Sunday, 3 August 2014

Churchmen Celebrate Two Conversions

Hopperational details
Date & Venue:
Saturday 2 August 2014 at The Coppice Colliery Ground.
Result:  Heath Hayes 0 Alvechurch 2
The Step 5 Premier Division of the newly constituted Midland Football League.
First of the season, and lifetime ground #537.

Pre-Match Preparation
This was a chance to return to the blog’s random roots, and here’s the evidence …

Then a quick skim of the match programme reveals that the home side’s keeper is a teacher and there are three WBA supporters in the squad.  That is all I need to know.

This Match in One Sentence
Heath Hayes weathered early pressure but eventually conceded defeat to two late goals.

So What?
Too early to say as this is the first round of fixtures of the new league season.

The Drama Unfolds 
Alvechurch imposed their greater physical presence on the first few minutes and they probably should have taken the lead.  By the time I took these clips at the midway point the game had settled into a more even midfield battle.  To be honest, it was undistinguished early-season stuff at this stage with very few chances to speak of.  Heath Hayes are in blue-and-white.

Half-time: Heath Hayes 0 Alvechurch 0

Heath Hayes took greater control after the break and dominated territory though the Alvechurch keeper remained relatively untroubled.  The game, a tad more entertaining now, was heading towards 0-0 when Alex Scott was harshly penalised (in my opinion) for a foul just outside the area.  This photo shows the ball on the way to the top right-hand corner from the set piece, beautifully struck by Connor Deards.  The episode left home keeper Danny Ware screaming in frustration at his defenders.  0-1 after 81 mins

There was a chance at each end before Deards slotted home the second goal with three minutes left, to remove all doubt about the result.  Final Score 0-2

Ground Pix

Match Pix

Something You Don’t Get in the Premier League

At PL grounds the Rollers would all be in the players' car park #satire
Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Last season’s statistical work confirmed that huddles are pointless and you need not pay any more than 40p these days for a Mars Bar.  These two facts are undeniable so I can let the surveys go.  However, the goalkeeper top database was inconclusive so I will keep the survey going for longer.  Today an orange keeper kept a clean sheet whilst a red one let in two.  I will put an updated table in the blog once a month or so.  Remember, all this stems from an explanation from Chelsea's Petr Cech that orange was the best colour for goalkeepers.

Soapbox Section
Last season my blogging record was patchy as I have returned to a full-time position of significant responsibility in a secondary school.  This season I will try to keep up a weekly Saturday hop but midweek jaunts in term-time are a thing of the past.  I may have to be pragmatic rather than truly random with a higher proportion of my game choices.  However, I also reserve author’s right this season to try to catch readers’ interest from time to time with other stuff.  Notice the position of the apostrophe showing my optimism that there is more than one of you out there at any given time.  I dare say some of it will be about education, science or mathematics.  Humour me.

This week, something provocative for starters.  My sons are now well into their twenties, and both West Brom fans, as am I (nominally).  West Bromwich is the town of my birth, and the Yapplets were exposed occasionally during their formative years to life at The Hawthorns with an occasional away jaunt thrown in.  I am sure they will always remember that Championship playoff semi-final second leg win against Wolves, for example.  I have never been a big spender in the club shop, though, as I felt that I was spending enough on the journey, the tickets and the programmes.  At that time (before my first retirement!) I was fortunate to earn a head teacher’s salary that at least gave us the option of having such a day out from time to time.

I just wouldn’t do it now.  Even on that same salary.  If you are a parent of two interested children, I just don’t know how you can look yourself in the mirror these days and tell yourself you are doing the best by them if you are paying Premier League prices and getting through a three-figure sum every time you go out of the door.  There are so many more things you could do with those funds to have a more lasting impact on those youngsters and give them more choices and opportunities in their later lives.  The people who are running the game now have broken the link between top clubs and their communities and their decisions are based on the principles of business rather than sport.

I therefore hope that you will pay attention to Non-League Day on 6 September and, if you have youngsters, take them along too.

What Next?
No idea, follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  Looking forward, however, to the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup in two weeks.

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