead. On came the QPR substitute, No.12, Ron ‘utility man’ Abbott, who slotted into midfield while ‘Gerry’ pushed forward. Rangers continued to attack, pulling the Chelsea defence apart, scoring three goals in as many minutes, in a devastating spell midway through the first half. Watching Everton manager, Stuart Surridge, described QPR as “on fire” ! No.9, ‘Sir Les’ hit a brace with good strikes on 7 and 8 minutes. The fourth goal came from Ron ‘substitute’ Abbott just a minute later with an emphatic finish. The remaining two thirds of the game was more even. Chelsea created a few chances in the second half but the damage had already been done.

Rangers now have injury concerns ahead of their two crucial remaining league games, plus the cup final. However it’s likely that ‘Stan’ will be fit in time for the forthcoming away trip to Everton. In the meantime, he’ll be resting, probably in the bookies ! – Keene and Bourneo hopefully !!

Monday 22nd February – Cup Semi Finals

Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 2 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 4
No.11 : 13′
No.4 (OG) : 25′
No.3 : 17
No.6 : 20′
No.8 : 26′
No.10 : 28′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1
No.9 : 28′

Match Reports – Controversy strikes as Leeds go through to final

Everton 2 Leeds Utd 4

Leeds booked their place at ‘Wemerbley’ for this season’s Riff Raff Subbuteo knockout cup final. But this will go down as one of the most controversial of semi finals. Leeds, in their all-white strip, started the game on the front foot but Everton, in yellow and blue, more than held their own in the first half. With half-time just two minutes away, the game erupted into controversy.

Players from both sides surround the referee

Players from both sides surround the referee

It all started with Leeds attacking down the right. The Leeds player went for an angled shot, 25 yards out, but only succeeded in scuffing the ball tamely across the penalty area, about 15 yards out from goal. The keeper prepared for a mis-hit back-pass, but the defender did well to guide the ball back to the edge of the six yard area for the keeper to clear. Everton broke swiftly from the keeper’s kick as Alan, in his role as fourth official, looked quizzically at Referee Rob. Within seconds, Everton’s No.11 had finished a lightning fast attack to blast Everton into a dramatic 13th minute lead. Players from both sides rounded on the referee as questions were asked, and the inquest into the incident began. The clock was put on hold while contrasting views were aired, to try to reach a definitive version of what had just happened.

Both Rob and Stuart were under the impression that the ball was in Everton possession when the keeper cleared, while Al and Alan were of the opinion that Al hadn’t lost possession, so the pass-back was hand-ball. In the midst of all the confusion, a compromise was arrived at : Leeds would not be awarded a penalty and the Everton goal would stand. Everton though, would allow Leeds to equalise. And so it came to pass ! No.3 netted deep into added-on-time and the teams went in 1-1 at the interval, after one of the great controversies in Riff Raff Subbuteo history.

After all concerned had recovered from the bizarre incident at the end of the first period, and the second half had got underway with a return to some semblance of normality, it was Leeds who edged in front with a goal from No.6 on 20 minutes. Everton hit back, and made it 2-2 on 25 minutes with a wickedly deflected own goal, off the Leeds’ No.4. But back came Leeds on 26 minutes as No.8 scored to make it 3-2. No. 10 clinched the game for Leeds on 28 minutes. It was tough on Everton who were in contention until late, in a game which contained that somewhat mystifying end to the first half.

Chelsea 0 QPR 1

QPR edged their way into the final thanks to a scorching strike, late in the game, as extra-time loomed. Rangers’ No.9, ‘Sir Les’, latched onto the ball in a central position and smashed an unstoppable 25 yard shot into the top corner of the net. Only two minutes remained on the clock. It was harsh on a Chelsea side which had competed well. In fairness, the game was very evenly contested, with neither side really dominating. But in the end, it’s Rangers who deny the holders their place in the cup final, for the first time.

So it’s a Leeds v QPR final to be played at ‘Wemerbley’ on Wednesday 30th March.

Tuesday 16th February

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 3
No.10 : 12′ 23′ 27′
West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 4
No.10 : 9′
No.4 : 19′
No.8 : 21′
No.7 : 23′

Match Reports – Top two win at Yiewsley Stadium

West Ham Utd 0 QPR 3

Rangers took on West Ham at Yiewsley Stadium and were camped out inside the Hammers’ half for much of the first period. The QPR attack worked the West Ham keeper hard, forcing a number of good saves. Rangers patience eventually paid off, as they took the lead with 12 minutes gone. It was ‘Stan’, that compendium of footballing skills ( Motty’s quote, not mine ), who opened the scoring, with a shot from outside the box, to send QPR in at half-time, with a deserved 1-0 lead.

Stan celebrates his hat-trick at Yiewsley Stadium

Stan celebrates his hat-trick at Yiewsley Stadium

Into the second half, and it was one-way-traffic once again with Hammers holding out until 23 minutes. ‘Stan’ broke into the penalty area and beat the keeper from 8 yards with a deft finish into the far corner of the net. Four minutes later, it was like deja-vu, as ‘Stan’ completed his hat-trick with a carbon copy goal. West Ham rallied briefly late in game, threatening to score with a shot that flashed just wide of the post, but Rangers comfortably secured another three points !

The Subbuteo San-Siro ...Yiewsley Stadium

The Subbuteo San-Siro …Yiewsley Stadium

West Ham Utd 0 Leeds Utd 4

This was Leeds United’s first visit to the world infamous Yiewsley Stadium, and the question being asked was, ‘Would the occasion of playing in the intimidating atmosphere and the massive grandeur of the San Siro-esque surroundings, affect them ?’ Answer : No ! Leeds started strongly, creating all the early chances, but somehow couldn’t hit the target. Was this due to this partizan cauldron that is the Yiewsley Stadium ? No, it wasn’t ! Eventually they found their shooting boots and started hitting the target, only to find the West Ham keeper in his usual mood of defiance. It was only a matter of time though, before the inevitable happened, and it was No.10 who broke the deadlock on 9 minutes. Leeds led 1-0 at half-time and doubled their lead on 19 minutes with a goal from No.4. The third goal came on 21 minutes, when No.8 thundered the ball emphatically into the far corner of the net and No.7 added a fourth goal on 23 minutes.

Throughout the game, West Ham lived somewhat dangerously at the back, taking risks and playing themselves into trouble, only to escape with some dramatic last ditch clearances. It all increased the entertainment value and kept the West Ham fans on the edge of their seats.

Err … What happened next ?

Err … What happened next ?

And that wasn’t all … In my many years of playing Subbuteo, I can’t ever remember an incident quite like this one. It started with John in possession. His kick saw the ball bouncing around like a pin-ball. It eventually came to rest on the bases of a cluster of three players grouped closely together – two West Ham and one Leeds ! At first, it looked like the three players were involved in an ariel dual, with the ball off the ground, lodged on top of their bases. There may have been shouts from both benches … “Don’t turn yer back on the ball !” All of them did ! The referee was as dumfounded as anyone and stopped the clock as Al whipped out his phone to capture the moment on camera – a moment which actually lasted quite a long time while all present commenced head-scratching in amazement and confusion in equal measure. This was a real, “Err, what happened next” moment. Such a shame it wasn’t captured on video ! Anyway, what did happen next ? The referee decided to let John play on, after which, he then ruled that possession had passed to Al, as the ball looked like it came off a ‘yellow’ player last – A bizarre happening in a very entertaining game, which saw Leeds add another three points to their tally to keep up the pace at the top of the table.

Wednesday 10th February

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 2 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0
No.8 : 4′
No.10 : 8′

Cup – Semi Final Draw

Everton v Leeds / Chelsea v QPR

Match Reports – Leeds go second !

Leeds Utd 2 Everton 0

Leeds took on Everton in the only game of the evening. Leeds had their eyes on second spot while Everton were looking to improve on their disappointing recent run of results.

Streaker Erica Cod talks to Richard Osman before kick-off

Streaker Erica Cod talks to Richard Osman before kick-off

Before the kick-off, there was an on-field interview with streaker Erica Cod, following her well publicised excursion onto the pitch in last week’s Leeds v West Ham cup tie. She was interviewed by a very tall mystery interviewer. Could it have been Costel Pantilimon or Peter Crouch or perhaps even Ian Ormandroyd ? Personally, my money’s on Richard Osman from BBC’s ‘Pointless’.

The major story surrounding team selection, was that Everton had replaced out-of-favour goalkeeper ‘Timmy Tourettes’ for this game. Not sure who the replacement was – this was another mystery. Perhaps it was Big Nev … looked a bit too slim though, to be honest ! Whoever he was, he pulled off a number of good saves to stop Leeds running away with the game. Leeds took an early lead, going in front on 4 minutes, with a 20 yard strike from No.8. They followed this up with a second goal on 8 minutes, when No.10 netted with a similar strike. The second half was more even, with Everton having more of the game but Leeds always seemed to be in control. They move into second place, 5 points behind leaders QPR, with a game in hand.

Fans protest outside the ground

Fans protest outside the ground

Should forthcoming games go as predicted, it looks very likely this will set up a QPR v Leeds league decider at the end of the season. Surely, this game would be a sell-out, unless of course, ticket prices are hiked up ! The attendance for this latest game was disappointing, with no one turning up to watch the match. This looks like it was very much connected to the current controversial issue of the continual increases of Subbuteo Premier League ticket prices. Outside the ground, there was a two-pronged demonstration taking place, to protest against streakers interrupting games and the current spiralling cost of admission.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 18.16.58After the game, the draw was made for the Semi Finals of the cup. It panned out as follows … Everton v Leeds and Chelsea v QPR. Matches are due to be played on Monday 22nd February on ‘neutral’ grounds … could be Willa Park, Vite Hart Lane or even Wicarage Road ?!

Tuesday 2nd February – First Round Cup Ties

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 4 ) 5 Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0
No.8 (OG) : 2′
No.7 : 3′ 10′
No.9 : 13′
No.10 : 18′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 3 ) 6 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.8 : 2′
No.10 : 4′ 22′ 26′
No.7 : 14′
No.11 : 24′
(Yellow = No.7 : 7′)

Match Reports

QPR 5 Brentford 0

Despite some good saves from the Brentford keeper, the result was never in doubt, as QPR dominated throughout. Rangers took the lead from a corner, after just two minutes ; the Brentford No.8 putting through his own goal at the near post. It was Rangers No. 7 tearing apart the visitors’ defence, netting twice after 3 minutes and again on 10 minutes. No.9, ‘Sir Les’ made it four on 13 minutes. Brentford had a better second half, but only after ‘Stan’ had made it 5-0 soon after the interval.

The linesman flags wildly as a streaker runs onto the pitch

The linesman flags wildly as a streaker runs onto the pitch

Leeds Utd 6 West Ham Utd 0

A similar game to the QPR v Brentford encounter with Leeds dominating throughout. They too, scored after just two minutes, through No.8. It was the Leeds No.10 who did most of the damage with a hat-trick, scoring on 4, 22, and 26 minutes. In response, West Ham occasionally showed a slightly more robust approach, resulting in a yellow card for No.7 on 7 minutes. The same player narrowly escaped a second yellow in the second half. There were one or two glimmers of hope for West Ham though. For a start, there was the streaker running onto the pitch, pursued by two police officers, as the second half got underway, which may have put Leeds off their stride. Then there was the continued good form of the West Ham goalkeeper. He produced a number of great saves throughout the game, but couldn’t prevent further goals. No.7 scored after 14 minutes and No.11 on 24 minutes, to send the Hammers crashing out of the cup, on the end of this 6-0 mauling.

So, all of the cup favourites are through to the Semi-final draw which will be held next Wednesday 10th February.

Monday 1st February

Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0 Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 1
No.7 : 4′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 1 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 4
No.9 : 28′ No.10 : 1′ 24′
No.7 : 18′
No.8 : 25′

Match Reports – Chelsea lose their unbeaten home record

'Timmy' … leaving Everton at the end of the season?

‘Timmy’ … leaving Everton at the end of the season?

Everton 0 Chelsea 1

This was a closely contested game, settled with the only goal of the match, after only four minutes of play. It was a well taken goal from the Chelsea No.7. chipping past the keeper from 12 yards.

Once again, Everton showed that they are formidable opponents despite their league position but although they had as much of the game as Chelsea, they were destined for another disappointing result. Things are not helped by the recent transfer speculation. Rumours are rife that American goalkeeper ‘Timmy Tourettes’ may be leaving Everton at the end of the season, and could be replaced by either Gordon West or Neville ‘Fat-boy’ Southall. Either way, they could certainly do with a change in their fortunes to improve their league position. However, they’re still in the Cup and it could just be their year. Let’s face it – anything can happen !

Chelsea’s keeper can’t clear as No.7 finds the empty net for QPR

Chelsea’s keeper can’t clear as No.7 finds the empty net for QPR

Chelsea 1 QPR 4

Chelsea entertained league leaders QPR, with both sides needing a win. Rangers, in their away strip of red & white halves, made a dream start. ’Stan’ rounded the defender in the opening seconds to tuck the ball away neatly, from 20 yards. Chelsea hit back, forcing a series of corners which had Rangers pinned back in their own penalty area for a long spell in the first half. ‘Parksie’ was forced into action, making two important saves to keep Rangers in front at half time.

Rangers doubled their lead on 18 minutes when the Chelsea keeper fluffed his lines, leaving an empty net for the QPR No.7 to score from 15 yards. The QPR No.10 scored his second goal of the game on 24 minutes. Attacking down the left, Stan’s shot took a deflection off a defender. The Chelsea keeper had no chance as the the ball looped and dipped in, under the bar at the near post. A minute later, ’Gerry’ wrapped things up with a strike from outside the box on 25 minutes. Chelsea scored a deserved consolation goal on 28 minutes, as No.9 beat ‘Parksie’ with a powerful near post shot.

This was a disappointing result for Chelsea, losing their unbeaten home record and also losing ground in their title challenge. For QPR, this was a crucial win, with Leeds lurking menacingly in second place.

Monday 25th January

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 3 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0
No.5 : 7′
No.4 : 26′ 28′

Match Reports – QPR crash as Leeds close the gap

For QPR, this was a ‘must not lose’ game, and a ‘must win’ match for Leeds.

Leeds Utd 3 QPR 0

‘Parksie’ is beaten as Leeds hit the bar

‘Parksie’ is beaten as Leeds hit the bar

Leeds United moved up to second place with this emphatic win over League leaders QPR. Rangers started well, forcing a series of corners early on with, what turned out be, their only real spell of sustained pressure in the game. From there on, Leeds started to take control with a 20 yard shot hitting the bar and going over. Leeds were ahead on seven minutes as No.5 powered the ball home. ‘Parksie’ had already made one super-save to keep the score on 0-0. He was soon forced into two more world class saves, to keep the deficit down to just one goal at half time.

The second half saw QPR still in contention but Leeds in control. Rangers stayed in the game until two Leeds’ goals in two minutes, late in the game, took the game away from QPR. The Leeds No.4 gave ‘Parksie’ no chance with two excellent strikes on 26 and 28 minutes.

For the team in white, this 3-0 win was ‘mission accomplished’, and with a game in hand, keeps them well placed for the run-in to the end of the season. Rangers left the field in their black & red hoops, looking over their shoulders for the remaining games.

The teams meet once more at the end of the season, in what looks like being a league title decider. And on current form, you wouldn’t bet against Leeds !

Tuesday 19th January

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 4 ) 4 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.7 : 1′
No.6 : 5′
No.11 : 10′
No.10 : 15′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 5 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 1′
No.7 : 10′ 27′
No.4 : 26′
No.11 : 28′

Match Reports – West Ham crash, despite goalkeeping heroics

QPR 4 West Ham 0

League leaders QPR took on John’s West Ham and Rob’s Rangers were ahead within two minutes. No.7 burst through the middle to hit a 25 yard shot wide of the keeper. Goal number two came from No.6 with five minutes gone. QPR added a third goal on ten minutes from No.11. On the stroke of half time, ‘Stan’ struck to send QPR in, with a 4-0 interval lead.
The second half was pretty much one way traffic as QPR seemed to mount a siege around the West Ham penalty area, with almost constant pressure, corners and balls into the box. It sometimes resembled a pin-ball machine as shots came in, hitting the bar and posts, defenders blocking on the line and, of course, heroics by the keeper. The West Ham keeper was on top form, preventing a much worse outcome than this 4-0 defeat.

Gary Sprake. Careful Gary, don’t let it slip through your hands!

Gary Sprake.
Careful Gary, don’t let it slip through your hands!

Leeds Utd 5 West Ham 0

Another game and another goal conceded in the first minute ! West Ham trailed early on from a goal by No.10 and No.7 made it 2-0 on ten minutes. As in the previous game against QPR, West Ham seemed to have consolidated in the second half, after a disappointing first period. But, three Leeds goals in as many minutes undid Hammers’ improvement. No.4 on 26 minutes, No.7 on 27 minutes and No.11 on 28 minutes saw West Ham crash to a 5-0 defeat. Again, the score-line could have been more, but, as so often in the past, the West Ham keeper was in impressive form. Leeds manager, Alan Cutler, said afterwards, “He’s the best goalkeeper in the league,” prompting speculation of a possible bid in this transfer window, as a replacement for Gary Sprake.

Monday 11th January

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0
No.5 : 23′ (Yellow = No.10 : 13′)
Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 2 Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 2
No.8 : 7′
No.9 : 21′
No.9 : 10′
(Yellow = No.11 : 20′)
No.8 : 30′

Match Reports – Chelsea pipped as QPR widen the gap !

QPR 1 Everton 0

League leaders QPR entertained Stuart’s Everton and, as usual, the visitors provided tough opposition. The first two real chances fell to the team in yellow & blue, but ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal, wasn’t forced into a save. The play was generally dictated by the team in the blue & white hoops and they produced two or three good opportunities that went wide. Then came their best chance of the half, as half time approached. ‘Stan’ produced a lovely bit of skill on the edge of the box to round the defender, prompting “oh you bugger” from Stuart ( or maybe it was ‘Timmy Tourettes’ – who knows ?! ). With the shot bound for the top far corner of the net, ‘Timmy’ in the Everton goal, produced one of the saves of the season, tipping the ball over, as it looked to be flying in under the bar. Half time score : 0-0 !

Alan gives his analysis on Sky TV

Alan gives his analysis on Sky TV

The winning goal came from a QPR corner on the right. No.5 headed in from 6 yards to put Rangers ahead on 23 minutes. This time, the Everton keeper had no chance, although Chelsea manager Alan Arnold, co-commentating on the Sky propaganda channel, thought ‘Timmy’ should have come off his line and cleared. This was probably a more comfortable win than the score suggests but Everton are still a difficult side to beat these days, despite their league position. QPR secure another three points to increase their lead at the top of the table.

Chelsea 2 Everton 2

This was a rip-roaring game with great goals and a twist in the tail ! Chelsea went into the game needing to win in order to keep up with QPR at the top of the table, and took the lead on 7 minutes after a defensive error on the right wing. No.8 finished emphatically, sending the ball flashing into the far corner. Everton were combative throughout and sailed close too the wind with one or two challenges. No.9 levelled the score with 10 minutes gone … 1-1 at half time !

Everton’s competitiveness spilled over when their No. 11 ended up in the book on 20 minutes with the game still very much in the balance. But, a minute later, that all changed as Chelsea seized the initiative, regaining the lead on 21 minutes. No.9 burst into the penalty area and chipped perfectly over the keeper from 6 yards. Chelsea looked to have done enough to earn all three points but there was to be a last gasp twist ; a dramatic equaliser on 30 minutes with the game going into injury time. No.8 found space for a 20 yard shot which eluded the keeper and found the back of the net. Alan, fresh from his ‘Sky Propaganda’ punditry, put his head in his hands in disbelief, realising his Chelsea side had been dealt a major blow in their title chase.

Tuesday 5th January – First Round Cup Ties

Match Reports

Greggie "smokin’ barrels" Dyke

Greggie “smokin’ barrels” Dyke

There were only two cup ties played on the night.  The two other first round games, which were postponed earlier in the day, will be re-arranged in due course.

Ahead of the evening’s scheduled matches, the Football Association’s Mr. Big, Greggie Dyke, issued this directive from his office back at HQ. “Anyone who gets knocked out in the first round of the Riff Raff Subbuteo Knockout Cup, will have to shoot themselves!”

Chelsea 4 Spurs 2

This season’s cup got off to a rip-roaring start as Alan’s Chelsea took an early 2-0 lead against Kev and his Spurs side. No.7 scored after just 2 minutes and No.9 made it 2-0 with 6 minutes gone. Kev and his Spurs team were showing signs of ‘rust’ in these early stages but soon got into the game, showing signs of improvement, despite being 2-0 down. Into the second half and Spurs pulled a goal back on 18 minutes, as No.6 burst deep into the Chelsea area. The keeper came out and in the ensuing ‘block’ challenge, the ball was sent spinning up and over the keeper and rolled over the line. Spurs were now back in the game and a dramatic equaliser came on 25 minutes, after a foul on the edge of the Spurs box. Rob, the referee, was about to stop the game for the free kick but Kev opted to play the advantage, which on the face of it looked somewhat risky. But, with a superbly placed long ball, played straight through the middle of the Chelsea defence, No.5 was in on goal and finished to level the score at 2-2. Chelsea though, hit straight back. Two minutes later, on 27 minutes, No.9 got his second goal of the game to restore Chelsea’s lead. It took just another two minutes to clinch the game, as No.11 netted on 29 minutes, rounding off this thoroughly throbbing cup tie.

Newcastle Utd 1 Everton 2

Overall, there seemed little to choose between the two teams, in what was a closely contested cup tie. Stuart’s Everton took the lead on 4 minutes with a goal from No.6, giving his side a 1-0 half time lead. Joel’s Newcastle equalised on 23 minutes when No.11 found space in a central position, 25 yards out. The accuracy of the shot, passed into the corner of the net, gave the Everton keeper little chance. The score stayed at 1-1 for almost the rest of the game as proceedings seemed to be taking the match into extra time.
But, dramatically, the game was decided with a late goal in added-on time. Everton’s No.7 hit a powerful shot from outside the box. The Newcastle keeper got his gloves on the ball just as it hit the post, but the ball squirmed in, to take Everton into the semi-finals.

Sunday 3rd January – Friendly

Match Report

Newcastle Utd. 0 Queens Park Rangers 1

Newcastle and QPR prepare for their floodlit friendly

Newcastle and QPR prepare for their floodlit friendly

With ‘the cup’ just two days away, Newcastle embarked on a friendly against QPR, in preparation for their 1st round tie against Everton. Rangers were in control for most of the game but Newcastle restricted them to a slim 1-0 score-line. With 8 minutes on the clock, ‘Stan’ found space in the middle and hit a 25 yard shot which the keeper saved. The ball came back, straight into the path of the Rangers No.11, who chipped his shot into the top corner, to give QPR, what proved to be, the winning goal. This was something of a ‘historic’ game as the new floodlight system was used for the first time. However, the Subbuteo R & D Dept. still have work to do before the lights can be considered for use in the Riff Raff Premier League!

Tuesday 8th December

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1 Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 1
No.5 : 17′ No.10 (OG) : 10′
West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 1 Chelsea (Alan) ( 3 ) 4
No.6 : 30′ No.11 : 2′
No.10 : 8′ 12′
No.7 : 29′
Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 1
No.5 : 12′

Match Reports – It’s tight at the top at the half way stage

Leeds Utd 1 Everton 1

Everton go in front as a corner goes in, off the defender on the six yard line

Everton go in front as a corner goes in, off the defender on the six yard line

This was a close encounter which saw Everton take a well earned point with a determined performance. It was Everton who took the lead on 10 minutes. A corner, sent over from Leeds’ right was deflected in, off the defending Leeds No.10. The ball trickled into the net at the near post, with the goalkeeper flat-footed. Everton’s half time lead was wiped out just two minutes into the second half, as the Leeds No.5 snatched the equaliser from a central position, 20 yards out. It was a shot of pin-point accuracy, passed into the net, just inside the post. A well earned point for both sides !

West Ham 1 Chelsea 4

The ball flashes past the West Ham keeper as No.7 scores Chelsea’s 4th goal

The ball flashes past the West Ham keeper as No.7 scores Chelsea’s 4th goal

West Ham took on a formidable Chelsea side, who are very much in contention for the league title. It took Chelsea just 2 minutes to find the net against the Hammers with an early strike from the Chelsea No.11. Six minutes later, it was 2-0 as No.10 increased Chelsea’s lead on 8 minutes. The same player hit the target again, scoring his second of the game on 12 minutes, to increase Chelsea’s lead to 3-0. Despite struggling to stay in the game, West Ham, typically, had periods of excellent possession in midfield with some Barcelona-esque passing moves. Their best spell of the game brought the first half to a close with a prolonged spell of possession in which Chelsea just couldn’t get the ball. Sadly, West Ham were unable to covert their midfield mastery into goals and it was Chelsea who got on the score sheet again on 29 minutes, as their No.7 scored his 7th goal of the season … 4-0 ! Then, a minute later, with the game heading into added-on time, West Ham scored a cracking consolation goal. Chelsea conceded a free kick for hand ball, right of centre, 25 yards out. West Ham may not score too often but when they do get a goal, it’s normally well worth the wait – and this one was no exception ! The West Ham No.6 stepped up to hit a direct shot that seemed to curl and dip. The ball flashed into the top right corner of the Chelsea net, just under the bar, leaving the goalkeeper and defenders bamboozled. This was only West Ham’s 2nd goal of the season and what a cracker … but the roving cameraman missed it ! However, manager Johnny UnKempt couldn’t conceal his delight, having scored one of the goals of the season. Chelsea add another three points to stay in second place.

Everton 0 Leeds Utd 1

Leeds clinched an important win in another tough game against a hard working Everton side. The match-winning goal came from No.5 after 12 minutes with an exquisite chip over the keeper from the edge of the 18 yard box. Everton battled hard for the equaliser but Leeds came away with three important points to stay in contention at the top of the table.

The Riff Raff Premier league now takes a break for the Christmas / New Year period, giving the teams a well earned mid-season rest, and a chance to prepare for the 1st round of the cup. QPR will be heading for the West Midlands in defence of the Solihull 5-a-side Cup.

So, from Sepp, Greggie, Graham ‘ever-smiling’ Kelly and all at Subbuteo HQ,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all flicking footie fans everywhere.

Tuesday 1st December

Chelsea (Alan) ( 2 ) 3 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 2
No.7 : 13′ 16′ 20′ No.9 : 5′
No.10 : 9′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 3 ) 4 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0
No.6 : 2′
No.2 : 6′
No.8 : 14′ 24
Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0

Match Reports – Chelsea storm back as Leeds give QPR a hell of a beating!

Chelsea 3 Leeds Utd 2

Chelsea pulled off the comeback of the season, against a Leeds side which looked like it had the game won. A goal from No. 9 on 5 minutes was followed by a second strike on 9 minutes by No.10. This put Leeds firmly in the driving seat until Chelsea pulled a goal back on 13 minutes. It was the Chelsea No.7 who inspired the fight-back with his first goal of a hat-trick; his second triple of the season. The dramatic equaliser came in injury time at the end of the first half, to set up an enthralling second period. The drama reached even headier heights on 20 minutes as the Chelsea No.7 scored the goal which completed his hat-trick and gave Chelsea all three points. A famous victory for the blues !

Leeds Utd 4 QPR 0

League leaders QPR took on Champions Leeds with the home side needing a win after the shock defeat at Chelsea. They made sure of the points with a comprehensive 4-0 win, inflicting Rangers first ever ‘away’ defeat in the Riff Raff Premier League. It took just two minutes for the Leeds No.6 to find the net and when No.2 made it 2-0 on 6 minutes, it was clear that Rangers were in trouble. Unlike Chelsea in Leeds’ previous match, QPR couldn’t find a way back, as Leeds continued to dominate in midfield. This resulted in restricting QPR to sporadic goal attempts. It also meant more chances for Leeds, which saw them hit a third goal just before half time. A looping 25 yard shot by No.8, powered into the top far corner of the net on 14 minutes gave ‘Parksie’ no chance. The second half was a little more even, but Leeds had the game won, with Rangers never looking like getting back into the match. No.8 scored again on 24 minutes to cap a resounding and important victory, keeping Leeds very much in the title chase. It was noted that the subbuteo Rob Kemmenoe figure didn’t appear in the dug out until half way through the second period. Was there some significance in this ? The Leeds fans clearly thought so, with “sacked in the morning” chants. “Can we play you every week” was also heard, wafting round the ground. A Norwegian spokesman summed things up; “Dave Sexton, Neil Warnock, Gordon Jago, Alec Stock, Gerry Francis, your boys took a hell of a beating !!”

Chopper Harris shakes hands with Stan Bowles after the game

Chopper Harris shakes hands with Stan Bowles after the game

Chelsea 0 QPR 0

With the results of the previous two games in mind, how this game was likely to go, now had an air of unpredictability about it. However, as per usual, this turned out to be a close game, with the occasional goal attempts from either side. The teams ended up getting a point-a-piece with probably the right result on the overall balance of play. The drama for one evening was all used up in the previous two games, leaving QPR, Chelsea and Leeds all involved in an interesting situation developing at the top of the table.





Tuesday 24th November

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 4 ) 5
No.9 : 6′
No.7 : (Pen) 8′ 10′
No.6 : 15′
No.11 : 30′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 5 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 3′
No.7 13′ (Sub=HT)
No.9 : 19′
No.12 : 23′
No.4 : 28′

Match Reports – Leeds win ‘double-header’

West Ham 0 Leeds Utd 5

A tough game for the Hammers against a Leeds side looking to get back on track after a disappointing start to the season. Indeed, it was Leeds who started the game in all out attack and the inevitable happened on 6 minutes. No.9 put Leeds in front, by which time the West Ham keeper had already made three or four great saves. Eight minutes gone and a penalty was given for a nudge in the area, by a West Ham defender, although the referee only had a view of Johnny UnKempt’s back at the time. The democratic process prevailed and the penalty was awarded. No.7 made no mistake in putting Leeds two up. Two minutes later, the same player put Leeds 3-0 ahead, this time in open play. On the stroke of half time, No.6 made it 4-0. West Ham put in a spirited 2nd half performance, albeit too little too late, but they did have some good periods of possession. They even forced the Leeds keeper into a save ! Leeds had the last word though with No.11 scoring their fifth goal on 30 minutes, just as the game was moving into injury time.

Cup Draw

The draw for the 1st round of the cup, which is effectively the quarter final stage, was made between the evening’s two league matches. QPR manager Rob Kemmenoe did the Jim Rosenthal bit, presiding over the draw, calling out each team as they left the bag, adding authentically, “ …will play …” between each team, as they were drawn. Anyone fancy being Graham Kelly for the next draw ? … No, I thought not !

West Ham’s Johnny UnKempt drew the home teams out of the bag and Leeds’ Alan Cutler picked the away teams. Spookily enough, between them they succeeded in setting up a Leeds v West Ham tie. Probably not terribly good news for John, but Al was, no doubt, pretty pleased with the draw.

So, the draw in full : Chelsea v Spurs, QPR v Brentford, Leeds v West Ham, Newcastle v Everton. Matches to be played early January; dates TBA.

Leeds Utd 5 West Ham 0

Leeds kicked off the second game of the evening’s ‘double-header’ and West Ham were soon behind when No.10 opened the scoring three minutes in. West Ham equitted themselves well in the first half, more resolute in defence and putting together some good moves in midfield. A second Leeds goal on 13 minutes, scored by No.7, seemed to change that somewhat. With the last kick of the first half, the same player had another shot on goal, but he sustained a bad injury, falling off the edge of the table, just like Stan at QPR the other week, and was replaced by substitute No.12. This injury paled into insignificance though, when Leeds fans trashed the new dug-out area, also sending that over the edge of the table with officials from both sides sitting on the benches. Luckily, there were no further injuries and only minor repairs were needed to the fencing. It was the the tube of glue taking the biggest bashing ! And that wasn’t all ! After the match, it was revealed that linesman, Mr.Red-Flag, had a potentially serious ankle injury. Out came the glue again. He’s now all better and fit for his next game. Anyway, into the second half, and Leeds proceeded to add three more goals. No.9 struck on 19 minutes. Then, the substitute got on the score sheet on 23 minutes. No.4 rounded things off, making the final score 5-0 on 28 minutes.

Monday 9th November

Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 4 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.9 : 3′
No.2 : 6′
(Yellow=No.10 : 15′)
No.3 : 23′
No.10 : 24′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 3 ) 4 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 1′ 28′
No.7 (OG) : 9′
No.7 : 13′

Match Reports – Stan’s miraculous recovery boosts QPR

Everton 4 West Ham 0

West Ham, in their light blue away kit with the two claret hoops, took on Everton, who started the game on the front foot. No.9 struck after 3 minutes, followed up by a second Everton goal on 6 minutes by No.2 who was able to push forward, finding space for a series of shots in the first half. Everton’s No.5 picked up a yellow card for a foul just before half time as West Ham trailed 2-0. The second half continued in similar vane, with Everton making most of the running, although West Ham showed one or two flashes. The game was wrapped up with two goals mid-way through the second half. No.3 scored on 23 minutes and No.10 made it 4-0 a minute later.

QPR 4 West Ham 0

If West Ham were hoping to take advantage of Stan’s absence through injury, they suffered disappointment when he lined up for the start of the game with his QPR team mates, having made a miraculous recovery. Great stuff this superglue, y’know ! Things quickly got even worse for West Ham as it took just one minute for Stan to get on the scoresheet.

With the injury looking very much behind him, Stan put in a quality performance. And he wasn’t the only one, as the lead was doubled on 9 minutes with a deflected shot, in off the defending No.7. It was 3-0 at half time as the QPR No. 7 hit a low, accurate shot across the keeper, finding the far corner of the net, on 13 minutes. West Ham played well in parts and came close to scoring, but they couldn’t capitalise having got through the Rangers defence. It was Stan who had the last word, dribbling through the middle of the West Ham back line to tuck away his second goal, on 28 minutes.

Monday 2nd November

Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 2
No.5 (OG) : 22′
No.10 : 24′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0
No.6 : 19′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 4 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0
No.9 : 3′
No.10 : 5′ 16′ (Sub=16′)
No.1 (OG) : 28′

Match Reports – Brentford bow out as QPR march on

The day started badly with a phone call ! Unfortunately, due to work commitments, Paul has decided to drop out of the league, so Brentford are no longer represented, for the rest of this season, at least. The immediate impact of this, was on tonight’s games, as Paul was down for two matches.
The league table was the other ‘casualty’, which sees Paul’s two games chalked off, along with his opponents’ matches. Thanks to Joel for his work on the website – Not an easy task to amend the league table !
With dwindling participants this season, an EGM was hastily called with league representatives from QPR, Chelsea and Everton present, to discuss the way forward – Never had these hassles when Sep was left alone to run things.
So, the night’s games were re-jigged …

Everton 0 Chelsea 2

A close game, as expected, with little between the two sides as they remained level at half time. Chelsea took the lead on 22 minutes with a speculative shot which deflected off the Everton No.5 and into the net, wrong footing the keeper. Two minutes later, the points were secured as Everton were caught on the break. The Chelsea No.10 broke into a central position and made no mistake, to record a 2-0 win.

QPR 1 Chelsea 0

With both sides unbeaten going into this game, it was clear that this was going to be another close encounter. And so it was ! After a goalless first half, it was Rangers who came out and snatched the points with, what turned out to be, the only goal of the game. No.6 finished on 19 minutes to maintain QPR’s 100% start to the season.

QPR 4 Everton 0

‘Stan’ scores but picks up a bad injury

‘Stan’ scores but picks up a bad injury

Everton took on QPR, needing something from this game to give them lift from their disappointing start to the season. This was something of a ‘big ask’ against a Rangers side who have started well with maximum points. Everton made the early running with Rangers barely able to get out of their own half, early on. Indeed Everton had intense spells of pressure throughout the game, but were unable to put away the chances they created. It was a different story for QPR though, who, having soaked up the pressure, went on to exert periods of pressure themselves, on the Everton defence. It was one such a spell that brought the opening goal after 3 minutes. A cross from the left, just after a corner, ‘pinged’ about like a pin-ball machine, bouncing off players of both teams, before No.9 ‘Sir Les’, got the final touch, to tuck the ball just inside the post from 6 yards. Two minutes later, ‘Stan’ made it 2-0, to give Rangers a relieved half time lead.

QPR boss Rob Kemmenoe goes mad as medics run onto the pitch

QPR boss Rob Kemmenoe goes mad as medics run onto the pitch

‘Stan’ scored again on 16 minutes. His 20 yard shot hit the post and the back spin took the ball over line. However, in the act of putting his team into an unassailable lead, tragedy struck. Stan sustained a bad injury with a double break, having gone over the edge of the table. The medical staff immediately went to Stan’s aid, but QPR manager, Rob Kemmenoe, went mad, shouting at the physio and doctor to get off the pitch and stop wasting time and to leave Stan there, “cos he’ll be alright” ! Substitute No.12 came on for the remainder of the game which QPR wrapped up in the 28th minute.

Stan recovers after superglue surgery

Stan recovers after superglue surgery

A corner, crossed in from the left, looked like the keeper’s ball but Timmy Tourettes could only parry into his own net. Things just haven’t been the same for him since the beard disappeared.
Rangers now have injury worries and wait to see if Stan will be fit for the next game. He is now recovering in hospital, having undergone superglue surgery. Everton had their moments in this game but nothing came off for them. This was highlighted when an indirect free kick from 10 yards was blocked on the line by a desperate QPR wall. Everton provided tough opposition despite the 4-0 scoreline, which flattered QPR a little – A lot closer than the final score would suggest !

Wednesday 21st October

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 3
No.6 : 7′
No.9 : 27′
No.4 : 30′
Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 1 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 5 ) 7
No.8 : 27′ No.4 : 2′
No.10 : 7′ 9′ 12′
No.7 : 14′ 18′
No.11 : 30′
West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Brentford (Paul) ( 2 ) 3
No.5 : 12′
No.9 : 15′
No.3 : 26′

Match Reports – Rangers hit seven!

West Ham Utd 0 QPR 3

QPR recorded a comfortable win against West Ham at the infamous Yiewsley Stadium but the home side put in a good performance. The 3-0 scoreline flattered QPR. Having gone behind in the 7th minute, when the QPR No.6 put the visitors in front, West Ham stood firm and didn’t cave in, as they have done in the past. Despite this, QPR were always in control of the game, but had to be vigilant at the back against a threatening West Ham attack. Two late goals from No.9, ‘Sir Les’ on 27 minutes, and No.4 on 30 minutes, gave QPR a more comfortable win than the score would otherwise suggest. QPR continue their good start to the season while West Ham would seem to have something to build on.

Brentford 1 QPR 7

QPR maintained their 100% record in emphatic style against Paul’s Brentford, in action for the first time this season, which may well have had some bearing on their inept performance. Rob and his QPR side took full advantage ! The first goal came from No.4 just 2 minutes in. Then ‘Stan’ took over with goals on 7, 9 and 12 minutes, completing a hat-trick in a five minute spell, including two accurate finishes tucked just inside the post. No.7 made it 5-0 at half time with a goal on 14 minutes. The same player came out for the second half, to score his second goal, on 18 minutes. However, Brentford’s second half performance saw a distinct improvement and they even got on the score-sheet. No.8 took advantage of a large hole in the middle of the QPR defence to power in a 27th minute consolation goal. ‘Parksie’ got his hands to it but the shot was too hot to handle. So no ‘Cossack’ bonus this time for the QPR keeper ! No.11 scored the seventh goal for QPR on 30 minutes, with a firmly hit shot from 25 yards, from out on the left. QPR now top the table while Brentford look to improve in their next game, against West Ham.

West Ham Utd 0 Brentford 3

Last season’s corresponding fixture between these two sides saw Paul’s Brentford win 3-2 after John’s West Ham had the lion’s share of the game, creating some great goal scoring chances. This season, with their creditable performance against QPR and Brentford’s sorry start, also against QPR, it looked like this game may take a similar pattern. In keeping with the unpredictability of the game of football, this match turned out a little differently.

Having recovered from their mauling against QPR, Paul and his Brentford team put in a much improved performance to dominate much of this game. No.5 put Brentford 1-0 up on 12 minutes and No.9 made it 2-0 at half time, netting on 15 minutes. Brentford’s No.3 wrapped up the points with a strike on 26 minutes to make it 3-0. However, John and his West Ham team hadn’t played at all badly, but hadn’t managed to create the chances of last season’s encounter.

They still had their moments though, not least of which came in the dying minutes. A West Ham shot was thundered towards the Brentford goal. But what happened next ? Did the keeper save it ? Did the ball rattle the underside of the bar and bounce out ? Did the ball hit the roof of the net before bouncing back onto the pitch ? In the end it became a little ‘academic’ as, before the three parties involved could arrive at a decision, Paul picked up the ball, which was still technically ‘live’, to give away a penalty. As it turned out, it was probably the most satisfactory way to sort out the situation, under the circumstances. Of course, there’s an important lesson to be learnt here, which is … Never pick up the ball in the penalty area – Play to the whistle ! In the final twist of this almost farcical tale, John, dramatically, missed the penalty, as the ball flashed wide of the post.

Monday 19th October

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 0 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 0
No.8 : 16′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 1 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0
No.9 : 9′

Match Reports – Little between the teams on a night of highly competitive games

Leeds Utd 0 Chelsea 0

Leeds kicked off, in their first match in defence of their league title, against a Chelsea side fresh from their opening day win against West Ham. Chelsea, in their yellow and blue away kit, proved to be formidable opponents but both sides had chances here and there. In the end, Chelsea emerged from this goalless encounter with a well earned point.

QPR 1 Leeds Utd 0

Leeds, in their all-yellow away strip, started well, looking dangerous in the early stages and once again, it was ‘Parksie’ pulling off a couple of crucial saves that kept QPR on level terms. This closely contested game, saw both sides having good spells though, but there was no score at half-time. The deadlock was broken shortly after the re-start. A neat move through the middle saw ‘Gerry’, QPR’s No.8, hit an accurate 16th minute shot into the corner of the net. Rangers nearly doubled their lead when ‘Stan’ had a good shot saved by the Leeds keeper, but Leeds’ late pressure looked like it might produce an equaliser. Rangers held firm though, to win this tight encounter. QPR manager Rob Kemmenoe said afterwards, “Well Brian, ‘Parksie’ was great for us again. I told him before the game, that if he could keep another clean sheet tonight, I’d see him OK for an extra can of Cossack hairspray. So I’ll have to cut short the post-match interview Brian, and get down to Tesco’s” … “Do they still do Cossack these days Brian ?”

Chelsea 1 Everton 0

Everton, in their yellow & blue away strip, took on Chelsea, who struck on 9 minutes, with an angled shot from their No.9, hit across the keeper and into the far corner. There were no further goals in this game despite much endeavour from both sides, in the third close contest of the evening. This latest three points sees Chelsea heading the table, until Wednesday at least, when the infamous Yiewsley Stadium hosts three more matches.

Monday 12th October

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 2
No.10 : 11′
No.7 : 30′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 2 ) 3 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 1 ) 1
No.7 : 13′ 16′ 22′ No.5 : 14′
Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1
No.9 : 17′

Match Reports – The new season gets underway! Hat-trick puts Chelsea on top

West Ham Utd. 0 Everton 2

Everton took on West Ham in the first game of the new season, in their yellow & blue away strip. John’s West Ham were hoping for better things going into this match and showed some good touches and constructed some good moves throughout the game. Stuart’s Everton meanwhile went into the game looking to improve on last season’s finish. They took an 11th minute lead from a free kick, conceded with a hand ball offence, in a central position just outside the box. The shot, hit firmly by the No.10, deflected in off a defender or possibly two. The Everton player was credited with the goal and his team lead 1-0 at the break. West Ham battled for the equaliser but when their best chance of the game presented itself, incredibly turned it down ! Their defensive frailties became evident in the latter stages as Everton clinched the points with their second goal; No.7 netting on 30 minutes.

Chelsea 3 West Ham Utd. 1

Chelsea’s No.7 celebrates his hat-trick with the fans

Chelsea’s No.7 celebrates his hat-trick with the fans

A first day of the season hat-trick saw Chelsea take top spot. The game came to life on 13 minutes as Chelsea and their No.7, opened the scoring. West Ham, in their classic away kit of pale blue with two claret hoops, hit straight back with an expertly executed finish from No.5. It was a fine finish, out of the keeper’s reach and tucked into the corner of the net, for a dramatic equaliser. Hammers manager, Johnny UnKempt, went wild ! But, they were level for just two minutes as Chelsea’s No.7 snatched the lead again on 16 minutes in added-on- time at the end of the first half. In the second half, West Ham continued to play some bright football but Chelsea always looked in control. No.7 continued to threaten and could have had his hat-trick earlier but for some fine goalkeeping. On 22 minutes, the third Chelsea goal hit the back of the net as No.7 completed a superb first day hat-trick. When asked about the goal, Johnny UnKempt went into ‘On The Buses’ mode, saying “That’s made my day !” John only needs two more goals to equal his goal-scoring record of last season. What’s the betting  he can do it ? Contact Keene & Bourneo (Official bookies to the Riff Raff Premier League) for the latest odds !

Everton 0 QPR 1

Man-of-the-match ‘Parksie’ secures the points for QPR

Man-of-the-match ‘Parksie’ secures the points for QPR

Everton followed up their opening away win, with their first home game against QPR. Rangers, in their away strip of Red & White halves, started well, creating two or three good chances which went narrowly wide. This game was pretty closely fought throughout, with both sides having periods of possession and pressure, but the score remained 0-0 at half-time. The deadlock was broken shortly after the re-start. The Everton defence got into a muddle in the middle and ‘Sir Les’, QPR’s No.9, took full advantage, placing an accurate low 17th minute shot into the corner of the net. Soon after, ‘Stan’ was denied by Everton’s bald ( chin, as well as head, these days ) keeper, Timmy Tourettes, with a great save with his feet, diving the other way. This was the cue for Everton to push on, as pressure mounted on the QPR defence; now playing with a back four, from the earlier back three. QPR keeper ‘Parksie’ had already been called into action earlier in the game but secured Rangers’ man-of-the-match accolade with two crucial saves in the dying minutes. Everton had two menacing corners, producing what looked to be the equaliser, only for ‘Parksie’ to thwart them with two goal-line saves. Rangers held on to win this tough encounter. A QPR spokesman said afterwards, “Well Brian, I thought we produced the perfect away performance, against a dangerous looking Everton side. Y’know, this is always a tough place to come and get a result, Brian. OK, I know I’m in my own front room, Brian, but I’m still way from home. D’yer know what I mean, Brian … Hmm, not sure I do really, Brian”.

Saturday 19th September – Site Fixed!

Welcome to rkmusic.co.uk/subbuteo for the Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League, Season 2015/16.

The new season is nearly upon us, and kicks off on Monday 12th October.

Forthcoming fixtures are shown above and will be kept up-to-date throughout the season, for easy reference.

Mighty Leeds - Can they retain their league title?

Mighty Leeds – Can they retain their league title?

With the new season about to get under way, the Barclays Premier League has begun and Sep, somehow, is still in charge at FIFA. But, here in the Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League, the new season will see Al’s Leeds Utd defend their League title in the face of stiff opposition, in the guise of Rob’s QPR, Alan’s Chelsea and Stuart’s Everton. Meanwhile, Paul’s Brentford and John’s West Ham will be looking to improve on previous year’s results, hoping to take a few scalps along the way. Newcastle may possibly be absent this season, due to Joel’s work commitments, although this is currently still in the balance with a decision pending.

Thanks to Joel for fixing this page. It’s all up and running now, awaiting the first matches. So, until then…

BFN, Rob.

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