Tuesday 26 August 2014

Bank Holiday Weekend ....

Belper postie celebrates Belper's equaliser !

Interesting and varied weekend !!! Finished work and headed off to Stalybridge Celtic to watch the "tenants"(viz FC United of Manchester) play Belper Town - a crowd of 1849 (approx 98.5% FC United fans !!) saw Belper fight a heroic rearguard action in the first half - helped by a superb performance by their 'keeper James Martin - before United took the lead.  What happened next ?? Belper not only equalised, but they took the lead ... and it was only a last gasp equaliser that saw the points shared.  Pics at 

FC United 2 Belper Town 2

After the game - a beer or two in the Stalybridge "posh bar" before heading back to Belper on their team/supporters bus - arriving a touch late for a 2000hrs rendevous for food @ the Duke of Devonshire.  Fine effort considering the recent fire at the pub (well reduced menu etc) before sleep.  

 Heather looking very purple at this time ...

Sunday ... off to Eyam for a 10 mile walk - some pretty rough pics (!) at

Eyam Walk 24Aug14

We were staying over in Eyam on Sunday night at the Miners Arms - when the room was booked we were warned "There is a Beer Festival on Sunday night - it might be busy" ... we coped (Kelham Island "Wild Rider" was my pick of the bunch) !!!!!

Weather a bit grim on Monday so we went to the Museum in Eyam and learned the full story about the 1665/66 plague - a really good museum - well recommended - and only £2-50 in !  

Home - via supermarket - so too late for Bank Holiday football - hey ho.  Sort out stuff (like you do - I cooked a cracking chicken, chorizo and black pudding effort for Monday evening !!).  Back to work today - probably like the couple of Belper posties I met on Saturday - and then home for another interesting food effort - a mince and vegetable "thing" - no red wine so used beer - it worked (!) - topped with layered spuds and sprinkled with a mustard cheese ... and as I missed footie yesterday I got out to watch the MK Dons v Manchester United game on Pub Sky - hmmm ...

Thursday 21 August 2014

Music ... Now and Then - Kongos

Young boy has just played me (on his phone so quality poor) a track by Kongos called "Come With Me Now" released in UK 4 days ago  ... here's a Youtube of same ...

 I was impressed - impressed enough to delve further - a South African band ... and the accordion-style - my first thoughts were Cajun - oh no - apparently it's "Kwaito" (a la Paul Simon "Graceland" I guess) ...

But then ... "Old Git Mode" kicked in ... Kongos ...  my mind went back to the early 70's ... John Kongos who had a hit with "He's Gonna Step on You Again" ... back to Youtube (innit wonderful !!!)

... and hence to Wikipedia

... he has four sons  - - - - and it all fits together ...

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Mossley v Northwich Vics

Ali v Foster - 01APR1974


Ali v Foster 19AUG2014

... and we were all expecting a feast of goals after the 5-5 draw on Saturday ...

... it didn't happen ...

A 7th minute goal sealed the points for the visitors - it was a fairly tight game but all the best chances went to Northwich to be honest - they looked just that little bit quicker on the ball and quicker to break.  Early days yet though ... some pics from the game at

Mossley 0 Northwich Victoria 1

(and a quick word about the Northwich number 3 - the beautifully named Mohamud Ali - I may have been a bit hard on him in the picture captions - whinge ... oh yes ... but the fact that he keeps cropping in the the pictures implies to me he WAS well involved in the game - and Mossley didn't score - so fair play to him !).

Sunday 17 August 2014

Lenses and Cameras ...


... the be-all and end-all of DSLR snapping ... and some of the (better/required) buggers cost as much (if not more) as the bloomin' camera body. I started - naturally - with second hand stuff allied with cheap lenses ... but then after a while you realise that the 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens is totally useless for night games/day games during the winter period.

Maybe the phrase "totally useless" is a bit over the top - you make do with what you've got and push it to the absolute extreme at times (I look at some of the early stuff I think "hmm" - 1/160th at F5.6 on an EOS 20D at ISO 3200 - some of them were actually passable - albeit with some "serious post processing" !!!).

But then the drug kicks in ... you realise that you need a better lens for the night games - so I went for a second hand Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 (Ebay - £330) - and then you realise that for some stuff ... it's too big (especially for penalty shoot-outs/behind the net etc etc) ... so next stop a Sigma 24-60mm f2.8 (brand new - another £300+) ... meanwhile you're looking for landscape/non-football type lenses - grabbed a Canon 50mm f1.8 cheap off Ebay plus a Canon 28-105 ... very cheap and cheerful.

The EOS 20D was a wonderful starter - but a little short of pixels - so back to Ebay to pick up a second-hand EOS 50D - and it's always nice to have a back-up camera so the 20D was sold, the 50D became the back-up to the first brand new body I've bought ... an EOS 7D.

And don't forget - at non-league level - some of the floodlights will push even an f2.8 lens ... so (just in case !) why not a Canon prime 85mm f1.8 ??  Duly purchased !!!

But still the drug kicks in ... the Sigma 70-200 is good (still got it now) ... but a little slow in focusing - so you go the whole hog and get the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 (nearly a grand - the Image Stabilisation model was twice as much !!) - and then you look at your walking options ... the 28-105 is a good 'un - but not quite long enough - so a cheap 70-300 was purchased --- but then you end up thinking "Carry two lenses while walking ??" - why not a super-zoom ?? So I did (an 18-200 Tamron - but this WAS paid for by my postie Christmas tips).

I've since spent time at PA (Photographers' Anonymous) ... so far it's working ...

Stalybridge Celtic v Solihull Moors - 16Aug14

Solihull put the squeeze on ...

Finished work in good time to get up to Bower Fold for my first view of Celtic this season (and a first view of their excellent programme cover - even got my name on Page 3 !). There was an air of confidence around the ground after a win and a draw in their first two games - and Celtic started much the brighter with some slick passing and good pressure.  However (and there is always a "however" in these stories !), no goals were forthcoming, and the Moors gradually forced themselves into the game - and forced Celtic onto the back foot.  Some hesitancy at the back enabled Moors to take the lead just before half-time - and two more in the second half gave the visitors a comfortable win ... although 0-3 was a touch harsh on Celtic I feel.  Some pics from the game at

Stalybridge Celtic 0 Solihull Moors 3

I wouldn't be too disheartened though - Celtic showed a lot more "collectiveness" in those first 20 minutes than I saw a lot of the time last season - a few tweaks at the back and they should get back on track.  Also spare a thought for some of the away support ... apparently stuck on the M6 somewhere 'twixt Birmingham and Manchester (not now of course !) - but some some it was a four and a half journey ... for others it was a game missed !!

As an aside - 'twas Day 1 in the Evo-Stik League yesterday and a couple of stand-out scores were Bamber Bridge 1 Droylsden 7 (seven) and Harrogate RA 5 Mossley 5 ... !!!! Other scores in "Six Tame Sides-land" saw Ashton United draw 2-2 at Belper Town, Curzon snatch a late 1-0 home win over Marine ... and I'm afraid Hyde are still struggling with a 1-3 reverse at Barrow.

Next stop - Mossley v Northwich Vics on Tuesday night.

Friday 15 August 2014

Live Music last night ..

 Seems to be a recurring theme @ Railway on Thursdays !!

... anybody worked out that Mrs Smiffy is away at the moment - popped out to the Railway at Greenfield last night to watch the Marauders - and a cracking night it was - my kind of music - blues (Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson, Fabulous Thunderbirds) plus some Doctor Feelgood covers as well as some original stuff.  Some pictures at

Marauders @ Railway Greenfield 14Aug14

More football is a'coming ....

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Oldham Boro v Ashton Town

 Ashton Town 'keeper - James Corden (aka Smithy from "Gavin and Stacey") - or is it just me ?

Eschewed Stalybridge Celtic v AFC Fylde last night in favour of an easy walk up the road to Seel Park, Mossley to see the tenants looking for their first win of the season - and they got it ... in style if I may say so.  A very well-earned win by the Boro - and it could have been more than 3-1 if it hadn't been for some missed chances, the goalpost and a good performance from the (James Corden loookalike ??) Ashton Town 'keeper.  Some pics from the game at

Oldham Boro 3 Ashton Town 1

.. and after a couple of (in my mind) poor efforts at night football photography (Mossley friendlies) - I reckon I've improved a bit - started to go for spot metering on the camera all the time - and I reckon that improves stuff (in my mind !)

(And by the way 'Bridge fans ... I'll be there on Saturday for the Solihull game !!).

Sunday 10 August 2014

Mossley v Curzon Ashton ...

Mossley skipper James Blair ...

The final friendly before the big kick-off next Saturday - and what a good game it was !!   Maybe just a friendly, but both teams "went for it" and produced a very entertaining game on a sunny afternoon.  I guess for the two Managers, a 3-3 draw will mean "Defence - aargh !!", but both teams carved out some good chances ... so they should be happy with that side of things !!!  A few pictures from the game at ..

Mossley 3 Curzon Ashton 3

... plus we also had the bonus visit of a Lancaster bomber - 'tis the "Yanks Weekend" in Saddleworth - an annual "festival" (the film "Yanks" was filmed in this area) - I'm guessing it came over today because the weather forecast for tomorrow is 'not brilliant' !!

A "long distance crop" taken at the game ..


Friday 8 August 2014

Live Music Tonight ...

Lubricating the vocal chords !!!

Yes Sir ! 

... at the Railway in Greenfield - some pics at

Yes SIr ! Railway Greenfield 07 Aug 14

Got wage slip today - not been paid last week's overtime ... not happy ...

Thursday 7 August 2014

Just for Fun !!!

Enjoy the music ...and the title ... back to my love of Scandinavian metal music ...

Tee hee !!

(They also do tracks called "Vodka" and "Tequila" ... if you're that way inclined !!!)

Monday 4 August 2014

Tonight ...

... on our (rather scruffy) doorstep ...

One day - maybe one day - these so-called world leaders might wake up, and realise that war is NOT the answer - and coming right up to date the use of the word "conflict" is fooling no-one ..

Remember ALL from ALL sides - because most of the dead were innocent ... the guilty were (and still are) elsewhere ...

Sunday 3 August 2014

Oldham Boro v Cheadle Town ...

A chance to see the "new tenants" at Mossley AFC (Oldham Boro are groundsharing at Seel Park this season - and maybe next season too).  Oldham should feel a bit hard done by as well - two penalties and down to 10 men, and denied several times in the second half by some excellent work by the Cheadle 'keeper Stephen Piggott. A few pictures from the game at

Oldham Boro 1 Cheadle Town 2


Friday 1 August 2014

RIP Rami Rayan ...


Israel - I do not like you one bit ...

Mossley v FC Halifax Town - PSF

You always know when the pics are poor ... because Photoshop kicks in - Dean Warburton "on the ball"

... some pictures from Wednesday night's game - ended up 2-1 to the visitors ...

Mossley 1 FC Halifax Town 2 (PSF)

By the way - the pictures are cr*p .............  in my mind anyway .....