Wednesday 30 April 2014

FCUM v Ashton United ...

In the 123rd minute - agony and ecstasy ...

... in the Evo-Stik Premier Play-Off Semi-Final ... on holiday this week so a gentle journey up to Gigg Lane, Bury to watch this one - and what a game it was !!!  Train - pint in Turks Head (£3-50 - bloody Norah !!) - a packed tram up to Bury and a stroll down Manchester Road.  A crowd just shy of 3,000 had gathered - and the general consensus on forums/message boards etc was a win for the home side.  FC took the lead on the hour via a hotly-disputed (by some !) penalty - and as the clock ticked round to 92 minutes ... Ashton got the equaliser !!!  Into extra-time, and as the clock ticked round to 123 minutes (and I was getting the "penalty shoot-out lens" ready for action) - Ashton got the winner !!!

Pictures from the game at

FCUM 1 Ashton United 2

Cruel for FCUM - a fourth "failure" in the play-offs - but you have to admire the "never say die" spirit of the Ashton team - from start to finish ... not overawed, they got on with the job, kept plugging away throughout - and finally got their just rewards.  There were some very happy people there last night !

Still - it IS only half-time - a trip to AFC Fylde beckons on Saturday in the Play-Off Final ... sadly I can't make it (a prior engagement made months ago which CANNOT be undone).  Thoughts will be with the Robins though (and I should be able to check out Twitter all afternoon !).

Cracking night out - and I bet there's a few sore heads this morning ...

Sunday 27 April 2014

Aaargh - Camera Crisis !!!!!!!!

Sunday - footy pics from Saturday all sorted/uploaded etc.  Weather forecast a touch iffy - but we decided on a shortish walk around the Uppermill area.  Took camera (naturally) and on arrival I tweaked the mode dial button (the one which dictates either aperture mode/shutter mode/manual mode) ...

DISASTER - instead of clicking round the dial just spun ... it had sheared off inside the camera ! Which left me with this (pics taken when I got home via cameraphone) ...

You get the picture ??? AARGH !  So - the camera was stuck in aperture mode (fine for football, but NOT for "out and about").  However I stuck with it (with much twiddling about with ISO settings to try and get a decent shutter speed) and managed to get a few half-decent efforts (including some good close-ups of one of the local herons)  - pics at

Uppermill Walk 27Apr14

Got home - wondered about warranty repair - only to find out I bought the camera on .... would you believe ... 24th April last year, ergo 1 year 3 days - bugger bugger bugger !!!!!!!!

So - a week off work - have already sent off an e-mail to Thomas Camera Services - who did a great job servicing my "old" EOS 50d - we await the damage !!!  Might well ring up the place where I bought said camera - just in case I can swing a warranty repair - not hopeful though.  We shall see.

At least I've got the 50d for whichever footy game I get to this midweek ... the trusty old EOS 20d has been flogged off to a friend of a friend.

Stalybridge Celtic v Workington

Sean McConville's free kick makes it 2-0 to Stalybridge Celtic

Another weekend - another "having to work and hoping to get off in time" day - and another choice of many games ...

Mossley - having let me down at Bamber Bridge on Easter Monday - were at home to Farsley ... who'd just failed in their play-off aspirations; Ashton United - who were guaranteed that last play-off spot - were at home to Witton Albion; and Stalybridge Celtic - who were allegedly safe from relegation - were at home to Workington.

I chose Stalybridge - because although they were allegedly safe, they were still in the bottom three.  Vauxhall Motors have resigned from the Conf North so the theory was "only two go down" - but you never know how these things pan out - because there have been rumblings from "daarn south" (Maidenhead to be exact) about "why should Conf North only have two down when then third from bottom in Conf South have more points" etc etc etc.  And we ALL know what can happen at League Annual General Meetings (the AGM Cup as it's known - when crazy decisions can be made off the pitch which negate everything that's happened ON the pitch over the season).  So - if Stalybridge managed to get more points than Oxford City on Saturday they were guaranteed to finish outside the bottom three - and so avoid the "AGM Cup" if you get my drift.

... and so it happened ... Stalybridge won 2-0 - Oxford City only drew 1-1 - so Stalybridge are now TOTALLY safe from relegation !  Pics from the game at

Stalybridge Celtic 2 Workington 0

In t'other two games ... Ashton contrived to lose 1-4 at home to Witton (but apparently rested a few players in preparation for the Tuesday play-off semi at FC United of Manchester) - and Mossley beat Farsley 1-0 with a late winner.

... and that was Saturday - now to try and decide which play-off semi to try to get to this midweek ...

Thursday 24 April 2014

A typical day at Work ...

... divide by two vans/four peeps ... just add letters and there you go ...

A far cry from the world of Janet and Allan Ahlberg ...


Wednesday 23 April 2014

Bamber Bridge v Mossley

 Goofing with Photoshop ... Dougie Carroll scores Mossley's solitary goal ...

A day off - a chance to travel - so a choice of two decent "trips out" on Monday - and by God I picked the wrong 'un !! While I was watching Mossley get stuffed 5-1 by Bamber Bridge, Stalybridge Celtic were earning a point at Bradford Park Avenue which - after learning of Histon's defeat - led to wild celebrations on and off the pitch (safe from relegation etc) ... y'know the sort of stuff that cries out for a bloody photographer !!! Hey ho ... pics from Monday at

Bamber Bridge 5 Mossley 1

Saturday = last day of the season ... let's see what I choose (once again dependent on "that damned job" !).

Sunday 20 April 2014

Stalybridge Celtic v Gainsborough Trinity

The Stalybridge Celtic XI (ish !) ..

 The Bellowhead XI ...

Again - spoilt for choice on a Saturday in Tameside - could Ashton United cement their play-off place against (nearest rivals for that spot) Skelmersdale United ??  Could Stalybridge Celtic ease their relegation worries with a win against Gainsborough ??  Could Mossley propel themselves to mid-table with a win over Ossett Town ??

In the end I plumped for Stalybridge - true to form Saturday work was a bit heavier than usual, and I made it to Bower Fold a couple or three minutes after kick-off.  After taking the lead, Celtic found themselves 2-1 down on the hour - murmurs of "Here we go again" etc etc.  But pressure finally told and Celtic ran out 3-2 winners - and with both Oxford City and Histon losing, it's done them a power of good.  Pictures from the game at

Stalybridge Celtic 3 Gainsborough Trinity 2

... of my other two possibilities - Ashton United thumped Skem 4-1 and are virtually (if not mathematically) guaranteed a play-off place (can't see Skem turning round a 20 goal difference in two games).  Mossley lost 1-2 - undeservedly I'm told.  Elsewhere Curzon Ashton romped home 3-0 at Clitheroe and Droylsden lost 2-4 at Buxton (Hyde played on Good Friday losing 1-3 at home to Kidderminster).

After the game it was straight down (via a drink or two !) to the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to see Bellowhead (where incidentally I ran into Hyde FC official snapper Paul !).  It's true what they say - their live performance far outstrips their studio efforts - an excellent gig indeed.

Another day off work on Monday - now to decide where to go - finally a chance to take in an away game I feel !!!

Friday 18 April 2014

Marsden Meander 18Apr14

Popped over the hill to Marsden for a couple of hours today (OK actually through the rail tunnel) - just a leg stretch down the canal to Standedge Tunnel and a beer and butty (sadly not in the now closed "Tunnel End" pub) before home.  Didn't bother too much with the camera - just the one real picture to be exact - but just a change of angle and a change of focusing can make a difference ...

The "bog standard" pic often seen ...

Time to grovel on the ground a bit - focus on daffs ..

... or maybe the cafe ...


... and for the "bokeh hunters" out there - one from early this morning in the back garden  - reckon I got the angle right with the sun ...

... all courtesy of the "old" 50D & cheap'n'cheerful 18-200mm lens ..

A Wednesday Walk ...

... after work me and Mrs S headed out into the hills - she did the geocaching, I took a few pics ...

Wednesday Walk 16Apr14

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Curzon Ashton v Farsley AFC

 Niall Cummins with eyes on ball ...

... yes I did - if Saturday's performance was "After the Lord Mayor's Show", last night's efforts were more "The Morning After the Lord Mayor's Show" I'm afraid.  Admittedly the title's won and they end up playing two teams in the play-off zone - but it was so sloppy, and slack.  Sad also to say that last night the crowd was back down to normal after Saturday's 456 as well (less photographers as well !!!!).  If players are playing for their places in a higher league next season - they need to show more in my humble etc etc etc.  A few pics from last night at

Curzon Ashton 1 Farsley AFC 2

That's it for the week - fingers crossed for Stalybridge Celtic tomorrow night - can't make it I'm afraid ..

Monday 14 April 2014

Curzon Ashton v Warrington Town ...

 ... just pics for now - it's been a hellishly busy weekend !!

Curzon Ashton 2 Warrington Town 3

...probably end up there again in 18 and a bit hours ...

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Mossley v Northwich Vics

What can I say ???  TBH not a lot - so I'll leave you with the pictures ...

Mossley 2 Northwich Vics 4

Dire ?? Dreadful ?? Going through the motions ???

You decide ...

Monday 7 April 2014

Congratulations ...

... to Curzon Ashton - Champions of the Evo-Stik 1 North after tonight's 1-0 win @ Harrogate RA .............. with a 91st minute winner.

Sick as a chip not being there - more than that ... really p*ssed off not being there ...

Need to really look at job options ...

Monday Night - Not @ Harrogate ...

Pretty sh*t day at work - got wet through before midday - dried off and then got wet through in the afternoon - again just didn't feel "up for it" when I finally got home (no space on coach I believe anyway ...).

So I'll be on Twitterland keeping in touch with the Harrogate/Curzon match (and I know Maxine has taken her camera so ...).

Tomorrow night - the biggie is FC United vs Chorley - I can see 4,000+ turning up for that one - but again I won't be one of them - I'll go for the Mossley v Northwich Vics option (or if the weather causes grief the Stalybridge v North Ferriby option).

Have to admit this work/life balance ain't working these days - the (mega) changes at work are not helping my hobby one bit - either on Saturdays or midweek - just getting worn out, and it's affecting not just getting to games but my general "knackerdness" when I eventually get there (and I KNOW it's affecting the quality of my stuff).

Hey ho - the Easter Holidays have started for certain members of the family (i.e. Mrs Smiffy) and when the wife's away ...

Me - and one of the cats - can play ...

 ... until tomorrow ...

Sunday 6 April 2014

Stalybridge Celtic v Oxford City

Celtic's Ryan Croasdale gets flattened yesterday ..

There was an embarrassment of riches in Tameside yesterday ... Curzon Ashton (at home to Prescot Cables) could have been crowned Evo-Stik 1st North champions if they won and Darlington 1883 had lost at home to Radcliffe Borough - suffice to say both Curzon and Darlo won, meaning the champagne has to be kept on ice - maybe Monday night at Harrogate Railway (might try to scam a lift there ???).  Ashton United were looking to cement their postion in the Evo-Stik Premier play-offs with a game against lowly Ilkeston - suffice to say Ilson won 3-1 (although Ashton's nearest rivals Skelmersdale lost as well, so the position remains the same).  And finally there was Stalybridge Celtic v Oxford City - two teams in deep doo-doos at the wrong end of the Conference North.

I chose the Stalybridge game ... and to honest they dominated without ever looking like winning - until the 82nd minute when Paul Ennis broke the deadlock - but old habits die hard at Bower Fold (!!) and four minutes later Oxford claimed an undeserved equaliser - a real sickener to be honest.  In essence a draw was probably not much use to either team ... and the relegation battle continues.

Some pictures from the game at

Stalybridge Celtic 1 Oxford City 1

(And yes ... my heart goes out to Droylsden after their game at Chorley yesterday - I'll say no more).

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Sunday ...

... as hoped for, the weather took a turn for the better (i.e. that biting wind had all but disappeared), so I wandered down to the local canal.  Started with a brief peek around Scout Tunnel (a 188m canal tunnel with towpath through it) - just a few pics from there ... I had to keep stopping to let people squeeze past !!!

Scout Tunnel 30Mar14 

... and then a few hundred yards further on is Whitehead's Lock - my 'project' - for want of a better word - was "One Hour, One Lens, One Location", so 60 minutes were spent taking photos of the lock etc from different angles !!

Whiteheads Lock 30Mar14

Might try that idea again ...