Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League

League Table

Pos   Team Pld W D L F - AGD Pts
1 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) 15 10 4 1 41 - 734 34
2 Leeds United (Al) 15 8 5 2 53 - 1439 29
3 Chelsea (Alan) 15 9 1 5 31 - 1615 28
4 Everton (Stuart) 15 6 4 5 22 - 184 22
5 Brentford (Paul) 15 3 0 12 9 - 47-38 9
6 West Ham United (John) 15 2 0 13 3 - 57-54 6

Monday 8th May – 5-a-side Tournament

Leeds are 5-a-side Champions

A capacity crowd filled the Empire Pool, Wemerbley for this year’s Riff Raff Subbuteo 5-a-side tournament. With eight teams competing, there were sure to be fireworks-a-plenty, although the first pair of games in each group produced just three goals. It soon livened up though, as Brentford stormed to a 3-2 win against Leeds, in the highest scoring game of the group stages. Brentford finished top of group B with a 2-0 win against Spurs. Leeds finished second, so they also qualified for the knockout stage. In group A, holders Everton breezed through to the semis with three wins, with Chelsea also going through, in second place.

In the first semi-final, Brentford continued their run of form with a 2-0 win against Chelsea, although the second goal was somewhat bizarre. The Chelsea keeper stepped aside to allow Brentford to score into an empty net, right on the final whistle. Leeds knocked out holders Everton 1-0 in the other semi-final.

Meanwhile, in the ‘Plate’ semis, Newcastle and Spurs were still deadlocked at 0-0 after extra time. So, to the dreaded penalties. Newcastle snatched it 4-3 ! QPR beat West Ham 1-0 in the other ‘Plate’ Semi.

And so, to the finals … Newcastle led twice against QPR, before Rangers nicked the ‘Plate’, 3-2 ! The evening finished with ‘the big one’ as Brentford, one of the form teams of the tournament, took on the highly fancied Leeds. With Brentford showing signs of fatigue, pressure or just plain suicidal tendencies, Leeds took advantage of the Brentford defender camping out in his own ‘D’ for half the game. Eventually, the inevitable happened when the the player and the ball came into contact. The ensuing penalty was converted, to put Leeds in the driving seat. With Brentford’s challenge collapsing all around them, Leeds wrapped things up with a second goal, to take the trophy.


Stuart, last year’s winner, did the honours with the presentations to conclude another fine evening of fun and frolics.

Monday 10th April

Knockout Cup Final

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 1 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 5′

‘Plate’ Final

Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1 Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 0 ) 0
No.7 : 9′

Match Reports – Leeds retain the Cup, Brentford win the ‘Plate’

An evening of two close encounters got under way, following all the pre-match formalities you would expect from such a prestigious event. The Queen and Prince Philip were once again in attendance, ready and waiting to present the trophies, after the evening’s games had been concluded. Riff Raff ( a cardboard cut-out) were on the pitch playing their brand of pre-match entertainment and the National Anthem was played by Queen – who else ? ! There was also an opening commentary from some Cholmondley-Warner type character. There should have been an after-match follow-up, but someone forgot !

Rob presents Al with the Cup

With all the pre-match formalities out of the way, it was down to the teams, going head to head for the prize of their respective trophies. All this was played out in front of a sizeable, good-natured, almost Bank Holiday crowd. One notable absentee was Everton manager, Stuart Surridge who was not present due to celebrations of his landmark birthday. Congratulations were acknowledged with a minute’s clapping … or was it a minute’s silence ? !

Cup Final : Leeds Utd 1 Chelsea 0

Leeds and Chelsea took to the field in their respective familiar strips; Leeds in all-white and Chelsea in blue with white socks. Both sides needed time to get used to the pace of the pitch, with the ball often running-on.

Rob presents Alan with the Cup runners-up medal

Some of the players were also, occasionally, ‘holding-up’ on the unfamiliar ‘Wemerbley’ surface. It was Leeds who seemed to adapt quickest, grabbing an all-important goal to take the lead with 5 minutes on

the clock – Leeds 1-0 up, with a goal from their No.10. This proved to be the only goal of the game, despite both sides creating chances. Leeds ran out winners in the end, having endured a tougher test from Chelsea than QPR gave them in last season’s final !

After a largely promising season, Chelsea lost their way right at the end of the campaign, losing their last four games. It was a disappointing finish in some respects but they were always very much in this game. They will, no doubt, look forward to going again next season. Leeds’ win saw them become the first team to retain the knockout cup.

Rob presents Paul with the ‘Plate’

‘Plate’ Final : Brentford 1 Newcastle 0

Paul Cornford and his Brentford players lifted their first ever ‘trophy’, with this 1-0 win at ‘Wemerbley’. Again, the two teams involved, took each other on in their familiar kits. The red and white stripes of Brentford took the lead with 9 minutes gone as No. 7 scored the only goal of a close game. For the most-part, it was a fairly even encounter throughout, with both defences on top, restricting the creation of too many clear cut goalscoring opportunities.

The black and white stripes of Newcastle pushed Brentford back in the later stages of the game but were unable to snatch the equaliser that would taken the match to extra-time. Brentford held on to win the ‘plate’.

Rob presents Joel with his ‘Plate’ runners-up medal

The evening’s presentations also included the presentation of the League Title trophy, held over until this evening’s awards ceremony. Al presented the award to Rob.

Al presents Rob with the League Title trophy

The end of another marvellous season – Just the 5-a-side tournament to go !

Monday 13th March

Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0 Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 1
No.8 : 24′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 1 Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 2
No.7 : 8′ No.11 : 2′
No.7 : 6′
Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 2 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 3 ) 4
No.7 : 6′
No.9 : 18′
No.9 : 5′ 7′ 8′
No.6 : 25′

Match Reports – QPR Champions as Leeds pip Chelsea into 2nd place

Chelsea 0 Brentford 1

Paul Cornford and his Brentford team went into this game having lost all previous games against Alan Arnold’s Chelsea. A 1-0 win against Alan’s Crawley in January 2013 was Paul’s only success against Alan to date. Given that goal difference ruled Chelsea out of a top-spot finish, three points from their remaining two games would see them finish as creditable runners-up. Despite being favourites to take the three points in this game, Chelsea found it tough going in this late-season challenge from Brentford.

Disappointment seemed to be weighing heavy on Chelsea shoulders. There was the heavy defeat by Leeds and QPR’s late equaliser in their game against Leeds, two weeks ago, which ruled Chelsea out of winning the title. There was certainly a distinct loss of form and their performance seemed to be suffering as they looked to secure the consolation of a second place finish. That said, Chelsea still mustered the best of the chances in this game, forcing a couple of good saves from the Brentford keeper, but they couldn’t find a clinical finish.

The sides reached the interval all square in this close encounter but Brentford snatched the lead with a goal from No.8 on 24 minutes. Chelsea needed a big finish but Brentford held on for a famous victory.

Chelsea now need to win their last game of the season in a tricky game against Everton.

Chelsea 1 Everton 2

Everton started well, and went into an early two goal lead, as No.11 scored with just 2 minutes gone. No.7 followed up to make it 2-0 on 6 minutes, to severely dent Chelsea’s prospects of a second place finish. Two minutes later, Chelsea clawed back a crucial goal as No.7 netted on 8 minutes. The game was a close affair but Chelsea will look back at missed opportunities. Perhaps it just wasn’t to be. Chelsea had played superbly for most of the season, only to see it all unravel at the last hurdle. Everton were solid and looked threatening whenever they raided into the Chelsea half. The final whistle sounded, to signal the end of the game and Chelsea’s league season. There’s still the Cup up for grabs and they will hope for a return to form and better fortune, in a tough final against Leeds.

Brentford 2 Leeds Utd 4

The season ended with this six-goal thriller. A win for Leeds would give them the runners-up spot, and they opened the scoring with a goal from No.9 on 5 minutes. But Brentford’s No.7 levelled things up just a minute later. No.9 put Leeds back in front on 7 minutes and completed his hat-trick on 8 minutes. Four goals in a four minute spell ! Brentford emerged after the interval 1-3 down, but they continued to put up a spirited performance in the second half. They got their reward on 18 minutes when No.9 pulled the score back to 2-3. Could Brentford snatch a point here ? They were certainly having a go, although Leeds did have their spells of pressure. In the end, Leeds wrapped things up on 25 minutes; No.6 hitting the net to make it 4-2 in their favour. The three points saw Chelsea pipped into second place by their Cup final opponents Leeds !

… The end of a captivating League Season !

Monday 6th March – ‘Plate’ Semi-Finals

Tottenham (Kev) ( 0 ) 0 Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0
 (Yellow=No.9 : 25′)

After extra time Brentford won 6-5 on penalties

Newcastle Utd. (Joel) ( 1 ) 4 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.11 : 9′
No.8 : 19′
No.10 : 24′ 26′

Match Reports

An evening of cup flicking included a dramatic penalty shoot-out and some great goals. On the downside, Albert Tatlock will be looking at some of the fence trashing incidents !

Spurs 0 Brentford 0

Brentford’s Paul Cornford and Tottenham’s Kevin Tuck had never previously come face to face across the Subbuteo table prior to this fixture. So, how would their first ever encounter pan out ?

It was a close game, with both teams evenly matched. Brentford eventually won this tie, 6-5 on Penalties, after the game had ended goal-less at the end of 30 minutes of play. Neither side particularly dominated, but they both produced a few good chances between them, none of which found the back of the net, as the goalkeepers came out on top. The score was still deadlocked after 10 minutes of extra time so the penalty shoot ensued.

There was still no change after 5 spot kicks per side, despite both teams missing a penalty each. So 4-4 became 5-5. Then came the decider after Brentford’s No.7 put away his team’s 6th kick. Then, the Spurs No.2 hit the post and it was all over. Brentford were the winners, 6-5 !

Newcastle 4 West Ham 0

Joel and his Newcastle team booked their ‘Plate’ final place at ‘Wemerbley’, where they will meet Brentford. This was a comfortable win against John and West Ham, as Newcastle hit the net four times, with some excellent finishing. A 9th minute goal from No.11 set them on their way and further goals in the second half secured the win. No.8 made it 2-0 on 19 minutes, and two goals in as many minutes followed. No.10 got both of them, on 24 and 26 minutes, as Newcastle cruised to the ‘plate’ final.

There was some consolation for John as, after the match, he was presented with the first of this season’s awards – a well deserved ‘special award’ for sportsmanship.

Monday 27th February

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 4 ) 6 Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 1
No.8 : 2′ 16′
No.11 : 6′
No.9 11′ 13′
No.3 : 29
 No.7 : 4′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 2 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 2
No.4 : 8′
No.8 : 29′
No.8 ‘9
No.10 : 16’

Match Reports – Two Alans distraught as Gerry has the last minute laugh

Leeds Utd 6   Chelsea 1

Chelsea will be hoping that this dress rehearsal for the Cup Final turns out to be just that – a rehearsal !  There was cause for optimism going into this game, based on previous results between these two sides, as Chelsea had already beaten Leeds 2-1 twice in their previous two encounters this season. But things turned out disastrously for them this time, in a game they needed to get something from, to keep up the momentum of their title challenge.

Chelsea, in their ‘Hungary’ away strip, went behind after just two minutes as Leeds’ No.8 gave his side an early lead. But Chelsea clawed their way back, to get back on terms just two minutes later, with a good finish on the left from the edge of the area. Then on 6 minutes, came a crucial moment in the game, as the Chelsea keeper fluffed his lines, trying to clear the danger on the edge of the box. No.11 gratefully accepted the open goal to put Leeds 2-1 up. From there, Chelsea’s challenge fell apart as Leeds added two more goals before the break. No.9 got them both on 11 minutes and 13 minutes. Then, straight after the re-start, in went another one as No.8 scored his second of the game. The scoring was completed when Chelsea’s keeper fumbled a shot from No.3, somehow highlighting that this just wasn’t their day.

Chelsea manager Alan Arnold acknowledged Leeds’ excellent finishing – and he was right. It was indeed impressive, and not for the first time this season. So, what next for QPR ?

QPR 2  Leeds Utd 2

These two teams met at Loftus Road just a week after that rumbustuous cup semi final at Willa Park, and it was always going to be a tough act to follow. As it transpired, perhaps it wasn’t quite as good a spectacle, but it still threw up some quality entertainment. It certainly surpassed the cup-tie for last-gasp drama. A win in this, their final game of the season, would see QPR retain the league title. A draw would still mean that, mathematically though not practically, they could still be caught.  A Leeds win though, would keep Chelsea hopes alive.

‘Gerry’ (No.8) runs onto the ball to hit a first time shot

So, with QPR in their familiar hoops, now in a strong position following Chelsea’s crushing defeat against Leeds earlier in the evening, the game started with Rangers doing the early pressing. On 8 minutes, a shot from the right, following a throw-in, found the net with No.4 taking the opportunity to put QPR ahead. This was a clear message to the manager not to take him off this time to bring Cilla on !  But, with amazing predictability, Leeds scored a minute later, just as they did twice in last week’s semi. A shot from wide on the left, near the corner of the penalty area, was blocked by a QPR defender but the ball spun into the air, bamboozling ‘Parksie’ and nestling in the far corner of the net.  1-1 at half time.

Leeds came out after the break and caught the QPR defence cold, immediately taking the lead, as No.10 found the corner of the net from 25 yards. Throughout the game there were chances popping up at either end. QPR came close when ‘Stan’ got through from a flick on from ‘Sir Les’, but his shot hit the foot of the post and bounced away.

Goal ! Gerry’s shot hits the net for a last-gasp equaliser for QPR

As the game wore on into its final stages, it seemed that there would be no further score, with Leeds looking like they had done enough to preserve their advantage.

Then came the most dramatic moment of the game, or perhaps the season. With Leeds still 2-1 up, and seemingly taking all three points, QPR launched one final attack. Rangers knew time was running out, and as they came out of defence for the last time, played a long pass up-field. It was an inch perfect ball for QPR Captain and No.8 ‘Gerry’ to run on to. He smashed the ball home emphatically from 20 yards for the most dramatic of equalising goals.  The Rangers’ crowd ( Rob ) went mad while the two Alans seemed almost shell-shocked.  This time there were no minutes left for Leeds to reply – only seconds.  Leeds kicked off and as the final whistle sounded, the two Alans looked totally distraught, particularly Alan Arnold who had just witnessed Chelsea’s whole league season go up in smoke in the final seconds of the game.

Rangers leave the field after a dramatic finish

Rangers, with their season now completed, have one hand firmly on the trophy. For Chelsea, they have two games remaining in which they can go level on points, but they need to score 17 goals without reply to catch QPR … Surely ‘Mission : Impossible’ !

A sad end for Alan and his Chelsea side, who have had a great season up until this evening’s games. They have been well in contention all season – and deservedly so !

Chelsea are still in the cup though. But they face a cup final against the most formidable of opponents – Alan Cutler and his mighty Leeds !  Cup and league can often be very different animals, so who knows what drama awaits at ‘Wemerbley’ !

Monday 20th February – Cup Semi-Final

Leeds Utd. (Al) (( 1 ) 3) 5 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) (( 2 ) 3)) 3
No.8 : 14′
No.11 : 20′
No.4 27′
No.7 : 31′
No.8 : 36′
(Sub=No.12 on for No.7 : 32′)
 No.10 : 3′
No.3 : 13′
GK(OG) : 19′
(Sub=No.40 on for No.4 : 35′)
Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 2 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 1
No.11 : 18′ 26′ No.9 : 29′

Match Reports – Cup – Semi Final Special

Rangers and Leeds serve up a classic!!

Chelsea still on course for the double.

Stuart Surridge of The Everton Echo reports …

QPR 3 v 5 Leeds Utd (AET)

Whilst the nation were left disappointed after tuning in to watch Sutton Utd vs Arsenal, they will have been much better served with watching this enthralling Subbuteo Riff Raff Cup semi-final. Two of the best three teams in the league slugged it out in what proved to be the match of the season.

Stan ‘dinks’ QPR into an early lead

QPR’s No.10 opened the scoring, slotting in an opportunist goal in just three minutes. The next goal on 13 minutes came from a corner. QPR’s No. 3 rose majestically above the floundering Leeds defenders to powerfully head home QPR’s second. Crucially for Leeds, their No. 8 pulled a goal back within a minute, with a stunning strike from 25 yards.

The end-to-end battle continued in the second half. On 19 minutes, QPR gained another corner. The Leeds defence seemed hesitant and nervous in containing the threatening Rangers players in the box, which led to the Leeds keeper haplessly flapping at the resulting cross and palming the ball into his own net. 3-1 to QPR.

Whilst Leeds’ manager Cutler was fuming at his defence on corners, similar thoughts must have been going through QPR supremo Kemmenoe’s head. Could QPR learn how to hold on to a lead? For the second time in the match, Leeds produced a goal within a minute of conceding. The 20th minute saw Leeds’ No. 11 cut in from the left wing and drive home a cracking shot into the top left hand corner of the QPR net, to reduce the arrears to 3-2. With just 3 minutes remaining, Leeds’ No. 4 pushed up field in search of an equaliser and latched onto a tremendous volley from an acute angle to send the delirious Leeds supporters into raptures. With a 3-3 scoreline, the players and spectators took to the nearest tap (equivalent bar) to gain sustenance and catch their breath after a pulsating 30 minutes of cup football.

10 minutes of extra time ensued, and it took just two of those for Leeds’ No. 7 to put his team in front for the first time in the tie. One minute into the second period of extra time saw Leeds’ No. 8 bag his second of the game and put the game seemingly beyond QPR. So it proved when the final whistle blew four minutes later. All the players (and managers!) were gasping at the end of this terrific encounter. A brilliant advert for the Riff Raff League!

Chelsea 2 v 1 Everton

After the previous game, this tie had a lot to live up to. Never quite reaching the dizzy heights in terms of quality and thrills as the other semi, manager Arnold was pleased to see his team overcome tricky opponents in the form of Everton.

In a cagey first half, both sides created a handful of half chances, but the defences dominated. However, on 18 minutes the Everton defence faltered and Chelsea’s No. 11 capitalised on the error, sending a screaming shot past the helpless Everton keeper into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Chelsea’s confidence grew and on 26 minutes their No. 11 collected his second goal of the game, pouncing on a hesitant defence to slot in Chelsea’s second. Everton pushed forward and were rewarded on 29 minutes when a bullet-like shot from their No. 9 striker bulged the back of the Chelsea net. However, it was too little too late for Everton, as Chelsea secured their place into the Final, where they will meet Leeds Utd…..shades of 1970!

No.3 heads QPR into a 2-0 lead from a corner

Alan Cutler of The Leeds Observer Reports …

Leeds v QPR 

Rangers and Leeds serve up a classic!!

QPR made the early running and took the lead with a move through the centre of the Leeds defence finished off with a lovely dink over the advancing keeper to lead 1-0. From there the game began to ebb and flow with both teams trading chances. Rangers appeared to be taking control of the game as they added a second with a header from a well worked corner in the 13th minute. 2-0 Rangers. There was a further twist before half time as Leeds opened their account. Forcing a throw in, the ball was set up for a cut finish into the near post.

3 – 1 ! Leeds’ keeper palms in a QPR corner

The second half simply carried on where the first left off, with both sides playing well and exchanging chances. Rangers had looked a threat from set pieces all evening and restored their 2 goal advantage again from a corner. This time with the ball in the air across the 6 yard box, the keeper got the touch required but could only deflect the ball into his own net. 3-1 Rangers. From the kick off Leeds worked the ball out left where No.11 collected and in no time the ball nestled into the far corner of the goal. 3-2 Rangers. Leeds were now pressing for the equaliser but Rangers were still threatening more. End to end stuff, the game was poised. Leeds found the equaliser by way of No.4 who finished well from 20 yards. 3-3. Rangers had a spell of late pressure but they were kept at bay and extra time beckoned.

Extra time commenced and the ebb and flow resumed. There were chances for both sides but it was Leeds who took the lead for the first time in the game half way through the first period when No.7 shot into the top corner from just outside the box. The player landed on the floor breaking both legs in the process for the second time this season.

Half time in extra time saw Rob introduce Scilla as Rangers went in search of the equaliser. As with the first half of extra time it was Leeds that struck next as Leeds’ opening goal scorer No.8 added his second of the game.

Chelsea v Everton

Did someone say, follow that?

There was little to choose between these two teams in the first period. Everton created the first chance of the game as early as the second minute as they looked to take the game to Chelsea in the early stages. Chelsea, the leagues pacesetters, were putting in a measured performance and their patience was beginning to create chances. A strong challenge by the Everton No.7 yielded a free kick in a dangerous position but the deadlock remained unbroken. Half time 0-0.

Into the second half and Chelsea made the all important breakthrough when No.11 finished well on 18 minutes. Would that be the goal to book Chelsea a return to Wemerbley? Everton though were still a threat and worked a good opening wide on the right from which they hit the bar. A close shave for Chelsea but they were still creating chances of their own and on 26 minutes doubled their advantage. It was No.11 again who seemed to be on a one man mission to book a place in the final. Everton had a lot to do to get back into the tie. They did score through No.9 shooting high into the net with a minute remaining on the clock. From the re-start Chelsea went on the attack keeping Everton at bay and booking their place in the final.

( Thanks to Al and Stuart for their brilliant contributions ! )

Monday 13th February

Chelsea (Alan) ( 2 ) 6 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 6′ 17′
No.11 : 9′
No.9 : 19′ 31′
No.7 : 29′
West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 4 ) 9
No.11 : 2′
No.4 : 4′ 24′
No.6 : 8′ 9′
No.7 : 18′
No.10 : 19′
No.8 : 26′
No.9 : 29′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1 Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 1
No.6 : 22′ No.8 : 14′

Match Reports – West Ham suffer top scores, Chelsea march on but Leeds drop out !

The Valentine’s Day massacre came a day early for West Ham as Chelsea and then Leeds ran riot, with Leeds setting a new scoring record in the process. But Leeds are nudged out of the title chase by Everton. Meanwhile, favourites Chelsea go marching on.

Chelsea 6 West Ham 0

West Ham, buoyed by last Thursday’s win against Brentford, went into this game with renewed optimism. However, this new found confidence proved to be short lived, as Chelsea kept their title challenge well on track, with their biggest ever win in the Riff Raff Premier League. Goals from No.10 on 6 minutes and No.11 on 9 minutes, gave Chelsea a 2-0 half time lead. Chelsea ramped things up in the second half as No.10 found the net again on 17 minutes, No.9 on 19 minutes, No.7 on 29 minutes and No.9 again in injury time to give Chelsea their record 6-0 win.

West Ham 0 Leeds Utd 9

This was West Ham’s last league game of the season and nothing went right for them as Leeds rattled in the goals. No.11 scored the opener with just 2 minutes gone, followed by No.4 on 4 minutes and then again on 24 minutes, No.6 on 8 and 9 minutes, No.7 on 18 minutes, No.10 on 19 minutes, No.8 on 26 minutes and No.9 on 29 minutes. Leeds could have hit double figures as they went on all out attack. There were shots against the post, a shot against the bar which came down on the line, and saves by the West Ham keeper. Leeds came close to a 10th goal even as the referee prepared to blow the final whistle as the last action of the game saw another Leeds effort flash just wide of the post.

Leeds Utd 1 Everton 1

This was a must win game for Leeds’ league title aspirations and with the previous two meetings between these two sides having ended in 1-1 draws, they wasted no time in putting Everton under intense pressure right from the kick off. It was very much one way traffic throughout the whole of the first half. Everton survived a number of Leeds corners, and had their keeper to thank, pulling off a couple of important saves, while other chances flashed narrowly wide of the post. Then, totally against the run of play it was Everton who scored. With half time on the horizon, No.8 caught Leeds on the break and produced an emphatic 20 yard finish on 14 minutes. 1-0 to Everton at half time ! The game continued in much the same vane as before and at last, on 22 minutes, Leeds got a deserved equaliser with a strike by No.6. Everton, undeterred, continued to show their resilience right to the final whistle, denying Leeds the goal and the points, that would have kept them in the title chase.

Thursday 9th February

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 5 ) 6
No.10 : 3′ 10′
No.5 : 6′
No.9 : 12′ 19′
No.7 (OG) : 15′
(Sub=No.40 on for No.4 at HT)
Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 5
No.7 : 5′
No.11 : 14′
No.10 : 16′ 17′ (Pen)
No.5 : 22′
West Ham Utd. (John) ( 1 ) 2 Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 1
No.6 : 15′
No.3 : 31′
(Yellow=No.9 : 25′)
No.2 : 26′

Match Reports – West Ham Win !

West Ham won their game against Brentford, sparking rumours that win bonuses would be going towards up-grading the Yiewsley Stadium fence surround, which spent most of the evening falling off the edge of the table, rather like houses on the Isle Of Wight coastline !

West Ham 0 QPR 6

This game went pretty much to the form book. No.10 ‘Stan’ scored after 3 minutes and went on to add Rangers’ third goal on 10 minutes. In between, No.5 added a goal on 6 minutes. No.9 ’Sir Les’ made it 4-0 on 12 minutes before a cruel own goal was deflected in by No.7, to put QPR 5-0 up at half time. There was just one more goal added to the score in the second half, despite the introduction of substitute No.40 ‘Cilla’ at half time. There was no hint of even one surprise from him, remaining largely anonymous throughout the half. It was No.9 ‘Sir Les’ who scored his second and Rangers’ fifth of the game.

Brentford 0 QPR 5

Brentford made a plucky start to this game, pushing QPR back in the opening minutes. But 5 minutes in, Rangers went in front with a fierce 20 yard shot from No.7. The second goal came on 14 minutes with No.11 sending QPR in at the break with a 2-0 lead. No.10 ’Stan’ scored with an accurate shot just inside the post on 16 minutes and the same player scored again a minute later. This time, it was from the penalty spot following a hand ball offence. Following a corner, No.5 headed in a cross from the left, to make it 5-0 to Rangers, on 22 minutes.

West Ham 2 Brentford 1

This was undoubtedly the ‘Match Of The Day’, as West Ham stole all three points with the last kick of this entertaining clash, as the two teams at the bottom of the table, went head to head in Yiewsley. It was Brentford who made the early running but the West Ham defence managed to keep the visiting attack at arms length. Then, with half time approaching, West Ham broke through the middle with the Brentford defence in disarray. No.6 produced one of the strikes of the season on 15 minutes to put West Ham 1-0 up. No one saw this one coming ! Thundering a fierce, looping shot into the top corner of the net, this was a ‘worldy’ of a finish which would have denied any keeper a cat’s chance. Brentford eventually equalised on 26 minutes, with the assistance of an error by West Ham’s, usually reliable, goalkeeper. Brentford’s No.2, having pushed forward into the attack, latched onto the ball which the keeper looked to have smothered, after an initial shot. The Brentford player dinked (I’ve always wanted to use that word – it’s so ITV !) his shot against the keeper and the ball spun in from just 3 yards out. Honours looked like they would end even and Johnny UnKempt and his team looked like they’d have to console themselves with just a point … until injury time ! The West Ham No. 3 took advantage of more disappointing Brentford defending to hit a dramatic winner. The ball seemed to deceive the Brentford keeper, diving to the far post as the half-hit shot seemed to swerve back the other way. This was the last action of the game as the final whistle signalled a rare and memorable win for the Hammers !

Tuesday 31st January

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 4 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 12′
No.6 : 14′
No.11 : 20′
No.9 : 29′
Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 3 Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1
No.9 : 9′
No.10 : 18′
No.7 : 19′
No.5 : 7′

Match Reports – QPR go top!

QPR 4 Everton 0

Two goals in each half gave QPR another crucial win. Everton, in yellow and blue, kept Rangers at arms length for the first 10 minutes, despite the home side doing much of the pressing. It was No.10, ‘Stan’, who tricked his way to the edge of the penalty area on 12 minutes, to open the scoring. His shot found the top left corner of the net, giving Everton’s keeper no chance. Two minutes later, Rangers went 2-0 up as No.6 thundered his shot into the top corner, this time to the keeper’s left. The second half was one-way QPR traffic, although Everton got through Rangers’ backline a couple of times, but couldn’t trouble ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal. Rangers were in total control as they secured the points on 20 minutes with their third goal. This time, No.11 broke through to fire in from the edge of the area. QPR rounded things off with a fourth goal on 29 minutes, following a corner. It was No.10 ‘Stan who set up the goal, with a pass to the edge of the area having pulled the ball back from the dead-ball line. No.9 ‘Sir Les’ finished the move with the help of a half blocked shot which spun into the air, looping over the stranded keeper and into the net. QPR go top, but Chelsea and Leeds have games in hand. It’s all still in the balance.

Everton 3 Brentford 1

This was another tale of four good goals as both teams played their part in an entertaining, evenly contested match. It was Brentford who struck first with 7 minutes gone. No.5 scored with an accurate 20 yard shot from right of centre. The lead lasted just two minutes as Everton hit straight back. A great finish from No.9, finding the top corner, levelled things up on 9 minutes. With a 1-1 score-line at half-time, it was all to play for in the second half. The balance swung firmly in Everton’s favour with two goals in a minute. No.10 found the net first on 18 minutes, followed by another emphatic finish on 19 minutes when No.7 found the back of the net. There was now no way back for Brentford, despite their spirited performance.

Cup Draw

The draw took place last night, for the Cup semi finals and the ‘Plate’.

The ties came out as follows … Semi final draw : Leeds Utd v QPR / Chelsea v Everton – To be played on Monday 20th February. ‘Plate’ draw : Spurs v Brentford / Newcastle v West Ham – To be played on Tuesday 28th February.

Monday 23rd January

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 2 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 2′
No.11 : 28′
Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 2 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.4 : 7′
No.10 : 11′
(Yellow=No.6 : 12′)
Yellow=No.8 : 21′)
West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 3 ) 3
(Yellow=No.10 : 14′) No.9 : 6′
No.10 : 7′
No.7 : 10′

Match Reports – QPR breathe down Chelsea’s neck as Leeds lurk menacingly in the background

QPR 2 Chelsea 0

A goal in each half gave QPR the all-important win they needed. Chelsea, in their red, white and green away strip, could have had one hand on the league trophy, had they have won the game, but instead, got off to the worst possible start. A shot from wide on the right, from No.10, ‘Stan’, found the back of the net with just two minutes gone. Chelsea’s best chance of the game came in the second half as an attack, right of centre, produced a goal-bound shot which ‘Parksie’ did well to keep out. Rangers sealed the victory on 28 minutes with a goal from a similar position to their opener. This time it was No.11 who scored with an accurate finish, just inside the far post. This was a blow to Chelsea’s title challenge and keeps things wide open !

Everton 2 West Ham 0

Two first half goals secured the points for Everton against a West Ham side who played some neat football in the middle of the park. However, goals from No.4 on 7 minutes and No.10 on 11 minutes gave Everton a comfortable 2-0 half-time lead. There were no additions to the score in the second half. The only downside for Everton were yellow cards for No.6 and No.8.

West Ham 0 Leeds Utd 3

It looked like another Leeds goal-fest was on the cards as West Ham found themselves three down in the first ten minutes of this encounter. Things looked like they might get even worse for West Ham when No.10 was booked for a bad challenge, while Leeds were forced to make a substitution on 17 minutes due to injury. However, Hammers managed to recover from the early Leeds onslaught, playing out the last two thirds of the game without conceding again. They also produced some good midfield play and even came close to a consolation goal late on, sending a shot just wide.

Water gushes outside the main stand turnstile

Other News

A burst water main outside the ground threatened flooding and with weather reports predicting freezing temperatures, things could have got pretty dire in icy conditions.

Meanwhile, the Keene & Bourneo betting monopoly on this prestigious league looks to be under threat with constant takeover rumours of a Ray Winstone “bet in play” image hovering menacingly over the pitch – or maybe a life-size cardboard cut-out – very low tech !

Monday 9th January – Cup 1st Round (Quarter Finals)

West Ham Utd. (John) 1 Chelsea (Alan) 3
(Yellow=No.9 : 15′)
No.15 : 20′
No.7 : 11′
No.9 : 22′ 30′
(Yellow=No.7 : 15′)
(Yellow=Red=No.7 : 29′)
Leeds Utd. (Al) 6 Brentford (Paul) 0
No.11 : 1′ 14′
No.9 : 9′
No.10 : 12′
No.8 : 19′
No.4 : 26′
Newcastle Utd. (Joel) 0 Everton (Stuart) 4
No.8 : 3′
No.9 : 5′ (Pen)
No.5 : 19′
No.3 : 22′
Tottenham Hotspur (Kev) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) 2
No.10 : 5′ 26′
(Sub=No.6 / No.40: HT)

Match Reports – No giant killings (again) !

In a packed programme of cup action, there were thrills, spills, goals, saves, near misses and yellow cards – everything you’d expect from a night of frantic cup-tie flicking. In addition, there was the added bonus of the disintegration of the ref’s whistle and even a pitch invasion – by match officials, no less ! The one thing missing – giant killings (as usual) !

West Ham 1 Chelsea 3

Cup-tie invaded by rogue match officials

The evening’s cup-ties kicked off with bottom-of-the-table West Ham taking on table-topping Chelsea. For a while, the ‘magic of the cup’ looked like it might be alive and well for West Ham, as Chelsea, in their changed strip of yellow and blue, were out-played for much of the first half. Nevertheless, Chelsea’s No.7 found the net on 11 minutes to give the visitors a 1-0 half-time lead. This incident packed encounter started with the match officials in yellow which, of course, clashed with the Chelsea players. A quick change to black was all that was required, but a box load of various refs and linesmen cascaded onto the pitch from a great height. They even brought their own ball with them – a white one. Perhaps they didn’t like the orange ‘cup’ match ball very much. It was the most bizarre of pitch invasions ! However, minutes later, the match referee stole the limelight again when his whistle disintegrated, dropping off the neck-band and falling to the floor in a heap. The replacement whistle was yellow with a smiley decal and had a sound more reminiscent of Thomas the tank engine than an Acme thunderer. Eventually, play resumed, although both sides were guilty of some robust challenges. The first yellow cards were issued on the stroke of half-time as Chelsea’s No.7 and West Ham’s No.9 both saw yellow for separate bad challenges, just seconds apart.

Smiles all round … including the replacement whistle

Into the second half and West Ham were still holding their own and even had the audacity to equalise on 20 minutes. Some neat passing through midfield set up the chance for No.10 to finish off an impressive move to level the scores. It was no more than they deserved for their contribution to this cup-tie. However, far from spurring Hammers on to even better things, the goal appeared to serve as the catalyst for Chelsea to assume overall control of the game. West Ham began to struggle to hold a now resurgent Chelsea. Goals from No.9 on 22 and 30 minutes, wrapped things up for the team in yellow and blue, to secure their place in the semi final draw. But there was still time for more drama at the end of this event-spattered cup-tie. A foul on 29 minutes saw the Chelsea No.7 dismissed with a second yellow card. By this time, Chelsea were well in control of the game as the West Ham challenge had all but faded and died, just like the bubbles they’re always blowing.

Leeds Utd 6 Brentford 0

Leeds blasted their way into the semi-finals with this emphatic 6-0 mauling of Brentford, repeating their score-line against the Bees in the recent meeting in the league. Brentford had their moments, but sadly, they were too few and far between to trouble Leeds. No.11 started the goal-fest, scoring the opening goal in the first minute. The same player followed up with another on 4 minutes. No.9 scored on 9 minutes and No.10 made it 4-0 at half time with a strike on 12 minutes. Leeds added two more goals from No.8 and No.4, on 19 minutes and 26 minutes respectively, to book their place in the semi-finals with a master-class in finishing.

Newcastle Utd 0 Everton 4

Everton breezed into the semi-finals with an emphatic 4-0 win over Newcastle. A goal after 3 minutes set them on their way as No.8 netted the opener. Two minutes later came a controversial penalty decision following a foul on the edge of the Newcastle penalty area. Was it in or out ? It was adjudged to have been inside the box and Everton’s No.9 made no mistake from the spot, to make it 2-0 on 5 minutes. Newcastle struggled to get back into the game after the set-back of Everton’s early lead and the tie was well and truly settled with goals from two Everton defenders. No.5 made it 3-0 on 19 minutes, followed by a fourth goal, this time by No.3 on 22 minutes.

Tottenham 0 Q.P.R. 2

Two goals from No.10 ‘Stan’ saw Rangers, in red and black hoops, through to the next round with a goal in each half. The first goal came after 5 minutes. ‘Stan’ wrapped things up on 26 minutes with a neat finish into the corner of the net but was denied a hat-trick when his free kick hit the bar. It was a comfortable win for QPR although Spurs, in all-white, had a good second half effort go just wide of the post. QPR made a surprise half-time substitution when No.40 ‘Cilla’ replaced No.6. There was nearly another surprise late on, when ‘Cilla’ almost got on the score-sheet, but he shot just wide of the near post. So, just one surprise, instead of two.

Monday 19th December

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Chelsea (Alan) ( 3 ) 4
(Yellow=No.7 : 26′) No.10 : 2′ 21′
No.9 : 9′
No.4 : 26′
(Yellow=No.5 : 31′)
Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 4
(Yellow=No.2 25′) No.6 : 17′
No.10 : 20′
No.4 : 26′
No.11 : 27′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 0 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0
(Yellow=No.10 : 13′)

Match Reports – Chelsea march on !

With Christmas on the horizon, the last games of 2016 took place. The run-in to the end of the season is looking very interesting – especially for Chelsea, as things stand …

West Ham 0 Chelsea 4

No.10 opened the scoring with just 1 minute 28 seconds gone ( yes, the official time-keeper was using modern technology again – not something you’d normally associate with Subbuteo ! ) No. 9 made it 2-0 with 8 minutes 44 seconds gone. No.4 made it 3-0 before the interval with a strike on 11 minutes 40 seconds. Mid-way through the second half Chelsea scored again. No.10 got his second goal of the game on 21 minutes ( no indication of how many seconds – looks like the novelty had worn off ! ). So, Chelsea march on – top of the league at Christmas !

Brentford 0 Everton 4

Four second-half goals wrapped up all three points for Everton. Brentford competed well in the first half, going in at half-time on equal terms. That all started to change dramatically just after the re-start, as No.6 put Everton 1-0 up on 17 minutes with No.10 making it 2-0, 3 minutes later. No.4 followed up with the third goal on 26 minutes. From a free kick, Everton scored their fourth goal on 27 minutes. No.11 hit an angled direct free-kick from the right corner of the penalty area. The ball flew into the top of the net from 20 yards.

QPR 0 Everton 0

Rangers needed all three points to keep up with Chelsea at the top of the table. In a game they dominated, they created the chances which should have seen them win the game but Everton’s in-form keeper thwarted all attempts. Everton had a couple of good chances too, but didn’t trouble ‘Parksie’ until the last kick of the game. Attacking on the break, the Everton forward hit a low hard shot which ‘Parksie’ did well to stop at the foot of the near post. The ball ran loose in the area but no Everton player could latch onto it, as the final whistle brought the game to an end. A creditable away point for Everton but QPR are left rueing those missed chances, as the odds of them winning the title are greatly diminished – Where are Keene & Bourneo when you need them ?!

There were four yellow cards issued throughout the evening. Luckily, Albert and the Disciplinary Committee are all int’ snug at Rovers celebrating Christmas with a few crates of milk stout. Looks like the four players that were booked might have got away with it !

Cup News

The first round cup matches, otherwise referred to as the quarter finals, are due to be played sometime in January – dates to be advised soon ! The draw threw up the following ties … West Ham v Chelsea, Newcastle v Everton, Leeds v Brentford, Spurs v QPR. While there’s no doubt some potential for giant killings, the sides currently occupying the top four league positions will feel confident that they can book their places in the semi-final draw.

So, that’s about it for 2016. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

From Albert, Ena, Cruella and Peggy.

Monday 12th December

Chelsea (Alan) ( 2 ) 4 Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0
No.9 : 9′ 13′ 21′
No.10 : 22′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 2 ) 6 Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0
No.7 : 7′ 24′
No.8 : 14′ 16′ 21′
No.11 : 18′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1
No.10 : 20′

Match Reports – Chelsea stay top while Leeds put on a goal-fest

Chelsea 4 Brentford 0

Four goals and a trashed fence were the main points of the news from this game. Chelsea swept aside Brentford’s challenge with two goals in each half. Chelsea’s finishing was clinical as well as spectacular, as No.9 hit a superb hat-trick with goals on 9, 13 and 21 minutes. Chelsea made it 4-0 on 22 minutes with a goal from No.10. Unfortunately for Brentford, their main contribution to the game came from the fans with the fence trashing incident – What will Mr. Tatlock say ?

Leeds Utd 6 Brentford 0

This game was end to end in the opening minutes with shots against the post but Brentford soon degenerated into more fence trashing activities. Leeds though, looked more and more convincing as the game got into its stride, leading 2-0 at the break and asserting their attacking prowess in the second period. It was No.8 ‘Sniffer’ who did much of the damage with a hat-trick, scoring on 14, 16 and 21 minutes. Support came from No.7 with a brace, finding the net on 7 and 24 minutes. With No.11 scoring on 18 minutes, Leeds chalked up a 6-0 win. Brentford had no answer to the Leeds onslaught, but may need to answer questions from Mr.Tatlock, who will again be scrutinising yet another Brentford fence trashing incident.

‘Stan’ grabs the winner against Chelsea

Chelsea 0 QPR 1

Chelsea lost their unbeaten record to rivals QPR in this crucial top-of-the-table clash. Rangers could have scored in the first minute but for some wayward finishing. The away team, in their red and black hoops, were guilty of more missed chanced throughout the game. The Chelsea attack was kept at arms length with ‘Parksie’ having an unexpectedly quiet night in the QPR goal. The decisive goal came when No.10 ’Stan’ scored with a near post shot from 18 yards on 20 minutes ( and 42 seconds – according to the official match time-keeper ). This was just two minutes after ‘Stan’ had forced a great save from the Chelsea keeper. Chelsea stay top but QPR are still hard on their heels, just two points behind. It could turn into an intriguing final third of the season !

Albert Tatlock’s Disciplinary Committee : Ena Sharpes, Cruella de Vil & Peggy Mount

Breaking News … Last week, League ACO Albert Tatlock held crucial talks with Brentford manager, Paul Cornford in an effort to curb the rising cases of red and yellow cards Brentford players were picking up. More importantly Tatlock expressed his determination to stamp out the disruption in the stands by Brentford fans, seen during recent games. These talks appear to have had no effect whatsoever, as the wanton vandalism continued in both of Brentford’s games this week. The latest developments have galvanised Tatlock into drastic action. Following interviews for candidates in the snug at t’Rovers, he has just announced that a disciplinary committee has been put in place to sort out the miscreants. With his commitment to involve more women in football, Tatlock has appointed Ena Sharples, Cruella De Vil and Peggy Mount. Looks like a harder edged, zero tolerance approach being adopted by the league’s hierarchy. Watch out, and watch this space !

Monday 5th December

Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 3 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.9 : 3′ 22′
No.11 : (Pen) 13′
Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 1 Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 2
No.9 : 5′ No.3 : 3′
(Yellow=No.3 : 15′)
No.4 : 24′
Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 1
(Yellow=No.1 : 1′)
(Yellow(red)=No.4 : 8′)
No.11 : 28′

Match Reports – West Ham win at last

Everton 3 West Ham 0

This was a comfortable win for Everton who went in front with a strike from No.9 with just 3 minutes played. With the home side threatening again, a West Ham defender handled in the area to concede a penalty. No.11 stepped up to convert from the spot on 13 minutes. Everton lead 2-0 at half time and added a third goal on 22 minutes as No.9 scored his second goal of the game, sealing three welcome points for Everton.

Everton 1 Brentford 2

A buoyant Goodison Park, the Z Cars theme echoing round the ground as the teams to took to the pitch, set the scene as Everton prepared to bag another three points, following the result of their previous home game against West Ham. ( What is this drivel ? It’s worse than Jonathan Pierce ! ) But, it didn’t quite turn out like that. It was a good performance from the home side but Brentford proved to be a tough nut to crack. It was Brentford who took an early lead to silence the home fans. No.3 netted with just 3 minutes gone. The same player saw yellow on the stroke of half time for a bad foul. In the meantime, Everton had equalised with a good finish from No.9 on 5 minutes. The winner came with 24 minutes gone. A defensive error by the Everton No. 4 presented his opposite number with a chance, which he finished with aplomb. ( I don’t know what an aplomb actually is, but all it’s what all the great commentators say … and Jonathan Pierce ! ) So, something of a surprise result as Brentford snatch all three away points.

Brentford 0 West Ham 1

West Ham, at last, scored their first goal of the season. They also kept their first clean sheet too. This all added up to them notching up their first points of the campaign, as they snatched a win with the only goal of the game, two minutes from time. No.11 found space for a 25 yard shot which took a deflection off a defender, sending the ball into the opposite of the intended corner of the goal.

Red Card! Brentford’s No.4 ’takes out’ a West Ham player

This was a somewhat robust performance from Brentford, littered with some bad challenges, intended to break up West Ham’s fluency. The assaults started as early as the first minute, when No.4 was shown the yellow card for a bad foul. That turned into a red card on 8 minutes when the same player saw yellow again for an even worse challenge, which itself, could have been worthy of a red card. Brentford manager Paul Cornford was critical of the referee, protesting his player’s innocence. In truth, the ref was possibly too lenient, as Brentford got away with two or three other bad challenges, also worthy of yellow cards. The comments have been noted by the league’s CEO, Albert Tatlock, who will no doubt be arranging a disciplinary meeting with the Brentford manager, to be held over a bottle or two of milk stout in the snug at t’Rovers. Meanwhile, West Ham got on with the job in hand, playing some good football and creating some chances and, in the end, got their long awaited reward.

Breaking News … An open-top bus has been spotted driving through the streets of Yiewsley with crowds of thronging people and Johnny UnKempt waving to them and giving away free Riff Raff CDs ! – And free pens ? ?

Monday 28th November

Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1 Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 2
No.11 : 19′ No.9 : 12′
No.8 : 23′
Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 3
No.4 : 1′
No.8 : 11′
No.10 : 23′
Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 1 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 1
No.11 : 26′ No.6 : 7′

Match Reports – Chelsea maintain their lead

Leeds Utd 1 Chelsea 2

Chelsea take to the pitch in their new ‘Hungary’ away strip

Chelsea take to the pitch in their new ‘Hungary’ away strip

The evening’s ‘Match Of The Day’ was sure to be a test for both sides. Chelsea, in their ‘Hungary-esque’ away strip of red, white and green, went into this game unbeaten so far this season, against a Leeds team who are always formidable opponents. For Leeds, in their traditional all-white, this was a game they needed to win to make up ground on Chelsea, the current league leaders. With 12 minutes gone, it was Chelsea who made the all-important breakthrough as No.9 put his team into the lead. Leeds got a crucial equaliser four minutes into the second half to set up an enthralling final third of the match. No.11 was the scorer on 19 minutes. The game continued as the anticipated close encounter with either side looking capable of snatching a winner. The deciding goal came with 23 minutes on the clock, as No.8 produced a dramatic winner for Chelsea. There were still 7 minutes left for Leeds to grab an equaliser, but Chelsea showed their resilience this season, seeing the game out to secure a massive three points in their league title challenge. Surely they’re now favourites for the league title. But don’t take my word for it – ask Keene & Bourneo (official bookmakers to the Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League) for the latest odds.

Everton 0 QPR 3

Last time these teams met was just after QPR had clinched last season’s league title. Everton won that game with a good performance to comfortably defeat the new champions 2-0.

'Gerry' (No.8) heads in a corner to put QPR 2-0 up

‘Gerry’ (No.8) heads in a corner to put QPR 2-0 up

This time, Rangers, in black and red hoops, went on the attack from the kick off to create a goal scoring opportunity in the first minute. But as No.4 was about to ‘pull the trigger’ from 25 yards, the shock seemed to prove too much for the Everton keeper, as he proceeded to literally fall apart. The referee stopped the game to allow the keeper to be replaced. Upon the restart, the Rangers player hammered the ball into the top corner of the net to give QPR an early lead. Rangers extended their advantage on 11 minutes, when captain and No.8, ‘Gerry’ headed in from the edge of the six yard box, direct from a corner. No.10, ‘Stan’ wrapped things up for Rangers on 23 minutes, squeezing in an accurate shot at the near post from 18 yards. Rangers stay two points behind leaders Chelsea.

Everton 1 Leeds Utd 1

Everton presented Leeds with a tough task, as both sides looked for important points. Leeds took a 7th minute lead when No.6 fired home. Everton kept their opponents at arms length for large periods of the game and eventually conjured an equaliser – No.11 netting on 26 minutes. This seemed to spur Everton on, creating a late spell of pressure, with a series of corners and a couple of chances which threatened the Leeds goal. Leeds were quick on the break and threatened to snatch a winner themselves. In the end, honours finished even. Everton will probably be happier with a point than Leeds.

Wednesday 23rd November

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Everton (Stuart) ( 2 ) 3
No.9 : 12′
No.8 : 13′
No.5 : 30′
Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 3 ) 5 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.11 : 6′
No.8 : 8′
No.6 : 15′
No.4 : 17′
No.3 (OG) : 30′

Match Reports – Hammers entertain but still can’t score (at the right end)

West Ham 0 Everton 3

West Ham produced a spirited performance, following their previous outing against Leeds. Everton proved too strong, in what was an entertaining encounter, notching up their first win of the season. Two goals in two minutes, late in the first half, did the damage. No.9 hit the first, on 12 minutes with a shot from the edge of the box. A partial intervention by a defender bamboozled the keeper and the ball found the back of the net. No.8 struck on 13 minutes to make it 2-0. Everton scored on the full time whistle, as No.5 netted to secure three points and a move up the table.

QPR 5 West Ham 0

QPR opened the scoring on 6 minutes, when No.11 bundled in a rebound at the near post, after a good save by the keeper. No.8 ‘Gerry’ ran onto the ball, hitting a 25 yard shot into the top corner on 8 minutes. No.6 made it 3-0 right on half time and No.4 added to the score two minutes after the re-start. West Ham came within a post’s width of getting on the score-sheet. Rangers, pressing further and further forward as the second half progressed, were caught on the break, with ‘Parksie’ relieved to see a West Ham shot go narrowly wide. But, it was the Hammers keeper who made several second half saves to stop Rangers running away with it, but eventually conceded a fifth goal just before the final whistle. Pressure from ‘Stan’ on the West Ham No.3 forced the full back into an own goal with a back pass which trickled just inside the post.

Monday 14th November

Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 7
No.7 : 13′ 19′ 21′
No.9 : 17′
No.8 : 23′ (Pen) 26′
No.10 : 28′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 7 ) 8 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.8 : 1′ 6′
No.10 : 3′ 4′
No.7 : 8′ 10′
No.11 : 11′
No.6 : 28′
(Yellow = No.4 : 12′)
(Sub = No.12 on for No.4 : HT)
Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 2 Everton (Stuart) ( 0 ) 0
No.8 : 13′
No.11 : 26′

Match Reports – Goals galore for record breaking Leeds

Leeds broke the league scoring record, not once, but twice in consecutive games, with a double masterclass in how to score goals.

Brentford 0 Leeds Utd 7

The first quarter of the game showed no signs of what was to come. So, Leeds hit the bar, but Brentford also hit the frame of the goal. Two minutes before half time, Leeds assumed control as No.7 scored the first goal. Leeds came out in the second half and blew away their opponents with another six goals in a crushing second half performance. No.7 completed his hat-trick on 21 minutes as Leeds ran out 7-0 winners, creating a new league goal-scoring record.

Leeds Utd 8 West Ham 0

Leeds lined up full of confidence while West Ham took to the field full of trepidation, following the previous game ! The visitors’ anxiety was well founded as Leeds put on another 5-star display to which West Ham had no answer. Leeds blasted in 7 first half goals, leaving sorry Hammers down and out well before half time. Leeds’ No.4 picked up a yellow card on 12 minutes, for a bad challenge. West Ham had a much better 2nd half, although that was partly due to their goalkeeper producing some good saves, keeping Leeds out for most of the half. Leeds seemed to lose a little momentum, having substituted their No.4 at the interval. The inevitable eighth goal came two minutes from time as No.6 found the net to create another new record for Leeds.

Chelsea 2 Everton 0

Chelsea maintained their top spot with this 2-0 win against Everton. A goal in each half saw Chelsea maintain their position at the top of the table and are still unbeaten. No.8 opened the scoring on 13 minutes. No.11 added the second goal on 26 minutes. Everton did have spells to get back into the game. From a free kick on the Everton right, Chelsea’s No.8 was shown the yellow card for failing to retreat, despite the referee’s repeated efforts. Everton were unable to get onto the scoresheet so Chelsea stay top, taking the points from a close game.

"Oooh, nice fluffy cardigan is that. Eee, that’ll keep me warm int winter!"

“Oooh, nice fluffy cardigan is that. Eee, that’ll keep me warm int winter!”

Latest news from the Subbuteo Lost Property Dept.

The Subbuteo Lost Property Dept. has found a wooly cardigan, left at Subbuteo HQ after the evening’s games. Contents – a half eaten tube of Trebor mints – a minty bit stronger so they say. They would need to be, on the evidence of some of the evening’s action. Any takers for the cardie ? Be quick – Albert Tatlock has got his eye on it !

Up-date … It turns out that it was left behind by shell-shocked Brentford manager, Paul Cornford. Paul’s spokesman, Johnny UnKempt, said, “My grandfather left it in the stands after watching his favourite team, West Ham, get narrowly beaten by some bully-boys from oop t’north. At least they were yellow-carded, so there is some justice. I’ll collect it on Friday – he doesn’t like to be without it for too long.”

Wednesday 26th October

West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1
No.3 (OG) : 3′
Brentford (Paul) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 2 ) 3
No.3 : 6′
No.9 (OG) : 12′
No.10 : (Pen) 25′
West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 3
No.8 : 19′
No.9 : 22′
No.10 : 28′

Match Reports – An incident packed evening in Yiewsley

It was a memorable night of flicking at the infamous Yiewsley Stadium, with three games producing a variety of incidents. There were two own goals, two penalties, seven goals and a West Ham goalkeeper producing heroics, to entertain the home crowd. All this was played out amidst a backdrop of the unpredictable crinkly pitch and a dilapidated fence surround perched on the table’s edge, collapsing to the floor at the mere hint of a throw in.

West Ham 0 Brentford 1

West Ham finished strongly in this encounter. They produced a number of goal scoring efforts late on, in search of an equaliser. Alas, they had no luck in snatching a point, having gone behind just 3 minutes into the game. Brentford pressurised the West Ham defence for much of the first half, resulting in the Hammers’ No.3 hitting his back-pass to the keeper a little too strongly and a bit too wide. The ball trickled over the goal-line, just inside the post, to put Brentford 1-0 up. Things looked to be going from bad to worse, as within minutes of going behind, the keeper came off his line to clear, but took the man instead, 15 yards from goal. The spot-kick was powered down the middle, but the keeper reacted brilliantly to push the ball over the bar. In the end, Brentford held on to secure their first points of the season, despite West Ham’s late efforts.

Brentford 0 QPR 3

Rangers took the lead on 6 minutes when No.3 burst into the box on the left and beat the keeper with a fine finish from 15 yards. Rangers applied more pressure and scored from a corner, thanks to a bizarre own goal. Brentford repelled the initial corner kick, The cross, fired back into the crowded penalty area pinged around like a pinball machine before bouncing off the hapless No.9 at the far post, and into his own net. Rangers made it 3-0 from the penalty spot on 25 minutes. It came when ‘Stan’ scuffed his shot from the edge of the box. The diving keeper parried the ball onto the encroaching kicking keeper … Penalty ! ‘Stan’ stepped up to score his first goal of the season. Three welcome points for Rangers.

West Ham 0 QPR 3

West Ham held QPR to a goal-less first half, thanks to some inspired goalkeeping. The West Ham keeper was back to his old form, pulling off a string of super-saves to deny Rangers an opening goal. Eventually, Rangers made the breakthrough. Just 3 minutes after the interval, No.8 ‘Gerry’ fired home a 20 yard shot to open the floodgates. No.9 ‘Sir Les’ added a second goal on 22 minutes and No.10 ‘Stan’ found the corner of the net on 28 minutes. Rangers won comfortably in the end but the man-of-the-match has to be West Ham’s No.1 !

Monday 24th October

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 1 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 1
No.11 : 12′ No.11 : 16′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 2 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1
No.5 : 9′
No.7 : 23′
No.9 : 27′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 2 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 1 ) 1
No.7 : 11′ (Pen)
No.11 : 25′
No.11 : 13′

Match Reports – Chelsea extend their lead at the top

The night’s games were all tight contests but that’s not to say there weren’t many chances – far from it. All the games produced chances-a-plenty and the results could all have gone either way.

QPR 1 Chelsea 1

QPR started well, applying pressure and creating chances in much of the first half. No.11 opened the scoring on 12 minutes with a tidy finish. Chelsea equalised with their No.11 finding the net immediately after the re-start.

Chelsea dropped their first points of the season but are still the form team.

Leeds Utd 2 QPR 1

Leeds Manager Alan Cutler hoped to get black armbands on all of his players in memory of Gary Sprake. Sadly, it all proved too fiddly, so the idea was aborted. See, theres a lot goes into all this R&D stuff ! Leeds edged in front from 20 yards out when No.5 deceived ‘Parksie’, forcing the ball home off a Rangers defender on 9 minutes. In the second half, the chances continued. ‘Stan’, still without a goal this season, pulled two good saves out of the Leeds keeper, but Rangers fell further behind on 23 minutes. Leeds’ No. 7 struck to secure a second goal. Just as well, as ‘Sir Les’ pulled a goal back for QPR on 27 minutes. Three points for Leeds who draw level with QPR in the table.

Chelsea 2 Leeds Utd 1

A bizarre penalty incident turned this game in favour of the league leaders. It highlighted the luck you sometimes need to win the league. Chelsea, with their impressive early season performances, are looking well on course for their, and manager Alan Arnold’s, first league title. The game was goal-less with both teams looking dangerous up front but resolute at the back. Then came the penalty, with Chelsea attacking down the right. With the ball on the goal-line inside the penalty area, both teams indulged in some ‘cat and mouse’ with both sides happy to miss the ball ! It paid off for Chelsea as having played the ball inside, a mesmerised Leeds defender handled the ball over the dead-ball line. No.7 stepped up to convert the spot kick and put Chelsea 1-0 up on 11 minutes. The lead was short-lived as Leeds’ No.11 levelled the scores on 13 minutes. Chelsea snatched the points to maintain their fine run of results, with the winning goal from No.11 on 25 minutes.

Monday 17th October

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 1 ) 4 Brentford (Paul) ( 1 ) 1
No.9 : 12′
No.11 : 20′ 26′
No.8 : 22′
No.7 : 6′
Chelsea (Alan) ( 1 ) 3 West Ham Utd. (John) ( 0 ) 0
No.10 : 8′
No.7 : 19′ 27′
Brentford (John) ( 0 ) 0 Chelsea (Alan) ( 2 ) 3
No.9 : 4′ 10′
No.7 : 26′

Match Reports – Double triple for pace-setters Chelsea

Chelsea continued their impressive winning start to the season with three goals against West Ham, followed up with another three against Brentford. Chelsea, very much the form team, are playing like serious championship contenders.

New CEO, Albert Tatlock had an evening of mixed fortunes. ‘TV Stars’ by The Skids was played prior to the evening’s flicking getting under way but there was more trashing of the dug-out by vandals. This time it was Chelsea fans !

QPR 4 Brentford 1

The evening’s action kicked off with QPR dominating the early exchanges against Brentford. It was the team in red and white stripes who took the lead, against the run of play, as No.7 produced Brentford’s first shot of the season. ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal, had no chance with a fierce 20 yard shot, fired into the top far corner of the net – a cracking opening goal on 6 minutes. Rangers equalised on 12 minutes with an accurate shot from No.9 ‘Sir Les’ finding the corner of the net. More good finishing gave QPR a deserved win, although Brentford still had their moments. Two goals from No.11 on 20 and 26 minutes, plus another from No.8 ‘Gerry’ on 22 minutes, saw QPR to a 4-1 win.

Chelsea 3 West Ham 0

West Ham were, as we’ve come to expect, neat and tidy in midfield for spells of the game. They still haven’t quite got the fire-power up front but there seemed to be signs of improvement at the back. The defence was less generous than we’ve seen in the past. That said, it was a tough call to expect Johnny UnKempt’s players to get too much out of an increasingly threatening Chelsea. With 8 minutes gone, No.10 opened the scoring for the only goal of the first half. Chelsea wrapped up the points with two well taken goals in the second half. No. 7 got both of them, netting on 19 and 27 minutes to confirm their position at the top of the table.

West Ham – last six – LLLLLL

Brentford 0 Chelsea 3

Chelsea maintained their 100 per cent record with a comfortable win against Brentford. The Chelsea No.9 struck on 4 minutes and went on to add a second goal on 10 minutes. Chelsea, well in control with a 2-0 half-time lead, finished the job in the second half, on 26 minutes; another well taken goal from No.7.

Brentford – last six – LLWLLL

Monday 10th October

Queens Park Rangers (Rob) ( 0 ) 1 Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1
No.3 : 26′ No.4 : 25′
Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 1 Chelsea (Alan) ( 0 ) 2
No.10 : 3′ No.11 : 27′
No.9 : 29′
Leeds Utd. (Al) ( 0 ) 1 Everton (Stuart) ( 1 ) 1
No.10 : 23′ No.9 :13′

Match Reports – Close encounters as the season kicks off

QPR 1 Leeds Utd 1

Police intervene as vandals trash the players’ area

Police intervene as vandals trash the players’ area

The 2016/17 Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League kicked off with the top two from the last campaign going head to head. This mouth watering opening match began with QPR, in their traditional blue and white hoops, making the early running, creating the bulk of the first half chances. A goal-less first half was followed by an evenly balanced second period, although Rangers looked to be tiring as Leeds, in all-yellow, started to take control of the game. ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal, was forced into two good second-half saves. The Leeds No. 4 made the breakthrough on 25 minutes, firing an unstoppable 25 yard shot into the roof of the net. Rangers stormed back and were level a minute later, as No. 3 found the far corner of the net, to tie the game up at 1-1, earning a share of the spoils.

Albert Tatlock - cracking down on vandalism

Albert Tatlock – cracking down on vandalism

New CEO, Albert Tatlock who has replaced Sep Back-Hander in charge at Subbuteo HQ, is determined to crack down on crowd trouble this season, QPR could face a hefty fine after the dug-outs and players’ tunnel were trashed by vandals during last night’s game. There are also unconfirmed reports that Tatlock is to issue a directive that ‘TV Stars’ by The Skids must be played before all league games.

QPR – last six – DLLDLD

Everton 1 Chelsea 2

There was little to choose between these two sides until the last knockings. Everton had lead for most of this competitive contest, but two late goals saw Chelsea, in yellow and blue, snatch the points. It took just three minutes for Everton to nose in front, as No.10 opened his account with a well taken goal. It looked like the points were going to the team in blue and white until No.11 netted on 27 minutes. The turnaround was completed two minutes later as No.9 found the net, sparking celebrations from manager Alan Arnold. He later apologised for his enthusiastic reaction to the goal. ( It was a relief for all present, that he didn’t take his shirt off ! )

Chelsea – last six – LWWLLW

Leeds Utd 1 Everton 1

The two in-form teams met in this early season clash, which turned out to be another closely fought match. It was Everton, in their yellow and blue away strip, who drew first blood. With half time on the horizon, No.9 struck on 13 minutes. Leeds equalised mid-way through the second half when No.10 scored on 23 minutes to earn Leeds a point. Both teams went away with a well-earned point from another of the evening’s close encounters.

Leeds – last six – WWWWDD / Everton – last six – WWWDLD

Monday 3rd October – Pre-Season Friendlies

Leeds Utd 1 Chelsea 0 (HT 1-0)
Everton 2 Q.P.R. 2 (HT 1-2)
Newcastle 0 LeedsUtd 2 (HT 0-2)

Everton’s No.7 equalises as QPR keeper Jurgen Sommer dives over the ball

Everton’s No.7 equalises as QPR keeper Jurgen Sommer dives over the ball

Leeds warmed up with two wins with two fairly comfortable performances. Fielding a number of ‘trialists’ against Chelsea, they faded in the second half as Chelsea came more into the game. It was one of the Leeds ‘trialists’ who scored the only goal of the game on the stroke of half time. Newcastle provided the opposition in Leeds’ second game, but despite a creditable performance, couldn’t prevent two first half goals. No.11 scored on 4 minutes and No.6 followed up two minutes later.

QPR went behind on 4 minutes as keeper Jurgen Sommer presented Everton’s No.7 with a 4th minute tap-in. Rangers replied with goals from No.9 (10 minutes) and No.2 (12 minutes). Another howler from Sommer, diving over a half hit shot, saw Everton draw level on 28 minutes.

The new league season kicks off next Monday night !