Thursday, 17 March 2011

Chalfont St Petered Out in Haringey

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 15 March 2011 at Coles Park Stadium in White Hart Lane
Haringey Borough 1 Chalfont St Peter 0
South Midlands Premier League (Step 5)
Venue #382 on the lifetime list, close enough for a midweek hop
This match in one sentence
Haringey held on to their first-half lead to inflict a rare defeat on the league leaders.
So what?
Chalfont St Peter have one hand firmly on the title for this division.  After a win over their nearest realistic challengers (Tring Athletic) last time out, even after this defeat they have a nine point lead plus two games in hand over Colney Heath.  Haringey Borough sit in ninth place, which compares favourably with their 15th-place finish of last season.
The drama unfolds
This was the hardest, bumpiest pitch I have seen for a while and both teams had to play percentage football in the absence of real control.  Haringey showed little respect to their table-topping visitors and their fast, pressing style did not allow Chalfont to settle on the ball.

The first clip captures some spectators’ delight as a Haringey forward beats his man, not once, not twice …

The second clip records the goal, scored direct (I thought at the time) from a curling free-kick, which proved to be the winner.  Chalfont could have equalised within a minute but it remained 1-0 at half-time.  The club website says that Daniel Ailey got a faint touch to the free kick by Theo Charalambos

The other clips are from the second half and are a representative selection.  Chalfont used their long throws as a potent weapon, Haringey looked dangerous on the break with their pace.  It could have been 1-1 or 2-0 at any moment, but in the end the hosts held on comfortably enough apart from one occasion when they needed the help of the woodwork.  Whether this is the first sign of complacency from Chalfont is yet to be seen.  Final score 1-0.
Alternative activity of equal excitement for tourists in the London Borough of Haringey
The London Festival of Railway Modelling takes place at Alexandra Palace on 26 & 27 March.  Tickets are cheaper if purchased in advance, and 40 working layouts will be on display.  There are also workshops aimed at helping you improve your modelling skills.  Oh, and they play football at another stadium at the other end of White Hart Lane too.  Tottenham something-or-other.  I’ve been there a few times, most bizarrely as a headteacher for my statutory training in salary assessment procedures in 2000.  I’d choose the railway modelling, trust me.
A snippet from the programme
“It was not until 1976 that a team playing under the name Haringey Borough first played in senior football but the roots of the club go back to 1907 when Tufnell Park FC was formed and joined the London League in which it played until 1914 and from 1912 to 1914 a team was also entered into the Athenian League.”
What I learned today
One spectator stayed near enough to his car radio to follow Manchester United’s progress against Marseille.  The chance of Tottenham Hotspur playing Manchester United in the next round of the Champions League is 14.2857% (to the nearest 0.0001%).  This is equally true of each of the seven possible opponents, so the combined chance of Tottenham playing either one of the other two English clubs is 28.5714%.  Taking into account that Manchester U could be drawn against Chelsea, the chance of an all-English quarter-final (given that there are three teams from England out of eight) is a whopping 42.8571%.  If you have noticed that these percentages contain the digits 1,4,2,8,5 and 7 reappearing in the same cyclic order, then you may be a geek.  Welcome – it’s all about sevenths.  14.2857% is the percentage chance of any one named team playing any other named team, e.g. Real Madrid and Barcelona, Shaktar and Schalke.  The numbers are beautiful, aren’t they?
Something random
Assuming the draw of the teams is a fair, anyone-can-play-anyone-else, unseeded random sequence of eight, then there are 40320 possible outcomes to a quarter-final draw.  In mathematics, this is known as 8! where ! is the factorial sign, and denotes 8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1.  So here is the first Modus Hopper Random competition.  The prize has no monetary value but is 100% kudos and may include the addition of a pie or burger of your choice if I ever see you at a 'hop.  Other calorific sources are available.  Enter by sending me a DM or a mention on Twitter, close is 2359h on Friday evening, 18 March .. and the Q is:

What are the chances of Man Utd playing Tottenham AND Real Madrid playing Barcelona in the forthcoming draw?  (Doesn't matter which team is at home in the first leg.)  Note: the answer is NOT 28.5714%.  Answers can be expressed as a percentage to 4 decimal places, or as an exact fraction.

What Next?
I dare say I shall tear myself away from this permutations spreadsheet for a Saturday hop.

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