Riff Raff Subbuteo Premier League

League Table

Pos   Team Pld W D L F - AGD Pts
1 Leeds United (Al) 18 13 2 3 59 - 1247 41
2 Queens Park Rangers (Rob) 18 12 3 3 46 - 1234 39
3 Chelsea (Alan) 18 9 6 3 22 - 148 33
4 Everton (Stuart) 18 8 6 4 21 - 147 30
5 Arsenal (Darryl) 18 3 5 10 5 - 34-29 14
6 Tottenham Hotspur (Kev) 18 2 7 9 7 - 23-16 13
7 West Ham United (John) 18 0 3 15 1 - 52-51 3

Wednesday 20th May

Match Reports – QPR win the 5-a-side tournament!

Al presents Rob with the 5-a-side trophy

QPR beat Leeds in a gripping final to round off this year’s tournament. Both keepers were forced into saves, but on the day, Rangers clinical finishing clinched the trophy with a 3-0 win.

The competition got underway with a high-scoring 4-1 win for Chelsea against Brentford in Group A. Chelsea couldn’t find the net in their next two games as Newcastle clinched second spot in the group. Brentford held QPR to a 0-0 draw but still finished bottom of the group.

Al collects the runners-up medal

Meanwhile, in group B, Leeds topped the group after starting with a 0-0 against Everton who went on to finish in second spot. Both teams were unbeaten in qualification. West Ham and Wolves had their moments but couldn’t manage to break into the top two.

Leeds eased past Newcastle, 3-0 in the first semi, followed by a 2-1 win for QPR against Everton in the second semi, setting up a mouthwatering final.


Wednesday 9th May

Cup Match

Leeds Utd 3 Q P R 1

Match Reports – Double winning Leeds!

Leeds Utd ( 1 ) 3 (No.11: 6’ 28’ / No.8: 20’ / Y=No.9: 29’)
Q P R ( 0 ) 1 (No.9: 24’ / SUB=No.10 off, No.40 on: 18’)

A capacity crowd gathered at ‘Wemerbley’ to witness this season’s Riff Raff Knockout Cup Final. Unlike all previous league and cup encounters between these two sides, both teams donned their respective home kits – Leeds in all-white and QPR in blue and white hoops, white shorts and socks. It didn’t turn out to be the colour clash that was feared.

Leeds kicked off the game but it was Rangers who had all the early pressure, although they over-hit some of their early passes and never quite created a gilt-edged chance in the opening minutes. Then, Leeds broke away putting the QPR backline to the test with a move which culminated in a shooting chance on the Leeds left. No.11 fluffed his lines with his original shot but retained possession, setting up another chance from a better angle. ‘Parksie’ was given no chance in the QPR goal. 1-0 to Leeds with 6 minutes played.

Stan’s final is over as he suffers a double break

Leeds took their 1-0 advantage into the interval but Rangers suffered another blow just three minutes into the second half, losing their mercurial talisman ‘Stan’, on 18 minutes, suffering a serious double break. No.40 ‘Cilla’, came on in place of the QPR No.10, telling the touchline reporters, “Something tells me something’s gonna happen tonight”. Sadly for Cilla, it didn’t ! With 20 minutes gone, and Rangers still chasing the game, it was ‘Parksie’ who was next to fluff his lines with an attempted edge-of-the-box clearance that went wrong. The ball was intercepted by a Leeds player 35 yards out, and his pass set up No. 8 who tapped the ball into an empty net. 2-0 to Leeds.

Rangers weren’t out of the game though, and pulled a goal back on 24 minutes, through No.9 ‘Sir Les’. Under pressure from a Leeds defender, he produced a neat finish from the edge of the box, into the corner of the net to the keeper’s left. But the Rangers revival was short lived. With time ebbing away for QPR, Leeds wrapped up the game on 28 minutes, with an emphatic finish by No.11 scoring his second goal of the game, to restore Leeds’ two goal cushion. Rangers largely abandoned their defensive duties after that, in a vane attempt to claw their way back into the game. Leeds again hit on the break, but only for No.9 to pick up an unwanted yellow card with a foul on 29 minutes. But by then, Leeds were home and dry.

Overall, this was a close game but not quite the classic that these two have served up in past encounters. But,with both teams creating some good goal-scoring opportunities during the game, the Leeds keeper was arguably slightly the busier in terms of shot-stopping. But Leeds finished their chances well to clinch a deserved league and cup double. The final whistle sounded, the presentations were made and the celebrations got underway, rounding off a great season of fantastic flicking.

Next – Wednesday 30th May – The annual end-of-season 5-a-side tournament.

Rob presents Al with the Cup after the game

Al presents Rob with the runners-up medal

Leeds celebrate on the pitch after the match

Monday 30th April

Chelsea 0 Everton 0

Match Reports – Chelsea secure third place

Chelsea ( 0 ) 0
Everton ( 0 ) 0

Chelsea took on Everton in the last game of the 2017/18 Riff Raff Premier League season. Everton, in their yellow and blue away kit, needed to win with at least a 2-1 scoreline to leap-frog their opponents into third place. A place in next season’s Europa Inter-Toto Fairs UEFA League Cup was at stake. So it was all to play-for, as these two teams went head-to-head. And, it really couldn’t have been tighter, separated by just three points, going into this final game of the season. Oh well, I think that’s just about squeezed everything out of the pre-match build-up!

Now – to the game. Well, it’s not quite a blank report sheet, but pretty close, none-the-less. There was the odd threat of a shot from either side, as each team took turns to attempt domination of this somewhat flat encounter. The best chance of the game fell to Everton with a second half shot which followed a corner. A strike from 25 yards took a deflection off a defender or two, taking the sting out of the shot. The Chelsea keeper, diving to his right, pushed the ball round the post.

Not a lot more to write home about after that, as the game fizzled out to an end-of-season goal-less draw. Chelsea manager Alan Arnold summed things up after the game…“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”

At least they got the point they needed for a third-place finish to qualify for next season’s Inter-Toto UEFA Fairs Johnstone Paints Europa Vase-winners Cup Thingy.

Next week – Wednesday 9th May – This season’s cup final – Leeds Utd v QPR.

Tuesday 3rd April

Chelsea 0 Spurs 0
Spurs 0 Leeds Utd 4

Match Reports – Leeds are Champions!

Chelsea ( 0 ) 0
Spurs ( 0 ) 0

Chelsea had Spurs pinned back for much of the game but somehow couldn’t find the goal to break the deadlock. This was partly due to some timely saves from the Spurs keeper. Spurs relied on hitting Chelsea on the break, but only managed to threaten on two occasions, both of which which proved to be unsuccessful. The game therefore ended in a 0-0 draw with both sides earning a point-a-piece!

Spurs prepare to kick-off against Leeds

Spurs ( 0 ) 0
Leeds Utd ( 2 ) 4 (No.4: 4’ 21’ / No.8: 11’ / No.3: 27’ ) (Y=No.2: 5’)

Leeds became the new Riff Raff Premier League Champions in emphatic style, with a convincing win, which left no one in any doubt that they are worthy title holders.

No.4 took just 4 minutes to find the net, firing home from the edge of the box. Leeds were on the attack again a minute later, but this time No.2 earned a yellow card for for an over-exuberant challenge. But Leeds didn’t have too long to wait for their second goal, thereby creating an unassailable lead – certainly in the context of their title challenge – they required just one point going into this game. No.8 struck on 11 minutes and Leeds went in at half-time with a strong 2-0 advantage. No.4 got his second goal of the game on 21 minutes to put leeds 3-0 up. No.3 rattled in a fourth goal on 27 minutes to make it 4-0, but sustained a bad injury just afterwards. By now, the job had been done as No.12 came on to play out the last 3 minutes. The final whistle sounded to start Leeds’ celebrations!

It’s all over – Leeds celebrate

Leeds’ injured No.3 celebrates – with a little help from his friends

Rob presents Al with the trophy

There’s just one match of the league season still to come – date still to be arranged.

Chelsea will take on Everton to battle it out for third spot – for a place in next season’s Europa Fairs UEFA League Cup…And it couldn’t be tighter! But don’t take my word for it – just look at the league table!!!

Monday 26th March

Leeds Utd 3 Arsenal 0
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1
Q P R 1 Leeds Utd 0

Match Reports – Leeds agonisingly close

Leeds Utd ( 2 ) 3 (No.2: 6’ / No.7: 8’ / No.10: 16’)
Arsenal ( 0 ) 0

Leeds stayed on track for the league title with a comfortable win against a plucky Arsenal side. Leeds were in front on 6 minutes as No.2 got forward to finish from outside the area. Two minutes later, Leeds tightened their grip on the game, as No.7 netted on 8 minutes, giving Leeds a 2-0 half-time advantage. It soon became a three goal advantage, as No.10 struck a minute after the re-start. Arsenal showed much resilience for the remainder of the game, competing well and staving off what could have turned into a rout, against a Leeds team with the league title very much in their sights.

Chelsea ( 0 ) 1 (No.6(OG): 24’)
Arsenal ( 1 ) 1 (No.34: 5’)

With three games left to play, Chelsea had their eye on a top-two finish, which they looked likely to achieve if they could muster maximum points against Everton, Spurs and today’s opponents, Arsenal. However, things started to unravel as Arsenal took an early lead on 5 minutes. No.34 finished well from 20 yards after an attack down the right. The goal seemed to knock Chelsea off their stride, as they struggled to produce the form that has seen them challenging so strongly this season.

Chelsea eventually got back on level terms from a corner on 24 minutes.
The kick was accurately delivered into the box but the Arsenal No.6 was powerless to avoid turning the ball into his own goal for the Chelsea equaliser. Was this the springboard for a late Chelsea onslaught? Chelsea’s below-par moments continued and Manager Alan Arnold’s frustration at his team’s performance was evident. Chelsea were unable to snatch a late win despite threatening the Arsenal goal late-on. Arsenal grafted for a deserved point – reward for their hard work.

Q P R ( 0 ) 1 (No.10: 28’)
Leeds Utd ( 0 ) 0

Men of the Match : ‘Parksie’ (QPR) and ‘Harwey’ (Leeds) perform heroics to keep their teams in the game

Leeds went into this difficult encounter, knowing that a point against QPR would be enough to secure the league title. Taking to the field in their classic yellow away strip, it was QPR who went on the attack from the kick-off, forcing ‘Harwey’, in the Leeds goal, into early action. After Rangers early probing, Leeds began to get into the game with their usual menace. Just when it looked like Leeds were starting to get a stranglehold of the game, Rangers stormed back, creating threats to the Leeds goal. This set the scene for much of the game as both sides produced end to end stuff! This resulted in both keepers producing Man-of-the Match performances, as they each pulled off numerous fine saves throughout the game.

As the game entered its closing stages, it looked like both teams would be coming away with a share of the spoils. Leeds, of course, would benefit most from this outcome, confirming their league title win. But that was all about to change, as there was still to be a final twist to this intriguing game. With Leeds just two minutes away from the title, ‘Stan’, QPR’s mercurial No.10, slipped through Leeds’ defence to hit a fine shot high into the back of the Leeds net. This time ‘Harwey’ was beaten! Leeds may have suffered the disappointment of being dramatically denied on the day, but they still have the ‘insurance’ of another match still to play – against Spurs. QPR look only to have delayed the inevitable, with the odds from Keene & Bourneo still very much favouring Leeds. But, will there be yet another twist? Stay tuned viewers!

Monday 19th March

Spurs 0 Q P R 2
Everton 0 Spurs 0

Match Reports – QPR win but Leeds are favourites

Spurs ( 0 ) 0
Q P R ( 1 ) 2 (No.11: 7’ / No.10: 28’)

The red and black hoops of QPR spent much of this game camped out in the Tottenham half of the pitch. Rangers went in front on 7 minutes as No.11 found the net, giving QPR a 1-0 half-time advantage. Spurs rarely looked like scoring, although they did threaten once or twice on the break. But Rangers eventually wrapped things up two minutes from time, when No.10 ‘Stan’ slipped through the centre of the Spurs defence to give QPR a 2-0 win, with a tidy finish into the corner of the net. Welcome points for QPR, who now go back to the top of the table. However, Leeds now have two games in hand which they will expect to win, so they’re now firm favourites for their second Riff Raff Premier League title.

The ball stops on the line as Everton put Spurs under pressure

Everton ( 0 ) 0
Spurs ( 0 ) 0

There may have been no goals in this game but as far as goal-less draws go, this one was one of the more entertaining encounters. Spurs, in yellow and blue, were soon forced onto the back foot, as an early Everton attack was repelled by the Spurs keeper. Spurs had their forays into the Everton half, threatening, but unable to carve out the all-important clear-cut scoring opportunity. It was the toffees who dominated much of the game, with shots either just wide or forcing the keeper into action. Despite this, the scores were still deadlocked as the half-time whistle sounded.

Goal Indecision System !

The second-half carried on, in much the same vane, with Everton looking the more likely to score, especially from corners. And it was a corner mid-way through the second half which produced the best chance of breaking the deadlock. Chaos abounded in the Spurs area, following the corner. The ball squirmed and squirted around the six yard box with Everton players hitting shot after shot, in an effort to force the ball home. The Spurs keeper desperately fought to keep the ball out, with the Spurs penalty area resembling a pinball machine, before the ball, agonisingly, came to rest on the goal-line. The Everton attack still couldn’t force the ball home and the keeper gratefully kicked the ball off the line to safety, with the blue shirts closing in -dramatic stuff! And it didn’t end there. Just minutes later, another Everton corner had the Spurs defence scrambling in their penalty area again. But with dogged defending and some good fortune, Spurs survived the pressure and went on to earn a hard-fought point.

Monday 12th March

Arsenal 0 Q P R 3
Arsenal 0 West Ham 0
Everton 3 West Ham 0

Match Reports – West Ham finish glued to the bottom !

Arsenal ( 0 ) 0
Q P R ( 3 ) 3 (No.10: 3’ / No.11: 12’ / No.9: 13′)(Sub=No.9 off, No.40 on: HT)

Rangers took on Arsenal and nosed in front with an early goal. The QPR No.10’s slightly deflected shot from 25 yards put them 1-0 up, with just 3 minutes gone. Rangers went on to add two more goals in the space of a minute, mid-way through the first half. No.11 made it 2-0 on 12 minutes, followed by another strike a minute later, as No.9 tucked the ball into the corner of the net, to make it 3-0 at half time. Arsenal consolidated in the second half, keeping the QPR attack at arms length, but they couldn’t muster a shot to test the QPR keeper and get back into the game. So Rangers secured another three points.

Arsenal ( 0 ) 0 (Y=No.18: 13’ / Y=No.12: 22’)
West Ham ( 0 ) 0

West Ham took the game to an Arsenal side still adapting to the Riff Raff Premier League. Hammers threatened to score on occasions, producing a couple of good chances. Their best opportunity came with a shot from just inside the area, but the ball went the wrong side of the post. Arsenal also had one or two chances, and their determination and commitment manifested itself in the guise of two yellow cards, both for over-enthusiastic challenges. All-in-all, a draw was probably a fair result.

Everton ( 1 ) 3 (No.9: 2’ / No.7:18’ / No.3: 19’)(Sub=No.9 off, No.12 on: 25’)
West Ham ( 0 ) 0

West Ham put up another spirited performance, in this, their last game of the season, but suffered an early setback when they went behind with just two minutes gone. The Everton No.9 made no mistake from outside the area, with a goal on 2 minutes, giving Everton a 1-0 half time lead. Then in the second half, Everton increased their advantage with two goals in the space of a minute. No.7 netted on 18 minutes with a deflected shot, followed up a minute later with a third goal, as No.3 made it 3-0, securing another three points for Everton.

Everton’s Bob Latchford was badly injured on 25 minutes, attempting a shot at the West Ham goal. The ball went six yards wide and the player disappeared over the edge, sustaining a serious double break. Once again though, ‘Maxi Fix quick drying plastic glue’ was administered the following day and proved to be an instant success. The Everton No.9 is already fit and ready to play in Everton’s next fixture. West Ham, despite some promising performances this season, still only managed to chalk up a total of 3 points and only one goal to show for their efforts. Johnny UnKempt and his Hammers will hope for better things next season.

Monday 26th February

Q P R 0 Chelsea 2
West Ham 0 Leeds Utd 7
Leeds Utd 2 Everton 0

Match Reports – Leeds get one hand on the title while Chelsea eye second spot

Q P R   ( 0 )  0  (Y=No.10: HT / Sub=No.6 off No.40 on)
Chelsea  ( 1 )  2  (No.7: 4’ / No.10: 21’)

Chelsea took to the field in their ‘Hungary’ away colours and produced a valuable win, which saw them draw level on points with QPR. A hand-ball offence in the QPR area presented Chelsea with an early opportunity to go in front from the penalty spot. No.8 hit the ball firmly enough but it was straight at the keeper, and the ball ran out of play over on Chelsea’s right touchline. But all was far from lost for Chelsea, as they took the lead from the resulting throw-in. No.7 found space on the edge of the area and hit his shot across the keeper, into the far corner. 1-0 Chelsea on 4 minutes! Rangers had their chances but found the Chelsea keeper on top form. ‘Stan’ went into the book just before half-time – his hurried goal-attempt connecting with an opponent instead of the ball.

Rangers introduced ‘Cilla’ into the action at half-time but couldn’t find the equaliser. Then, with 21 minutes gone, Chelsea scored again to give them a two goal cushion. The QPR keeper raced out to clear the ball, 7 or 8 yards outside the box. Then came a spectacular, and tightly choreographed backward flip summersault over the ball, as the QPR keeper failed to clear the danger. It was at this point, that it became clear that this was John Burridge, rather than ‘Parksie’ we were watching in the QPR goal. “Budgie”, famous for his acrobatic pre-match warm-up routines, totally stranded himself with these antics, which served only to give Chelsea possession. The grateful Chelsea No.10 ran the ball into the box, and tapped into an empty net from close in. Regrettably, the winter olympics is now over – “Budgie” might have done rather well!

Rangers huffed and puffed for the rest of the game, as Chelsea comfortably consolidated their lead, to take a massive three points. With just three games remaining, Chelsea could well pip QPR into second place.

West Ham  ( 0 )  0  (Y=No.3: 28’)
Leeds Utd  ( 2 )  7  (No.11:10’ / No.4:13’ / No.3:21’ / No.6:23’ / No.7:25’ / No.2:27’ / No.6:30’)

Leeds continued their impressive run with this demolition of West Ham. Hammers toiled in mid-field areas, often displaying some good touches.

But Leeds were gathering momentum and the West Ham keeper was called upon to make some good saves. The inevitable opening goal materialised when No.11 tucked the ball into the far corner on 10 minutes, to put Leeds in front. No.4 made it 2-0 with half-time on the horizon, finding the other corner of the net. Then, in a devastating period mid-way through the second half, the floodgates opened. Leeds’ No.3 pushed forward to lash a shot across the keeper from the corner of the penalty area. On 23 minutes, West Ham dallied on the edge of their own box and Leeds No. 6 took full advantage of the error to put his team 4-0 up. Two minutes later, No.7 swerved between two defenders to crack in Leeds’ fifth on 25 minutes. West Ham were now looking forward to the sound of the final whistle, but Leeds hadn’t finished yet! No.2 joined the attack, to strike on 27 minutes, despite the Hammers keeper getting something on the ball. Then, with the game in added-on time, No.6 rattled in Leeds’ seventh goal, right on the final whistle. Leeds’ title challenge is gathering momentum!

Leeds Utd  ( 0 )  2  (No.8: 16’ / No.4: 20’)
Everton   ( 0 )  0 

Leeds extended their lead at the top of the table with this 2-0 win over an Everton side which had competed well in the first half. They reached half time on an equal footing but just a minute after the interval, No.8 scored on 16 minutes to put Leeds 1-0 up. No.4 made it 2-0 to Leeds on 20 minutes thereby securing another three points, giving Leeds a five point advantage at the top of the table.

Both Leeds and second-placed QPR have three games remaining. Both are still to play Arsenal, Spurs and each other. But Chelsea are also in the mix, waiting menacingly in third place with a realistic chance of finishing as runners-up this season.

Monday 19th February

Cup Matches

Everton 0 Leeds Utd 5
Spurs 0 Q P R 1

Match Reports – It’s a Leeds v QPR final

Everton  ( 0 )  0
Leeds Utd  ( 1 )  5  (No.2: 8’ / No.7: 16’ / No.9: 18’ / No.8: 22’ / No.6: 29’)

(Cup Semi-Final) Leeds blasted their way through to the cup final with a deadly second half display, in this semi-final at Willa Park. Everton started well enough, matching their opponents until the first goal on 8 minutes. Leeds’ No.2 broke through to fire a shot against the near post. Having covered the initial shot, the Everton keeper was now left stranded, as the ball ran away and rolled in at the far post. Undeterred, Everton competed well right up to the interval. Then, just after the re-start, the Everton keeper parried a shot from No.7 only to see the ball spin in at the far post. 2-0 to Leeds, who now assumed control of the game. Two minutes later, No.9 rapped a shot against the post. The Everton keeper was again bamboozled, inadvertently helping the ball into the net on 18 minutes. 3-0 soon became 4-0 as Leeds were now in total control. This time, the keeper had little chance as No.8 tucked the ball into the far corner of the net on 22 minutes. Leeds rounded things off on 29 minutes when No.6 scored from 20 yards after a Leeds throw-in. So, disappointment for Everton, whose keeper didn’t have the best of luck on the day.

Things got worse for the Toffees when a large section of the fence, and advertising hoardings, were seriously vandalised by their fans. In the end, this was a well-deserved win for Leeds to take them through to the final. But, who would they meet at Wemerbley?

Spurs  ( 0 )  0 
Q P R   ( 1 )  1  (No.11: 12’)

(Cup Semi-Final) QPR, in Red and White halves, eased their way into the cup final where they will meet Leeds. Spurs were resolute throughout this Hillsborough cup-tie, having squeezed a point in last week’s league game between these two sides. Rangers nearly scored early on with a shot against the post and eventually took the lead on 12 minutes. No.11 got through the Spurs back line, to tuck the ball into the corner of the goal, with a shot from outside the area. Although there weren’t too many chances, QPR always had the edge and saw the game out to claim their place in the final.

Monday 12th February

Arsenal 0 Spurs 0
Spurs 0 West Ham 0
Q P R 1 Spurs 1

Match Reports – Leeds are favourites as Spurs hold QPR

Arsenal  ( 0 )  0
Spurs  ( 0 )  0  (Y=No.87: 16’)

Arsenal met Spurs in another tight North London derby. Just after half time, Spurs’ No.7 was shown the yellow card for a foul. That was about as exciting as it got, as both sides struggled to create chances.

Spurs  ( 0 )  0
West Ham  ( 0 )  0  (Y=No.8: 20’)

West Ham arrived without their kit, so had to borrow a claret/blue/white kit to take on Spurs. Brentford manager Paul Cornford arrived with Johnny UnKempt and the teams lined up to do battle. Sadly, it was more like handbags at 30 paces, as both sides cancelled each other out in a dour stalemate. West Ham’s No.8 saw the referee’s yellow card as he tried to liven things up with a robust challenge on 20 minutes.

Q P R   ( 0 )  1  (Sub=No.4: off No.40 on : HT  /  No.2: 19’)
Spurs  ( 1 )  1  (No.9: 4’)

Spurs took to the field in their yellow and blue away kit and proceeded to cause something of an upset, nicking a point off high-flying QPR. Rangers went straight on the attack, forcing the Spurs keeper into two early saves. Then on 4 minutes, came a goal against the run of play. And what a bizarre goal it was. Having found space on the left, The Spurs No.9 totally fluffed his shot, but in so doing, set himself up for better opportunity. This time, the ball was met perfectly, flashing into the far corner to put Spurs 1-0 up. They held the lead until half-time, at which point, the QPR crowd led by John, began chants of “Cil-la, Cil-la”. Their wishes were duly obliged as the QPR No.40 replaced No.4. Rangers continued to dominate, and equalised when No.2 pushed forward to hammer home from 20 yards, on 19 minutes. In the latter stages, QPR threatened with a series of corners, but it was not to be. The Spurs keeper was the man-of-the-match, pulling off a number of great saves throughout the game, and with some help from the posts, Spurs held out to record their first ever point against QPR in the Riff Raff Premier League. QPR could ill-afford to drop crucial points in defence of their title. Leeds now look firm favourites.

Monday 5th February

Spurs 0 Chelsea 1
Leeds Utd 1 Everton 2
Arsenal 0 Leeds Utd 6

Match Reports – Tight at the top as Leeds slip up

Spurs  ( 0 )  0
Chelsea  ( 1 )  1 (No.8: 3’Pen / Y=No.2: 6’)

A mistake by a Spurs defender proved to be the decisive moment of this game -and that with only 3 minutes gone. A hand-ball offence by the defender ’tracking back’, set up Chelsea’s No.8 to hit the corner of the net, from the spot. The shot gave the keeper no chance, hit to his left. 1-0 to Chelsea and that’s how it stayed. Three minutes later, the Chelsea No.2 picked up a yellow card for a foul, but his team collected all three points.

Leeds Utd  ( 1 )  1  (No.7: 12’)
Everton  ( 2 )  2  (No.8: 7’  /  No.11: 14’)

Ouch! Who thought this one up?

Leeds were the latest of Everton’s victims -the Toffees having beaten QPR last week. Could the Leeds team have been in shock, following the recent announcement of their hideous new club badge -a somewhat unpopular choice? Either way, Stuart’s team, in their yellow and blue away strip, went in front on 7 minutes. It was a thunderous shot which No.8 buried into the far corner of the net on 7 minutes. Leeds fought back, and equalised on 12 minutes through No.7 -scores level at the interval! The second half was evenly contested with little between the two teams, although Leeds are always dangerous right to the end. However, this time it was Everton who snatched a winner following a corner. No.11’s shot evaded the keeper’s efforts as the ball hit high in the net with only a minute to go. Everton are on a good run at the moment having claimed all the points in their last two games, against QPR and now Leeds.

Arsenal  ( 0 )  0
Leeds Utd  ( 3 )  6  (No.7:  3’  8’ / No.4: 12’  /  No.6: 16’ 29’ / No.11: 18’)

Leeds in yellow, needed to get back to winning ways quickly after the slip-up against Everton. Darryl and his Arsenal team knew they were in for a tough game, as reflected in their defensive line-up. Leeds were undeterred and had too much fire-power for the Riff Raff Premier League newcomers. Arsenal made tentative inroads further up the pitch early on but paid for it as Leeds No.7 hit them on the break on three minutes. The same player netted again on 8 minutes and a goal by No.4 on 12 minutes, guided into the far corner, put Leeds 3-0 up at half-time. Straight after the re-start, No.6 made it 4-0. Then, No.11 got in on the act, with another ‘guided in’ shot, to make it 5-0 on 18 minutes. Goal No.6 came from the Leeds No.6, chipping the ball in from 20 yards, with just a minute left. This win puts Leeds on top of the table on goal difference. With Leeds and QPR neck and neck, there’s still all to play for in both of their five remaining games.

Tuesday 30th January

Everton 1 Arsenal 0
Q P R 1 Everton 2

Match Reports – Leeds title favourites as QPR crash

Everton  ( 1 )  1  (No.8: 5’  / Y=No.8: 18’)
Arsenal  ( 0 )  0  (Y=No.12: 28’)

A goal on 5 minutes gave Everton three points against Arsenal, when No.8 netted with a shot across the keeper, from the right. The same player later saw yellow, on 18 minutes, for a foul. The game was fairly even but Everton always seemed to have the edge. The Arsenal No.12 was shown the yellow card on 28 minutes for deliberate hand-ball and kicking the ball into row Z, all in the same action. Can’t remember seeing that before in a Riff Raff Premier League encounter! So, a useful three points for Everton, heading into their re-arranged game at QPR.

Q P R  ( 1 )  1  (No.10: 4’)
Everton  ( 1 )  2  (No.2: 15’  /  No.11: 29’)

Everton, in yellow and blue, gave away an early free-kick 25 yards out. From the set-piece, No.10’Stan’ hit an unstoppable shot to put Rangers ahead on 4 minutes. It was the only set piece that came off for Rangers, making a mess of an identical free-kick, needlessly giving the ball away, and failing to capitalise on a series of corners. Everton showed their usual resilience in defence but also looked threatening at the other end of the pitch. Right on half-time, Everton, not for the first time, got through the QPR rear-guard. This time, No.2 finished well into the corner of the net, giving ‘Parksie’ little chance from 20 yards.The second half was closely fought, although the Everton keeper was forced into two or three great saves. But this game was far from one-sided and it was Everton who snatched the winner, with just a minute left on the clock. No.11 hit a shot from outside the area which seemed to squeeze under ‘Parksie’. The ball rolled out at the far post as No.11 was denied the follow-up by the QPR keeper. But, the ball was already judged to have crossed the line. No VAR, no goal-line technology, but a crushing blow for QPR’s title hopes and three welcome points for Everton.

After the game, Everton manager Stuart Surridge, acknowledged his keeper’s contribution, saying, “The goalkeeping has improved since we got rid of Timmy Tourettes!”

Monday 22nd January

Leeds Utd 4 Arsenal 0
Leeds Utd 4 Chelsea 1
Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2

Match Reports – Leeds edge closer to the title

Leeds Utd  ( 3 )  4  (No.7: 4’  / No.9: 10’ 13’  28’Pen)
Arsenal  ( 0 )  0

A penalty on 28 minutes completed a hat-trick for Leeds’ No.9 to seal a 4-0 win against Arsenal. The keeper had no chance as the spot-kick, given for a foul in the box, found the corner of the net. The same player had already scored on 10 and 13 minutes, as Leeds assumed control of the game. A goal by No.7 set Leeds on their way on 4 minutes. Arsenal showed some good touches along with some dogged defending, but Leeds, as so often, had too much for their opponents.

Leeds Utd  ( 2 )  4  (No.8: 4’  / No.10: 8’ / Y=No.11:23’ / No.9: 27’ / No.5:29’)
Chelsea  ( 1 )  1  (No.10: 1’ / Y=No.3: 23’ / Sub=No.4 off, 12on 23’)

A lively start to this encounter saw Chelsea, in their red, white and green ‘Hungary’ kit, snatch the lead after just 1 minute, as No.10 struck the first blow. Leeds can be dangerous when behind, and so it proved, as No.8 equalised with 4 minutes on the clock. With 8 minutes gone, an over-hit pass from the Leeds midfield ran through to the Chelsea 6 yard box. The keeper seemed to have things under control but the Leeds No.10 nipped in and squeezed the ball past the keeper from 2 yards. With no further score, Leeds went in at half time with a 2-1 advantage.

It took until 23 minutes, for the game to liven up further. Leeds’ No.11 inflicted an over-zealous challenge on a Chelsea player and was shown the yellow card. Chelsea’s No.3 voiced his opinions of the incident to the referee,which earned him a yellow card too!  Chelsea manager, Alan Arnold, took this opportunity to make a substitution as No.12 replaced No.4 in midfield. But Chelsea were unable to haul their way back to level terms, as two late goals clinched the points for Leeds. No.9 scored on 27 minutes, followed two minutes later by a strike from 20 yards. No.5 hit a shot which seemed to go straight through the keeper. This emphatic win keeps Leeds well on track in their title challenge.

Arsenal  ( 0 )  0
Chelsea  ( 2 )  2  (No.8: 2’ / No.7: 13’)

Arsenal took on Chelsea but fell a goal behind with a cool finish on 2 minutes, as No.8 rolled the ball in off the post from the edge of the area. Chelsea, in their all blue kit, gave themselves a two goal cushion two minutes before half time. The Arsenal keeper saved the original shot from the Chelsea No.7, but was powerless to stop the rebound, headed in from close range. This may have been a disappointing result for Darryl Howes and his Arsenal team, but they’re starting to show signs of adapting to life in the Riff Raff Premier League.

Wednesday 17th January

West Ham 0 QPR 2

Match Reports – QPR win at Yiewsley

West Ham  ( 0 )  0
Q P R   ( 2 )  2  (No.10: 8’  / No.7: 10’ / ) (Sub=No.6 off, No.40 on HT)

QPR went on the attack, hitting two shots narrowly wide in the opening minutes. Further chances followed and were repelled by the keeper as Hammers resisted the early onslaught. Eventually, the game seemed to even out as West Ham appeared to have weathered the storm. Then No.10 ‘Stan’ struck with 8 minutes gone. Two minutes later No.7 made it 2-0 and West Ham’s challenge seemed to be evaporating. But they refused to throw in the towel. Rangers continued to dominate the game in the second half as West Ham’s resilience was tested further. But they held out and didn’t concede further. So Johnny UnKempt’s West Ham recorded their best ever result against Rob’s Rangers.

Monday 15th January

Cup Matches

Tottenham 0 (5) Arsenal 0 (4)

League Matches

Tottenham 0 West Ham 0
West Ham 0 Chelsea 3

Match Reports – Fences rebuilt despite Carillion crash

All of the evening’s games saw crowd disturbances and trashed fences. However, repairs were effected promptly, so need to call out the walking disaster that is Carillion.

Tottenham  ( 0 )  0  Won 5-4 on Penalties
Arsenal  ( 0 )  0

Spurs go through from the penalty spot

Spurs edged Arsenal out of the cup on penalties, to book their place in the semi finals. Chances were few in this dogged North London cup-tie with nothing to separate the two sides. Not even extra-time could spark any drama. Arsenal missed the first spot-kick of ‘sudden death’ but Spurs made no mistake with a perfect penalty into the corner of the net, to go through.

Tottenham  ( 0 )  0 
West Ham  ( 0 )  0

Back to league action and Spurs took on an improving West Ham. Hammers showed some fine touches and created chances – a result of pushing forward more this season. Now, they just need to develop their finishing. Well earned, this was West Ham’s first point of the season – they’re no longer pointless! What will Osman and Armstrong say?

West Ham  ( 0 )  0
Chelsea  ( 1 )  3  (No.9: 3’  27’ / No.8: 23’)

West Ham took on Chelsea and again produced some impressive touches and fine approach play in midfield. But Chelsea had too much fire power. An early goal set Chelsea on their way to three points when No.9 put them 1-0 up on 3 minutes. Two second half strikes gave Chelsea a comfortable win. No.8 found the net on 23 minutes and No.9 scored his second goal of the game on 27 minutes. 3-0 to Chelsea and three points.

Carillion up-date… Following the incidents of fence damage, rumours abound that League CEO Albert Tatlock may have some involvement with Carillon – possibly drawing a salary to the tune of £660,000 (and the rest!). Riff Raff Premier League auditors are mounting an extensive investigation, leaving no stone un-turned, although some stones may be too big to turn without Carillion and their building site machinery. The findings of the audit may mean that Tatlock could be ousted – he doesn’t do much anyway except sit around in the snug at T’Rovers drinking milk stout with Ena Sharples, et al.

Tuesday 9th January

Cup Matches

Everton 1 Brentford 0
Chelsea 0 (5) Everton 0 (6)
QPR 3 West Ham 0

Match Reports – Two rounds, penalties – Everton through to semis

Everton  ( 0 )  1  (No.7: 25’)
Brentford  ( 0 )  0  (Yellow=No.3: 19’)

(Cup-Rd1) A lively first round encounter saw both sides competing end to end for much of the game. However, Everton always looked like they had the edge, and so it proved on 25 minutes, as No.7 snatched the decisive goal. Brentford’s No.3 saw yellow on 19 minutes for a foul, as the Toffees went through to meet Chelsea in round 2.

Chelsea  ( 0 )  0
Everton  ( 0 )  0   Won 6 – 5 on penalties

(Cup-Rd2) This was about as tight as a game could get – absolutely nothing between the two teams, and nothing to separate them in extra time either – so it all came down to penalties. Everton missed the first one, Chelsea missed their third kick and crucially hit straight at the keeper with their seventh attempt, in the ‘sudden death’ stage, to bow out 5-6. Everton go into the draw for the semi-final.

Q P R   ( 1 )  3   (No.10: 8’ / No.11:19’ / No.40: 28’) (Sub=No.4 off, No.40 on: HT)
West Ham  ( 0 )  0

‘Cilla’ scores his long-awaited goal

(Cup-Rd2)  Another improved performance from West Ham still couldn’t prevent QPR’s progression to the semi-finals. Rangers opening goal came from a rasping shot from No.8 ‘Gerry’. The keeper parried, but the ball ran loose in the box for No.10 ‘Stan’ to hit first-time with a superb finish. The ball flew over defender and keeper, into the top corner of net from 15 yards. And he nearly had a second goal soon afterwards, trying to squeeze his shot between a defender and the near post – but the ball went a whisker wide! So, Rangers led 1-0 at half-time, but West Ham also threatened throughout the game, although not quite to the point of testing QPR keeper, ‘Smithies’. No.11 scored for Rangers to make it 2-0 on 19 minutes. Half-time sub, No.40 ‘Cilla’, scored his long-awaited goal on 28 minutes, bamboozling the keeper, with a shot which spun in from the edge of the box. ‘Cilla’ was then shown the yellow card for taking off his shirt and swinging it round in celebration.

Monday 8th January

League Matches

QPR 0 Everton 0
Chelsea 0 Leeds Utd 4

Cup Matches

Newcastle Utd 0 Leeds Utd 0

Match Reports – Leeds progress in League and Cup

QPR  ( 0 )  0 
Everton  ( 0 ) 0  (Sub=No.4 off, No.40 on: HT)

Rangers will probably be the happiest with a point, as Everton had the better chances.  Both sides escaped with a point due to some wayward QPR finishing and three good saves from ‘Parksie’, keeping out the Everton attack.

Chelsea  ( 0 )  0
Leeds Utd  ( 2 )  4  (No.7: 2’ / No.9: 6’ / No.8: 19’ / No.5: 28’)

Leeds ran out comfortable winners to claim all three points. They went in front on 2 minutes as No.7 hit the net from a free kick just outside the box. A defensive error set up Leeds’ No.9 to score from the edge of the box. Two more goals in the second half rounded things off. A superb interchange of passes on the edge of the area was finished by No.8 to make it 3-0. Goal No.4 came from another defensive error. The ball was given away on the edge the box and No.5 made no mistake. Chelsea had their moments, but Leeds had too much on the day.

Newcastle Utd  ( 0 )  0
Leeds Utd  ( 2 )  2  (No.4: 8’ / No.11: 11’)

(Cup-Rd2) Leeds progressed to the next round with this 2-0 win. Both goals came in the first half. No.4 found the far corner of the net on 8 minutes and No.11 made it 2-0 on 11 minutes, finishing from 25 yards, after a break-away on the left. Newcastle put up a good performance and held their own for much of the game, but it’s Leeds who go into the draw for the next round.

Thursday 4th January

West Ham 0 Arsenal 1
QPR 5 West Ham 0
Arsenal 0 QPR 4

Match Reports – The action resumes after the Christmas break

West Ham  ( 0 )  0
Arsenal  ( 1 )  1  (No.34: 8’)

Hammers’ keeper fumbles the ball over the line for Arsenal’s winner

The afternoon’s games kicked off with this evenly contested London derby. West Ham looked the better team in the early exchanges, carving out three good chances. Hammers were unable to convert, and it was Arsenal who snatched the lead on 11 minutes when No.34 hit a shot from just outside the area. West Ham’s normally reliable goalkeeper only half-saved the shot and the ball trickled in at the far post – Goal-line technology almost required ! Arsenal settled into the game after this but both sides had other chances throughout. The final whistle signalled a 1-0 Arsenal win.

QPR  ( 2 )  5  (No.11: 3’  30’ / No.9: 9’ / No.10: 19’  28’Pen)
West Ham  ( 0 )  0

With the game just 3 minutes old, the ball came over from a corner, finding the QPR No.11 on the six yard line. With a deft touch from No.10 ‘Stan’, Rangers’ No.11 chipped the ball into the roof of the net. West Ham were playing well and created chances in a positive spell for the Hammers. But Rangers went further ahead on 9 minutes when No.9 ’Sir Les’ struck. Although now 2-0 down, West Ham were still putting in a spirited performance. However, as the second half progressed, QPR increased their stranglehold on the game, although ’Sir Les’ squandered a great chance, missing an open goal, following an error by the keeper. ‘Stan’ scored with a chip over the keeper from close range on 19 minutes to make it 3-0. He went on to get his second goal on 28 minutes from the penalty spot, following a hand-ball. No.11 got his second goal of the game on 30 minutes to complete the scoring.

Arsenal  ( 0 )  0
QPR  ( 1 )  4 (No.8: 10’ / No.6(OG):19’ / No.10: 22’ / No.3: 24’/ Yellow=No.10: 2’)

Arsenal’s No.6 turns a QPR corner into his own net

The first action of the game saw an early yellow card in the opening QPR attack, as No.10 ‘Stan’ went into the book for a foul. Arsenal lined up with a solid defence which kept Rangers at arms length until No.8 ‘Gerry’ thundered a rising shot into the roof of the net on 10 minutes, giving the keeper no chance. A corner from the right on 19 minutes was met by the Arsenal No.6 on the near post but could only turn the ball into his own goal. 2-0 to Rangers. On 22 minutes, ‘Stan’ passed the ball into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box to make it 3-0. No.3 pushed forward and finished well on 24 minutes, to see QPR wrap up the points. It was a comfortable win in the end, despite an improved Arsenal performance.

Monday 18th December

Arsenal 0 Spurs 1
Everton 1 Spurs 0
Arsenal 0 Everton 0
West Ham 0 Chelsea 3
Chelsea 2 West Ham 0
West Ham 1 Everton 5

Match Reports – Chelsea and Everton put the squeeze on at the top

Arsenal  ( 0 )  0
Spurs  ( 1 )  1  (No.2: 8’)

The afternoon session kicked off with this North London derby. Chances were few and far between as both sides cancelled each other out. However, Spurs pushed Arsenal back in the opening minutes, culminating in the only goal of the game. The Spurs No.2 scored from the edge of the area with a firm strike into the far corner of the net. Having conceded, Arsenal had much more of the game but were unable to muster an equaliser.

Everton  ( 0 )  1  (No.8: 19’)
Spurs  ( 0 )  0   (Yellow=No.7: 1’)

Another close game began with a yellow card in the opening seconds as the Spurs No.7 launched a somewhat unfriendly challenge. This tight encounter was settled on 19 minutes.  A shot from 20 yards found a tight gap between the keeper and the near post for No.8’s third goal of the season.

Arsenal  ( 0 )  0
Everton  ( 0 )  0

Everton had to be content with a share of the spoils, despite being on top for much of this game. It all came down to missed chances, particularly in the second half, as the Arsenal defence breathed sighs of relief as shots flashed wide of the posts. Everton will feel they should have secured the game with their second half performance. Oh, those missed chances!

West Ham  ( 0 )  0
Chelsea  ( 2 )  3  (No.10: 2’  25’ / No.9: 13’)

The evening fixtures kicked off with the first match of a double-header between these two teams. West Ham manager Johnny UnKempt had decided to send his team out with a more attacking approach. This proved to give the Hammers more balance as their excellent midfield build up play at last worked the opposition’s back-line. This was despite going behind to an early goal, with No.10 scoring for Chelsea after just 2 minutes. Chelsea made it 2-0 shortly before half-time as No.9 struck on 13 minutes. Chelsea wrapped up the points with No.10’s second goal of the game on 25 minutes.

Chelsea  ( 1 )  2  (No.4: 13’ / No.7: 18’)
West Ham  ( 0 )  0  (Yellow=No.9 : 7’)

West Ham reverted back to their ‘reluctant to push forward mode’ for this game. As a result, Chelsea found it easier to dominate the game as the Hammers’ moves broke down in the middle of the field. There was still much to admire about West Ham’s midfield play, but inevitably, Chelsea took the lead. A strike by No.4 on 13 minutes sent Chelsea in at the break, a goal to the good. No.7 swept in the second goal on 18 minutes to clinch the game and keep the pressure on at the top of the table. All West Ham had to show for their efforts was a yellow card on 7 minutes for an over-zealous challenge.

West Ham  ( 0 ) 1  (No.8: 16’) (Yellow=No.5: 23’)
Everton  ( 1 )  5   (No.9: 15’ / No.11: 17’ 22’ 25’ / No.4 : 24’)

West Ham’s No.9 lies injured before kick-off

Tragedy struck in the pre-match warm-up as West Ham’s No.9 suffered a recurrence of his recent injury. He was stretchered off by the medical team and the game got underway. West Ham changed tactics again, giving their ‘push forward a bit’ approach another go!  The game turned out to be hugely entertaining with many memorable moments…15 minutes: No.5 heads home from a corner to give Everton a 1-0 lead, right on half time. 16 minutes: Just after the interval, West Ham’s attacking intent pays off. A square pass inside from the left wing, 30 yards out, is pounced on by Hammers’ No.8 who dribbles past a group of defenders to finish emphatically into the corner of the net, from 15 yards -What a goal! 1-1, but parity was short-lived. 17 minutes: Everton’s No.11 puts the Toffees back in front. But, the drama was far from over, as a hectic sequence of events ensued midway through the second half… 22 minutes: No.11 puts Everton 3-1in front with his second goal of the game, drilling a firm 20 yard shot into the far corner.  23 minutes: Foul by Hammers’ No4 -yellow card.  24 minutes: Everton make it 4-1 as No.4 powers the ball into the roof of the net.  25 minutes: Hat-trick as No.11 makes it 5-1 to Everton.  30 minutes +1: The final action of the game sees Everton’s appeal for a penalty turned down. Some great finishing from Everton and a top-notch goal from West Ham, their first goal of the season, made this an entertaining finale to the day’s matches.

Player Up-date: Hammers’ No.9, who was stretchered off, has been undergoing superglue surgery today. However, surgery proved unsuccessful. However, MaxiFix Plastic Glue saved the day and the player is now well on the way to recovery. He should be available for selection in time for West Ham’s next match and will hopefully start getting among the goals, with Johnny UnKempt’s more progressive approach.

Monday 4th December

Arsenal 1 West Ham 0
Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Everton 1 Leeds Utd 3
West Ham 0 Leeds Utd 4

Match Reports – Leeds close the gap

Arsenal ( 1 ) 1 (No.12: 3’)
West Ham ( 0 ) 0

Referee Cutler ditched the smiley yellow (Leeds-esque) whistle for a shiny silver Acme Thunderer

Both teams lined up in defensive formations, but within a minute, West Ham got the ball into the Arsenal penalty area. The sound of referee Alan Cutler’s Acme Thunderer signalled the award of a penalty kick for hand ball. The spot kick was subsequently scuffed, tamely clipping the outside of the post, trickling out for a goal-kick. With this golden opportunity missed, Arsenal recovered to take the lead on 3 minutes with a quality finish, as No.12 fired into the far corner of the net from the edge of the area. 1-0 at the break. West Ham dominated much of the second half but couldn’t find an equaliser. Arsenal finished strongly in the last few minutes but the early strike proved to be decisive.

Everton ( 0 ) 0
Arsenal ( 0 ) 0

Having secured three points against the Hammers, the Gunners took on the Toffees. Sadly, this introduction is probably the most exciting aspect of this game. There were few chances as both teams cancelled each other out.

Everton ( 1 ) 1 (No.9: 7’)
Leeds Utd ( 1 ) 3 (No.8: 13’ / No.10: 18’ / No.9: 19’)

Leeds came from behind to secure all three points. Everton went in front when No.7 finished well on 7 minutes. But Leeds can be hard to contain, and with just a couple of minutes left of the first half, No.8 equalised. Everton were still well in the game, until Leeds turned things firmly in their favour, with two goals in a minute. No.10 put Leeds ahead on 18 minutes and No.9 followed up a minute later when his shot towards the far corner, was fumbled in by the keeper.

West Ham ( 0 ) 0
Leeds Utd ( 2 ) 4 (No.3: 4’ / No.3 (OG): 13’ / No.4: 21’ / No.9: 28’)

No surprises here, as the result went as per the form book. No.3 pushed into the attack to put Leeds in front on 4 minutes. Leeds pressure at the end of the first half paid off when a shot from outside the box on 13 minutes, deflected in off the West Ham No.3 from close range. Leeds went 3-0 up when No.4 drilled a firm shot into the far corner of the net on 18 minutes, following a corner. No.9 rounded things off two minutes from time to make it 4-0. So, three more crucial points for Leeds closing the gap to just two points behind QPR.

Fans gather behind the goal before kick off as Arthur Daley inspects the six yard box

Monday 20th November

Spurs 0 Arsenal 1
QPR 2 Leeds Utd. 2
Leeds Utd 2 Spurs 0
Everton 0 Chelsea 0

Match Reports – Arsenal get their first win

Spurs ( 0 ) 0
Arsenal ( 1 ) 1 (No.19: 13’)

by Alan Cutler, Leeds Evening Drivel

The first north London derby in the Riff Raff Premier era kicked off the evenings proceedings. A point clearly lost on the cat who vacated its seat during the warm up.

First chance of the game to Arsenal forced the spurs keeper into action. Three minutes into the game ‘the hand of Poch’ intervened and suspiciously repositioned an Arsenal midfielder. The claims of “For some reason I thought it was the referee” were shouted down with “should’ve gone to specsavers”. Arsenal continued to make the early running before a spell of tight play in the Keene & Bourneo corner, to which watching Everton Manager Stuart suggested he would “join the cat in a minute”.

The deadlock was broken by Arsenal in the 13th minute as Rocastle slotted a tight finish following a good interchange at the edge of the shooting area. Watching Chelsea manager Alan Arnold quipped that it was Paul Hardcastle in the thiiiiirteenth minute.

An even start to the second half was halted by the whistle when, in the act of shooting, an Arsenal forward took out a Spurs defender. Spurs fluffed their lines from the resulting free kick but Arsenal failed to build on their advantage. Spurs were trying to take the game to Arsenal but the gunners were keeping them at arms length. In addition to stout defending, Arsenal continued to create the lions share of the chances and came close to doubling their lead, shooting just wide with 2 minutes remaining. No further goals, so bragging rights go to Arsenal.

QPR ( 0 ) 2 (No.7: 16’ / No.9: 22’)
Leeds Utd ( 0 ) 2 (No.5: 23’ / No.11: 25’)

Leeds, in their all yellow away strip, went on the attack from the first whistle. They applied all the pressure in a one sided first half, forcing several corners. But with Rangers showing much resilience, great saves from ‘Parksie’ and some luck, they got to half time still on level terms.

Having breathed a sigh of relief at the interval, Rangers began to get into the game after the break, taking the lead on 16 minutes. Following a throw-in on the right, No.7 hit a shot into the corner of the net from 20 yards. Rangers forced a couple of crucial saves out of the Leeds keeper before going 2-0 up on 22 minutes. A perfectly delivered corner was powerfully headed home at the far post by No.9 ’Sir Les’. But, as we’ve come to expect, Leeds refused to lie down and hit back immediately, pulling a goal back when No.5 pushed forward, to reduce the arrears. Then, on 25 minutes, came the dramatic Leeds equaliser. This time, ‘Parksie’ had no chance, as No.11 finished in style from 20 yards, to take a share of the spoils.

This was yet another enthralling match between these two sides. And, there’s another one to come in the new year. Perhaps they’ll also meet again in the cup. Stay tuned viewers!

Leeds Utd ( 1 ) 2 (No.10: 5’ / No.4: 25’)
Spurs ( 0 ) 0

Kev and his Spurs team faced a tough challenge against Al and his mighty Leeds. For the most part, Spurs competed well and held their own. But Leeds are always tough opponents and secured the three points with a goal in each half. Leeds went in front on 5 minutes with a goal from No.10. A 25 minute strike by No.4 secured the points.

Everton ( 0 ) 0
Chelsea ( 0 ) 0

Both sides huffed and puffed, but the end result was a 0-0 stalemate, as they cancelled each other out. There were a couple of minutes of feisty entertainment late in the game in the guise of two yellow cards. Everton’s No.11 was the first in the referee’s book, followed a minute later by Chelsea’s No.8, for a similar foul challenge. Always a closely fought fixture, there have been quite a few 0-0 draws in the past between these two sides, and this was the first match of this season’s league campaign to end goal-less.

Monday 13th November

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 1
QPR 7 Arsenal 0
Chelsea 0 QPR 1

Match Reports – Arsenal kick-off their season

Chelsea ( 1 ) 2 (No.9: 11’ No.4: 29’)
Arsenal ( 0 ) 1 (No.12: 25’)

Arsenal, the new boys in this season’s Riff Raff Premier League, made their entrance with a tough test against Chelsea. Arsenal manager, Darryl Howes said before kick-off …“As a team lacking ambition and with players who would rather be elsewhere, it will take the pressure off!” But the pressure was immediately applied by a determined looking Chelsea team, pinning the newcomers back into their own penalty area for much of the first half. The breakthrough came on 11 minutes as a good finish by No.7 gave Chelsea a 1-0 half-time lead.

Arsenal looked like they might take a share of the spoils when they snatched a second half equaliser with an attack on the break. No.12 netted from right of centre on 25 minutes to set up an interesting last five. In the end, Chelsea got the reward for their pressure. With the game heading into added-on time, No.4 pushed forward to slot the ball into the corner of the net. A spirited effort by Darryl and his Arsenal side in their first outing, producing an encouraging performance against one of the league’s top sides.

QPR ( 3 ) 7 (No.4 (OG): 4’ / No.5: 11 / No.10: 13’ 23’ / No.11: 21’ / No.7:26’ / No.8: 29’)
Arsenal ( 0 ) 0

Arsenal came up against the sharp-shooters of QPR in their second game.

…Arsene is probably glad he didn’t !!!

Rangers took the lead when the Arsenal No.4 turned a corner into his own net with just 4 minutes gone. Rangers centre-half stole in on the left to finish like a top striker to make it 2-0 on 11 minutes. ‘Stan’ hit a brace in this game – his first goal hitting the net on 13 minutes. 3-0 to QPR at half-time. No.11 made it 4-0 on 21 minutes before ‘Stan’ curled in his second, just inside the far post, from a 25 yard free kick on 23 minutes. No.7 made it six on 26 minutes before ‘Gerry’ got in on the act on 29 minutes, to complete the scoring. This was a game Arsene Wenger would definitely not have wanted to see.

Chelsea ( 0 ) 0
Q P R ( 0 ) 1 (No.7: 29’)

Chelsea, with an unbeaten start to the season, took on a free-scoring QPR team. However, Rangers, in their black and red hoops, were restricted to a handful of chances by a resolute Chelsea side. A goal-less first half was probably a fair reflection of the game, although Chelsea looked the more likely to open the scoring, in the earlier stages. The game looked like it was destined to be a 0-0 stalemate when Rangers’ No.7 popped up to snatch a dramatic injury time winner with a shot which deceived the keeper. The despair showed on the face of Chelsea manager Alan Arnold, as the ball hit the back of the net.

Tuesday 2nd November

Spurs 0 QPR 4
Leeds Utd. 6 West Ham 0
Leeds Utd. 2 QPR 3

Match Reports – Leeds and QPR entertain again

Spurs ( 0 ) 0
Q P R ( 3 ) 4 (No.10: 6’ / 11’ / 19’ / No.11: 14’)

QPR, in their changed strip of black and red hoops, took on Spurs in the first game of the evening. ‘Stan’ hit a hat-trick as Rangers cruised to a four goal win. The home side played some tidy football at times, but they had no answer to Rangers’ clinical finishing. The QPR No.10 scored twice in the first half, on 6 and 11 minutes. No.11 scored on 14 minutes as Rangers led 3-0 at the break. ‘Stan’ completed his hat-trick on 9 minutes, while Cilla, on as a half-time substitute, had a shot well saved and also hit the post – once with the ball and then with Cilla’s head! Spurs can look forward to better days but Rangers won this one comfortably by 4-0.

Leeds Utd ( 3 ) 6 (No.10: 4’ / No.9: 9’ 27’ / No.5: 11’ / No.6: 21’ / No.3: 25’)
West Ham ( 0 ) 0

Leeds manager Alan Cutler started the evening with three points. But this was during the car journey to the game, as flashing cameras turned out not to be the national or local press, or the paparazzi. So, not the three points he was hoping for. (It might not have happened if he’d been driving a Wolwo or a Wauxhall Wiwa!!!)

So, with three unwanted points in the bag, Leeds took on West Ham to secure a, somewhat more welcome reward. Quick as a flash (sorry!), they were on the right road (sorry again!) for the win. Leeds put West Ham under immediate pressure, creating chance after chance in the early exchanges. Shots going narrowly wide, stoic defending and defiant goalkeeping, just about kept the score-sheet blank – for a while, at least. Then came the inevitable! No.10 put Leeds in front after 4 minutes, crashing a shot in off the post. The flood-gates opened! The ball shot into the top corner on 9 minutes, as No.9 scored his first of two goals. Two minutes later, No.5 made it 3-0 to Leeds. No.6 hit Leeds’ fourth with a fine finish into the far corner from 15 yards. More Leeds pressure resulted in a fifth goal on 25 minutes, as No.3 pushed forward to score through a crowded penalty area. No.9 scored his second, and Leeds’ sixth goal, on 27 minutes, beating the keeper at the near post.

West Ham played some neat football at times, as we’ve come to expect, along with some heroics from their goalkeeper. But, despite conjuring a second half shot which flashed just wide of the post, Leeds proved to have too much for West Ham who, it’s rumoured, may be about to sign on Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman to their management team.

Leeds’ keeper keeps out Stan’s penalty

Leeds Utd ( 0 ) 2 (No.9: 16’ / No.11: 27’)
Q P R ( 2 ) 3 (No.7: 4’ 20’ / No.11: 9’)

This was a hastily arranged game to replace Leeds’ postponed game against Everton. It certainly had shades of last season’s cup semi-final, turning out to be another enthralling encounter between these two sides. QPR took to the field, again in their black and red hoops, against Leeds in their traditional all white. Rangers’ No.7 put his side in front on 4 minutes and No.11 added a second goal on 9 minutes. With half-time approaching, Rangers got the chance to put the game firmly in their grasp. With QPR once again on the attack, a Leeds defender handled in the box – Penalty! Up stepped the normally reliable ‘Stan’ to hit the spot kick to the keeper’s right. But the Leeds keeper dived sharply to tip the ball onto the post to keep Leeds in the game, with just a two goal deficit – QPR 2-0 up at the interval.

As we’ve come to expect of Alan Cutler and his Leeds side, they came storming back in the second half. They pulled the score back to 2-1 as No.9 found the net shortly after the interval. But Rangers restored their two goal lead on 20 minutes, when No.7 scored his second of the game on 20 minutes. Leeds responded, pulling the score back to 3-2, when No.11 broke through the centre of the QPR defence to lash a 25 yard strike into the roof of the net on 27 minutes. With chances still being carved out at both ends, Leeds came close to an equaliser with a late free-kick against the bar. But Rangers held out to snatch three important points with a memorable win.

Monday 23rd October

QPR 1 Chelsea 2
Chelsea 1 Everton 0
Everton 1 QPR 5

Match Reports – Chelsea go top as Everton slip

QPR ( 0 ) 1 (No.10:21’)
Chelsea ( 1 ) 2 (No.2:11’ / No.10:28’)

Alan Arnold’s Chelsea recorded their first ever league win against Rob and his QPR side. Since Alan took over his beloved Chelsea, a record of W0 D5 L9 stretching back to 2013, was a disappointing return. This time, Chelsea snatched all three points. Alan had one previous win against Rob’s QPR with Crawley Town in 2012.

Overall this one was a close game, as many have been in the past, but it was Chelsea who started stronger. They pinned QPR back in their own half in the opening minutes but Rangers looked threatening on the break. QPR came close with a shot which hit the inside of the far post and came out again before being cleared by the Chelsea defence. The deadlock was broken on 11 minutes when Chelsea’s No.2 broke through on the right, to produce a shot from 20 yards, across ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal. Despite diving full length to his right to parry the shot, the full-back followed into the box to put away the rebound from close range.

Early in the second half, Chelsea put Rangers under more pressure with a series of corners. But it was QPR who scored the next goal of the game. No.10 ‘Stan’ grabbed the equaliser from the edge of the box, finding the corner of the net on 21 minutes.

Chelsea’s No.8 was shown the yellow card on 25 minutes for a bad challenge.

However, Chelsea’s reward for their solid all-round performance came when No.10 snatched the winner two minutes from time, giving ‘Parksie’ no chance from 20 yards. The second yellow card of the game came on 29 minutes when the QPR No.5 saw yellow for a bad tackle. But this was Chelsea’s day and keeps them well in contention for the league. This result is sure to be of interest to Leeds manager Alan Cutler too !

Chelsea ( 0 ) 1 (No.8: Pen 21’)
Everton ( 0 ) 0

This was a close encounter, as the score suggests. There were few chances, with neither side really dominating an even contest, although arguably, Chelsea had the edge. Everton went close in the 2nd half with a shot which flashed across face of the Chelsea goal, clipping the outside of the post. Chelsea went in front on 21 minutes having pinned Everton back in their own area, following a corner. Attempting to clear the danger, the Everton defender clipped a Chelsea player’s ankles in the middle of the area – Penalty ! The Chelsea No.8 placed the spot kick to the keeper’s left, giving him no chance. A good effort from Everton but the penalty proved decisive, as Chelsea claimed another three points to shoot up to the top of the table.

Everton ( 0 ) 1 (No.10:21’)
QPR ( 3 ) 5 (No.10:2’ / No.11:9’ / No.6:14’ / No.7:18’ 24’)

With Everton running Chelsea close and QPR losing their previous game, this looked like an intriguing encounter. Could Everton push on and take advantage against a deflated QPR? The answer to that question started to be answered with just 2 minutes gone, as No.10 ‘Stan’ put away an early chance. Then, on 9 minutes, No.11 made it 2-0 with a fine finish. Rangers clinical finishing continued when No.6 netted just before the interval. 3-0 to Rangers! The second half continued with Rangers now well in control. No7 hit two goals, on 18 and 24 minutes. In between, Everton scored a good consolation goal when No.10 gave ‘Parksie’ little chance on 20 minutes. This coincided with Everton’s best spell of the game, but it was too little too late, despite a late free kick rattling the QPR bar. There was still time for some last minute drama. QPR No.40 ‘Cilla’, on as a half-time substitute for No.4, was clean through on goal but was foiled by the final whistle as he prepared to net from 20 yards.

Everton will be disappointed but Rangers will be pleased with this resounding win, bouncing back after defeat. QPR manager, Rob Kemmenoe, said afterwards, “Well Brian, the defeat against Chelsea was disappointing, but y’know, it’s not about losing is it Brian? It’s all about how you react ; how you bounce back. I feel a bit sorry for Cilla though, having his goal wiped out at the end. Great finish! It would have been a surprise surprise if had stood though !”

Monday 17th October

Everton 3 West Ham 0
West Ham 0 Spurs 3
Spurs 1 Leeds Utd. 4

Match Reports – Everton stay top as Leeds gather momentum

Everton ( 2 ) 3 (No.11:12’ / No.5:14’ / No.8:25’ )
West Ham ( 0 ) 0

Everton continued their winning start to the season with this comfortable win over struggling West Ham. The home side’s finishing looked to be a cause for concern until No.11 struck on 12 minutes, to give Everton a 1-0 half-time lead. No.5 put them 2-0 up on 14 minutes, finishing off a move which started with a free-kick 30 yards out. No.8 took advantage of a goalkeeping error on 25 minutes, to wrap things up with a 3-0 win. Everton are top of the table with a 100 per cent record.

West Ham ( 0 ) 0
Spurs ( 1 ) 3 (No.8:5’ / No.18:20’ / No.5:22’)

West Ham took on Spurs, following their defeat against Everton. The Hammers contributed to an interesting contest, creating chances and pulling saves out of the Spurs keeper, as well as hitting one or two shots narrowly wide. At the other end, Spurs kept the West Ham keeper involved but, in the end, they had too much for West Ham, and eventually ran out 3-0 winners.

Spurs went in front on 5 minutes as No.8 put them 1-0 up. A goal on 20 minutes put Spurs comfortably in front, when No. 18 struck. 2-0 to Spurs! No. 5 scored 2 minutes later, to make it 3-0 on 22 minutes, to clinch the game.

Spurs ( 0 ) 1 (No.11:24’)
Leeds Utd ( 1 ) 4 (No7:13’ / No.8:20’ / No.10:26’ / No.7:29’)

Following their win against West Ham, Spurs took on mighty Leeds, and held their own for periods of the game. But the tide started to turn when Leeds took a 1-0 lead into the interval. No.7’s shot on 13 minutes beat the keeper at the near post. Twenty minutes gone and Leeds made it 2-0. No.8 hit a well struck shot, drilled into the far corner of the net. Spurs had their moments in the game and snatched a goal back to make it 2-1 on 24 minutes. The shot from No.11 was well placed into the corner. Leeds though, stormed back to make it 3-1 just two minutes later. Then No.10 capitalised on a defensive error on 26 minutes. 3-1 to Leeds! They wrapped up the game on 29 minutes when No.7 scored his second goal of the game, coolly passing the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box. Final score, 4-1 to Leeds.

Riff Raff Premier League CEO, Albert Tatlock, said after Monday’s games, how pleased he is that there’s been no fence trashing this season and hopes it will continue. He retired to t’snug in t’Rovers to down a few celebratory bottles of Milk Stout with Ena Sharples.

Wednesday 11th October

West Ham 0 QPR 4

Match Reports – Throw-ins galore at Yiewsley

West Ham 0 Q.P.R. 4

With the new fencing installed at Yiewsley Stadium, West Ham took on the defending league champions with renewed optimism. And it appeared to be well founded in the early exchanges, as Rangers seemed to be faltering, giving the ball away and passes going astray. West Ham got through the QPR backline as early as the first minute, but couldn’t test ‘Parksie’ in the QPR goal.

It soon became clear that regular stoppages to pick up large sections of the fencing surround from off the floor, were now a thing of the past. However, this brought with it added difficulties in taking throw-ins ! In fact, it’s now nigh-on impossible. What fun we had trying to take the simplest of throws. It was one throw-in after the other, as the ball spent record time in touch ! I wonder what Sep Back-Hander would have made of it all if he’d still been running things (probably wouldn’t have given a Castlemaine 4X – hope that’s not unauthorised advertising). So, improvements still needed for West Ham’s new ground. Where have we heard that before ? ! Anyway, back to the game …

Despite the poor start, Rangers soon began to string some passes together and threaten the West Ham defence. No.9 ‘Sir Les’ hit a powerful shot which the home keeper saved well. As we’ve come to expect, West Ham’s keeper made some fine saves throughout, but it was his error on 6 minutes which saw Rangers go in front. The keeper missed his clearance from the corner of the box and No.2 stroked the ball into the corner of the empty net. 1-0 to QPR. West Ham remained resilient until the second half, when Rangers took full control. Despite the defiance of the Hammers’ keeper, goals from No.11 (20 minutes), No.10 ‘Stan’ (23 minutes) and No.9 ‘Sir Les’ (26 minutes) secured the points for Rangers.

Monday 9th October

Spurs 0 Everton 2
Leeds Utd. 1 Chelsea 1
Chelsea 1 Spurs 1

Match Reports – Everton are early-season leaders

Spurs 0 Everton 2

The new season got underway with a “welcome back” to Kev and his Spurs side, rejoining the league after a three year absence.
Both sides had their chances but Everton probably spurned the better opportunities before taking the lead. The goal came with a shot from outside the box, on 13 minutes. 1-0 Everton at half-time. The game continued in the same vane until Everton grabbed a second goal to secure the points and assume early leadership at the top of the table.

Leeds Utd 1 Chelsea 1

This mouthwatering encounter saw Chelsea kick off the match. Quick as a flash, the No.10 stormed through the Leeds defence to finish emphatically from 25 yards. The ball hit the back of the net with no more than 30 seconds gone. The fasted ever goal scored in Riff Raff Premier League history ? Probably ! But Leeds have a habit of scoring straight after conceding – a statistic which Chelsea manager Alan Arnold was no doubt aware. Chelsea continued to take the game to Leeds, despite having possibly stirred up a nest of vipers ! Then on 5 minutes, Leeds produced the feared equaliser. No.11 gave the keeper no chance with a shot into the top corner of the net. The second half threatened more goals at both ends, but they somehow never materialised, despite some good chances. In the end, both sides shared a point-a-piece from this hard-fought, yet entertaining encounter.

Chelsea 1 Spurs 1

Spurs took the lead as No.9 scored, with a good finish on 9 minutes. They then proceeded to make things hard for their opponents. Frustration seemed to be creeping in, as some of Chelsea’s promising moves broke down. Chelsea left it late to snatch a point, handed to them on the plate by the Spurs defence, giving the ball away on the edge of their own area. Chelsea’s No.4 made no mistake to level it the scores just 2 minutes from time.