Saturday, 3 August 2013

Alton Town Moved by Epsom Assaults

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 3 August 2013 at the Alton (Bass) Sports Ground
Alton Town 0
Epsom & Ewell 1 (Panayi 51)
Combined Counties Premier League (Step 5)
I am here for ground #513 on my lifetime list because I let four county cricket teams make the decision for me.  See for details.  I am in Hampshire because Michael Carberry scored 94 against Glamorgan.  It’s random(ish) and it kept twelve people entertained during Friday.
Pre-match preparation
Alton Town have been geographically shifted from the Wessex League and this is their first-ever game in the Combined Counties League today.  Recently, there has been a scare for them as their landlords (the Molson-Coors brewery) gave them notice to quit their ground, but - perhaps helped by a significant local response to a petition – today’s match programme explains that there are now developing plans for a new ground and 3G pitch nearby.
This match in one sentence
The visitors dominated proceedings by and large but almost paid for their wastefulness up front.
So what?
That is the first game of the new league season for both teams, so much too early for any sensible predictions.
The drama unfolds
Quite how we got to half-time with a 0-0 scoreline I am not sure – Epsom & Ewell bossed the game from the opening minutes and created over a dozen half-chances as opposed to one solitary but decent chance for the hosts.  Alton defenders Rikki Long and Luke Axton-Hall both made goal-saving clearances from the 6-yard line, and Jamie Phillips was quietly relieved that his header went over his own crossbar as the visitors pressed again.  They hit the post for the first time with a direct freekick on 34 minutes before I took this scene-setting clip.  Alton are in white.  0-0 at half-time

Epsom & Ewell started the second half where they had left off and soon pinged the woodwork again.  However, Anthony Panayi soon scored what proved to be the only goal to cue a delightfully over-the-top mass writhing orgy of a goal celebration.  I can’t tell you much more about the goal as I was involved in a complex relationship with a bottle of tomato ketchup at that precise moment in time.  0-1 after 51 minutes

Substitutions were made and Epsom’s goalkeeper Kieran Campbell earned his match fee with two blocks in quick succession as Alton began to play with more threat.  The teams exchanged chances in an end-to-end finale that saw the home goalpost hit once more after a full-length save by Cathel McLean.  In the end, a fair result on the balance of play.  Final score 0-1
Ground Pix

Sadly, no action at the Alton Social Bowls Club today ...

Match Pix

Something random – Meet Michael
When, at a non-league ground, you meet a man with a bell carrying Sylvester and Tweety-Pie, you simply have to ask for a photo with a view to www publication.  Michael, I salute you, and I gather this is not the first time you have been mentioned in despatches.  He is an Alton Town supporter of fifty years’ standing.

Huddle Stats
New this season on MHR – let’s find out whether the pre-match huddle makes a difference.
Alton Town huddled, Epsom & Ewell didn’t.  Alton Town lost.
Huddling is a BAD thing on this occasion.

2013-14 So Far:
Non-Huddlers - P1 W1 D0 L0 GF 1 GA 0 Pts 3 PPG 3.00
Huddlers - P1 W0 D0 L1 GF 0 GA 1 Pts 0 PPG 0.00
Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Also new for this season.
I vaguely remember Petr Cech having a theory that orange was the best colour for goalkeeping tops.  Let’s find out whether there is any substance to it.  I will arbitrarily give 5pts for a clean sheet and -1 (minus 1) for each goal conceded.

Alton’s keeper had a yellow top and conceded one goal.
E&E’s keeper had a grey top and kept a clean sheet.

2013-14 So Far:
Grey Tops P1 GC 0 CS 1 Pts 5 PPG 5.00
Yellow Tops P1 GC1 CS 0 Pts -1 PPG -1.00
Hopping for Moorfields Update
Just waiting for a few sponsors to return from their summer holiday but I hope very soon to be sending a big cheque to Moorfields Eye Charity which, when some Gift Aid is applied, will be worth over £800 to them.  It’s not too late to make a small contribution – remember the original idea of this is that LOTS of people would give small amounts – and this recent post tells you how to go about it.  Thanks in advance, and thanks too to all the sponsors who have already paid up.

What Next?
Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for announcements!

I hope you’ll enjoy the 2013-14 format for the MHR blog.  I have tried to freshen it up without losing its essential tongue-in-cheekiness, and to reflect the fact that I am now out of semi-retirement and back in the classroom full-time.  In particular, the video clips were receiving very few hits so I have scaled back on these apart from an essential scene-setter.  You may also have to put up with a rant on educational issues from time to time.  Thanks as ever for your support and interest.  This season I will catch up on a few new venues (e.g. Barnet) and complete my lists down to all of step 3 at least, as well as paying plenty of attention again to the early rounds of the FA Cup and the FA Vase.

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