Saturday, 16 March 2019

Street View



Hopperational Details
Date & Venue
Saturday 16 March 2019 at The Tannery Ground
Result
Street 0 Blackfield & Langley 0
Competition
Southern League Division One South (Step 4)
Hopstats
Ground #688 on the lifetime list, and I am here because the home club were the first to declare “Game Definitely On On On” on my Twitter Saturday Shortlist, in time for me to travel.
Context
11th plays 1st.  Blackfield & Langley won the reverse fixture but both teams lost last weekend. Likely to be a wind-affected match.
In one sentence
It was indeed a wind-affected match, and Street will argue that they had the better of it.
So what?
No change in league positions but Yate’s win means that the visitors’ lead at the top of the table is cut to one point.
Match Report
The stop-start nature of the game was established in the first fifteen minutes.  Street were playing in the slightly more comfortable direction in relation to the very blustery wind.  The pitch condition was pretty good all things considered.  Not much of note happened for the first half-hour, until the home keeper Liam Kingston saved well from Lerone Plummer, who had broken through when a defensive header went astray in the wind.  Then Street’s Harry Foster shot high and wide from his own rebound before teammate David O’Hare emulated the feat even more spectacularly a minute later.  This was a case of creating space and then sending the ball into outer space.  Kingston then had to save a swirling shot from distance and the rebound fortunately fell to safety.  It was generally a dour contest and I noted that Blackfield & Langley would be the more content given the change of ends to come for the second half.  Their keeper Lewis Noice caused a momentary flutter with a fumble but recovered, then there was almost chaos and confusion from their long throw at the other end, and finally Street got the ball in the net but the flag was up for offside.  So, nil-nil at half time.

The second half actually saw Street more than hold their own.  Some of their approach play was neat, as they used the headwind to their advantage with clipped balls into the channels and flanks.  Both sides were, however, giving the ref a hard time.  We had some industrial language from both pitch and dugouts which should have been calmed down.  There were some firm tackles flying in, and the odd one was mistimed in the conditions leading to rolling around, yellow cards and general disjointedness, with plenty of offside flags thrown in.

By the hour mark, Street were arguably looking more likely to score, though Blackfield & Langley did look dangerous on the break.  Street tried a training ground routine with a low driven corner to the “D” instead of a lofted cross, but it came to nothing.  Harry Foster tried to cross when he might have shot and Noice got down well to smother the chance.  In stoppage time, Zak Sharp took a yellow card for the visitors with a rugby tackle worthy of Twickenham.  I don’t think anyone will feel particularly happy with the result, other than to point out that it would be tough to play pretty football in those conditions.
Pix
Tidy ground with nice clubhouse, friendly people and comfortable seats in the stand opposite the changing rooms.  Street in green. 



















Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
New this season – a pre-match prediction based only on keeper top colours as a preliminary test of the data.  Proper statistical significance test to follow in due course.  The table is compiled from the last 189 live games that I have attended.

Today, a draw and a clean sheet for both Orange and Yellow.  Yellow jumps above Radioactive Bile in the table.  Another incorrect prediction takes the success percentage another point back towards 50%.


Pre-match Prediction based on Keeper Top Colour:
Prediction:
Home Win
Was the prediction correct?
No
% of correct predictions so far
55% (24 from 44)

Based on conventional 3pts for a win, 1pt for a draw, but also -1pt for a goal conceded (GC) and +5pts for a clean sheet (CS).  Colours ranked on a points per game (PPG) basis. The odd decimal places were caused either by half-and-half tops or sub keepers in a different colour.  The Fire Cracker colour was confirmed with the help of the social media team at Dulux UK.  All of this arises from a comment attributed to Petr Cech that orange is the best colour for a goalkeeper because it changes the behaviour of other players around the box.


P
W
D
L
GC
CS
Pts
PPG
Red
10.5
5.5
1.0
4.0
11.0
3.5
24.0
2.286
Grey
50.5
24.0
11.0
15.5
80.5
15.0
77.5
1.535
Blue
47.1
21.0
7.0
19.1
76.0
14.0
64.0
1.359
Green
104.0
52.0
12.0
40.0
181.0
23.0
102.0
0.981
Fire Cracker
3.0
1.0
0.0
2.0
6.0
1.0
2.0
0.667
Maroon
5.0
2.0
1.0
2.0
9.0
1.0
3.0
0.600
Orange
51.5
19.0
10.0
22.5
90.5
10.0
26.5
0.515
Purple
21.0
8.0
4.0
9.0
45.0
5.0
8.0
0.381
Black
6.5
2.5
3.0
1.0
15.0
0.5
-2.0
-0.308
Yellow
36.0
9.0
8.0
19.0
77.0
6.0
-12.0
-0.333
Radioactive Bile
23.0
9.0
0.0
14.0
51.0
3.0
-9.0
-0.391
Pink
18.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
37.0
1.0
-12.0
-0.667
White
1.9
0.0
0.0
1.9
4.0
0.0
-4.0
-2.105
What Next?
Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter!  23 Step 4 sides left to visit to complete the tier, and hopefully another one ticked off next Saturday.


Friday, 15 March 2019

Nomads Win is No Mean Feat


Slight crease to programme cover: 3pts on Groundhopping Licence
Hopperational Details
Date
Sunday 10 March 2019
Result
Rylands 3 Cheadle Heath Nomads 5
Venue
Rylands Recreation Club
Competition
North West Counties Division One South (Step 6)
Result 2
Irlam P-P West Didsbury & Chorlton
Venue
Silver Street
Competition
North West Counties Premier Division (Step 5)
Hopstats
Number 687 on the lifetime list.  Many thanks to Groundhop UK, particularly Chris Berezai and Laurence Reade but also their other helpers, for organising this weekend’s event.  Thanks too of course to the numerous club officials and volunteers who rose to the occasion.  Only one game today due to an early call for postponement at Irlam.
Context
1st v 10th.
In one sentence
The visitors adapted better to the blustery conditions and held on for a very good away win.
So what?
Rylands still lead but now by only four points, Cheadle Heath go up one place to 9th.
Match Report
This match was several days ago now and it is a reasonable shout that everyone who cares was actually there.  The conditions were grim and you have to pay tribute to the clubs, the league and the players for letting this spectacle take place.  Under the circumstances it was a superb game, very competitive and of a decent standard, even though it was freezing and blustery.

The GroundhopUK group held a pre-match meeting on the bank in response to the news of postponement at Irlam.  Other spectators looked on and chatted about a suitable collective noun for hoppers and compared the effectiveness of different brands of carrier bag.  In objective terms this match should probably not have taken place either, but we were there, they were there, and goodwill prevailed.  Well done everyone.

The teams switched ends after the toss, so fair to say the wind was going to be a factor.  On the pitch, Cheadle Heath would not have planned to gift an early goal to the league leaders.  Wind-assisted confusion led to a ball being squared (crucially not played forward, negating the calls for offside) to allow Ste Boothman to score easily with the keeper out of position.  Cheadle Heath responded soon enough through Jimmy Green, and the same player gave the visitors the lead from the spot after the home keeper was adjudged to have brought down an attacker.

After 39 minutes Kieron Herbert added a third for the visitors with a low shot in off the post, so this was not going with the form book.  Nevertheless, when Rylands got one back in first-half stoppage time with a cracking goal by Boothman again, after a good move, I thought that the change of ends would help the home side in the second half and they were now probably in the driving seat.

I know nothing. Cheadle Heath defended well and overall adapted much better to the conditions today.  With Rylands committing players forward, the visitors went to a 2-5 lead with goals from a header by Ashley Harrison and a close-range bundle by Andrew Simpson.  Jay White got a third for Rylands with three minutes to go, but by then the points were in the bag.

I've said this elsewhere, but thanks again to the organisers, the clubs (especially the volunteers) and the league for a splending hopping experience this weekend.

Pix
Rylands in Blue.










The tracks of the White Lino are clearly visible.







Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
New this season – a pre-match prediction based only on keeper top colours as a preliminary test of the data.  Proper statistical significance test to follow in due course.

It has to be said that this weekend has been a shocker for the predictions, which have plummeted back towards the 50% success rate that might have been expected.  Orange beats Green today, but lots of goals conceded. 

Pre-match Predictions based on Keeper Top Colour:
Prediction 1:
Home Win
Was the prediction correct?
No
Prediction 2:
N/A
Was the prediction correct?

% of correct predictions so far
56% (24 from 43)

Based on conventional 3pts for a win, 1pt for a draw, but also -1pt for a goal conceded (GC) and +5pts for a clean sheet (CS).  Colours ranked on a points per game (PPG) basis. The odd decimal places were caused either by half-and-half tops or sub keepers in a different colour.  The Fire Cracker colour was confirmed with the help of the social media team at Dulux UK.  All of this arises from a comment attributed to Petr Cech that orange is the best colour for a goalkeeper because it changes the behaviour of other players around the box.

A full recalculation will appear next week, and see two posts back (Friday) for the rank order before the start of this weekend’s hop.  Since then, Orange has overtaken Purple.  The damage done to Green was not enough to cause a drop in position.

What Next?
Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter!  Hopefully I will be ticking off one of my target Step 4 grounds next Saturday, but the weather forecasts are not great.